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Green Envelope

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just_me

Green Envelope

#1 Post by just_me »

Was just reading through my Grandfather's WW2 Diary and he mentions writing a letter to loved ones in a green envelope. Was wondering if there is significance in this, as in an "open if I die" sort of letter.
Thank you for any help.

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Tab
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#2 Post by Tab »

Never seen or heard of it. There was a very pale blue piece of paper that you folded and stuck down. On one side you would write on it and on the other side would fold into the the envelope. But if you were on active service all you were allowed was a field service postcard and you just ticked the boxes to say that you were okay or dead and signed it any thing else on it and it was destroyed

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#3 Post by just_me »

The other thing is he also mentions a lot of sending letters and recieving them. Would the "postcard" above be the letter?
Mind this was in 1944, after the Normandy Landings, late August/September/November as well.

Also does DR refer to a driver?
Thank you.

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#4 Post by Pilgrim Norway »

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#5 Post by English Rose »

Tab wrote:Never seen or heard of it. There was a very pale blue piece of paper that you folded and stuck down. On one side you would write on it and on the other side would fold into the the envelope. But if you were on active service all you were allowed was a field service postcard and you just ticked the boxes to say that you were okay or dead and signed it any thing else on it and it was destroyed

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Tab, have never seen that before. I feel very lucky. Getting that through the post must have been heartbreaking :cry: Thank God for Ebluey!
Waiting for my rocket to come.

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#6 Post by Tab »

This was all we were allowed to use for about three months in 1956 prior to and during the Suez invasion. Most of the men that I served with still have them as we thought that no letter was better than these things. Mind you some of this could have been our fault as all letters prior to this had to be put into the company office unsealed to be censored. Now on standing orders when this instruction came out it informed us that what we wrote would remain confidential as long it is had no military references in them, and would never be commented on by the the officers censoring the mail. Well we had to put all this to the test so we spoke about about our platoon officer w#nking him self silly and one of the others being so daft he could not find his back side with both hands. Well as quick as shot they were down in the lines bawling out the men who had written these letters, only to find that complaints were put in against them for breaching Company Orders. So they refused to censor the letters and we got was the Field Post Cards for months on end. Ain't life fun in the Army

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Re: Green Envelope

#7 Post by London Boy »

just_me wrote:Was just reading through my Grandfather's WW2 Diary and he mentions writing a letter to loved ones in a green envelope. Was wondering if there is significance in this, as in an "open if I die" sort of letter.
Thank you for any help.
I don't know about WWII, but I have studied the First World War in some depth and so I know that the green envleope was a privilege granted to the men. A green envleope was only used for personal letters home and was actually sealed and exempt from censorship. Abuses of this privilege were severely frowned upon. There are a couple of books containing compilations of letters sent home in green envelopes. I can't remember for sure but I seem to remember that "Tommy" got one green envelope per month. All other correspondence on cards and in letters was subject to censorship. That said, the levels of censorhsip during the Great War weren't anywhere near as stringent as those that came into force during WWII.

just_me

#8 Post by just_me »

LB your post seems to be the most likely, perhaps the green envelope was issued because it was so late in the war?
Thnak you all for your replies.
J_M

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#9 Post by London Boy »

just_me wrote:LB your post seems to be the most likely, perhaps the green envelope was issued because it was so late in the war?
Thnak you all for your replies.
J_M
You're welcome. However, it isn't a case of being most likely. This is fact. That is what the green envleope was. Also I just checked one of my books and it was once a month but only while in France and they were in use from the beginning of the war.

Here's what it looked like (called green because of the print):
http://contentdm.library.uvic.ca:8000/c ... X=1&REC=12

Archie Wills writes, "Once a month when in France a soldier could use The Green Envelope, which would not be censored. This gave leeway for a fellow to say endearing things to his wife or girlfriend."


Google is a wonderful thing if you use it :wink:
http://books.google.se/books?id=tTxOm7- ... &ct=result

just_me

#10 Post by just_me »

Sorry I phrased my post wrong. Because of you saying these green envelopes were used back in WW1 I meant it was most likely they brought them back at the end of WW2.
I wasn't suggesting you were wrong about their use in WW1.
Regardless your post was definetley helpful and I will chase up the Green Envelopes use in WW2 some other time!
J_M

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#11 Post by London Boy »

No, you're alright mate. Sorry, it's as much my mistake for misunderstanding and thinking your reply referred to WWI when you were clearly referring to WWII. :D The perils of on screen communication!

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#12 Post by just_me »

London Boy wrote: :D The perils of on screen communication!
Tell me about it :D !

ANOTHER (!) question would OO stand for Operational Orders?

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#13 Post by London Boy »

What context is it written in? It's possible. Can't say I've come across it before though.

GO = general oders
SO = standing orders
DO = daily orders / daily operations
Op. plan = operational plan
OPS = operations

just_me

#14 Post by just_me »

"On duty in the evening and could not go out. Typed out OO. Bed at 0130."

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#15 Post by London Boy »

Typed out could mean "logged off" i.e off duty and 00 is sometimes used as shorthand for midnight, so "off duty at m'night"

However, I'm inclined to go along with your line of reasoning in that OO is an abb. for some sort of orders.

So it could be operational orders, however it could also be orderlies orders.

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