H.M.S. Valkyire Sailor's WWII Letter Royal Navy

 This letter was written by a sailor in the British Royal Navy. When he wrote the letter, his return address was H.M.S. Valkyire. The letter is dated August 8, 1944. From the letter……

Dear Folks,
   You will have my other letter now and probably a wire which I intend to send off tonight. They explain each other except that at the moment there is over 3 hours delay on the telephone. I’ll try again towards the weekend.
   I hardly remember Aunt Ellen as I only saw her once after they went to Gateshead-- and I don’t suppose you saw here much more?
   I see Alan has gone over to chickens from rabbits and I must say he is wise- they are more profitable and more interesting I should say. He certainly does get things done. I hope he doesn’t get rid of the pup- I saw some Spiller’s biscuit’s the other day but the shop was closes. We get “shopping leave” for an hour or two afternoons next week or so. I’ll see about some Spratts. I’ve heard complaints about “no films” so I’m afraid a 620 is very doubtful.
   I had letters from Dora as well at Speckington, she’d addressed it to Yeovilton on 4/4/44 (April 4) and I received it on 4/8/44 (August 4)!! When they’d readdressed it at Chatham, they made an error and put down “HMS Yeovilton” so I don’t know where it had been! I’ll have to reply to them tonight.
   I’m duty watch tonight which merely means staying on board sitting here near an open window and watching the holiday makers stroll along the prom. I’ll be able to make up a bit of sleep, this 0530 business every morning is a bit tiring.
                                                 To be continued after supper.
   Supper was a bit of nondescript stewed meat and potatoes with a slice of bread and butter, so that didn’t take long. I’ve now adjourned to the Rec. Room which would surely be the dining room when this was a boarding house. It has a ice big bay window, a few tables and easy chairs and a wireless set.
   It rained this morning but got out beautifully again after dinner and now it is perfect holiday weather again. A strange thing about tea time was to see a huge stretch of thick fog maybe 200 feet in depth, roll right up to the island and completely obscured two of the headlands only a mile away, then it retreat4ed again and now looks more like a cloud on the horizon. I’m told its quite common and sometimes comes right over the island like a pea-souper! If I’d been here for a holiday I’d have been as brown as a berry now, but the sea is much too cold for a Mediterranean sailor! There was a nice indoor bath I’m told but of course it would be closed for a boiler-clean for a month!
   Lat night five of us walked along the prom. As far as we could and back again to a pub where we met three girls on holiday, from Lancashire of course. One of the girls and I went off to the Palais De Danse?? but we stayed so late I hadn’t time to see her home! That was midnight and I was up again at 5:30 this morning! Two of lads went to sleep in class this morning! But the schooled is a very decent chap and some mornings he daren’t sit down himself in case he goes to sleep. He told us that one day so many of his class went to sleep when he’d been talking for a while that he decided to change things round and make them read from his notes. He started off at the back of the class and after ten minutes passed the book on to the next chap. Then he went to sleep when the third chap took over and the poor fellow had to come and give him a shake when he got to the end of the book. As far as the course is concerned I think I shall probably be first in this part as well.
   And that is about all my crack just now--
   I’m duty on Saturday again but I don’t intend to stay on board if I can help it. On Friday night I look afte this Rec. Space for the Divisional Officer who is going sailing for four days, so I think he will probably give me a chit to go ashore on Saturday instead.
   On Thursday evening I am going up to meet Hemmings’ wife. He got married after he left “Dido” but of course I knew all about her before that. I told you he is an instructor here and she has been here for some months but he is afraid his Far Eastern draft is on the way and she’ll have to go home and  start work again.
   We have to do a bit of rifle drill the next morning or two and the 20 of us in my class will be the Captain’s Guard at Sunday Divisions. I shall be all right there as I did a course in rifle drill at Portsmouth. The ship’s company (that is the regular sailors here, not the men on course)  usually have the Guard but they are starting their leave this week and on Sunday one half will be going and the others coming back. The Command decided we “Rillicks” were the only people who ought to be able to take it on without much previous drill! Somebody’s bound to drop his rifle or something, but still we shall get away much earlier than the others and so have more time to either sleep, write letters or just get ready to go ashore. Crowds of people come along the Prom. To watch the Sunday morning turn out but I hope there aren’t any amateur photographers about.
   We had an issue of chocolate today but Bentley who got them put them in his room at ??? And somebody swiped the lot before we finished this afternoon. The Div. officer has given us permission to kill him first and report him afterwards, if we should happen to catch the culprit!! As if we wouldn’t anyway.
   The news has been pretty good for a few days now and I don’t think the Germans will last much longer, and the Yanks are doing well in a quiet sort of way as well, here’s hoping. And now to send doff that wire I hope you did keep some money in the house but if you didn’t we can go into that later.

Love to all,


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