Topic: Letter from Clive Hulme V.C. to Murray Hume (16 May 1942)

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Roly Hume has collected the stories, letters and documents around his relative Lloyd (Jock) Hamilton Hume who was killed in action during the Second World War. Below is a letter from Clive Hulme V.C. written May 16 1942. It is to Murray Hume (brother to Jock) expressing sadness at Jocks death and telling a few stories of him.

Sanatorium, Rotorua

16 May. 1942

       Dear Mr. Hume,

                                 Please accept my sincere apologies for this long delay in answering your letter. It was placed by a nurse in a library book & has only just been returned to me today. I can assure you I have spent a lot of time hunting for that letter, & to think I was in Te Aroha last week, & didn't know it was your home town is a tragedy. Many thanks for your kind message of congratulation on the cross.

                 Yes I met and saw quite a lot of your brother Lt. Jock Hume. He was with the artillery above Maleme 'drome & took great delight in sending shells smashing down there while "Jerry" was trying to make his first landings. I had a small squad of men & holding a position above & on his left.  Jerry landed paratroopers behind Jock's guns also in front of him & below but Jock told me later he hadn't seen the 130 land above & on us. After we had killed 126 of these Jerrys I buzzed down to Jock's position to ask for any rifle ammo he might have & at that time Jerry fighterts came in to give the guns & crews one of the worst hours straffing I ever thought possible. Jock & I spent all that time behind an olive tree & whenever an opportunity offered he would scuttle over to his gun& scream out " elevation 1500 yds. give the b-s---ds hell, 5 rounds rapid fire, & go like hell " & he did likewise.    When bullets came flying through our trees he would quite cheerfully tell me I was the colour of chalk & I replied that if he thought his face was a rose pink, it was the whitest pink I'd ever seen.

     We could both force a laugh anyway. When the straffing was over he casually asked why I wanted more ammo & if we were out what had we wasted it on. I replied " did you not see all those paratroops land up amongst us and behind you? " he replied he hadn't then asked " did they? " so I invited him up for a look-see.   We had considerable fun dodging out of a sniper's way on the run up, but the amazement on Jock's face when we got to my 100 yd. long ridge by 30 yds. wide & saw all the dead hun's, was more of a thrill to me than half a dozen VC's. We shook hands heartly and I knew he was thinking the same as I, if we hadn't been on that ridge to deal with that swag, there would not have been any artillery left, I got my ammo.

 Click to read more about Clive Hulme V.C.     Later I was again with him, wanting rations for my men, he hadn't left me to see about them & on the  way to see a gun crew who had suffered casualties when Jerry turned five Bofors guns, a trench mortar, severe machine gunfire & about a dozen fighters with four guns & one cannon apiece all opened up together, the hell that went on for the next 20 mins is indescribable.

      I saw Jock get a packet, whether it was from a Bofor shell or a whole burst from the planes I can't say,but he died what he was, a fighting soldier, & in this war no greater honour or compliment can be paid by any man.  My brother went out the same way, went on walking 'till a machine gun tore him to pieces & if my time comes that's how I would wish to go too.

        Will you even at this late hour accept my sincere sympathy & please extend it to other members of Jock's family. Your brother's quiet & slow smile will always be a treasure in my war memories.

 Yours truly

 Clive Hulme.

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Letter from Clive Hulme V.C. to Murray Hume (16 May 1942)

First Names:Clive
Last Name:Hulme
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
Letter from Clive Hulme V.C. to Murray Hume (16 May 1942) by Roly Hume is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License