Letters from Rifleman Jones

My father, Trevor Jones, was born in 1920 in Mid Wales, and served in the King's Royal Rifle Corps from 1941 until the end of the second world war. He died  12 years ago.

I had known for years about the existence of a collection of letters written by my father in 1943 to his sister Nancy, but it was only recently that I actually got hold of them. I have been scanning them as carefully as I can, then putting them back into storage.

Here's one written in May 1943, the day after the end of hostilities in North Africa:


Dear Nancy, Gwilym and Wendy,

I am very sorry I have been so long in writing, but I haven't had much chance until now.

Yesterday was a very eventful day for it was the day upon which the ceasefire sounded in Africa and believe me everyone was glad.  The day before the Germans decided that they didn't want their guns or ammunition any longer so they decided we should have them and they first of all slung over all the shells they had left and then they threw the guns, at least it sounded like, but I was well down in my hole and didn't get in their way, as some unlucky ones did.

Well its all over now and we have had a very nice quiet day today, with plenty of sleep after the celebrations had finished.

All we are bothered with now out here are they flies which are equipped with needles to stick in legs, arms and bare backs, still I can put up with anything now that we don't have any shells coming over.

I haven't had your photographs yet but I expect they will arrive in due course.

So Wendy is beginning to assert herself now, she'll soon be walking and talking.  I expect you were both thrilled when she first said mama weren't you? Are you going to teach her to speak Welsh or will English be enough for her?

I haven't heard from Tom [his brother, who also survived the war] for a long time now, I suppose he's alright, have you heard from him recently?

At present we are all speculating about our future moves, everybody hopes we will be going home but doesn't bank too much on it as we are getting used to disappointments like that we have heard too many rumours which proved unfounded to take much notice of anything until we actually move.  Still we have a small chance of getting home but I'm afraid it is very small until the war is completely finished which I hope will be very very soon now.  I know that all the Germans we took around here were extremely glad that it was all over for them.

That's all for now, I hope next time I shall have managed to get a pen, as it is very bad writing in pencil but better than not writing at all.  Cheerio for the present keep my bed aired as I'll be needing it any moment now

Best love,

Trevor

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