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Date: October 24th 1941
Dennis Quinlan

No. 12
Friday, October 24, 1941

Dearest Mum -

As usual everything happens at once! We no sooner get some decent weather and are able to fly than my long overdue Canadian mail starts arriving and on top of that Art Salt comes down from Louiemouth where he is presently stationed to visit me.

So, all in all this last week has been a very, very busy one and therfore all the more interesting. We have been doing considerable flying both day and night but still not enough to suit me. Even at the present rate it will be two or three weeks before we are finished our training and posted to an Operational Squadron.

That day just can't come too soon for me! I do so want to be really doing something.

I just can't begin to put in words Mumsy how much the letters meant to me. I received two of yours dated Sept. 24 and Sept 29 (No. 1) and I am rather glad I received them together for when you wrote the first you had received very few from me.

It does begin to look now as if our mail is sorting itself out and has decided to be good. I hope so. Along with your's this week Mum were also two from Dad and a lovely and very welcome parcel from Fran.

I certainly did like the candid snap Mum which was quite definite proof you had recovered from your accident. Some smile is right! It did my heart good to see it.

Please try not to worry Mum if the mail does not come through regularly - it is more true than ever under these circumstances that 'no news is good news.'

Its lovely of you Mum to be thinking so much of sending me parcels for really selfish as I know it must sound, there's no thrill quite comparable to that of a parcel from home. And I know that if you realize how much happiness they give me that will be ample compensation for all the trouble & bother entailed.

That does seem very 'piggy' doesn't it?

I think I asked in one of my previous letters Mum if you could send my on my 'civvy' clothes - what there are left. That is, just the pair of light fawn trousers and my white and blue sweaters - if you can find them.

I might add from the feel of the weather around here sometimes a pair of ear-muffs but I won't for I'd never have the nerve to wear them.

About the watch Mum darling, if your heart is really set on getting me one for Christmas, it would indeed be a lovely and very very acceptable gift. In our job as navigators our very best friend is an accurate reliable watch. So Mumsy I leave it up to you for you know that I would love anything you sent me large or small for I also know what you send with it.

I think that was a very grand idea for Bryan's watch Mum for I did so want to send him a gift but really it isn't worthwhile buying anything over here now.

But for a good, level-headed business woman Mums you do get some quaint ideas. Home for Christmas! I know that must be the result only of wishful thinking but I wouldn't dare hold out the slightest possibility for fear of disappointing so much. No one is sorrier than I but it is altogether out of the question.

I do hope you will have Christmas with Bryan Mum as I expect you probably will + perhaps Fran will be able to get away for a day or so though I suppose she could hardly leave the two kids at Christmas for they put so much store in it.

As for me I am looking forward to some lovely times around Christmas - if I can't be with you all in Canada I may as well see all the folks in London and I have not the slightest doubt but that they will give me a marvelous time.

Oh before I forget Mum - another request! I am awful aren't I? I would like you to get me if you can a pair of running shoes (not the low ones but the 'boot' type) size 10. You can't seem to get them here at all.

I am glad Mum that you are taking up your 'studying' again, for, as you say, it does give you something to keep busy on which is something. You could always write me a letter 'cause I just love 'em!

I thought of you especially last Wednesday Mum and after looking at your snap I thought what a pity I couldn't have taken you out with an Air Force uniform, not a mere Army one (with all due respect to Dr. Winnop) - it being your 21st and all! You looked quite 'smashing' as Cousin 'Sally' would say and probably will when I show her the snap next time I'm in London.

I do hope that Bryan is home for Christmas as you mention he might be Mum but I cant credit him getting his Wings already - I have no doubts but that he will and his Commission too but I think he has another Course to finish after his first one. I certainly am looking forward to a letter from him.

Be sure and have him give you double hugs + kisses Mumsy when he's home to make up for the ones I can't. I know the ache + pain you must feel inside Mum and I would give anything to be able to squeeze it right out and hear come bubbling up as a smile + cough of happiness.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the letter Art Salt was here on Tuesday + Wednesday to see me and really Mum it did feel good to see him again. I do wish you could have met him for he is such a grand fellow. We spent simply hours chatting and laughing over 'old times' - only the past year but it somehow seems like a decade. He is a commissioned Pilot but he didnt arrive in England until some weeks after I did. I think I have told you before that Bart Sheppard remained behind as an Instructor and I am really glad of that for his wife's + little baby's sakes if nothing else.

Our Sydney outfit, from all we can gather has put up quite a remarkable record for successfully passing all the Courses so perhaps those long long twelve weeks in dreary Nova Scotia did us good!

So you can see Mum that I have had a very full week - the days have slipped by very quickly and pleasantly.

I heard from Aunt Daisy only today and she was very sorry to hear of your tumble Mum. Both she and Barbara are endeavoring to get in touch with the oculist so I do hope I will get something definite before long.

That seems to be most all the news Mum. I have really settled down to an evening's letter-writing in order to catch up - my room seems very warm and cosy as I can hear the soft purring of the flames in my small coal-stove so all in all I am very contented + happy - as long as I know you are.

All my love Mum darling, oodles of kisses and a great big hug.


P.S. I sent Fran a couple of snaps + negatives so she will probably be able to send you on some prints Mum. It is easier that way as developing etc. is very slow + quite expensive over here.

Original Scans

Original Scans