June 16, 1940
I received your letter yesterday which was written on the 28th. I certainly do not think any more of Leopold than you do and thank our lucky stars we didn’t lose all the troops fighting there. As it was the B.E.F. lost millions of pounds worth of equipment. Things certainly do look pretty black, but even if Hitler does manage to beat down all the French resistance, he still has to cross the channel.
All our mail leaving this camp is censored so I can’t mention our position or future plans but can say that I am still bouncing around even if I am handicapped with a boil on my neck. However, I saw the M.O. this morning and had the darn thing lanced and feel much better as a result. At present, we are under canvas again and quite comfortable, although we do find the ground slightly harder than the beds we just left. I was busy all morning camouflaging my new Humber light eight-hundred weight truck, which will be the major’s car from now on. I certainly wouldn’t pay anyone to do a paint job like I did this morning.
The weather has been very hot up to the last two days, when it has been showery and dull. Art McLaughlin and I are planning a visit to the 48th camp to see some of the punks from Tofield as soon as he gets off guard which will be around five bells. He thinks I have about the safest job in camp as I just service my vehicle and wait for the major. On many occasions, I have done nothing but sit around and read all day. Well, so much for me and so for more important subjects. I am sorry to hear that old Tom is giving so much trouble, but can’t say that I’m surprised. I think Dad and Alan are quite right that the best thing to do is just put up with him until such a time as the spring work is over and then give him the boots. All these old devils are very much alike but you would think that Tom would show a little more gratitude.
By the time this reaches you all, the Spring work should be done. Just to give you some idea of how our seasons compare, the crops here are all coming into head and the potatoes are almost in full bloom. I certainly was sorry to hear that the tent caterpillar is busy again as they are just as ruthless as our friends the Germans and have almost the same effect on the landscape. I do hope they don’t injure the tree strips, as I expect to see some huge trees on my return. Do you remember the old lady I told you about who operated an inn? Well, I have given her your address and she promised to write to you. As she is 72 and very Devonshire, I’m sure her letter would be interesting, to say the least. If she does write would you please send her a few photos of Canadian scenes, as she is very interested in Canada. When we stopped at Truro, N.S. on our way across Canada, I had a photo taken in the company of two very nice natives who later sent me a print, which I will forward for your approval.
I also have another taken in the last city we left, of me on a motor bike. On this particular occasion, I was sent into a strange city on the day of our arrival on a message. I got myself thoroughly wound up and got back to camp only after two hours riding. I didn’t mind however, as I saw most of the town and had a nice little ride as well. I get quite a thrill out of riding these machines which I mastered on the sly by being nice to the N.C.O. in charge. They tell me that this is not a print at all, but a negative which can easily be developed into a pretty fair print. At any rate, it is worth a try, so go to it and good luck.
I am glad to hear that Don got home safely and, if he hasn’t delivered the pictures of the convoy by this time, call him to account. I sent two regimental pictures home the other day, one for you and one for Mrs. McLaughlin of Ross Creek. I should be grateful if you would see she got it, as Art paid for it and is a good little egg. I think I will have to shop around over here for a wife if the war lasts long, as there are some wonderful specimens running around here. However, to date I haven’t met anyone to want such a dangerous venture, so don’t worry, for present at least.
I am glad to hear that the kids did well at the festival although I wasn’t particularly surprised. You can send me a photo of Trixie’s new family when they become presentable, with both the proud parents included.