Capt GS Andrews, RCE
HQ Cdn Corps
Cdn Army O'seas
England, 11 Jan 42
A good week for mail, your letter of the 14 Dec, one from the Bonnycastles, and cards from Jack Benton and the Sones arrived on Thursday. Fortunately, the carbon of yours of the 7th Dec took the place of the original of that date, which has not arrived yet. Earlier in the week, letters from Hugh Hodgins and Betty Eggleston arrived. I still don't know the married name of my sister Leila.
It is interesting to get your first letter since balloon went up in the Pacific. Am glad to note that you don't seem to be very nervous about it, although no doubt for my benefit you are not perhaps, telling me all that enters your mind on that point. The main thing is not to worry. It seemed funny to think of you making blackout curtains for our new peaceful little home. It will be interesting to get the reactions of the various members of our community back home. No doubt Frank Swannell feel quite pleased that hei s after all on the front line. It will be too bad for any Japs who try to call on Mrs S. Somebody from Canada recently, said that Japs there are getting pretty chesty these days. Well, for that kind, I hope the authorities don't waste any sympathy. however it must be pretty tough for many native born Japs whose sympathies are really with us.
Am glad the money arrived in time for Xmas. It was nice of you to send $25 to Leila, and I think your other Xmas shopping was just right.
Glad you were able to send something to Caroline, she is indeed a good friend. I wrote Haggmans as soon as I learned of Lashley's accident, and am glad to learn from you that he is recovered, and back on the job. The must be very proud of him, and no doubt he has grown up. Hope that will complete his bad luck.
Have just brewed a cup of your coffee on the fire place in my office. That combination of Nestles and klim is just ideal, and it is so nice to be able to make a hot drink in the evening when you are working. You would laugh the way my little pepper mill travels up and down the long table in the Mess. Quite a lot of the officers have developed quite a taste for it, and ask for it even if at the far end. It is a little wooden mill, shaped like a little barrel and they call out "Roll up the Barrel". The peppers you sent are lasting well, have not finished the first lot yet, and the pkg you included in the Xmas parcel would last a long time. I get quite a kick out of this, and it seems as though you yourself have had a part in each meal. Col Hepburn, the senior padre, quite a character, calls me the pepper pot.
The picture of Mary enclosed in your last letter is sweet, and I have it pinned up where I can see it from my desk. I don't think she misses very much. I still have a few pictures cards for her, but when they are gone, may have difficulty getting more which are nice. Any way they have given her some fun, and perhaps we shall find something to carry on with when they are finished. Have not been up to town for a long time, and it is not so easy to get there now. However, will keep my eyes open next time I go, and will see what I can find. May go up for the week end when I give my paper to the RGS on a monday, that is if I can get it finished in time. It isn't going ahead very fast, I always seem to have to use far too many words. Whenever I do anything, it is usually the hard way, and may be that is why I progress so slowly.
Have been busy this week marking my name on all my decent linen, hankies etc. The laundries here have been awful, I've lost so many nice hankies, by having them substituted by horrible cheap ones belonging to someone else. I got fed up with this so got some marking ink, made a stencil out of a piece of kodatrace, kind of a thin celluloid, and got all the good things labelled, including the ties and sox you sent for Xmas, and what I still have of the nice hankies you sent previously.
I don't think you need to send me any cigarettes, I seem to get enough to meet my requirements from the Forest Branch, and the odd parcel that my other friends and relatives send from the Forest Branch, and the odd parcel that my other friends and relatives send from time to time. The Dixie Plug, however, is my mainstay, and what you send, with the odd plug from Hugh Hodgins, has just kept me going nicely. The facilities, arranged for sending smokes to the boys here, have done a great deal to keep up morale, and the whole thing is very commendable. For a while quite a few parcels were stolen, but they have got that pretty well under control, so that the only losses now, are what our friend Hitler sends to Davie Jones.
I should write a lot of letters to all the kind people who sent me parcels and nice letters at Xmas. However, I don't know when I shall get time to do it. Be sure and tell Swannells that their parcel arrived safely, and am saving the cake for a little while, when the Xmas luxuries have worn off a little. I certainly hope your table mats got through finally.
Well it is getting late, and I seem to be making more and more mistakes. Guess I'd better be getting off to bed. The weather is cold and crisp now, no snow yet tho.
Give my love to Gertrude.
Glad you got some gloves, you should have got a dress too.