1st Bn, No1 CBRD, Nov 22, ‘43
Cdn Army, BNAF
Just another day going by on board ship & although the sun is shining is it rather windy out. As I mentioned before, we landed at one point, crossed on land to another point, & re-embarked on another journey. Imagine our surprise a few moments ago to find that in the last couple of hours, the very ships that brought us down here have rejoined us. Rather funny when you consider that they took all the trouble to change us to another ship & then find out that those same ships have caught up to us again.
Mentioning Sicily once more, you find that pictures of it in movies are very true to form, donkeys being used extensively together with oxen & horses. Few cars, as natural, but numerous horse drawn cabs. On the whole the streets are narrow, winding & steep; a lot of cobble stone being used, together with cement & pavement. The houses are all built of stone or masonry & outside the city most houses are pink blended with white. When you pass through a whole town this color, it becomes rather plain than picturesque. The people themselves are all dark skinned with dark eyes. Older people pay absolutely no attention to you whatever, middle-aged people are courteous & the youngest just can’t be got rid of unless you tell them to scram. They seem overjoyed at times to see us, but I wonder if the Germans didn’t get the same reception. I really don’t blame them for being heartily fed up with them. But the country itself has a natural beauty of its own if you don’t mind hills & mountains. Lemons & oranges grow on trees the same manner as apples in the Annapolis Valley.
And so Darling, we leave Sicily for a new land at the moment, & my only wish is that you were here to enjoy it all with me. But for one soft lingering kiss, I can forget it all. Let’s hope that before long you may again be held close in my arms.
NTR: Canadian Legion War Services Letterhead. Pencilled in under ON ACTIVE SERVICE is 1st Bn 1 CBRD, Cdn Army, BNAF
Nov 22, 1943
My Sweet Darling:
Have at last arrived at our destination, which is likely to be our home for the next few months. After all the rain its a pleasure to have that warm bright sun overhead during the day even though it is quite chilly in the evening. Our home is a group of tents on the side of a gently sloping hill down to the Sea about a miles distance. Our parade ground on a slight slant is definitely sand while our tents are protected some what by foliage & trees. Imagine my pleasant surprise to find Major Nash, my former Company Cmdr in the PEILH, of Charlottetown, 2 1/c of the 1st CBRD. Had a long chat with him today over old times. The last couple of days before we arrived we traveled by truck at one time passing through a snow flurry. That will give you an idea of the height we are up to.
My Sweetheart! I’d give so very much to have you here with me, but then, I know you must be very lonely too. Cheer up. Looks like the war might be finished over here this year & then its home to you. With you ever in my thoughts its
#3 AIR MAIL 1st Bn 1CBRD
Cdn Army, BNAF
Nov 24, 1943
I am at the moment sitting on a chair in front of our tent (5 occupants) with a Map Case on my knee. It is just 11.30 & I’ve just arrived back from the rifle range. Actually, haven’t been more than 700 yds from my tent in any one direction but Stan Smith, one of the lads who is in one of the Hospitals near here, has arranged for a table at an Officers Club 3 or 4 miles distance to-morrow night for six of us, so I should get a glance at what goes on outside in this part of the world then. By the way, forget about cigarettes. I understand that even when sent you miss a lot & I’m writing dad to-day also & asking him to send me a couple of pipes. You might ask him about them next time your near him. Wonder if you’ll actually get this before Christmas.
Incidentally, I shall send all your mail when possible V in airmail, expect you will get it much quicker then. A surprise did await me when I arrived here & a very pleasant one at that, 3 letters waiting for me & all from my darling wife. Two were dated Sept 18 & 22 but the Air-Mail was Nov 3. I’d love to get one of these at least once a week. In it you do not mention having received a Telegram & also by the time you get this I hope you have received a parcel also. Funny you should mention climate as being so cold & rainy when here when the sun is out we are really very warm. Just the same, at this time of year we wear Battle Dress exclusively, but at night time a hair coat would be much appreciated.
I don’t know just which side of the family our daughter takes her restlessness from sweetheart, but I can assume of one thing darling, that to stay home at night with you & play cribbage or cards of any sort was all that I wanted of life just so long as my loved ones were there to keep me company. I married you sweetheart because I loved you & there certainly wouldn’t be much love there if I wasn’t content to be with you, but wanted to be forever running out doing something else even to chasing after other a la femme. I know that your a little sorry that I’m down here, but it had to come & where I’m at its very peaceful & quiet.
Blinking touch of hives again, how these blasted things seem to thrive on me. Sorry I won’t be able to send you flowers this Christmas, wire’s out of the question here, but will make it up to you some other way if possible. Have a date with you every Wed & Sunday which I intend to keep. Have ever since I left England. Merry Christmas Sweet & all the trimmings, God Bless you darling,
1st Bn, 1 CBRD
Cdn Army, BNAF
Nov 28, 1943
Another day passing swiftly along & it finds your hubby sitting on a court-martial, just another part of army training & a very necessary one at times. Went into the Officers Club last night & had a very quiet but enjoyable time. Had a table for eight reserved for us, dining at 8.30 & sitting around until 1100 consuming a lot of wine & talking over old times. Capt Coles of Charlottetown was there & we had a real good chin.
Sweetheart! I received another letter from you today & it certainly heartens me to get those beautiful words & expressions of faith that you put into writing. Darling, you never have to worry about my coming back to you, because just as soon as this blasted war is finished & we are at liberty to move I shall high tail it to your arms & be willing to remain there forever. Sweetheart, I am so glad to know that you get up home to see mother & dad occasionally because it really does do them the world of good. To read one of mother’s letters after one of your visits would do your heart good. Hope you spend another Christmas or New Years with them. Outside of cards & two trips to Con. Depot & Officers Club our time is taken up with training, letter writing or sleeping. Positively the extent of our pleasures. Ever thinking & dreaming of you,