Somewhere in England,
Nov. 11th, 1940
Dear Mom and Dad,
I received your parcel with the socks, cake, coffee, milk and sugar. But best of all your photographs. The cake was lovely, it was moist all the way through and had ripened beautifully. But I have not received a single Canadian letter for nearly 38 days now - none from you, nor Blake, nor Sadie so there is something radically wrong somewhere. Of course the fact that I have been to hospital and have been on the move ever since may have a lot to do with it. I was discharged from the hospital on Nov. 2nd or 3rd and was only at Borden nine days and then was sent back to the regiment. I arrived here yesterday and I now find we are to leave for Brighton on 14th so I guess I won't get my mail for at least another two weeks. I should get it in time for Xmas at least...I hope so anyway.
And speaking of Xmas - it is nearly time for that now, isn't it? Only six more weeks. I'll have to start mailing my Xmas parcels soon if you are to get them in time for the festival. I hope you and Dad like what I have bought for you. It wasn't very much I know, but it was as much as I could afford and I hope you like them. For the kids and Grandpa I want you to buy presents for them from the money you have got from me. You know better than I what they need most. Clothing I expect. Everything in that line is so dear over here now that it will be better for you to get it over there. I hope I can send your presents OK. I am going to register them so be sure to tell me when you get them - for if you don't I'll have to collect the insurance.
Well it has been raining steadily for the past 3 weeks and everything has been reduced to a sea - or rather a swamp of mud and water. Everywhere you look, nothing but heavy black churned up mud or solid sheets of muddy water meet you eye. The ducks and geese here on the farm where we are billeted are in heaven - but they are about the only animals (human or otherwise) that are. We are pretty crowded in our billets to. The house was originally built to hold fifty orphans. There are now about 20 orphans and 150 men sleeping in the place. But we make the best of it that we can and only hope that the MO will see fit to do something about it before we all die of the plague or TB or pneumonia.
We have lost Col. Colhoun and Major Murphy - our Company Commander. The major went back to Canada yesterday and we now have Capt. Ogilvy - the black sheep of the Ogilvy family of rolled oats fame, as our CO. He is a very nice fellow as a man, but as a CO he is absolutely useless: doesn't know a thing. But again we are hoping for the best.
Well I guess that is all for just now. I am enclosing a picture for Mr. and Mrs. Foote...or better still I'll write them a letter and wish them a Merry Xmas and enclose a picture of myself. So in case I don't get off another letter home in time for Christmas, here's wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Love as ever,