From the time Captain Kenneth Charles Warburton Shawcross joined the Army in 1940 until he returned from Burma after VE Day, he sent letters to Ivy. These are personal letters from a young medical doctor to his girlfriend/wife during the long wartime separation. The letters were kept private by my mother Ivy Shawcross nee Binks until she died. So I wondered if I should  present these on a web site. But, since Kenneth and Ivy are both dead and these obviously meant so much to my mother, I decided to preserve them as part of our family history. 

The letters date back to the first moments of my existence (one letter was written by Dad on the night I was born) It expresses the thoughts of a young father separated from his wife at a key moment.

So here are some of his letters. 

John Frederick Shawcross 2001


  1. First group or letters transcribed in 2001, including:
    1. Soon after induction into Army from Aldershot; (November 1940)
    2. Letter on night of May 1 to 2, 1941(John's birth day);
    3. Letter with wedding anniversay present sent from India;
    4. Airmail of August 31, 1942 ( In 2013 I re-edited this letter to insert the sketches see August 31/42 below.)


I stopped transcribing the letters in 2001 but picked up the task again in 2013 after I had received more following some family events.

  1. Cross House, Torrington 1; (early April 1941) in which Kenneth choose name for John.
  2. Cross House, Torrington 2: (late April 1941) in which Kenneth draws some sketches of  aunts Lucy and Lilly
  3. August 31, 1942; in which Kenneth draws a sketch and asks Ivy to guess what it is.


In July 2013 I had the offer of some help with this work from my niece, Sarah Nosal.  I sent Sarah a scans of the letters.  She transcribed them and then I reviewed the transcription made any necessary edits and then posted the letters below:

  1. Bombay, December 1, 1942: Although he may have just left Egypt: (In which Kenneth talks of his work, his love for Ivy, his admiration for PM Churchill.)
  2. Bombay, December 15, 1942: (In which Kenneth describes some presents he sent, talks about missing his wife and his life in Bombay)
  3. Bombay, January 27 1943: (In which Kenneth describes a typical day of work and his friends and his developing sociability)
  4. Bombay, February 16, 1943: (To Ivy in Harold Park, in which he responds to Ivy's last letter including a reference to Buxton)
  5. Bombay, April 5, 1943: (In which Kenneth says how happy that Ivy is now living with his parents in Timperley, Cheshire)
  6. Bangalore, August 19, 1943: (In which Kenneth recalls his first kiss with Ivy and early dates; also talks about his view of God when a child)
  7. Probably from Bangalore, September 12, 1943. (In which Kenneth tries to persuade Ivy not to move away from his parents home)
  8. Bangalore October 26, 1943: (In which Kenneth describes his holiday at 8000 feet in Ootacomund (or Ooty) a hill station)
  9. India July 7, 1944: (In which Kenneth receives word that Jim Melville has been shot down and injured)