November 18, 1941
It seems almost impossible but another year is almost at an end, and I’m no nearer home than a year ago. It also seems very strange that this letter written in mid-November will reach you just a few days before Xmas. I had hoped that this year would mark the end of this silly War, but I can’t for the life of me see any great change before this time next year. There is no doubt about it, however, that our position is much better now than it was at the same time last year, but our big battle is still before us. It certainly was too bad to hear of the loss of the Royal Ark, but suppose one must expect these losses, particularly when our ships operate so close to the enemy bases. There is one thing about it, the loss of life was wonderfully small and right now trained seamen are almost as valuable as the ship itself.
The Russians seem to be holding their own again, though I expect the lull is due to German preparations for the more powerful push, before real cold weather sets in. I was very interested to hear that the Canadian troops had landed in Hong Kong, though I imagine it was only a small force. I can’t for the life of me see any action for us before next year, unless Gerry tries an invasion and I consider this highly improbable at this stage of the game. At least you won’t have to worry about your little boy for a while, which is something.
The chief danger in this country is the chance of becoming moldy or getting moss growing up the back of your legs from moisture. The weather has been terrible lately, just one downpour after another. I was caught in one of these cloudbursts the other night and nearly got drowned. I am still working in the Command Post, though I do guard duty now and don’t get any time off. Tonight, I have to sleep in the Command Post to answer the phone and record the meteor reports as they come down (every four hours). Tomorrow, I get the chance to return to our old billet area as a guard to a prisoner who is being sent to a Field Punishment Camp near there. I am hoping to get enough time to pay the Ravenscroft’s a visit, but will not be greatly surprised if I don’t.