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August 1942 Training



(note to reader: these letters were from a small notepad he carried with him. One per page.)

Aug 3, 1942

Dear Annilea:

Just a few lines in a wheat field, the sun pouring down & over us & company trying to take in something of what the brig. (note to reader: Brigadier General) is saying. These little scheme’s into the country may be very interesting to him, but we have a few other idea’s about that. If the truth be known, we are really enjoying this, if it wasn’t so beastly hot, because after all we’re over here to learn something & this is knowledge to the 5th degree.

Cheerio & pleasant dreams,

Arnold

END


Aug 4, 1942

Hello again:

We’re at it again to-day, just as hot, but at the moment I’m under a shady tree & hope to remain as such for a short period?? A few tanks are lumbering across the horizon at the moment but as their still a couple of miles away & cutting across our front & not at us we’ll be safe for a few minutes yet. Wonder if you’re lying out in the shade of the trees playing with baby now, & if so, remember me now & then. Do I rate it? One Guess!

Love Sweet,

Arnold

END


Aug 5, 1942

Hello Sweetheart:

I just haven’t had time to write these last couple of days, to busy & afterwards too tired, so I’m making use of a short break. It would be just swell to have you here right not &how you’d be appreciated. I’m very much afraid Darling, that there wouldn’t be a bone left in your body, Sweet; I’d very likely turn cannibal & want to eat you & how good you really would taste. Breaks over.

Love to you both,

Arnold

END


Aug 6, 1942

Darling:

Thank goodness this little note books still with me or I’d never get my writing done. At present I’m billeting the Camp, that is, we are transfering this camp over to another Unit, & before leaving it has to be checked by an Engineering Officer & one of the incoming Unit Officer’s to ensure that it is in good order & I represented our Units interests. So far everything has been O.K. I only hope it will remain that way. And so, I continue Sweet.

Love & Kisses,

Arnold

END

Aug 7, 1942

Back again Love:

It’s now 11:30 & I’ve just finished signing the last papers, passing the camp over in good condition to the incoming unit. In A1 condition & the first time that this Unit has ever left an area without paying for some damages by some members of the Unit. Nice to know I can do something right anyway- don’t you think Darling!

Going to bed & wouldn’t I love to have you here close to me. How nice to have somebody warm close to me. Just imagine for yourself. Moving tomorrow.

Love,

Arnold

END


Aug 8, 1942

Dear Annilea:

On the march & this is our noon break. Left the old camp for good to-day & expect to arrive in to our new site Sunday. Marching along, our feet get awfully tired on the hot pavement. I was just thinking how nice it would be to be lying in a cool spot with you & Barbara. Oh well, Sweet! I’d much rather that You have that little pleasure than I & I only hope that you’ll be able to continue that way. Just as soon as we arrive at our destination I’ll put this jumble (of notes) all together & send it along.

Love,

Arnold

END


Aug 9, 1942

Well Sweet:

Still marching, but to-morrow we arrive & I can assure you we’ll all be glad to get there especially as it rained some last night & sleeping out in the rain isn’t all fun. However, sun is high in sky now & all our worries seem to have vanished outside of sore feet. Just saw a donkey in one field & two goats in another. The remarks that some of the boys can find to make about them is a scream. Had fresh mushrooms for supper last night & were they good.

Love to Both,

Arnold

END


Aug 10, 1942

Hello Sweetheart:

Arrived in just after noon to-day & our Company is billeted all in the one building a 1/2 mile away from the rest of the Battalion which is great for us as they are all in tents. It is after supper now & we have just finished getting the boys straightened away. I was going to mail this right away but will wait until to-morrow, when I can concentrate & write to you a nice letter along with all this jumble. Thinking of you Sweet, until to-morrow.

Love,

Arnold

END


The envelope is stamped North Nova Scotia highlanders 3rd Division.


END


(ntr: this is letter paper. Possible blood on it? ) Aug 12, 1942

Dear Annilea:

Just a hurried note to let you know that I’m continually thinking of you before I go about my orderly Officers duties. The sun is shining brightly so everything should go right today. Is it taking to much for granted that my beautiful little wife is still in love with me or is she (fading with the window??).

My Sweet if I could only wake up one of these fine mornings & find you sleeping in my arms. How lovely in the evenings it was to come home & find you waiting for me. How much I miss all that, even if you didn’t like being beaten at crib. When we went to bed, Sweet, it was always with expectation & at peace with the world, for who could be anything else with beautiful you beside me. So Sweetheart, just remember that there’s a boy over here who’s just yearning with all his heart that he could hold once again his beautiful Darling in his arms, hold her so tight that to move would be impossible.

To Love You Sweetheart is but to love an angel & angel’s are so few. Sweet dreams My Adored Ones.

Love,

Arnold

END


4 Aug 14, 1942

Dear Annilea:

We are gradually getting settled in our new home & finding it nicer every minute, by that I mean that the rest of the Unit are under canvas while we’re the same as living in a hotel. I even understand, if I ever get any spare moments, that there’s a golf course about 2 miles from here. Outside one game of golf, I haven’t played any game’s outside the Army since I came over. Just at the present moment I’m in one of those lonely moods; when I could take you in my arms & squeeze you into little bits, when I would be quite contented to sit in the front room & rest just as long as you were present, when to sit & watch you make a great fuss over that one & only thing that matters in the Taylor, Jr., family, when even to sit & argue over cards could be real pleasure, especially as you get a great kick of winning a game or two now & again, anything to keep peace in the family. “Oh Love that will not let me go,” to hold thee close again in my arms, to feel the light touch of your beautiful lips upon mine, to feel the closeness of your beautifully molded body close, so close, that the very coursing of your blood is felt by me, racing madly, & setting my own blood on fire.

Oh Sweetheart, to feel again that you & I belong to each other as one, that when we are close together that the rest of the world doesn’t seem to matter, that time just comes to a halt, that perfect peace descend & that you & I are oblivious to the fact that anything else is taking place in the world, outside, that we are together in a state of blissful happiness which can be described by no language.

This My Darling is what we both live & long for. God grant that we may again before long be together in a peaceful world.

Love to the loveliest Darling in the World,

Arnold

END

Aug 16, 1942

Dear Annilea:

Boy what a warm day this has been and how! Been out in the bushes most of the day, & to-night we go out on compass work. Never a dull moment sweet but again awfully tiresome, the same thing day after day. It’s just like a play. First you read the whole thing over, then you start to practise it in small groups & as your knowledge grows so it is easier to put more of it together until you have the whole play perfect & ready to put on, but up to that point you have to put a lot of time in on practising the same thing over & over again. So with us, we have to practise the same thing over & over again until we will be able to fit in as a small link or cog of a gigantic machine of war operating not only with other Infantry Units, Big Guns & tanks, but also with The Navy & Airforce & unless we are well trained to co-operate we might as well stay home as physical fitness alone is no good against tanks & planes if you have not got the proper protection & means at hand to deal with same.

One of our lads, just new here, went down to one of the parks las tnight, got into a brawl & had a knife driven clean through the back of his hand. One of the boys found him in a ditch & brought him in immediately. What a mess he was, Blood from top to bottom & drunk & delirious. We had quite a time with him, but as he had lost a lot of blood he was very weak, , took four of us to hold him, & quite delirious. Still the same way to-night at last report but Doc seems to think he’ll be O.K. Things like that happening right here in our midst kind of makes you shudder & mad all at the same time. We’re here getting ready to meet a dangerous enemy & at the same time fighting amongst ourselves. Liquor, my Darling, is the root of all evil. Keep clear of it Sweet. I do. Beer will hold me down.

I am at the present moment listening to “Command Programme from good old U.S.A. Jack Benny etc. Keeps our moral up- what a pleasure to hear some good humour, music & singing from over there.

My thoughts & heart are with you always,

Arnold

END


5 Aug 17, 1942


Dear Annilea:

Succeeded in getting to bed at 4 AM & up at 7 as per usual, so at the present moment I’m feeling more like a drawn out rag than a rose in bloom. Never having been on a night compass march before I didn’t realize just exactly how hard it was. No light, pitch dark in fact & the only thing we had to guide us was the luminous dial of the needle in the compass. If you were to move in a straight line at night over strange land, regardless of whether there’s fences, streams, banks or cliffs etc. (Of course we can’t walk through a house or some such) in the way you would have a general idea.

Most of the boys leading different sections had some hard falls of 10 to 12 feet over embankments, but outside of one compass being broken & some bruises & scratches no one got hurt. I myself & one other Sgt. succeeded in getting a thorough sinking feeling over an 8 ft bank & landing in a stream but a small thing like a soaking doesn’t mean a great deal to us now. Nettles are my greatest enemy over here. Tonight my left hand is so swollen that I can only half close it. They seem to be everywhere you touch, ground, hedges, fields. Crawling through ferns this morning is where I got them & at times they were almost painful enough to make me cry out. Thank heavens they only last about 4 days at the most, especially as I have just succeeded in getting clear of a nice dose of hives.

My gosh Darling, this letter sounds almost as if my moral were t a very low ebb & really its nothing of the sort. The sun was high in the sky all day & who are we to complain with a house to live in & plenty to eat to say nothing of having the knowledge that a very beautiful girl (2 in fact) awaits my home coming across the seas, praying that it won’t be too long before we shall meet again, not to be parted this time. Dreams of the past & what may happen in the future fill our spare time with great hopes.

Love Sweet,

Arnold

END


Aug 18, 1942

Dear Sweetheart:

No letters for over a week, but it was very nice to receive some cigarettes to-day. Thanks a million kid, these are the first Canadian Cigs I’ve had for a month & I hate bumming them from others. Got a real sleep last night & feel much better for same & I intend to go to bed early again to-night & tomorrow we have a very hard day ahead of us, Company combined operations with artillery & bren gun carriers. March 10 miles to spot chosen for exercise, put it on, & then return home again. I don’t think leaves a great deal to the imagination. Haven’t been to a dance for over a month & a show about the same. Capt Al Davies & I went into the nearest large city (4 miles) the other night & were back in camp by 9:30 so you can understand the fun we had. Still haven’t seen this golf course, must try to run up Thursday or Sat.

Well Sweet, be good, stay true. Love always,

Arnold

END


Aug 28, 1942

DearAnnilea:

For the last few days I have been so busy that I haven’t had time to call my name my own & Sunday I leave on a “Battle Course,” where they run you till you fall out of sheer exhaustion. 3 weeks, but I haven’t much fear of it as they only use live ammunition. I was up all last night so that at the present moment I’m afraid that I’m in no condition to write a letter to my loving & adorable wife as my eyes are bleary.

8 O’Clock in evening & temperature still around 75 to 78. I’m very much afraid that I’m going to need to be more than tired to sleep in this heat. Hope it pours to-night & then gets freezing cold.

Received your parcel Darling & I can’t thank you enough. Everything is perfect Sweet, just like yourself.

Love, I just can’t see this paper, but to-morrow I’ll sit down & write you a lovely long letter straight from the heart. (Had part of letter written through this week but can’t locate just at the moment.

All my Love to the Sweetest girl in the world.

Arnold

P.S. Thanks for Barbara’s hair.


END

7 Aug 29, 1942


Dear Annilea:

Number 6 letter got off without a number & incidentally while on the subject, I can’t for the life of me locate the notes I wrote during the week. Lost completely. If they should turn up I’ll send them along immediately, because although outdated they might amuse you.

Well. The heat still holds & boy what sultry heat. At the moment it is pouring cats & dogs with thunder & lightning in between. I do hope this clears the air a bit as the course I leave on in the morning won’t be any cinch, in fact, if the truth be told it’s the hardest course in England, 3 weeks of torture, but I hope not only to be put in good condition, but to really learn a lot.

At my elbow are three officers wondering (out loud) just how the best way would be to get out of the army & back to Canada, compassionate leave or such, but just mention to them that they were due to go back immediately without getting a crack at the Boche & they’d raise blue hell! Such is the spirit & moral of the officers over here & that goes down through the ranks also.

Walking miles on pavement, melting in sweltering heat, swimming or fording streams, wading through mud up to your knees, diving on, over or through thorn hedges (& they’re everywhere over here) is just all in a days work now. To crawl a quarter mile on your stomach, hands & knees, or skirt open country to the tune of a mile or more is nothing, just as long as you are able to get up upon the enemy without being seem & surprise him. (Surprise: A very main element in Warfare). Naturally it isn’t all hard work, in fact, at times it is just the opposite but that’s where we come in. We must think up things to keep our men’s minds busy. The old saying certainly holds true: “Busy hands keep out of mischief”, & in the army it is only too true, for to let them run loose is but to ask for trouble. Games of all sorts are devised, Volley-ball is the main interest of 18 Platoon, but inter-platoon competition is encouraged also.

The one thing I like about this Unit more than anything else, is the way the men & officers get along together. Just enough respect is paid on & off parade, but beyond that we act more like big brothers, mixing freely, & we find that with few exceptions the men will follow us anywhere without growling at the hard-ships they have to endure. The one big difference between here & Aldershot, N.S is that your Platoon here is your own & by what it does so you are judged & therefore you get to know the men through & through, where as over there you had a bunch of men thrown at you & before you even got to know whether he knew his right from his left, it was somebody else.

Right now the country is really beautiful, with the grass so green, long stretches of it with mountainous trees shading it into grassy lanes. Hedges all over the place & if you think those natty little hedges we have at home are like these you have another think coming. Every time you try to get over or through a hedge here you take your life in your hands. Thorns & nettles are bad, but there also high & so close together that it takes a very small man to wiggle through.

Planes over head all day long, but I will admit that the day & night the “Dieppe” raid took place was as black & white, just one continuous roar all the time. It really is quite a thrill to see 50 or 60 of a flight of Bombers fly over, with flights of fighters all around them for protection. The airforce boys are doing a grand job, as boys in the Dieppe raid will tell you, but it won’t be too long in the future before we’ll be doing our share & when we get moving we don’t mean to stop until we’ve cleaned up Mr. Hitler & all his motley crew once & for all. You know, I believe Politics would be a great game to get into after this war is over.

All this ramble may be meaningless to you Sweet but behind it all is just that one thought, You & You only. Yes Darling, I know I should have mentioned Barbara & I most likely will in the future, but Love, its you, you adorable Darling, that I want, & want so badly. Just to have you in my arms, to hear you speak, to feel the touch of your hand, hair, the soft touch of your lovely lips, that would be the highest that heaven could bring me or ever will. “Love me, love my child” but I love so much Sweet & will forever & ever.

Stay true, play true, be true. I love you,

Arnold

END


Ntr: an envelope stamped Aug 42 is addressed to Ms. Wilfred Taylor, Taylor Drug Co., Kensington, P.E.I

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