Valerie Layton

Letter From Anthony Hughes (1-24- 1940)

Anthony, Hughes, Valerie, Layton, 1940, Letter, London, Private, Words, Job, Suspension, Leave

About The Letter - 

In this letter, Anthony writes once again to Valerie. Valerie has gotten a job. Anthony also hopes to be in London on Febuary 18th, and he asks that she keep those nights free so they can meet. 

A Little Bit About Anthony Hughes - 

Anthony Hughes was a friend of Valerie’s. From what we know so far, it seems as if Anthony didn’t get to know Valerie until sometime late in 1939. Since Anthony was enlisted in the military around the same time he got to know Valerie, he was limited in what he could say to her. He couldn’t share opinions regarding the war or share personal life details due to heavy censorship. What we do know about him is that he seems to be well-educated and comes from a well-off background. He details having a butler and receiving a scholarship while attending the London School of Economics. Before the war, he lived in Clapham Park. During the war, he worked at night as a duty clerk. By 1940, espite the war keeping them apart, Anthony details that Valerie knows him well enough to send him a box of things he liked for Christmas.

See the transcript here...

Anthony Hughes Letter 1-24-1940  - Transcript

Contents Inside Envelope:

Rfn W.A. Hughes,



(General Staff - Section 1)


24th January, 1940.

Dear Valerie, 

Thank you for your letter. I have been late in replying for the usual reasons!

I am more than glad to know that you have found a job: you need’nt worry about the French side of it I’m sure, and as for the German… ça ne fait rien. - With you.

I have been given a rough idea about my sailing date, and hope to be in London about the 18th February. I shall write to you when I get there, so keep a couple of nights free! I do not yet know whether I shall go down to South Wales, but I have my doubts. London activities will need all those ten days, and more.

I have been reading one of those books ‘Private Worlds’; gripping; tense. Jane’s character is outstanding, and just where I am I can’t make up my mind whether she will eventually marry Drummond…..although the trend is that way - but trends are nothing to go by; a complete switch over might follow, even tho’ it now seems improbable. When I have finished it (I’m two-thirds through) I’ll let you have my literary survey! Joke.

There is’nt a great deal of time to read here...but when I do get time off….then I go to my blankets, read...and fall asleep in spite of the drama before me. This is just as well; insomnia can be hell, and I have had too much of it in my time. 

You know all about the suspension of leave by now; this caused much disappointment, especially amongst those who were pipped at the post. I was due home the first two or three days in February, but the delay has put me forward 14 days. My brain is too dull to go into any mathematical intricacies to explain why. 

However….. Perhaps you will write to me once more before I return to ‘Blighty’. In the meantime Ora Pro Nobis! Any more suspensions and I’ll probably be ‘out’ until next Winter. 

Pax vobiscum. Shakespeare. 

Yours aye!

Anthony [Signed in pen, with WAHughes in pencil to the right]





No. 655


25 JA


Miss Valerie Layton,

9, Burstock Road,


LONDON, S.W. 15.

[Something written in pencil]

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