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Date: February 1945


Sir: Below is an extract from a letter received from one of my sons who is serving with the Air Force in France:

"I received a nice parcel from the ‘Sons of Scotland'. It is very decent of clubs like that to ‘scrounge stuff from themselves' for lads like us. It makes me feel a bit better after reading in our service papers and odd papers I get from Canada through the YMCA.- Unit, of the haggling and back-biting surrounding the conscription issue in Ottawa, to know that interest in the lads is sufficient to try to make a ‘bit of comfort' in their lives.

Comparative to the Canadian Army, we have what looks like a Sunday School picnic! I have seen the boys fresh from the ‘muck of Holland' - grey-faced and shaky, in the rest centres at Brussels, their's is no picnic - believe me. The Canadian Army is doing work that equals anything in the last war or anything soldiers have ever been called upon to undertake: ‘and you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs'. My heart bleeds for the ‘lads in khaki', and their gratitude to the Air Force is embarrassing.

War is a rotten thing and I understand now why - in our talks, you used to insist that conscription should have been enforced from the first. I think perhaps if the Zombies could see these lads and hear them talk, they might be shamed into going ‘active'.

I feel ashamed of my own small part sometimes, and if the ‘Zombies' - and I mean also those in the reserve occupations, have any of the normal feeling of men, they should never be able to live with themselves."

JMW. - Vancouver