June 3, 1941
Many thanks for your newsy letters, namely those from Connie, Lorna, and Phyl and Mother. You must be well into summer now and the crop all in, as I hear you had a very early spring. Our weather here has been very cool for the last few days. The flowers and vegetables are all growing well, in spite of this unseasonable weather. I noticed broad beans yesterday which were twelve inches high. I hope the flower seeds I sent you arrived in time to be planted.
I received another parcel of cigs yesterday from Mr. and Mrs. Swinton of Tofield and would appreciate it if you would convey my thanks to them, if you happen to know these people. Our mail has been very irregular lately, probably due to the German “Meanies.” Speaking of Gerries, I suppose the sinking of the Hood came as a great shock to you all, just as it did to us. However, I know how pleased you must have felt when the subsequent sinking of the Bismarck was reported. Our navy must have simply swarmed over the seas like a swarm of angry bees.
As you no doubt know, our troops have had a tough time in Crete. I often wonder when we will be able to stop making these “glorious withdrawals” and “miraculous” evacuations and give Gerry a taste of his own. It does seem to me that our generals should know whether or not a position is defendable without wasting so many men and valuable equipment. Oh well, eventually we will gather enough equipment together to give him a real scrap; for my part, I hope it’s soon. The authorities believe that Hitler will attempt an invasion of this country soon, using the knowledge the success in Crete gave him. I don’t think for a minute, however, that such a plan would prove sound, though, undoubtedly, he could cause considerable confusion and suffering.
The “Home Guard” is now quite an efficient fighting force and would be a real asset in an emergency. For one thing, they all live in their own localities and are familiar with the surrounding country, which would help considerably during an attack. Well, so much for the news which you probably hear almost as soon as we do. The last ten days have been rather busy for us, as the guns, quads and all other equipment has had to be thoroughly checked, painted and overhauled wherever necessary. The result is very gratifying and certainly adds to the smartness of the Regiment. Major Ford has been promoted to the rank of Lt. Col. and sent to command the 3rd Field Regiment, and another chap by the name of Hazard sent to replace him. We were all sorry to see him go, though the new Major seems efficient and fair, which should soon make him popular.
With regards to Bob Evans, we know little more than you do. In fact, all know he was killed in a motor smash and that he died without regaining his senses. Yes, I suppose I was lucky to have such a nice vacation last summer and no after effects. Speaking of last summer reminds me of Brixham and my friends there. May’s younger sister Joan is getting married on Thursday and I have an invitation to attend the event. Of course, I can’t possibly make it, so will send them a telegram tomorrow instead. In May’s last letter she told me of an attack made on the town last week in broad daylight. Two enemy planes came over the town machine-gunning the streets and finishing off the attack by dropping several heavy calibre bombs. One of these struck a shop within a hundred yards from where May works, but, apart from shattering the windows, did little damage to the premises. It certainly makes you think, as I know Brixham better than any other town in England.
I forgot to mail this letter this morning, so decided to add a few lines. Today was Sports Day and was devoted to various games. I played softball and helped to defeat a cocky team from Q battery. After the game, I had a swim in the “Mole” river which runs through our troop lines and enjoyed it very much, though it was pretty cold at first. Today was, incidentally, the hottest day yet, in fact, much too hot for comfort. I forgot to mention that last week I received a very nice parcel from Mrs. Stott. I imagine it must have cost her at least $3.00, which makes me wonder if she can afford it. I have written to thank her, but just in case, she doesn’t receive the letter, just drop her a line letting her know it arrived safely.