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Date: December 11th 1944
Wanda Gill - (wife)
Leslie Gill

letter #58

HMCS Iroquois
c/o GPO London
Dec 11/44

My Darling

This the long loving letter I threatened you with in the Air Letter. Ive only just put that in the box, but that’s no reason I cant carry on with this. Its still Evelyn’s birthday, isn’t it? Im not very pleased with that Air Letter, I wrote too big for one thing, should have got at least twice as much on it. At three pence per trip we cant afford to let them go with just a few lines on them, can we?

Im very worried about Evelyn gaining a pound in one week. Thats awful! If she keeps that up she’ll weigh 215 lb 2 oz by the time she is four years old! And when she’s sweet sixteen she will be 860 ½ lbs. Cant you do anything about it? Of course she’ll make tons of money in a circus, but I dont think we want her to do that, do we? Circus people arent always nice. Remember that Headless Woman that lured Al Garnot away from his fire-side and babies? She did coach him in the art of Fire-Eating, but thats not good enough for our daughter. Better start starving her now and save ourselves all that grief later!

How did the christening come off? I bet she screeched, especially when she found out who her god parents were to be. I was reading your letter (again) in my hammock at that identical moment. Our time is way ahead of Pacific Coast time as you know.

Dont apologize for anything, least of all hospital bills at a time like this! The best is none too good for my Wannie, and I think it was cheap at that. Private room wasn’t it? They let us down very lightly I think. Now about this other business, that you so delicately refer to as your “old friends”. Have you had the doctor’s opinion yet, and what does he advise? Not dear old Dr Holmes, but Robertson or some specialist. For that matter Dr Holmes might put you on to the best man. Whatever you find out, get on with it, and have a proper job done. Otherwise you will be mucking around with ointment and goo for the rest of your life. Do it now! That is a direct order, and Im not smiling. It is serious business, darling, surely you realize that? And it wont get better by itself. You may not have to go back to hospital either, but if you do its only for a short time. Soon as Mum arm is healed, off you go! But before you go, make sure you have the best man for that kind of business available.

Holmes doesn’t practice any more does he? Good-oh! I’ve changed my mind! Go to him and enlist his aid in choosing a specialist. Those operations aren’t always successful and we only want one go at it, dont we? No sense letting some amateur experiment on you when for a slightly larger fee you can get a man who knows what he’s doing. Enough of that, you’ve got your orders! Before Christmas you should have arrangements made, and get on with the drill as soon as the aforesaid arm is back in service. Good old Grannie its convenient, isnt it, to have a nursemaid for the nipper when you need one?

Suddenly noticed Im being glared at from two hammocks at once! Cant stand that. Out lights and into bedstead. I’ll leave you for about 20 hours. Goodnight darling I lover yuh!

Wed 13th

Didn’t get a chance to write last night, as we had a bit of a party for George. Yes, he’s leaving us. It will be a great loss to the mess. He was my chum so I’ll be on my own now. I dont get along so well with the [f?] men, but George and I never had a wrong word. He leaves tonight on the 11.30 train, and we’re having another little do at our local pub before train time. I wasn’t going ashore again before Xmas was I? This is a good cause, however, and I know where I can borrow some boodle, so Im going. I’ll give you all the details tomorrow.

Tell Zora I received her parcel at last. It came today, and three unimportant Xmas cards. No letters from my darling! Perhaps its too soon to moan about letters again, your Dec 2nd letter arrived in very good time. Zora’s parcel was longer on the way than yours, not so securely packed as yours, yet arrived in very good condition. How do we explain that?

Dec 14/44

Very abrupt ending n’est ce pas? We were discussing parcels I believe. I remember telling you about the cookies being damp and musty. I see now that was a tactical blunder! That was the right spot for a little white lie, wasn’t it? Cant understand how I missed the opportunity! I love to tell lies, as you may remember. Doesnt always pay to tell the truth, you might miss out on your cookies! Please include cookies (your own make) in all parcels, but try and control the weather so they dont get damp on the way. That should be easy for a smart gal like you.

Still havent thanked you sufficiently for such a wonderful array of things all for one bloke. It was grand, darling, and I did eat most of the cookies after all. Maybe its just as well they were a trifle off, or my voracious messmates would have scoffed more of them!

Tell Zora I’ll be writing her soon and thank her separately for the sox and sweets. She also sent a carton of honey, which I have carefully concealed for a secret gorge at some future date. Wish George was still here, he loves honey.

I put George on the train personally last night and saw him safely into his compartment and settled down. Humped his bag and hammock too. The rest of the mess couldnt tear themselves away from the pub, there was still beer on the table and a while to go till shutting up time. Arent you pleased with me? Took will power, that did! But I couldnt let George go to the train all by himself. Hes not going to Canada, I still might get there ahead of him. He has to do a three month course, then he may go home or back to sea. The people Mrs G. lives with are Tyrell, Alma Place. Shes been home from the hospital a long time now.

About soap or soap powder, dont bother to send any. I can get by all right one way or another, and the postage on 2 dimes worth of soap is dollars and dollars. We have some soap in the canteen now too. Its poor but usable.

Thanks for the info. about my dear sister. I told you all about yours so that makes us all square again. Its just about as you have it figured. She does worry about people, but so you say Charlie is not good material to waste a good worry on! Also thanks for date re Alan. Art Worth told me just about the same story. Have they been to see you yet?

No pictures yet? Almost any letter now I should be getting some! Im all agog (well of course!) to see what she looks like. Also eager to see how you look after the ordeal. What do you weigh now? You’ll be able to appear in a bathing suit this summer and Grannie can mind Evelyn between dips. Will she be old enough to be piggybacked around in the water? (Evelyn, not Grannie!). Guess she will still be too young and tender this summer but should be OK for next summer, and Im the bloke what gets to tow her around! You wont mind, will you darling? I promise to be very careful with her. You can sit on the bank and make wisecracks!

Little and often, thats the way to write letters. I’ll close this off now and get it into the box. May write and Air Letter next time in case this gets hung up due to Xmas rush. Dont let Zora go home too soon, for her own sake. As far as me seeing her, well you never can tell. Keep your fingers crossed, both of you! Keep on loving me too, cause I need it and I love you and awful lot. Any idea how much? Ask Einstein, and then multiply by a million! Bye now

All that love

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Original Scans