18 SEPT. '43
I addressed my last letter to you Aug. 30 - just after that I had 7 days leave - and I haven't been settled since. On my leave I first went to Scotland. Mr. Harris was waiting to meet me at noon, I had wired from Edinburgh that morning early. Well, mother "in-laws" are a risky business; (take Moose for instance) but Mr. Harris was fine. A finer, nicer old gentleman I couldn't imagine. Tell Eileen I imagine he is all she imagines. Somewhat of the nature of Grandpa Theobald, tho younger, he is an ideal blending of kindness, understanding, humor, Scotch practicality and sincerity - any way he was fine - just right. I was there from Fri noon to Sun. night - and after t[damage] weeks of strenuous nite flying it was just what I needed. I was given a bed of that ultra softness of Aunt Mauds, (I'm sure it was Lil's) & met Franks sister Lil. I sat by the fire with James (WaHarris) had one drop of White Horne before tea - and told him about the Harris & the Quinlans - I went shopping with Lil, - and I ate the first real food I've had since I arrived. Bacon, eggs, oat-cakes rich brown bread, heather-honey; - real beef - fish cooked in egg - chocolate - friut - they were so nice to me; and so simply sincere in their generosity; & when I left Sunday a lovely lunch was packed for me to eat on the Edinburgh express. I walked all about Montrose carefully went thru the large hemp mill of which Mr. Harris is chief engineer. Saw a target being built for the Navy's big guns - on Saturday went & saw the MacFarlanes - one of their bairns is like our Bill. However I must write of this to Frank & Eileen, I'll tell them more details & you can see them. I had a pleasant day in London; was all thru the Law Courts, saw a divorce case, had dinner with 3 barrister, or rather a barrister & 2 solicitors, saw a theatrical production a movie "Coney Island" & found Art Davidson knee deep in Irishmen (& women) at "Mooneys Pub" near Trafalgar square. Met his girl friends - left him my civy suit. - returned to base. Then was posted to O.T.U. - journeyed across England up thru Peterboro to near the Wash only to find a mistake had been made & that I had been routed to the wrong place. I took the long way back thru London and day before last arrived at my new station at Haverford West on the West Coast in Wales, in a driving rain.
Well I'd hoped to fly Beaufilers here - but instead its to be Wellingtons for 5 weeks, on Oct 26 I'll probably go to the 407 Demon Squadron (Canadian) as 2nd pilot on Wellingtons. On leaving Training Command Oct. 26, I shall be eligible to receive a commission, tho I am so fed up with the inequities of this system I am hardly inclined to go after it - tho of course I shall. All our flying now even before we go to our Squadron is Operational out over that haunt of the Junkers & Heinkel - the Bay of Biscay. Its strange at last to be in a ship that's armed. The boy that is my skipper, is from Peace River, a nice young fellow named Irvine - he trained with Tommy Darris he says. I haven't had mail from you for 3 weeks but I suppose it is following me about. Thanks again for your many kindnesses, I shall get the letters coming again now. All my love, mother