Flt. Lieut. A. Graham Writes From Italy
What the men who have been serving overseas for some time have been thinking about the reinforcement question and demobilization plans is indicated in the following letters from Flt. Lieut. Alex Graham, son of Mr. And Mrs. J. D. Graham, of Iona Station, now in Britain after serving in Italy. They also describe points of interest he has visited.
November 23, 1944
Dear Dad, Mum, and boys:
I am up in Ital now. I had hoped for a U.K. posting and then I have visions of getting home for a short while before going to the Far East, but nothing like that could ever come my way. As it was there were only two of us who come up here. Everyone else went back to the U.K. I suppose I can't hope to spend all my life in hot climates, but they might have le me down a little more easily, don't you think? I seem to be minding the cold pretty badly. I think it's possibly just because I'm not used to it, and I had better hurry up and get used to it, or it won't be necessary.
I have had a jaunt around Naples, and wasn't particularly impressed. I am afraid I can't quite see how the expression "see Naples and die," was born. Still, one must remember that the country has been undergoing a war for the last few years, and that the city itself was actually in enemy hands and had to be wrested from them. Since my look around the place. I have been told that I didn't see the center of the city, so I may try it again some day soon. There seems to be scarcely nothing in the shops, except shoes, and these are very very costly.
ï¿½liar little island. It is obviously very rocky, or stony is perhaps more the word. But there is scarcely none of the island-except the cities, of course-which doesn't seem to be under cultivation. All the rocks have been carefully gathered up and each small field has its high stone fence around it. Rather, I should say, high stone wall. It really is the most amazing sight. The whole place is just one maze of high stone walls.
When we were in S.A. we used to laugh very loudly about the situation down there. They had their so-called "famous" 6th Armoured Division situated up at Cairo "in training" and howling for recruits to get its strength up and the recruits just weren't coming in, that was all. And what is more, they never will! And now I suddenly discover that things are the same way at home for the overseas army. Just what the hell is the matter with everything anyway? I was talking to some chaps before I left Cairo, who were saying that they R.C.A.F. is discharging a lot of men because they don't need them. What happens to them? Instead of discharging them, they should just transfer them to the army, the same as they did in England. These chaps were telling me that the boys who were discharged were rather upset about the whole thing. Apparently by joining the air force they thought they were in on a good thing. As any sane person would figure, by the time they had finished their training there would be nothing else doing in the war line, so they would just go back into civies having had a darn good time and worn a uniform and learned to fly at the expense of someone else. It seems they were quite put out when it didn't come off for some of them.
What is the general opinion of the plans for demobilization? I don't know a great deal about it except that every man is going to be a millionaire and be given a home and a cushy job. Somehow, or other, that doesn't sound right to me, but then I'm not genned up on these things. I'll know more about it when I get time to study it. I also got a pamphlet on the Veteran's Land Act. What is your opinion on that?
Bye now, and Merry Christmas to you all. Loads of Love.