C/O Officers' Mess,
Survey Training Centre, R.E>
30 April, 1940.
Well at last it looks as though we are to be settled for a while, Bill is here too, we don't know how long, but probably for a month, and it is possible we may be here 3 months. We came down from London yesterday - and are comfortably settled, although quarters are a bit crowded.
This is an interesting part of England, on the South coast, not far from Southhampton. "Hants." stands for Hampshire.
I ran out of ink last night, and it was late after a busy day. This is a training centre for Royal Engineer Survey men & officers. We have just learned today that we are going to a nearby fort - 2 miles away for some technical training - later we will probably come back here for some soldiering. The address as given is o.k. as this is the administration centre for our activities.
The O.C. and other officers here seem to be a fine lot of men, they have been most friendly and helpful. A large proportion of them seem to have joined up from the Colonial Services mostly in Africa.
We get a splendid view of the south coast, and waters which make up the harbours of Portsmouth & Southhampton as we are on a hill some 400 feet above sea-level - a commanding site. However the weather has been poor for visibility. On clear days the Isle of Wight is visible lying off the coast.
Our days have been full, trying to absorb some of the complicated & colossal administrative machinery of an establishment of this kind. I guess we shall get it all straightened out as time goes on.
Our future movements are an enigma but for the time being we should be able to learn a lot here. I am gradually getting the feel of army dress - and habits. of course I wish now that I had had more of it in the past. We are keeping in touch with the Canadian Military H.Q. in London, as it is not impossible that we may be transferred back to the Canadian Army at some future date if we fit in better that way.
I am hoping there may be a letter come down here from London soon - its just about a month now since I heard from you - and that was your own sweet voice.
I suppose you have closed up the house, and are now down home - don't let them spoil Mary! Give my very best to all, and Love to you & Mary