December 4, 1944
Received the lovely Xmas cake yesterday. It arrived in fine moist condition and really tickled the old palate. Boy! How you learn to appreciate finer food when you have been away from it for so long.
I am back in Action again and, so far, haven’t hit the ground in a hurry. So far, we have been lucky and none of our gun positions have come under serious shell-fire. Do you recall the time I mentioned that my (S.P.) gun was hit with fragmentation bombs? Well, Mom, right out of the blue sky, they saw fit to decorate me with the Military Medal (M.M.) and it really floored me because I had forgotten all about the incident and, in any case, I certainly didn’t expect a medal. Talk about military secrecy, they certainly kept the whole thing very quiet and I was a very surprised boy. On the day in question, a battery inspection was called and all sergeants were instructed to wear serge. I was particularly annoyed because I had a suit of coveralls over mine to protect the uniform from the mud.
The three troops, “H.Q.,” “A,” “B,” fell in and formed a hollow square. I just naturally expected it was another “Dope” parade which the Major holds to give us the tactical situation. The Major now arrived and, after taking over the parade, called my name. I wondered what I had done to annoy the old boy as I stood before him. It was then that he told me that the parade was held in my honour and I was to receive the M.M. I must say, it really shook me and throughout the remainder of the next half hour I was completely in a daze. The Colonel finally pinned on the cute little ribbon, after a very short but highly flattering speech. So, there you have it, Mom, you have a blinking ’ero in the family. The funny part of it was that Kay made me promise not to “stick my neck out” trying for medals. Before I forget, Mom, you must not have the information published until the award appears in the Canada Gazette.
Just got word from the Command Post that we are to move in an hour. At the moment, our air force is giving old Gerry particular hell, which does my heart good. Two Gerry pilots even had the audacity to come over our position in broad daylight yesterday. They were the first I have seen since the start of the present campaign.
Well, Mom, have a good Xmas and a toast to your new M.M.