Lieut GS Andrews, RCE
H.Q. Cdn Corps,
England 27 July, 1941
We beat the Nazi's. Your letter of 6 July Arrived a couple of days ago, and with it the carbon of your No. 64 of 30 June, the original of which has not arrived, so I got the sequence OK since yours of the 22 June. Of course your original No 64 may come wandering in late, but if it doesn't, I have the carbon with the next letter anyway.
Your account of your picture-hanging activities were very interesting, and the general effect sounds fine. Glad the Indian family fit in so well, because it is a favorite picture of mine. Wish I had time to find some nice color prints here, Have always wanted to get some of those aquatints, or color wood blocks by, forget the artist's name, think it is Morice, of the old fur brigades in the Northwest territories, and similar sketches of those picturesque times. From what you say, good color sketches will fit in best with the general atmosphere of the living room.
Evidently you have been making quite a showing in the front yard too. the cement block fragments ought to make a nice walk, especially with moss in between. I suppose you will need quite a few items of gardening equipment, lawn mower, hose & reel, forks, shears etc. I am all in favor of getting the best in tools of this kind, and looking after them properly, ie prevent them from rusting. Our situation near the sea will call for some extra precaution from corrosion from the salt spray blowing in from the sea. The old oil can will be a good antidote. I think we should get quite a kick out of the garden.
Will try to find something for Mary Garman. I was out into the village yesterday for a few minutes, looking around for something for your birthday on the 1st Sept., and met an officer of our mess, whose room is next to mine, and mentioned what I was looking for, and why. He got very excited, and thanked me earnestly for reminding him that his wifes birthday was the next day. He had forgotten all about it, and knew that that was why his lady had phoned him from London, where he has a flat, to see if he were coming up to see her today. So, you see, I did my good turn yesterday, quite innocently, and I presume that my soldier friend and his wife are celebrating today, she thinking no doubt what a thoughtful husband she has, always remembers the important things, like anniversaries, birthdays etc. Incidentally, I did not see anything suitable for you, but may have a chance to get up to town next week. Should get it posted, to be sure of reaching you by 1 Sept.
Will try to get a letter off to Cris and Mrs Berg. soon. Have been very busy, as I never seem to get ahead, and I'm sure I never will, because I can see so many things that ought to be done, and nobody else will do them if I don't, and they are important. Chris has a nice big family now, he must be very happy about it. His views on the war etc are quite understandable, and are the right ones, if everybody thought as he does, we wouldn't have any wars, however, unfortunately few people do, so we have to be practical, and defend what is ours, both material and spiritual. I guess it is pretty fundamental philosophy that a thing isn't really worth much if we aren't willing to fight for it, and protect it from those who would come along and smash it, or take it away from us.
It amuses me not a little to notice the frenzied efforts by some to point out that after all there is really much to be admired in the Russians, and that their system of government and attitude toward civil liberty has a lot of good in it, and when it is boiled down to its elements, it is not unlike our own (socalled) Christian formula. "Propitious" tolerance, and sympathy is a pretty cheap article, However, we have needed a little more tolerance here in England, and at home, for Russia, and if the current trend of the war will help to promote a better mutual understanding between Russia and the democracies, it will be pretty good basis for future stability and good feeling between all these great peoples. H.G. Wells says that due to modern transporation, communication, and generation and conversion of power into useful goods, the world has become too small for nationalism, and this war is a result of the effort by the Nazis to assert their nationalism in a world that is really, or ought to be an international community of peoples. Of course he is right, but it is so hard to escape from these habits of thought that have been so deeply ingrained in our make up, during long period of history.
A post-card from Frank Swannell came too, promising a letter to follow. I was over to the Regiment the other evening for dinner, saw Dick Farrow, but Lorne and most of the batteries were away on exercises. Glad you saw Mickey Trew, and hope he will drop in occasionally. I am getting copies of "Photogrammetric Engineering" and "The Canadian Surveyor" direct, and have arranged for other copies to go to Victoria, so that my library set of these public [?] will maintain its sequence. Other odds and ends of this nature, you might as well send along, if you think they will be of interest to me.
Sorry about McKinnon. Give him and Bee my best regards. I should drop him a line.
Capt. Rothery just dropped in for a moment. Vic Bowers, Bert Hammond and I went up to see Mrs. Morris last night, Ecila is away for a while, but the old lady is always very pleased when we come up to see her. I don't get much time for visiting, but its good to get away from the office occasionally, even if the work is not all finished. Haven't been able to get much done reviewing the book for the RGS, but read a little each night before turning out the light and taking down the blackout. The weather hasn't been very nice lately.
Well dears, more next week. In the meantime, all my love,