Baker, James

Letter
Date:
September 14, 1940
To:
Mom
From:
Jim
Somewhere in England,
14th Sept, 1940

Dear Mom,

It is about 2 wks since I have received a letter from you and I am beginning to wonder what has happened to it. The other fellows are all receiving mail but there has been none for me: which is very strange, because I usually get more than most of the others. O well, perhaps I'll get some more tonight.

Well I suppose you are very worried about the reports of the bombings which have been taking place over here. Well you can set your mind at rest. They are the most boresome, unexciting things I have ever been through. I have seen about 30 and have been in - right in the midst of, five. The planes come over, drop their bombs, are engaged and driven off by our fighters: and that's all! Our camp is directly in the path of the planes which bomb London and 4 times a day - as regular as clockwork, we have to drop all our work and get in the trenches. The raids take place punctually at 12.20 PM, 4.10, 7.15 and 9.35. They are so regular, that we can set our watches by them. But last night they tried a few new tricks and so did we. The bombers came over every five minutes all night long from 9.30 PM to 5.30 AM. And to counteract this raid, our Ack Ack guns put up a continuous barrage of explosive shells. Every gun fired continuously at the rate of 8 shells per minute and as there are nearly 500 guns in this area, you can imagine how noisy it was around here. But we all slept through it. The only reason I heard it at all was that I was on guard; so had a chance to enjoy the fireworks!

Of course we have not got off scott-free. East London is practically wiped off the face of the earth! The first raid finished it for the first wave of bombers set fire to the East India Docks and of course, they formed a perfect beacon for the following waves of planes. Tons of bombs were dropped that night...and last night another fire was started three times - but each time, the AFS put it out. Otherwise it was very unexciting.

Well, I'm afraid there is not very much I can tell you about myself this time. I am enclosing some pictures that I had taken up in Scotland. Do you like them? I got 48 positions for 3 shillings.

If this war scare blows over we are supposed to go into billets around here. As you know Hitler had threatened to invade us on Friday 13th - tomorrow. We are all ready for him and I think he'll get a great surprise. Well, I guess that is all for this time. I have been digging trenches all day and I'm terribly tired. My head aches too, so I guess I'll say Good bye -

Love to all,

Jim



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