Capt. G.S. Andrews, R.C.E.
H.Q. Cdn Corps
Cdn Army Overseas.
30th Nov 41.
During the week two of your letters arrived, of 26 Oct. and 2 Nov. so we are caught up on news to some extent. There is very little news here this week - we are certainly in the country and I miss being able to walk up to Morrises for the odd evening before the fire. Mrs. M. asked me to send you a calendar - so hope it arrives - a floral arrangement - and not my choice of art. but the old lady thought it was extra special - was able to call in there for a few minutes when passing one afternoon. Vic Bowers is down here, but at a mess a couple of miles away - and Bert Hammond is back at our old H.Q. He may come down later - however we don't see much of each other now. I have run out of stationery - and am using some scratch pad - however it is better than nothing. Maybe I'll get up to town one of these days.
We eat sleep and have our office in the same building - which isn't so good in some respects - However yesterday I walked to the nearest town - about 3 1/2 miles and to-day did 5 miles - My room-mate is Major Bloomfield from Victoria - he used to work in the Post Office there - He and I get along O.K. he is elderly - but has knocked around a bit.
The young chap - Lt. Wightman who took me home to his farm for a week-end about 6 weeks ago has finally returned to the mess - after being away a long time - so I will have some one congenial to knock around with for tramps etc.
The Survey Coy are giving a dance next Friday night - have invited Major Meuser and Alf so I guess we will go.
On Thursday we had a nice trip by car to a Naval Air Photography Station - the officer i/c was a jolly fat old seaman with plenty of gold braid on and ribbon - the trip took us through part of Sussex that I had not seen before - and it was very beautiful - we passed by Arundel Castle - the seat of Duke of Norfolk - it is a real genuine old castle one of the first I've seen - of course I always admired Windsor Castle which is really lovely - but altho Arundel is not quite as large, it has the same substantial and ancient form. We also had lunch at a very good little restaurant in Brighton. Lyle was along too. The days are getting so short now that it is almost impossible to go far - do some business and get home before dark.
Am so glad Gertrude has been able to meet you at last and that you like her - she is a dear girl - she certainly gets around - and has plenty of pep - she is like Mary in that respect - I hope her job works out O.K. and that the living arrangements will be satisfactory - Really I think it will be good for you to have somebody there with you & Mary - if you can get along harmoniously. Gertrude will likely be slipping out quite a bit - but she will no doubt be glad to look after Mary once in a while and let you get away. I enjoyed her letter and tell her thanks -
Have been reading Churchills "Blood Sweat and Tears" - a collection of his speeches since the events leading up to Munich - If they had only given him an ear when he incessantly warned them of what was brewing - I find him great to listen to - his manner of delivery is wonderful - when reading his speeches I like to imagine him talking - and just what phrases he would emphasize - The inflection etc. The book belongs to my friend the M.O. Capt. Truax.
I had forgotten about my impending birthday until you mentioned it in your last letter - I always have to stop and subtract 1903 from 1941 to be sure exactly how old I am supposed to be on the 12th. 38 seems to be quite a lot - but they say life begins at 40 - so we aren't exactly washed up yet. The little portraits of you and Mary are just the kind of birthday present I wanted. They will do for Xmas too. Dave made a good job of the photography too. They go nicely in my passport which I have with me at all times.
Our draughtsman, Sapper Sontar (a brother of my friend Lt. Charlie Sontar) has just popped his head in the door asking me if I would like a cup of cocoa. The answer was in the affirmative - of course - he is brewing some on the fire, in the big room where we have all our clerks maps etc.
I nearly forgot to mention that I was at church parade this morning - the first one for over a year1 Col. Hepburn, the senior Padre took the service in the men's canteen, so I thought it would be nice to go - He is a member of our mess - and a great old fellow - I think I have mentioned him before. He is from Ottawa, but in the early days was with the B.C. Coast Mission - at Campbell R.
I must write to the Haggmans - I had not noticed Lashley's name in the papers - and I usually look through the Cdn lists pretty carefully - Wish I knew more about it -
Glad to hear that Frank Swannell is back again - Gertrude will remember him -
Well dear more next time -