30 Cdn Air Svy Liaison Sec, RCE
Canadian Army Overseas.
“D” DAY, 6 Jun 44.
The big thing about today, besides being D Day, is that your letter of 28 May arrived. You can imagine the excitement here, the Sergeant came into my office this morning just after breakfast and said that the German radio was announcing the landing of Allied Tps on the French coast. Later followed the official announcement from Eisenhaur’s HQ, and then the usual news bulletins. My draftsman who is pinch-hitting as cook for us has the only radio in the establishment, so we congregated in the kitchen for the various bocasts. They all say there was a terrific amount of air activity during the night but am afraid I slept through it all. However, today, the skies over head have thundered with recurrent waves of aircraft. Of course we hear and see only those which happen to have their course near our little spot of England. It must be terrific. I couldn’t help thinking of the lads making their way across the beaches of the French coast, they are probably doing it this minute too, some will fall I look at my boys here, and hope that I shan’t have to see any of them fall. But others will go on, hundreds, thousands,--millions. with all their gear, paraphinalia, stores, transport, what a tremendous thing it is. They will go on and on and when they have gone enough, it will be the beginning of the end. And that’s what the whole world is waiting for.
You may be thinking that we who are here, not yet in it feel out of the picture, but in my little section we are in very high spirits, and some day I’ll be able to tell you why. One of the boys has his birthday today, and his name begins with D. Your cake arrived yesterday, so we had some of for supper todinght by way of celebration. It is a very fine cake. Took part of the other one over to Morris’s and they got a big thrill out of it, including the wax paper in which it was wrapped. Apparently wax paper is highly prized by women folk here.
In April the boys wanted to start a sweep, with the bets on when D Day would be. The ante was two bob a guess. I only had time to think about making one guess, so made it June 3. Mother’s birthday is 2 Jun, so thought I would make it the next day. My guess was 3 days closer than any other so the pot was mine. Would rather it had been one of the men, but that’s the way those things go. The boys might think I had some inside dope but of course I knew no more than they. In fact the last couple of weeks I have wondered if there would be any D Day at all. The reaction on all the allied people should be tremendous, they will feel that at last we have started and we’ll all work like hell to speed the process, and the end.
Its wonderful to hear about Mary, perhaps we’ll be all together in a year, before she is much more than a year older. I begrudge every month of her growing up without being able to be there. Have been far too busy during the last few months to do anything further on the little brother angle.
Haven’t seen Bert Hayward for a couple of weeks, altho he phoned the other day, just to see how I was, and for the latest news of Bill. I think I asked him how it would be to subdivide the Mill Bay property into two parcesl, but that was along time ago, and have forgotten what he said, but think he thought it would spoil it. I would love you to get a ride up there with the Rodds, and get your first hand reactions to the place. Anyway, there is no hurry about doing anything, or even trying to decide whether we want it or not. Sometimes I feel a bit unsettled, and wonder if I can see any kind of a future in BC. Am sure I would rather live there than anywhere I know of, and have seen nothing yet which would lure me away, even the prospects of a job for the Ottawa Govt. Think we had better sit tight till I get back, but of course we can keep our eyes open.
The weather has not been too inspiring lately, not exactly cold, but dull. If it would only rain and do the crop sand gardens some good it wouldn’t be so bad, but it just seems to sulk. Had some work to do over the weekend, but about 3pm Sunday got to the stage where my efficiency dropped to zero, so motor-biked over to Morris’s, Bert Hammond was there, so we stayed to supper. I finished cutting up another tree, quite a good one this time, a dead pine, retrieved from the next property on the pretext that it was threatening Morris’s fence. It will add a nice rick to their next winter’s supply, and I’m thinking next winter may be just as tough for the people here as any of the war winters so far. There is quite a nice little bit of wood I cut last year left over too. Mrs Morris still makes it her daily chore to go out and fill the kindling basket with dry twigs and branches. She enjoys the wood business as much as I do.
Mary’s letter arrived yesterday too, a very nice oriental sailing boat with very Nilish looking sails, and even a palm tree on the shore. Dont know what to send for her birthday, the books seem to be getting worse and worse. When I get home we’ll make a real swing, a boat, and a high bar. She’ll be a real tomboy.
Will write to Olive Andrews right away, and will send her the money direct. It is good of her sister Ruby to be so generous. Ruby is a clever woman, and seems to have done very well financially. Had an airletter from the Andrews at Abbottsford. Well dear, that’s about all this time. Am busy writing a long technical treatise, like doing the work, experiments, etc, but hate writing it all up for the dumb to read. A big hug and kiss for both of you.