Capt GS Andrews, RCE,
H.Q. Cdn Corps.
Canadian Army Overseas.
31 August, 1941
What do you think of your old husband now? It happened last week, and officially I have a new job too, no longer an Intelligence officer, photos, but staff captain, assistant to the Director of Surveys for the Cdn Corps. There is a small increase in pay, too. $5.00 per month on your own allowance, so you will get $50.00 per month plus the $22.00 for Mary, total $62, and I get a straight $8.00 per day. on this basis, our income for the time being anyway, is $3664 per annum, plus the $9. per month that the BC government is putting into my superannuation account, (which by the way totaled $1112.55 as on April 1st 1941).
I hope I can hold down this new job, and do credit to the name Capt Andrews, which gained a fine reputation in the last war when applied to my cousin Bert Andrews, Uncle Ashton's son, It means a bit more responsibility, and that I will have to give a larger proportion of my time to administrative details, but I hope to be able to keep up my technical efforts as much as possible too. It should broaden my scope too, and prevent me from getting into a rut. The former incumbent, MacDonald, has been made a Major and has gone to command the Survey Coy, where I was before, and Major Robnison, has been moved to the "I" Branch to my old job there, as I.O. photos. Quite a shemozzle, but I think a good one all around.
Its funny, I am highly complimented at the promotion, since it cut straight across the lines of seniority, which are pretty rigid in the Cdn Army, but I don't feel any different, actually as a Lieut. I used to feel more outstanding than I do now as a Captain. At anyrate, now we need feel no compunctions about establishing our residence at 10 mile point, with all the old British retired army officers. We can put a sign on the gate, "G. Smedley Andrews, Captain, (Retired)". and stick our noses up as high as any of them.
I am planning to increase your "assigned pay" from $100 to $125 per month. That will leave me more than I need here, but as a surplus accumulates here, from time to time, I will send you a special remittance, as I have been doing in the past. You see, I am getting pay of appointment, not of rank, and if I were suddenly moved to another job it might mean a cut in pay, without a reduction in rank. The arrangement I suggest is more flexible, and I don't want to accumulate any big amount of money here, but prefer to make you my financial agent, and send you all I can spare, in order to pay off our debts and build up a little nest egg with what you don't need for current exps. When I come home, there may be lots of things we'll need, and I will probably want to have a car again.
There is one thing Jean, although we are not doing badly, now financially, it doesn't any way make up for the separation from my wife and baby. I'd rather be there with you and Mary, and try to get along on much less. We are, tho' fortunate compared to many.
Your letter of Aug 10 came several days ago, and made good time. Am glad to hear of your visit at Carey's, it must have been a great help to Dorothy, and a marvelous experience for the children, and for you, a lot of work. I wouldn't' worry too much about Mary's shyness, and I don't think one should do any more than to prevent it from over-developing. I think a slight reserve is a delightful quality in a child, especially a child with plenty of character behind it. Probably the little rascal will go through a stage where we will wish some of her shyness had lingered longer! I now have at last fixed up a panel of four of my favourite snaps of Mary, and the big one of you in the centre, protected with celluloid cover, and I find myself gazing at it very often, I'm afraid, when I should be looking at the work in front of me, and especially at your picture, which I am very fond of. I have another selection of smaller ones in my passport, which I carry at all times. I will be glad to have the snaps Dave took of the house.
Yesterday, after tea, Ecila picked me up in the car, returned to "shoelands" and then we went for a real ramble over the countryside, getting back to have dinner there with a little after eight. What a meal it was, a jellied chicken, and a really divine fresh tomato oneion salad, one of Mrs Morris' own special dishes. It was exquisite. She is going to send you the recipe for it. One of the ingredients was some of your sliced lemons. For desert, we had "golden delight" also containing your lemons, something like your lemon sponge stuff, and while delicious, not as nice as your dish. After, we had coffee in the living room, and chatted till about 11pm. Then I walked home, a glorious clear moonlit night, stars all out, and the odd searchlight prodding the heavens with there slender fingers.
Next week, ie the 7th, Bet Hammond and I expect to go on a week's leave, and are going to spend it in town. I have used up my free rail passes for leave, so don't want to go far, and there are a lot of things I have been wanting to do in London, but you never have time for it when there on business. I know a good place to stay, same place Bill Hall and I stayed and where I took my brother Bill last spring.
Very glad that Mrs B and Helen are expected at 20 Marlborough. By this time they will have had their visit. Hope the weather was nice for them, and will be keen to hear all about it. Also glad to hear that Frank Swannell has recovered enough to be interested in a trip down to Mackenzie, actively interested. When you see him, tell him I envy him. Mrs S will be a bit lonely, but no doubt will get a chance to rest up, and do a lot of things that were out of the question when Frank was ill.
I am going to have an early supper now, and get out for a walk, over to my old mess, to see some of the boys. Was supposed to go for supper, but there were some interruptions here in the office this pm. Rothery was in, and I gave him a couple of plugs of Dixie, as even pipe tobacco seems to be scarce now. I should have enough for myself till your next shipment arrives.
All my love to you both, and God bless you and keep you well and safe.