AMERICAN RED CROSS letterhead
[29 Jan 1945]
I should be home by the end of the week. I hope that pleases both you and young Graham. Unfortunately I will not receive any letters from you now as I’m leaving this island in the morning and shall be staying a few days on another closer to home. I would like to have known if the dear little chap has noticed my absence although it seems silly to think that he should – at his age at least. I dare say that even 3 weeks will have caused a marked change in his size & behaviour – to my keen fresh eye.
I don’t know where the boys have gone so I’ll use Eddie’s machine for a while. Went over one of the navy ships today and didn’t get back until after tea was over. It was an eye-opener of a trip but I can’t say much about it in this letter.
Yesterday went up the coast in a “duck” (one of those amphibious motor vehicles you may have seen in the streets at times). It is all so damn silly to be driving straight from a road in to the sea. The authorities gave us permission to visit Daoe [Daeo, Daejo or Doewo] village which is just outside the perimeter which is held by the yanks. There are about 2300 natives in the little area. Some are refugees from the Celebes and Borneo.
I’ve never seen so many blooming children in one spot before – must have been about 4 to every adult. The natives here are much more civilised than those of New Guinea. Under Dutch control they are well looked after. Schooling is compulsory and they are taught to speak and write Malay. The village also sports a hospital, which is under the guidance of a Javanese doctor who graduated in a medical school in Java. A pretty good job considering the wildness of the country. The people are rather good looking some of the little girls particularly so. The babies are cute but dirty and all of them are covered in yaws whatever they may be…they look pretty horrid anyway.
The boys seem to think me a bit nuts posting you a letter which will in all probability arrive home after me. However you like letters and I’m a very obliging gentleman.
I hope you are just as obliging my pet. Looks like me getting home on Saturday. So beware! Beware! Lotsa luv, luv.
Hope mum’s alright.