Letters From Bill – July 23, 1943.

September 30, 2011 by Dan Black

Dear Mum, Dad and Jack:

My last letter was the one I wrote last Sunday night out in the bush…for the next two days it rained. Just picture us marching five miles after supper and it raining cats and dogs and then sleeping under a tree with one blanket and a groundsheet. In the morning I was about three feet from where I lay down. We were soaked for two days. When I did get back I was so darn busy the last two days and nights I couldn’t catch time to write.

Please excuse the writing because I am sitting on my bed writing on top of a mess tin.  Right now it is dinner time and I am waiting for the pipes to play to go back on parade.

Well the pipes blew Mum and a whole day has gone by since I was writing before. It is now Saturday afternoon. I tried to get this finished but it just couldn’t be done, I was busy until after ten last night. When we went out on parade yesterday afternoon they gave us the great news that there would be inspection by the Brigadier this morning and sure enough there was. The whole regiment had to get those haircuts and only one barber so you can guess what it was like.  Besides that we had to clean our equipment, boots, rifles, see our uniforms were pressed and a dozen other little things. It was just about dark when I finished and others were going long after dark. I was glad I had everything already because some of the fellows who didn’t really caught it….

We go on leave next Thursday so your money won’t get here in time if you are waiting for this airmail. I haven’t go [sic] very much so will have to go slow on my spending and meals, etc. are so darn expensive I may have to come back early….What worries me the most is cigs.… Those that Dad sent should be here but something must have happened to them. I think they are being smoked at 3 Canadian Infantry Reinforcement Unit. It has happened before. They are probably sent there and since I moved they just forgot my address. I can’t go with Red because he doesn’t get his leave until August 5th so we won’t be together. Besides that I intended spending the weekend with him but from the 30th until the 5th are bank holidays and we can’t travel over ten miles from camp so I will be stuck there.

Rannie also gets his leave now, the 3rd of Aug. and he I going to Scotland too. Hope we can all meet up there somewhere. I had my pass made out to Ayr so may wind up there. You can’t be getting all my letters because I wrote quite a few between the 30th of June and when you wrote your last airmail, there must be something wrong.…

I’m glad you are better now Mum I was real worried, watch out for yourself and don’t overdo it. I bet it is good to have the warm weather even if it is so awful hot, that is better than cold. It is just like fall here all the time, it is never too warm only on a route march.

So Jack had a good day at the Landing did he. Mrs. Colburn was telling me about it and she thought he had a real good time. I bet he has a swell tan now, all I got is a tan on my face and arms, we never get a chance for a good one. If it is possible at all you should go to the shore for a week or two, it would do you all some good.

Pretty soon everyone in old Pictou Co. will be married. Mrs. C. said Jessie MacLean was planning on getting married soon. If that keeps up there won’t be anyone left single at all. There had better be some left we all don’t intend to get caught over here.

If you find berries hard to get, keep them for yourself. I can do without over here but be sure to send lots of eats because I am starving. The meals are getting a bit smaller lately and I am hungry all the time. I finished the last of the chocolates in your first box and believe me I am sorry to see them go. Send as much candy and eats as possible Mum please and you can also include two or three face clothes [sic].

It sure is good to know we are on the pushing end and now and I hope before too long there is no more to do. We get very little news here but every three or four days we find out how we are coming and we seem to be doing O.K. for ourselves.  Let’s hope it won’t be too long now.

The best of everything to you all,

Lots of Love to all,


Airmail letter received Aug. 2, 1943.

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