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Date: December 25th 1944

30 Cdn Air Survey Liaison Sec, RCE

Cdn Army England, 25 Dec 44

Dear Jean:

Its now Christmas night, and I'm back in my digs for the night. There has been a gloomy cold frost fog all day, with not a hint of the sun breaking through, altho I believe other parts of the country had bright sunshine. I drove up to Denham in the jeep, and doubt if I'd have started had I know what kind of a trip it would be, however found my way without difficulty, and was soon revived with a whiskey on arrival, and was just nicely in time for dinner. There was only Mr. Bourne, his wife and her mother, but we had a lovely meal, listened to the round the world BBC programme, the Kings speech, and just be for leaving a nice hot cup of tea. Got home just as it was getting dark, fortunately I know the road most of the way, so didn't have to stop to look at the map, except at the far end near Denham. Had hopes the BBC might have had a word from Victoria, but they only mentioned Vancouver, and did their broadcast from Montreal. Except for the duty men, all the boys have been out with various friends for the day, Bill went off to Haywards early this morning, and Harry was away last night and today, not sure if he intends to come back tonight or not. Bob Richards came over last evening, and stayed here with me overnight, and had to go back to his HQ for midday. We had a good old chinwag and visit together.
Yesterday was as nice as today was nasty. It was clear and cold. I went over to Morris's in the morning, by jeep, but took the bike for coming home on. Had quite a few parcels to take. I had time to finish piling all the wood from the tree I cut up, so all is tidy in the Shoelands wood department once more. Then just got finished in time for their turkey dinner at 1. Then we cleaned up the dishes, and had coffee by the fire. They opened the parcel, and were most pleased with the silk stockings. They were glad of all the little eatables I put in their hamper too, I also got a goose for them, but it will keep for a week. It is dressed and a nice young bird. Mrs M gave me some nice linen hankies, just the kind I like, they are [?] so will have them for when I can discard the Kahki. Ecila gave me a nice silk kahki tie. Before tea, Ecila and I went out for a bit of air, a walk across the golf course, and back. There were a lot of bombers coming back, in formation, the cold air seemed to muffle their motors so they made just a low hum, altho they were quite low,They were silver white, and bathed in a pink yellow light of the winter sun, and against the limpid blue sky, were a lovely sight. Jumped on the bike immediately after tea, and got back here just after dark, to find Bob Richards had already arrived.

There is still a third Xmas dinner to tell you about. We had our own private dinner here on Friday evening, and will send you the menu. Two of our geese which we bought on the hoof six weeks ago were beautifully cooked and made second helpings for all 14 at the table, and a third for those who desired. Everything was cooked by the boys themselves, Sapper Lambert of course lending his professional touch. In the afternoon there was a mysterious demand for Xmas paper and ribbons, so I gave them what was left from what you sent, so when the meal was over, three packages appeared for Luscombe, Bill Hall and myself. They were cute little crochet dolls made by Spr Haydock's girl friend. Of course there were amusing messages with each. Will send mine home, and it will delight Mary, but tell her it is ½ Poppy's, so she must look after it well for me.

To complete the festivities, we were at Wedding, Saturday afternoon of our Spr Dodd. It took place at Cobham, and they had a reception at the Hall afterwards. Everything went off smoothly, and the couple are happily married. Dodd is from London Ontario, and a good staunch worker of mine. Saturday night, I wrote out a short airgraph to his Mother, telling her about it, and one or two other details which I thought she would like to know. Dodd is the eldest son, and the first in the family to get married, so no doubt the poor mother has some anxiety about it, being so far away. Then as his CO, I had to give him permission to marry. It works both ways, at the reception, met the brides parents, and the Mother was glad to be reassured that the groom would make a good husband for her daughter, and would be loyal to her when they got back to Canada. So much for the festivities here.

Have been thinking all day about you and Mary. Soon will hear from you what has happened. Feel quite sure that if both of you are well, that you will have a happy day. Feel a bit sorry for Leila it will be a sad Xmas for her little home. Have written her. I spent my first Xmas overseas with the Bournes, maybe this Xmas with them is the last one overseas. I do not feel too gloomy about the news from the Western front, in some ways we needed a bit of a stir up, and I think we have had it alright. And it can quite easily be turned into a decisive debacle for the Germans,

Hope that you go the flowers. LOVE to you BOTH


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