May 8, 1942
I think my last letter covered up to sometime on Sunday. All Monday was taken up mostly with drill except that we had our first P. T. This is for 45 minutes five times a week and is tough. I suppose one gets used to it but they don’t seem to think about breaking us in gently.
I got my uniform back form the tailors at noon on Tuesday and it fits quite well. Perhaps that is one reason why I was selected that afternoon to be one of the three markers for our flight of 45 men. So far there are only two occasions when the markers do anything different than the rest. At the command “Eyes right” the markers turn right, march off 5 paces, about turn, dress the line, and march back at command “eyes front”. The other occasion is less responsible and is simply to get us out of the way while the ranks are sized in order of height.
On Wednesday morning I had my first wireless class. There are 48 buzzers in the room which make quite a noise as everybody tries them out. I have been trying to learn the code and there are about 9 letters yet that I don’t know. We will have to be able to do 5 words per minute after I. T. S. 8 after “elementary” and 12 after S. F. T. S.
On Wednesday evening I had a couple of games of chess. I was beaten but only because I was accustomed to being told if I was moving my queen into danger.
On Thursday we had more wireless and P. T. in the morning but the afternoon was our sport day. I chose to play volley ball which was alright at first but we played over 2 hours with only a ten minute break and a few muscles are still complaining.
Thursday was quite a gala day for we got our important EE cards which permit us to leave from 5 to 10:30 every night. I was very lucky to get leave last night and not later because Doug. Sharpe was in town on embarkation leave. He is a pilot officer observer and after a short course in Toronto on astral navigation he is going to navigate a bomber over to England. I rushed down town right after 5:00 and met Doug and another mutual friend in a beer parlor. To my mild relief Doug wasn’t in uniform but when Frank Layton and I met him again after supper at his wife’s peoples house he had it on so I put a “sir” into my greeting. The whole situation was rather amusing for all of us partially because I used to go out with his wife quite a bit when at Varsity. There were quite a few old Varsity friends there, one of whom was the former Sheila Stewart who played tennis in the Kelowna tournament one year.
This morning our flight was singled out for fatigue duty. Its only blessing might have been no P. T but for at least five of us it was a holiday. We loaded and unloaded one truck load of storm windows and moved a small pile of 2x4 about twenty feet. This didn’t take long but there was nothing more to do so we were told not to go to our huts but to get out of sight of the “Works & building office” where we were. If we were asked what we were doing we were to say we were looking for ladders. I spent most of the morning in the recreation hall watching snooker and memorizing the code.
By the way the C[?] I mentioned should have been, of course Wally Meikle.
I was supposed to go out with Dick’s friend to have supper with F/L Prieur tonight but it fell through. He is the medical officer here and a fraternity brother.
Tomorrow morning we compete in drill and dress against two other flights, the winner getting the afternoon off. The first flight have had several more days of drill than us so we really haven’t much hope particularly as our corporal is going on a 48 and we will be drilling to a strange voice.
I am awfully glad Peter has got his sergeant’s stripes. I must write him a letter write away.
With love from
[Note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]