Baker, James

Letter
Date:
November 18, 1944
To:
Mom and Dad
From:
Jim
November 18th, 1944

Dear Mom and Dad,

I guess it seems like a long time since I last wrote to you and in fact, I guess it is. We are moving very rapidly just now and hardly have time to settle down before they move us again! But we don't really mind because we are getting closer all the time to our goal. We were very lucky last week at Dalton: we were only there 2 weeks and crews are usually 5 or 6 wks. before they get away. But we did one wk. field-training and then straight to ground school and then here. I suppose you will want to know where "here" is: won't you? Well, it's a place called Wombledon and you'll never find it on any map of England. It's about 30 miles straight out of Scarborough in the midst of the South Eastern Yorkshire Moors. It's a tiny little place miles away from anywhere. The nearest village ‘Naughton' is only a mile away but there are three houses, two pubs and that's the village! The nearest town is ‘Pickering' about twelve miles away, but we never go there because we cannot get back again. I hear we may get a couple of days off during our seven weeks here and if we do, I shall go back to Scarborough. Do you remember the letter I showed you that I got from Marie? It said "I am going in to the hospital to get my "th--- out" among other things. I have been asking some of the boys around here and evidently she is still there and up to her old tricks, everyone around here seems to know her. So I guess I'll have to go back to Scarborough to see all the old familiar places. I think Scarborough and Chatham were the two happiest periods of my Service life.

I have just received my Senior Matric course in English. I have decided to take it while I am in Squadron doing my tour. I expect I will have a lot of time on my hands and will be glad of something to occupy my time. I have talked to the Education officer about going back to University afterwards and he advised that I should take English, as it would be the most useful course to me now and later on. It is actually a course of Literature. I can't see why it is called English though, as there is no grammar connected with it. But the literature itself covers a very extensive field indeed and I shall be lucky to get familiar with their contents. When I have done that, I can settle down to detailed study. The texts are very good: "Julius Caesar, The Vicar of Wakefield, Marie Chapdelaine, Alexander's Short Stories and Essays and Alexander's Shorter Poems". So I guess it will be quite interesting and I can write to my heart's content!

By the way - I received your parcel of cigarettes, Grandpa. Thank you very much, my crew is extremely grateful to you because when they came, we were completely out of smokes. Our WAG. smokes over 60 a day! so going without cigs. is a bit hard on him.

I am finding it very hard to write anything at all in this letter as you can probably see, because there is nothing to say! I have just made a great pork sandwich, big enough to break my foot if I ever dropped it on it! One of the boys organized some bread and butter so we are well off. And I received a parcel from Ruth Cotter today so ‘I' am well off.

By the way, have you heard anything from Stan? I have written him several times but have had no reply at all. I guess I'll have to give this up...have nothing to write about.

Love to all as ever,

Jim



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