February 16, 1940
I mailed a few souvenirs and seeds yesterday and think they should reach you safely. I enclosed a note with each parcel but thought it wise to write in case they went astray.
I was on hut orderly yesterday and after dinner, got another chap to watch the hut and walked into Borden, a village about a mile from the camp. After doing my shopping, I took in a show called “I was a Convict,” starring Edward G. Robinson, which I enjoyed very much. The show got out at seven and imagine my confusion when, who should I meet at the door but my dear Sergeant. However, he is a pretty decent sort, so I don’t expect to hear more about it.
I got a chance to buy two postcards of the camp here and luckily enough they were taken on the same streets as our huts, and our particular hut being the first on the left. The funny-looking contraption on the left between huts is an outdoor latrine and not a filling station. The row of buildings on the right are old stables which are rapidly being converted into first class garages. On the north of the garages is a large square about 300 yards by 300 and hard-surfaced with tar and fine gravel. This is the spot where we do most of our squad drill, and boy is it ever hard on the pups.
The weather has been fair and warm for the past few days and would be very nice for drill, if only they didn’t make us wear our greatcoats. Every now and then we would go on a route march, carrying our respirators on our hips; suddenly the officer would yell, “Gas alert!” so we stop and quickly arrange the pack in the alert position, which is on the chest, about eight inches under your chin. We then start off again and after a few minutes comes the warning, “Gas!” so we quickly yank our masks from the container and put them on. I certainly hope we never have to wear them long in action, as they are extremely uncomfortable, but I suppose we will become used to them in time. Some of the boys either lost or sold their respirators on this last leave and are being charged five pounds for them.
Well, I suppose Alan will soon be very busy cleaning grain and doing all the various things in preparation for spring. Tell him not to work too hard and I am sure he will be able to get the crop in and do a good job too.
How are wheat prices, are they any better? I certainly hope they rise and give you a chance to make a little money for a change. I haven’t forgotten that little matter of the car, but as the paymaster holds back all but thirty shillings, I can’t spare any to send right now. However, you will certainly get it sooner or later. I am glad they are saving for us, as we each get the same whether married or single, so I don’t get hounded for loans as I used to. One chap said you should never lend any money, as it ends with you losing both. Well, there is a scarcity of news so will have to close. Give my love to Dad and the kids; I think of them often.
P.S. Tell Connie that I took her letter to an expert and had it deciphered and was very glad to hear from her. I wonder why Lorna keeps me posted on Miss Stewart’s health and behaviour, does she think I should be interested? Anyhow, I enjoyed her letter very much and hope she will write again soon and make it as newsy as possible.
You never mention your health, so I must assume you are all well; if not, please let me know.