June 3, 1940
Since writing my last letter I have travelled three hundred miles, half of which was covered at night. We left Okehampton Friday morning and arrived at Borden the same night. We were given orders to leave everything packed and be prepared to move at a moment’s notice. This, added to the fact that all leave had been cancelled plus the serious situation in France, led us to believe we were about to be thrown into the actual theatre of war. However, I find they have very different plans for us.
On Saturday night at about nine-thirty we were on the move again and after driving all night arrived at our present location about eight a.m. At present, we are billeted in private houses in an industrial city of about one hundred thousand people. The authorities seem to fear an actual invasion of England from the sea and the air so the important thing now is to look to our home defences. As you probably know, Lord Gort is now in charge of the home defences and the Canadian First Division is to protect this particular area.
After many days of uncertainty, I have been made Major Ford’s driver and think I will enjoy it very much as the Major is a fine chap to work for and his errands send me all over the city giving me a very pleasant change from regular routine. I usually start work at six-thirty when I call for the major to take him to breakfast. After breakfast, I just stand ready to drive him wherever he wishes to go. The only drawback seems to be the hours, which are of necessity very irregular, but as I said before, the major is a fine boss and last night drove himself after supper in order that I might have the night off, so I really expect to like the work. (I’ll call it work for lack of a better name.)
The weather for the past few days has been extremely warm and I just itch to remove this darn heavy uniform and drive in my shirt sleeves. The people I am staying with are a nice clean hard-working couple and have done everything in reason to make us comfortable. I went to a dance last night, but because I stayed too late, had to walk home, which added to the distance covered in walking the young lady home, amounted to about five miles. The awful part of these cities is that they haven’t connecting streets as we have at home. The result being a mile or more by road. I arrived at my billet at 2 a.m., but by removing my boots managed to get to bed without waking the house. It is certainly nice to have a spring bed and clean sheets again for a change.
Well, I suppose you are still worried about the War news, which though serious is far from disastrous. I won’t mention war because you know just about as much about it as I do. Since arriving here, all mail leaving camp has to be censored which makes it hard to say anything without saying too much. I got the second lot of cigs last week for which I thank you very much. I am glad to hear that Alan is having no trouble with the Spring work and hope he gets a decent break in the weather. I heard from the Davis family last week and was sorry to hear that they have had a siege of scarlet fever. Olive said she would have written sooner but for the fact they weren’t allowed to mail letters. I suppose by now your garden and flower beds are well started and I hope the seeds will prove hardy and, in any case, the experiment will be worth the trouble.
Will you give my best love to all the kids, tell them I expect to hear that they have all passed their exams. In the meantime, I don’t’ want you to worry and don’t let your imagination run away with your common sense.