History Website for Dibdin, Aglio, Rowntree, Guise, and other Families
History   Homepage Picture Gallery Photo Gallery Museum Articles Sitemap
Three Lives in World War 2

Appendix 8

Ceylon Army Command S.E.A.C

25 July 1944 

Dear Mrs Guise

Last night I was filled with sadness when I stood by the graveside of you husband and gave the last blessing of the Church. I thought then of all the sorry and pain you would have to endure and could only ask God to grant you the grace to bear the sorrow with courage.

As I know you will want all the details that can be supplied, I have tried to discover as much as possible. It appears that being free on Sunday afternoon, he decided to have a bathe at Mount Lavinia. He had been surf-riding some time when someone happened to notice that he was

Further out than most and was lying on his back with one arm thrown out to surf board. His general appearance suggested that all was not well and several men immediately swam out towards him but before they could reach him he was swept out to sea, and it was nearly a quarter of an hour before he was brought to shore. He was rushed at once to the Hospital only about 200 yards away, and everything possible was done to bring him round.

Oxygen was given and artificial respiration was kept up for over an hour without results: it seems probable he was already dead when he was first seen.

It is now clear that the currents were particularly treacherous that afternoon, as quite a large number of people got into difficulties and two other men lost their lives.

I have heard one report that your husband assisted in one rescue just before he lost his own life but I cannot get any confirmation of this.

A Court of Enquiry is being held and fuller details may be known later.

There is m need for me to dwell on his character as you will know it better than anyone else but I think you would want to know how he appeared to others.

I have rarely seen so much genuine sorrow as that manifested by his fellow Officers and the men under him. One Officer said of him "He was a man you could not help but like"

A Major of Regiment said of him

"What a vital type of man he was, we can ill afford to loose such men". Part of his work was connected with the welfare of the men in the Regiment; he flung himself wholeheartedly into his work and the men knew it and greatly appreciated it. Perhaps the impression he created was best summed up by the Adjutant when I was talking to him this morning "He was a man full of life and a very happy disposition; he made friends everywhere; He was enthusiastic and inspired others with enthusiasm; deeply religious, he went to Mass each Sunday when possible, he was generous and understanding with them under him and now we have lost him".

He was buried with full Military Honours. The Brigade commander and representatives of various regiments were present and the eight or nine large and beautiful wreaths secured at short notice bore witness to the esteem and love in which he was generally held. I simply cannot tell you how deeply I

grieve for d sympathise with you. Would to God I had words that would ease the pain you must suffer. I can only commend you to God to comfort you as only he can. The Adjutant has asked me to tell you that he will be writing to you soon, and will be sending you some his personal things he knows you would want If I can do anything to help in anyway please grant me that privilege. In the meanwhile I can only pray for you both, that the love which limited you in life may not be broken by death; but may be a preparation to the love which will unite you in eternity.

Yours very sincerely

J .W.Murray C.F. (CSSR)


35th British General Hospital

South East Asia Command.

26/7/44

Dear Mrs Guise

I know you will have all the particulars of your husband’s accident.

As it happened very near to us he was brought here, I regret too late.

I know every effort had been made to save him.

I feel you may find some comfort in these few words – a bunch of pink and white lillies out of our garden, we placed in his coffin with your love. He was seen by our RC Chaplin.

Please accept our sympathy - for sad loss

Yours sincerely  E Prentice   Matron

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Miss Prentice

Do please forgive me for not writing to you long ago in answer to your very kind words

It was such a sweet thought to have placed the lillies in my husband’s coffin, with my love – By that little action you have what I could not do in England, and you have bought me nearer to pay my last tribute.

I know that you did all that was possible to save his life, and I do thank you so much for writing to me. I felt so helplessly in the dark when I first had the news from the War Office, and it was such a comfort to have a personal letter when I was so far away. I shall never forget your kindness

I hope this will not be too late to convey my very best wishes to you for Christmas and the New Year

Yours very sincerely

A Photocopy of the original is archived as well
as a carbon of a typed copy by J.M Guise.


From Captain D.W.Courtenay
13th India H.A.A. Regt I.A
South East Asia Command

7 Aug 1944

Dear Mrs Guise

I have not been able to write earlier owing to certain restrictions imposed upon us in such circumstances.. but my heart goes out to you in your tragic loss … especially as not official information can be given until so long after the accident.

I am the Adjutant of this unit and as you know Tony was on our headquarter staff. Naturally living together in the same Mess etc. we were very friendly and Tony particularly endeared himself to us. He was always so bright and cheery … nothing got him down and was a grand example of an officer making the best of a job of work out here. He often spoke about you when we used have our little chats after dinner and in fact I have four photographs before me now.

About the accident I cannot say much as I was on the Court of Inquiry. He was drowned in the sea.. at a popular bathing resort .. and the circumstances seem to suggest that he went to the rescue of another person in difficulties.

The time was about 17.15 hrs on Sunday 23 July 1944.

Everything possible was done after he was brought in from the water .. fortunately a doctor was actually on the beach .. they applied artificial respiration for over two hours and also gave him oxygen.

Unfortunately it was too late. We gave him a befitting military funeral. I have a photograph taken of the grave. Please let me know it you want it sent on to you.

I’m sorry that letter has had to be concise and if you should want to know further details please let me know. I hope to be getting some leave in the UK shortly and shall visit London… if possible I would very much like to call on you and tell you so much that cannot be old here.

Please accept our deepest sympathy .. we were all very fond of Tony and I should say that in the short time he was with us, he was one of the most popular officers.

If there is anything we can do for you please do let me or the Colonel know

Yours sincerely

Don Courtenay

 This could be from a carbon of a
typed copy by J.M Guise.


Lt. Col. K.C.Sharpe R.A.
13th India H.A.A. Regt I.A.
South East Asia Command

7 Aug 1944

Dear Mrs Guise

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you about Tony. I should have written two weeks ago but regulations do not permit us to do so before official channels are informed. As you know Tony was on my Headquarters here, and he had been since he arrived in March. He was such a cheery fellow, in fact I think that is a qualification that i want in my officers if they are going to live with me, we had a great deal of fun and I know that he was very happy in our Mess. Tony came to me from time to time about his work, but always I had the greatest confidence in him and he was a great worker. I think he showed up best in running one sideline of Welfare, he used to worry the authorities for wirelesses or footballs, whatever it was, so long as he got it for the troops, by which actions I was always very proud of him and he was extremely popular with both officers and men, and in particular the Indian troops, who knew a kind and understanding European. I expect Tony told you that we shared a small yacht, we had a lot of fun with it, with the intention of making it faster than Brigadier’s. I have visited the boat recently but when I look at it, I like to remember Tony and the happy times we had together. I have made a settlement of the amount Tony paid and Don Courtenay, my Adjutant, is settling that work.

I do hope that this big shock has not been too heavy, I know how very upset you will be, I hope you have relations or friends nearby who can help, but do please let me know if there is any assistance I can give you. My Adjutant, Don Courtenay, has also written to you and told you that Tony was drowned in the sea while trying to rescue someone else, the Medical authorities tried respiration for two hours and did everything possible. Unfortunately, I was away on leave and could not get back in time for the funeral. I am told it was arranged very nicely and a large number of officers were present. One of my officers took a photo of the grave with all the flowers, and a print will be sent to you as soon as possible. I am afraid the loss of Tony has made a big gap in our Mess, but we carry on with the thoughts in our minds of his happy manner and cheerful laugh.

I hope you will receive this letter without delay, everything is being looked after by Don Courtenay.

I hope your youngster is well, I forget now whether it is a boy or a girl; my two girls (9 ˝ and 6 ˝ ) are growing fast, I don’t know I shall know them it is three years since I saw them.

Yours v. sincerely

K.C.Sharpe 


Letter from Mrs Makin whose husband organised the funeral arrangements

3 Links Drive

Totteridge

London N 20.

Aug 9th 1944

Dear Mrs Guise

I felt I would like to tell you how sorry I was to hear of the death of your husband, he was in the same regiment as my husband and John has told me that he did all the funeral arrangements for your husband. And what an awful shock it was to all over there, he was liked by all.

I do hope you will forgive me for writing but I do feel so very sorry for you, being so far away makes it even worse.

If there is anything you would like to know do please ask me and I will ask John to either tell me or write to you direct

Yours sincerely

Jean Makin


Copy of a reply from Joan

Dear Mrs Makin

Can you ever forgive me for not writing to you before in answer to you letter.

'~tin~ to you before in answer to your very kind letter.

At the time of my husband’s death, I sent cards to all those who wrote to me, but did not send one to you as I planned to write. The time seems to have

passed without my realising it, and I must admit that I have rather put off letter- writing.

It was so sweet of you to write to me. I shall never forget all the kindness that has been shown to me at this time. I have had several letters from some of the officers of the Regt. and the Padre, and they have all been so terribly good. Captain Courtenay got in touch with me while he was on leave a short while ago, and we were able to have a chat together.

He brought me some photos that had been taken of the grave, and an odd snap of Tony.

It all shows me what grand men they must be, and what a lot they must have thought of Tony.

I am feeling a little better now. There is no doubt that time does heal if you allow it to. At first, I thought my whole being was smashed to atoms, and that I should

never be able to hold my head up again. But I find that we have to go on living, and the only thing to do is to make the best of it. I have the advantage of many people in our little son, who grows more and more like his father as time goes

on.

I do hope you hear good news of your husband, and may God bring him safely home to you.

Yours very sincerely.


198874 Lieut. R.Souray R.A.
37/13 Indian H.A.A.Rgt 1.A.
South East Asia Command

13 August 1944

Dear Mrs Guise

I would like you to accept these few lines from me as an expression of my deepest sympathy in your great loss.

I am hoping that you will remember me, if I remind you of the occasion when I had a drink with you and Tony in the Capt’s Cabin * shortly before leaving England.

Tony and I became good friends on our way out here, and, as you know we shared a variety of experiences. On our arrival in India, we applied to be posted together to an Indian Unit and our application was granted.

On joining this Regt., our ways divided slightly, as Tony was at RHQ, and I am in a Battery. Never the less, we did see each other frequently.

Tony immediately made many friends, and was liked and respected as an officer --- particularly in my Battery, by my O.C., and fellow officers.

His loss, Mrs Guise, was a great blow to us all. We miss him very, very much.

Once again, please accept my deepest sympathy

Yours Very Sincerely

Richard Souray

* The Captain’s Cabin is at 4-7 Norris Street off the Haymarket.
Photographs taken in August 2013


Dear Richard

Will you please forgive me for not writing to you long ago in answer to your kind letter. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated hearing from you, and I do remember you well – how could I ever forget those last few days that I spent with Tony, little knowing that they were indeed the last, and I was so glad to have met you knowing that you would be travelling together and perhaps be stationed together.

I have had several letters from the other officers of the Regt. And the matron of the Hospital where they took him, and realise how well Tony was liked and how terribly kind you have all been.

Sometimes I cannot believe that it has happened and I cannot visualise the years ahead without Tony, our lives have been so complete in those years since we have known each other that now it seems like an empty shell – but, I think I shall never feel that he has quite gone.

I have often wondered about the details of your experience on your voyage to India.** Tony couldn’t, of course, tell me much about it, and I know I should have to wait to hear the full story. Perhaps one day you will be able to tell me more about it, when you get home to this country once more- I should so much like to meet you again.

It will always be possible to contact me through my bank: Westminster Bank 26 High Street Sutton Surrey.

I do hope this letter will not be too late to wish you all the best for Christmas and the New Year

Yours very sincerely

** Details of this can be seen in the main article


Reply to Fr Murray 27 Sept 1944

Dear Father Murray

1 don’t know how to express my appreciation of your letter, of your interest in my husband and of the kind way in which you gave me the news.

When your letter came I was still feeling rather dazed and hardly believing the truth of what I had read in the telegram from the war office.

l never thought that this could possibly happen. Just a year ago I lost my only brother, who also died though an accident while he was in the army, and when he went, I felt that surely Tony would be spared. My brother had more or less brought me up since our parents died in a plane crash in 1933, and it seemed that he lived just long enough to see me happily married and settled with a son ---and then his job was done.

Now it is Tony, and I cannot keep back the awful fear that my last great tie to this world may be taken from me --- my son. And perhaps he too through accident. I am not naturally superstitious, yet I cannot help seeing the strangeness of it all.

Sometimes now I feel it is too hard, yet the memory of my husband, and the fine example he has set, will surely, help me through. And if I can bring up the youngster to be anything approaching the man his father was, I shall more than thankful that I was given the strength to do it.

I am not a Catholic though I have often wished that I could share in that religion which brought so much strength and solace to Tony. Yet somehow I was never able to change. But the boy is, of course, of the same religion as his father and perhaps I may learn through him something that I cannot now find or understand.

My ambition is to send him to Downside as that was Tony’s wish, and I believe is a very fine school, but I dread to think how 1 shall ever afford the fees.

You ask me if there is anything you can do to help me. Yes, Father, there is something – will you say a prayer that I may be given the chance to realise my hopes and ambitions for this boy, and the strength to carry it though. His future depends upon me now and I have to be both mother and father to him now and sister too.

Will you convey my thanks to all those who have shown their sympathy

both in word and deed paying the last tribute to my husband. Believe me, I appreciate this most deeply.

Yours very sincerely, Joan Guise


Reply to LT Col, Sharpe 1944-09-27

Dear Lieutenant Colonel

Thank you so very much for writing to me. I cannot tell you how grateful I was to here from one who was so close to Tony in his work and pleasure. ~

It came as a ghastly shock to me. I lost my only brother ten months before (when Tony was on embarkation leave) and somehow I felt so certain that he would come through all right, and, more particularly when I heard that he was in Ceylon.

All that you write of him is so very true. Wherever he went he brought happiness, and to my knowledge, he hadn’t an enemy in the world.

Ever since he was commissioned he has made a side-line of the welfare (of the men) and though he seldom spoke of work in the army, (in fact I really knew little of his army life from him) I always I knew something of what the Batteries must be like wherever he was stationed, just because he was there, and what a pleasure he brought into the sometimes tedious lives of the men and women under him.

The boy is just eighteen months now, and seems already to have inherited the same tenacity of spirit and sense of humour as his father. If I can develop his character and bring him up to be worthy of his father, I shall perhaps feel that it was worth carrying on, though sometimes, now, it seems too hard. But I shall always have the memory of Tony to help me on, and a fine example to follow.

My very best wishes to you, and I hope you will get home very soon to your family. Should you ever be in London and have the opportunity, do call and see me. The above address is only temporary and I should be going home as soon as it is safe in London to take the child Raoul back there

Thank you once again for your kindness

Yours very sincerely,


Reply to Adjutant to Captain Don Courtenay 28/9/44. .

Dear Captain Courtenay,

I am so very grateful to you for writing to me. It is such a comfort to hear news that is not merely official when one is so far away, and to hear too from those who were so much with Tony in his daily life.

For days, a week or more, after I had received the telegram, until Father Murray's letter came, I felt so utterly dazed and helpless, and could not really believe the truth of it all.

Tony was such a very fine man and it seems so cruel that he should die when there was so much good and happiness that he might have brought to others in the future. He was always loved wherever he went and there are many who mourn him.

I am extremely grateful to you for all that you have done. It was a very kind thought to have had the grave photographed, and I should so like to have a print. It will somehow bring me nearer. One day, God willing, before I die, I shall have the chance to come out to Ceylon and see the grave myself perhaps my son also.

Yes, there is much that I want to know and I should be terribly pleased to see you if you do have the opportunity to call when you are in London. The above address is only temporary, and l shall be home again just as soon as it is safe in town to take Raoul back. There is one thing I do particularly want to know --- where exactly the grave is situated, and if I can arrange for it to be cared for while I am so far away. I have heard from the Standing Committee of Adjustment in India asking me what I want done about all the kit; & I have told them that I would like everything except the

tropical military kit sent home. I feel I would rather have it that way as there

may be some things amongst them that I should like to keep for Raoul.,---such as the "Sam Browne"; and what I do not want, I can dispose of here.

And now, once again, I do thank you .I do thank you so much for your goodness and I hope that we shall meet in the near future.

My very best wishes to you and safe return.

Yours very sincerely,

Joan Guise


 

13th India H.A.A. Regt I.A.

South East Asia Command

12 Oct 1944

 

Dear Mrs Guise

Thanks you very much for you letter – I am glad to see you are such a brave woman.

Time, perhaps, will heal the wound, and after all you do have the boy.

I personally packed Tony’s effects you will be sure to receive the Sam Browne etc
There were also lots of little things which I sent and feel sure will be useful to your little boy in time to come. *

As I shall probably be in London about a month from now there is no use my saying any more about poor Tony now. I have your address in Streatham (81 Stanhope Road) and if between now and the time I arrive there is any change, please let me know c/o Lloyds Bank, 6 Pall Mall, I shall be glad to meet you, and being so closely connected with Tony, also the circumstances surrounding his death, ( Actually I was president of the Court of Enquiry held) will be in a position to tell you lots that you are unaware of at the moment.

Meanwhile do bear up – I know how hard it must be – and if there is anything any of us can do for you, please don’t hesitate to let us know. The photographs etc I shall bring with me

Until we meet Yours Sincerely Don Courtenay

Note

* As memory have it little of Tony’s effects got back to Joan Guise. The was a tin box containing a few items and maybe the Sam Browne got back to England.

It was of some grief to Joan that these last points of contact with her husband of less than two years was denied her.


Reply to Don Courtenay 27 Sept. 1944

Dear Captain Courtenay

Thank you very much for your letter which I received on the 24th Oct.

I had rather hoped that we should be home again permanently by the time you arrived but I don't yet feel like taking Raoul back to London. However I have made arrangements to leave him here so that I can come to town on my own for a few days,

I cannot quite gather from your letter how long you will be staying in London, but if you will let me know just as soon as you are there, I can come straight up. Perhaps you can let me know too, some address or phone number where I can get hold of you when I arrive.

I should like you to come over to the flat for tea one afternoon, but I cannot say what condition it is in ---- only that it is not completely demolished at the moment. I should like you to have seen 'Tony's home --- he was very proud of it, I know.

Meols is between Liverpool and Chester, so that if, when you leave London, you happen to be anywhere near this part of the world, it may be possible for us to meet near here somewhere

I am very much looking forward to meeting you

Yours very sincerely

Joan Guise


War Office Letter - ~India Command


Lt.Col. K.C.Sharpe R.A. *
13th Ind H.A.A. Regt 1A
South East Asia Command 20th November 1944

Dear Mrs Guise

Thank you very much for your letter, and for telling me so much about Tony. Being married myself with a family I know how much you must be suffering. I can only say I hope that you have recovered from the heavy and terrible blow which you must have felt first. I wanted to write the same day as we lost Tony but we have very strict orders that we have to wait 2 weeks before private correspondence may be sent before the War Office take action. Padre Murray told me he had written but he did not know the rules. I have had such a lovely letter from Tony’s mother she has asked me if Father Kelly could quote some of my letter in a small book he is dedicating to Tony on behalf of the Scout movement. I have just replied that I should be delighted and any other help I could give.

Have you any worries from the Army side that I could help you with? Have you heard from the Committee of Adjustment and about the articles that you wish to have sent. Please let me know and we will take action from here. As far as my office is concerned all Tony’s belongings have been sent to 2nd Eihelm, his bank account and any little amounts have all been sent from here. My old adjutant Don Courtenay, should be turning up in the UK before long on his 2 months leave and one of his first things is to see you, and then you will be able to discuss many topics which are difficult to put into writing.

I still refer to my yacht as "our yacht" because Tony and I had such fun with it, we had great pleasure in "scrounging" and Tony was past master at that, and when we came up against a brick wall to get something for the boat, he would get me to go along and air my rank, usually is worked!! And so we produced a topping little boat and quite cheaply, every time we went out in her, we would argue over some alterations and strip her down and alter pieces just like a wireless maniac who never listens to the set! ** But it was fun and when I lost Tony I paid his share of the purchase into the account and bought him out.
Since that day we have had two Regattas ( there are eight of us who compete) and the first I won and the second one I came in second which was quite nice. I hope it does not mean the 3rd Regatta I shall be third !! I must send you a snap- I hope to have some soon, you will then see the material being around which Tony and I centred our past-time and pleasure and so cemented our friendship. ***

I hope you will write and let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

I hope you and the boy have a Happy Christmas as possible, it is terribly hard when we lose our loved ones but by the Grace of God we carry on and only time heals our deep wounds

Yours sincerely Kenneth C. Sharpe.

 

Notes:

* Major (Hon.Lt Col.) K.C.Sharpe was Decorated in 1954 - 2nd Clasp to the Territorial Efficiency Decoration

Supplement to the London Gazette

** For the benefit of those reading this in the 21st century, many people in the 1930’s made their own radio sets from the components or had to spend time repairing them. Valves were the main components and often the radio needing two batteries, one about 90 volts and one a 2volt lead acid battery that needed charging. There was 30 to 40 years of development with valves before the transistor became readily available and later silicon chips.

*** It is worth noting, that without any knowledge of this story, Tony’s son owned a 14 foot dinghy for a year or two and had much pleasure rebuilding and sailing it. The motivation for this will have come from his wife’s father, Paul Rowntree, who most of his life.


Letter from Don Courtenay 16th Dec 1944

Vinehurst
Frensham Surrey

16 Dec 1944

Dear Mrs Guise

Many thanks for your letter of the 30th October – please do forgive me for not replying earlier, but we arrived late and of course I did not get you note until the first week of Dec.

What with the excitement of getting here, the rush and strangeness of it all, I read your note most hurriedly and frankly forgot about it until I reached here on Monday. Actually I only read you letter a few days before.

I found London very strange and cold! So hastened up to my Aunt and have "settled down" here for the time being.

Tomorrow I have to go up to Scotland to see my cousins there and do not expect to be back in this part of the world until early January.

Needless to say I am very anxious to met you and wonder what can be arranged ? I have to visit London again during the first week of January and perhaps something can be fixed for then. The trouble is that I don’t know the date – however I had better let you know later on and we will see what can be done.

Sorry to have to have matters so fluid but I cannot see any way out at the moment.

I hope you and Raoul have a pleasant Christmas as circumstances permit and wish you all the best for 1945.

God bless you both and please forgive me for not writing earlier, but I have told the truth and know you will understand.

Yours very sincerely

Don Courtenay.


Hall of Tankerness
Kirkwall
23/1/1945

Dear Mrs Guise

Please accept my apologies for this awful delay – but I have wandered around the country with my relatives and your letter only recently arrived.

At the moment, I am in Kirkwall and had intended leaving earlier so as to have a few days in London and I was going to wire you when I got there. Now alas, this is not possible as I cannot get away from here until the weather gets better (I am flying back to the mainland) and goodness alone knows when that will be.

Unfortunately my leave is up at the end of the month, so I have to get back to Frensham, pack and proceed to some place of which I am yet unaware.

It seems a pity that having come all this way, we are not able to meet. I did so much want to see you and tell you all the little things that you what to know. I want to see little Raoul too.

However I do hope that you will write to me for the information that you require and if there is anything which I could do at anytime, please don’t hesitate to ask.

My very best wishes for 1945

Yours sincerely

Don Courtenay.


28th Jan 1944

To Don Courtenay

Many thanks for your letter. I am so sorry there has not been an opportunity for us to meet. There were many things I should liked to have talked to you about, and I was looking forward to meeting someone who was with Tony so recently before his death. But I can understand what a rush you must have had to fit in everything into your leave that you wanted to do. The time goes so quickly when you are on leave. I believe you said you were bringing some photos for me – perhaps you could send them to me now if you have them with you.

In one of your earlier letters you mentioned other circumstances concerning Tony’s death which I was probably unaware of. Can you write me and tell me a little more about it now. I know only what you and Col. Sharpe were able to tell me, which was really only more enlarged from the War Office information.

I have felt all along that there is something more concerning his death that I do not know. As you can imagine I feel most terrible in the dark know only that he was drowned one Sunday afternoon while rescuing another person and that he was buried in Liveramentu Cemetery.

Sometimes I feel that at any time the postman might suddenly bring a letter from him – It is like a dream that flits through the mind and then is gone,

all you can remember is

It is like a fleeting dream that flashes through the mind and then is gone and you awaken with only a faint realisation and wonder what more there was. Although I have had your letters and the death certificate from the War Office I still cannot put aside the thought that when peace comes and the men come home again for good – Tony will be amongst them.

It is just a niggling little thought that is there all the time and yet I am afraid it will cause more pain later when that time does come and Tony never returns.

It is terrible to realise that he will not.

Perhaps at some future time when you are home again we shall have the opportunity to meet.

Until then I wish you all the best wherever you may be sent and God speed on your Journey

Yours very sincerely


To Lieutenant Colonel Sharpe

Dear Lt Col.

Thank you so much for your letter. I feel very guilty for not replying long ago. I was so glad to hear from you again.

It was so nice to hear from you again... I must congratulate you on your success with the yacht. But by now, perhaps you have had still more. I should love to see a photo of it. .

Captain Courtenay and I managed to meet while he was on leave. He wired me from the Orkneys that he would be in London for two days, so I left the boy in the care of my Aunt, and took the night train up, I phoned him at his club when I arrived. He came down to 8treatham

for the afternoon and evening---I was staying with my Mother-in-law as our flat was uninhabitable at the time, so met all the family. Poor man, I could see, when he arrived, that he was terribly nervous!-more so than we were, I think -- except Mater, perhaps, who was rushing round in a flat spin trying to tidy herself up and the house at the same time, so as not to let Tony down, though neither of them needed it . since she had been up at 7.00 o'clock that morning doing the same thing for my benefit!

Don stayed the night in the end and we spent a pleasant evening listening to his anecdotes of Tony. Really it might have been a thoroughly miserable ordeal -- nothing unusual in the Guise household, most people stay the night when they come—

We all liked him so much, and I do so wish he had had the Mater’s address when he was in town earlier, they would have been so glad to entertain him.

Perhaps he will come back one day to visit us when times are, let us hope, more peaceful.

Don explained a lot of things to me, and I felt a little more settled---as if I was at last able to turn the page, and could start a new chapter with more faith and perhaps a little more courage.

It is surprising how time does heal our wounds, if we let it. We have to go on living, whether we want to or not, and the only thing to do is to make the best of it.

Raoul keeps me fully occupied now and as he grows older, he will become more of a companion. He is a jolly little chap the same bright personality as his father.

I received a letter from the Staffing Committee of Adjustment dated 31st Oct in which they said all the effects were being dispatched during the net few days to Kirkby Depot Nr. Liverpool

I have not heard any more but presume they haven’t arrived yet. I suppose it will take quite a time to come through.

With all good wishes to you and I hope it will not be long before you are home with your wife and family again

Yours very sincerely,

Joan Guise


There were a small number of letters that followed from Don Courtenay.