5, Oxford Road
Getting absent minded
My very dearest Mazra and Par,
A thousand thanks for your charming letters which I simply loved reading and for the sheets and more especially for the ‘things inside’ which were most welcome. You really have both been too terribly kind to me always, and I don’t have to tell you, I know, how much I appreciate everything you have done for me, nobody could have been so lucky as I have been in the way of parents, and I only hope that what I’m going to tell you now won’t let me down in your eyes. It’s not going to be easy, but I shall do my best. I have always been in your own words ‘a very secretive old chap’, well now I’ll tell you everything and only wish I had before.
As you have guessed, I expect, it concerns Eileen. You remember that night when you said how silly you thought it was of me to be tying myself with one girl, and that you wanted me to enjoy myself while I was young. Well you may or may not have realised it but I have never got on too well with girls in general, nor like Cecil for instance, so to get hold of someone like Eileen, as I did, was to me ideal. I always was very fond of her and grew more so as time went on, but being young and unqualified could of course do nothing about it. But since we got back from Zoute our friendship has got much more intense and we are definitely in love with each other. I can honestly say that this was absolutely nothing to do with this War game and that we discovered it at least a week before the War. I have since then thought it over very, very carefully and have asked Eileen to marry me and she wrote to-day saying she would. I know you’ll think it stupid and impulsive of me but it isn’t and I fully appreciate the responsibilities.
So when I get back on Sunday week as I hope to, with yours and Pa Adams permission get engaged to Eileen. Please don’t hesitate to say exactly what you think but I don’t think it will come as a very terrific shock though, so there we are. I naturally couldn’t think of getting married to her for several years but she realises that.
Do write to me soon, remembering that whatever happens I shall always love you just as much, more really, if possible because in future I shall have nothing to hide from you. I wish I hadn’t before, but what’s done is done.
Thank you both for your encouraging letters I shall write to you again tomorrow but felt today that I must get this off my chest.
All my love to you both and thank you once again for everything
Your ever loving son
On back of envelope “tell Brian that I am writing tomorrow P”.
In cover addressed to Mrs G.C. Benham, 5, Oxford Road Colchester Essex. Postmarked Salisbury Wilts. 8 30 PM 13 Sep 1939.