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Date: September 15th 1942

Dear Family

I know, I know, dont tell me, I havent written for a long time; but honestly there hasn't been anything to write above, which is a pretty weak excuse.

Life is pretty dull at the moment. We've been away training for a while near a place called something like Llandudno-y-beddnerududyllandy or something . It was very interesting, very wet and very windy.

Before that, I spent a week on the Isle of Man on leave, which was good fun, although the weather wasn't so hot. The place was full of Lancashiremen, whose one idea of a good time is to drink beer and sing. Some of them have good voices, but they all sing anyway. By the way, Dad, we embarked from Fleetwood, right near to Rossal. Its a helluva journey from London. I arrived in Fleetwood at 5:55 A.M. and the boat didnt sale till after noon, so I went to the North Euston hotel and went to sleep in the lobby until breakfast time. Fleetwood looks pretty grim early in the morning. On the way back through London I met Dick Porteous in the Mayfair Hotel and we had a quiet celebration.

I've just learned that Dick is a major. Pretty darn good. I think I picked the wrong regiment for rapid promotion. I'm not second-in-command any more, they brought that other bloke back from the holding unit and he's got the job at the moment, which is a bit of a change and pretty good fun. It means that I draw up the syllabus of training from week to week and then nip around with a couple of N.C.O.s and bother the platoon commanders. I'm in the middle of building an assault course that would frighten the wits out of a steeple-chase jockey.

I've got hold of a very ancient bicycle which is very handy for getting around. They're almost impossible to buy now so I'm lucky. Quite a come-down from my little Austin, which must be languishing in someones garage now. I'm glad I got rid of it, although it broke my heart at the time. The bicycle is not on the Canadian style at all, its very angular looking with brakes on the handle-bars, instead of back-pedalling.

We all thought that Dieppe was the beginning of an invasion and it was a bit of a disappointment when we found it was only a raid. Any day now, though, and it'll be quite a party.

I'm glad to see the Jerries taking a bit of a pasting now. I can't imagine what 1000 bombers in 90 minutes would be like, but it must be something pretty grim. Just as a comparison, I was in London the night of the biggest and last blitz. There were only 300 bombers over in about 6 hours, and London is a big place, but it seemed to be literally raining bombs. You could hear the whistle of them almost continuously. So figure it out. That was the night the door-man of the Park Lane Hotel remarked "Lovely night" as I shot in the front door.

I seem to have broken all records for the number of pages, so I think I'll send this air-mail to ensure it reaching you.

You asked what I wanted for Christmas, so here you are: Ronson Lighter, Flashlight (someone pinched it, John!), 35 m.m. film, Schick blades, socks, Kalki turtle-neck sweater! very useful with battle dress on manoeuvres.

Cheerio now Geoff

P.S. Enclose picture me winning Officers Relay at Battalion Sports Day.