February 7, 1942
Well, gang, here I am again after a whole week. I got Audrey’s letter and 300 caps tonight, which gave me a shock to realize I hadn’t finished a letter I had started a week ago. Before I forget, I will mention I received the cheque safely early in December. I wrote then but guess the fishes got it. I’m glad to hear you are all well, including Mamma Bear herself. I hope she doesn’t have to hibernate till Spring though, as I know how Mom hates to be cooped up so long.
I often think of being home again, but am beginning to think of it as Heaven, very distant and unattainable. I get pretty blue sometimes when I realize that each fresh setback our forces suffer adds about six months to the War. Looking at it in the most optimistic light, I fail to see how it can possibly end before 1944 at the earliest. I’ve had a busy week, what with more target practice and an “Ack” examination.
Our weather has been most un-British of late, with frequent snow flurries and cold winds being the rule. At present, there is about three inches of snow on the ground and the roads are terribly icy. We have a bath parade every Tuesday, which usually takes the form of a hot shower and a swim at a large municipal swimming bath in a nearby town. I was to have gone on leave last Tuesday, but had it cancelled at the last moment for the “Ack” exam I mentioned earlier.
As it now stands, I go on holiday on Tuesday Feb. 10th and expect to divide my time between Cobham and London. I heard from Auntie Margaret yesterday and was pleased to hear that Cousin Bob has received a decoration of some sort, which is very nice for Auntie May. Audrey says in her letter that the snap-shots were good, but thought I had changed considerably. Do you agree and, if so, in what respect? Regardless of what happens, the army life has been a great experience, which should help me considerably when I go out to win a living when the scrap is all over. One gets a grand opportunity to study people in an army, as you get all classes and types imaginable. I hope you will forgive me for not writing as often as usual, but I just can’t find anything to write about unless it’s about the War and, even then, I can only give my general opinions, as you have the news as soon as we do. We had a general discussion of current events the other day under the supervision of an officer, which proved quite interesting. Everyone was allowed to express his pet theory as to how we should conduct the War in its various theatres. Some of the ideas were good but, for the most part, they showed the result of a misspent schooling. I know I should like to be a master strategist myself for a few weeks; as it is now, I’m a Lieut. in the ranks of arm-chair strategists. We have some very heated arguments about the War in general and conscription at home in particular.
Shirley, in her last letter, gave me all the details of a certain Miss Dorothy Hammond who was murdered by a man in Edmonton. By rather a strange coincidence, the Land girl who committed suicide here bore the same name including the Christian name. Must close now but will write before I go on leave.