9 Jan 44
Sunday night, and drizzling outside, its been warm tho, and there has been a brilliant moon, which helps out the blackout a lot. That is one thing the blackout ahs done for town folk, I doubt if they ever knew there was a "beautiful silvery moon", outside of romances. About a month ago, there was a very brilliant frosty moonlight night, and I was coming home through Piccadilly. It struck me then that all the fine buildings and streets looked singularly beautiful, silvery blue light, with inky black shadows and grand silhouettes. It was the full natural effect, without any artificial lighting in the streets at all. Only in War would one be able to see London just in that particular aspect of beauty.
Three airgraphs from you this week. Yours of the 19 and 25 Dec, and the missing one of 14 Nov came straggling along, so once again the sequence is complete. It was nice of Evans to send you a card, I saw him during the week, and thanked him for you.
It was good to learn about Christmas with you and Mary. Hope it's the last one you will have had without the old man there. Glad your flowers came at the right time too.
Last week I got Â£40 off to you, instead of Â£50. Thought I'd better keep the difference here for emergencies. There is still one claim for Â£10 which the Pay services have owed me for 3 months now but like most things, I guess it will come in time, Anyway will include it in my next remittance.
Spent two nights away this week, down in Sussex, at Trorey's company, not far from Haywards. Thought I might get over there but wasn't able to get the time. I was president of a Field General Court Martial, the accused was a half breed lad from northern Alberta. It's the first Court Martial I've had to take, and it is all of three years ago that I was present at one as an "Officer under Instruction". These things are a nuisance, but it was an interesting experience, and I was rather glad, when I found out the details about the accused, that he was being tried before me, because I have lived among just his kind of people, in his native environment, and felt that I could give the case a bit more understanding consideration than most people. Anyway, I feel that Justice was dispensed, in the interest of the accused, the army, and the public. It was rather nice having a chance to visit the Survey companies too, spent two nights there. Enroute back, stopped at Morris's for lunch, and a very good lunch too. Ecila is better after a nasty cold, and Mrs M is as lively as a cricket.
Alf, who has been in hospital for a week with acute tonsils came back yesterday, but is a bit wobbly. One of my corporals is just back from a spell in hosp too. As for me, I think I have my cold undercontrol, can make one hankie do for a whole day now, and don't have that feverish feeling in the evenings.
Got a cable from the Forest Branch yesterday, congrats for getting the MBE, it was nice of them, and tell them I appreciated getting their wire. I may not have time to write for a while. I got a nice little note from the Chief Engineer, Brigadier McLean, who is the Boss of all the RCE's in the Army here. Think I was the only RCE officer in the list this time. Well dear it won't go to my head, I realize the "rain falls on the Just and the Unjust".
The week brought bad news, from Bill Hall, who is wounded and I'm afraid pretty badly, but he has asked me not to let the folks at home know that. He seemed cheerful , and wrote a good letter. Evidently he was lucky to come out of it alive. It struck home at me, the, to get the news. I guess that's the way, when it strikes one who is close to you. Bill is tough though, and has lots of guts, and will be alright, physically and mentally, Not sure where they will send him to convalesce hope they will get him back to Victoria. He's done his part in this war. I hope Dad Hall won't take it too badly. Be as cheerful as you can if you are talking about it to him.
Have seen nothing of Axel yet, and don't know where he is. Tell Judy I got two parcels for him from her, and will try to find out the best thing to do about them.
Have been at the office all day today, got a few hours in on my plotter. It requires a lot of work, and I can only have the evenings and weekends at it. Hope I can get it ready for the big show. There are so many people I should write too, but simply haven't the time. A nice little letter from Mrs Benton came, Also got parcels from Nora, Bill Andrews, Leila, an airgraph from Micky Trew, Miss Wilde's card, and a card and pipe from the Captain.
Finished Nehru's "Glimpses of World History", and will be sending it along to you. It is one worth having on our library. Have marked some interesting bits, which you might like to look at if you don't feel equal to tackling the whole book.
LOVE TO YOU AND MARY.........................