Topic: 5 March 1942: To Hazel from John Glen McCauley

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In which John writes Hazel about returning to London, ANZAC volunteers, his 8 days in hospital, letters from Westie and Quita, Joan's upcoming job at New Zealand House, playing the cornet, Joan's treatment after her operation, information about Harold Morey, money John owes to his sisters, Hazel's loneliness now Muv is gone and his hope that her baby arrives soon.

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C/o N.Z. House

415 The Strand


5 March 1942

Dear Haze,

Was pleased to get your letter not long ago and the Fella has since got one. I believe she has written too recently. I’ve written everyone at home today as I’ll be busy very shortly. I leave this station on the 17th to go to London for a month. From there God knows where but overseas may follow up fairly shortly. They are calling for volunteers (Anzac’s) for service at home and I don’t know what to do about it yet – I guess I’ll just let it rip though.

I’ve been expecting to hear any day that you had delivered something into this world but you seem to be holding out. I was in London last week on a week’s sick leave and I was in hospital for 8 days having a good rest cure. While there I got them working on my shoulder and it appears I have to go to two more hospitals yet ending up at Oxford where it’s expected they’ll operate.

Had a letter from Westie and Quit yesterday. Westie is browned off with the heat – it must be Hell with 117° in the shade. He’s been in hospital but it’s ok now I believe. He’s doing a good job of work I gather although it means very hard work in trying conditions. His mother wrote me too and has send sox which have so far not arrived.

I went to a most enjoyable Lodge evening about a month ago and got damn drunk – boy did I! The Fella may be taking a job in N.Z. House soon – one of the girls there asked me about it so I’m just leaving it up to her. Quit’s a nice looking kid isn’t she? Her bloke seems OK too judging by the snap. We’ve had snow now for nearly 3 months and today its coming down heavier than ever. I’ve started doing a spot of work on the cornet again but with all these moves and more courses I guess it’ll slip again.

I’m enclosing a bit of Hett’s letter to me which should be self explanatory – please yourself what you do about it. Hett’s address is: c/- Nickelsen, 28 Douglas Drive, Moreton, Wirral, Cheshire, England. The Fella and I had a week’s leave up there about a month ago and really enjoyed ourselves in a home again with fires and just a few people. Rob (Hett’s husband) is a damn clever guy and very interesting. He and I had a couple of nights out with the Home Guard of which he is a member while the Fella and Hett stayed at home. The Fella was on sick leave you see. However she seems much improved as a result of everything – I think the operation has been successful and she soon will have finished with her treatment from this specialist pal.

I wish Bill had written me – I’ve never heard from him – I may enclose a note to you to send forward. I supposed I gave you all the suggestions I had in mind as to what they should do with the place did I? Glad you are happy in your new house and I hope all goes well. Also pleased at Andy’s apparent success in his job – he’ll be retiring a plutocrat before I even realise that someday I must settle down.

Your information about Harold Morey is the first we’ve had – I guessed he’d gone out there though. I don’t get it about the little transfer being irregular with a solicitor drawing it up but nevertheless thanks for taking the precaution. Yes I’ll appreciate you getting in touch with Merv about it. I must write him – I haven’t since Dec 1940. I certainly don’t get the bit about protecting Quit as a minor. There should be no protecting anyone. I don’t know whether the fact that I still owe you all money will affect the legality of it or not but the solicitors must be fools. I don’t know whether Merv even communicated with you after getting my 1940 letter but this is the paragraph exactly as I wrote him: “Many thanks for writing to Haze about the figure which is owing by me to the girls, and I am glad you did not mention the figure which I gave as £53, for Haze might have agreed to this and I would hate to think that I made a mistake which would do them out of some money. However, I can be quite sure of getting to know this amount eventually before settling to the full with them as I know that I did have it on a ledger card which as I say, I thought I left with you but which apparently is with Muv. Somehow I think Haze is more correct with the £56 figure, in which case I shall make it to a nominal figure of £60 each to compensate for interest”.

I can only think this is the matter to which you are referring with your safeguard for Quit. If so I appreciate your interest on her behalf but wished you had made it clear what the trouble is as I do want to get things straightened up so there would be no trouble in the event of my being pipped off. I’m going to see at N. Z. House if it is possible to transfer money now – I heard there was difficulty, in fact it was impossible – and if so I’ll send enough to square it all up and that should help matters. Merv by the way has not written for about a year so if you could get things straightened out a bit Haze from me with him I’d appreciate it. See as things are I never can carry correspondence with me – shifting about all the time – and am apt to forget just what has transpired but I believe you each have received £20 haven’t you?

Yes I suppose you do get a feeling of loneliness at times now without Muv – I actually don’t get time to feel that way but I guess the Fella does. I do of course get fed up with this bloody life and am trying to get on the move again – in Civvy Street I mean. I can see a great reunion when we do all get together again though, unless of course Rae has headed this way but she would be wise to wait and see just how things are going over here after this. It’ll be Hell I think and a good place to be out of.

Yes Haze, all cakes arrived safely thanks – damn good too. I got a big Forces parcel too with all sorts of things in it. Although I’m writing you all today I’ll stagger the posting in case they are all lost. Must to work now and hope when this arrives the brat is doing well, and its mother.

Regards to you too Andy.

Love as ever, John [handwritten].

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5 March 1942: To Hazel from John Glen McCauley