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Date: October 18th 1942

No 136

England, 18 Oct 42

Dear Jean:

Mary's letter posted on 28 Aug with your postscript to it came on 17 Oct, and with a Province of 29 Aug is the only mail to arrive during the past week. Tonight I am starting out on a week's leave, and most likely after I'm gone, there will be mail from you, however, it will be all the more to look forward to when I return to duty. Am looking forward to news of your trip down south with Mary and Ruth, from your last letter, there seemed to be some uncertainty as to how long you would stay down there, but I think it best to keep sending these to Victoria, and then they can be forwarded on to you. We're only allowed to send these to Canada. There usually is some delay in mail when one is moving about, guess that is to be expected. This week past has not had much excitement, except a whole series of evenings cut. Wednesday we went to the flick in the local, saw "To be or Not to be" with Jack Benny, quite amusing, and Thursday to the Svy Coy for their mess dinner and an evening of argumentation with Bert Hammond, mostly, and rum, but not so much that we couldn't ride our bikes the 9 r 10 miles home in the blackout. Friday evening, Harry Luscombe, who has joined our staff here as Captain, went up to Mrs Morris for a lovely supper of fresh crab and Mrs M's special onion & tomato salad. Ecila is away taking a bit of a holiday, and I think the old lady really enjoyed entertaining two gentlemen all on her own. Harry is English, from Devon, but he has spent most of his life in Canada and California, but he thoroughly enjoyed Mrs M's keen conversation. They knew a lot of local celebrities of Somerset and Devon, and really went to town. He is a fine fellow, and it is nice to have another congenial person on our staff here to break up the rather iron-bound Meuser-Andrews combination. Also Luscombe will look after some of the routine work and give us two more time for the more exalted persuits (?).
Thought it would be a good idea to take a week's leave now, before the weather really degenerates into winter. Am going off by myself, complete with bike, to Cambridge first by train, then from there will just explore by cycle into Suffolk, my great grandfather left there in 1830 or thereabouts, for "the American Shores", as you may recall the note in the old bible said. I've never been up into Suffolk, and thought it would be a good idea to see what sort of an environment night have cradled the Andrews tribe, and if it might account for any of their peculiarities. Am not certain just what village or town they came from, so likely will not be able to do any detail research.
Bessie, Uncle Ashton's daughter, told me one time that they came from Halstead, but I notice that is in Essex, dust across the border from Suffolk. If the weather is mean, and the county not too interesting, I may work on as far North as Nottingham to see my old Smedley cousins. He is 80 now, and Bertha close behind, so they have not much more time for this world, and they might be pleased if I came to see them once more.

Have sent out most of the reprints of the Alaska Highway article, and have had quite a few polite acknowledgements from those in this country. Am enclosing my mailing list with Mary's card, by ordinary mail, so you can see what distribution I made. Mr McAdam, the BC Agent-general sent 50 copies to Mr Hart, the BC prime minister for distribution by the Minister of Lands. He also is sending a number to various people here, some of whom it might not be very appropriate for me to send them to, like General McNaughton, and a few others.

I arranged for a cable to be sent off to you for our anniversary on the 15th, and the man assured me it would reach you on that day I hope it did.

It was quite a temptation to go down to Bert Haywards for my leave, and I know I should have been welcome, but I thought there might not be another chance to see Suffolk, so conveniently, and the idea to go up there has been in the back of my mind ever since I came over here. Am going to take the train up to London, this afternoon, have dinner and stay the night there, and go on up to Cambridge in the morning. I may even ride from there down to Falstead in the afternoon, as it is on the road to Suffolk. It is going to be rather a gypsy tour, I will be writing you probably sometime although it really pays to bring the letter back here to post, at it goes so much faster by army post than through civilian.

Well dear, I must go and get my bike loaded, and be off, so love to you and Mary, and all the best to the folks.


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