Almost 11 o'clock, knocking off time. Have been plugging away all day and evening. My head is almost a whirl. However I'm making some progress even if it is slow. I want to get signals and another subject off this week.
Well how is my girl tonight? Did you go home for Easter? I have a feeling that you did. I worked all the time right through. The wire I got from Olive & Betty proved to be a false alarm. I haven't heard anything further of them. Perhaps they just thought my spirits might be low so they sent a cheer up message--just like Olive. Betty, I think will be home, Chippenham, until the 28th this month.
How did you find everybody at home? Did you eat my share of the chicken? (or was it a rabbit?) I think you would quickly see the difference in food quantities were you here. We see the end of our weekly supply of such things as meat, sugar, butter giving out about two days before we can get any more. Nobody grumbles as we all get quite enough to eat. Chocolate is almost a thing of the past in this part of the country. I think some of the confectioners do get a limited supply from week to week but they give it out only to their regular customers and the troops don't have a look in. But we'll survive even without chocolate. I haven't taken up beer or tobacco yet and the one indulgence I claimed was a bit of sweets now and again. However, I think I shall manage quite well to get along without it.
I heard from the Royal Bank today. It will be possible for me to send you 10 pounds each month. Just recently (within the past few weeks) a new regulation has come into effect. One from overseas may arrange with the Paymaster to send a certain portion of his pay and allowances to his dependents if they are not living in England. I don't just know yet which method would be best. I almost think it would be better to have it go through the bank, then if you came over here there won't be any hitch about it. As the army hold back a month's pay and allowances it will be the end of this month before I shall be able to send the first cheque. This is the middle of the month and we won't have very long to wait. I wish you didn't have to wait another day.
I think it best to let the balance of my pay (i.e. what is left over after 10 pounds and expenses to me) accumulate at the Royal Bank here, rather than send it to Canada. We can at least save the rate of exchange and when you come over you can use it here. What do you think? We would be able to save from 10 pounds to 15 pounds per month. Until I get fully equipped there won't be much chance to save very much but that will only take another month or so. I have cut living down to an absolute minimum. I pay 35 s. for room and board, laundry 3 s. mess and such obligations 4 s., incidentals 15 s. These are weekly expenses. Clothing runs to almost 4 pounds per month per year.
I do hope the postman will be kind tomorrow. I'm almost certain that he will be as there has been no Canadian mail since Wed., or Thursday of last week. I notice you are still using "Mr.", Pilot/Officer, (P.O. for short). It doesn't matter much only I notice that Mrs. Bannister has been changing it.
Heaps of love Sweetheart, now come to bed and say you love me. A big hug and kiss and a heart full of love.
Helen is having a very tough time making ends meet and Bill is doing his best to find a way to get her some money. Let's see if this works.
"76 Marshfield Dr.
Gee it seems ages ago that I had even a chat with you. Now for a good lone one.
I started last week in a very busy manner. It seemed that every hour of the day and every hour of the evening pressed me on with some duty or other. I had a flight under orders to move and that seemed to be so many details to complete. Then on top of it all I received my signals test which I carried off all right. I think my mark was 97% [Well, I guess he did carry it off all right!!!] I had to rush through it as I had to catch a train the same afternoon for Stratford-on-Avon. It was on duty that I went there. The adjutant was good enough to let me leave here Thursday night in order that I might stay that night and the following day at Chippenham. A spot of luck hey what!! I arrived at Chip at one fifteen Friday morning. Black as a pocket and not a sign of life around. I rapped at the door. Finally Mim poked her head out of an upper window and called out to see who was the late visitor. She soon came down, in her nightie mind you, and let me in. The other sleepy heads (Olive & Betty) didn't stir. Mim fed me a piece of cake and I hunkered down on the chesterfield as all the beds in the house were occupied. I slept soundly until 8 o'clock. The I was rudely awakened by the roughnecks Olive & Betty. I simply had to get up then--there was no peace. After breakfast we went over to the shops for a few groceries and then returned for lunch. The afternoon proved to be a bit wet--however we had a bit of a walk and amused ourselves talking and drinking tea, the favorite pastime in this country. Arnold didn't get up all day and I couldn't see him. Mrs. Glidden seemed to be a bit better than usual though, of course, still in bed. Mim, Betty & Olive are just the same as ever. Betty has had a very sore throat but is slowly getting rid of it. She has a few days still before she has to report at Ipswitch. I had sent a telegram just as soon as I knew I was going but it didn't arrive until after breakfast the following morning. I was able to remain at Chippenham until 10:07 Friday night. I had to go to Bristol then to B'ham and then to Stratford to be there (the latter place) at 8 a.m. Saturday. I hadn't time to see anyone at B'ham as I never left the station. I returned here (Torquay) about six p.m. Saturday. It was a very pleasant break and it did me much good as it was a complete change from the routine here.
This afternoon the adjutant, Mr. Allan and his wife, Mrs. Phillips and I took a stroll out over the cliffs along Walls Hill where the rifle range is. If you received the picture post cards I sent you the other week you will see one or two of Babbacomebe (sp?) Beach and the Glen Hotel also one of Oddicombe Beach. It was these places that we visited today. We relaxed completely and left our uniforms at home wearing our 'bags' and I sported your sweater under my Harris tweed sack coat. It was a glorious spring afternoon and the air was quite pleasant. After walking over the rifle range and along the edge of the cliffs we made our way down over the bank to the Glen Hotel where we had tea. It was wonderful Dearie to look out over the clear blue water. Oh if you were only here how much happier and more delightful it would be. We returned home in time for supper as I had to come on duty at 7:15.
I haven't received a letter from you for many days, Sweetheart. I hope Jerry has not sent them to Davey's locker. I do hope to receive two or three this week.
I can say definitely now that you will receive a cheque for 10 pounds during the first week in May. I'm sorry to have kept you waiting so long Sweetheart but couldn't be helped. You should receive it quite regularly from now on during the first week of each month. Anything more you want please let me know and I shall arrange that you get it. I don't want you to go without anything you need any longer and I mean it, so please give me this long hoped for pleasure to see you have a few things you have long needed.
I have about a full kit now and with the exception of wear and tear there will be little expense for me from day to day. I hope to build up a strong bank account for later when you come over.
My tests are coming along slowly. I have covered quite a bit of work. There is much yet to do and for the next while there will be less time to work at my own work. I have a new flight [This is a contingent of new recruits for him to train.] to work along starting tomorrow and that means almost complete attention to them for at least this next month or so. I'm bound to complete my own work just as soon as possible. This I shall do and before many weeks have passed I shall succeed.
Well, Sweetheart, I wonder what you are doing tonight. Come on over and look after me. Take this Clipper from N.Y. to Lisbon. I believe they will bring you if you apply.
Olive, Betty & Mim all send their love. I received a letter from Olive Davis. She is still safe and sound. She is thinking of her holidays which she expects about June. I wish she would come to Torquay. You write her and tell her to do so. By that time I hope to be up in the air and will likely be away from here so what's the use?
Heaps of love and happy dreams. A big kiss and hug.
In this letter Jones enclosed a pressed flower and said: "Aren't they beautiful. As common here as tulips are at home. "Anemone" they are called."
It wasn't exactly Jones' goal to be a training officer, but at least he was in the RAF and getting closer to his dream of flying.