Miss Edwina P. Holmes
Kennington London England
Thank you very much for the letter and Christmas card. (I hope you don't mind me calling you Hilda). I was thirteen on the 23rd of January and I had a very happy birthday my mother bought me a Bible. I am writing this letter in the billiard room all the other girls are dancing. Phyllis is trying to teach a girl to dance (I think she might succeed)
Outside it's raining very hard. We still pick blackberry's one day the whole school picked 24 lbs with in one hour (good work) On the first of Jan when my mother came to see me she brought me a banana it was the first I've had for about three year's and I enjoyed it very much. I am a girl guide and I am going to be enrolled on the twenty third of Feb: I can only write a short letter because I cannot think of anything to say. I would very much like to come to America to see the lovely sight to see. We do not get very many air-raids now. Sorry this is only a short letter but it is my bed time please write soon
from a friend and Pen-Pal Edwina*
The envelope has a sticker on it from Examiner 5690, this was from postal censorship that was instituted during WWII (1939-1945). If you aren't familiar, postal censorship is the inspection or examination of mail, typically a government, and might include the opening, reading, and sometimes obliteration of the letter or marking out of or removal of selected contents. A second examiner sticker can be seen through the first sticker, though the number is not clear. The letter is postmarked 12 Feb 1944. It arrived March 10 and Hilda replied Sept 4, 1944. (Hilda wrote the arrived and answered date on almost all her mail.)
All I know about Edwina (at this point) is she was a friend and a Pen-Pal. Hopefully, there are more letters to reveal a bit more. I suspect Phyllis is Phyllis Vince, my Great Grandmother's brother's son's daughter. She was born in 1931, so it seems perhaps they were in boarding school in 1944, when she would also have been 13. More to learn...
* Note: I type these letters as they were written which includes typos & a frequent absence of punctuation.