c/o 1st Corps Field Survey Coy.
Royal Canadian Engineers
C.A.S.F. Base P.O. Canada.
England, 23 Sept. 1940
Yesterday was not very satisfactory for getting a letter written - a lot of interruptions, 2 long trips, and some unexpected visitors in the mess for evening who had to be taken home - and I happened to know the road, so had to do that too. Your letter of 25 August via air mail was 3 weeks coming - arriving last week, with it came Leila's and Gertrude's letters sent by you. These were very welcome also. Sorry Gert did not get out far enough to meet my wife and baby. You would like Gertrude - However it is well that she has found a better place to spend the winter than Banff. Evidently she enjoyed meeting Ruth and her chums. Its odd that Ruth has met more of my family than you have - we shall have to set that right. Glad to hear about Mulholland and that he is looking well - I told you I had a swell letter from him about 3 weeks ago. There must be great excitement in the MacBean household at the prospect of moving into their new house - I would like to share Betty Anne's reactions - and comments. When Mac finally completes his magna littera it will be more than welcome, and I shall attempt a reply. Am hoping to get time to write letters to the Garmans and also one to Miss Fidlar - if you see the latter tell her of my good intentions, and everytime I see a particularly attractive and interesting English cottage, I think "how I wonder how Miss Fidlar would like it". I will also get a letter written for Mary Elizabeth - now that she is "one year past" she will not doubt be able to appreciate a letter of her very own, even if she can't read her father's awful writing. You might tell Frank Swannell that I had a very nice letter from his friend Kersley Holmes of Glasgow inviting me to come and see him when I get the chance. That will be something for Lorne & me to do together if we can arrange simultaneous leaves. Lorne is still away on a detachment, but I was talking to his O.C. last night, and Lorne should be back toward the end of this week.
A brother of one of the officers who went to the middle east with Bill Hall called here the other day - and said that they had arrived safely at their destination (unspecified) - he also gave me their postal address, so I managed to get a letter off to Bill.
Our O.C., Major Baird has not been too well, so is in hospital for a rest - and observation - Capt. Robinson and I drove down to see him yesterday - a long but lovely drive over some comparatively wild hilly country. On our way back we called to see the Haywards at Dorking. They were very glad to see us and gave us tea. They had just had a letter from Mary Rodd. Mr. Hayward said his pickle factory in London had had some narrow escapes from bombs - but no serious damage. A large shed nearby in which he had a large store of gurkins, had however a direct hit - he said there were gurkins scattered all over the neighbourhood. It is magnificent how these people can see the amusing & comical side of events which in many respects are so tragic. London is surely adding immortality to her long list of attributes.
I had such a nice dream the other night - one of those rare, fully [?] factory dreams - where all the details were agreeable, if fantastic - we - you & I & Mary were together - and we were having the grandest time - I woke up feeling so happy and almost as tho it had been real.
A couple of days ago I completed all the [?] for the Canadian Army. My appointment is to be effective from 10th July - and I am being taken on as full lieutenant. My pay - and I am being taken on as full lieutenant. My pay - and your allowances will not come through however till the transfer & appointment appears in orders - and this has to go to Ottawa, I think - so that will take some 6 weeks possibly yet. You will receive direct from Ottawa $45.00 each month for yourself and $12.00 each month for Mary E. In addition to this you will receive, also direct from Ottawa, $75.00 per month of my pay which I am assigning to you directly. When everything gets straightened out, and running smoothly, then, you will get altogether 132.00 each month. The rest of my pay, about 75.00 per mo. I am having paid to me here to take care of my messing & other expenses. If I am able to save any out of that, I shall send you the surplus as it accumulates - and you can put it toward squaring up our insurance & other obligations. We must not forget that my insurance premium of $79.90 is due on 2nd January. Possibly we can have enough ahead by that time to meet it. I will be so glad when this all comes - you have had a pretty thin time of it financially since I left home.
Now I must close off this and get on with my jobs for the day. We have had some real squally weather - equinoxial storms but to-day is one of those lovely crystal like days - a pleasure to be alive. I think of you so often my darling - and if you could get all the thoughts - it would be like having me there too much perhaps!
I am getting better acquainted with the men of this company now - and find scattered among the ranks a lot of excellent and interesting chaps. That is one of the fascinations of army life - you are continually making human discoveries - usually or often most agreeable ones!
Love to my best girls -
P.S. Plug tobacco is getting rather low - have you sent some lately? Having tobacco & cigs from Canada saves me about 20.00 per month!