Denis Crooks—First Letter Home

The following letter was the first one received by Denis Crook’s parents after his capture. Thanks to Maggie Clarke for sharing this letter and the notifications in the previous post.

257879H Sigmn. [Signalman] D. Crooks
Prisoner of War

My Dear Mother and Dad,

I expect by the time you get this letter you will have heard that we are “in the soup”—and thick soup at that! But there’s absolutely no need to worry as I am quite fit and well and so far the life isn’t too bad. We are getting enough food and water and we still have blanket and greatcoat for night-time, so we aren’t badly off. So don’t worry at all as I’m quite OK.

There’s one thing though, and that is the question of underclothes, etc. I lost practically everything when we surrendered and I could do with plenty of shirts, pants, vests, socks, etc. Also of course anything in the way of eats!! I don’t know how long it will take for letters and parcels to reach here from England, but you could send unperishable food, especially of the “filling” variety! Anyway, I think you know my stomach sufficiently well to guess what it needs!! Also any washing gear.

Another thing I’d like you to send is some notepaper and envelopes and pencils, as I haven’t any of these. I had to borrow this paper. We are allowed to write one letter a week, one large sheet or two small sheets. So you can see I shalln’t want a great deal of notepaper! Perhaps the smaller sheets would be better as the pad won’t take up so much room in my kit.

In case you didn’t receive my good wishes for your Birthday, here’s wishing you the very best and many happier ones to come, Mother. I don’t know whether you will have received my last letter, but I received the two parcels safely as well as letters from Mr. Salmon and Mr. Titford and two more from you, thank you very much. Of course I have lost all these now [I am unsure of this phase, as it is in the crease of the letter] but I still have two pairs of socks. Anyway, what does it matter? I am safe and sound and that is the main thing, what?

Well, my page is nearly up. Please remember me to all those people I said I was going to write to (not much hope now) and don’t worry!! All my love, Denis xxxxxx