To Jessie from Harry Redgrave



To Jessie from Harry Redgrave


A letter and envelope from Harry to his wife Jessie. He writes in great detail about his day's leave in Glasgow.




Temporal Coverage



Six handwritten sheets and an envelope


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[postage stamp]
Mrs H. C. Redgrave
Oaken Grange Dr.
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Sat 10.2.40
Dear Jessie,
This is the close of my first days leave and its [sic] been a grand day. I got up at quarter past eight and washed and shaved and got down to [deleted] ber [/deleted] breakfast at half past. A lovely letter from you opened a jolly day and eleven o'clock saw us on the train bound for Glasgow just like four schoolboys on a day out. Between Prestwick and Glasgow there was a great deal of snow and at Johnstone men were clearing snow of [sic] the streets with ice picks. After about an hours [sic] journey we arrived at St. Enock Station and made our acquaintance with the big city. After getting over the shock of seeing crowds of people and streams of traffic we began to walk up Argyle Street doing quite a bit of shop gazing. There are many big stores and you would have been in your glory.
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Off Argyle St we went through an arcade and found a good pen shop where I had a new nib fitted in my Conway. From there we wandered on and got off the main roads somehow and came upon some slums that reminded me of that book "No Mean City" which if you remember was about Glasgow. The houses and tenements were filthy dirty and I had the feeling that any moment we might be set upon. Still we safely navigated this shady portion of the city and got back on to Renfield St. and the big shops. Feeling dry we had a pot of coffee and cake and then carried on with our reconnaissance until half past one when we entered Lewis's. This is a big store on the lines of Selfridges and I bought Pamela a Tam o Shanter which I will post on. We were beginning to feel hungry by then and went up in the lift where the lift girl did a real Claud
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Hulbert act you know "Going up cutlery corsets chinaware. Third floor ladies undoware [sic] gents natty suitings" and [deleted] son [/deleted] so on to the fifth floor and the restaurant. A good band was playing and we had a tasty lunch and looking round espied Tonker that is Mr Thomas one of our billet mates and his wife who has come up from Cardiff to stay the week end in Glasgow with him. We went over to there [sic] table and enjoyed a pleasant chat with Mrs Thomas who is a very charming young woman and darling how I envied them. Something must be done about next month if I cannot get home for Easter. We may get five days leave then but they cannot promise but [deleted] mat [/deleted] maybe I shall know for sure by my next week end. The sight of these two has made me long for you more than ever. I do wish you were living up hear [sic] so that I could see you every day and cuddle you every night. Midnight has just struck so Ill [sic] get to bed and write some more tomorrow. . .
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Sunday Morning
Continuing my narrative we left Lewis' and walked on to Sauchiehall Street which rather disappointed me. Perhaps because it was Saturday afternoon and the shops were shut whereas in Renfield St and Buchanan Street they were all open and well lit made Sauchiehall St seem quiet and dull. About five of us tried to get in the Pavilion to see Stanelli Charlie Kung and several good artists but were unlucky. There was not a seat available for either show so we had to go to the Regent Cinema.
Two very good pictures were showing Batchelor [sic] Mother and Bad Lands. Batchelor [sic] Mother starred David Niven and Ginger Rogers in an amusing story in which Ginger Rogers is landed with a baby that was left at a foundling home and to keep her job she has to admit that it is her own. The efforts of David Niven to help this supposed unmarried mother are realy [sic] amusing and at it all ends very happily.
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Bad Lands was a western picture above the average in which a sheriff and his posse are ambushed by Indians and killed off one by one until the last man is relieved by a rescue party of soldiers. The story though a bit morbid was well acted and with Batchelor [sic] Mother was a good programme.
As Mr & Mrs Thomas had seen the cinema programme we arranged to meet them later at a restaurant for supper. Our rendeyvous [sic] was Grants which we had seen advertised in the local paper but on coming out of the Regent it was so dark that we walked all down one side of Argyle Street and up the other without finding it and so we gave it up and supped at Sloans. I had a glass of beer, toast, and a fillet of cod and chips and then rounded the meal off with a coffee and cigarette. From there we groped our way back to the station and within an hour we were home, feeling tired but happy and much better for our day off. On getting in I started this letter and wrote until midnight.
Today has been very lazy and apart
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from washing shaving and eating I have done nothing but write to you and have some photos taken. These I'll send to you as soon as they are printed.
Well darling I think this letter is a pretty good effort and its [sic] four oclock [sic] and I must revise some of my Maths. From your letter I gather that you only get five pairs of knickers for Pam from one of her Nannies. It seems to me Pam must be growing very fast. You can send my scarf on as I can wear it for flying and thanks for the sox [sic] dear they are nice and long; keep my legs warm. Its [sic] good to hear bits of news of the Southend boys so let me know all you hear.
All my love darling to you and Pam
Your loving
Harry xxxxxx
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[Reverse of envelope]


Harry Redgrave, “To Jessie from Harry Redgrave,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 21, 2024,

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