Letter Ilma to Daughter Phyllis

Sunday, 7 November 2010 11:37 PM GMT

Contributed by: Jerry Green

Woodlands St. Mary,


March 15th (1940?)

My dearest Phyll,

I cannot remember the last time we heard from you - months - I do hope all are well – letters are dreadfully delayed these days. Am wondering if you have had mine - one from Rob today written in Jan. We were pleased to hear they are having a nice summer and the camp looking better than Rob has ever seen it. The children too were very well. What about my Diane and John – bless them - how I should love to see them - is John still 'cock of the walk'? Of course by now you are quite settled down in your new home. How do you like it and are things turning out as you expected? So far my letter is all questions, so now for news.
A letter from Billo yesterday - she is    very worried - poor wee Pop is ill and Dr. fears it may be Scarlet Fever - she has not been at all well all the winter and could not seem to get over 'flu' which they all had. Then last week she was in bed with swollen glands and when Bo wrote she had just discovered sports and phoned Doctor. I am glad Greeta is up there - she is always so placid and knows just what to do. She reminds me of Freda in that way. But of course - if it is Scarlet Fever - her boys may get it, eh?
I expect Billo has told you what a terrible winter we had - they were absolutely cut off - no tradesmen could get there and worst still all their pipes were frozen and no water. I guess Billo longed for the Argentine. Cecil is still in camp about 12 miles from here and we see him fairly often - he was at Bunt's last weekend. I think he hopes to go to John o' Gaunt for 7 days leave next week - if all's well. We went to Eastbury church last Sunday then to Bunt's for dinner and tea. Little Mary is very sweet - talks quite a lot. Bunt is a very good father - plays with her quite a lot but is strict - when he says a thing - Mary knows he means it and no nonsense! I do not know if they will come to us this Sunday - we take it in turns - but this week meat rations have started and ours (Dad's and mine) allowance is very small, 1/10 worth each week. We don't get much for 1/10 these days. Rabbits and poultry are not rationed but they are scarce this time of the year.
     Joan and family are quite settled in their new home and like it very much. I have not been there but when we were staying thereafter Xmas we went over to the farm and saw the house - outside. It reminded me a little of Pigeon House - a wall all round the garden and a lawn in front. They moved there last month and give up the Horton farm on the 25th of this month. I think they are a few miles nearer Billo now. Ken took Greet, Bo and the children there one Sunday.
      Bubble is still staying with Tony Kimber but now she is 18 she can apply for hospital training.She is very keen and when Freda was here she took Bubble to see Madaline (do you know her? She was in B.A. With Freda). She is now a Matron in London and I think something could have been arranged for Bub but the war has altered things - no Probationers taken in London now - most hospitals ready and waiting for Air-raid casualties. However Bub hopes to start in Newbury. She is coming home next week-end and is to be examined by Doctor and  I think if Certificate is good she may be accepted. I don't think there is much doubt about her general health. She has just got over German Measles …. (pages missing)  
 Aunt Olive came up last week - took Daddy and me to Hungerford to see Aunt Rose. Francis has at last got into the Air Force - he waited months. Terry is in the Hussars and is stationed at Cheltenham - has just been promoted and has 2 stripes. Michael is on a farm up north.
 How is Tony and does he like it at El Rincon?? Rob says maize is hardly worth harvesting. My word! It is very scarce and dear here. Did you have much fruit this time? I have just made a little apricot jam (dried apricots), sugar is dear, rationed, also butter. The bulbs are just coming up in the garden and we hope soon to plant beans but ground is very wet yet and yesterday we had quite a lot of snow.
A letter from Aunt Clara - she has not heard from Charlie for some time - the last she heard was that he was thinking of coming home to join up. I hope Rob won't think about it - he is best where he is and Elida and the children need him more - eh? Well my dear, I hope you are not tired of reading all this. I think it is time I ended. Do write soon and let me know about you all.
Take care of yourself and give Diane and John a nice kiss from Nana and Bampy. Our love to Tony and the bestest to you, my dear girl from Daddy and Your loving Mother.

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