Lieut. G.S. Andrews, R.C.E.
"I" Branch, Canadian Corps H.Q.
Canadian Army Overseas -
Base P.O. Canada
England, 11th May 1941.
Your letter of 13 Apr arrived yesterday, but the one for the week before that seems to be missing. That is the second now that has not turned up. I think this idea of sending the carbon duplicate the following week, or even two weeks after, it is a good way to beat Hitler's ubs.
It has been a busy week since last writing. Was up to Marlow one day, and it is beautiful country. I stayed there over a month eight years ago in the Spring, so it always seems like a familiar bit of country. The Thames winds around in leisurely sweeps, old beech woods, with oak on the hill tops, and many very fine country home. The famous towns of Henley, Reading and Maidenhead are all in that vicinity. ---Another day over to give a lecture to a group of Engineer Officers and NCO's, not a chap from Victoria, called Allen, I think it was. Was also back to visit the Survey Coy one day, and everybody is fine there. Trorey is working hard, and seems to be doing very well, as of course he would.
Last night a friend and I went down to Dorking on our motor bikes, to see Hayward's. With this double summer time, the evenings are long enough to enable one to get home before dark. They were all well, and had not been blitzed either at home of at the factory, in London, since I saw them last, 8 weeks ago. The time certainly flies I did not realize that it was that long, but they were sure of it. As luck would have it, Mrs ? whome I only know as "Edie" who stayed with Mary and John Rodd, in Victoria, was there with her sister. Edie asked to be remembered to you, and said you and Mary were OK when she saw you last October. It was certainly nice to actually when she saw you last October. It was certainly nice to actually talk to someone who had seen you even that recently. Haywards have a lovely rock garden, of which Mrs H is justly proud, it certainly looked nice, and made me think of Victoria.
To-day, in the afternoon, I went over to the H.Q. of the Survey Battery, at their new location, hoping to see Lorne, Axel, and Arthur. However they were all away. Col. Carrie was there, and was as cheerful as ever. They all expect to be back next week, so I may toot over then. Dick Farrow was also away. It is very pretty country around there, narrow English roads, flanked with beech woods just coming out in fresh green leaf. Very pretty.
I am still enjoying the reactions from my leave in Ireland. That was certainly a wonderful change. I think I gained about 10 pounds, which is too much. Evidently they have had a bad time in Belfast since we left, having had two blitzes.
Glad you had a nice Easter. That was one day I would have especially liked to be home with you. However, we will have Easter together before long. Victoria must be a grand place now. I am a little disappointed that the house was not ready for you when you got back from California. However, from what you say, I am hoping that you will be able to start fixing it up to move in. You ought to have a "house-warming" now, and we'll have another one when I get home.
I hope you have got the remittance of Â£30 which I sent some time age. Do you think you will be able to get Pelgie to come and stay with your I sure wish you could afford to do that. There will be a lot that she could help you with, besides looking after Mary when you are busy. Hope the dresses that Miss Morris sent will arrive OK.
I have a clerk working with me, who is a very interesting chap. He is an American, was in the movie-news real business, and has travelled all over the world. I seem to have a special interest in Americans now, since I married one. This chap joined up as a private in the Canadian Army, just because he wanted to get over had see the fun, and help out. He left a very good job to do it too. Its fine to associate with chaps like that. He is supervizing the garden here at HQ. He has a smallfarm in Connecticut, near New York City, where he commutes to work, when he isn't out on an assignment. He has planted sweet corn, onions, lettuce, radishes, etc. I am looking forward to having a feed of the green onions.
I was over for a cup of coffee at Capt. Gambles, and saw his little daughter, who is about 5 months old. She reminds me of Mary when she was like that. I hope the battle of the thumb will be successfully concluded. It is quite a problem. I remember her Aunt Mary had the habit until she was quite a big girl, so perhaps our Mary comes by it honestly. Tell her the Poppy was glad to get her note in your last letter.
The Provinces are coming in fits and starts, and it is nice to have those which arrive. I have just heard over the radio that the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and the British Museum received some damage in last night's big blitz. One is tempted to wish that the RAF would go over and flatten out Berlin. It's a terrible state of affairs. The trouble is, that if Berlin were cleaned right off the nap, it wouldn't really mean as much loss to civilization as knocking down some of the historic and beautiful features of London.
By missing your letter of 6 April, I have not heard how you made out on your trip home. Hope it wasn't too tiresome, and that my daughter behaved well.
Well dear, don't work too hard, and enjoy a bit of relaxation whenever you can. I hope you sent some tobacco, it and cigarettes are becoming rather hard to get. All my love to you both,
Regards to Eric, Mary and Graham.
As ever -