The reason for the deception becomes clearer.

Aug 24th, 2013

15 April 1944.

I am delighted to hear from you and Harvie, letters of March 12 and 14  respectively and using my new address successfully. (ie writing to Sidney Gallimore – admin) according to instructions – keep it up and send me all the letters, clothes etc. and cigarettes you can. Send next-of-kin parcels the old way    [ in other words to Wilfred Tattersall – admin] if that seems easier with all the red tape etc. I think I will still get them OK. Now that spring has come and regular Red Cross parcels I am feeling much better. I hear Wilfred Tattersall works down a mine now – he is used to it.

love Sid

[It seems from this comment that they agreed to swap identities because Sid Gallimore was a miner and Wilfred did not want to work down a mine – is this possible?- admin]

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Easter 1944

Aug 24th, 2013

9 April 1944 Easter.

Until this month each month of winter has been a worse horror than the one before – but it is now spring and the weather makes things a bit easier. also I have put on weight since we have been receiving Red Cross parcels – bless them. But that is all, one lives on hop and hope is a sad thing. I understand now why she has but one string to her lyre. I write to no one else but you, not even to Pat. I shall never forget this.

Very much love – Wilf.

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A long. dreary and appalling winter.

Aug 24th, 2013

3 April 1944

My Dear Hilda,

With regard to Red Cross next of kin parcels never mind the masquerade: send them as you have sent them before, and send me plenty of winter kit – mitts, gloves, balaclava, scarf, socks, heavy pullover and thick karki shirts from the trunk in Belle Abbey attic.  Vest and short woollen pants. Also in another parcel send luxuries such as slippers, pyjama’s, handkerchiefs, shaving and tooth brush, comb, mirror, kit bag ans so on. Keep sending this stuff even if you repeat what you have sent. Also send plenty of letters and cigarettes – I can use cigarettes to buy what I fail to receive.  They are always useful.

For six months I prayed that it might be ~April 1st – and at last it came with a flurry of snow! But spring and summer and hope are before us. I have lived through a long and dreary and appalling winter – it must have left scars on my heart – and I hope never to face such another. I have been glad to have received letters from you all but under these circumstances I write only to you. I work as a navvy. There are worse jobs (such as mine work) which may explain things to you. But someday I shall sit in the sun with you or by  your fire again. I look forward to that. Much love – Wilf

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Gilbert at home again.

Aug 23rd, 2013

30 march 1944

Glad to have a further letter from you (Jan 31st) and surprised to hear Herbert married, Gilbert at home again. It is nice to hear news of you all enjoying normal life. I suppose |I shall leave pergatory sometime and be with you again. Send me all you can and lots of it – letters, clothes, cigarettes. Am keeping up the masquerade. [Wilfred is still writing as Sid Gallimore – admin] Keep it up too, but not with next of kin parcels. Think I shall get everything anyway

Love – Wilf

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If you are puzzled write to Bert Jennings

Aug 22nd, 2013

14th March 1944

My Dear Hilda,

By a happy chance which I did not expect to occur under the circumstances I received your letters dated December 29th and Jan 4th and also December letters from May and Harvie.  Whats-his-name is at another camp and if you are still puzzled write to Bert Jennings – he will guess what happened. I am delighted to hear that he is in England, and envious too. I wish I had been with him. [Is Wilfred talking about someone at the camp who escaped and got back to England I wonder – admin] I have never lived through such a winter as this – it would leave scars on my heart but that one survives so many things. I wonder where Pat has gone. I hope somewhere sunny so that she can see whether she would like to live there. I shall never be cold again after this, nor hungry. Mr Jewison was utterly wrong about the best place. He could not have been more wrong.

I work as a navvy and am up at five in the morning and back at camp by 4.30 pm. Fortunately after many weeks some red cross parcels have arrived for us. What a difference they make! I have not much to say. On our one day off – Sunday – we have so many personal things to do and so much need for relaxation that one never has time to think. I would give my arm to be in Jennings shoes – good luck to him. I suppose, however that I will see you again sometime. I dream of that. Tell Jean I will attend to her 21st when I see her. [In 2013 Jean celebrated her 90th birthday – admin]

Much love – Wilf

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Wilfreds charade gets more complicated

Aug 22nd, 2013

[In this letter Wilfred asks his sister Hilda to contact Sidney Gallimore’s mother. Wilfred is still writing as Sidney and so it looks as though the deception is about red cross parcels but I still cannot work out how it benefits them – admin]

29 February 1944.

My Dear Hilda,

To repeat myself once again I do hope you have understood about my change of address, number and so on because I am very anxious to hear from you and I have not done so yet. Please also reorder for me at least 1000 (one thousand) cigarettes weekly and also send Red Cross parcels – shirts, pullover, socks, slippers handkerchief, pyjamas, comb, soap, razor blades and chocolate. I lost everything on transit form Italy. The second parcel at least should contain some winter things again – gloves, mitts, balaclava, scarf, thicker shirts and pullover etc.  These Red Cross parcels may occasion you some difficulty but do get over that somehow or another – this is frightfully important and if necessary go and see my mother about it. (Mrs Gallimore, 214 Wadham Road, Bootle, Liverpool 20) She will be sending Wilfred’s parcels and you can exchange information about the labels etc.  that you have to get. Explain to her. Send in 2nd parcel towel and chocolate!

I am at a working camp, working as a navvy. There is nothing to add to that except that I want you to help me all you can with letters and parcels. Never have I passed such a winter and thank God for each sign of spring. I need not say how much  I look forward to returning to Gatley and Belle Abbey [on the Isle of Man – admin] again. Sometimes  I weep when I think of it – how nice it will be. Write back soon and note the address very carefully. Love to you and the children – Sid

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Please send me clothing parcels

Aug 22nd, 2013

24 February 1944

I do hope you have understood about my change of number, address etc. etc. It is my only chance of hearing from you and I hope to hear soon. Please reorder 1.000 cigarettes weekly from Rothmans (very important this) and please send me clothing parcels – this may be difficult, I appreciate, but do manage it. Shirts, socks, hankies, pyjamas pullovers, toilet things.  I am working as a navvy but there are worse jobs.

love Wilf

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I feel like Sampson at the mill – except for the strength

Aug 21st, 2013

14th February  1944. ( still writing as Sidney Gallimore)

I do not like writing much under these circumstances, but you will twig I am sure. I write only to you. I am at a working camp, navvying, and I am still well. Wretched cold weather and I long for spring as for Heaven. I feel like Samson at the mill – excepting for the strength. However – all’s well that ends well – and one day, I hope, I shall collapse in front of your fire.

Love as always – Wilf.

 

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Writing as Gunner Sidney D. Gallimore

Aug 21st, 2013

My Dear Hilda,

I am writing exclusively to you these days, otherwise things, as you will understand, might grow too complicated. [Wilfred his referring to him now being Sid – admin]  Explain to the others, including Pat, and please order Rothman’s to send me weekly cigarettes to my new address etc.. which please note very carefully. I cannot explain any more at present. I am at a working camp – working as a navvy – and I am still fairly well. I have nothing much to say. Everything has changed and one simply hangs on – sometimes I wonder why but one does – and looks forward to the end of the year. I suppose the news is good and I must be home again sometime – how I look forward to it! I feel that I should like to settle down in an old fashioned house with ivy and geraniums and read Dickens and eat porridge and muffins. The war has creased me all right and I shall never have any initiative now. Pat will have to arrange to drag me to the altar. I should make a mistake not to marry her – she would make a bad mistake in marrying me I think. Oh well – life goes on somehow – and I hope everything is OK with you all. I can only hope to hear from you if you understand how to write to me. Anyway much love as always – Wilf.

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Wilfred tries to explain his change of identity to Hilda.

Aug 21st, 2013

27 January 1944

Wilfred now writing as GNR. Sidney D. Gallimore ARB. KDO. 7005

My Dear Hilda,

You may be surprised to note my change of number, address and so on, but copy my address exactly as you see it here ( and tell the others including Pat) and I shall hope to hear from you soon. It has been a change for the better; my present situation is exactly the reverse of that in Italy. I am well enough and hope all is OK with you. How I look forward to seeing you! How homesick I am.

Much love – Sid.

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