Friday, 5th January 1945
My dear Mother & Father,
The above date tells you that we are well advanced into the new year. I didn't expect to see this year in these circumstances, however it can't be helped, we must just make the best of it. During the past few days I have received the following letters: Dorothy of 22nd Oct, Dad's of 14th, and yours of 15th Aug + 1st Oct.
In your Oct letter you mention of meeting chaps repatriated from here who seem to know everybody but me. Well that is quite likely for I do not go around much here and I spend nearly all my day at school; although I have lots of friends they are mainly Londoners or Colonials. I think the reason that so many know Jim is because there are such a lot from his unit here (there are 4 from mine) who live in the district. But there is one chap who you should have seen last September by name of Anderson, a CSM in Jim's unit, to whom I was speaking before he left here. He promised to visit you and Mrs Duffy.
Some more are expecting to leave here this month, and there is one chap who has promised to visit you by name of Bentley, from Port Sunlight. I realise how much it must cheer you up to hear from somebody who knew me here.
We hear you had a very cold Christmas and that the Mersey Ferry was stranded on a sandbank. It is also cold here, but not nearly as cold as it could be. I have received no parcels since July last year, but we know that at one period your were not allowed to send them.
Both Jim & I are in the best of health & spirits, I hope you are all well.
Your loving son,
On this day:
In the Bonin Islands... Admiral Smith leads a force of cruisers and destroyers to shell Iwo Jima, Haha Jima and Chichi Jima. There is a simultaneous attack by USAAF B-29 Superfortress bombers.
In Burma... Shwebo is taken by the British 2nd Division of British 33rd Corps (Stopford) as the advance to the Irrawaddy River continues.
In the Kurile Islands... Admiral McCrea leads three cruisers and nine destroyers to bombard Suribachi Wan.
In Moscow... The Soviet government gives formal recognition to the Polish Lublin Committee as the Provisional Government of Poland. The USA and Britain declare their continued recognition of the Polish government in exile, based in London.
In Liberated Greece... The fighting between the British and the Greek Communist forces comes to an end in the Athens area. Field Marshal Alexander and British political representatives arrive in Athens for talks with the Communist leaders and the Greek government.
On the Western Front... In the Ardennes, the US 3rd Army reports reduced activity on its line while US 1st Army continues its attacks. There are German attacks just north of Strasbourg. Eisenhower's decision to divide command responsibility for the Allied defenses around the bulge between Montgomery in the north and Bradley in the south is made public.