1943 WWII letter to Mary Humphreys

A letter from Fred Barrowclough to his mother-in-law (Mary Humphreys) in 1943

Filename: WWII_Letter_home_from_7th_Ambulance_CO_20_7_1946_14-006.pdf ( download )

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ACKNOWLEDGMENT ROBERT THOMSON (BERT) GOULDING (1886-1987). Tauranga Town Planner. WWI Hauraki Regiment and 8th Survey Company, Royal Engineers. Present at Gallipoli and Salonika.

A letter from a young friend and son to his landlord (Mary Humphreys) in 1943.  It reads:

On Active Service
Mrs I. M. Humphreys
West Cliff
Bay of Plenty
New Zealand

Bottom left corner ‘F. G. Barrowclough
Stamped ‘Service Censor No.78’

Page 1
40928 Maj. F.G. Barrowclough
7 Fd. Amb
2 N.Z.E.F.I.P.
N.Z.A.P.O 150

My Dear Mother
I was away at our base hospital at the week end at a clinical meeting & was very agreeably surprised on my return to find a wholly unexpected mail in with your letter of July 9th together with all the newspaper cuttings – many thanks.
I like the sound of £2 a case for oranges over there. I wish I could start an export trade from here & get that price for them. I could soon give up medicine & retire then.
I sent off to you last week a further sum of $40 so hope you will get it before too long. I am afraid that I shall have to ask you to get something out of it as a birthday present for yourself even if it is very late as I could not send anything earlier. I am also afraid that this will be the last lot I can send in the meantime as I fear there will be no faculties for sending it now. If I get a chance I may be able to send some next month but I doubt it.
I am enveloping in this letter a snap taken (P.T.O)
(page 1 overleaf)
of me just outside my tent some time ago. The other chap is Capt. Girven who shares a tent with me but at present he is away on a course in N.Z. I am sorry I can’t often send photos as no cameras are now allowed. They were called in & all films had to be developed at Base. Hence the great delay as this snap was taken months ago.
I am sorry to hear that Mrs. Frazerhurst  had had a broken leg. I had not heard of that before. I am surprised to hear that she survived that as I thought she could hardly have been alive now in any case. I am glad to hear she is better now. Please give them my best wishes when you see them.
You seem to be very much occupied still with the various patriotic activities. It is as well perhaps for them to have you to keep people reminded about the merchant navy. They have a very sticky job & everyone seems to forget all about them.
Things go on much the same here. My company is now back now in hospital work so there is not so much to write about. Everything goes according to routine. We are hoping though that it won’t be long now before we move on a bit nearer to Japan.  We had a big ceremonial parade here about 10 days ago at which Harold took the salute. He had with him a cabinet minister

(page 3)
Who was very anxious to shake the hands of all our patients so as Harold passed me on the inspection he told me they were coming up here straight after the parade so the colonel & I left the others to march here while we hurred back in a jeep.
The war news seems to be improving doesn’t it. The advance in Sicily & also in the Solomons is a step in the right direction as is also the change of the German offensive in Russia turning into a retreat.
The last word I have from N.Z. tells me that Elsie seems to be improving a good deal with her spell of rest so things should not be so bad. All the rest of the family seem to be getting on quite well though not liking the cold.
I am afraid there is no further news I can give you as nothing seems to happen here these days so I must stop now.
Kindest regards to Bert & very best of love to yourself.

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