Monday, 20 June 2011

Amanuensis Monday - letter from Bill Hudson to Peggy November 6th, 1941.

My grandfather Bill Hudson worked as a prison officer in Hong Kong from 1921 to 1941. He was still in Hong Kong in December of 1941 when the Japanese invaded and occupied the colony. My grandmother Peg and my father Peter had been evacuated to Australia in July 1940. Peg kept the last couple of letters Bill wrote from Hong Kong prior to the Japanese invasion, along with the letters he wrote immediately after liberation.

Most of the letters are long, so I'm going to serialise them over the next few weeks.

The first letter is dated Thursday 6 November, 1941, just over a month before the Japanese invaded Hong Kong. This is page 2.

Page 1 is here.
Page 3 is here.
Page 4 is here.

So far as you will see Peg, I have been writing twice a week, I was not going to write until Sunday, but with having two letters this afternoon, I thought I must drop you a few lines, knowing how you like to receive them, anyway Dear you continue your weekly letter, and I will promise to write once, and if I have letters to answer, twice a week.

Both Harry and M.G. refuse a present from the Club, so there won't be any smokes for them. They don't even go inside the Club now, but sit outside on the stone wall, and have their drinks. M.G. is bringing your machine down, and I lent him a big packing case, so see that you get it, it will come in handy when you have to return, if ever. Anyway, it will do if we have to pack up any time for England or Timbuctoo.

I just know how you would feel, if I could get away, only Dear there is nothing wrong with Willie. I'm as fit as a lopp on a cold night. [...] Again, I am just back from leave, so that means I would have to pay part passage money. That's why Cookey can't get away, 'cos he has not got a cent to his name. Anyway she seems to be having a good time, and a damned shame the way she is spending her money, the more they get the more they expect, I am pleased my sweetheart is not like that. Did Mrs R smile the day she came to Tiffin, she certainly thinks her ? does not smell!

Don't worry what you say about M.G. and you living with him, he is all for it Peg. I mentioned to him when I heard that Cockeye was going down, that you would have to find new digs, he at once said, "Look here Bill, why can't Peg and Peter muck in with Ada and me", so you see Dear we have already discussed the possibility of it. One thing Dear, he is very fond of Peter, he will grow fond of you as time goes on, only I don't want any grey haired kids in the family!

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