Baker, James

Letter
Date:
February 22, 1940
To:
Mom
From:
Jim
February 22, 1940

Dear Mom,

I've got the day off so I've decided to write a few letters. As I told you in the last letter, I'm now working in the officer's mess. I like the work all right but the day is extremely long, from 6..30 AM to 9.00 PM, so you see we have no free evenings except our one day off. Mine comes on Thursday which is today. I'm going to go down to the show. "Nurse Edith Cavall" is showing and the boys say it is a good picture. I've been to the show more often in the past five months than all the other years of my life. It is one of our favourite forms of amusement over here, in fact one could almost say our only form of amusement. The dances cannot be called dances at all for there are about 50 women to 500 men. You get out on the floor and if you get half a turn around the floor you are extremely lucky. Every dance is a tag dance. They have a new dance craze over her now called the Boomsa-Daisy. If it ever gets to America it will sweep the country just like the Lanbeth Walk did.

I went out to the range yesterday. We traveled about 25 miles through the loveliest countryside I've ever seen. Spring is just around the corner and everything is just beginning to look fresh and green. My score was rotten! absolutely rotten. We were firing from the 300 yds. point. I hit the target once in the 10 rounds rapid fire. I only hit one snap target out of five and only got 14 out of 20 in the application. My total score was 18 out of 75. Pretty horrible eh?

I've been expecting letters for about 3 days now but no Canadian mail has arrived yet. I guess the convoy has been held up. We'll probably get some in a couple of days.

During the past few days we have been listening to Lord Haw-Haw, the German propaganda agent who broadcast news in English every night: the German version of course. He is a fugitive member of the English nobility - Lord Somebody or Other. He was accused of incensing the English people by Nazi propaganda, put on trial for treason and had all his property and money confiscated. When war broke out the police found that he had skipped the country a few hours previously. He has been educated at Oxford and is immensely clever as is shown by the clever way he twists and distorts the truth and turns it into German propaganda. And his hatred of the English is simply appalling. Every word he utters simply drips with scorn and hatred. His sarcasm bites like a knife. During the past week as you know, the German ship Altmark was caught and 299 English prisoner-of-war were rescued off her and of course Germany has been simply wild about it. They called it the most dastardly, blood-thirsty act of piracy committed by a land of wild, blood-thirsty, ravenous savages since the time of the Spanish Main. They say the Altmark and her seamen were unarmed and helpless whereas machines were mounted on the deck, the crew were all armed with rifles and two pom-pom guns were mounted on the bow and stem. Oh! I wish you could have heard the concentrated stream of venom and hatred which pours from the German propaganda agency. It would have given you a clearer insight into how the German people are being fooled and misled.

I'm going into Aldershot on Saturday to get your brooch. It should get to you by about March 6th. I hope you like it. It is made from one of my old Collar badges. It is P. Patricia's coat of arms. I am also sending you a souvenir of the Inspection which you should get pretty soon so please be on the lookout for them.

Well I guess that's all. How is Dad getting along? I hope he is better now. Is Grandpa alright? Tell Stanley to order a School Annual for me, pay for it out on my money and send it to me. I want to keep in touch with the school as much as possible. Do you know where Bob S. is stationed now? Try to send me his address so I can write to him.

Goodbye for now
Love to all,

JIM

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