Capt GS Andrews, RCE
Cdn Corps HQ
Cdn Army O'seas.
England, 4 January 42
Your letter of 1 Dec arrived yesterday, and a parcel of Dixie Plug from you the day before, so the tobacco situation is well in hand. I feel very spoiled, because parcels also arrived from Uncle Fletcher Andrews, my sister Nora Sloane, and from Olive Andrews. I sent Morris' cake on to them, the piece that was in my parcel, and also a lemon. I also took a lemon up to Mrs Hayward last Sunday, and they are always appreciated. We have been enjoying your Nestle's coffee, and the milk, it means that we can brew a cup of coffee here in the office, when we feel like it, because we can always heat hot water on the fireplace. Am keeping the cake till later, when the Xmas luxuries have been liquidated. A splendid letter arrived from Capt Bowden and one form Miss Wilde. The Captain seemed to be in good form, no doubt he gets more spice out of life since the Pacific is no longer pacific.
I forgot to mention in my letter last week that the day before Xmas, I had a phone call from Jack Anddrews, (Abbotsford) and he had just received a cable announcing the death of his brother Gordon. No details. Poor kid, he was pretty badly broken up about it, but I think it bucked him a little to hear my voice, his only relative in England. I have not yet been able to see him, as he is not close, but have written, and if there is a chance to get near his base, I'll try to see him. He came to see me at the Survey Coy at Xmas a year ago. It will be a hard blow to his family, No doubt you will have given me some details in a letter yet to arrive. I never had a chance to know Gordon, but from your accounts of him he was a good fellow. I gather from your letters that some of the lads who drift in with Gertrudes friends are not quite up to standard. I guess it takes all kinds to make a world, but I would like only nice people to be our guests. No doubt all of them connected with National Defence out there will be a bit more serious now. I hope Gertrude doesn't drink too much.
Your accounts of our neighbours are nice. Evidently they think quite a bit of you. I hope you will be able to come by a nice dog it would be nice for you as well as Mary. I do so much enjoy your descriptions of Mary and her little doings, it makes her and you so much more realistic. There is one little thing I have thought of I would like Mary to grow up with a genuine respect and appreciation of Music. The radio, these days, if allowed to run wild, does more to cheapen good music than anything. So many people let their radios blah away, when they are not really listening, but with their minds on something else. This degrades music. If I had my way, all radios would have a gadget on them to automatically turn off after 20 minutes, then if a person really wanted to hear a program, they could turn it on again for as long as they were really interested. I guess I am a crank, but the fine things of life should be treated with just a bit of formality.
You have not mentioned the difficulties with the furnace, I hope it is working better. And I hope the last Â£20 arrived in time to be used for your and Mary's Xmas presents. We spent a very quiet New Years here, Somehow this doesn't seem to be the time for gay celebrations. A little relaxation is necessary, but making whoopee just doesn't seem to fit in with the seriousness of the world situation now. I hope you do not worry about any danger threatening the Pacific Coast. I think Japan will be too wise to disperse her efforts by anything like that. Her submarines will no doubt be lurking around off the coast, but I think that will be the extent of her reach. They might try to pull off a nuisance raid, just for publicity effect, but no doubt there is a vigilant patrol of the whole Coast, especially after the lesson we learned when they started in the Pacific. It would be hard for her to move in close enough for striking without being detected in plenty of time for more than adequate counter moves by us.
I have been pretty busy lately. Have been making some progress with an idea which has been baffling me for some time, and so far the results are encouraging. To-day I worked on my paper for the Royal Geographical Society. When I get the first draft done, it will take quite a bit of working over, and boiling down, and curing, that takes time, so am trying to get through the first draft early. Am scheduled to give it sometime in Feb. Afterwards, if official duties are not too heavy, I am going to try for two weeks leave.
Have made a good start on the Xmas book you sent. It is interesting as an insight to the kind of people of an important part of Russia, and I am all the more surprised now, at their unity in the present struggle. What a terrible thing a civil war is. It is one thing to fight a foreign foe, but how much more frightful to be destroying relatives and friends.
The winter so far has been mild, and not as wet as it might be either. We had a movie show in the barracks tonight, Rather trashy, but it's a change.
I had a very good letter from Mickey Trew recently, and wrote him on New Years day, I told him to call in to see you once in a while. He is a very fine chap, I haven't heard from of of Jack Benton for a long time, and wonder if he is on his way overseas.
Well dear, it is bedtime, and there isn't much more of interest now. I often think of things to tell you during the week, and of course, they slip my mind when it comes time to write. It must be the fear of the typewriter.