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Date: October 27th 1943
Mother – (Mary Stubbs)

Oct 27 /43.

Dear Mother:

We aren’t doing much this week—just things like drawing flying kit, testing gas masks and such like. My weeks leave starts on Saturday. Still no word from Peter or Dick so the mail service can’t be very good. The alarm clock arrived today. Its long trip must have disturbed its mechanism because it runs very fast set at full ‘slow’.

The place we stayed at in the States was not very comfortable. Their barracks don’t compare with ours, the walls being unlined, no central heating and washrooms in separate small buildings. Meals were frightful and eaten off one of those trays divided into compartments. However all this was bearable so long as we could get away in the evenings but so many went AWL to quite distant cities we were C.B.ed for awhile. When this was lifted we went to Boston for an evening but wasted most of this by going to a show and then quite a long way by tube to a restaurant near Harvard U. By the time we got back all the bars were jammed and we had only time for two drinks before catching the bus to camp.

We had a good trip over, travelling in considerable comfort if slightly overcrowded. I believe the sea was unusually calm so than none whom I know were sea sick. In fact it would be hard to be on such a boat. It was a colossal gambling den; all day our lounge was a mass of poker and crap games. In the crap games Can. funds were at par with U.S. and the £ went at 4.00—all funds seemingly equally welcome. The games were often large—one U.S. major made $1800 one night. Also chess was surprisingly popular and I had several games as relaxation from poker. American cigs sold at 200 for 50¢ and in addition everyone was given 400 free so I wished in one way I had some spare room for a supply of them.

I say one way because the worst part of the whole trip was that we had to carry all our baggage on and again off the boat. This meant a trunk, an overstuffed Gladstone, gas mask, cape, filled water bottle, and two overloaded haversacks. I must have been carrying almost my weight in baggage and although we did it in short spurts with frequent rests it was a real ordeal.

Travelling on posting in England will be quite a trial too because you have to get your own baggage out of the baggage car etc. And soon I will have two more kit bags to look after.

Well its almost time to wander down to the lounge for sandwiches.

With love from


[Note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]

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