I have had my portrait painted

Sep 7th, 2013

Capt. G. Tattersall

H.Q R.A.S.C.

7th Armoured Division


22 Nov 1944

Dear Harvie,

You must not pay for the cigarettes you send yourself. Draw cheques from my account using your Power of Attorney. This may go on for years, after this “DO” is over I am due for the Far East. My soldiering must not cost you a penny: it is extremely profitable to me. I receive £500 a year subject to income tax, and if I were a Doctor at home earning £1000 a year I would not be better off. In the last 6 months I have spent less than £90. I don’t have to buy clothes, lighting, fuel, or any food or accommodation. I even get a free servant and motor car. No, you must send me no more presents.

I have had my portrait painted and it is very good. The artist’s child was one day severely burnt by a petrol fire caused by an incendiary bomb and I was able to dress her burns. She has survived I am glad to say and the father insisted on the portrait.

We have been living in warm rooms lately, but there is always the threat of living in the open air. I have a tent which is quite commodious and comfortable and a 15 cwt. truck with a bed in it and my batman sleeps there although it is designed for me. I am sleeping in a schoolroom warmed by an anthracite stove. Remember I am used to the open air these days and no more dread it than George Schofield. Of course if the state of battle and good fortune provides comfortable billets so much the better. Wilfred will be worse off because it is almost certain that he is underfed, and hard worked. The work will keep him warm, but he must suffer form the lack of food and his reserves of good peace time living must be being used up. I hope to goodness that Germany capitulates soon.

V.D. and Diphtheria are likely to  prove troublesome amongst the troops, but the former is less widespread than in Italy. There I could only hold my breath at the extraordinary state of men’s J.T’s. [John Thomas’s – admin]

Cheerio – Gilbert

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