First of TWO sheets.
Major GS Andrews, RCE
Svy, HQ First Cdn Army O/S
4 October 1942.
Your airletter of the 13 Sept arrived on 1 Oct. One from Gertrude came at the same time. Am glad Ruth arrived safely, and it must have been an interesting trip by air. It should be a nice visit for both of you, and I hope she will feel the benefit of the rest and change. I wonder if Cherrybank is the same as it was when you and Caroline made your first visit to Victoria, if so it would be quite a novelty for Ruth. Too bad Mrs Johnstone wasn't still there. I am sending this to Victoria, because I think it will be faster, even with forwarding it, than even airmail direct to Calif. Airgraphs are only allowed to Canada from us so far, and ordinary airmail takes ages through the Censors. Understand we are to be allowed to use airletters westbound to Canada, that will be much better, as there is more room, and it is more private. I somtimes wonder how many other people have been enjoying(?) my letters to you, that is these airgraphs. Tell Mary her big letter came and pleased her Pop immensely. I thought of turning it over to our Intelligence branch for deciphering. Got a big bang out of Nelson's letter, and think her expression "great gobs" is a prize. You will be on your way South tomorrow, if your schedule holds, will be waiting anxiously to hear all about the trip. I don't think there would be any difficulty about sending something to Anita, for Xmas, the main thing, is to keep the parcel light and not too bulky. The reprints of my Alaska Hiway article arrived during the week, will send one to your Mother, Chris, and one to Caroline too. Got 100, but there seems to be more than that number of people to whom I'd like to send them. About 40 in this country alone. They made quite a nice job of them, and put a neat blue cover on, which Mr Kinks says is a very special consideration in wartime. They have invited me to become a Fellow of the society, which is certainly an honor, but it will cost me Â£5 initial fee, and Â£3 per year after. What do you think, would you like your old man to be a P.K.G.S. ? Gertrude seems to be very happy, and I'm sure he must be a fine fellow. They had a stag party for Harold here on Thursday nite and the Wedding came off very well yesterday. I went up right after lunch, my faithful batman Alf having turned me out in fine style. Ceremony took place in a quaint little RC church, right in the heart of London. "Church of our Lady of Assomption" - it faces on Warwick St and there is a back door onto Golden Sq. Harold and I got there Â½ hour early, but the sweet little chairwoman told me to take him for a walk till 4:30, when we came back through the back door a few minutes before, there was great to do, the bride had arrived at the front door already. I liked the priest, a real genuine little man, and a true Cockney, he gave them a short little fatherly informal talk before going on with the ritual. The ceremony was very short, as the bride was not RC. They had a reception after in the Savoy Hotel. I stayed behind to pay off the various fees and got to the Savoy just in time to have to propose a toast to the couple. Besides a whole contingent of the bride's relatives and connections there were quite a few of Harold (and my) army friends there, including Col and Mrs Meuser, Major Lord Tweedsmuir, Bert Hammond, Major Macdonald, Robinson, etc etc. The bride's sisters, all very charming, had their husbands along, also in the services. There were quite a few pictures taken by Harold's press friends, one of him and me arriving at the church, which if I can get a copy, will send to you. Col Meuser and I clubbed together on a present, two nice pewter tankards, Pint size. The reception wound up about 7 pm, and Bert Hammond and I stayed in town overnight. Me and Major Macdonald and the latter's lady friend and I had a very swell dinner at the Trocadero, in Picadilly, which lasted till bedtime, and I'm afraid cost each of us a shocking amount. Bert is a connoisseur of wine, and Mac of whiskey, and I of liqueurs. Mac's friend, a widow, and a very good scout, knows the people who run the Trocadero, so we got extra special favors. It was a meal we'll all remember for a long time, and it was worth it. We get safely to bed before midnight, and no bad effects this morning. Bert and I had a nice breakfast, and went to the morning service at Westminster Abbey. As you know, I'm a bit hard-boiled on church matters, but I don't mind confessing that Westminster Abbey never fails to impress me. Its age, venerable and ripe, its gigantic size, the immense height of its intricately vaulted roof, the cavernous gables, pierced only by the stained glass windows, which seem the more dazzling by contrast, and the atmosphere, almost piquantly musty, and with a suspicion of that unwashed human smell, so typical of dirty, but so wonderfully human old London. I think it just that Humanity of the great old church which touches something deep within us. Although the congregation was large this morning, the people seemed pygmy like, and minute, at the bottom of the hyperspace flanked by the grimy old columns. Bert and I were seated in the trancept, and couldn't see the choir, nor could we hear a word of the sermon, but that didn't matter. Got home in time for supper at the mess this evening. The weather has been much better the last 3 or 4 days.
Well dear, its bedtime, Hope this doesn't take too long to reach you. Love to you both, and best regards to all the folks.