July 15, 1940
I guess you will be wondering why you haven’t heard from me recently and small wonder. However, I have a plausible excuse and strangely enough a true one. I wrote a nice long letter last week and was just waiting for a chance to mail it. You can well imagine my surprise, to state the case mildly, when I found myself flat on my back in a military hospital with two-day’s beard on my chin, two lovely black eyes, minor cuts and abrasions and a slight concussion and no idea whatever how I got them. (This was on Thursday morning.)
I had been here for the past four days and still don’t know what happened, but I can only guess l got into an argument with another bloke. The funniest part of the whole thing is that only last Monday I drove Major Ford in to London and was patting myself on the back in the un-mailed letter I mentioned, because I got back without having so much as scratched the paint on the fenders. Well, I’m having a great time here now, as I am in a Canadian hospital (nurses and all) which is a little bit of all right, as they are both attractive and obliging. I had a lot of fun with the nurse tonight by putting the thermometer in the water glass when she turned her back.
The boys are a jolly lot and there is something going on all the time, so far from being sorry for me, you can congratulate me on my good luck, not my driving. We have a radio in the ward and heard the actual shot by shot account of a German attack on a British convoy in which the Spitfires raced to the scene and proceeded to shoot down several of their adversaries. It was certainly amusing to hear the casual account of the fight, much the same as Foster Hewitt’s’ hockey games.
Did you hear Mr. Churchill’s fighting speech last night, it was well worth the trouble and typical of the present last-stand “British Lion.” Aren’t we lucky to have such a man to lead us at this time? I suppose you poor blokes are worried stiff by events, but if you will take my advice and take it easy and watch the tables slowly turn. A person just can’t mingle with these people without feeling the conviction they will never go down under Hitler or any other like him.
We actually saw an air battle the other day although the outcome was shadowed by lowering rain clouds. As it was, eight Spitfires went racing up after a Heinkle who had just opened his end-gate. After a merry chase in and around the clouds, they bagged him near the coast, but of course we didn’t see the finish. Just before I ran into oblivion, we were stationed in a dense wood which reminded me of Sherwood Forest because of the huge trees. We have one hundred and thirty-odd vehicles and they were all comfortably hidden under the spreading branches. I enjoyed the life, although guard duty came around a little too often and we were only allowed late passes two or three times a week. I wrote Les this morning to see if I could find the answer to my question and will let you know then. In the meantime, take care of yourself and don’t worry about me as I am in clover.