Baker, James

Letter
Date:
November 28, 1943
To:
Mom and Dad
From:
Jim
November 28th, 1943
Chatham, NB.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Another Sunday has come and nearly gone and we are one week nearer to our graduation and to our exams. They have moved the momentous day forward a week though and given us a week's Christmas leave which is useless to all except two members of our class. All the rest cannot possibly get home for Xmas because they live at W/peg. or points beyond. So we have to decide what to do with ourselves over Christmas. I can't make up my mind what to do. Whether to go to Toronto, Montreal or whether to stay here and study. I suppose the latter would be the better thing to do really because I would be learning something and saving my money, but I am getting so darn stale lately that honestly, I can't think straight anymore! Maybe a good rousing holiday would clear the cobwebs out of my brain. I might even go down to Moncton to stay with my friends there, but I'll decide when the time comes. In the meantime, I have to decide what I am gong to do between now and Xmas. We write our first final exam next Wednesday, photography it is and a very dirty subject. There is so much arithmetic attached to it, and you know how poor I always was at Arithmetic. I have been studying like mad every spare moment, but I have so much other stuff to do that I never seem to have time for everything. All things here are a mad rush and I have never scrambled so much in my life as I seem to do here all the time. I plotted 36 star shots today and seeing that it takes nearly 8 minutes to do one, you can see I was pretty busy. Besides that, I managed to get in 3 hours preparation on tonight's flip (it was cancelled, that's why I am writing this letter - otherwise I should be nearly down to Fredericton by now) and an hour's study on photography. This was supposed to have been Sunday - our day of rest, but there seems to be no such thing for us. I am also on CB. for having forgotten about one of my extra classes, my officer gave me four days which has made me feel very angry, I was up on an afternoon flip, came down late and forgot all about this extra class. Any other office on the station would have forgotten about it, but not this one. He's called "The Little Blonde Jesus" so I guess you can see what kind of a guy he is. I thought it was pretty petty and small of him and I hope he's satisfied now that he has used his authority and shown up his petty weaknesses.

By the way, we went pistol shooting at the range the other day and I had beginner's luck, got 73 out of 90 and won the pot for $1.60 which we had collected amongst ourselves before the flight began. I really enjoyed that immensely and I think I could become an expert at it in a very short time. The axe has really fallen amongst our little group and we are greatly reduced in size. We have had six washouts and four of them have been voluntary, one for medical reasons and one from failure to work. So, that again does not show any too well for Mr. Board. There are only nineteen of us left now from the original 25 and I think that some of those left are wavering. It's a killing pace to try to keep up, I sometimes catch myself wondering whether it's worth it.

I have several letters from Mary lately and they are upsetting me quite a lot. She seems to have been on an awful lot of wild parties lately, every letter is a description of some wild escapade or other. She is so disappointed that she is not getting anywhere just as I was, but whereas she was there to help me when I ran my head against a stone-wall, I am not there to help her now that she needs help so badly. She does need help, I can almost hear her pleading for it and yet, there is so little I can do. I try to write as best I can, but it so ineffective coming across 3000 miles of ocean. I do hope I can get back to England soon because I do so want to see her again. I have had a letter from Mrs. Beverly also, and I think she is just a little worried too. But why am I bothering you with my worries? I guess you have enough of your own without me adding mine!

How's the job coming Dad? Did you sort out Mom's parcel that I sent last week? By the way, I have nearly enough chocolate bars saved up to make a parcel, so you can expect that sometime in the near future. Were you able to get me any ‘Observer' badges Mom? Remember, I don't want the N. or B. but the silver ‘O'. Must close now, go - take a shower and get ready for bed.

Love to all,

Jim


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