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Date: May 21st 1944
Wanda Gill - (wife)
Leslie Gill

letter No 4.

HMCS Iroquois
GPO London
May 21/44


At least I think its the fourth maybe it’s the fifth, Ive sort of lost track of things these last few days. From now on I will keep score on the corner of the tablet. Four letters (started) in 8 days is rather good for me isnt it? Especially if you believe what an industrious lad I’ve been every day too. Today (Sunday) was Divisions, but Hughie and I had to carry on working. Did about two days work each up till six oclock, then we called it a day. Since then I’ve fed my face, done a big washing, listened to Jack Benny mended my pants, and thats about all for today.

You must be in BC now. Tomorrow morn or 1.15 our time you will climb off the train in Vancouver. Why in hell cant I be there to meet you? Wouldnt it have been a good skylark for me to have got leave, nipped home ahead of you, and been there on the platform to meet you? Just a dream of course, but it doesnt cost anything. Dont ever worry about me pulling an Earl Mc Budney on you, darling. I’ll always give you plenty of notice.

Pardon me darling, I have to listen to Charlie McCarthy for a few minutes. Of course I love you a hell of a lot more than him, but he’s here and you aint! I will carry on writing during the commercials.

Received your letter on May 17 OK. I’m so glad everything went along so nicely. It sounds as though people are taking good care of you. And so they should! As long as you dont think theres anyone who can take better care of you than I can. You mustnt take the past few months as an example though, Im sure I can take much better care of you than that, given the opportunity. You believe that too dont you, dear? Wait till all this is over, and we have a chance to settle down and really make a home. It may be a bit unpretentious (that means humble, but I didnt want to be trite!) at first, but we’ll grow.

I wrote to Alan the other day. It was just about time, dont you think? Thats one less, still have another six or so, then I will concentrate on you again. Not that I wont carry on writing to my darling as usual, Ill just have to write twice as much for a while.

Its that time of night again love, I’m just about asleep here in my chair. Soon as our Chief Yeoman is through ironing I’ll sling my sack and turn in. It doesnt look as though he’ll be finished for hours yet so here’s another page.

One thing I meant to mention before, be sure to go to the Metropolitan office in Victoria with that receipt, and start the wheels moving to get that policy on its feet. You’ll have to pay another couple of premiums too, poor kid. Wilf sent me that money all night, so now Im quite wealthy. Tons of dollars in my pocket and cant get ashore to spend it. Not even a birthday present for my wife. Do you think she’ll mind if it arrives a little late? You speak to her and see what she says. Shes a lovely girl, and quite reasonable at times. Only unreasonable thing she ever did was to marry a silly looking jerk in the Navy!

Thats all for tonight darling, too tired to think straight and cant mail this for a while yet anyhow.

Tons of love

May 22/44


Here we are again. The end of a perfect day. Its just 9.30 and Im having trouble staying awake. Its all your fault too, you made an early bird out of me. Chief Buffer just wandered in with a pot of tea and a caramel pie he scrounged from somewhere. Any gooey patches on the next couple pages will be tea or pie. Im a very tired boy (again) so this will be another droopy sort of letter. No mail from you for the last couple of days. Im not surprised, you probably didnt write again after Ottawa, and we couldnt have got it anyway.

We figured things out pretty well didnt we darling? You could have stayed two or three days longer, but thats all. Get it? This morning you should have arrived in Vancouver. At least, it was morning for you but 1.15 in the afternoon for us. You gained 4 hours on me, you little rascal! Im all agog to hear how you made out. Be sure to write and tell me all. Silly to say that, isnt it? As if you wouldnt!

Soon as possible, phone Abie and Suzie and ask about that parcel, and if so does he want any more. Im still very fond of Abie, even if he doesnt write to me. Theres probably some very good reason why he couldnt. Please report in your next letter.

I havent heard from Marge yet, so I guess I’ll write her tomorrow. Have you heard anything yet? Wonder what she’s going to knit for us. Chuckle!

Say, how in hell do you iron those white shorts of mine? I had a go at ironing today, and the results were very discouraging. My shirt technique is still good, I’d like you to have seen the two I did today. But the balloon britches have me baffled! You found them difficult too at first, didnt you?

I still have some virgin shirts, ironed by your dainty hands, so I shall save them for state occasions, and my own handiwork for ordinary events. (Pubs and other shore crawling) Naturally I wear the blue ones for everyday and I have tons of them. Im very well fixed for clothes, so dont worry about that. Its after pipe-down and people are glaring at me. More tomorrow


Tuesday PM

Heres me again. No mail yet but I hope to get some soon, also an opportunity to mail this. Am still a busy boy, having lots of fun though and learning a few things.

I just remembered something that I was going to comment on and never got around to. Remember that girl who tinted our pictures? Well she was a south paw. Silly to remember now, isnt it? But all kinds of little unimportant things like that come to me at odd times. Things that I saw when I was with you usually. They seem to be more important because they happened in your presence. Do you think Im a little crazy, or is it love?

Last few days Ive worked as long as the daylight lasted. Theres not much I can do after dark, but it doesnt get dark now till nearly bedtime. That work list I mentioned last letter is getting longer all the time. Seems we get one job done and two more crop up. Well it cant go on forever, we must get caught up some time.

I wish there was more I could tell you, we’ve had a very interesting time up till now, but all more or less Naval Secrets. I’ll tell you all about it some happy day a long time from now. Till then I can just tell you the old old story. I love you and love you and love you. Multiply that by millions and you’re still short of the real amount. Its an astronomical figure really. Did I tell you before?

When we get some mail aboard I will be able to compose a more lucid missive. Its now 10 PM and time for beddie-bye. Gunners Mate is giving me a shake at 6 AM. Horrid thought isnt it? Necessary though, if we ever expect to get our work done.

I notice the canteen has some very impressive note paper. I must get some and knock your eye out with the swishy crest. Its too thick for regular use though, you’ll just see it now and again in “shorties”. I’ll love you forever darling.


Original Scans

Original Scans