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Date: October 17th 1943
Eira Williams
Margaret Chesney

W - 2601
Wren M.H. Chesney.
H.M.C.S. “Cornwallis”
Cornwallis, N.S.
October 17, 1943.

Dear Eira :

Hear I am sitting with a stack of letters in front of me to answer, yours being on top decided to answer you, altho’ you most certainly don’t deserve it, however, Able-Seaman Chesney feels rather generous this afternoon! Received your swell long letter a few days ago. It seemed I heard from nearly all my friends last week, so am going to have quite a time catching up with my correspondence.

Well, still think the Navy quite wonderful and wouldn’t want any other life until this struggle is over. Naturally there are times you would give anything just to go into a home even for a few minutes, and have a nice home cooked meal. Speaking of meals the past week ours have been horrible. However, I am not losing weight as I live on bread and butter, chocolate bars and cokes. There is a mess meeting tomorrow night so hope they will be improved.

We aren’t supposed to mention the weather but this is a very grim day. When it rains in Cornwallis, rubbers are no earthly good. The girls all wear men’s high rubber boots.

Pat Richards is home eh. We heard the girls at “Stadacona” got 21 days. We only get 14. A person who enforces discipline in the Wrens is a regulator not orderly. I think you would make a very good one Eira. A few of the ones we have around here are anything but pleasant, tho’ and give me a pain. Believe me you can’t get away with much in the Navy. One minute adrift now and you are on the Quarter Deck as a Captains Defaulter.

I was to Halifax on a 48 the last week end and in Sept. went to “Stadacona”, went into the Wrens block and the first person I saw was Hazel Needham. Was I ever surprised! She, naturally is having the time of her life with all the sailors. She gave me her address and I was to write but haven’t as yet. I enjoyed my week end in Halifax very much, everything was new to me. My girl friend and I stayed at the “Waverly” House for Service girls, was it ever wonderful to sleep in a real bed again.

Say do you know what I read in the paper last week? Capt. Cann is stationed at Debert, N.S. This is not far from here. Could be made on a 36 or 48 – Quite an idea don’t you think?

Received a long letter from Myrtle. I must write her, it keeps me so busy writing home and to the boys tho’.

You were asking about the chap I met on the train – well he never got a 48, went through Cornwallis a few days later and couldn’t even wire and let me know. The next I heard was that he was on H.M.S. Asbury, N.J. U.S.A. I hear from him and he is going to be quite a problem I am afraid! He is trying to get a base in Canada so that we can become more acquainted! His name is Harry White – is fairly tall, dark and not bad looking. So far as sailors go I just let what they say go in one ear and out the other.

We had Mark Kenny here a while ago – it was really grand – perhaps you heard the broadcast. Last week we had the Navy Show. This is composed of all sailors and Wrens and the talent was wonderful – have never seen anything as good. From here they were going to the States and believe to Hollywood to make a picture. The Show was on Monday and Tues nights – got my dates mixed so ended up going both nights. Monday night after the show there was a big dance in the Drill Hall and we were given a 1 oclock pass.

I was going out on the Saguenay last Sunday – but the party was cancelled due to the weather – the same thing happened to-day. I have seen many different kinds of ships now, and beginning to distinguish them. There were quite a number in the Harbour the week I was in Halifax. Oh, I’m quite an old salt now, have been in nearly three months.

How is Faith. I have met all kinds of people since being in the Wrens, but none quite as queer, or should I say odd as our little Faith. Talking about odd people I had lunch at the cafeteria at the Naval Hotel in Digby last night with a sailor, who told me truthfully and very seriously why he joined the Navy. I thought it very amusing – apparently when he was a child he got the idea into his head he wanted to see China, and especially Tibet. He says he knows he won’t be able to rest at ease until he does. Joining the Navy is his only hope. He certainly did things in a big way as went R.N., so that if he doesn’t get a chance while the war continues, when he is still in the Navy after the war, he is bound to sooner or later. He says people think him crazy, but says his mind won’t be at ease until he sees Tibet. He is the funniest fellow. I have a date with him in two weeks, as he is on duty next week end.

So you are in the Choir – I shall be home the 1st weekend in Feb. – so start preparing your solo – it better be good! I went to Baptist Church last Sunday night in Digby. It was the first time a sailor asked me for a date to go to church with him - I was quite pleased. It was Thanksgiving Service and very nice. They have a service here Sun. nights in one of the class rooms as the Chapel is not completed. I thought I would go to-night but am not going to venture out in this weather. This is the first Sun. aft. I have stayed in – I usually find myself going into Anapolis or Digby with a Sub-Lieut for dinner. We can be seen with officers ashore but not on the Establishment. Really, Eira I am afraid I am beginning to be a little gold digger.

Mother said in her last letter that Lorne had written and said that he didn’t think he would be in England much longer. Al is studying very hard at Saskatoon. Beth has quite a time writing us all now so she has started making carbon copies. I think it is quite an idea.

I suppose they are pressing you into buying another Bond this month. I suppose I will have to also. Mom wrote and told me Dad is buying me quite a large one this month, to make up for all the money I didn’t use to go to University as Lorne did, so imagine it a $500 – I was mad and wrote and told him it should be for Al. as he will go to University after the war. However, Dad wrote and said that Al’s University would be looked after, and he didn’t want me to say another word about it, and said no matter what I intended to do after the war it would come in handy. We are all expected to buy one here, and our quota is very light.

We are kept busy at the office, but the Commander doesn’t believe in making us come back at night. I really think I am working in one of the nices offices. The boys are screw-balls, but are pretty good to us and go out and buy us cokes in the afternoon. Did I tell you the other Wren in the office is Peggy also, so we are known as Peggy I and Peggy II. The other girls name is Audrey Honey - She is called Honey by everyone and anyone who doesn’t know her name is “Honey” begins to wonder what kind of an office we have.

Well, I really think I must sign off for now. Don’t be so long in writing next time. Give my regards to your Mom and Dad.


P.S. Muriel Kenny got her call and is in Galt. I am keeping my fingers crossed she will be sent here.

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