Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: March 16th 1942
To
Mother
From
Dennis Quinlan
Letter

No. 25
Monday, March 16, 1942.

Hastings, England

Dearest Mum.

England begins to treat me far more kindly - in fact almost in the fashion that I expected as a returning son.

As I look up from this writing desk my gaze falls with pleasure on part of the long waterfront that lies only a few hundred yards away. In the middle of my particular section, Queen Victoria, immovable in bronze, searches the horizon of the Channel with far different thoughts than those which must have occupied her minds when and if you used to observe her Mum.

The passing figures in front of her must be so different from those she had seen only a few years ago - uniforms, brass buttons, gas masks… shall we allow her a queenly oath of annoyance which turns quickly to a sad sigh of resignation and resolution?

But really I do not want to discuss Queen Victoria - even in bronze. What I did want to say is that the sun is shining - it's warm, even inside! Spring, literally is in the air and that fact alone makes England a much much better place to be!

You probably have gathered Mumsy that I am on leave.

"What, again!" you exclaim. And thirteen days of it too! I certainly have no complaints to make in that direction have I?

Right now, I am expecting Bryan to call around any minute - I spent all yesterday afternoon + evening with him and he promised to come around as soon as he was free this morning. He is evidently leading quite a life of leisure at present and he is certainly looking none-the-worse for it. I know he must have told you all about his leave etc. Mum so there is no need me repeating. He did have a good time though, of that I am sure.

It is indeed fortunate that I manage to get so much time off from the Squadron Mum for it seems that only then do I find myself capable of writing a presentable letter.

Friday the 13th proved to b a lucky day for me for I not only started on the 13 days leave but also received one of your letters in the morning Mum. It was the first one for almost a month and well, I simply devoured it!

Could you possibly expect a young Air Force officer to resent the combined charm of 'big brown eyes' and 'auburn, curly hair?' Gwenda sounds far to sweet for me to resist Mum + if she can make you happier and keep you away from working well, she's absolutely 'tops' with me and no mistake! Both Bryan and I were really thrilled at the news and I'm sure neither nose was the tiniest bit out of joint! I can hardly wait to get a look at my one year old sister.

I can just imagine how head over heels in love that Fran will fall for her!

You should have seen her last letter in which she described the flowers you sent on Valentine's Day Mum - you are a darling Mum to do such lovely thoughtful things and I do want you to know how much it means to both Fran and me.

Over here one seems so remote from all such holidays + anniversaries - even Easter seems very far away but when it does come my thoughts will be very near you Mum and I will feel so much happier when I know you are enjoying it at home. Nothing makes me feel better too than to know that you are keeping your flower-bowl full - makes up for what I couldn't do when I was home Mum.

I do hope you get a chance to see Fran at Easter Mum. Perhaps you might even persuade her to Calgary though I know she has her hands full with Dick + Monie - especially getting them all 'tagged out' for Easter!

The news of Ken + Vivian's engagement came as quite a surprise but really I can't imagine one more pleasant - they are both such really swell people. You will tell htem how really lucky I think they both are, can't you Mum?

Very sorry to disappoint themale parts of your family Mum for neither Bryan nor I can sport any medals can we? I'm sure the only one I have an real wish to obtain is the 'Victory Medal' - the sooner they award that one, the better I'll like it!

It's too bad that my letter asking for running shoes etc. arrived so late Mum for Bryan could easily have brought them over with him - I could still use them as it is impossible to get the kind I want over here and we need coupons over here now and as yet we haven't been issued with any.

My 'work' has been progressing in a very successfull and entertaining manner of late - I have been in on several of the big raids this last month or so. I don't think that people are fully enough aware of the fact that we are hitting Germany every bit as hard, if not harder, than the blows she was delivering on England a year back - and what's more we are not fooling when we say we shall go on striking with every-increasing strength and accuracy!

A week or so ago I met a Canadian journalist who was returning to Canada, he promised to get in touch with you if he could Mum so I do hope you manage to receive his message.

Your younger son is far later than I expected. Here it is past twelve and he hasn't shown up - disobeying an officer that's what I calls it!
Some of these hotels are the quaintest places Mum. Where I am staying now you have to order your meals in advance or else you just don't get them. Last night Bryan + I went to a 'flick' with some of his pals and we didn't get back to the hotel for dinner until well after eight. The result was that we dined on tea, toast + jam!

About 10:30 this morning I couldn't help but smile at over-hearing the following conversation: -

Indignant female voice - "Breakfast hours, SIR, are from nine until nine-thirty!"
Offended + Rebuffed Male Voice - "I'm afraid I overslept this morning."
Resolute Female Voice - "May I impress you Sir, that if you wish Breakfast in future, you must not oversleep!"

Surely, it has taken far more than 2 1/2 years of war to teach such [?] independence as that! Was England ever thus?

NOTE By definitely hurrying I managed to squeeze my knees under my very low table by 9:29 A.M.!

I tremble to think what will come of me, if after reserving lunch for two, Bryan fails to show up or is late!

I doubt very much whether I shall stay very long down here for it really is far from lively. Bryan + I are trying to arrange a week-end together in London if he can possibly get the time off!

Well, Mums, I shall close this now and wait for Jeepers to present himself - will write again some time during the next week.

Oodles of Love + Kisses,

Den
XXXX

Original Scans

Original Scans