C.A.S.F., Base P.O. Canada.
England, 13 Oct. 1940.
I made a big haul on mail this week! Three letters from you - as follows:
Posted Victoria via Reached me
26 Aug. Air mail all the 20 Sept.
way to Cdn.
9 Sept. ditto 8 October
16 Sept. To CASF Base 8 October
23 Sept. ditto 8 October
From the above, it is worth while to note that the quickest service is certainly by trans Canada air mail to the C.A.S.F. Base P.O. Canada. I notice too that all your letters to c/o the Chief Postal Censor London, are censored, while those through the Base P.O. Canada are unopened. Since the bombing of London, during the past 4 or 5 weeks, all mail going through there is very slow, probably that is one reason for the slowness of your letters of 26 Aug and 9 Sept. Another thing seems to be indicated - you probably wrote me on 2nd September - and that letter is so far not arrived, and it begins to look as tho' it has gone c/o Davie Jones, as the sailors would say. I have written you every week since coming here, and you should be able to tell, in the same way if any of my letters have run into trouble on the Atlantic. Really, although there have been occasional delays, it is a remarkable tribute to Britains hold on Atlantic shipping, that only one of your letters has failed to get to me - I am beginning to wonder however if the second lot of tobacco you sent some time during mid summer has run foul of the seas, because it should be here now - Am glad to note in your letter of 18th September that you had sent another 2 can of Dixie I hope you addressed it c/o Base P.O. Canada - that certainly seems to be the best way to get both parcels & letters through - most direct and minimum of red tape. I got a package of 100 sweet-caps and a nice letter from the Forest Branch - via Mr. Orchard - will try to get time to write acknowledgement soon.
My I certainly enjoyed your letters - and still enjoy re-reading them - you write about just the things I need & love to know about - it helps a lot Jean, and softens the pain of separation from my two loved ones. Your descriptions of Mary are great - and I can just visualize what the little darling is like - the snap in one of your last letters is too sweet for words - Mary & Graham sitting on the steps - it is a dandy of both of them - I can't help laughing right out when I look at her bright happy little face. So many times too, dear, during busy moments of the day - and during the long nights - sometimes early in the morning - I think of you - and how you are backing me up in this affair - to know that no matter what happens around about me here - that my Jean is fighting with me, and keeping up her courage & confidence - it helpsme to be calm and cool & confident - you inspire me with courage and hope - when we are happily together again I believe that we will look back on these times with a reverence - they are great days - and to have each done our part and shared our sacrifice - how much greater will our happiness together be. Our "day" is next Tuesday - I hope you got my cable - I shall never be able to put in words what that night in the little White Rock Church has meant to me - It is as though I have entered a wonderful new world - with you at the centre - And now you have given to us our little girl - our dear baby girl. Yes Jean - you and I are together taking part in big and wonderful things - and beautiful heavenly thins too - I am very happy, very glad, and undeservingly fortunate.
Sorry you are having the fears & trouble about the house - and keep up the fight - you deserve what you want - I don't know just what to say yet - but I certainly wouldn't let them bluff you out of it. If the worst comes to the worst you can assign them the insurance collateral - because it will all be to the same end and I think a good investment - the time to be bold is when those about you are scared - Financially, the only difference between the insurance putting up $1000.00, and the N.H.A. putting up the 1000.00 is the difference between 5% interest and 6% interest. Also- remember that there should be about 1000.00 to my credit in the Superannuation fund. I feel certain that after the war is over, that a degree of inflation is bound to take place the world over - so that the 1000.00 is really more secure, invested in a good marketable house than it may be on the books of the insurance company. So go ahead and do what you think best - and if necessary the insurance company can cable for my authority - they have an office in London - and I could arrange to go up there and arrange the necessary confirmation and have it cabled back in their own codes.
Which we are on the subject of money - at the moment an awkward situation has developed. Apparently, as far as the British Army is concerned, I am now in the Canadian Army - and therefore they did not pay me for September - Now as far as the Canadian Army is concerned, I am not officially in it till the authority is sent from here to Ottawa, and some clerks get around at their own damn leisure, to having it published in what are called "General Orders" from Ottawa. And then the whole business has to come back here - and after that it may take them plenty of time about getting my pay in [?]. In the meantime nobody is paying me! - When the whole thing is settled there will be a tidy sum of back pay - representing the different between my English pay as 2nd Lt. and Canadian Pay as Lieut. since 10 July - but in the meantime the child needs shoes & milk - and the wife needs stockings etc. We are trying to get some kind of temporary arrangement made but it isn't straightened out yet. This kind of stupidity is typical of the army - and one of the reasons, I think, for its lack of brilliancy so far in this war - at any rate your usual allowance of Â£18-0-0 will not be forthcoming on the usual date. The last one was sent on 7th September from here. As soon as I can get some money I shall get a remittance off at once. I understand that the Legion - (Mr. Mulholland knows all about it) have made it their business to go after the claims of soldiers' and wives & dependents. If you get in a tight spot - you might see the Legion people Col. Latta had something to do about it - also Bill Tait in the property room - or Mr. Mulholland - You could also write to the Dept. National Defence, Ottawa - and ask them what about it - You would like to do it on your own book - and don't mention that I suggested it. A militant wife can often make these army brass hats sit up and take notice in a most surprising way! If you should write to Ottawa refer to me as a Lieutenant in the R.C.E., not as a 1/Lt because they are making my appointment as full Lieut retro active to 10 July 1940.
Was sorry to hear that Dorothy Carry lost her mother - give them my best regards. Gosh there are a dozen or more people whom I should write - but we are very busy just now with one thing & another. I have been working day & night & Sundays on a rush job. Have thought of trying to do a sketch but the time to do it just seems to be "isn't"! Tell Mrs. Swannell that I was very glad to get her 2 letters and that Lorne is looking fit as ever! I have wondered if you have met Col. Holmes he works downstairs in the air photo library - If you should ever meet him tell him you are my wife - and that I hoped he would be able to meet you - he is a fine old chap - one of my friends.
Had a letter from Bill Hall - a short one written en-route hope to get another one soon. Say hello to Shelley.
Well dear - its very late - and I must get to bed - I have just stepped out the door - and it is a beautiful October night - clean - and slight frosty mist - bright moon - wish you were here - just the night to be with you. Tell Mary that her bad old Poppy is going to try to write her a letter all her very own soon - God bless you both - & all my love
As ever -