c/o Chief Postal Censor
9 June, 1940.
My darling Jean:
This has been a gala week - Last Tuesday I got 3 letters, dated 26 April, 6th and 13th May - and this morning quite unexpectedly & to my joy was another one dated 20th May - with Gertrude's enclosed - Each time your letters come, it is like sitting down and having a real good visit with you - It is wonderful to hear about you & Mary - and you do write so well and tell me about, just the things I love to hear of. I try to imagine how Mary is growing and learning - he must be a real kick these days - and it is good to know that she is so well. SO you really think her eyes are turning brown? I would like them to stay blue, just like yours! Anyway nature will likely decide without any help from Ma or Pa! I am so glad Mary has had an opportunity to get acquainted with her grandma, aunts & uncles & cousins in California - Perhaps they will make an effort to come up and see you & her when you get settled again - It should be a good time for them to come, because the Canadian dollar is so low.
I am sorry about the letter which the censor had to mutilate - hence forth I will write only on one side. Can't remember what I wrote which evidently was "taboo" - I find it rather hard to keep my letters immune from the censors snippers - there is a lot of interest about our life here, and the country, which I realize would not be allowed through, not because they would object to my wife knowing it, but there is always the possibility that any mail might fall into the enemy's hands through agents or otherwise, in transit. For that reason they must be vigilant - however, my dear, when we come home, victorious, I will be able to tell you - and that will really be much more fun for us both! I do enjoy the kisses Mary sends - they are realistic, I almost feel for my hankie each time! I am still waiting for some snaps of both you & Mary - As soon as you get back to Victoria, you must get Dane Carey on the job! Bill & I finally took each other's pictures the other day, in "service dress" uniform, and we are going to take some more of our "battle dress" turn-out to finish the roll - and the copies if successful will be sent to you pronto. While I think of it, if the colored snaps I took, the roll I sent just before leaving, came back you might send me some of the better ones, both of you & Mary and the air views, if there were any good ones. All your letters so far have been forwarded from the Bank of Nova Scotia, and any on the way with that address will be O.K. Am curious to see how good the service will be via the Chief Postal Censor, but it really should be the quickest -
I'd have given anything to have been to church with you when Mary put on the whistling act! If she continues to put on a show at church, you might find her pop amenable to going - and that would be something!
I am so glad the girls are keeping in touch with you - and you with them - I have written practically nobody but you, so I kind of depend on you to relay bits of news on to the rest of the family - and to all the folks in Victoria - we get very little time for writing - and further the postage is very high so that I feel that each letter I send to anyone but you is a luxury. I was glad to have Gertrude's letter. If you find things a bit slow in Victoria I would certainly go up to Banff for a visit with Gertrude - she would love to have you - it would to you both good - I have always imagined that Gertrude is much like me - Also Mary should be a seasoned traveler by now so should not mind the trip.
I suppose by this time you will be back in Victoria, I hope there was a letter for you when you got home! I shall be interested to hear about your return trip, if you flew back - and how you found everybody & everything -
We have been having the most glorious weather - real "photographic weather" unfortunately we can't really enjoy it because we can't forget that it is probably helping Hitler more than it is us. The country side is very lovely - we don't get very much time away from barracks - but I get out for a good walk whenever I can, and there is an excellent little pub about 2 Â½ miles away in a sleepy little village where they brew their own beer - and very good beer it is - it makes just a good appetizer for dinner - the walk and the beer, we usually only have time for one - or two at the most. It is a real old little inn with oak beam ceiling well seasoned, and slightly sagging.
I have been very busy with the Mess accounts this week, and just got my statements out today - the books are organized rather awkwardly - and I can see several innovations which I propose to put into effect immediately, which ought to simplify them - and clarify the whole set-up.
I have arranged with the Bank of Nova Scotia to send Â£18-0-0 sterling per month to your credit in our joint account in the B.N.S. Victoria - these will be made from London on the 6th of each month. The rate for the one just put through was $4.43 per Â£ so you should get 18 x 4.42 = about $79.00. I am keeping about Â£11 each month here to take care of mess & other expenses, and a little for emergencies - If I find anything considerable accumulates over several months, I will send you an extra bit separately. I wish I could do better dear, but there just isn't any more. I am rather discouraged at the prospect of promotion coming very soon, however we will continue to keep trying our hardest.
Here is Mary's birthday present - It is impossible for me to get anything suitable here, as we can't get to any large centres to shop in good stores. With this go a lot of kisses & a big hug from her daddy.
Well wife, - I hope you won't feel too lonely up in Victoria after being home, - and when you get a chance get out to 10-mile point and see how things are -
Heaps of Love -
Regards to Swannells!