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August 2, 1940 A Reprimand

Aldershot, N.S.


Dear Annalea,


For some reason or other I have missed something the last few days. I wonder what it could be? But I suppose I shouldn’t expect too much from you as after all you are still only a little girl & life must have so many new thrills for you. You told me once that you didn’t mind how many letters you received but that not to expect an answer to them all as you would only write when you were in the humor, so I’m taking you at your word.


It poured all day yesterday & I have been sick all day to-day, so you can imagine how pleasant that has been. Nevertheless, to-day was awfully hot & with August just setting in we can expect plenty of it. You know it’s hard for me to believe that summer is half finished. Why, it seems ages & ages since I started going with you & again, everything is as closely linked together that it seems only the other day that I met you. Time has traveled so fast that its hard for me to believe so many really important things have happened.

(note to reader: this was sent in the same envelope)

August 4

As your letter has just arrived I find myself in quite a quandary. It seems to me I am taking quite a reprimand for my letter, or is it on account of the mood you speak of? “I crave action, not fun.” Please, don’t do anything foolish until I see you again Dear. After all, the army doesn’t expect any more than one to enlist out of a family of two or possibly three. Please remember that yours truly would become practically useless to the Army if there wasn’t that faith at home to drive me on. To you it’s hard to understand, to me it means everything.

Dear, I never saw thoughts so wonderfully expressed in my life as in your letter & I shall take the reprimand without a murmur. No words in self defence are needed by you & if you feel that letter was uncalled for, destroy it.


Aldershot is situated on a high hill over looking the town of Kentville which is about two miles distant in the valley below us. The ground is a mixture of gray clay & sand. Two hundred yards inside the gate on the highest point stands an immense water tower, just completed, which holds 165,000 gals & stands 135 ft in height. Beside it are all the main Administrative buildings of the camp. In front to the left is a long parade ground stretching a couple of miles & almost 1/3 of a mile wide. On it’s left it is flanked by woods; on its right, row after row of tents. At the far end, the tents extend right across the ground. Stationed here are N.P.A.M troops who moved in August 1st & leave about the 18th. In front to the right are the Officers Barracks & tents. Sixty of us are housed the rest are in the tents. Our mess is situated beside us. Back of us is a railway siding & below that “B Company” parade ground about 250 yds square, & completely enclosed by buildings, both barracks & mess halls & store houses etc. Directly down behind this again is a forest of about two miles distance through. To the left & back of buildings, running now parallel to the parade ground & tents is a steep incline of about 50 ft in height, fully enclosed within woods. The detention camp is situated here, an area of two acres fully enclosed by a high bard wire fence. Directly in front of this is the rifle range, the longest range being 1500 yards.. If you don’t know long this is remember there are 1760 yds in a mile. Aldershot itself is, I imagine, about 4 miles long & a depth of about 3 miles. A lot of this is woods to say nothing of a turtle pond.


Darling, I’m afraid my descriptive powers are very poor, lacking very much in detail, to say nothing of poetry. To demonstrate more fully I just made a beautiful diagram of the camp but on second thought its in the basket. You know, there are certain things even the Officers are not privileged to do do, even for their girlfriends, so until you come over & see it with your own eyes it shall have to be left at that outside of a few snap shots. Speaking of Snap Shots, I took a few yesterday & if they turn out at all good you shall receive them in all due course.


Yesterday afternoon five of us hopped a car went to Halifax 82 miles distant. I had the receiver off the hook to ring you up, but decided that if your Mother was alone she might get an awful start so thought better of it even though I was just dying to hear your voice. While there, I went over to Dartmouth to the P.E.I. Highlander Mess & met quite a number of the boys. I later went down to the Scotia Hotel where there was a big dance going on & met Capt. Read’s wife nee Unice Storey, whom I went to school with & had two or three dances. I drove home. The rest were slightly under the weather. A Buick Convertible Coupe. What a dab to drive.

Was in charge of a party on Church parade today. An immense crowd were there, town people included. I hope this letter hasn’t bored you Dear.

Love

Arnold.

P.S. Regards & a quick hi to your parents Sweetheart.

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Aldershot, N.S. Dear Annilea: Just another hot day. Over there you actually don’t know what heat is. No wind, no nothing. A blazing hot sun on sand, like a desert & as if that wasn’t enough , no water