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Date: February 27th 1940
From
Jim
Letter

The weather over here lately has been simply glorious. I've read dozens of long flattering accounts of an English spring and I must say I didn't see how anything could possibly be so beautiful. But I believe them now. You can form no idea of the glorious feeling of zest and exhilaration which fills you when spring first comes here. The air seems to have such a lively exciting tang to it - very difficult to describe but a pure delight to experience. The birds seem to sing sweeter, the breeze blows softer, the grass and leaves seem greener, the sun shine brighter, the sky is bluer, even the lambs are cuter than any other place I have ever been. I hate to seem a deserter from the ideal of British Columbia, but I can't help myself. Maybe it is because I am homesick and this reminds me so much of home. I don't know I'm sure exactly why it should be, but the fact remains that spring in England is an experience worth traveling from the ends of the earth to enjoy. No wonder Browning wrote his lovely "O to be in England now that April's there" with such a passion of longing in his mind and heart. And you remember that this is only February. What will it be like in April?

I'm afraid our barrack life does not make very interesting letter material and there is absolutely nothing doing around Aldershot that would provide inspiration. Soldiers, soldiers, soldiers; every here you turn you see khaki uniforms. Even some women are dressed in khaki, either at the dictates of fashion or because they are in the ATS - an organization that is an auxiliary to the Army. For the first time in history an army composed entirely of women is to go to France and engage in work right up to the Front Line. They are to be orderlies, truck drivers, stretch-bearers and any other job which crops for which the men cannot be spared. They have the same system of officering as we do too. But one thing worries them which we give no thought to at all. They are beginning to complain at the restrictions place upon them about their hair and dress. They must wear their uniforms at all times except when on leave over two days and they must wear their hair cut unfashionably short. They complain that they are beginning to lose the attention of men "who do not wish to be seen out with a girl who is not glamourously turned out in the latest fashion". Eternal woman! Always must be the centre of admiring male glances, even in a war!

Well I guess that is all. Give a hearty kiss to everyone including yourself.

Goodbye and love,

JIM