Primary History

World War 2: Children at war

Johns's letter home

Oxford City Waterworks,
Swinford,
Oxford,
11-5a.m.
15-9-39

Dear Mummy and Daddy,
Many thanks for your nice letter received this morning.
I have just finished my elevenses.
I have just started Pitman's Shorthand and I now know about 40 words.
Colin has given me a big knife with a long, fat blade for cutting things (in fact, I even cut Paddy's meat with it,). a thing for making holes, and a pencil sharpener.
Jean has gone to Auntie Marion's for her holidays at Birmingham. Auntie Phylis was not well enough to have her there. Jean went on Tuesday and I sleep in her bed now.
I am wondering about my school. Auntie is going to Oxford this afternoon to see about it. The secondary schools have not opened yet.. Colin starts school on Monday.
I am very interested in the shorthand. Jean started teaching me before she went away. Gwen then gave me a book on the Gramologues of the system and she also gave me a French book at the same time.
You may see a cut under the m of time on the previous line. That was made by my new knife (it is a very old one really as you may see by the rust).
Auntie thanks you for her letter and will be sending you one soon.
Give my love to Gyp and I hope all are well. I am! So are Auntie, Uncle, Colin and Paddy. We all send our love John

Read more of John's letters home on BBC WW2 People's War.

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