May 12, 1943
I received your very welcome letter the other day and I'm glad to say that it took just a little under a month to get here, which is a little quicker than some previous letters, as some of them have taken five or six weeks.
I'm certainly glad to know that business is pretty good these days, although it is a pity that you can't manage to get as much material as you really need to keep up with the demand. However, I suppose there is very little that one can do about it in these times. I received your parcel the other day and I sure was pleased with all the contents that were in it. They certainly will come in handy and the chocolate bars and candy were especially nice. Thanks a million for everything. I have not as yet received the pipe tobacco, but I imagine that it will be coming along any day now.
I rode in to Rugby on my bicycle last night and bought myself a real good camera. It is a German folding camera with a Zeiss Ikon lens in it, and it takes size 120 film. The camera takes 16 pictures on a roll of film, which means that the pictures are only half the size of the usual 120 pictures, although they are still a nice size. I gave the fellow in the camera shop 5 pounds for it besides my own camera. I'm sure glad I've got a good camera now as the other one wasn't very good. When you get this letter, would you mind sending me 10 or twelve films, and take the money out of my monthly cheque. I'm sending a picture of myself that was taken in the park in Bournemouth one nice afternoon by a girl I go out with down there. I also have some of Millie and Aunt Florence, but they are not developed yet so I'll send them in my next letter.
As you already know, I was up in the North of England for four weeks about two months ago. I enjoyed my stay up there very much, and often on a Saturday afternoon I went out for a trip in the country on the bus. I was in Sunderland three times but only saw around the downtown sections and a little of the docks looking down from the bridges. Speaking of visiting Sydney Young, Uncle Jim gave me his address, but as I lost it, I was unable to visit him.
I spent a most pleasant Sunday afternoon at Hylton Castle. A friend and I went up there on the bus and went to the caretaker and asked him if we could have the keys to the castle so that we could look around inside. There wasn't a room, hole, nook or cranny that we
didn't thoroughly explore. We climbed right on to the roof and walked around the turrets on top. We also explored the old church which was in the grounds. The caretaker was telling us that there was a tunnel leading from under the church down to the sea or river just as you mentioned in your letter. I took a lot of pictures of this castle but lost the roll of film, so I'm sorry I won't be able to send you any. I also went to Durham myself on a Saturday afternoon and saw the castle and cathedral there, although I didn't get inside them. I also went down to Hexham, which was a very pretty place.
I hope by the time you get this letter that Billy will have gotten into the field bakery. I imagine he will like this a lot better than marching and drilling etc.
I'm glad to know that you and Mother have moved into my old room. I guess you will certainly find this a lot better than before. In regard to the War Bond, I wrote to the Dept. of Finance and asked them to have this mailed to you at Toronto. I'll be glad when this matter is cleared up.
I suppose the family are all anxiously waiting till the end of July when you will all be going up to the cottage for two weeks. I hope that you will get a good rest when you are up there, and I don't have to guess very much to know that the work you are doing now will certainly warrant a holiday. Well, here's hoping that you will catch lots of fish this year.
Since I've been in England I have had a really good time and I'm feeling quite at home now. I expect to be flying Wellingtons in another 5 or 6 weeks. They certainly are a huge aircraft. You have no doubt heard quite a bit about them, as they are nearly always mentioned in the newspapers being on raids over Germany. At the present I'm stationed in about the centre of England and liking it very much.
Well Dad, I can't think of very much more to say, so I'll say goodbye for now and write again soon.
Your loving son,
P.S. let me know if you received this letter.