Active Service Letter

Today we have a wonderful letter written by Driver Harry Dance of the Royal Army Service Corps to his girlfriend, Miss Delph Smith. Harry was serving with 105 Corps in the British North Africa Force in 1943 and sent this letter back to his girlfriend in Herne Bay, Kent. The letter was sent in a standard Active Service envelope:

The letter is written in purple ink across five pages:

The letter reads:

My Dearest Delph

I sincerely hope that you are receiving my letters more regularly than I am receiving yours. Of course that must sound as strange to you as it does to me, but I am sorry to say dear, that I have not even received a post-card (registered or otherwise) from either you or anyone, for nearly five weeks.

Things are beginning to hum now though darling, as we were told on parade this morning that our mail will be here in three or four days. I only hope that this time they are right, even if I only get one from you, I shall be quite satisfied. As soon as they shout “mail up” though, I’m sure that there is going to be one mad rush, but don’t worry, I may be “petite”, but “believe you me” I usually make a good account of myself and land up somewhere near the front. I’ll be waiting darling, but I suppose that before you receive this letter, you will know that yours have arrived as I will send an air mail immediately.

Anyway dear, excepting for the mail situation everything out here is still going strong, and I am feeling as fit as ever. We have had a good deal of rain during the past few weeks, but that doesn’t worry us a bit, as (for a change) we are under canvas and quite comfortable.

Some evenings, when we have the time, we run a whist drive or play housey housey; and at other times we have a spelling bee or quiz. Of course it gets very boring sometimes, but we have to do something to pass the time away. One day last week though we had a grand stroke of luck. We were given tickets for an E.N.S.A. show (which was really quite good) and we spent the day in town. Its not like good old blighty as you can imagine darling, but we went to the local cinema, and on the whole had a very good time.

I don’t think that I shall have so very much to do tomorrow, so I may try to get another pass, and go again. I’ll let you know in my next letter if I do dear, and will tell you all about it.

As for Joe and Butch, well it seems months since I last saw either of them, but I’ll bump into them one of these days and when I do, will give them those kind regards I have been saving up for them.

Well darling, news is very scarce from this end, but I will try to do better when I hear from you. Until then, must say cheerio, keep smiling and it wont be long now.

All my fondest love


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