My blood pressure must be up hugely in the last hour. After several years of trying to figure out how to find a living relative of my Aunt Pats love of WWII I finally struck gold today. I am stunned and so happy. This evening I am going to have a conversation with a fellow from Edmonton who appears to be the Gr nephew of this fellow. So, hopefully I will find out the rest of the story on his side and then be able to tell them about our connection. I wonder if they already know. Anyway, I will tell you the results later.
Here are two more letters from England. I love the descriptions of the war torn areas and how those who had lost their homes were living and then contrasted with the “fabulous” social life and the fact that they got decent food to eat and went out dancing etc. Just hard to put two and two together.
Today was a clear bright sunny day and then I went outside and found that it was cold and windy and that wind just cut through me. So I returned inside and started reading a grant I am reviewing for a group I just want so much to get the grant. It was awful to read since they had not taken any of my advice. It needs a ton of work and part of me just feels like writing it up for them using their data and facts but putting it all in order. But they are not paying me and they have to do this. They have grant writers in there community who should be able to do this. Time is running out. Then I started working on other things, such as my insurance appeal. They paid something incorrectly and I cannot just tell them to fix it, now I have to put everything in writing and send in an appeal. They are a pain in the butt. They told me it was Medicare’s rule but I checked with my medicare expert who informed me, no, ,medicare has no such rules. it is the insurance company… Darn them and I like this one so much, then they lie to their people in the trenches instead of just saying it is our new policy. LIers, Liers, pants on firer.
By the way for my cousins, at the end of this first letter there is something about Danny boy. Jean was pregnant at this time and I wonderful if they had decided it was going to be a boy????? Sorry Maureen…
March 27, 1944 Part 2
Went up to London the other nite. Had dinner and danced and before we took the train we went down through the “tube” (the tube is the underground railway in London), you can get anywhere in a very few minutes by getting on one of the trains. Every station is well marked and they are very cheap – about 3 cents in our money, anyway, the man I was with wanted me to see the crowds of people sleeping down beside the tracks. All bombed out of their homes. It is the most pathetic sight, every nite they come in droves with their few possessions. There is no place else for them. I certainly appreciate my luck when I see such things.
I have decided to tell you about the raids. One of the M.O.’s told me if you tell your family then they know but if you don’t then they think you are keeping things back and they start imagining things. There have been more raids lately than ever before since the real blitz in ’40 and ’41. We are in no great danger. London gets most of it but now and then one or two get away from the squadrons and are lost so they unload their bombs wherever they like just to get rid of them. Every nite there is an “alert” if I am still up or not quite asleep I hear it but if I am asleep I never wake up. Everyone thinks it is wonderful because the noise is quite something. You can hear the thud of the bombs and the “ach ach” makes a lot of noise. The windows in the cottage shake – but this is about all. Nothing to worry about and nothing compared to what our fliers do to them. I was out with an air force officer the other nite. A grand lad. He was a navigator and had made three ops in one week. It was marvelous talking to him. Aren’t they wonderful?
Sat nite we had a big party in our mess. It was No 8’s second birthday and it was such fun. Charles Robinson (Margo’s brother) came over for the weekend so I took him and the chap I was taking. Charles is a darling. Saw Mac Brown and George Curry. They asked for Dad. The mess was all decorated and the orchestra was good and it was a great success. Well dears, I hope these get to you fast. With all my love, Patt.
PS. Tell Jean I sent her a little English wood for Danny boy. It is marvelous wool. Hope it gets there.
April 1, 1944
Here I am in the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen Scotland. Our leave started on Weds so Margo and I caught the train to London at 4:30 pm. We went straight to the theatre because the evening performances start at 5:45. We checked our bags and carried our haversacks for overnite. We were going to see the Lunts in “There Shall Be No Nite” we just got into the lobby of the theatre and ran straight into Capt. Joe Greenblatt (he was at the Rideau for a while with us.) He asked us to have dinner with him after the show, so after seeing it and it was wonderful if grim, we joined him and he took us to the Carlow Club where we had a marvelous dinner. “Fillet de mignon” that is the first I have had since I left Canada.
After we decided to go somewhere else and we were walking down Berkely St. in the rain when this naval officer passed by and he kept slowing up and suddenly he turned around and grabbed Joe G and it was Joe Clark 41” (Dad knows his uncle well and he was a pal of Bob K. and Ger R.) He recognized his voice in the pitch dark. So he joined us and we went to the Park Lane Hotel to dance and had a perfect evening.
Maggie and I were staying at the n/s club. It is really a lovely place even though I dislike woman’s clubs. It is the old Westair home and only for Can Nursing Sisters. The rooms are sweet, the beds marvelous, breakfast in bed, a gas fireplace where you drop a shilling in and it goes for hours. The food is marvelous because the Red Cross supplies it. And it only cost 5 shllings (1.25) a nite where hotels cost about 25 shillings.
So Thurs Joe G who was staying near us at the Junior Officers Club came over and had lunch with us, then we met Joe G and went to see “Panama Hattie” Bebe Daniels was the star of it and she still is wonderful. It was so funny. Ferg would love it, the music etc are perfect. After that we had dinner and danced at one of the Clubs the Bagetel where three orchestras play on a revolving disc. Very nice spot.
Fri. am at 10 o’clock we caught the train to Scotland. It was a very long ride even on the fast train called the Flying Scot. We didn’t get here until 11:30 pm. The trip was grand though. The scenery is so beautiful. Most of the way once we were in Scotland was along the North Sea, the coast line very rugged with very rocky coves where the waves rolled in and dashing over the rocks. The earth is red and the farms look very thriving.. Dad would love all the well laid out farming land. And of course the heather grows over all the hills and is very lovely.
We had to take our lunch with us because there is no dining car. Mother would have loved seeing me on the train with my parcel and sitting in a compartment with six other people. We had first class tickets but that doesn’t mean a thing. We were in third class because we were late. However it is quite an experience and a lot of fun. The day I left I had received Ferg and Connie’s box which was wonderful so I took along the package of cookies and the choc bars and we got sandwiches at the Club. Before I left I gave our batman the coffee because we get quite a bit and the privates don’t and I like to give Bill little things because he is so good to us. So he took it gladly and in a little while I heard him come back and call up “Sister, you missed the secret of this coffee” and he brought me up the bottle of jam which I pounced on. It looks so marvelous. So I told him when I get back I would make him a sandwich to taste it.
But to go on, we arrived in Aberdeen and to this perfect hotel, the rooms remind me of the Alpine, so we had a bath, a hot drink and sandwiches and went to bed and this morning we had a grand breakfast in bed and now I am writing this. I may not be able to mail them until I get back but you will get them eventually. I hope Dad had a lovely birthday today. I think I have told you before but I did pay for the dressing gown and did not get it so if you can get the money back okay and I will get one over here. Things are so expensive over here that I still can’t believe it. Dresses are 10 pounds, this is just ordinary ones. Suits are 18 pounds, movies are 5 shillings for the cheapest seats, dinners are 7 or 8 shillings for spam and cold potatoes and very bad coffee. Thank God I usually don’t have to pay for mine and I find over here the only time I have to spend money is on leave or your day off, at the camp there is nothing to spend it on. Will write more later and tell you everything. Love Patt