Baker, James

Letter
Date:
January 11, 1940
To:
Mom
From:
Jim
Somewhere in England
Jan. 11th, 1940

Dear Mom,

It is Christmas Day again in barracks for the parcel post has just arrived. There were exactly 150 bags of parcels: just think of all the work. I got my two parcels. Yours had been broke in transit but the contents were all okay. Boy was that cake swell! Moist as if it was just baked and ripe as a berry....it was lovely! It made me so doggone homesick, I almost felt like crying. The hankies are what I needed most. I have none left as I sent them all to the laundry. The badge is key too. I'm going to polish it and pin it inside my tunic and wear it for a good luck piece. I am wearing my money belt right now and am going to wear it all the time. I haven't anything to put in it till next payday but that's okay. I just got back from leave a week ago you know. The Legion's Auxiliary parcel arrived okay. It sure was swell of them too. I was yearning for some candy so much. We get so little sugar now you know. Rationing and all that. Will you please - in your capacity as secretary, convey to them my heartfelt thanks.

I'm sorry to say that I didn't get a chance to see my folks in Toronto but we never went anywhere near Toronto. We passed through Sudbury and Smith Falls so you see we were away north of Toronto.

The boys got some socks and comforters issued to them today that the Auxiliaries in Canada sent them. I didn't get any as I was away on a parade for new shoes at the time and there was none left when I got back. I sure could use a nice woolen scarf now too. It's so darned cold over here that we are all almost dead. Pretty near every one of us has a cold, flu or something. I am sick myself. As a matter of fact, my sinus and headlock is almost gone now but some of the boys are desperately sick.

The weather has been pretty rough here lately. It is cold every morning. Such a damp penetrating cold it is. It goes right through my jacket, great-coat, sweater, shirt and underwear. I have never been so cold in all my life. The only warm place is our barracks room...they are all steam-heated.

Please find enclosed another poem I have written. Place it in my book along with the rest. Has my letter with the articles arrived yet? What do you think of it? Does the editor want any more? I won't write anymore until I know if he wants it.

If you could send a bunch of old magazines, books or anything to read it certainly would be welcome. We have nothing to do in the evening. It is no use going down-town at night because of the blackout. There is nothing to do when we do go down. I don't drink and every other place is a pub so there's no use me going out. I am trying to join the library but I have to make a 10 shilling deposit before I can draw a book so I'll have to wait till next payday.

Goodbye for now
Love as always,

JIM

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