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Date: January 31st 1945

January 31, 1945

Just a few lines to let you know I’ve not forgotten you. So often I intend to drop you a line and so seldom do I get around to it that I feel ashamed. A pal of mine, Bill McLennan, told me the other day that his wife had undergone an operation at the Royal Alex and a Miss Swinton was the nurse. I don’t suppose you would know this young nurse by any chance, would you? It’s really a pretty small world, isn’t it?

Well, kids, I received a letter from Mom yesterday. The dear old lady had just received word of my award. She didn’t say a great deal, but I know she was awfully pleased. I expect you were all very happy to see my ugly mug in the papers, but I hope they didn’t print too much with it. The award came as a great surprise to me as I wasn’t expecting anything that any good gun Sgt. would do. It makes you think though, doesn’t it? Two years ago, they didn’t think me capable of carrying stripes. Today, I find myself a confirmed Sergeant with the M.M.

It hasn’t changed my views regarding the army, though, not by a long shot. To me the army is the pettiest form of dictatorship and always will be. In this Canadian army, politics plays a far too important role. Here I go “beefing” again, time to change the subject. We are out of Action again for a rest. It’s nice to know you can go to bed and not be bothered till morning. The long hours of duty on the gun begin to tell on a person too. Of course, they don’t give us much peace back here either, but at least we have a warm billet and a chance of catching up on our letter writing and sleep.

The news from the Russian Front is really good, isn’t it? Perhaps brother “Joe” will put paid to the German army before Spring. It really does look very encouraging and gives me high hope of seeing you before the summer is out. 

The weather here is much colder than further south last winter. We get more snow and a lot more frost. I really prefer the cold to the rain, so it’s not too bad. We had quite a nice Xmas up in Action. Old Fritz was very quiet Xmas Eve and Xmas Day. We had our fair share of turkey too. I was glad to hear that you kids were able to get home for Xmas.  -----