December 3, 1941
Many thanks for your letters of Oct. 17 and Nov. 29, together with the enclosed snaps. They are all very good, particularly the one of Dad. You ae getting very grey, I hope it isn’t from worry on my account. I also received my regular parcel of cigs along with the Xmas cake. I have been tempted several times since the cake’s arrival, to go to work on it, but am hoping to restrain myself till Xmas.
We moved away from the coast further inland on Monday. I do hope we don’t stay here long, as conditions are not good, the chief complaint being that there are too many men for the number of homes. The result is that we are packed in like a bunch of sardines, which makes it very difficult to keep your kit intact and clean. To date, I have lost one pair of boots, one coat hanger and two pack straps. The house we occupy has been a beautiful home and it makes my blood boil to see it after the army has had it for six months. We took over from a French outfit and believe me, they certainly wreck a place.
I went shopping in Hastings on Saturday for something to send home, but found it quite a task. I did however manage to get something for the girls and for you and Dad. It isn’t much, but I don’t want you to think I’ve forgotten entirely. I think it’s safe now to tell you that the castle on the postcard I sent you, namely Battle Abbey, was our regimental Head Quarters when we were stationed on the coast.
Today I am room orderly and, as my work is finished, I can sit before an open fireplace and catch up on my writing. I got the letter with the news of Lloyd Young enclosed last week and feel very sorry for Mrs. Young. I wrote her on Sunday, expressing my deep regret, which I think was the decent thing to do, though I can’t say I cared much for Lloyd personally. Judging from the time he was reported missing, I imagine he must have taken part in the heavy raid in which we lost fifty-odd planes. If this is true, the chances of his being a prisoner of war are very good, as bad weather forced many of our bombers down.
I was sitting in a restaurant in Hastings last Saturday at a table which I shared with two New Zealand pilots, two Rhodesians, one Australian, and one British pilot, and two Canadian Airmen. It was rather interesting, especially as most of them had done their training in Canada.
Well, we seem to be giving Gerry a taste of his own medicine in Libya, though I don’t think it’s one-sided by any means. I do think, however, that we do have at least equally good equipment and should be able to clean up before too long. I suppose you are all waiting for the day when the news of large Canadian forces joining in the scrap is flashed over the radio. I do think we are in rather a fortunate position actually. We won’t be moved away from here until the danger of invasion is gone, and when this happens, Gerry will be starting to wobble and we will have a good share of pushing him the rest of the way.
It certainly doesn’t seem much like Xmas this year. We haven’t seen any snow yet and some of the hardy varieties of flowers, even roses, are still blooming. I had another snap taken so that I could send one to each of the Aunts. I also have one of Jack Lynn and myself, which I will send if I can find an envelope large enough. Well, I certainly hope you are all happy and have a nice Xmas with all the trimmings. I wish I could be with you, but what’s the use of dreaming. I saw by yesterday’s paper where an American bomber flew the Atlantic in less than nine hours. I guess I’ll just have to stow away on its next trip. Well, keep the home fires burning and don’t scorch the bread sauce.