(1940-04-01) Letters - April
Details for Letters - April
Summary: Katie and Gavin's correspondence through April.
Date: April 1940
Location: Various

1 April 1940

Darling Caveman Monkey,

I do hope that you didn't decide to do anyone bodily harm in order to remind them all of your manliness. Not because I doubt your manliness myself, but because I would be absolutely gutted if you got in trouble and had your next leave cancelled. It's also a good thing that I never do know when your patrols have you near, else I might be the one slipping away to see you and getting you in trouble! Perhaps not in quite as much trouble on a rooftop as might if you slipped into my room, but still.

That little blond friend that you refer to must be Allison, she's cheeky enough to wink at a soldier and an absolute darling. You ought to ask Hutch if he'd be interested in meeting her. She was dating a bloke, but he got his knickers in a twist over some silly little thing and they parted ways. Just as well, I think, as I didn't much care for him and the way he talked to her. She's a lovely girl and deserves to be treated as well as you treat me. If not Hutch, perhaps you know of another that would be as good a catch as you are? Granted, I doubt anyone would quite match up, but as long as he'd treat her well.

I did get a visit just the other day from two very nice girls who happened to be dating soldiers as well. It felt a bit like they were sizing me up, but they were kind so mayhaps I passed muster. They did promise to come around to the chippy again sometime, and bring friends. It's no real matter to me if they take to me or not, but it's always lovely to have more friends to talk to.

I've not seen hide nor hair of your mum yet, or if she's come in she hasn't introduced herself. I'm very keen to meet her, do you think I ought to pop round to see her sometime? I should hate her to think that it's her obligation to come see me, as I do feel it's more mine to go see her. She's your mum, after all, and deserves every bit of respect that I can show. It wouldn't do at all to start out with her thinking I've got my nose in the air.

I'll close this now, so I can run down and get it in the afternoon post so it gets to you soonest. Counting the days until your next leave, sending you kisses every night.

Ever your duck,

April 8th, 1940


No loss of leave, just a bit of cool down in the brig and some of the more unsavory duties. If I never see a peeler and a potato again it will be too soon. But your picture in your watch helped the time pass much more pleasantly. It was all in good fun really, most of the barracks got in on it. There's just times when we lads stuck at home need to vent a bit. Harmless really, though Earnest received a boot to the nose. But the devil was giggling the whole way through because I had before mentioned Allison to him. Hutch started it, because I think he was jealous that I wouldn't want a friend of yours exposed to his feet.

How is things at the shop and your cousin doing? Hope things are going smoothly. After several days of simple punishment fare, some fish and chips has me salivating as I think on it while writing this.

Mum should be in very soon. She just has to find time for when her lady won't miss her. That is unfortunately a very thin window as they are usually quite co-dependent on each other. But sometime this weekend she should be in. Good luck with her, she can be a force. Please ignore her if she starts talking about bells and life being short. She's been on that for six years now with me.

I'll be able to write faster now that we're all free again, but someone is liable to start something again. It was surprising how relieved we felt afterwards. Being pent up with all the action going on elsewhere has made us all anxious. Not everyone has the sweetest girl in all of London to distract them. Cause there's only one, and she's mine.


11 April 1940

Dear Gavs,

SHE WAS HERE! Yes, your mum and I finally met. After all the warning you did, I was so nervous, but she's a lovely woman! I didn't know it was her at first, greeted her when she came in, let her know which fish was best on the day and all, like I always do. It wasn't until we'd chatted for a minute while she was waiting that she let on about being your mum. I'm rather happy she did it that way, because I'd have been much more nervous about chatting knowing that from the start, but since we'd been nattering along already it just felt comfortable. I sat with her for a cuppa while she ate, she timed it perfectly and was in when we're slowest so I could pay proper attention to her. Don't worry, she didn't mention anything about churches and little ones. Well, not much. I introduced the family as well, and our mums got on like a house on fire. She and I talked a bit about Jack and his difficulties. Don't worry, she didn't tell me too many tales about you as a child, and the ones she did were simply adorable. They made me miss you all the more. I think she could tell that, she gave me a hug before she left and said it was a comfort to her to know that someone else cares about you almost as much as she does, and worries for you as well. I think she was absolutely smashing, and I'm looking forward to getting to see her again. She said she'd stop back when time allows, and will invite me over for tea soon.

Thinking on it, I do believe you're right, and Earnest would likely be a very good prospect for Allison. If he can handle her being cheeky at times. But, since he spends so much time with you, I hardly think a little cheek would astonish him. Perhaps I can dig up another bird for Hutch. One with sinus problems, perhaps.

I'm happy that your little bout of 'letting off steam' didn't come to more dire ends. I can't imagine how it must feel for you all, but I do have to say, selfishly, that I'm happy you're all in London and keeping us safe. There's enough to worry about as is without adding more to the mix. But I do understand that 'boys will be boys' (as your mum says). Still, mind that you don't all get carried away and get into a real mixup, hm? As long as it doesn't hamper your leave, I suppose you'll be bound to get into a bit of a kerfuffle now and again.

Things at the shop are well, and Jen has caught on like she's been here forever. Hm… perhaps if she continues on, with the smell of fish and frying oil clinging to her at the end of the day, she might make a good match for Hutch. Tell him to pop round next time he has some time to himself and I'll make introductions.

And look at me, mother-henning myself and trying to match up all your lads. I might have spent just a bit too much time with your mum, do you think?

I'll send this off now. As always it comes with kisses and my prayers every night. Not long now until your next leave.

Your girlfriend,

April 15th, 1940

My Girlfriend,

Hutch doesn't get a chance with Jen, punishment for having at me for my reactions while reading your last letter. He's such a prick. Anyways, you can't pick who your brothers are, right?

I'm very happy to hear that Mum behaved herself. She needs to make friends outside of work. For so long she has just had her Lady and the other servants at the house. It's its own little world there Katie. Which is nice in times like these, they are so untouched by the war there. But a bit of reality for her is good for her. As is having someone to share in that reality with.

Turns out that one of the girls that came in was Lance Corporal Burt's girl. He told me that she thought you were very sweet and too pretty. She would also enjoy going out with us if ever the leaves shall meet. Supposedly she's one of those girls that puts together the mixers for soldiers and girls. We should go maybe, you can bring all your girls and all my brothers will be there. Would be nice to know some quality girls will be there. It's usually filled with 'Allotment Annies'.

I'll be 'eagerly' waiting the letter from Mum containing all of the gushing. You might have been spared the bells and babies, but I can bet you that I won't be. I miss you like mad. Can't wait to see you again. Next letter could you send along a handkerchief or something that you wear about your hair in the shop? Just something to grip and smell you might help a gent along.

Kerfuffle in Glasgow is a greeting. But I will try my best to behave. I don't want to jeopardize our seeing each other.

Till we see each other again, your boyfriend,
Private Gavin Ferguson

18 April 1940

My Gavs,

What were your reactions when you read my last letter that Hutch was getting on you about? Now you have me trying desperately to remember every word, and trying to think how you'd react. But that man will never get a girl at the rate he's going. You've already forbidden two to him! Should I try and fix him up with the most vexing bird I know, d'you think? It would serve him right, apparently.

You'll tell me what your mum writes you, I hope? Even if it turns out she was disappointed, I want to know so that I can make it up. And if it's good, I want to know so that I can keep doing whatever I did. I'm looking forward to seeing her again. Hopefully she'll have more tales to share about you. She tells them so well, I can picture you getting up to mischief in your short pants and buckle shoes.

I'll keep an eye out for… I think her name was Betty? Your Lance Corporal's girl. I'd love to go to a mixer on your arm. I'd be the proudest girl there, to be sure, with the most handsome soldier. I'm sure my chums would love a chance to meet someone even half the man you are, and they really are all rather lovely. And I'm not only saying that because they're my friends.

I hope that the scarf I've included will tide you over. I didn't wear it in the shop, because you already had something that smells like fish and chips. I wore it out last Sunday and hadn't gotten it into the washing yet, so it should remind you sufficiently of me. Maybe, when we see each other next, you'll give me something? I read your letters over and over. I must have a care with them, or else they'll get so worn they'll fall apart in my fingers. But they make me feel closer to you. I know you aren't terribly far, but it feels like you are most times. Don't be surprised if you catch a glimpse of me outside of the station again one night. Before you reprimand, I'll have a care, I promise. But I do miss you so.

Do you know yet when your leave will be? It already feels like it's been months, even though it's just been a few weeks.

Take good care of yourself, and try to behave. And when you can't, well, I adore you anyroad. Just thinking of you makes me smile.

Ever yours,

April 21st 22nd, 1940

He just mocks me, the way I'm smiling and chuckling when I read your letters. He turns 12 and makes smoochie faces and lifts his voice up a few octaves before trying to imitate you and what he assumes you've written. Maybe he does deserve a beast of a girl that will write him several times a day, gushing at him. Just so he gets what he so desperately seems to think is the way of things. He's just jealous, green as his feet with envy!

As far as Mum is concerned, I won the bet. I am to not bollox this one up or I shall never be forgiven. You are an angel and have a perfect balance between charm and restrain. Her only complaint was the tea, and that's because she's a self admitted snog working where she does when it comes to tea. With Petrol on the rations her making it to the city is a bit taxing, but she said she would like to make it at least three times a month to come in and see you and the family. She is very grateful for Daniel, she praises him for giving me a man's role-model that I seemingly have been in need for all of my life. While I might disagree with the later, it is true that your father is everything in a man I imagine my father was.

Forgive the delay on this letter and the ugly scratched out date. Hutch was a 2 year old this time and we had it on. So I'm continuing from yesterday now that we're out of cool down. I am afraid to say that Leave will come late this month. I hope you can forgive me. But he snatched the letter and went to read it all to the barracks.

Of us all Hutch is the most stir crazy for the war to come to shore. So it seems the longer nothing happens, the more immature and annoying he becomes.

But anyways, what does my prettiest Duck wish to do this leave?

Wiling away the hours, counting every second.

P.S. - The scarf is a Godsend. Does just the trick to help a fella forget he's in a barracks at night.


25 April 1940

Temperamental Monkey,

Of course I forgive the delay on the letter, and I even forgive another squabble that resulted in your leave delay. I would forgive you just about anything, and a delay is a far sight better than having it canceled altogether. That would have gutted me. But you are well worth waiting a bit of extra time for. Hutch, on the other hand, is no longer in my good graces, and you might warn him that, should he visit the shop any time soon, he might find extra pepper in his meal. A LOT of extra pepper. It's one thing to be antsy and pent up, it's quite another to disrespect me, which is ultimately what his antics are doing. He may not care in the least to have garnered my ire, but he will not be happy should he keep it up.

Enough about that.

I feel that I should be asking what you want to do on leave. It's like a bit of freedom for you, isn't it? And here I am able to wander at will. Well, mostly. But I'm far more likely to be able to nip out and do what I want. So let me turn that back to you, my dear, and ask: What would you like to do? I will be happy doing absolutely anything, as long as we're together. Time out on the town, a quiet bit in… and of course I would like you to have time with the lads if you'd like that as well. Anything to make my monkey happy.

I've gotten a note from your mum, which was a wonderful surprise, and my mum received one as well. We're all very excited to see her again, and she says she may be able to come round again in a few week's time. We're already planning a lovely dinner, not just fish and chips for your mum! Some nice family time is in order. I think it would be nice, as well, to try and plan a visit from her to coincide with your leave. Perhaps we could surprise her with it even. I imagine that would be a lovely surprise for her, and ours here miss you as well, especially Jack. Not more than I do, of course, but very much all the same. Do you think we might plan something like that?

Let me know, when able, when your next leave will be, and what you'd like to do. Anything your heart desires, love.

Missing you every moment,
Your Katie

April 27th, 1940

Once again this letter might not reach you in time. So it might be a surprise all together, but it was all rather thrown together. I'll be stopping in on the 30th after I've spent the 29th with the boys.

Hutch has promised that he will come in and apologize. Supposedly he's doing flowers and all. Hopefully he's learned his lesson. Because I will and would do anything to see that you are given proper respect and treatment.

As for what I would like to do, I thought I would maybe treat you to a film, maybe that Blind Folly movie? With all the Irish targeting that was going on, I just didn't feel like risking things. One bombing is all I need. You hear that Germans? I've had my quota of bombings for a lifetime, so you must surrender and end this war.

But enough about that. You and me and Lilli Palmer, do try to not claw her eyes out hmm? Those screens are expensive.

As far as mum goes. It would be nice to do something all together. But perhaps a touch further down the line? She'll expect things during and after such a get together. So for your sake I would like to spare us that sort of expectancy. We could try to arrange for a coincidence meeting of sorts. I'm out with mum and you are at a store we pass or some sort of similar conspiracy. I had just seen her on Mother's day. We usually arrange a visit a season. So to avoid suspicion we may have to wait til Summer.

Well if this letter doesn't reach you in time, SURPRISE!

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