August 23, 1941
Well, here I go again with the usual blarney. I received a parcel of cigs today plus a letter from Dad dated July 25. I hope his infected arm is completely healed, as I know how sore it can be. The weather here has been simply terrible for the last six weeks. It rains almost daily and when I say rain, I mean a heavy downpour. I feel sorry for the poor farmers, as I don’t quite see how they will manage to save their cereal crops.
I am busy now taking a course in artillery work, “Ack” work, meaning officer’s assistant. The course is heavy and crammed with math. We had an examination this morning which took over three hours and occasioned much brain wracking and head scratching. The results are not final in any way, but rather a test to see how you are grasping the course. I think I made a pass and feel confident, as the days progress, I will be even better. I makes me wish that I had paid more attention to my math when I went to school, as I would certainly find the course much easier if I had.
Well, so much for me and so to the real news I have in hand. You can well imagine my pleasure and surprise last Wednesday, when who should walk into camp, but none other than Sgt. Pilot Don Beirnes. It almost brought tears to my eyes to see the kid again, as it’s been well over a year since we saw him last. As luck would have it, we were having a Battery smoker, so of course he was made more than welcome. He looked very smart in his uniform and made me very envious. I don’t mean because of the uniform, but rather that he got what he wanted most, a thing I never seem able to achieve. We all celebrated that night and got fairly well lit. I am afraid that, after all, the occasion certainly warranted it if ever one did. I had to go to school the next day and try to collect my wits, when a pin falling sounded like a twenty-five pounder in action. All joking aside, it was grand to see the kid again and I must say that my estimation of Beirnes family rose at least two hundred percent.
I think I will start another commotion to get a transfer to the R.A.F. all over again, just to see what happens.
Now to return to the smoker, we really had a lovely evening. Col. Ford was present as a guest from the Third regiment and came over to shake my hand and wish me well. You should have heard the cheer he got when he entered the room, it certainly must have warmed his heart and I couldn’t help but notice how he struggled to control his emotions when he addressed the Battery. It goes to show that, even in the army, a man can win the hearts of his subordinates providing he is the right sort of chap.
Dad tells me that you appeared on the tennis court recently and acquitted yourself very well. He said you couldn’t travel as fast as formerly, but hadn’t lost your ability to smack the ball. Your letters never tell me much about your poor old pins, so I always prefer to think they’re better. How about some new snaps and some of the old ones I haven’t received? I often made new friends by showing them what handsome parents I have. I suppose conditions are pretty awful just now as the prices must be very low. Oh well, just keep plugging and perhaps some fine day your dizzy son will get a brain wave and make enough mazzuma to put you on easy street. (What a hope.)
It would really warm your heart to see the way your son goes regularly to church, practically every Sunday and gets up before seven to do so. Of course, the Colonel is largely responsible, but why quibble. I received a letter from Auntie Margaret the other day in which she enclosed a postal order for ten bob for the purpose of having my photo taken. Very nice of her, don’t you think? I really had intended to have a photo taken weeks ago, but never seemed to have the opportunity and the money at the same time. In any event, it was very nice of her and I will certainly send you one of the prints if they are at all good.
Well, cheerio, you poor farm folks, and bless you for the cigs and letters, as we all celebrate when a large mail comes in. Must close now.