December 27, 1940
Many thanks for the money order and the Xmas cake, both of which arrived in good time and condition. I wired you two days before Xmas and hope it reached you in time. In any event, I hope you had a nice Christmas and that the old turkey was as good as usual. I had to watch out for a feeling of homesickness that wanted to sneak up on me, but managed to have a good time, thanks to the Ravenscroft’s and a very nice nurse by the name of Patricia Scott. Just in case you might think we had a dull time of it, I will give you a brief idea of how the holidays were spent.
To begin with, we had a very nice buffet supper and dance at the village hall on the twenty-third which was sponsored by the Ladies Aid. On Xmas Eve, I attended a party held at the billet of Wes Taylor and Jack Derry, which was given in honour of the Tofield gang. On Xmas Day, I had dinner at 12 noon in the headquarters kitchen, where I enjoyed a lovely dinner of turkey and trimmings, beautifully prepared by our cook. I might add that an eighteen-gallon keg of beer was also provided. In the afternoon, I called on Pat who went with me to an afternoon tea party in the village. At seven o’clock, Pat and I had another turkey dinner with the Ravenscroft’s who have been very kind to me. Pat had to be back at the hospital to go on night duty, so we were forced to leave early. After seeing Pat safely back to work, I returned to my billet to spend the remaining part of the evening playing snooker with my boss and friends. Mr. Ravenscroft even offered me his car to take Pat home but I refused with thanks, telling him that I never had much luck with borrowed cars.
This Pat I mention really is a fine girl and obviously comes from a good family. Her home is in London and the family moved to Wales when their home was bombed. Pat belongs to the volunteer Red Cross Reserves and says she likes the work very much, apart from the fact that it makes her feel she is doing her bit.
Now to get away from the light side of life back to the more serious. The weather has been very mild lately and no snow has fallen as yet, though there was a flurry about five nights ago. At present, we are preparing to move out of our present location to take a battle position at the coast. It seems that we are scheduled to release another regiment of artillery, which is now on duty there. If old Adolph tries an invasion, we should see some fun as our officer told us, of course we understand that, in the event of an invasion, there would be no question of a withdrawal from our section of the coast. I don’t think our stay will be particularly pleasant, but it only lasts for three weeks and will be the first real taste of active service. We will come back to the same billets at the end of our term of duty, which will be very nice.
I am afraid my chances of getting into the R.A.F. are negligible while we have our present C.O., as he refuses to sanction the transfer.
I had a very nice parcel from the Aunts Margaret, Madeline and May, who seemed genuinely disappointed that I couldn’t visit them during the holidays. This move of ours has set my leave back a month, as I was to have gone on the thirty-first of December and must now wait until we return, at which time they promise to resume the leaves.
Tell Dad I received his letter last week and enjoyed it very much, also the cartoon which he kindly enclosed. I hope Alan enjoys his short training period in Camrose and I feel sure he will. Tell him to be sure to take a sensible pair of work boots to wear, as foot drill can be very painful if you are wearing ordinary shoes. Well, I hope that when this reaches you, it will find your poor old peg legs in better shape. You don’t complain in your letter, but I know they must be painful.
I think you might be glad to know that Jack Derry and I went to Holy Communion in the local church here over the holidays and while I’m still not what you might call a firm believer, I did feel better for having gone.
The Tommies seem to be giving those lousy Wops all the fighting and more. I often wonder how cousin Bob is doing at the G.H.Q. in Cairo, where Aunt May said he was the last time she wrote.
I might tell you now that I am writing this letter on borrowed time, as I dodged a parade this morning to write this letter. Everyone is busy dashing around at the M.T. lines, so I saw my chance to make a strategic withdrawal (if B.S.M. Watt catches me, it’s apt to be a complete rout). Well, so much for this trip as I really must return to the lines, so will say “Cheerio,” a Happy New Year and love to all.