Lieut. GS Andrews, RCE
H.Q. Cdn Corps,
Canadian Army O/S
England, 20 July 1941.
No mail from Canada during the week past, but we can't complain, as the service has been very good lately. Possibly something will come along this week.
The weather has been cold and wet since my last letter, so there has been no incentive to do any swimming. To-day is bright, but not warm, maybe summer weather is on its way again. Was busy all last week giving a course of lectures and exercizes to the personnel of the Survey Coy, on the use of oblique photographs in mapping. They are affine bunch of lads, and pretty keen, so that it was a pleasure doping out some good stuff for them. Lyle Trorey is officer in charge of them at the Coy, and the effects of his stewardship of them is apparent. They are all anxious to test out any methods you give them in theory, and if you give them a formula, they want the proof, which is a good sign. Lyle has done very well at the coy, and as long as he stays on the wagon, things go nicely, and fortunately he doesn't slip off very often. He and Capt Gamble were up here for supper last night, but didn't stay late.
Vic Bowers and I were invited to the Monis' for dinner on Wednesday evening, and found when we got there that it was Ecila's birthday, same day as Mary's, so the 16th was celebrated here too, and of course they were delighted to know it was Mary's birthday too. It was a real bang up dinner too, crab salad, with fresh green onions, cuc's, etc, lemon pie, a delicious soufflÃ©, and fresh strawberries and cream. I don't know where they got all the stuff, it was a treat anyway. Ecila's friend, Miss Wagner, who drove me home told me that Ecila is 43. She is no spring chicken, but she is a real good head.
The course has kept me busy, in most nights working up the dope into proper shape, and incidentally I learned a lot too. One other night to a show in Epsom, the "Invisible Women" funny and a good change. Have received the book which Mr Hinks wants me to review for the Geog. Journal. It is called "Focus on Africa", published by the American Geog. Society, and a beautiful job, profusely illustrated with very good air photographs. Written by an American doctor, who made the trip from Capetown to Cairo with his wife, in a Bellanca. It will take a little time to go through the text, but it is a pleasant sort of a job.
A letter arrived from Bill Hall last week, quite a long one for Bill, and it was very interesting. when I hear from Bill, it makes me rather dissatisfied with my army history since he left. As he says, we never should have split up. However, although this is not so spectacular, what I am doing here, and although promotion seems to be very remote, my time since New Years has been very worthwhile, and in the long run, more important than if I had gone to Africa. Also, we have been much better off financially, which is an important consideration for a married man. Still I envy Bill, seeing a new part of the world, and taking part in an active and fascinating campaign. Will try to get a letter off to him this week. It seems to take about 3 months for a letter to travel one way to where he is.
The Russians have kept Hitler fighting all out for over a month now, and no one can predict what the outcome will be. It must be harder for the Nazi's to maintain their onslaught, the farther in they go. Then it is a question how long they can keep up the pressure at such a high pitch. Anyway things are happening, and in the meantime we should be able to hit him harder from this side.
I just found out that Col Hepburn, the chaplain I mentioned in my last letter, spent some years out on the BC Coast Mission, before the last war. We were discussing BC weather at breakfast this morning. Dick Farrow was in the office the other day. He is looking well, and cheerful. I must try to get over to the Svy Regiment to see Lorne and the others. Had a note from Alec Gordon too, he has not been able to get down this way yet, but hopes to look me up when he can get some leave.
Had to go up to Harrow this morning, to see one of the Kodak research staff, Dr Pitt, who seems to be a very nice chap. His wife has just gone to Scotland for a month, so he was down at his office and works this am. He showed me some interesting things, in addition to the business I went up about. Harrow is quite a nice place, I have never taken time to go into have a look at the old college, but the cluster of spires on the hill not far from the Kodak place looks as though it were an interesting place.
Don't get much time to read, but picked up a book in the mess the other day written by a special patient of the Solarium, at Mill Bay. It is called "The Lame Duckling" of something. The author a lady, tells about the everyday life of the children in the Solarium and I have rather enjoyed browsing through it, in odd snatches, while digesting my supper or lunch.
I guess that Mary thinks she is pretty smart now, being two years old.
I must try to find some new books for her.
There isn't much more of interest this week, so will ring off, with heaps of love to you both,