R208467 L.A.C. MOORE, J.L.
#436 SQDN. R.C.A.F.
Nov. 23, 1944
Dear Mom & Dad,
I just received your letter of the 11th Nov.. It seems like its coming through okay now, but all mail with just RCAF OVERSEAS on it is apt to lie in the London base quite a while before coming out here. So you got the airgraph? My first air letter, I sent the night before. The air graph was more or less an experiment, to check on the time it took. They only cost As. 3 (6¢), or three annas, but I don't think I'll use them again. I don't think I can tell you when we left England, how long it took or how I travelled, as you asked. Further on in your letter you have asked me to write all I can that isn't military. I don't know whether its this ink or my pen but I can scarcely see these words as I write them. You ask am I with boys from Canada. Isn't my address R.C.A.F.? You say you have a telegram from Jim and Gwen Moore? In one of Jim's letters to me while I was in England, he distinctly states the wedding day to be in Dec 2nd. Its all very confusing.
No, we don't get much news except from a small newspaper that we get daily from someplace. It costs two annas (4¢). Yes I guess we were lucky to hit India at the best time of the year. It was terrible where we first landed, but it is not too bad up here. It is sometimes terribly hot in the afternoons but the nights are almost freezing. Every morning the mountains in the distance (part of the Himalayas) are covered with snow. Most of the natives have a number of gowns or robes which they take up or discard as the temperature varies. On cool mornings, I keep my knee socks up, my shorts full length, and my bush jacket (tunic) on. The sun rises and sets very fast here so about mid-morning, I roll down my socks, roll up my shorts & take off my jacket, and put on my sun-glasses & pith helmet. It won't be long before we are nearly as dark as the natives. I am letting my moustache grow wild now. A lot of the boys have had their heads shaved and they just say "shave all around" when they go to the barber. I started getting shaved (not my head) by the barber about two weeks ago. The first time was like going to the dentist but its all right now. I go in every second day after dinner. There are barbers there from 14 yrs old to 60 yrs old. In trades like that, the art passes from one generation to the next. It's the same with bearers, sweepers, peddlers, merchants, etc. It is a common sight to see a native bowing & praying to the west while standing in the middle of a field. They are mostly either Hindus or Moslems. The bearer we hired for our hut is a Christain. We call him "Cookie". He comes in about 6.30 or quarter to seven and wakes us up, polishes our shoes, (if we remember to leave our polish out), folds our blankets up and gets a sweeper busy on the floor. It being rough loose bricks we pour water on it to settle the dust. Our walls are just mud bricks, white-washed and the roof is thatch, covered with mud, so dust is ever-present on the floor. We go to work at 8 A.M. and Cookie fills the lamps and puts anything away we have left lying around. At five, hwhen we come in he cleans our shoes again, and makes up our beds and hangs our mosquito nets.
It is odd that you should mention Rev. Graham. When I answered Rev. Douglas' letter I mentioned the probability of being near them and not knowing it. However, if they are there, then there is no possibility of my meeting them. There is a possibility of getting leave (7 days) very soon, I have heard, but where I will go, I don't know. Money doesn't go far in this country.
Your interior decorating sounds as though it looks swell. I think I wrote Cliff from England but I haven't written him from here yet. I haven't heard from him at all.
Yes, our mail situation is in need of improvement. Sometimes boys get ordinary letters that have been flown all the way, judging by the time they have taken, and odder still they will get air letters that have taken twice as long.
I'm glad to hear about Jean & Ried's family. What is Ried doing now? I guess Mrs. Hewitt will certainly be glad to see Jack again. I hope he uses care when skiing because his luck has no doubt been strained and so many chaps "get it" in such an unexpected way after facing death. I shouldn't write things like that but it just came into my head.
Sorry to hear about Mrs. Buchanan. I hope she gets better. I `m glad to hear you are having nice weather. It is getting colder here at nights but the days are just as hot as ever.
You ask me to tell you more about Margaret. I could tell you a lot but I don't know just how to write it. We may never see each other again but all we can do is hope and think about after the war. I think I am not making a mistake but we should have more time together. I may send you a picture of her.
It's pretty late and my eyes are sore from the lamp light so good night and write soon again --
P.S. I wrote Jim's friend, Roger, who is in base acc'ts office in Bombay but have no answer yet.