Baker, James

Letter
Date:
July 5, 1940
To:
Mom
From:
Jim
Somewhere in England

July 5th, 1940

Dear Mom,

As you can see the address is still "Somewhere in England", but it is a different ‘Somewhere' from which I wrote you last time - for we have moved again. We are continually on the move now... never knowing where the next camp will be. We are like a band of gypsies - moving seemingly without purpose or aim. I wish you could see our camp now. We have pitched in a tiny glade with a stream running down one side. It is entirely surrounded by trees and hedges and is secluded a retreat as anyone could wish to find. And here we have made our bivouacs - tiny pup tents made from two ground sheets. It is certainly wonderful to see the ingenuity of some of the builders. I wish I could get a picture of them but all cameras are banned.

The "Seven Day Leave" has started again. The first bunch go tomorrow - or rather they expect to go tomorrow. So I hope to see Edinburgh soon.

Since we have been here, there have been two air raids. Every night we hear planes flying over, ack-ack guns flying, bombs dropping and our fighters' roaring overhead to drive off the invaders. Yesterday afternoon we had a daytime raid and I wish you could have seen the fighters come up. One moment the sky was clear - the next thirteen planes had appeared from nowhere: twelve British and one German. We heard today that a German bomber was brought down in our area so I guess they got it. It is absolutely unbelievable the speed with which these planes move!

I have had some kind of rash on my face for several days now and it is extremely sore. I can hardly shave. I have been to the doctor about it but he can't - or won't help me, so I guess I'll have to do some doctoring myself. I think I must have got it in London last week when I was up on a short pass. I was shaved by a barber and I was not very impressed with his hygiene methods. I hope it is not barber's itch because I hear that is a terrible disease. But until it is all cleared up I will not be able to go anywhere and I certainly won't go on leave. So I hope it clears up soon.

It is extremely hard to realize that we are at war... I am sprawled out on the grass in the lovely peaceful glade listening to the radio playing and writing a letter home. The sun is setting - amber, red, (blood red too) blending to a pale pink interspersed here and there with tiny purple clouds. It is so quiet and beautiful and still. The brook babbles merrily over our little dam - rolling down to the sea; heedless of worry or care. How I envy its seemingly carelessness....but there goes our nightly patrol of three Hurricanes to remind me of why we are over here. All I hope is that we are on our way home soon but I must confess things look pretty black over here at present.

And now I must say Good bye for the present:

Love to all,

Jim

** One letter missing due to enemy action

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