Baker, James

Letter
Date:
December 24, 1942
To:
Mom and Family
From:
Jim
Dec. 24th, 1942

Dear Mom and Family:

The first good news is that I have just received your Xmas parcel. Two days before Xmas it arrived which I call very good timing on your part so, I am going to save it and open it tomorrow morning as I lie in bed. It will almost be like opening my Christmas stocking again! I only hope it contains some socks as I am running rather short. I seem to go through them awfully fast right now. My other mail has got hung up somewhere though yours, another and the Legion parcel are the only ones I have received so far. I expect sometime after the Xmas rush is over. Never mind. I will have two Xmases instead of one. They are not giving us any Xmas leave but instead they are providing a lot of free entertainments. There is a whist-drive tonight, a free-smoker and a cinema. Tomorrow we have a soccer-match in the morning, a huge dinner, a cinema in the afternoon and a free variety concert in the evening. We have no parades at all so I will be in bed till about 10 AM., as I don't want to see the soccer match. We have three days free this time because Xmas is on Friday and we don't work on Sat. or Sunday here. It will be the same at New Year's too.

Now comes the real purpose behind this letter. I wrote a few days ago about it but I can't remember whether or not I posted it. What I want to know is whether you still need my monthly allowance to run the house and keep you going, or whether you can get along without it. I want you to be truthful with me though - if you need it as it, tell me so and I shall leave it as it is. But if you do not need it, I will stop Assigning it and put it into my ‘Deferred Pay Account' instead.

There are many reasons why I want to do this but the best three are:

1. When I get further on in my training, I shall know definitely whether I am going to be commissioned or not. If I am, I shall need some money upon which to live until my first cheque comes through the bank, which generally takes about 3 months. If I have a ‘Deferred Pay Account', I am paid all the money that has accumulated in it immediately I am commissioned and therefore, I will not have to trouble you to send me money, but can live on it instead.

2. If I ever get really hard-pressed and need money in a hurry - on compassionate grounds say or when I am on leave, I can always get it immediately, again without troubling you.

3. The only other time I can draw the Deferred Pay is if I get married (which God-forbid while there is a war on) but if I do, I shall have again something to pay for the expenses. Now, I don't want you to immediately jump to the conclusion that I am going to get married and then get in a terrific flap, because I am not. I am merely mentioning all the possibilities.

The first is the real reason behind the whole thing. Now I want you to be honest with me. If you can't get along without it please tell me so and I shall leave it. I don't want you to feel that you have to do it and place a strain upon yourself in consequence. But I should feel much better if I could get a little money of my own which I could draw upon in case of emergency without troubling you about it. I expect to be another six months at least before I get commission if I do, and at $20.00 a month and maybe $35.00 later on, I should be able to save about $150.00 which should last me over 3 months. Though when I was on leave for 31 days, I spent 34 pounds which was rather silly. I guess I was just ‘sowing my wild oats' though. Well, my pen is dry, so am I.

Love to all,

Jim



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