Patience is now the only, the necessary and the hardest virtue.

Apr 13th, 2012

15th September 1942

My Dear Hilda,

How one dreams of coming home -of the things that one shall do, eat, see and say “how happy the past – how happy will be the future”. Dreams are the occupation of Prisoners of War and not one day passes but I think of you all: think too of Gatley, or Belle Abbey, or St.Annes, or Didsbury, reviving a thousand memories of the past, wondering how you all fare in the uncertain present; and picture for us a more mellow future. I imagine myself stepping ashore in England – knocking at your door – and with what fathomless joy! Prisoners of War are so deeply homesick, far more so than soldiers, as the desert was nothing to the caged safety of this pleasantly placed camp. Beyond these few thoughts my mind is vague: I think of living, if not in the Isle of Man then in Jersey or the West country or perhaps even in South Africa: the latter because of the sunshine and the fact that my income would practically double itself there on account of the saving on taxation. (But would one be homesick again for things English) Also I intend to have an occupation even if it is only having a sweet shop – something to provide that interest in things (instead of people) that you once recommended: and how right you were! But I should not want to be too far from you or the family after all (where Pat comes in I don’t know yet) [Pat is Wilfred’s fiancée – admin] the main thing is a tranquil existence far from the madding crowd. Yet in the first place I look forward only to coming home to you and doing nothing; smoking and drinking tea by your fire, gossiping and getting used to English life once more, eating those English things I have not seen in years such as crumpets and suet pudding – and what a profound pleasure all this would be! Patience is now the only, the necessary and the hardest virtue. One is so weary of all this, but I guess you must be also. Hoping you and the girls are all well and happy.

Love Wilfred

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