(1940-07-01) Letters - July
Details for Letters - July
Summary: Letters between Gavin and Katie.
Date: July 1940
Location: Varied

July 2nd 1940

Dearest Duck,

How is my fiance doing? There is a bit of a tradition the 4th does when one of the boys gets engaged or married, it started in the Great War. A dirge is sung, it's styled loosely after the song that we sing for a fallen brother. A big joke about so and so getting married. Well it was my turn when we got back. Never thought I'd hear that song, truth be told. It wasn't as big as it would have been a few weeks ago. Few of us left now.

Had a bit of something in my eye to not hear Hutch's exuberant voice jeering. Simon extends his apologies that he could not be there. But they keep him up to his eyeballs in responsibility and paperwork. I think he looks forward to being best man though. Have the Girls started to vie for your Maid of Honor?

Do you have any thoughts on the wheres and whens of it all? There is nothing I can really do to help plan too much, beyond writing these letters. Know that what ever you want, I will do my best to provide. I am not a rich man, but I will do what I have to do to see you have the perfect day you've always dreamed about.

Yours forever,

6 July 1940

My Darling Monkey,

Your fiance is doing exceptionally well, as is mine, I hope. I wish I could have heard the singing for you. Please do assure the boys that I will make every effort to not be the death of you. I'm sure that Hutch will gleefully sing it when he and the rest come back to us here in London.

I can't imagine my Maid of Honor being anyone except our Jen. I do think that Jack, Earnest and Dump would pair up nicely as ushers with Penelope, Amy and Millie as bridesmaids. I shouldn't like anything larger than that, it's perfectly matched and just the right size. Do you think before year's end would be too soon? I'm going to take Mum's wedding dress over to show your mum Thursday next, and we can see what sort of alterations might be needed for fit and to update it a bit.

Sweetest Gavin, it's not your worry about funds for the wedding, that's up to Mum and Da. They've planned, and have a bit laid by, although I fear the dowry for taking me off their hands will be modest. I do hope that you'll marry me despite it.

How could the day be anything but perfect? I'm marrying the man that I've fallen deeply in love with. All that I need for the day to be the most wonderful day of my life is for you to be there, exchanging vows with me.

Tartan is adjusting to his new home, but he seems quite happy on his shelf. I kiss his nose every night, and give him hugs to hold in safe keeping for you. He's a very diligent bear, I know I can trust him with them.

I love you, Gavs, more with every beat of my heart. Not too long, and you will have another bit of time to take leave and see me again. Counting the days, as I always do.

With all my love,
Your Katie

July 12th 1940

Dowry Ducky!

You mean to tell me that you are of modest means? I had no idea! I think I will have to — I can't keep this up. Of course I wish to marry you no matter the dowry. I didn't develop our relationship out of a desire for money. Fish however, a man needs his fish. I'm sorry, I promise I will stop.

I think I'm just a little on the grumpy side. Pilots always seem to have a bunch of hot air up their arse, like it helps them fly. You give that sort of arrogance and compound it with entitlement of a title and an officer of the RAF could inflate a zeppelin all on his own. I would never do anything to let Churchill down. But damn does this 'work together' thing come difficult after decades of 'friendly' rivalry between the branches. We each want to handle our frustrations differently the trio of us enlisted blokes. I just want to punch someone, Earnest wants to sneak over to the air field and paint a pin-up of the RAF CO's daughter on this one arsehole pilot's plane. While Dump just wants to bag his dumps and hide them under seats in every cockpit. But for King and Country and this pretty girl I've got waiting at home, we are behaving.

I think Jen is a very good pick. If Simon proves to be too much of a git, I would really like it if Jack would stand in for me. But it does even out rather nicely doesn't it? As for the when, I told you at your party, if you wanted to run off to a city hall that very minute I would be happy. Maybe consult with your father, he has a good sense for how long things should be drawn out. I'm sure mother and Mary and you will pull something stunning together. I think even Lady MacDonald is chomping at the bit to get her fingers in the pots. She's more than likely going to offer to host the wedding. Act as DJ again and probably offer you all the run of her and her daughters storage closets.

Good luck with all of that,
Your Monkey

17 July 1940

My sweetest Gavin,

I think you are absolutely right. A man does need his fish. Please rest assured that as long as we have a chippy, you will ALWAYS be well supplied on fish AND chips. So there.

I'm sorry that things aren't going as smoothly as they might with the new base and all. I have noticed a little, when they were coming in more often, that there is something of an arrogance about the RAF lads. Maybe they feel, being up in the air like they are, that they're on a higher level than everyone else? Well, you know better than that, and so do most others. You and your mates, you're the ones with your feet on the ground and you have the sense that comes along with that. I wish I could think of ways to make it more bearable for you all, but I do think you are making fabulous efforts to get along. Take the higher ground, love, and you will always come out ahead. I do appreciate you not punching anyone. It means your leave won't be taken away.

You were absolutely spot on about Lady MacDonald. She's offered to host our wedding at the estate, which is so very kind of her. I can't think of anywhere that I'd rather be married, not even Westminster. Of course, no one but Royals can get married there, but you know what I mean. It makes me so happy, the way our families have taken to one another. Our mums just chat up a storm when they're together, and add in Lady MacDonald and it's all I can do to get a word in edgewise. No worries, though, they are being altogether kind and thoughtful about what you and I would like best. I've heard horror stories about mothers taking over wedding plans entirely, but I have no fears of that in this case. We do have the most wonderful families ever.

If things were to fall through with your Simon, I know that Jack would just be over the moon to be the one to stand up next to you. He understands, though, and will be just as happy being any part he can be in our day. He is completely embracing the 'you aren't losing a sister, you're gaining a brother' part of it all.

Has there been any word of when you might get leave next? Even a few hours spent with you would be heaven for me. I miss being in your arms and your sweet kisses. Sometimes, when I think about it, it surprises me how very much you have come to mean in my life. I can't wait for the day when the war is over, and you'll never have to be away from me again. But, until then, I hold you in my heart and wait for the next time we can see each other. I love you.

Your loving fiance,

July 25th, 1940

Forgive me,

It's been a bit of a crazy time here. I'm fine. I hope with all my heart that you are fine too. I am not sure if I'm going to be able to get leave. So much to do. Swear to me that you are safe and if there's even a hint of an air siren you and your family will get to the closest bunker or the Underground that's right there. We're keeping the Krauts in the channel but who knows how long that is going to last.

I'll write, maybe even telegram, so don't panic at the sight of one this time. I'll let you know as soon as I can get some time away. But if the Krauts keep coming like they are, I might be glued to an AA gun for even longer hours. The officers give me grief because when I'm manning it, my hands are lifted and my cuffs slide down a bit. Your lips are always in the corner of my vision as I watch the skies.

Your honoured defender and future husband,

28 July 1940

Dearest Gavs,

Nothing to be forgiven, not a thing in the world. Da keeps us up on news, and I know things aren't the best they could be right now. I swear to you that we will all be off to somewhere safe if there's the slightest thought that anything will be going amiss. With his work with the Air Wardens, Da is always a bit of a step ahead, which I hope with all my heart will never be something we will need to come into play.

We are going on with wedding plans, even though the date right now is more up in the air than ever. But there is a lot we can do without having a date set. You would be surprised, I'm sure, at how much work there can be to make a perfect day. But, really, all I need for a perfect day is you. I don't need a dress or a fancy party or any of that.

I love you, my Monkey. What you are doing is so important, I can't even begrudge the King keeping you away from me right now. Every night you are the last thought in my head before I sleep. Stay safe, my love, and get some shirts with longer sleeves.

Always yours,

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