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Date: September 23rd 1941

September 23, 1941

Just a few lines to say “Hullo” and to wish you “Many Happy Returns of the day,” or perhaps I should say yesterday. In any event, I was thinking about you and, if there is such a thing as mental telepathy, you must have felt it. Things are much the same here as ever though, judging from persistent rumours and from the preparations in hand, we are soon to leave our present area. This will probably mean a move to the Coast, somewhat similar to that I mentioned early this year. I will be sorry to leave as I have come to think of my billet as a second home and I have many friends here and about. I heard the first air-raid warning in over two months yesterday, but no bombs were dropped and the “all clear” sounded within the hour.

In case you are wondering why I am writing at 10 a.m. on a weekday, I had better explain I am on guard at present having just come off my tour of duty. The rest of the boys are out on a manoeuvre today, so the camp is very quiet. The wagon lines are quite dry these days as the weather has been fine for almost three weeks, which is unusual over here.

I have been transferred back to Battery H.Q. as a Bren machine gunner, which doesn’t please me particularly. The boys on my gun have all put a kick in to the Battery Captain (lodged a complaint with), so perhaps it will bear fruit. However, I find the Bren gun very interesting as it is certainly a wonderful little weapon. Our present guns, by the way, are manufactured by John Inglis and Company, Toronto.

What did you think of the landing of the Allied troops in Spitzbergen? The boys, for the most part, were angered at the headlines which appeared in the papers, viz. “Canadians see Action.” It is rather sickening the way they keep us here, sucking our thumbs and then give us a trivial job like this as a sop. When I say “we”, I mean the Canadians. I saw the news reel of the events and was interested to notice that the Edmonton regiment was represented.

Well, I hope all is well at home or at least as well as conditions permit. I often think of you all and wonder what you are doing, but I find it doesn’t pay to do this too often, as it just makes me feel exasperated. I’ve made up my mind to stick it for anything up to four years, and then, if the end isn’t in sight, I’ll just have to take “a powder” as the boys say when you leave without permission, and see you all again. I often thought that if it weren’t for my family honour, I would take a chance of getting home on my own and joining the first R.C.A.F. unit I met. I must close now before I give you some wrong impressions, so Cheerio and God bless you all.