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Date: January 31st 1942

January 31, 1942

Received your letter today and the one from Mom and one from her nibs, Lorna. I am glad to hear that you all had such a good Xmas and only wished I could have tucked my feet under the table with you. We had no turkey this year but did manage a good dinner of roast pork. We had no snow at Xmas but had a heavy fall early in January which stayed for about two weeks. While the snow was on the ground, I went to a rifle range near our Regimental H.Q.  The only point of interest apart from the fact I made a much better score, was the fact that a news photographer for one of the Canadian pictorials took snaps of us which he said would appear in the papers at home. I don’t know if you will be able to recognize me or not as I am wearing a balaclava and will probably look like a Russian guerilla. If you do happen to see any snap in the Toronto Star or some such, watch out for me. I am standing nearest the camera looking like anything but a rifleman as I have a paint brush in one hand and a paint pot in the other. There are two other chaps with me peering at a target. My job is to paste over the holes before the next relay fires. This makes the second time I have been to the ranges in less than three weeks, so I will soon be a fair rifle shot. The last time I was there, I got the only possible on the fifteen-round rapid fires, in three even bursts with a Bren machine gun. These Bren guns are certainly a wicked little weapon and I should hate to meet one head-on.

Well, so much for the shooting practice and so to more general topics. I am taking a kitchen fatigue for a friend and have just finished my pots and pans and a “Dixie” full of spuds. When I remember how I used to hate peeling a few spuds at home or washing the pots and pans, I laugh when I see myself on kitchen fatigue.

Our hockey seems to have fallen through, as have all other army sports efforts in the past, so I have taken up the game called “Darts.” It is quite a good game, played in all the pubs over here. The thing I like about it is the fact that it is purely a game of skill and I don’t mind telling you I am quickly becoming an expert.

Well, we don’t seem any nearer action than we were a year ago, though something should break soon. I don’t think I will stay in my present job if we go into action, as I can’t picture your son doing pencil work when the load is flying. I won’t try to discuss the War, as anything I might say in regards to my views on our strategy would be censored anyway. Apart from this, the whole thing is such a terrible mess, that only a D. fool would venture a prediction. My faith in the ultimate outcome hasn’t changed in the last two years, though my hope for an early victory is gone. I do feel, however, that our leaders have been guilty of blunders that could have easily cost us the War.