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Date: November 29th 1942

No 142

Major GS Andrews, RCE

Svy, HQ First Cdn Army O/S

29 Nov 42

Dear Jean:

Two of your earlier letters from Calif arrived this week, yours of 17 Oct came on the 24 Nov, and yours of 24 Oct on the 27 Nov, so the gaps are filled now up to and including yours of 7 Nov. A nice Xmas parcel from the Keyhole and one from Betty in Wpg also arrived during the week. It is fine to learn that Chris is doing so well on the Ranch, and that he is able to cope with the wartime difficulties. I doubt if he will be called up, as his work is too important now. Your remarks on conditions and public opinion in Calif were very interesting. As you say, or rather as the people there think, Britain has not been beyond reproach in the past, but all the other countries of the world are every bit the same. Perhaps many people instinctively expect Britain to have been sort of an example for the rest of the world, and are disappointed in her when she has not been better than human. Even that is a mute compliment. The British people certainly have faults, but they have some fundamental and admirable virtues too. One thing, whenever she has been really on the spot, she has been able to produce a great leader. Unfortunately we cannot say so much for Canada.// Haven't had time to parcel up the things which the Smedleys gave me. Bernard gave me some interesting old books, which I am going to have restored by an old bookbinder before sending, one is a hymn book belonging to Elizabeth Smedley, dated 1788. We also gave me a pair of pewter candle snips, and a christening set in silver, knife spoon etc, for Mary. Bertha gave me a antique inlaid wooden tea caddy, with silver spoon, these belonged to a great aunt of hers, who was associated with John Wesley, the evangelist. When these arrive it would be nice if you wrote a letter to them. They are not going to live very long, and are quite alone in their old age. They look on me and my family as their closest relatives.// Another busy week past, and very interesting too. Haven't been able to get much exercise lately, so was glad when the Morris's decided another tree had to come down. I trimmed it up yesterday afternoon, cutting all the limbs off, and stayed to supper, Harry Luscombe, our Captain came to supper too. He has made a great hit with them, and had a lot of beautiful enlargements of California, Death Valley, and the Sierra Nevada, which he brought along to show them. The supper was a meatless one, but very tasty and filling. I took up some of those Noodle soups from Betty's parcel. Went up again this pm, and got the tree down, it was quite an engineering feat, as it was a pretty big one, and was leaning heavily toward the house, in the opposite direction I wanted it to fall. However, with a rope, and wedges, managed to drop it just in the right place by dark. When I get no time during the week for fresh air and exercise, I feel justified in getting away from the office during the weekend, during daylight, when I can arrange it.// Churchill gave another of his characteristic broadcasts tonight on the 9 o'clock BBC, I was wondering if you had been hearing it at the same time. Of course it would be 12 noon in Victoria. Am keen to hear about your trip home.



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