Oct 20 1945


55786. Tpr. Hallam, J.H., R.A.C.,

H.Q.Company, (Sgts. Mess Cook),

G.S.C. Depôt,

Whittington Barracks,




My Own Darling,

I have just been down to Lichfield in a lorry and walked back again, it is a lovely afternoon too; I back in the camp before I realised it.

I received another letter from you again this morning, and I'm pleased you got my card O.K., you have not forgotten how to read my cards then?

I am a very busy body these days, I am scheming on what to get different people for Christmas, I have already chosen one for you, it is a very nice one and will last for years and years.

I will send you a registered letter probably next week, this week every penny has been spent on you, and darling I must buy you something, I have not had the pleasure before.

That rug you talk about, I have only cut the snips you know, but Dad will get you some big clean bags if you ask him nicely, mother will show you how it's done and lend you the rugging needle.

When do you say you will be going home for good, I want to try and arrange it so we can have leave together, I might have to take it yet when it comes due to me, if I leave it too late I might not be able to take it. Number 23 group will be out by Christmas you know, and they are demobbing a group a month after that.and being a cook I shall have a devil of a job getting away for Xmas, if they even consider letting me go. I don't want to take frech leave if I can help it, they only put my group number up two or three if I do, I want to get out of this as soon as I can without any trouble, even if it means that I have to sacrifice yet another Christmas.

I am going to the garrison cinema to night, I will tell you what sort of a picture it is when I come in tonight.

Give my best wishes to all when you see them, which will be 28th October I take it, I will be thinking very much about you darling that day.

We did play cards for half pennies, quite fun it is too, I always loose somehow, but someone has to win and lose.

Well my own darling, I must love and leave you, till tomorrow only, my thoughts are ever of you, how could they be otherwise, my dear darling you are my only sunshine; my hearts delight.

All my love; May my dear, I hope your dreams remain sweet and true, and sunshine gladden your remaining weeks for Sheffield. Darling I'm looking forward to seeing you at home again.

Goodnight my own, I'll be seeing you before so very long.

I remain yours forever,

Love Henry. X X X X X


Nurse L.M.Cooper,

Nurses Home,

City General Hospital,

Sheffield, 5.


French leave is "Leave of absence without permission or without announcing one's departure", including leaving a party without bidding farewell to the host. The intent behind this behaviour is to leave without disturbing the host. The phrase was born at a time when the English and French cultures were heavily interlinked.[

In French, the phrase "filer à l'anglaise" (English leave) means the same thing.

The Oxford English Dictionary records: 'the custom (in the 18th c. prevalent in France and sometimes imitated in England) of going away from a reception, etc. without taking leave of the host or hostess. Hence, jocularly, to take French leave is to go away, or do anything, without permission or notice.' OED states the first recorded usage as: 1771 SMOLLETT Humph. Cl. (1895) 238 'He stole away an Irishman's bride, and took a French leave of me and his master.'

The term is especially used to mean the act of leisurely absence from a military unit. This comes from the rich history of Franco-English conflict; as Spain has a similar saying concerning the French (despedirse a la francesa), it may have come from the Napoleonic campaign in the Iberian Peninsula which pitted the French against an Anglo-Portuguese & Spanish alliance. The phrase has a perfect French and Italian equivalent in filer à l'anglaise and filarsela all'inglese, literally, "to take the English leave".

The actual derivation may have its roots in American history during the French and Indian wars. About 140 French soldiers were captured near Lake George in New York and ferried to an island in the lake. The French, knowing the area better than the British, waited until near dawn and quietly waded ashore leaving their captors bewildered on arising. Though its role as such didn't last a day, the island has been named Prison Island.