Douglas Eastham in uniform c1942, possibly visiting his mother in Bristol
Doug Eastham to Margaret Eastham December 1941 – February 1944
#3 Dec 8, 1941
My Dearest Marg:
Well here it is almost a month since I left you and I haven’t received any mail yet which of course isn’t your fault. And when I do get it I will get several at once. The days pass very quickly and each day brings us nearer together again. We are still waiting to be posted out to a station. I didn’t take any leave as Joan has no place to put me up and there is no hotel where she is. I could have gone to Wales or St. Annes but not knowing anyone I have put it off. Several of the boys have gone up to London, but it is too expensive for me. I went to Salisbury on Saturday and met Joan there and it felt good to see some one of your own, she looks just the same and was so pleased to see me. She hasn’t seen John for five months and expects him home on leave for Christmas and then she is going back up to Scotland with him. She is coming down here for a day this week.
I have picked up a lovely cold and had to go to the doctor today and have taken several pills and will go to bed early tonight. I sure miss you looking after me and June with her nursing but I guess you can’t have everything.
We listened to President Roosevelt tonight on the radio when he addressed the Senate and Congress and the news of war with Japan came as quite a shock to all of us. The Americans and Australians here would like very much to go home. The old world sure is in a mess but now that the States are actively in it the end won’t be so far away as I feel once they get started that Japan won’t last long. I suppose they will be having conscription in Canada soon, I’m glad I’m not in the reserve army now as it may mean the calling up of them too.
It all looks a mess just now dear but it will all end eventually and we will win. I hope you aren’t worrying too much about me because there is no need to as I promise you I won’t be doing any flying. All this had to be honey and there isn’t much we can do about it except get on with the job and get it finished and make this old world a better place to live in. I have learned one thing since I left you and that is that I didn’t take you out enough and believe me things will be different when I come back we will do a little more dancing and living and we won’t worry about tomorrow. I gave Joan her Christmas present and she was very pleased with the things and said she hadn’t sent us anything as everything is rationed which is quite true.
I haven’t written to anyone but you since I came as I haven’t felt like it but I will get around to it one of these days. I am not looking forward to Christmas very much and my thoughts will be with you and June and I know that she will enjoy herself which will comfort me a lot. I hope to get up to Southhampton one day this week and see Mrs. Borden and will let you know how I made out.
Well honey I will get to bed now and so will say good night sweetheart. I love you more than ever now and am looking forward to the day when I will be with you again. Take good care of yourself and June and I hope Santa Claus is good to you both.
Your loving husband
To June from Daddy
December 11, 1941
My Dearest Marg:
I received my first letter from you today. It is dated November 13th and it certainly was great to hear from you after all this time. My cold is much better and I am feeling fine again. I was sorry to hear about Aunt Nell and I do hope she comes through the operation O.K. Poor Aunt Nell certainly has had a lot of troubles to put up with. I am glad June has found a playmate and that she is enjoying herself, does she ever ask about her daddy?
We are getting posted out to our stations on Monday and will be all separated. I have no idea where we will be going but it sill be a good thing for us to get down to work. The news from the Far East isn’t very good these days but we always come back stronger after a set back and Japan has the advantage of surprise. I wonder if Monty is still in Singapore, I’m afraid it will be quite a hot spot for some time. We must expect some reverses at first but when the States and ourselves start rolling nothing can stop us and it won’t take long. The news from Russia and Libya is good these days and I think we are definitely on the road to Victory now. (Some speech eh kid!)
I went for a nice long walk this morning all by myself and I was wishing you were with me, it is a beautiful day just like June in Saint John. The Sea is great and I walked for some miles along the beach. Joan is spending the afternoon here and I am to meet her at the bus station at one o’clock so that will put in the afternoon for me. It seems so funny to us to see the grass and trees so green at this time of the year. I forgot to ask Joan about the insurance policies but will do so this afternoon and let you know what it is all about.
So Freddy is still in Toronto although I suppose he is now at Pennfield and the war with Japan may cause a lot of changes and he may not come over at all now. Tell your mother that the course Norman is taking is not as dangerous as we thought. I have been talking to quite a few of the boys and while it isn’t exactly safe it isn’t just what you might expect. Also the war with Japan will probably change his destiny and he may be stationed in Canada which will be a blessing for your mother.
Well honey it all seems so unreal and is like a dream and it just goes to prove that you can’t plan from one day to the next and when this is all over we are going to live each day and not worry about tomorrow. We sure had a swell time together and what is happening now will make our future all the happier because there are better days coming for us and if you just keep on hoping and praying everything will turn out alright. It sure seems funny to listen to the radio here and hear the songs I used to sing to you and it will be a happy day when I’m drying the dishes for you and singing to you again.
You wont’ have to worry about this war changing me any except to give me more confidence in myself and my ability and to make me appreciate all the more how much you mean to me and how lucky I am to have you to look forward to. There has never been anyone but you dear and never will be. Well I will sign off for now and will finish this tonight.
Well here I am again I met Joan alright and we had dinner together and then went to the show and saw “Blossoms in the Dust”. It was the first show Joan had seen in five months so she enjoyed it very much. We had a nice time and it cheered me up. She is sending me a cheque for L36 pounds which represents the money that Marjorie and I sent over for Mom to come out to Canada plus L8 pounds each of what was left after all expenses had been paid out of the insurance. The two policies which are in my name total $200 and she has been able to send them to Canada on condition that the money comes back here so when that comes it will be divided between the three of us. I will be sending Marjorie her share and will transfer mine to Union St. when I get it all straightened out.
I haven’t been down to Southampton yet to see Mrs. Borden and don’t think I will go now as I don’t want to spend too much money while I am here, some of the boys are nearly broke and we don’t get paid again until the end of this month so I am watching my step and although I am getting the money from Joan I would like to send it home to you. How are you making out with your money? Don’t forget to let me know when you write.
There are lots of pretty novelties and jewellery in the stores around here but anything I buy I am going to keep until I come home as I would hate to have it lost although from time to time I will send you some small parcel as I know what kick you and June get out of opening a parcel. I would like you to send me some cigarettes and chocolates if you will as they are quite scarce here and when you can get them they are expensive.
It will soon be Christmas and that will be the hardest on me because other and happier Christmas Eves will be in my thoughts and I used to get such a kick out of June and her enjoyment. Remember how we laughed when I hurt myself putting the doll crib together and you said “I never knew that Santa Clause swore.” We sure had some swell times and they will come again because that is what we are fighting for.
Well sweetheart I will close now and will write you as often as I can as long as I know you are all right and that you are keeping your chin up. I can carry on so don’t let it get you down. Give June a big hug and kiss for me and don’t let her forget me. All my love to you both.
Your loving husband
Somewhere in England
January 10, 1942
Here it is 10 O’clock Saturday night and I have just finished my supper after being on duty since 9:00 this morning. I have been quite busy lately as I was orderly officer on Thursday which kept me on the go. However, I have tomorrow off until 9:00 tomorrow night so I shall sleep in. I received letter no 10 from you today and was sorry to hear you felt blue and lonesome and hope by now my letters have started to reach you and that they are cheering you up. I get kind of blue and lonesome myself quite often but there isn’t much one can do about it and it is part of this war business.
Glad to hear that Freddie got away alright and I haven’t seen anything of him and probably won’t now as we have all been split up pretty well although you can’t tell. With regards to my address I will continue to keep the one you are using as long as I am in England because if I used the Bank of Montreal in London it means writing to them every time I changed stations and giving them a new address so that the present way is best. Sorry to hear that Blondie is being such a bad girl and so hard on her clothes, tell her that her daddy won’t come back to her if she isn’t going to be good. Don’t be too crass with her dear because she is at the age where they are hard to manage. I was very sorry to hear about Roll’s little girl, it must have been quite a shock to them.
We got notice that our pay went through so it is nice to get that straightened out and we are all happy again, it costs quite a lot for messing here around $25.00 a month and that isn’t counting cigarettes or drinks so I don’t imagine I will be saving very much especially when I have to buy another uniform. I am keeping very well although I am losing weight about 10 pounds since I came to England, but I never felt better.
If the people in Canada only know the blitzing of Germany that is being carried out by the R.A.F. they would be pleasantly surprised and it is certainly thrilling to be a part of it all. This station is a bomber station and it is quite a sight to see these big bombers taking off on their raids and to wait for their return and wonder who isn’t returning but we don’t talk about that. They are all a fine lot of fellows and believe me, I envy them and wish many a time that I were going with them. However the job we are doing is very important and is very much appreciated by all of them.
I received a Christmas card from Norman today from Dafoe so he is still out there. I will drop him a line soon. I also had a letter from the lawyer in Worcester, Mass about my Uncle’s estate with a long story about getting appointed executor of my mother’s estate and then he can send the necessary papers to be signed. I am sending the letter along to Joan to see what can be done about it.
Well dear, I am feeling very weary so I will close for now and will finish this tomorrow. Good night sweetheart.
Here it is Sunday and I have just finished my dinner. Gordie and I slept in until 11 o’clock so we are feeling quite refreshed again and we are planning on going for a nice walk this afternoon. I am on duty again tonight. They tell me that there were quite a few German planes flying around here [two words cut out] but no bombs were dropped and I slept all through the excitement. It is one of our jobs to plot their courses and it is thrilling to be following their course. My flashlight has gone out of business again and all I seem to do is buy new batteries or bulbs all the time. I would also like a few packages of Ronson flints when you send a parcel. I haven’t received any parcels yet although all the rest of the boys have had one or two, but I expect one any day now. I hope you will try and send me one every month if you can, don’t go to too much expense with them but small things like chocolate bars, etc are very much appreciated.
I would like to see you and June very much and miss you both more than I can ever put into words but we could never be happy together while all this is going on and I know you wouldn’t have it any other way and that if I hadn’t done my part in it you would lose your respect and love for me to some extent. I’m afraid all this is bigger than to two of us two dear and until it is finished there will be no peace or happiness for anyone. It will all be over eventually and while I regret the time we will be apart we have so much to look forward to and this can’t last forever. Just keep smiling dear and don’t let it get you down. You know how much I love and that there will never be anyone but you and that as long as you are there I will come back again. Last year was a momentous one in our lives and let us hope that this year will bring us together again or at least nearer to victory. I think of you whenever I hear music and all the songs I hear bring back memories of you. I would like to have that picture of you that used to be in our bedroom and should have brought it with me.
It will be spring again in a few months and how I used to enjoy it with you and walking with you on those spring nights when the trees were coming out and the smell of apple blossoms where we lived. England is very lovely but I miss the wildness of Canada and its ruggedness and you.
I will close now and get this in the mail. Give my regards to all the folks and remember me to them all. Take care of yourself and keep yourself occupied and try not to think of the gloomy side too much, just think of the future and our being together again and about how much I love you.
All my love
Somewhere in England
January 22, 1942
Sorry not to have written you for the last four days but I have been kept quite busy and have been waiting for a letter from you but so far I haven’t had one for a week. We have had about six inches of snow here and today it is raining and cold and slushy and me with no rubbers. I received another cheque from Joan for L20-2-6 and will have to wait until some of my pay accumulates before I can send any money home as I am not allowed to send any of the other, however it is a nice feeling to have some money in reserve and I will be able to get another uniform now. I owe Marjorie L20-1-3 altogether and will get it to her through you during the year.
Well it is tea time so I will go down to tea and will finish this after. Here I am this tea habit is getting me they seem to drink tea at all hours here. We are going to stay here now until the end of February and then go on the course as this course is all filled up. We would like to have gone but it will mean that much more practical knowledge for us and we all feel sure of passing the course anyhow. I am going on a course here next week on Airdrome defence which should prove interesting and useful and my army experience should come in handy. I don’t know whether I told you all this in my last letter or not.
Hank Holden and I went to town last Wednesday and had a nice time, we went to the show and stayed in for supper and then went to a pub and caught the last bus back here at 10:30. Everything closes at 10 and if you miss the last bus it means taking a taxi back or staying at an hotel all night so we have to watch the time. It is quite a treat to get away and see people and watch them shopping etc.
We are all getting along fine and seem to be quite well through of around here, the Squadron leader calls us his Canadians and the night he took us into town in his car we introduced him to a drink called rum and lime, they don’t have coca-cola here and to use the favorite expression around here he said it was “wizard”. Everything that is good is “wizard” so I’ll probably be using it when I come home. Tonight we have a movie down in the ante room and then I go on duty for twelve hours. I don’t think there will be much doing though as the weather is not very good.
I am getting to be pretty good at table tennis and billiards and Gordie and I play chess quite often so that our spare time is passed very nicely. I hope by now you are beginning to receive my letters and that they are cheering you up. Please don’t get downhearted because it is the folks at home and the thought of them that keeps us going. I miss you a lot honey and wonder when we will meet again. I’m afraid it won’t be for sometime but if I knew you and June are alright I can carry on. It seems so long since I saw you both but each day that passes brings us that much nearer to each other. You’re sure a swell girl dear and I don’t deserve you but I hope someday to make it all up to you. I know you wouldn’t want me to have done anything different and the way events have turned out I think we were lucky that I got in when I did. I hope you are making out alright on your money and I don’t want you doing without anything trying to save please. I hope your Dad and mother are keeping well and that you are getting used to living at home again.
Well honey I will say so long for now. Take good care of yourself and June for me and don’t let her upset you, she will be alright. Keep your chin up and don’t forget I think your “wizard.”
All my love, Doug
February 8, 1942
My dearest Wife:
It is Sunday today and the sun is very bright and feels very good although it is very slushy walking. I am feeling fine and am on duty tonight and have just finished my dinner. Gordie is sick in bed here and has a touch of the flu, but is getting better and should be up and around tomorrow. We were in [deleted by censor] on Friday and I tried all over to get some rubbers but had no luck so I shall have to go around with wet feet. Gordie was wise, he brought a pair with him. I wish I had. I received letter #15 from you yesterday and was very glad to get it and it sure cheers me up to hear from you. I hope June has recovered from her cold and am glad to hear that she is getting used to living in Saint John. Are you?
I received a nice long letter from Mr. Lawrence and also one from Mrs. Borden who would like me to go down and see her when I go on leave. She was in Bournemouth when I was there but I didn’t know it so I didn’t see her. Mr. Lawrence mentioned something about a picture in the Christmas issue of the staff magazine but as I didn’t get it I don’t know what it is about. Did you get it? I am glad to hear you are sending me another parcel and I shall be looking forward to it believe me. Yes I think it is best to keep them small and as you say if one is lost it won’t matter so much. I haven’t as yet received any cigarettes from Margie B or Billie Wilson only from Hilda, Nelson, the Bank and the “Luckies” in your parcel. I hope you will arrange to have some sent to me regularly, say 300 a month or 1000 every two or three months.
I will be getting the B of M Waterloo Place to transfer L10 to Union St one of these days and another L10 next month and you can send Marjorie a cheque when you get it. I will also send another L10 in April to help defray the cost of parcels if I can. I am glad you are getting your money regularly and as for you getting a fur coat, well you don’t have to ask me dear, you get one if you see one you like and anything else you need. If I was there I’d make you get one and when I come back you are not going to do without anything if I can help it. I wish we had got you one when we were in Montreal. I was sorry to hear about Audrey Barlow’s husband, poor kid, it is certainly a shame and I’m afraid this war is bringing a lot of sadness and unhappiness to a lot of people. Norman must be pleased to start his training and I hope he comes through alright and that your mother won’t worry too much about him. We will both be OK with you all pulling for us so don’t worry. One of my biggest jobs in life seems to be to stop people from worrying and then I go and give them something to worry about. . . What’s man
It is a nice feeling for me to know you are in good hands and takes a load off my mind. I miss you both more than I can ever tell you and you are both always in my thoughts I am looking forward to the day when we can be together again and it will be with a contented feeling that we have both done our part in this war and that we didn’t shirk. We both gave up a great deal to do our bit but I am sure the knowledge that we did it and had an active part in it all will more than repay us for all the heartache and loneliness w are experiencing now. I couldn’t have lived with myself otherwise and I know you wouldn’t have thought the same of me and what you think of me is what counts, you are everything to me and all I ask is to be worthy of you and to make you proud of me. Each day that passes brings me that much closer to you and your dear eyes and soft lips, the way you smile and look at me and all the loveliness that makes you the sweetest of them all. No one else could ever love you as I do dear.
Will I will say do long for now, keep the home fires burning and take good care of yourself and June and say a little prayer for me.
All my love, Doug
P.s. by the time you receive this valentines day will be past but you will always be my valentine.
February 25, 1942
My Dearest Marg:
Hello sweetheart, it’s me again and I wonder how many more letters we will have to write each other before we are finished. I haven’t received any letter from you for over two weeks now so I should be getting some soon. I received another parcel of magazines today which makes two parcels of those so I guess I am alright as far as they are concerned. It is depressing not to get any mail, but I know it isn’t your fault and I know you must have to wait too and it is a grand feeling to get a letter isn’t it?
Gordie is here across the table from me writing to his wife and it is nine o’clock in the evening and we have had quite a busy day of it, signalling with Aldis Lamp Navigation and a lecture about Hydraulics and we have a navigation problem to finish tonight. We hope to leave here tomorrow and return to our old station but have heard nothing definite about it yet. We understand from the last we heard that the main course starts on March 2nd but we don’t know if we are to go on it. We re getting fed up with waiting to go on it so we are all hoping we are chosen as we want to get all our training completed and get on with the job. The weather has been fairly nice and there is a hint of Spring in the air these days and it brings memories of you. The nights remind me of the nights we used to walk out Douglas Ave before we were married and how much I loved being with you. I never was contended unless you were near me and never will be.
I am keeping very well and except for missing you and your sweetness I am quite happy and find it all very exciting and interesting. The days go by very quickly over here which is a good thing and the time can’t pass quickly enough to suit me. I have certainly learned a lot about all kinds of things since I got into this business and find it all quite easy to grasp and seem to catch on to it all without too much difficulty. The way of life before all this seems like a dream now and I feel as though I had known nothing else and that I have always been doing this. It is not knowing what tomorrow will bring that is worrying although we don’t give it much thought and take each day as it comes. It is a pleasure to read the Saturday Evening Post again although some of the adds make my mouth water and after I have finished reading a story in it and look across the room I don’t see you knitting or sewing and miss the smile you used to give me and the look in your eyes.
Gordie and I play a lot of snooker and billiards during out off moments and we are fairly well matched as far as skill is concerned so we heave some great battles and our game is improving. We also play chess and he plays a much better game than Reg and I don’t win very often. Last night we were out on the flare path during the night flying and enjoyed watching it all and picking up details of various information which we feel will be useful to us.
I haven’t written to Norman yet and must drop him a line soon and hope he is making out alright. He will find a lot of the stuff pretty tough to understand but he will be alright and should make a good pilot.
Tell Eddie I would like to have one with him at the Club and the day Norman and he and I are all together again we will do some celebrating and also some fishing. Ask him if he remembers going fishing with Norm and I. Yes, those were the days. Do you remember the days we went fishing together and the days and nights on the river the nights we’ve skated together and danced together, the picnics we’ve been on and the parties we went to? Do you remember June 19th 1935 and all the glorious days of happiness we have had together? I do and shall never forget them nor you who made them all the greatest days I’ve ever known. Well sweetheart good night and God keep you safe for me. Kiss June for me and keep your chin up.
All my love, Doug
For June xxxxxx
September 2, 1942
My dearest June:
Hello blondie how is my little girl or should I say big girl. I would love to see you again and will be coming home to you as soon as I can. I suppose you have started school and I hope you like it, you haven’t got far to go anyway. I wish you were here to go walking with me sometimes, there are lots of bunny rabbits around here and I go out shooting them with my gun but I never hit them and you would laugh to see them running with their white tails bobbing up and down. The little kitten “Darkie” we used to have has run away. I guess he has found a new home, he was very cute all black and with a funny little face. I liked the snaps of you taken out at Uncle Jim’s place and will take you fishing with me when I come home. We will have a lot of things to do when I come back and wil have to go to Montreal and see how the place where the “birdies drink” is getting along without us. It will soon be Christmas again and I suppose you are being a good girl so that Santa Clause won’t forget you. I haven’t seen any little girls around here and the only little girl I want to see is you. How is Judie makingout these days in the funny papers, Ihear you still like her the best and that you always save her until the last. I hope you are being a good girl for Mummy and that you are looking after her for me while I am away.
Well I’ll say good night darling. Give Mummie a big hug and kiss for me and give my love to Nana and Pop. I love you a million dollars worth and will be back with you as soon as I can.
Your loving Daddy Doug
October 2, 1942 (Airmail)
Dear Marg. I have just mailed a letter to you today, but as I happened to be near the post office here I thought I would send you one of these. It is a lovely spot here and reminds me a great deal of Canada it is right on the sea and it is great to see the ocean again. Joan and Elizabeth are fine and John is coming home tonight until tomorrow night so I will see him for a while. It was quite a long and tiresome journey up here but it is well worth it and I am looking forward to a pleasant and restful visit. I am feeling fine and hope you are all well at home and that June is making out alright in school. Will write again in a few days. Take care of yourself and June, my best to all the folks.
Scotland October 4, 1942
My Dearest Marg:
Hello darling here it is Sunday morning and a wet one and as I am thinking of you as usual I thought I would write you a few lines and tell you how much I love and miss you. I am still at Joan’s place and having a quiet and restful time. Friday afternoon we went by bus to a little town called Gervan (?) and did some shopping. It was a beautiful drive as the road winds along the coast and the sea was always in sight and the rolling hills of Scotland were all around us and it reminded me a great deal of the drive to St. Martins.
I bought myself a pair of shoes and we had a nice tea at the hotel and then came home. John came home about 10:30 and stayed until last night. He is a very nice chap and we got along fine together. We went for a walk yesterday afternoon up to a castle which formerly belonged to Lord Incheape(?) but has now been turned into a hospital. It was a lovely walk along a winding wooded road and while I enjoyed it all the thought of how much I could enjoy it if you were only here kept running through my mind. If the weather clears, Joan, Elizabeth and I are going for a walk along the sea shore this afternoon and I know I will be looking out to sea and wishing I was sailing back to you, maybe I will jump in and swim back.
Elizabeth was in watching me shave this morning and brought back memories of another blondie who used to take such an interest in my shaving. She is a sweet little girl and I get an awful lump in my throat from the memories she brings back to me. Tomorrow I am having dinner at the mess with John and will go there by bus. I leave here on Tuesday evening and catch the train back to London and from there back to camp. I have been thinking about you a lot since I arrived here and am looking forward to your letters when I get back to camp. I guess I will never be able to tell you how much I miss you or how much you mean to me. I often think and dream of the day when we ill go to Meldums (?) to get our furniture out of storage and the fun and memories we will have seeing each piece of it again and arranging it in our new home. I hope that day isn’t far off and that we will be together again before another Christmas rolls around. As each day passes you become lovelier and sweeter in my mind and to know you are there waiting for me is certainly a great help as the day I roll along .
I am anxious to hear how June is making out in school and how you made out on your trip to Boston. I certainly dread the thought of another Christmas away from you both and am not looking forward to it. Believe me, I’m afraid it is only memories that keep me going sometimes and I feel at times that I can’t go on unless I see you and talk to you again. Life certainly isn’t much fun without you honey and all this has made me realize how grand and wonderful you really are and how much you mean to me. You are my first and only love and have been in my heart since the first day we met and I fully realize now that I can only find contentment and happiness wherever you are and that my happiness is you. Well Sweetheart I will say so long for now, take very good of yourself and June for me and don’t worry about me as I am feeling fine and getting along very well. The days pass quickly and it won’t be long before all this is a thing of the past and we are together again. I am enclosing a bit of heather for you. Kiss and hug June for me and don’t let her forget me.
All my love, Doug
October 11, 1942
My Dearest Marg:
Here it is Sunday morning again dear and I wish I could go to St. Lukes with you and June this morning. I am going to church service at 11 o’clock and will be thinking of you both as usual. I didn’t receive any more mail from you since coming back from leave but hope to get some this coming week and also your parcel. I will be mailing your Christmas parcel soon and will let you know when I have done so. I’m afraid I don’t know what I would like for Christmas dear although shirts and ties always are useful. I could also do with a couple more bath towels and the usual candy and cigarettes. I bought myself another pair of shoes while I was up in Scotland and have had all my others repaired so now I have four good pairs of shoes. I have also had 20 – 0 – 0 transferred to Union St which you can send on to Marjorie. I have a balance of L65 – 13 – 3 in the bank and will be sending you L20 – 0 – next month so you can do what you like with it.
I feel quite rich these days but as you say we may as well put away as much as we can because we will need it when we start up our home again. I won’t be buying a car when I come back like Pop did, but want you to have all the things possible for the house. I am feeling fine and as usual just wishing the time away and certainly wish I could be home with you and June for Christmas and have set next Christmas as my goal for being with you both again. The pyjamas you sent are great a fit perfectly and are lovely and warm. Frank McLean sure is getting the breaks and I wonder what I will be when I return, a teller I suppose however as long as I’m with you it doesn’t matter although at times I feel I have let you down by joining up and leaving behind all my chances of promotion. Do you think you can save the Sat Eve Posts for me until I come home now that you can’t send them? Well dearest I will have to get along to church so I will close for now, remember I love you more each day and that I miss you more than you will ever know. Kiss Junie for me and keep your chin up.
All my love Doug xxxxxx
Feb 11, 1943
My Dearest Marg:
I received letter November 24 from you today after waiting two weeks and it was great to hear from you again. Some of your letters are missing but may turn up later on. I was sorry to hear about your Mom and Dad feeling sick. I hope by now they are feeling o.k. again. It must be quite a job for you looking after everyone and doing all the housework and I only wish I could be there to give you a hand with it all and to cheer you up. I am feeling all right except for missing and wanting you more than I can ever say and more than you will ever know.
I had a thrilling experience a few nights ago which I must tell you about and which I hope the censor will pass. I was on night duty and it was a wild night with a gale blowing and pouring rain, just the kind of night even a bird wouldn’t fly in. Suddenly at (cut out by censor) in the morning an aircraft in distress called up asking if he could land. Did I ever jump, I switched on all the flight path lights and told him to come on in etc and in he came making a lovely landing in all the storm. He was just about out of gas having been out for over ten hours and was very grateful for the assistance we gave him. It was a pretty good feeling to know you had saved seven lives and a valuable aircraft and gave me a feeling of a job well done.
I am still being kept busy and also received a letter today from Miss Suter and one from Marjorie. Miss Suter said she had written you so she will have told you all the news. Yes, dear I have soap and the couple of bars you sent in each parcel are always useful, we also have plenty of toilet paper although a box of Kleenex would always come in handy. Don’t send any more peanut butter as it seems to get ?? on the way over and runs together and is a mess so just stick to chocolate bars although some of Taffy Philips peppermint chews would be grand for a change.
I have never known the time to pass so quickly as it does here and the days and weeks seem to fly by. Ken Weaver is feeling o.k. again and we both get very lonesome for Canada. It is up to you honey to plan our life after all this is over and to keep alive all our previous hopes of happiness, please don’t ever change. I am hoping to come back to find you still as when I left, the loveliest of them all. If I could only see you again everything would be alright and I could carry on but it is the not knowing when I will see you again that gets me down when I let myself think about it too much.
I’m afraid my letters aren’t very interesting or newsy and are filled mosty with you but as you are what I think about most I just have to write what I think about you. I am writing this in my room, I am rooming alone now as Bill Bailey has been posted to another station. It is very cosy and I am smoking my pipe. Do you remember when I used to sit smoking my pipe and you would be sitting across from me knitting and the radio would be playing? Little did we dream that things would ever change as far as we were concerned although I knew when was broke out that I would be in it and I know you did too because I remember how you cried the morning we listened to Chamberlain. Never mind darling we will take up where we left off with the satisfaction of a job well done and proud of our part in it.
Well good night and God bless dearest. I love you and need you so. Kiss dearest Blondie for me and keep your chin up.
Al my love Doug
February 24, 1943
My Dearest Marg:
Here it is Wednesday 6:00 p.m. and as I go on duty at 7 I thought I’d better drop you a few lines. I have had no mail from you so far this week and no cigarettes for quite a long time and I guess old man Neptune must be smoking them by now. I am feeling fine and received an air graph letter from Norman today dated Feb 10 which took 14 days. I’m afraid I haven’t much in the way of news but I know you don’t mind as long as it is a letter, it is so hard to write when I can’t tell you much and you must find my letters very dull and uninteresting but I know as long as you hear from me it doesn’t really matter what they are like.
I hope Pop is feeling all right again and able to go back to work as I know how fed up he will get hanging around the house. Everything is going along all right here although at times I have my troubles but manage to fix everything somehow and so far nothing serious has come up that I haven’t been able to cope with. The days go by so quickly that I have a job keeping track of the date and day of the week.
The days are getting longer and Spring isn’t far away now and it will be the second one away from you. How well I recall how we used to enjoy the Spring in Montreal and the taking off of storm windows and how you used to worry in case I dropped one in the yard. It all seems so long ago, what a waste war is and what good to me will all I have learned be after it is all over. The only benefits I can see from it all will be to make me appreciate all the more the little things I took so much for granted such as the look in your eyes when you looked at me, the sight of you walking down the street, the smoothness of your cheek and the firm softness of your hands, the sight os you washing the dishes, the sound of your voice on the telephone, your laugh and your smile and a thousand other things which I loved about you and which, while I appreciated them, I took them so much for granted and thought I would have them with me forever that now I know you can’t do that but must live and appreciate every moment. I’m afraid this is developing more into a love letter than a newsy one, but I do love and miss you so honey, so much more than you will ever know. Well dearest, I will have to run along so I’ll close for now, please don’t worry and take good care of yourself for me, kiss June for me and give my love to Nana and Pop.
All my love, Doug
#14 Feb 17, 1944
My Dearest Marg:
I received two letters from you yesterday, one air mail and one ordinary. Glad to hear you are all well. It is 7 o’clock in the evening and we aren’t busy so we are catching up on the mail we owe.
I wish you could see our quarters, it is a wooden hut with a stove in the middle and six beds down each side, and is it ever cold getting up in the morning. It isn’t too bad in the evening with the stove roaring away and we are fairly comfortable. Everything here is very dispersed and we have been issued with bicycles in order that we can get around. There is mud everywhere and are my rubbers ever coming in handy. However the Spring is coming and the weather should improve and I think it will be quite nice here. The countryside around will be very beautiful and there is a small old English village down the road which is very pretty. Nearly all the houses have thatched roofs which Pop will remember.
We have just been issued with the Canadian Overseas Medal so I look like a last war veteran with it and my 1939 – 43 star ribbon on my chest. I will also get the D.F.C. when I am finished my tour of ops here although it is not certain but it would be nice to have. However all I’m concerned with is getting finished and getting home to you and with luck another few months should do it. I am keeping very well dear and everything is going along fine and there is no need to worry. This squadron has a very low percentage of losses and we have the finest and latest equipment to work with.
I am hoping to get the parcel you mention soon because the snack before bedtime is still one of my failings remember! Will you make me a cup of tea in the evenings when I come home? I am glad to hear the Monty is alive but I sure would hate to be in his shoes. Your cheque should be increased by the end of this month by $20.00. I am doing very well with my money so don’t think I am leaving myself short. I am missing you so much and your letters are a great help to me. Don’t depend too much on June but here is hoping. Take good care of yourself and June and try not to worry too much. I will look after myself. Good night and God Bless and remember I love you with all my heart and that I always will. Kiss and hug June for me and tell Pop I will answer his letters soon.
All my love Doug
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