Capt GS Andrews, RCE
HQ Cdn Corps,
Cdn Army O'seas.
England, 2 Feb 42.
This is Monday, last night I worked late on my paper, after a rather interrupted day, and rather than attempt a hurried note afterwards, I went to bed. Now I have just finished supper, there is a movie show in the mess at 8 o'clock, which I think I will take in, they aren't bad, sound n'everything, usually a Micky mouse and a wild cowboy or gangster feature, all over by 9:30, which leaves still time to finish up the odd thing before bedtime.
Your wonderful financial statement of 1 Jan arrived on Sat. afternoon, and after reading your paragraph about liquidating out investment in the house, I rushed down to the village and sent a cable "ADVISE NOT SELLING HOUSE LOVE", one of those slow cables which take about 4 or 5 days to reach Victoria, but I certainly hope you have not done anything. Your remarks, I must confess, had me flabbergasted, and I couldn't quite understand your sudden anxiety about things, as all your previous letters have given me the impression that you were taking everything very calmly, and confidently. In trying to figure it all out, dear, I thought there might be two possible explanations, First, that some swindling real estate people have been talking a lot of bunk to you in hopes of capitalizing on possibilities which they would persuade you to think are probabilities. The other is what as a result of working up our finances, you felt that you had put all our money into something that we might lose, and in that way had made a risky or unwise decision in going ahead with the house, ie that you have taken on your own shoulders all the blame if something should happen to our investment.
Jean, if you only knew how much pride and joy I have had in the way you have handled the whole business of securing for us and our baby, a real wonderful little home of our own, and how fully I have agreed with the wisdom of putting our resources into it, you would never regret for a minute what you have done, and so splendidly done, It has been one of the greatest satisfactions I have had, and the one main thing that has made it easier to be away from you both, knowing that you are secure and independent in our own home. If it goes, I will feel that all that I cherish is adrift, on the loose end, just floating, without any place you can call your own. Now getting down to the practical side of the question, the chance of our house being smashed by enemy action is very remote, even if Victoria should be raided, which I think is unlikely. The thing that always surprised me after each of the blitzes we had here, was the enormous number of homes and buildings that were untouched. If something should happen to the house, as long as you and Mary are alive and well, it doesn't really matter. That is one effect of the blitzes we have seen here, it makes you realize that it is life that really matters, the material things can go and when the storm is over, we can rebuild. The main thing is to have eachother. I am expecting a measure of inflation after the war, it may not be officially called that, to try to prevent panic, but it will amount to the same thing, so that to put all the dollars we can spare into our home, is by far the best risk, and the wisest investment, financially. It would be just like the real estate sharks to try to take advantage of a moment of temporary uncertainty, to grab all the good negotiable property, just like our home. They know full well that the risk is really small, and that property in a place like Victoria is one of the safest bets of all, for security after the war. Don't let them fool you. Another thing, if we sell our house, I will feel that we are funking, and throwing up the sponge to Hitler and his Nipponese acolytes. Now is the time for courage, grim, but unflagging, and confidence in the final outcome, which will be Victory.
Now, Jean, if danger should swing our way, in Victoria, really, I want you to close up the house, and go east and stay with my relatives. I think in that case, we could afford to keep up the payments on the house, and pay your living and travelling expenses as well. Now as far as damage from our own guns is concerned, we have seen lots of shooting here, with big naval guns, right on the next lot, so to speak, and their bark is worse than their bight. What do a few broken windows matter, Our house is low, and on good foundations, there will be no damage from that source of any consequence. No, just when everybody around is in a flap, and jittery, that is the time of all times to be calm, cool, and confident. As Kipling said, "To keep your head, when all about you are losing there's". If you have time, it might be wise to look into the rates for insurance against war damage to property, such as our house and contents. It is tricky business, so you would have to be wary. "Damage from enemy action" would not cover all the risks, a policy should include damage from "defence action" as well. I shouldn't rush into this, but it would be a good idea to investigate it. Now dear, that is quite a lecture, all at once, what do you think about it? Tell me just what your feelings are. I would say put everything we can spare into getting the mortgage paid off as soon as ever we can.
I note from your statement, which is very interesting, and clear and informative, that our assets have increased by over $1700.00 since October 1939. I think that is a splendid accomplishment on your part, especially when my remittances to you were so skimpy during the first year in the army.
To-day, I arranged with the paymaster to send you another Â£20, which should reach you in about 6 weeks. That still leaves me enough to go on leave this month without cutting it too fine.
Ecila Morris was down here to a Mess Dance last Friday, she said that they had received your second parcel, and were so grateful. Evidently the comb was just what she wanted. They think you are far too kind, but it is nice to be able to do something for them after all their kindness to me. Old Mrs Morris is in excellent health this inter, and is certainly a most remarkable old lady. She reminds me so much of my aunt, Nell Stevens, Irene's sister.
You say that you are still due some back pay on my account, as promotion to Captain. Your assigned pay from me started at the $140.00 rate out of my December pay. your allowance of $50.00 as a Captains wife, plus $12.00 for Mary should have started as from 23 August. Best to check up on these things, and if there is any irregularity, give me the exact details if you can, so that I may get it straightened out from this end. I have some good friends in the Pay Corps, who are very obliging.
The weather is a bit wintry, but not at all bad, and its nice to think that the winter is half over. At any rate, the days are getting noticeably longer now, which Is a welcome development. Plan going on leave on the 16th Feb. will have about 10 days. My lecture to the RGS is now scheduled for 2 March, so I should be in good form after a holiday.
Well dear, I sometimes dream of being home with you and Mayr, and it always makes me feel kind of nice, as though I had a real visit, Often there are absurd details, as dreams seem to run to, but they don't matter.
Heaps of Love,
This is an awful picture of me - I really don't look as old yet.
Did your dinner mats arrive?