Baker, James

Letter
Date:
July 2, 1941
To:
Mom
From:
Jim
July 2nd, 1941

Dear Mom,

This will be only a very short note I am afraid because there is not very much to say for one thing, and I have to enclose a lot of things for another. Enclosure No.1 is a British propaganda leaflet of the kind the RAF have been dropping in Belgium. It is printed in two languages as you can see: Flemish which is very nearly French and Walloon which is similar to Dutch or German. The leaflets were dropped all around Godstone one night, for what reason we cannot possibly find out. Either the pilots made a mistake in their calculations or there was an accident and they were dropped prematurely. Anyhow they came fluttering down and we found them littering the common next morning. I have been able to read most of the French with the help of Hilary Hart my school teacher friend, and we both agreed that it was not our idea of efficient propaganda. However - be that as it may, it is very interesting reading.

Enclosure No. 2 is the programme of the Dominion Day sports held yesterday in Redhill. It was a grand day and positively the biggest crowd I have seen in England was there. There must have been 5 or 6ooo people there. The whole Canadian Corp. was represented and civilians were admitted free so you can guess how many of them there were. The King was also there. He came at 2 o'clock and stayed till nearly 3.30; so of course, we felt very greatly honoured. He looks wonderfully healthy now - happier too than when I saw him last. He has a suntan nearly as deep as mine and you know how black I get. I was sitting only about 15 ft. from him so I had a good chance to look at and watch him. He seems to be much less nervous and retiring than he was before and talks all the time. He was very interested in the athletics and watched the tug-of-war with great interest. He even cheered when the team which he favoured won.

I have ticked off the events which we won - by me I mean the PPCLI. We beat all our opponents by 37 pts. to 19. Two of our boys amassed 22 points between them. So it was a great day for the Pats and for our Brigade.

Then last night I went into town to see Mrs. Barnard's sister and Winnie and Pat. Pat has just got a letter from Will her fiancÚ who is out East and of course, she is very happy. She gets more beautiful every time I see her but every time I tell her, so she just laughs and tells me I'm Irish. We are going to go punting on the Thames this Sunday if I can get up to town.

About two months ago I fell of a tank and hurt my arm and it has been bothering me ever since. I have been up to see the MO this morning and he thinks I must have cracked the bone, so he is sending me over to Leatherhead to have it X-rayed. I hope it isn't because I don't want to go in hospital while this lovely weather lasts. It has been grand for the past fortnight. The sun has shone all day long and there is hardly even a cloud in the sky. I have been swimming nearly every day and am as brown as a berry now. Begins to feel more like home every day.

I am sitting in Mrs. Hart's living room writing this, because she insists that I should come up to see her as often as I can. Her son has gone away for three months and she misses him so much that she wants me to take his place, or so she says. Anyway she treats me wonderfully so I don't mind. Hilary's girl friend was just up from Brighton and she says that Brighton has been bombed once or twice so I guess I had better go down to see Aunt Millie. You know I haven't seen her since I left there last March. I feel so dispicable and yet I have so many friends whom I like to see more, that I just haven't had time to get around to it. I know it is a terrible thing to say, but it's true. I have a lot of mail to answer this week too. Nearly 14 letters. Had another letter and poem published in the Wnpg. Free Press and a very nice comment from the editor. So I am on top of the world again.

Well cheerio for now and write soon,

Jim



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