- Contributed by
- RAF Cosford Roadshow
- People in story:
- Lily May Jones
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- 17 June 2004
My name is Arthur Jones and I was called up for the Army and never came home till the war was over. The following is a letter written to the Queen and the reply from her Lady In Waiting. Any mother with love in her heart for her children will understand what my mother must have been going through to make her so desperate thinking she may never see me again. They also suffered on the Home Front. Every word is exactly as written all those years ago.
My mother's letter
Your Dear Majesty
I do sincerely hope you will forgive me for presuming to write to you and yet I do hope my poor letter will reach your eye. This is why I write to you hoping and praying that you may be able to use your influence in getting a leave home for my dear boy. He was called up and I have never seen my boy since that day.
He is just a little older than your own dear child Princess Elizabeth. I am speaking as one mother to another and knowing your kind feeling heart I know you will understand the longing in my heart to see my boy again. People say they have never known a case like it but my dear boy says there are a few more unlucky ones like himself. He is now in Germany so you can imagine how I feel day after day.
He is a dear boy and never complains says he is proud to be one of General Montgomery's army but I know how he must so long to come home for a little while. When leave started on the Western Front we thought having had no leave at all he would be one of the first to come home but still there is no news of his coming he has been out there nine months. Oh just to see my dear boy again.
Once again dear Majesty please forgive me for writing. I am doing so without the knowledge of my husband who always believes in leaving everything to God who knows best what is best for us all. We have our dear boy in His care knowing His Love will protect him. Please God this wicked cruel war will soon be over and all this suffering of mind and body be finished forever.
Thanking you my dear Queen and may God bless you and my dear King and your dear children. I am your loving subject,
Lily May Jones
The Queen's reply
The reply from Buckingham Palace came from the Queen's Lady in Waiting.
March 20th 1945
The Lady in Waiting is commanded by the Queen to acknowledge Mrs Jones' letter of March 19th and to say that Her Majesty so sympathises with her in her wish to see her son again.
The Queen regrets however that it is not a matter in which Her Majesty could exercise any personal intervention and that if men are not given leave it is because everything has to be done to win the War as quickly as possible which is what will help most in the end Hard though it may seem. The Lady in Waiting is to say that the Queen is sure Mrs Jones will keep up her heart because her steadfastness will help her son to do his part in the fight for our freedom.
I get leave
After VE Day, I was lucky enough to get 9 days privilege leave in the UK starting on 28 May 1945 and returning on 7 June 1945. By the time I was demobilised on 7 April 1947, I had served 3 years. I still owe the army 6 months because I got out on compassionate grounds and was transferred to REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers). I am now 78 and awaiting my recall!
Read about my experiences as A Tank Driver in France, 1944.
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