Monday, 18 July 2011

Amanuensis Monday - letter from Bill Hudson to Peggy November 26th, 1941

My grandfather Bill Hudson worked as a prison officer in Hong Kong from 1921 to 1941. He was still in Hong Kong in December of 1941 when the Japanese invaded and occupied the colony. My grandmother Peg and my father Peter had been evacuated to Australia in July 1940. Peg kept the last couple of letters Bill wrote from Hong Kong prior to the Japanese invasion, along with the letters he wrote immediately after liberation.

Most of the letters are long, so I'm going to serialise them over the next few weeks.

This is the second letter - the first starts here - and was written on 26 November 1941, less than two weeks before the Japanese invaded.

Page 1 is here
Page 2:
Page 3 is here
Page 4 is here

He was boasting about how he had worked his leave, of how he had the Government by the way he had applied, but little does he know that Bud had told how he had typed all of Cockeye's applications even to him drawing a month's pay in advance, so how Vi thinks she is going to get a lot of money out of him, God alone knows.  He boasted that he owed no money to anybody, but when I asked him for the 1.60 I had paid for his Taxi fare, he got a shock, and did not like it, anyhow, I got it from him. He could have cut my throat, he even shows his nastiness.

I beat it to catch the last bus at 10.30, so I got away sober, the others went on till late, and how Cockeye got back, I don't know or care. Anyway Peg, you have my full permission to leave, only I hope you have left some arrangements about Ada collecting your mail, cos i would hate them to fall into others hands. I do hope you managed a nice holiday chez Mrs Laing, I am dying to hear of your news, and journey.

Your letter came too late concerning the allotment, as I had already made £3.0.0 a month to your Mother, which I have been informed has been approved, so your Mother will get her first pay in February 1942.

From time to time I will try send Australian pounds, only they are very hard to get, and they are now $12.60 to the pound, and when I went on leave they were only $11.00, anyway I'll do my best to help my Sweetheart out. I have not seen Spoors for over a fortnight, so our friendship ends, he was very trying at times, and since he is acting P.O., he thinks nobody should speak to him, also I got fed up with him talking about the Committee! if I had not have taken my leave he would have never have got there, only you can't tell him.

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