Lieut. G.S. Andrews, R.C.E.
c/o "I" Branch,
H.Q. Canadian Corps,
C.A.S.F. Base P.O., Canada
England, 19 January 1941
No Canadian letter mail last week, but probably some will come this week. Two letters however arrived from Bill Hall - who is getting along very well, and doing a lot of very useful work - he has been promoted to Captain R.E. which gives much satisfaction, since he was reduced from Lieut. To 2/Lieut when the R.E.S. took him over. All the officers who were with Bill and me at the RE training center are now Captains - just as I thought, promotion would have been much faster in the Imperials than it has proved to be in the Canadians. Even at that you and I are financially better off the way it is. I think you were very wise in taking the initiative in telling the civil service commission of your changed financial status - and even if they have to let you go -and even if you should have prepared to stay on, your move puts the right complexion on the whole business and certainly keeps up and enhances the Andrews reputation in the dept. of lands. I think it has been rather from that you have had this insight into the workings of the Dept Lands - and all the people in it - no doubt you have seen many angles which I never dreamed of. What do you think about my coming back to it permanently after the war? For my own part, if I could carry on my own work and see it exposed as it should, and get proper recognition in status and pay, I would prefer to continue my days & years in B.C. Circumstances have forced them to have Benton etc trained to take over some of the routine grind both in the air, and in the office - That should help me - and Bill Hall if he comes back to give more time & energy to supervision and development of improved techniques etc. Further I should be able to draw on the demobilized RCAF personnel suitable for building up a bigger staff - I understand that they have kept Davis Carey in the main office counting pine needles or something, instead of placing him in the air survey section where he could be getting the hang of things there. We chaps who come back must also anticipate a certain amount of hostility from the people who stayed at home & worked themselves into the key positions - These people will have a natural tendency to try to keep up a `closed corporation` However if the returned men go at it in the right way, we should be able to knock that sort of stuff for a row - I`d like to get your reaction on things as they are stepping up.
Will be interested to know what you plan to do when your job at the Lands Dept is finished. It will do you good to have some time to yourself - and not to have to be going at top gear so steadily and for such long hours. Try to relax and get some benefit from it - it will take effort and time to adapt yourself to the change - Do you think your army money is going to be enough to keep up all the things we are carrying? I should be able to give you the odd bit of help extra - but that will be irregular - and dependent on circumstances here. For instance, my expenses in connection with my new job are a bit higher however they say that I should get extra staff here - but that usually takes months to get started.
My week at the air force base was very interesting - and of course I can't tell you all the things - However, I met a Victoria chap Russel Moodie - mutual friend of Bill Hall and his friend Bill Fortt also from Victoria, but not a previous acquaintance of mine. Another officer, knew the Andrews' at Winnipeg very well. And still another knew my cousin Bert Andrews, at Manitoba University before the last war - he was Uncle Ashton son killed by accident two or three years ago.
A very interesting chap came to the station to give a lecture to the troops on New Zealand mountain ranges he and I had quite a tete a tete in the mess afterwards - so next morning while I was waiting for my car, he made a quick pencil sketch which I shoot along for what its worth - not bad for 10 minutes - and considering the subject of course. He had never been in America, so I told him something of B.C. mountains - and someday I hope he will come out there to see us.
Am keenly anticipating hearing how you & Mary spent Christmas - It must have been a real experience for you both. Perhaps the next we can all have together. A letter from Mary says that Irene Harris brought back such nice reports about my wife and daughter - Evidently you both made a direct hit.
All my love to you 2