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Date: May 23rd 1943

No 167


Survey, HQ First Cdn Army O/S

23 May 43

Dear Jean:

Your airgraph of the 9 May arrived on the 20th. Also a letter from Bill Hall dated 10 Feb, - surface mail, 3 months, Have received two airletters from him since he sent this letter off. Those fellows must be enjoying a wonderful feeling of accomplishment now that the enemy is chased out of Africa. To have served three years with the 6th Army in North Africa is certainly an enviable record. And I happen to know that the work Bill and his associates were doing out there was a very significant factor in the success of the 6 Army. I do hope Mr Hall will be alive to enjoy Bill's return. Old age is such a tragic thing when it runs nip and tuck with a long drawn out war, for the prize of a son's return. Evidently you are getting some posting on the Andrews from Alice Fife, and Margaret Crummy and Mrs May, I remember her and her sister for a time we went to the same school. They were daughters of Sir James Aikens who was one time Lieut Governor of Manitoba. Also I believe there was some connection between that family and Uncle Ashton's wife. It is rather remarkable how interconnected all those old pioneer families were in Manitoba. Do you ever see anything of Mr Clifford? I am wondering if an officer by that name whom I know over here is his son. Seems to me he mentioned having a son in the army. We had some nice clear sunny days last week, and I took time out from the office to get a couple of hours work in the garden. We occupy a requisitioned house which had quite a nice garden, which however had been neglect since the war. One of our staff is a bit older than the rest, and he spends most of his spare time in the garden. And he has finally made a transformation, it looks really fine now. Since there is no more wood to cut up at Morris's, I have been getting my workouts in the garden. It is nicely secluded from the public eye by hedges, so I work with my shirt off, and have been getting some tan. Occasionally I take a sunbath out there during the noon hour. Am very glad you are going to be able to return some of the kindness to the Coldwell family which they showed to us on our honeymoon, and to me as a young lad. It makes me realize that I am getting older than I was once, but if in the process it puts one in a position to pass on some the kindness received in the earlier stages, it isn't half bad at all. Bud will have a wonderful experience in the Navy. Too true, the PBI seems to be the least glamourous of all the services, especially the Canadian PBI. Had a long drive up to the vicinity of Oxford on Friday, it is a beautiful trip at this time of the year, England is lovely just now. You would love the birds here, one concludes that the Englishman has always been a bird-lover, because the birds are so friendly. They almost get in your way when digging, and get very disgusted if you stop to rest.



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