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Private 14804987 Kenneth Ruddock

Page Content

SECTION 1 : Photographs
These photographs are published with the kind permission of Ken Ruddock.

SECTION 2 : Ken Ruddock's Letters
Ken Ruddock was little more than a boy when he was first called up. He obviously missed his family and wrote to them regularly between 1944 and 1947. Miraculously, those letters have survived and Ken's daughter, Jan Welsman, has painstakingly transcribed them.


Egypt 1946

Lincolnshire Regiment Cap Badge Ken Ruddock with 4 comrades Belly Dancer, Egypt, 1946. Belly Dancer, Egypt, 1946. Belly Dancer, Egypt, 1946. Egyptian farmer, 1946. Egyptian woman, 1946. Egyptian woman, 1946. Egypt, 1946. Egypt, 1946. Ken at a Pyramd, Egypt, 1946. Workers, Egypt, 1946. Egypt, 1946. Egypt, 1946. Egypt, 1946. Egypt, 1946.


Palestine 1946

Mount Scopus Camp, Jerusalem, 1946 Mount Scopus Camp, Jerusalem, 1946 Mount Scopus Camp, Jerusalem, 1946 Mount Scopus Camp, Jerusalem, 1946 Mount Scopus Camp, Jerusalem, 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Dunnottar Castle Dunnottar Castle Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Palestine 1946 Ken Ruddock Ken Ruddock Ken Ruddock Ken Ruddock Ken Ruddock Ken Ruddock Ken Ruddock Ken Ruddock Ken Ruddock, Palestine 1946 Ken with 3 friends


King David Hotel Bombing 22 July 1946

The attack carried out by the militant right-wing Zionist underground organization 'Irgun' on the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on 22 July 1946. resulted in 91 deaths and 46 were injured. The hotel was the site of the central offices of the British Mandatory authorities of Palestine, principally the Secretariat of the Government of Palestine and the Headquarters of the British Forces in Palestine and Transjordan.

King David Hotel Bombing 22 July 1946 King David Hotel Bombing 22 July 1946 King David Hotel Bombing 22 July 1946 King David Hotel Bombing 22 July 1946 King David Hotel Bombing 22 July 1946 Sentry - King David Hotel Sentry - King David Hotel King David Hotel Bombing 22 July 1946


Trans-Jordan 1946

Trans-Jordan Trans-Jordan


Camp Pardes-Hana, Israel, April 1946

Ken's Bed, Camp Pardes-Hana, Israel, April 1946


Ken Ruddock's Letters: 1944 - 1947

Index



14804987 Pre Ruddock K. M.
17 platoon D Coy
13th Batl Queen's Royal Reg Napier Barracks, Shorncliffe

14/12/44

Dear Mum and Dad
Well I'm not on pass this weekend, but if I do get a pass some time we can't have them till 3 o'clock for some reason (red tape again) and I'd get my train from Shorncliffe station so I hope you can find the train times for me as you suggest.
My cold is much better now but that cough mixture did not last more than two days when I had it out of the bottle, but I won't want any more now. So don't worry I don't think I'll be home for Christmas so send me a piece of cake and pudding if you can. I think we get about three days off and as the food is jolly good here, it should be all right.
Give Aunty Daisie and Ann my best wishes for Xmas.
The Mess Dramatic Society has sent me as National savings Christmas card with a five shilling stamp on it. All for now.
Love Ken.

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

26/12/44

Dear Mum and Dad
I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas as I did, we started Christmas day by going to breakfast at 8.30 and here is what we had.
Menu
Wheat Flakes and Milk
Ham and eggs
Bread butter and marmalade
Tea

For the rest of the morning we just took it easy and read books till 1 o'clock, time for dinner. (Some Dinner) the tables were placed end to end forming long banqueting tables, by each man's place was a packet of ten cigarettes and an apple, plates of biscuits, cheese and nuts were arranged on every two tables officers and sergeants waited on us, bringing our dinners piled on plates and this is the; - Menu
Roast Turkey
Roast Pork
Brussel Sprouts
Roast Potatoes
Potatoes
Batter pudding
Apple sauce
After this followed the sweet. Christmas Pudding and Custard. There were second helpings of dinner or sweet if you could eat it. One of the lads had as many as five helpings of sweet, large helpings at that. I had two and I could not eat any more. All the time the lads kept singing while one played the accordion. Free beer was given round in tea buckets for those who wanted it. In fact we made ourselves too uncomfortable to do any thing but lay on our beds and wait until it was time for tea. Which consisted of slices of ham and tongue, a Lyon's individual mince pie each, plenty of bread butter and jam and a large Christmas cake complete with almonds and sugar icing per twelve men so you can imagine the size of the slices when it was divided up.
Well I have told you what the army gave but I think that you cake and Xmas pud is still the best. I found that sixpence all right.
I did not hear from Gran this year. It's unusual for her not to write.
I expect that I will be home in about two week's time if I'm lucky so till then.
Love to all,
Ken

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

14804987 Pre Ruddock K. M.
Queen's Royal Reg
No 2 Sub Unit
38 RHU
102 Rft Group
B.L.A.

19/02/45
Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 14th yesterday (Sunday). I'm glad Dad has got the Madrid Road Branch (Co-op) after so long it will save a lot of travelling and as for a house in the Estate if you get one it could look as if our dreams are coming true.
The photos have come out alright I not sure who I'm going to send them to, let Gran have one and Ivan and I'll let you know who to send the others too. I don't mind you sending Auntie Molly one only keep the big ones and each one for your selves.
I haven't received the two letters that followed me on yet.
What is the name and address of Dad's friends here and if I'm near them I will pay them a visit.
You know the stories about the Germans deporting workers to Germany and the way they treat the patriots when they capture them well they are quite true. The Belgian boy I told you about told us of a friend of his who stopped them destroying a bridge when we were chasing the German's.
His grave is at one end of bridge where he was killed, marked with a wooden railing round it and a wooden cross with the Belgian colours and the inscription saying he died for the fatherland. I have seen four such graves scattered around the town of people who resisted the Nazis these people will never forgive or forget. I will have plenty to tell you when I come home till then.
Love to all
Ken
P.S. I did not make that allotment but I am doing it here, but it will take a long time to come through.

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

8 pln A coy
1st Batt Royal Norfolk Reg
B.L.A

11/3/45
Dear Mum and Dad
I'm sorry if you have been worrying but there is no need as you can see by my new address I am no longer in the Queen's I'm in the Royal Norfolk Reg, but I'm still with my friends. Since I wrote last I have been to Holland and I am now in Germany and it's rather interesting.
A couple of nights ago we went for a walk and in one of the streets, one of a block of house caught alight. The people had moved out leaving practically everything as it stood. A German civvey who lived a couple of houses away was getting very heated in more ways than one, because the lads were not troubling about putting it out we rather thought that it serves them right and we have not much pity for them, but an officer came along and decided that we had better do something about it so we split. . .
[Not able to find rest of letter.]

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

180345

Dear Mum and Dad
I've enclosed some post cards of a town I visited in Belgian, some time ago take care of them as I will have a lot to tell you when I come home.
At the moment we are on a farm and living off the fat of the land, a couple of days ago some of the lads found five tame rabbits and I expect Dad that you can guess what happened to them. The army has not changed since you were in it, in that respect. One of my friends being a slaughterer in civvies street, so had them skinned and we had them for supper last night.
The place is swarming with cows, bulls and valves and two of the lads have got the job of milking and looking after three cows so that we can have fresh milk, two of the calves have become quite tame.

19/3/45
This morning we had real fried egg for breakfast and for dinner we had roast port and plenty of it.
When you can will you send some handkerchiefs and writing paper please. We get an N.A.F.F.I. pack with toothpaste and cigarettes and chocolate but they did not put any writing paper in and I'm getting a bit short.
I'll send some postage stamps for Len and John when I can get some.
Love to all
Ken
P.S. I received your reply to my address card yesterday 20/3/45.

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

24/4/45

Dear Mum and Dad
We are having lovely weather out here, and the news is still good, but we still have some more to do before its all over, and it won't be long now, they know they are beaten but it does not make any difference to their fighting. Some of the civvies try to make friends but we can't forget that they started all this trouble so they are not very successful. We found some rhubarb and an old lady cooked it for us.
The men are not allowed out at all and the women only an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, and they are liable to be shot if they disobey our orders. It's quite a game when on guard, checking their passports as there are a lot of people from other countries such as Poles, Russians, French and Belgians who have been released by our forces and are making their way back to their own countries or camps set up by us, to receive and look after them.
I have not heard from Connie.
Love to all
Ken

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

27/4/45

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 22/4/45 yesterday. I'm very sorry that you have not had a letter for a week, I'm not quite sure whether I wrote or not as we have been a little busy lately as you can guess by the news. Every thing is going well everywhere, the 3rd Div is in Breman or what's left of it and the Russians have Berlin and what's more most Germans we meet know it too.
I expect you were surprised when Sheila told you she had a letter from me. I have not received a reply yet but I'm sure she will. It's probably following me now. I'm glad you like her.
The food is not quite as good as we are not near any farms now, but we still get eggs sometimes and we don't go hungry. I have not got my photo yet on the Daily Herald and News of the World yet.
Love to all
Ken.

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

5/5/45

Dear Mum and Dad
Last night I wrote a letter to you, little thinking that about an hour after I had written it and handed it in the news that the German forces had surrendered to General or as I should say Field Marshal Monty of course we could not believe it at first so our wireless operator tuned in to the nine o'clock news, and we listened in a group around our 38 set, thinking of what you were doing at home and wishing that we could see you waiting for the unexpected news. Now we only have the Japs to deal with, but I don't think I will have to go out there, as we still have to do a job out here. Now don't get worried it's only occupation, so I'm very fortunate in being out here. There is one thing you won't get any more V1s or V2s now.
So till I see you which won't be very long now. Love to you all and heres to the fall of the German Fascists.
Ken.

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

10/5/45

I received your letter dated 6/5/45 yesterday.
Well, now this bit of bother is over out here we are getting back to peace time soldering so will you include a tin of Dunaglit in the next parcel.
By the way I haven't received the parcel or either of those photos yet, but I'll get them in time, I still get the Surrey Times alright.
I'm glad to hear that the children are going home. I don't see any reason why Ivan should not stay with us and go home weekends. I'd like him to if it's possible.
I was picked out to go to pictures and we saw one of Lupino Lanes pictures it was an old one but it made a change.
Love to all
Ken.

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

11/5/45

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your parcel late last night, and thanks for the toffee and chocolate. We don't get chocolate very often and the bread pudding was a treat. We are living very much the same as we did at Maidstone. The conditions and food are getting better every day.
Mum! If you see Sheila again, ask her if she has received any more letters from me as I have not had one from her since last month? I expect her letter has got held up in the past because of the V-Day holiday. I'm writing to her tonight in case mine got lost.
Love to all,
Ken.

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

15/5/45

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 9/5/45 this morning as I have just come off guard; I'm having a rest till dinner time comes.
I'm glad to hear that you have been enjoying yourselves. I wish I could have been there, but we will make up for it when I come home. It won't be long now. You ask me if we celebrated, well apart from there being a double issue of rum for those who wanted it; we carried on as usual and thought of home.
I believe a lot of the lads were home sick for the first time since they came out here and they did not show much excitement. One of the lads simply said he was glad that there would be no more v bombs or rockets on England and that his people were safe. One of the lads played the Last Post on his bugle and a few hours later everything was as if nothing had happened.
I told you I received your parcel alright. Just to think Ivan is 16. Time flies and I shall be 19 soon.
Love to all
Ken

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

18/5/45

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 13/5/45 yesterday.
I have written to Ivan, I'm sorry I missed his birthday but I'm glad to hear he had a good time. We had a victory dinner and a show put on by our own Concert Party so we had some celebrations after all even if they were a little late.
Give Ron Theyns my best wishes when you see him I'm glad to hear he's safe after all this time. I can't think why Ronnie Hames has signed on the Regulars. He must like it or have some good reason for doing so. Good luck to him anyway.
I have written to Gran and Gwen. Gwen should have had a letter from me some time ago.
There isn't much news I can tell you, there is going to be a Russian Show and Dane tonight but I happen to be on guard so that puts me out.
Love to all.
Ken.

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

22/5/45

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 16/5/45, last Sunday and the papers and picture posts yesterday.
Well the weather has been a little unsettled lately but it does not interfere with us very much, we are doing a lot of athletic training now, we only do military training in the mornings and have sports in the afternoon.
Yesterday the Battalion about eight hundred of us, went on a three miles cross country run, I came in seventy first much better than I expected. All those who cannot swim have got to learn, that's just what I have been wanting as I've been teaching myself in our swimming pool.
I have never received those photos of myself, next time you send a parcel or papers, put one in. I have taken some photos out here of myself and friends, I'm trying to get them home, so if a packet does turn up with a film in it don't be surprised.
Love to all.
Ken

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

28/5/45

Dear Mum and Dad
I'm writing this in the recreation room of our club (the Britannia Club) about 30 miles from our camp, its set on top of a very high hill and commands a lovely view of the country, I've enclosed a post card picture of it. Every two days a batch of us are sent up here for a rest. Yesterday was my turn to come we go back tomorrow.
I have met a chap who joined up with me at Blackpool, He joined up with this battalion just before the Breman do, he was fortunate as we had seen the worst of the fight. Last night we went down to the actual town of Buckeburg (Germany) to the pictures run by the Americans.
I'm glad you had a nice rest at Reigate; I expect it did you a bit of good not having housework to do. Those military sports and gymnastics are good we aren't all as good. We go in for the ordinary sports such as cross country runs, swimming (I'm still trying to learn) football and other sports, I'm getting quite tanned with being in the sun so much and I feel very fit.
Sheila has written to me and asks after you as she had not seen you lately.
I'm expecting leave in August but I may have to wait a little longer so that those due for leave before me can go, but by the way leave is going now I don't think I will have to wait.
Love to all
Ken

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

14/6/45

Dear Mum and Dad
I'm Sorry I have not replied before, but I went to our Britannia Club for another three days on the 11th and I did not get my mail till last night. I received your letter and greetings card dated 8th and 9th respectively and the papers, I thought the verse in the card rather appropriate for a chap in the Army, I have not received the parcel yet as it takes longer than letters but it will be just as welcome when it does arrive.
I told you we were having a dance last Sunday, well the concert part was a success as usual, and the dance itself was good fun and we are having another this Friday and a lot more A.T.S. are coming. Last Sunday an A.T.S. sergeant came over to some of us in the dance hall and apologised for such a few partners turning up and I arranged to meet her this Friday, but alas I'm on guard so that puts pay to that.
When I told you that Sheila wrote to other chaps that was quite some time ago. I don't believe she does now. You ask if we serious, well she knows I am, and when I come home on leave we intend to see a lot of each other, so we will see then.
When those films are developed send them to me as I want to show my friends.
Love to all,
Ken

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

29/6/45

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 24th yesterday, and I'm on guard again, but it is not so bad as I'm guarding that camp I wrote you about, and at the moment the place is crowded with Russians with a few Poles.
Wednesday evening a few of my friends and myself joined in the fun, one of the Russians played the accordion and the rest danced folk-dances and insisted that we join in.
Yesterday we listened to a group of them singing patriotic songs and a girl accompanied them on the guitar. These people are very good singers. During the day one of the lads and myself made friends with a Polish Girl, although she could not speak English she speaks German and we were able to understand each other a little. We showed each other photographs of our people and had a feast of gooseberries, cherries and strawberries from neighbouring German gardens. It is difficult to stop these people helping themselves to German property because they say as the Germans did in the Caucasso they will do in Germany.
You say it has been too hot for you, well for three days we only wore trousers and shoes and now I'm very brown although the skin on my back is peeling a little it is not sore,
No Mum, I have not heard from Sheila for nearly two weeks, but I believe she is away on holiday and things have not changed as I'm expecting a letter any time now.
I didn't make myself sick with that milk but I hope you did not go short for me.
I received the snaps alright I was standing quite naturally when they were taken but the lad with me is very round shouldered as I expect I look a bit stiff beside him, He was a nice chap once but he has become very loose in his ways since we went into action. The photo in the parcel was alright thanks.
It won't be long before I taste those tomatoes from the garden. Only 19 more days till then.
Love
Ken.

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

29/7/45

Dear mum and Dad
I arrived back safe, sorry if I am late writing as we were held up at Calais for two days.
I'm a little busy at the moment so I'll write a letter as soon as I can.
Love Ken

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

3/8/45

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 29th yesterday.
To say I was socked to hear about Joyce is putting it mildly and I'm terrible sorry about it. I never thought that it was as bad as all that. How is she taking it? It's fortunate she was not one for getting about a lot.
I met all four of my friends at Folkestone and one of them told me he saw you at the station. No he is not the one in the photo. We did not stay at Folkestone and we were caught in the gale in the Channel. A lot of the lads were seasick. But yours truly was quite alright but we arrived late and missed our train and so we had to stay in Calais for two days.
Love to you all
Ken

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

14804987 Pt. Ruddock. K.
14 Pln. 'c' Coy
2 Batl Lincoln Reg.
B.A.O.R.

9/9/45

Dear Mum and Dad
I have just received your letter dated 5/9/45.
And as I am for want of something to do I am trying my hand at typewriting as we have a machine in our billet and the people here don't mind us using it as they have no use for it.
I am glad you like those photographs, but it was not the surprise I had hoped to give you. I had very good reason to believe that I was coming home to England for a time, but the war ended quicker than was expected so our plans were changed and now we don't know what we are doing.
Yes! I did have a good time on that leave. I seeing a good deal of the world for nothing while I'm in the Army, but I would rather be in civvies street and stay in England.
Dad is getting quite a champion at golf by the sound of it, it's a pity his team did not win, one thing he knows its not his fault.
I have found where dads friends live on the map and its about 35 miles away from here, but I have lost the name and address so send it next time you write. Can they read English? I may write to them if they can, and if I do get the chance I could pay them a visit. Do they know I am in the Army and over here?
I am glad to hear that you two are getting about a bit, make up for what you have missed while the children were with us. Do you remember the last time we went to Kingston and Hampton Court up the river; I hope it was as fine as it was then,
Still got trouble with your feet? I hope it won't be too long before they are better as it's a little expensive I expect.
Well that's all for now, so till next time.
Love to all,
Ken
Xxxxx

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

Undated

Dear Mum and Dad
I slept my first night under a mosquito net last night, as we arrived at Port Said yesterday morning after a five day trip across the Med. We had lovely weather and at one time the sea was as smooth as glass, and it is blue. On the way we passed the islands and one of them was really a volcano which irrupted every 15 mins. While we were waiting in the port to get off the boat, the Arabs and native traders came out in their motor boats and tried to sell jewellery and leather made goods to our lads for nearly anything. And I have really seen a banana. I think I am going to like it here, although its winter here it is like the hottest summer day in England. And I have made some new friends and I am in Head Quarters of my platoon now.
I think it's disgusting that people like us should have to pay so much money for medical aid. Mrs Vival would never be able to pay so much money for Joyce. I'm glad you are helping them. I'd like to give £2. I'll owe it to you if you will give it for me.
The Medical Services should be nationalised and thus stop this sort of thing,
I'm glad your foot is better.
I have just had a cold shower. It was grand!
Love to all
Ken

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

Sept 30th 1945 (unsent?)

Dear Mr Codd, (Leslie Codd)
A lot of things have happened since I wrote last.
The war is over, at least the physical battle is, but in my mind there are many things to be done before we can safely say we have won, it is not enough to smash military fascism, our aim should be to build up an international feeling, to teach the people to think internationally, that man is the same at heart no matter what race or colour he may be, all he asks is to have a family home a job and a feeling of security. I have seen men die for these things. Three of my comrades I will always remember, first a lad from Ireland killed on the banks of the Rhine, secondly a lad from India killed when four of us made a dash across a road under fire, he was behind me carrying the Brem when he was shot through the head and although mortally wounded he picked up his gun and bought it to cover before he collapsed. Thirdly, a corporal from London who had seen the war through only to be shot by a sniper after reaching our objective in our last encounter with armed resistance. He was married with two young children. There were many others I knew; none of them wanted a stone monument to the dead. They wanted to build something for the living. So they died because a few capitalists backed a corporal to dope the German people in believing they were the master race and to enslave the world to make profit for themselves.
When the end of the war came my battalion was stationed in the “land of non-fraternisation” as it was then, but owing to my Company being in charge of a Displaced Personal Camp staffed by German civilians, this policy was never adhered to and in the case of my duties, I came into contact with various types of people, some defiantly Nazis and made no attempt to deny it. Like one plump hard faced blond, who soon became known as the Belson Bell. She was the only girl whose photograph could safely be used as anti-Nazi propaganda. The others I met were slim attractive girls like any English girls. Some giggled when asked if they were Nazis, and others would not speak to our soldiers because it so often meant one thing, some of them would do almost anything for a chocolate. The men, young and old, tried hard to please us. Quite a few spoke fairly good English. One of the interpreters who had been invalided out of the German army, was very helpful and was regarded as leader of the civilians working for us, until a young doctor who was of the opinion that it was good that the girls should sleep with us and so have baby soldiers, tried to make trouble for him and take his job.
Now I am stationed in Belgium again, and what I have seen here in the past six weeks have convinced me that the Catholic church here are nothing but Royalists and Anti-Soviet propagandists using religion as a clock for their activities and that when Lenine said that “Religion is the Opium of the people” He was referring to the fact that some people will believe anything in the name of religion. And these trouble makers are using every possible means from preaching in the pulpit scrawling on walls and through the K. A.J. a Catholic Youth Movement with all the show of uniforms typical of Nazi and Fascist propaganda. But there are healthy signs in numerous places that the people are leaning to the Left, such as the posters of map of England with a V sign on a red flag waving over London proclaiming our General Election results, which could be seen in any town here.
Here is something that will interest you. The 3rd British Division is being transferred to Egypt, the reasons being as far as I can make out are
1)  The Egyptians are getting tired of us and think we ought to get out.
2)  The old trouble between the Arabs and Jews.
But I believe that it is the first of the two and that the second reason would be given as an official answer to any questions that might be raised about such a move. This Move has rather angered our troops as we were given to understand that we would have 28 days leave before being sent out East and now we are to fly straight from here and yet we spent the past six weeks doing nothing when we could have been home. To give you some ideas as to the feelings of our troops, this is what happened in my battalion after hearing that the Royal Ulster Rifles and the King's own Scottish Borderers were nearly in revolt. On the morning of Thursday 27th of this month, I went on parade at 9 o'clock which should have been a route march, and the NCOs and the lads were in the dining hall discussing leave, and feelings ran so high that when the officer in charge of the intended march ordered them on parade, not one would move or speak, seeing that something was radically wrong, he fetched the Company Commander on the scene and he, after telling us to get out side for about the fourth time, said that it was mutiny and if we would not obey him he would read the Riot Acts and then we would all be under close arrest. But seeing that the position was hopeless strides out of the room.
(The lads came to attention when he entered but still refused to speak)
Next on the scene comes the Adjutant to tell the lads to gather round and talk it over with him man to man, so they told him their complaints and agreed to go on parade as usual. But this is not all. At 11 o'clock the same morning tow of the other companies got together in their dining hall and followed our example and only went on parade after their Company Commanders had assured them that no one would be placed on a charge. Now on the face of it nothing has been gained, but I would like to point out that the demonstrations were not directed against our own Officers who the men respect, but only to show the “powers that be” what we really think of unfulfilled promises.

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

7/10/45

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letters dated 27/9/45 and 3/10/45 OK.
I'm glad to hear that Gran came down as it made a change for both of you.
Well I won't be needing my wool helmet where I'm going as I don't expect to see any winter until I get demobbed. There is one good thing about this move. It will be something to do to while away the time, and make the demob seem quicker. As it is I may be out in 18 months time.
Last Friday night my Company held a dance. We had an RAF Band and invited some WAFS from the station near us. There were plenty of Belgium girls there and as I knew nearly all of them. We had a good time (don't worry as I still know how to behave although some of my friends don't). The Belgiums dance differently to us, and although Dad says it is not dancing these days, English dancing is best as the Belgium are too jerky and pump their arms up and down too much for us, but most of the girls are good dancers and soon learnt our way of dancing.
I hope Dad won his spoon and what was the picture like. I would like to see it and see how much difference it is from the next time, I know it's very good as it's all real, but it would be a change to watch it. Love to all,
Ken

Index of Letters   |   Top of Page

Undated

Dear Mum and Dad
I hope you have not been worrying about me, because the letters take a little longer than they used to. At the moment I haven't received a reply to my first letter.
I'm having an easy time although at the moment I'm on guard. One of the lads and myself went into a dance last Sunday evening (Entry free up to about 8 o'clock for the forces) and we met a Belgian boy who can speak English fairly well. His Christian name is Albert. His age is 17 and he's a hair dresser by trade. He tells us a lot of interesting things that will have to wait till I come on leave. We saw him again Monday evening providing nothing happens we are going to the dance again with him on Sunday.
The food we get is good but we are not allowed to buy food in cafes or from any civilians.
Love to all
Ken

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13/10/45

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 9/10/45 last night.
We start out on our way to Egypt Monday morning, so this is probably the last letter I will be able to write for a bit. We are travelling by railway to Toulon (Southern France) do you remember the French fleet being scuttled there, when the German invaded France. And then by boat across the Medits. It will take a few days to get across so we are expecting to be doing parade on board ship. We have been paid in French money so we expect to spend a few evenings there.
I may see John out there, but we have been told not to think about leave as we won't get any for a few months after our arrival there.
I am surprised to hear that Ivan has a young lady although I can guess who it is. I won't say anything to him, as he has not told me. Good luck to him.
I have not received the papers yet, but I hope Mr Greenfield is not in too serious trouble. Give them my kind regards if you see them any time.
I will see about the allotment when we get settled at the other end.
Love to all
Ken

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14804987 Pre Ruddock K M
'D' Coy HQ
2nd Batn Lincoln Reg
M E F

25/11/45

Dear Mum and Dad
Sorry I am a little late replying to your letter dated 18/11/45, but my mail has been a little upset by my transfers to D coy.
I am glad to hear that Willie is out of the Army at last, I expect he will feel strange at first. I wish I was him with a job to go to and all.
There should not be many unemployed this winter so there is plenty to be done.
Don't worry about the trouble in Palestine to much, I think it will lean up soon.
I hope the food shortage is not too bad; it is too funny that you saved some food for the war and have to use it in emergency in peace time.
I'll write as soon as I get the parcel and I won't forget Gran.
Love to all
Ken.

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3/1/46

Dear Mum and Dad
The mail seems to have gone wrong again as I have received your letters dated 18th and 24th and 29th and the parcel all right but you say you have not heard from me sine the 2nd I am sorry but I have written.
It seems as if the Wheal family is well split and seeing some of the world between them, so Dorothy's husband has been called up. Well I am glad I went when I did as I have done over half the service I will have to do and he has got all of his to do in peace time, it may be safer but it will seem longer. You say it gets dark at four o'clock, remember when I used to go and come home from work in the dark, it gets dark by half five here not much difference than home,
Yes! Those books you are reading were mine. They are not bad, help to while away the time.
We have a good time Christmas. A lovely dinner, roast Pork turkey, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes and cabbage and Christmas pudding for afters. On Boxing Night the Batman had a party and not only been flowed, there was brandy, egg brandy, gin, port, vodka, lime and lemonade. You can guess which I had. A friend and myself took over the bar and we were the only ones who did not get drunk. The C O, 2 I/c and some of the other officers paid a visit and the CO gave a toast to the most loyal and hard working section of the Army, The batman. As long as he thinks so every thing is fine. I thought they would learnt better from the heads they had next morning, but they had another on New Years Day.
You can send that belt bars of mine some time if you can.
I have had a card from Mr Codd but I don't know if he received my letter or not.
Love to all
Ken.

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5/1/46

Dear Mum and Dad
I am just writing a few lines from a NAAFE in the town of Beirut in Syria. My officer had to come here to see what the leave camp was like, so he asked me if I would like to go with him for 24 hours. So I am seeing still another country in the World. His work only took an hour so we went to the house messes his afternoon and I have just been to pictures. It's quite interesting here a lot of the women still wear veils and these are people of all nationalities.
Well Mum, I have actually made that allotment. 7/- a week (seven shillings = 35p) so you should hear about it soon. Yearning over a new leave with the New Year. Excuse the writing as it's a NAAFI pen.
Love to all,
Ken
PTO
The enclosed note is worth about 4d (1 ½ p) in English as there are 8 Syrian pounds to 1 English.

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17/1/46

Dear Mum and Dad
I think our letters are crossing as you tell me to answer your questions and I have done so already in a previous letter.
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed yourself at auntie Daisies. I have not seen that picture. “our vines had tender Grapes” as most of them that are shown here I've seen already but we still go three or four evenings a week to fill in time.
Have you heard anything about that Valentrey Allotment I have made you, it's about time you did.
Send that belt with the German badges on in the parcel if you have not already done so.
There isn't any news at the moment so till there is.
Love to all
Ken
xxxx

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24/1/46

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letters dated 18/1/46 today. It was probably help up because of the bad weather I hear you have been having over there.
Yes! I have been doing fairly well lately, but I expect to be losing my officer in a few months as he is 27 group. But I am hoping to have another when he goes.
The Army pay is going up a shilling (5p) about July, but I still don't like enough to stay in it. I am not learning a trade yet, but when I get that book I am going to study mathematics and then I shall feel more able to decide what to do.
I am writing to Mr Codd again today, and sending him a photograph, as we are quite good friends these days. Love to all.
Ken
xxxx

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7/2/46

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 30/1/46 yesterday.
No! I have not received the books yet, but they will get here all right. It takes a little more time than ordinary mail. It won't take long to get used to Maths again and I'll tell you if I want any more books. I am writing to Mr Codd a great deal and he seems very interested in my letters as some of the things I write about are of interest to him and his Friends, so you never know.
My officer says he will see I get another officer when he goes. He takes care of the lad's welfare and he does his job well. We will all miss him when he goes, but he's not perfect by any means.
I received Ivan's letter yesterday. I have not got the papers yet. Mr Codd is going to send me some too.
Love to all
Ken.

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19/2/46

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 12/2/46 this morning and I had the parcel of papers a couple of days ago alright.
I won't forget Gran's birthday, I'll see what I can get to send her.
I have not had the parcels yet but they should arrive any day now. I had a look in my diary and tried to find out when I will be demobbed so far it looks as if I will be out in Sept 1947 or before.
So Graham Downs is having it tough. I wonder what he thinks of Army now. Please send his address and I’ll drop a line to him.
The weather is rather bad here. Its been raining for about three days with only breaks of about 15 mins at a time its fortunate that our tents are on concrete slabs else we would be swamped out but as it is they are just comfortable with 6 of us and a dog we have as a pet. It reminds me of the first pup Tiny had as it’s not very old.
That's all for now.
Love to all
Ken.

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28/2/46

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 21/2/46 yesterday and the parcel and papers today.
I'm glad you liked the snaps. I didn't send the others but I am enclosing one taken outside a tomb.
Well, the cake you sent did not go stale in the post. It was really good; some of the lads seem to think so. I hope you don't mind me giving some to chaps in the tent as we always share as much as we can. The book called “laughs on the road” is jolly good; it certainly made the lads laugh. I saw that one about Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill at the Big Three conference that you marked. The song books will come in handy and last of all the Arithmetic books, now I will be able to do a bit of studying and thanks for the belt it will come in handy out here to put my money in.
Love to all
Ken

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8/3/46

Dear Mum and Dad
Just a few lines to let you know that I received the parcel of Christmas cake today, and it has not lost its taste or gone mouldy as I was expecting as it was so long getting to me. The mince pies were nice and the Horlicks tablets will come in handy when we are on a move and get a little peckish.
I haven't any news at the moment so.
Love to all,
Ken

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13/3/46

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 4/3/46 a couple of days ago, but I have been trying to get a Lincoln brooch you wanted but I will not get one for a few days so I'll send it when I can.
It's alright about the letter you opened by mistake.
Well demob is under way slow but sure. The 27 groups left here yesterday and did we give them a send-off. I shall be out not later than Christmas 1947.
Ivan seems to a lucky charm to you the way you are winning the Pools lately and you always said you weren't luck and I still don't believe in luck.
You ought to have the weather we are having here its jolly warm and we get showers of rain now and again. It's a job to realise that it's snowing at home.
You know I received the parcels alright and Graham's address. Well that's all for now.
Love Ken
Xxxx

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180346

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letters dated 13th yesterday.
The cake and mince pies were jolly good and I soon finished them off. I would like some of that toffee if you can manage to make some, but don't go short yourself as I know that food is a little short at home and we get plenty to eat out here.
I'm glad Gran got my letter in time. I did not think she would so I posted it early.
I'm expecting to go for 7 days leave in Cairo next month when my officer has his. He will be leaving us at the end of next month as I'm going to make the most of it. I have just got a new battle dress today. It's an Australian made and a dark greenish khaki. It looks OK.
Would you like some fully fashioned silk stockings (need I ask) send me the size and I'll get you some. I have not heard from Graham yet.
Love to all
Ken

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25/3/46

Dear Ivan
I received your letter dated 17/3/46 yesterday.
Thank you for sending the pamphlet about the film. I wish I could be there tonight to see it or better still, to be at the British Paramount studios when the Home Secretary and Minister of Education see it, by the way what is their names? If you see it, tell me what you think of it. Your honest opinion. Don't forget.
I wrote to Betty Belchamber yesterday, just to see what she is doing these days. I'll let you know if she replies. While I was on leave last in England, I met a girl who was interested in politics. Our brand of politics in particular. Her name is Rosemary Barrow and her address is 6 Stoke Road, Guildford, opposite the Cow and Gate Dairy. If you ever hear of her just let me know.
So George Owen has gone back to Oxford for a little while. I'm looking forward to seeing him again some day.
I saw the film “The Hitler Gang” yesterday and I thought is was very good it was all about Hitler and the Nazis rise to power. It was very good acting and should help a lot of people to understand it better.
Still winning at football are. Do you remember the way we went halves at cards. Good fun wasn't it.
That's all for now.
Your pal and comrade
Ken.

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[Letter with first two pages missing and date.]
After that we went to the cinema and saw the film “cornered” staring Dick Powell. There's about five picture houses in Jerusalem so there's a good variety. The cheapest seats are ninety mils (1/10 ½d (9p)) so of course we have the cheapest. When we came out of there is was nine o'clock and time for a snack at the Y.M. before catching a taxi back to camp. Oh! Yes! We do things in style. The reason we use the taxi is that the buses don't run late, and its safer to be in a civilian car than an army truck or walking and besides it rounds off the evening as unlike the buses the taxis are lovely and comfortable, it costs a hundred mils, that's twenty – five each. That photo of Mum was not very good was it! I have taken some from the tope of the David Building in Jerusalem where I do duties as telephone operator when my officer is in charge of the guard we send there. You know the King David Hotel where that big explosion was a long time ago. Well! I have seen it, and it looks a pretty neat piece of work.
I'm glad the extension

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29/3/46

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 20/3/46.
Well it looks as if I won't be having a new officer as Capt Lockwood-Wingate has had his group number put back to 31 instead of 27, bad luck for him, although I don't want to loose him as they are not all as decent as he is. No! I have not seen Graham, but we may move soon so perhaps I will when we do.
I hope the picture was good. I wish I could have seen it, but perhaps I will get a chance some day.
I'd like to see your new costume you have got pretty good taste, but perhaps I will soon, there are a lot of rumours flying about as to what we are going to do next.
I went out for the day yesterday. We went to Mount Thabor to see the Temple (Church) of Transfiguration, the Story of the mountain is that Jesus and three disciples climbed to the top and the disciples fell asleep and woke to see Jesus with the spirit of Moses on his right and Elias on his left (they were prophets) and the disciples said it would be good to build these temples, one for Jesus and one for Moses and one for Elias, well these have been destroyed and the Monks have built a monastery and a church for the three in one, it's the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Later we went over the River Jordan and to the sea of Galileo.
Wells that's all for now.
Love Ken

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4/4/46

Dear Mum and Dad.
I received your letter dated 29/3/46 today.
I'm glad the weather is improving. Its jolly hot here and I'm writing this letter in my tent and I have taken my shirt off which makes it a little better.
Thank you for the Program. It is a pity most of the film being silent, but I'm glad you liked it.
I should like the book “the six years of War” very much, it will be a change to be able to get something I want for my birthday as I never do know what I want.
Well! I won't get those stocking as you've rather I not. But we are going down into Egypt soon and I'll see what I can get there to bring home with me when I do come. And you will probably have the shelter out and the garden looking better by then. One of my friends is going on leave to England on Sunday, so it may not be so long until I do.
On April Fools day there was some fun out here.
A lot of the lads have adopted dogs out here and on the 1st; a message came through to all Companies that they should take their dogs to the Guard Room for a veteinary inspection. They were taken by truck to another camp and told to line up, and then they opened a banner with April Fools on it, so that there would be no hard feelings they had a bottle of beer and a bone for their dog.
Well there's no more news for now so.
Love to all
Ken
Xxxx
P.S. Please excuse the writing but it's too hot to think straight.

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26/4/46

Dear Mum and Dad
I'm still in Egypt but don't worry about the dirt, there isn't much in the Army, and I go swimming every afternoon, at least I'm learning, I can swim five yards at present, but if I keep this up I should be pretty good at it when we leave here and I'll be proper brown by then.
So Peter is a corporal now, not bad, they are running short of N.C.O.s out here but my job is better so I'll stick to it.
I'm sorry to hear about Joyce, not much to live for in her state of health.
Quite palie with the Humphreys these days, as long as you enjoy yourself it's alright, and don't fall out with Mrs. H again.
Love Ken
Xxxx

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4/5/46
Dear Mum and Dad
I received Ivan's and your letter today, but I have not had the parcel yet, but it will turn up alright. Don't worry about me being in Egypt as it's not so bad as you think, at least not for us. It's the native People who are being treated badly.
There is no trouble where we are and some of my friends and myself go swimming three out of every four days I have taught myself to swim quite well sine we have been here. I may have a leave out here in a weeks time as Capt Wingate is going to Cairo for a seven days leave before he gets demobbed it will make a change for me as at the moment I don't expect a leave in England until the first few months in 1947, but chins up, I should be demobbed by Xmas 1947, but its up to the people at home to make the Government speed up the demob.
I'm glad Gran is better but perhaps the weather will be better now for her. Two nights ago we had a rain storm and our hut leaked a bit but it made the air cooler in the morning,
We have a German band made up of prisoners play to us once a week and they are jolly good. The lads make a collection of cigarettes for them in appreciation for the show.
Please could you get me a form for the Defence Medal from the Post Office? Because the Civil Defence does not come under the Army like the Home Guard and I have to apply for it as a civilian and not through the Army.
Love to all
Ken
Xxxx

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16/5/46

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 8th yesterday. I don't know what to say about Joyce. I can't quite believe it. Every thing seems to be against her. She can't have any will to live left in her. Isn't there a chance for her to get better? We must not give up hope.
We won't be leaving Egypt yet a while as there is a lot of kit to be moved before we go but I don't think we will have to go back to Palestine at least I hope not.
I have had seven days leave in Cairo. It made a change but there isn't much to write about.
I received your parcel safe and sound this morning thanks for the cake and sweets. Which I have not had time to eat yet but it looks good to me and the tin of milk will go down just right as its boiling hot here at the moment and I want something to cool me down. I've had a peep at the books and they are just what I want you could not have done better.
There is one thing I would like you to send when you can and that's my blue sleeveless shirt with white buttons if you've still got it. If not send me one of my summer shirts, as we are allowed to wear civilian clothes when off duty and the Army is getting us white tropical suits if we want them so I've put in for one.
I'm glad to hear that Gran is better. I'll have to write and thank her for the rug. It's good of her.
It's a pity I'm not home to help Dad with the garden. I know how to use a shovel now.
Until next time
Love to all
Ken
Xxxx

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?/5/46

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 20th late last night.
No! We are not on the move again. I suppose you were hoping that I was leaving Egypt, no sight of that happening yet I'm afraid. That week I had in Cairo was probably the cause of the gap in m y letters to you. I'm sorry.
Please post the Defence Medal form I have enclosed as it would be better posted in England.
Joyce seems a marvel to me. Is there any hope at all for her?
I'm looking forward to the time, not so far off, when I shall be able to sit in our new garden, eating some of our apples and read about the last part of the War.
Like you I haven't any news. But I am getting on fine with my swimming I can swim 25 yards now without stopping to rest. There are quite a group of us who could not swim when we came here, but we have all taught ourselves.
All my love
Ken
xxxx

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5/6/46

I received two letters dated 29th and 31st today.
I'll see what I can do about getting some perfume, there is a shop across the road that sells things like that, and I have made friends with the people who work there so it won't be too expensive.
Thanks for finding my shirt for me. I wonder whether it will still fit me as I am now 10 stone and when I came in the army I was only 8 stone.
Yes! You told me that you went to London with Aunty Daisy; you do get about a lot these days I wish I was with you. The Exhibitions would suit me fine.
I would liked to have been in that Victory Parade. It should be very wonderful to see.
So John is thinking of settling down to a married life I hope I shall meet his girl friend and perhaps be home for his wedding.
I would not say that I don't bother with girls; to tell you the truth I met a girl on the last two days of my leave from Germany. I'm not saying its serious yet but she still writes to me and she wants me to go to her home and meet her mother (her father died a few years ago) she lives and works in Guildford Glass works as head of the Invoicing Department (Office Work) Her name is Rosemary Barrow. I hope you don't mind me not telling you before, but keep it to yourselves.
Capt Wingate is going home for Demob on the 11th of this month, and I have a new Officer 2nd LT J.R.B.Morgan-Grenville from England. He is one year one month younger than myself. He came in the army as an officer. I should think as at that age he has not had time to serve in the ranks, he seems to have bags of money which probably explains it. But he's OK so far.
Love to all,
Ken
Xxxx

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Pte Ruddock K. M. 14804987
Geneifa
Egypt

26/09/46

Dear Gran
Thank you for your letter. I hope to be seeing you and Uncle Tom soon. As you can see I have not put my address at the head of this letter because tomorrow I start on my way home for 30 days leave but I don't expect to arrive home till about the 15th Oct as it's a long way to come.
Mum told me all about the ceiling and everything. The trouble is the house is getting too old and it's not good enough for you. With Uncle Tom not feeling so good. But the bombs did not shift you, and I think the place will have to fall down before you will move.
Well keep well. I'll be seeing you soon.
Love
Ken. Xxx

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HQ coy,
C/o Officers Mess
2nd batn Lincoln Reg
M.E.L.F

25/11/46

Dear Mum and Dad
I arrived back here at 6 o'clock Saturday night, and found your letters and about twelve papers waiting for me. Our camp is on the side of Mount Scopus overlooking Jerusalem. We are not in buildings as I had hoped and the ground is very stony but there are plenty of trees, and is makes a change from the desert sands.
I would have written yesterday but I was so busy getting myself a bed, blanketing equipment and sorting kit that it was dark before I realised it. I went and saw Lt Morgan Grenvill (my Officer) and he could not stop telling me how pleased he was to see me. Believe it or not but he has had seven Batmen since I went on leave. He had to sack two and the rest of them left him because they could not put up with him on the job. I think its done him good to rough it a bit. So today I've been busy doing his kit.
I'm glad to hear that you and Rosemary's Mum and Dad are good friends. They are very much like us in a way. Rosemary will like the brooch I bet. I'm so glad you like her.
Well I've got some more work to do yet so I'll end with all my love.
Ken
Xxxx

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3/12/46

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 27th last night.
I hope you have not been worried only I've been very busy this last week, and haven't had much time to myself because Lt Morgan Grenville has been taken ill with a bad attach of lumbago. He is in hospital now, but I had been acting as nurse to him. The C.O. even had me excused guards so that I would be able to take care of him. Now I'm batman to a new officer. He is Lt Petley from 13th Paratroops Batn. He has been transferred to us. So if Lt Morgan Grenville does not come back I expect I'll stay with him. He's a good chap and not so soft as Morgan. I've been in Jerusalem twice since we have been here. It's a nice place and although you have heard of the latest terrorist attacks all I saw of them was a lot of flashes and bangs about three miles away when I was on guard, and most of that was our chaps. You need not worry about me because I don't have to go near any of it.
If you want to help me get home, get everyone to do all they can to make the Govt speed up demob. It's up to the people at home as we are doing all we can. There is a lot that never gets in the papers about what has happened out here.
I'm on guard tonight so I'll have to get ready now.
All for now
Love
Ken
Roll on demob.

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6/1/47

Dear Mum and Dad
I have just received your letters dated 31st, and I'm replying right away as you seem to be worrying about me, and I don't want that. Now you understand why I did not want to tell you where I was stationed. I'm about the only on in our tent who's told his people where he is. But don't worry dear, as my friends and myself don't go out very often and it's daylight, and there is not less than three of us when we do, and we always take our rifles. The terrorists only attack at night and then only when there are few civilians around. So don't worry, as we are always in early.
We have made our tent more comfortable with the addition of a table, an oil stove to keep us warm, and a tilly lamp do we spend our spare time reading and writing. I have managed to get a little table for my bedside and an oil reading lamp. We are hoping to get sheets issued to use in the near future. I have managed to get a pair of pyjamas that my officer did not want, so it's not so bad.
I have been thinking about getting you to send those old grey slacks and sports jacket, and a shirt and tie, not the blue shirt, as I could get it done up here cheap, I don't suppose they will fit me when I come home again. And we can wear civvies when off duty and then they don't know we are in the army. Of course I would not go out until this present trouble is over which will be soon. So if you could send them it would be alright.
I'm glad you got my letters in time for your birthday.
Lots of love
Ken
Xxxxxx

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16/1/47

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter dated 9th last night, along with the war credits and gratuity form. £29-15-6 (£29 75p) in the Post Office Savings Bank will come in handy some day. The savings book will be sent to my home address. So when it does arrive you had better keep it for me.
I did a stupid thing the other day. I went on guard when my name was not on detail for it and I didn't find out until I had done half of it. So I stayed on and finished so that I won't have to do another for a few days. It's quite a joke among the lads.
The weather has been pretty cold here the last week. The Arabs said it would snow. But instead it rained and there's mud six inches deep now.
Rosemary has given me a book for Christmas. I started reading it last night and its jolly good. It's called “the Secret Voyage” It will give me something to do in the evenings. Now that I don't go into Jerusalem so much. What does Auntie Daise and Charlie think of Rosemary? It must have been a party with them all there.
Lots of love
Ken
Xxxxxxxxx

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3/2/47

Dear Mum and Dad
Just a few lines to let you know I'm all right. You have probably heard about what's happening out here. Well I've been kept busy and this is the first time I've been able to do something for myself. I can't tell you what's happening only that there is no need to worry as we will soon know what's going to happen and perhaps settle the whole business out here.
I'll write as soon as I have news so till then all my love to you both.
Ken
Xxxxxxxx

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13/2/47

Dear Mum and Dad
I received your letter last night.
I'm sorry I haven't written much lately but I have been really busy.
Things have got a lot better the last few days. The batmen don't have to do guard any more, and I don't do mess duties now as I am bating to the Captain Quarter Master (the chap who issues us our kit) and he keeps me off other work by saying that I am a storeman in the QM stores.
So I may be able to get some of those shirts that Dad would like for a golf jacket. Did I leave one of my army summer shirts and slacks behind when I came back. It does not matter if I did as I have got some more now. You want to be a bit careful with that foot of yours. You can't be too steady on it yet and with all the snow and ice it must be hard to get about.
I have got that dog. Its six weeks old and only weighs four lbs. two of the other lads have one each so we have built a kennel and run for them. It's quite a good job. Does owned by members of the forces are only kept in quarantine three months and it will be used to living out of doors.
It just like an English summer out here. I wish you had some of it.
Lots of love
Ken
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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16/02/47

Dear Mum and Dad
Thank you for the parcel. I received it along with your letter dated 11th. I had a surprise when I found the cake. I had a surprise when I found the cake. It was a piece of Christmas cake. It was a piece of Christmas cake wasn't it? It was jolly good with all the icing.
Sorry to hear of all the trouble in England. But I would sooner be there than here no matter what happens.
I've enclosed a photo taken of me on top of the David Bros building Jerusalem. It's not very good because the sun was too strong.
No news at present.
Ken
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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26/2/47

Dear Mum and Dad
I have just received your letter posted on the 20th. You don't seem to be getting some of my letters. Because I wrote and told you I had received the Christmas cake and civvey clothes. But it's probably because of the bad weather you have been having. It's hardly believable. But we know it's true because there is not one letter which arrives here that does not tell of it. I only with I was home. It's going to want a lot of hard work to get England on her feet after this. The sergeant who was killed and the boy who was injured must have been from another regiment because I haven't heard about them.
I thought I had told you that my dog is an Alsatian bitch and she is jut eight weeks old and weighs 6¼ lbs so you can guess she is not very big yet. As a matter of fact she is the smallest of the three in our tent. I have enclosed a snap of them in the arms of my friends. I have named mine Vixen because she is just like a wolf, and a she wolf is a vixen. She will be a bigger dog than Tinny was but one of the officers says she will be a small dog of her kind. As for what she eats she has just got over the bread and milk stage and eats almost anything we give her now.
There is not more news at the moment so cheerio and take care of yourself. Lots of love
Ken
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23/3/47

Dear Mum and Dad
I expect you have been wondering what has happened to me. I forgot when I wrote last but there has been so little to write about.
I received Dads letter some time ago. I'll be writing to him again when we get time. Your letter arrived yesterday.
You ask if I will be home by July. I'm afraid there is little hope of that. The nearest we can hope for is November so roll on. When I do get demobbed I shall have about four months leave with pay after that I will be a civilian. Four months is a long time to be doing nothing. But if I start work before my demob leave is up I will have to pay income tax on the Army pay and ration allowance. So I hope the weather will be better by then.
We are going to move some time next month to a very good camp. Its all buildings. We will still be in Palestine but we will only be doing training. There will be plenty of sport for the older soldiers like myself. I bet that makes Dad laugh.
I'll write again soon but I must go now. One thing before I finish. Does Gran know I'm engaged to Rosemary?
Lots of love
Ken
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Stamped letter 1½d
QM staff HQ coy

2/4/47

Dear Mum and Dad
The last few days have been very busy ones for me. We have been back and forth between Nathanya (that's our new camp, its over sixty miles from Jerusalem) so that may please you a little and Jerusalem
We have been at our new camp three days working from six o'clock in the morning until dark and we haven't even got a tent for ourselves yet. But some of the storemen and myself have found a place the tonight so I'm just writing a few lines to keep you from worrying if that's possible.
We won't be going out of the camp for anything because it's about eight miles square and has a cinema and NAAFE there are some other regiments here besides us so we won't be lonely.
That dog I had still remembers me. In fact the chap who has her does not like me to go near his tent because every time she sees me she makes a lot of fuss.
I hope you did not think that I was in England when you saw the stamp on this letter. We have to pay postage now the same as a civilian.
Well I'm going to turn in for the night as I must be up at six sharp in the morning again. Lots of love. I'll write again soon.
Ken
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9/4/47

Dear Mum and Dad
I've had my Easter holiday today and I've been taking it easy. Most of us did not realise it was Easter because every day is the same out here. I said it was my holiday but I still had to get up at 6 o'clock and wake my officer the QM. If you asked me what I think of him I would rather not answer as I don't like speaking ill of anyone. But we get along and I keep out of his way as much as possible.
I have sent a parcel with two shirts in, addressed to myself. When it arrives you can unpack it and put them away for me please. They will come in handy when I get demobbed.
How is that foot these days? I expect it is better now, and I hope you won't get any more trouble with it.
Rosemary tells me have given her some pearl earrings as an advanced birthday present so that she could wear them for the dancing display. She seems to like them very much. You sure know how to pick presents.
The other evening three lads and myself went into Jerusalem arrested a civilian who was acting suspiciously. He claimed he was Russian but when we asked for his papers he refused to show us so we searched him and found several Polish arm pay books and as he would not explain we handed him over to the police. Most of the terrorist leaders are Polish ex soldiers.
I am selling my dog because they won't let us keep them with out a license from the regiment and I can't get one. I'll have to finish now.
So cheerio.
Lots of love
Ken
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11/6/47

Nathany Palestine

Dear Dad
Today is my twenty first birthday. According to our English laws I am no longer dependant on my parents. But to me 11th June 1947 means more than that. To me it marks the end of my apprenticeship to life, and now I realise how right you were when you said, soon after I left school “You've got a lot to learn about life yet”.
I think I've learnt a great deal since I was called into the Army. The hard way. Can I hear you saying “He ought to have been in 1914-1918” but I've learnt just the same. I've experienced every king of emotion. Love, not the kind that was sold for a bar of chocolate in German or in France and Belgium for Francs. I don't suppose it would surprise you if I said I had visited Housed of ill fame. To be polite about it. Like most soldiers I have been to such places, but unlike most of my comrades I have always had too much self-respect to be tempted off the straight and narrow. That is one of the many things I have to thank Mum and yourself for. No! The brand of love for me is the kind Rosemary has to offer, something pure, simple.
During the war, I learnt to hate. It's not a good thing. But I still keep a little deep inside me. I hate war. I hate those people who grow fat on it. Perhaps that sounds like politics. We have had little arguments about politics. But I think we believe in the same things. And I don't recall a time when I really disagreed with you. That's another thing I have to thank you for. You always spoke to me as man to man.
I know what its like to be afraid and I've felt sorrow when my friends have been killed beside me and I‘ve laughed at our narrow escapes. I often feel that I owe something to those haps who were our comrades.
Well Dad, I expect you are thinking this is a queer letter. I have often thought like this, but this is the first time I've tried to put my thoughts on paper but what I'm, trying to say is this. I've got through a rough path in life, and if it was not for the way Mum and yourself brought me up. I don't think I would have got through without losing faith in myself and my fellow men.
Thank you Dad.
Your loving son and Pal.
Ken
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Dear Mum
Today 11th June 1947 is my 21st birthday. The day on which I become a man, according to our old English custom. I know that your feelings will be very mixed when you think of me as a grown man. You will be happy for me but I know that deep inside you, you will be a little sad. Because I am no longer a baby or even a little boy but a young man who has seen a little of the world and has learnt what live really is.
I can look back over the past few years and see the good, and the bad, and be thankful that I have got through still holding the same beliefs I had when I was called into the Army. In fact every thing I have seen has made me realise how true those beliefs were.
I realise more now how much I owe to you. Because if it had not been for the way you brought me up, I don't think I would have got through without “blotting my copybook.”
Temptations. I've had a few. Mostly girls. But you always trusted me as I have not broken my promise to you. I have found my reward in Rosemary's love. I could never have been able to look her in the face if I had done otherwise.
I said I've had good times. That's true. I've known comradeship through danger, and friendship with all kinds of people of all nationalities, but I have felt sad at times when my pals have been killed or injured. You will probably think I should forget these things but I will always keep them in my memory, because I feel I owe them something.
By the end of this year I shall be a civilian again and start working for a home of my own, and although I'm a man I shall still need you. So on this day I can only thank you Mum.
Lots of love
Ken
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25/6/47

Dear Mum and Dad
Just a few lines to let you know I'm still around like yourself there isn't anything of interest to write about. I did get the 10/- (ten shillings = 50p) OK and it did come in handy.
The battalion is moving again and this time we are going to a place named Sarafan about eighty miles from here. The QM has just come back from there and he says it's much better than this camp. So it looks as if I shall be busy for the next week.
I have just received your letter dated 21st. Thank you for trying to win the tea set. I was rather surprised to hear that you visited the fair. I'm glad you did. You ought to enjoy yourself.
As for getting home by Sept. I very much doubt it, but I expect to be home by the end of Nov. and there is always a chance that I will come home before then. So I'm just living in hopes, as I'd like to be able to be at the party, and meet some more of Rosemary's people.
As you can see by my writing I am in a hurry.
Its not good manners but I'll have to finish now. Thanks for the address
Lots of love
Ken
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British Forces In Palestine
15/7/47

Dear Mum and Dad
Thank you for the photos. I can see that your holiday did you a lot of good. You look as if you're enjoying yourself anyway. Dad didn't go on the boat with you. I suppose he did not like to risk it. I be he enjoyed the game on the putting green. It would be good fun if we could all go away next year.
So you received the parcel OK I had forgotten all about it. We get so many parcels allowed to each company and then they draw our names out of a hat to see who can send on home.
We have another slight change of address. We are now British Forces in Palestine.
We are more like Monty's Army now as we have been issued with sheets. It's much better for the hot nights. Most of us sleep with only on blanket and a sheet over us.
Cheerio for now
Lots of love
Ken
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6/9/47

Dear Mum and Dad
Don't bubble over too much at the thought of me being home next month. Because we don't have to be demobbed until some time between 12th and 25th November. It's only a possibility that we may be demobbed at the end of October. But what does a few weeks difference make?
They do supply a whole set of civilian clothes, and by your letter I take it that you would like me to choose a striped grey suit. I'll have to see if I can get one. I'm not decided whether to have an overcoat or a raincoat. I have been thinking about the coupons. I have saved having to use many of them (we get about 150 when we are released) by buying a pair of grey flannel trousers, a brown sports jacket and a white shirt from the NAAFE. Its good stuff and not too expensive. I also have a pair of brown shoes I won in the raffle I organised. I've had an extra sole and heel put on them. I'm sending them home as soon as I've scratched the bottoms to show they have been worn and are not brand new.
I have a pair of brown brogues with rubbers soles but I shall keep them with me, as I use them working in the officers' mess.
We will get about 90 days demob leave with pay. It's a long time.
The trouble with it is if I start work before my leave is up, I shall have to pay income tax on my army pay as well as the ordinary money I earn.
That's all for today, so until next time
Lots of love.
Ken
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