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Date: February 14th 1942
Jill Leir - (fiancée)
Denys Beames

Can. R101215 Sgt H.D. Beames,
Attached R.A.F.
R.C.A.F. Overseas.

My darling Jill;

Hello sweetheart, having sat down for half an hour and tried to think out just what I could say, I’ll now sit down and try and say it. There is one thing Jill, that they can never stop me saying – I love you – and that comes as close as words can too what I mean.

It is valentines day darling and I haven’t the money to send you a wire, so about a month from now, you will know I was thinking of you on valentines day.

After supper this evening I took a long walk along the path on top of the cliffs, where the fresh sea breeze blows away the city smell and the isolation of the blackout makes quiet thought so much easier than in barracks or in the city. I have grown very fond of the blackout as a refuge, where I can go to be utterly alone and undisturbed. It seems so quiet and peacefull out there by the sea, I often wish you were here with me, but then when I see the planes rocketing across the sky and everyone in uniform during the day I am so glad you are safe at home. It is so much better that you should not have to go through the needless fears and mental pains, if not physical that some of the women over here have had to and will have to. So please don’t try and get over here for this year at least and by that time I’ll probably be back there with you and we will be able to get married and make a place for ourselves in this mad old world as we have planned.

So far I have neither been paid nor had any leave so I have had no chance to get out to any of the places or people I am hoping to see. If possible I’d like to get up to Ditchit soon and get some idea of where the best places to go are and make a few contacts, so that when I get leave later on I’ll be able to get around without wasting time and see the best parts of the country. It seems that we don’t get any leave for the first few weeks of our time over here, but we may get some and I don’t want to waste any time over here where there is so so much to see.

Some day, in peacetime, I’m going to bring you over here and show you this little island garden. It is really the loveliest little spot you could imagine in a rather quiet sturdy way. It has none of the wild impregnable spirit and grandeur of our own mountain province, yet the green fields and the thatched houses, and the yew hedges and stone walls, the cobblestreets and gray old churches, the little pubs and big old oaks, a thousand other little things make the rural parts of the island, a revelation in lavender and old lace. I would love a good long look at the hills of home and to hear the wind singing in the pines, but I know now why the Englishman boasts of his “old country,” and can quite understand it.

This is a land of strange controversies. The houses are built to last for generations and do, but the conveniences, which we enjoy, are very lacking. The electric systems are very poor and they have no ideas of different lighting or frosting globes, so one strains their eyes till they ache. The plumbing is nearly as bad as the others and (true to story) it is unheard of to expect heat to any appreciable extent in any of the hotels or public places, although the few houses I have been in have been much more comfortable than I expected.

As you can see I had to stop for awhile and this letter is going to be slightly later than I expected (damn it).

One of the biggest surprises over here is the excellent food we get. There isn’t the variety of foods here that we had at home and we only get one little restaurant style pat of butter a day and other little things are lacking but we always get a very well cooked, really filling meal. When I think of some of the foul meals that we were expected to eat at home during our training, I blush for the R.C.A.F.

Graham is going down to mail some letters now, so I’ll say adios for the moment.

I’ll write again soon dearest and will be thinking of you every moment.

All my love sweetheart,

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