2nd Fd. Regt. R.C.A.
Canadian Army Overseas
I have been in England three weeks. I haven't seen Bill [his brother in the R.C.A.F.] I wrote to him but no answer yet. My mail has wandered around so much I guess it hasn't reached me. In fact, I haven't received any mail yet but hope to get some this week. I have been assigned to the 2nd Field Regt R.C.A., which is the 1st Division and it has been over here about 2 1/2 years. They are considerably in advance of us and I will have a hard time of it I think but no doubt will learn plenty. We are living well out in the country in a big woods. I have never seen a German bomber yet although I have seen our bombers cutting far across the channel. We don't get much news as the papers here are about four pages and they print the foolishest stuff to a Canadian. Up to now the weather has been very nice, neither too hot or too cold, and that is a good thing as we live in tents. The eats are much better than I expected and are quite good for England. I asked Barbara to get Bill's proper address and no doubt she has phoned you about it. I have been writing her by air mail which is now supposed to be pretty fast. No doubt he is having a fair time. Down here I haven't been away from camp since I came and do not expect to be out much in the next three months although I could get away occasionally. I will probably visit London with Bill if I can arrange leave at the same time. I found out where Wimp [??] was and went down thru but he was away on leave.
I have seen somewhat of the island sound of the Thames and it is pretty country. I saw Kent and if anywhere could be nicer I want to see it. That was last weekend. The whole country looks like a park. Where we are is more rugged but still rather nice. There are more hedges in England than we have wire fences. No maples but lots of oaks. The seaside resorts now are all closed being full of barbwire and booby traps but apart from things like that the country appears peaceful enough. There was an air raid warning where I was at the holding unit but I didn't hear it and I think there wasn't anything very close. As a matter of fact it is rather hard to think there is a war on except that everyone is in uniform of some kind or another. It looks funny to see women working as freight handlers. The stores are mostly manned by decrepits, very old or very young. The nation seems completely uprooted. A lot of small shops are closed and I suppose the owners are in the army. We are in farming area. Land isn't too good but they work away. They have no barns and stack all hay. By the way, I saw a M[assey] F[erguson] mower the other day and most of the implements came from Canada. All the houses in the country seem substantial and made to last but they have no central heating and are supposed to be very cold in winter. I haven't seen a frame house yet. All the soldiers over here—they are 2 1/2 years now and are wanting either to get into France or back to Canada. They are fed up here. This isn't a bad country for single fellows. They seem to hit with the women pretty fair, but for the old married fellows the amusement isn't very copious and they get pretty fed up. We get lots of daylight here. It is 9 o'clock while I am writing this and it is still quite light. Of course we are on double daylight saving time.
I suppose everybody is well at home and Pa has the roots thinned by now. They are haying here and have been for the last couple of weeks. I haven't seen a rainstorm since I came. This is supposed to be unusual but I believe the fall and winter are very cold and miserable with rains most of the time. We have good batmen here and if we are off manoeuvres at 5 o'clock get tea in the old English way. Today was Sunday. I got breakfast in bed. However, eating is very spasmodic when at work and we eat whenever it is convenient. They really go to town when they start to go into action here and nothing must get in the way. That seems all the news for now.