I hope you got my last long treatise. I believe I finished up by saying I expected about four days leave before reporting to the new yet temporary station. Well, naturally the crew were in a feverish rush to get away so I had to work like mad on the clearances. Our little station, I should explain, was only a satellite so I had to go to the main base some miles away to do it. The officers got away one afternoon but the NCOs were held up by a pay parade so I stayed over. Lucky I did too. I think because adjutants accountant officers, CGIs, etc all were in bad temper about this special work for our benefit. However the boys caught the train very early the next morning leaving only me. Well when I was actually on the railway platform at noon the CO phoned me to say that we didn’t have to report until April 6. This meant a hurried change of plans as I was only going to Manchester were Ken Reid is staying so I gave my new address and the CO shipped down a new travel warrant to the station. Result I am back in London.
When I called into the mess on my way back from the station there were three letters, one from Peter. Quoting from memory ‘after pulling out disabled tanks for 12 hours under hellish fire and on the last one we backed over eight mines. Killed two, wounded six, and blew three buildings down.’ Peter was blown accross the road and had his eardrums ruptured. He can hear O.K. but has a continual telephone buzz. He ought to be over here soon and I have written him to write to Moreton as I am going there about Tuesday.
It is over six months since I did operational flying. I really wonder whether I will again because I won’t be in any position to for another three months at least. No use worrying about that though, but if I had stayed on the sqdn and refused the captains course I would be just about finished now. I saw a pilot yesterday who came to the sqdn after I did but who is now on the way home. It was an unusual case though.
I had a good trip down this time as I got a sleeper. I went immediately to the King George & Queen Elizabeth Dominion Officers Club where I am now staying. Only 5/6 for bed and breakfast and I have to be more economical this time after the previous ten days leave and the thought of this new and longer one. I have a terrific bank balance, over $1000 I guess but I want it to remain high.
This club is in Grosvenor St. W and is the same place that I went to a dance last year with Alan Mackenzie. It was a magnificent house at one time. I have never seen anything like the carved panelling which is in all the main rooms. Even the bathroom off my room is enough to give you the willies, that is if you had a tough night previously, as each tile is gaudily painted with some quaint Chinese figure.
The first day I went to the bank, did some shopping (new raincoat and shirt) took in a news theatre and went home. Then I met a Canadian who had just arrived so after a few at the clubs bar I took him down to the Tudor Club. From there we went to a club that has just been opened. I wasn’t a member but I knew one of the girls who worked there (she was one of those who took Peter and I to lunch a few years ago). We had supper here, a wonderful meal—about half a roast pheasant each.
The next day I saw in the club register that there were three chaps staying there that I had only seen a few days ago at the main station so I arranged a rendezvous with them at 2:30. The night before they had met a Canadian Red + girl that I knew from Vancouver so they were to find her again. Then I went to lunch with Freda (from the Admiralty) and she gave me two lovely pictures of my aircraft.
At 2:30 I got to the club where we had arranged. It is supposed to be a members club but seems to be open to all Canadians and the place was decorated with huge RCAF signs etc. Anyway they were all there in fact it was difficult to get near the bar. I first met Helen at the Flying U and saw her a few times afterwards. She works just outside London and had to go back about 3:30, however we are going to arranged a future meeting under less crowded conditions.
Next Jimmy Miller (one of the three just arrived) and I went to a show (Meet Me in St. Louis) and then on to supper same place as night before. From there to a dance at the Overseas League where we just missed several 10/ notes in a raffle.
This morning I was practically blown out of bed by a rocket. It scared me—its the first time I’ve found myself wondering where to duck. It landed in a park very close to where I stayed last year but did very little damage. I saw the results.
Then I walked down town along Constitution Hill and the Mall and so to here where I had lunch.
Just off to see the tower now I think.
With love from
[Editor’s note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]