Capt. G.S. Andrews, R.C.E.
H.Q. Cdn Corps.
Cdn Army Overseas.
23 November 41.
I have hopes that this will reach you in time for Xmas. For various reasons I have not sent you and Mary a Xmas parcel. In a previous letter I asked you to take enough money from my last remittance of Â£20 to get a nice present for you and one for Mary - The uncertainty of parcels getting across the ocean, and the fact that I allowed myself barely enough money here to see me through - and a combination of circumstances preventing me from having a decent chance to 'shop" around for some inexpensive thing are all reasons for the failure to get a Xmas parcel off for my wife and baby. I want you to tell me what you got for yourself and Mary! It will be the second Xmas that Poppy has not been home with his family. This year you will be able to have your own Xmas in our own home, and I dearly wish I could be with you for it. You or rather we will have to pretend that we are together.
I think my Xmas here will be a quiet one, because there is no special place I care about going, so will stay in barracks and in that way let one other officer who may have special friends or relatives get away. I can perhaps take a week-end some where later on. There is only one place I really care about being for that day - and that would be with you and Mary - so as that cannot be - I don't care about raising whoopee with anybody in particular here.
We have been in our new home here for a week now - and although it is not too bad as far as quarters go - it is miles from nowhere - we are really in the country - and I shall miss the pleasure of dropping in at Morris' for the odd casual visit. I don't know any civilian people at all in this area - perhaps there will be a chance to get acquainted with a nice family - although I am not too optimistic because it is not densely populated - and there are a lot of officers in the Cdn H. Quarters who are looking for the same thing. With a small unit, like the Survey Coy - off by itself - it is much easier to get to know people - and easier for mutual [?] and hospitality. There is a small town about 3 miles away where there is an officers club, and a couple of cinemas - and we can usually wangle a ride there and back once or twice a week. I was in to one good show during the week, and last night two or three of us went in to the officers club - it turned out to be rather boring for me - just drinking and dancing - atmosphere blue with smoke - Am afraid that sort of entertainment is out of my line - the thing I love is to get into a comfortable living room, with congenial souls and just talk, smoke, and sip the odd drink -
The country around is rolling - and I think will be interesting - In the dry weather there would be some nice walks across the fields along farmers roads - but am afraid they will be too soggy during the winter. Dr. Truax and I tromped about 5 miles this morning - reconnoitering - it was a bright cheerful day - and pleasant - but off the surfaced roads it was pretty wet and muddy.
Was up to a conference at G.H.Q. in London last Tuesday and met Col. Hotine who has recently come back from the Middle East - He said some nice things about Bill Hall - Col Hotine is the top [?] man in Air Survey as far as the Army is concerned, in the British Empire.
Have now fully recovered from the effects of my tonsil operation - and feel fine. Am glad that is all fixed up. Soon I think I will have my teeth checked over, just routine, there is nothing urgent. How are your teeth? and have you had a medical check-over? A stitch in time saves nine is certainly true as applied to health! - so don't put off.
There was a small Cdn parcel mail in during the week - a few of the chaps - but no letter yet. A letter mail from Canada is now a week over due so perhaps something will show up next week. The Nazis seem to nip the odd mail ship yet I'm afraid, although we hope things will improve soon.
The new campaign in the Middle East seems to be starting off favorably for us - I hope it will relieve the Russians appreciably, as they seem to be rather hard pressed.
All my love dear - and keep happy -
As ever -