Sunday, 10th December 1944

My Dear Mother & Father,

After 4½ years of thinking and worrying about a future occupation for myself, I think I have at last hit upon an idea, which I will be in a financial position to carry through and to which, I am sure, I can reckon with your support.  My original idea of becoming a policeman I gave up quite a long time ago, chiefly owing to my age: 26 is the age limit for the force.  Fortunately, in this place one meets chaps from all walks and classes of life: from bank managers to safe breakers; from goldminers to ranch owners.  But I do not intend to become any of these!

During the past few weeks I have made the acquaintance of a chap, who at 30 years of age, owns three shops and a motor transport business in Charlton (London).  He tells me that for £150 to £180 I could purchase the “goodwill” of a sweets.tobacco.newsagent business, including perhaps a further £30 for interior fittings and existing stock; in all a layout of £200.  This would be a one- window, high street shop, with two or three living rooms; the rent should be about 35/- weekly, according to the site.  My idea is not to buy a new concern in some new housing-estate, that would be too risky for a beginner, but an old established business that has been in the same hands for a number of years, this alone is proof that it is a paying concern.

[I will continue this on another letter- I hope Mr Censor keeps them together!]


[This is a continuation of another letter-I hope you get them both together, otherwise you won’t know what I am talking about].

In view of the fact that Dorothy (from whom I expect much help) is already in trade, I wonder if she would check up the facts I have given with her employers, and write and tell me what class of a business I can expect? 

Of course my figures are 1939 peacetime.  Naturally, I am fully aware that in order to make a success of this it calls for long hours and hard work on my part, but the fact that I would be doing it for myself is a great consolation.  My savings at the end of this year (1944) I estimate at £400.  Please let me know, when you answer this letter, once again how much money you have banked for me.  I shall be receiving a statement of my army account from my paymaster shortly, so I shall be able to calculate an accurate account.   Well, so much for that!

I received an old August letter from you during the week- the mail service is bad, but we have been informed that our mail will now be sent from England to Switzerland via France, perhaps that will bring an improvement.

Both Jim & I are in excellent health & spirits, and I hope the same is the case at home.  Many happy returns to Dad & Dorothy, all my love to you, your loving son.


On this day:

In the Philippines... On Leyte, the US 77th Division captures Ormoc, the main Japanese base on the island. Japanese forces are now mostly concentrated around Palompon.

On the Western Front... The US 7th Corps (part of US 1st Army) launches an attack west of Aachen directed at Duren. To the south, US 3rd Army continues to defend its bridgeheads on the Saar River.

In Moscow... Following a recent visit by the leadership of the French Provisional Government (including de Gaulle, Bidault and Juin), representatives of the French and Soviet government sign a treaty of alliance.


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