November 24, 1942
Just the usual few lines to let you know that I’m still alive and well. I received the airgraph and the nice long letter written about the same time with the “Ode to a Drunkard” enclosed. Both were very welcome and the poetry quite good, although I hope you don’t think I’m as bad as you seem to infer. My chief reason for not going to see Sir E.D. last leave was because I was unable to get a new uniform, or get the old one cleaned and pressed so I didn’t feel my appearance was smart enough to do credit to the family or the Canadian army. ------ You will be pleased to learn that I made the trip a few days ago. He is a very busy man as you probably know, so I only spent half a day with him and left the same day after a chat and a lovely dinner. The old gentleman was very pleased to see me and opened one of his two remaining bottles of wine to celebrate the occasion.
We had a nice chat and believe it or not many of his ideas coincide with mine. From what he said, I gather the Army haven’t treated him too well and he is slightly resentful because of this. He is still particularly interested in the tank and tank warfare and is still considered an authority on them. He remembered Dad and asked to be remembered to him in my next letter. Mrs. Swinton was also very nice and was greatly interested in the photos of the clan which I showed them. I had to catch the 9:50 to London so, after thanking them both, I said farewell and received an invitation to spend my next leave with them.
I spent a day in Banstead visiting Liulf, who looks very well and is much more contented through his promotion. The Engineers have a lot of heavy equipment and seem very busy. In the evening, Liulf and I went up to the local pub and took all the local dart players for a ride as it were, much to their amazement and disgust. -------
I am sorry I haven’t made a success of my army career but I don’t think you should draw any conclusions until we have seen action and when that happens, I don’t think you will have any cause to be ashamed of your second son. I have been promised promotion several times and on the guns, my one interest in the army. I have a better knowledge than most gunners and many of my N.C.O.s as well. However, as long as we remain idle, the chances of promotion remain slim so I must be patient.