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Date: October 3rd 1941
Wife & daughter
Robert Duncan

[from back of envelope:
Cpl. R.J. Duncan
#11 Unit C.P.C.(A.F.)
3rd. Div.
Canadian Army Overseas”]
Letter #(3)

My Two Sweethearts;

All anone on duty in the orderly room so it is a dandy chance to get a letter knocked out to you and give you the big news, that is if Jacks letter does not get there first. Yes sir, I have been with him the last 2 nights.

When we landed at Aldershot I made enquiries and found his outfit were out on a scheme, so I held no hope of seeing him before next week at the best. It all seems queer to think back on now for he was in town the night I landed here, just back from a seven day leave in Scotland. As his unit was in the field and he had no duties he was back in town the next afternoon when Walt Grime spotted him and was on his way up to our lines when I ran into them as I was on my way down the hill to town. Strange to say we had both taken the same road and just as I got to the bottom of the hill I spotted Jack about a half a block away. It was sure a surprise to both of us.

He is looking wonderfully well, in fact I dont think I ever saw him looking better. However, this called for a drink and just in case of an emergency I had brought along a bottle of "Duncan's Royal Palace", some name says I, for a Scotch mountain dew. We soon took the sting out of that and then went down town. Jack went around to delivera couple boxes of short-bread and oat cakes that he had brought from scotland to his friends the McConnells. We got there just in time for that great English institution the afternoon tea. It was the first decent cup of tea I had tasted since we left Debert. The McConnells seem very nice people and there is no doubt they seem to think there is no one like Jack. As ever, he just walks in and makes himself at home and there is that feeling about the house. They are evacuees from London, not that they lost their home but the raids got to be a little too much for them. They have rented their home and are now living all over the place. She has a flat here, the old gent, 74 years old went back to the chemical plant to work after being retired, and lives in a part of London to be near his work and one of the girls works up near London. Yes I got a good bit of the family history but I'm not too sure of my memory for any more of it. But we did enjoy the evening.

And Jack was back into town before I was through yesterday afternoon, so away we went. Had a bite to eat at the Sally Ann and then went to see Spencer Tracey in "Men Of Boy's Town". From there we went for a feed of fish and chips and managed to get our order before they were sold out of chips. So after a wander around we headed for our own lines by the light of the silvery moon, which has by the way been very bright this last 3 nights; with this help it has not been very hard to move around in spite of a total black-out and large crowds.

Its all the same to these people whether you walk on the side walk or share the road way with the traffic which have just pin holes of lights.

The streets are very narrow and I might mention, hard on the feet. We found that out with full packs on the night we came in.

I heard Moaning Minnie for the first time the night before last but it was in the distance and we did not get the alarm. I hear there was only one raider and when they spotted him he didnt wait for tea.

I have also watched our planes as they fly so high you seldom see them up there but can follow then by the trail of mist they cause in the high altitude with the heat from their motors, or the exhaust or some such.

Also saw a captured German plane being used in a field scheme. It was marked so that none of our own boys would start pumping lead at it.

As I look at my watch I find it is just time with you for our school girl Pat to be getting home for lunch. Gee how often I look at the time and try to figure out just what you are doing. Of Course a lot of the time you are or should be in bed. Eight hours is a long time between us my Dears. Isnt It?

I have not had my landing leave yet but expect it to start on Monday. As we only get 2 travel warrants a year I am not using my warrant this time as I only get 5 days. So I am paying my ticket, about 5 shillings (1.25) to take a look at the London district and run out to Pinner, another 10 miles beyond London to see Mrs. Richards sister, as I promised I would.

Jack and I have already made plans to visit Auld Scotland together on our next 7 day leave which we can arrange to get both at the same time.

Another little thing we have talked over is the idea of me claiming him into my unit. This can be done and Jack seems all for it. I like the idea myself.

The more I see the evidence of raids the more I want to help do something about it. Believe me, these people have guts to spare for this job. They can smile, they can laugh, they can even joke and make light of their misfortune. Even the youngsters; Who wouldn't want to help them square the account.

As far as I am concerned, all I ask for is a few letters from home, the odd parcel of smokes, which are hard to get over here, and in side of me the same stuff these people are made of.

There seems to be absolutely no chance of us starving but take it from me, luxuries are not even thought of. I brought a lot of chocolate bars over and Jack really sailed into them. I also brought some tea and sugar but it seems to be the sugar that is scarce. You always seem to be able to get a cup of tea but they cant always give you a lump of sugar with it.

The room where I am right now is just full of mosquitoes but they havent bothered me much over here. There are several dozen in the room but I'm sure that 1 or 2 of the ones back home would cause more discomfort. The ones they have here are big but they dont carry a brass band with them to entertain you after you go to bed and their motors are so slow that you can over-take them on foot at a slow walk, no pep. Only one so far has found my type of blood to be his taste and then he did not leave a lump like his Canadian counter part always did. They seem very sporting about the whole business too and go to bed when the bugle sounds "Lights Out"

This letter may sound as goofy as a night mare Hon. but lets put it all down to first impressions and call it a mess. Besides, it is time I put out my light and crawl to bed. There are black out shields for this room but none for my barrack room yet so it means going to bed in the dark.

Good night my Sweets and happy dreams
Until we meet again
All my love
xo Daddy xo

P.S. Just notified, Canadian mail is in – I wonder if Im in luck. D.

Original Scans

Original Scans