No.2 Cdn. Repat. Depot
Canadian Army Overseas
Aug. 4th 1945
I just got another collection of letters that have been chasing me for nearly a month.
The main reason for this is to send some pictures home. I am sorry to say I did not get one of Jill. There are also some negatives, one that there is no pictures for is taken in Liphook. It is a picture of the Royal Anchor Hotel. The chestnut tree in front of it is the one the "village smithy stood" under, if you remember the poem. The Hotel also has a little history or scandal attached to it as it was supposed to be the meeting place of Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton.
There is one negative missing as Mrs. Davis has it at the present time. It will come along when I get it.
Now for my leave to start with as I told you I went straight to Stoke. As I didn't get there until 6:30 it was too late to see Minton Hollins so I got a bed for the night in a service club. After doing that I went out to see if I could find the Plant which I did much to my surprise in about fifteen minutes, if course it was just by accident. There I met a fellow who came over here in the last war with the Seaforth Reg. We went into a Pub and had a couple of pints over which he just about told me his life history. It all adds up to this he got married over here then his wife would not go to Canada so he stayed.
The next morning around nine I went into Minton Hollins and met Mr. Simpson who in turn introduced me to the rest of the men who are still working there.
One of the men took me around and showed me the plant. It is not operating and has not been for some time. It is hard to get a proper idea of how the tile is made with the plant shut down.
I was talking to the draughtsman and said that I would ask you to look around and see if you could find some colored pictures in magazines that show American tile work. He said that they would help to give them an idea as to how they are using it at home and in what colors. There are several different magazines that have them in all the time.
While I was in the plant I made or that is, pressed one into shape from the sand, it is closer to powder than sand and is damp when pressed. I put my name on it and they said that they would send it to me but as they have not [got] my address they most likely will send it to dad.
At noon I was taken out to lunch at a hotel which was quite an affair as the board of directors were having a meeting the morning I arrived so I had to go along.
When that was over we went back to the plant where I hung around until it was time to head home with Mr. Cousland the managing director.
That night before it got dark he took me out to see one of the local parks. It is very nice, it used to be an estate. The gardens are still kept up but parts of them are in vegetables. There is also a small lake on the property on which they have a few boats. There is also a swimming pool that has been built for public use.
The next morning I stayed around the house. During the morning I was looking for something to do when Mrs. Cousland was showing the garden and mentioned that the field behind had been in potatoes the year before. I knew that they were hard to get in the stores and as I could see a few plants still growing so I said that I would try and dig some up. I spent about an hour digging and got nearly a pailful. That night we went to a concert which was a little out of my line but I did not mind as I got a big kick out of watching the musicians. Some of them did everything but stand on their head. I think some of they must have had ants in the pants or something.
The next morning I left for Torquay and arrived there at 6:30 that evening.
Jill and I went out for a walk for about an hour but it started to rain so we had to run for home again.
Gee! I don't remember all the places that I went down there. All I can do is tell you about the ones I am sure of. The next morning (Saturday) Jill & I walked out to Babbacome beach which is about 3 or 4 miles from the house just as we got there it started to rain so we had to climb on a bus and head for home. When we arrived back in the centre of town it had stopped so we got off and walked.
Sorry for the delay
The next afternoon we went out for the afternoon I don't even remember the names of the places we walked to but I was sure glad to take the bus back to the house. The main reason for that is the fact that I am not used to walking in low shoes.
On Monday Mrs. Davis took me out to see "Kent's Cavern". It was very interesting but the guide we had was one of those so-called comedians and he stunk. All the people were disgusted with him and didn't even ask him any questions. I think if you had he would have held you up as a horrible example of a dope or at least that is the impression he gave you. The only thing that I didn't like about it was the fact that you didn't get a chance [to] really look around. The temperature in the cave was around 52 degrees which is a little cool when you stand around. Mrs. Davis has been through before but it was the first time she had seen that guide. I think it was just as well.
That evening about 7 we all went for a swim. The swim did not last long though the water was too cold even though the sun had been out all day. So after being almost too well cooled off we went home.
The next morning Mrs. Davis, Stephen and yours truly went to Dartmouth. We left about 10:30 and arrived there around 12. It is only 20 miles by train but the darn thing sat in each station for about 15 minutes. The first thing we did was to get something to eat which is quite a problem as every place is jammed with people on holidays. After we had something to eat we looked around not that there is much to see other than the boats in the river. You can see them in the picture. There are some old buildings there but they were shaken up quite badly by the bombing. So at three caught the train again and headed back arriving home just before five.
That evening Jill and I who had been at school all day went for a bicycle ride to Brixham. It was a very nice trip out and back. There isn't very much to see when you get there except the fishing fleet. It is much like the ones around home so I didn't think it was so wonderful. As for history it is the place where William of Orange landed in England.
That I might say was just about all that happened on my leave.
As for what I am doing now, the last couple of weeks I have been driving a 60 cwt. I have been up to Hampton Court on a tour but I couldn't see much of it as I had to stay with the truck.
Last Thursday we went down to Portsmouth on a swimming parade which I did take part in. During the afternoon I drove a truck load of boys over to see Lord Nelson's ship the "Victory". This time I went with the boys and went over the ship. The ship is just about the same as when it was in use except that they have had to make some minor repairs. To give you an idea how little space there is between decks I had to duck my head to keep from hitting it. The old guns are still on board just as they were. It is in very good condition to say it was built in 1680 [It was actually built in 1780]. It would still sail if they patched up a hole that was blown in the bottom by a bomb.
Well now for the latest today I was given a jeep to drive. The first thing I have to do is to paint the thing.
I received some more cigs yesterday the no. of them is J53285. As usual they were welcome.
The latest group of pictures are grand of the girls and yourself.
Well I think that I had better close for now.