HMS Dido British Sailor's WWII Letter 1944

This letter was written in February of 1944, by a British Sailor, who was serving aboard the HMS (Her Majesty’s Ship) Dido. The letter was written on an “Air Letter” sheet that when folded twice, and sealed, serves as it’s own cover. From the letter…….

Dear Folks,

   No mail this week which leaves me to my own imagination to fill this week’s letter. Life has been much as usual and rather like the news where you hear of each days doings, which tho interesting in a way isn’t sufficiently different to make comment. Talking of news, the bombing of Germany reminds me of the last time we were at Anzio. It’s the first time I’ve seen hundreds of our heavy bombers in action and it is quite a sight to see them go over in close formation, ride through very heavy flak, drop their bombs and come back over us again, in similar formations. Of course we saw one or two come down, but I wouldn’t like to be at the spot where they deposit their load! It was a nice contrast to when we used to watch Jerry raids on Tyneside ??….tho they only had one or two planes.
   I don’t like writing about the war side really, but everything else I have to say is so scarce. I was ashore yesterday for an hour or two. It is a long way to the dock gate so instead of walking we did it in style on a Yankee fire-car, at speed!
   Everything which might have interested us was either too far away or we didn’t know where to go. We asked a few to direct us to anything worth seeing but all we got from them were cinemas, opera, etc., but nothing for sightseers. One shop I went to for information could only produce a guide book without pictures in two languages we couldn’t read.
   So eventually we enquired our way to the Navy Club, which was a nice couple of miles walk. It turned out to be only one huge room with marble pillars supporting a sort of domed roof, marble floor, and a bar., a band was playing popular English numbers on the stage. We had our two beers, the ration, and then bribed the waiters to get us another couple, then it was time to leave. The first drink I’ve had for five weeks.
   When we came out I broke up a bar of chocolate for some little girls and the next minute we were knee deep. In a matter of seconds my coat pockets were empty but when they found I hadn’t any more I got my belongings back, handkerchief, cigarettes, matches, gloves. I pointed to one of the others, said chocolate, and ran.
   We walked back to the ship, buying a couple of baskets of oranges on the way, and that is all I have seen of ? Midweek will bring you a longer letter.  



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