Sept. 21, 1943
Dear Mother & Dad,
Thanks a million for your lovely letters which I received today. I hope you will excuse me for not writing sooner, but I was so busy running around on my leave, that I didn't do any letter writing at all. I just got back yesterday after a really swell two weeks of relaxing and now here I am, back to work again. I'll try and outline a few things that I did while on my
I spent a night in Oxford with three other members of my crew and found it quite interesting looking around the university there. We left the next morning (that is, my rear gunner, Murray Johnston, who is from Toronto, and myself) for London where I had a bit of bad luck. By this, I mean that I left my small leather suitcase on the subway train. I certainly was mad, as most of the things I valued were inside of it. My writing kit,fountain pen, photograph album, 10 rolls of film, shirts, socks, etc. were inside of it, among many other things. I went back several times to the Lost Property Office, but it was never turned in so I guess I've seen the last of that.
Murray and I went to Bournemouth for a week and we stayed at Uncle Jim's place. We had a marvelous time there and they really treated us wonderful. We lived like kings for a week there. Aunt Florrie brought us a cup of tea up every morning which we had in bed. We usually got up about 8:30 and came down for breakfast. In the afternoon Murray and I would go to the pavilion to the tea dance where you can be sure we enjoyed ourselves fully!
We always found plenty to do at night and I never saw a week go so quickly. On Sunday afternoon Uncle Jim and I took the train and visited Corfe Castle, which was very interesting. We had tea and cakes in a little outdoor tea garden near the castle and then came back home again. I enjoyed the afternoon very much. Uncle Jim has a very nice home as you can probably see from the pictures that I've sent you. There are about nine rooms in the house and the rooms are all fitted with leaded windows. There are two old couples who have rooms in the house and I got along swell with them. I imagine their money would help a lot to help the house going.
Murray and I left Bournemouth at the end of the week and went over to London where we stayed for about a day. From here we went up to Buxton. The folks were quite surprised to see us there; however, they were able to put us up okay. Ruby and her husband Jacko, Murray and I went out that evening to the Savoy Hotel where we had a few beers together. Afterwards we went to a dance at the Pavilion. The next day Ruby, Murray and I went to the show. In the morning we went around with Ruby while she did her shopping. The next day I went over to Tibshelf to see Ted and Eleanor. She was very pleased to see me. Ted and I went out that evening to his club where we had a game of bingo. When we go back to the house there were two girls there that Aunt Eleanor had invited over, so I was kept pretty busy that evening dancing with the two girls and also Eleanor in the kitchen, the music being supplied by a radio-gram combination. Our little party broke up about 12:30 and we all had a lot of fun dancing around the kitchen.
I went back to Buxton the next day to hear the bad news that Grandma had died. It really wasn't unexpected, though, as she had been pretty bad for a week previous. The funeral wasn't till four days after and I was unable to be present as I had to report back to the station two days beforehand. Before I left, I paid Uncle Arthur to have some flowers sent from both of you and myself.
Ruby and I went over to see Poole's Cavern and I found it very interesting as it was the first cave that I had ever been in. We also walked up the hill to Solomon's Temple where we had quite a fine view of the town. I took some pictures here which I will send
along later. I also took some pictures of Aunt Sally, Uncle Arthur, Ruby, and Jacko, which I will also be sending along.
Thanks a lot, Dad, for those pictures that you sent me. It looks like you have been working pretty hard up at the cottage, but it will certainly look pretty smart now.
From that picture of Howard, it looked like he hadn't shaved for a week-had he? I received a postcard of New York from Bill today. Tell him thanks a lot and I'll be writing him a letter as soon as I can.
I thought perhaps I could list a few things that I could use in my next parcel. Would you be able to send a fountain pen and a cheap pocket watch? Please take the money out of my bank account. Also, could you get about 15 or 20 Trump cigars in about every parcel.
Did I mention some hair oil in my other letter? Pack it real well. Would you see if you could get a decent-sized steel mirror? Chocolate bars are always welcome, and of course a film if you can get it. Would you try and get me a couple of shirts, Mother-officers shirt blue, like you got last Christmas. Take the money out of my bank account. 15-1/2 neck.
Well, Mother and Dad, that's about all I can think of for now. I'll be writing again in a few days. I don't think I'll ever be able to thank you enough for all you've done for me.
Cheerio for now.
Your loving son,
P.S. Let me know if you receive this letter.