Farnborough and Family Christmas

December 31, 1940

December 1st – Farnborough (Sun)

Weather cool – misty. One night alarm. On duty in Office all day with Capt[ain] Lake.

December 2nd – Farnborough (Mon)

Weather cool & frosty. Worked at F[ie]ld Stores. Dinner at R[oyal] A[rmy] O[rdnance] C[orps] Mess. One night alarm.

December 3rd – Farnborough (Tue)

Weather foggy with rain. Went to London with Capt[ain] Lake, Cond[ucto]r [?]Latimer, and Harden who drove car 180. In London I did the following.

1. Saw Col McQueen re proper pay. He gave instructions to Conductor Elliot to send a cable to ottawa to have the extra pay ($ .75 per day) antedated as far as possible.

2. Had bank Book made up at Bank of Montreal.

3. Sent (pounds) 7 by P.L.T. [?] cable to Renie. Cable cost 5/- with Xmas greeting.

4. Had polyphoto taken – 48 positions – 3/4 – to be ready in 10 days.

5. Went to 17 Cockspur St[reet] & found that Dr Chatwin is located at Guildford as Chief Educational officer.

6. Went to Hawes & Sons, Opticians – 79 Leadenhall Street re glasses which were issued by Army by above. Had same adjusted & arranged if necessary to have a pair of rimless made.

7. Lunched at Officers Club opposite C[anadian] M[ilitary] H[ead] Q[uarters] for 3/6.

There was a daylight raid on London & 9 bombs were dropped but none close to me. Arrived home at 6.35pm after being away since 9.00am. One night alarm.

December 4th – Farnborough (Wed)

Worked in F[ie]ld Stores. Dinner at R[oyal] A[rmy] O[rdnance] C[orps] Mess. Rec[eive]’d first parcel from Canada – from Renie containing cake & candy & cake from Catherine & 1/2 lb coffee from Champs [?].Weather very warm. One short night alarm.

December 5th – Farnborough (Thu)

Received cable from Renie stating that missing letters arrived Dec. 2 and that all to No 45 to now arrived in regina. I cabled back stating that one parcel with coffee, toffee etc had arrived & also that I have rec[eive]’d No 38. Weather fine. One alarm.

December 6th – Farnborough (Fri)

Completed work at Field Stores. Very much impressed with accounting system under Major Messenger for M[ilitary] T[ransport] group. Weather cool. No alarms.

December 7th – Farnborough (Sat)

On duty in morning. Off in afternoon. Rec[eive]’d 2nd parcel from Renie with cheese, crackers, chocolate, candy, nuts from Gerry Curle, 100 tea bags from Chomps [?], little things from Don & Jane, jam from renie & candy tc from the boys. No alarms. Weather very fine.

December 8th – Farnborough (Sun)

Dr Chatwin visited me re education. Gave me a letter to Clow Ford [?] who is now at Holloway College. Visited R[oyal] H[olloway] College in afternoon for tour of gr[oun]ds & b[ui]ld[in]gs & afternoon tea. Alarm lasted from 6pm until 5am – a dozen or so incendiaries dropped near some of 2nd Div[ision] barracks. Weather fine & bright.

December 9th – Farnborough (Mon)

No alarms. Weather moist & fairly warm. Major Downes returned at noon after having had 2 days privilege leave.

December 10th – Farnborough (Tue)

No alarms. Weather fine. Re[ceive]’d PhD registration & outline on Education administration from Professor Clarke, Nottingham. Called on Mr Clow Ford of London U[niversity], Holloway College re use of Library. He promised to make arrangements for me to borrow books from London U[niversity] Library.

December 11th – Farnborough (Wed)

Rec[eive]’d cable from Renie confirming receipt of Xmas money & letter No 50. Prepared application for Registration for PhD. All night alert. Weather rain.

December 12th – Farnborough (Thu)

Rec[eive]’d parcels – one with Bathcake from Renie – other from Picardy’s (from Lady Teachers, Regina). Cabled Queen’s for confirmation of Degree. Mailed app[lication] for reg[istration] for PhD to Prof[essor] Clarke, Nottingham.

December 13th – Farnborough (Fri)

Rec[eive]’d parcel with cake, candy, cocoa, tea & mince pies from Jessie & Harold-also little Xmas stocking in parcel from Shirley, Anne & Spencer. Seven rolls of newspaper came from Renie. Went to Dance at Skindles [?] in Maidenhead. weather very fine. No alarms.

December 14th – Farnborough (Sat)

Received eight letters from Renie, Nos 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47. Some rain during afternoon & evening. Went to Bordon to G[eneral] H[olding] U[nit] with Capt[ain] Meighan re advance party for No. 1 Army F[ie]ld Workshops. Saw Grandjean & many others whom I knew. Called at 2nd Es [?] at Farnham with Mc [?] re release of required men. No alarms except 10 minute one during morning.

December 15th – Farnborough (Sun)

On duty all day at A[?] D[?] O[?] S[?] officer. Rec[eive]’d application card & rules re borrowing from London U[niversity] Library as a result of Mr Clow Ford’s visit to the Librarian. Forwarded the above card with list of first books required for reading on PhD work. Weather very fine & mild. One alarm after supper.

December 16th – Farnborough (Mon)

Went to Bordon G[eneral] H[olding] U[nit] for Capt[ain] Meighan re ordnance personnel for for No. 1 A[rmy] F[ield] W[orkshop]. Dr. Chatwin called in A.M. & I invited him for lunch. He was pleased with what progress I had made re getting started on PhD work. He promised to cable Dep[artmen]t of Ed[ucation] Regina re my professional and academic qualification etc & phone me when answer arrived & deliver same to London U[niversity] when same arrives. In meantime he promised to write prof[essor] Clarke at Nottingham re above proceedings. weather rainy. No alarms.

December 17th – Farnborough (Tue)

Took over for Capt[ain] Meighan, O[?]M[?]E[?], for duration of his privilege leave. rather busy on Meighan’s work all day. Weather cool & bright. No alarms.

December 18th – Farnborough (Wed)

Went to cocktail party with Downes & Lake at R[oyal] A[rmy] O[rdnance] C[orps] Officers Mess, Aldershot. Rec[eive]’d parcels of nuts from Frances Rowntree [?] & girls of Lakeview VIII’s. No alarms. Weather damp. rec[eive]’d 2 rolls of papers from Renie. Phoned Uncle Alan stating will be at Purley for 3 days Xmas leave. Letter to A[?]D[?]O[?]S[?] stating that I am being made Lieut[enant] from Aug 12/40.

December 19th – Farnborough (Thu)

Received 2 more rolls of old newspapers from renie – delayed by being sent to R[oyal] C[anadian] A[rmy] S[ervice] C[orps]. Rec[eive]’d & paid mess bill for Nov[ember] at 2/9 per day amounting to [pounds] 4:2:6. Everyone very dissatisfied with high cost of messing. Sent Xmas cables to Renie, Mother, & Harold (cost 9/6). Weather bright & warmer – no frost. One alarm at night – about 3 hours.

December 20th – Farnborough (Fri)

Received the first three books from Library of the U[niveristy] of London & did first reading towards PhD. Extremely busy in office all day. sent telegraph to Grace stating I would meet her at Hyde Park Corner at 1.45 Sat[urday]. Weather rather dark & foggy all day. One alarm after supper.

December 21st – Farnborough (Sat)

Off at 12.00 for week end. Left for London at 1.00 with Lake & McDonald in car 180 with Harden driving. Got mixed up between places to meet Grace & stood at Marble Arch for over an hour then walked to real Hyde Park Corner & found her there. Had tea in Cumberland Hotel – saw Miss Jack [?] & Miss White from Holloway College while Grace & I were there. Took buss, underground & buss again to get off at 23 Lawrence Avenue, Mill Hill, (near Hendon), London N.W. 7 where Aunt Grace (Mrs Owen Denney) lives with her daughter Josephine. Discovered Jos[ephine] to be an elementary teacher – she wants to come to Canada on exchange. Gun fire very loud during night raid on London. Big land mines at the Victoria Coach & R[ailwa]y Stations. Tremendous amount of glass blown out for block around. Some buildings completely demolished. Weather quite cool & windy. One daylight alert in London as well as above night raid.

December 22nd – Hendon (Sun)

Took Aunt Grace, cousin Josephine & cousin Grace to dinner at Hunter’s Hour [House?] – Green Hill – had Christmas dinner of Turkey & plum pudding with a bottle of white wine – all told it cost – 23/-. Left on Green Line bus for Farnborough at 5.15 [pm]. Arrived at Ellis House 6.30 in time for supper. One night alarm.

December 23rd – Farnborough (Mon)

Worked all day & after supper getting things in shape for Xmas leave. No alarms. Weather fine.

December 24th – Purley (Tue)

Left for London on 12.30 bus. Met uncle & proceeded to Purley on train from Victoria Station. Arrived in Purley 5.45. No alarms. Weather fine.

December 25th – Purley (Wed)

Xmas Day

Went to Wallington church for 8.00am communion with Uncle & Aunts Thirza, Howard & Raymond in car. Saw Uncle Cecil & Aunt Winnie there. Went to 11.00 Service with Howard to drive Grannie to Church. Returned & took Gran & Grandpa to Purley for Xmas dinner. Had excellent meal of Turkey & pudding & all the trimmings & wine. Present at the meal were Gran & Grandpa, Uncle Syd & Aunt Elsie, Aunt Winnie & Uncle Cecil, Aunt Thirza & Uncle Alan, Raymond & his girl Dorothy, Howard & myself. Weather cool but not freezing. No alarm. No snow. Gave presents of hankies to everyone. Also choc[olates] & sugar & tea & cigarettes. Only received 2 presents (Syd & Cecil).

December 26th – Purley & Farnborough


Dinner at Lucas’s with Reg & his wife with Mrs Holmes present. Took train to London at 2.45. Left London on bus at 4.10. Arrived Farnborough at 5.30. No alarms. Weather fine. Capt[ain] M[eighen] back from leave.

December 27th – Farnborough (Fri)

Worked all day. Visit R[?] R[?] C[?] re armourers & discovered they had an extra one of whom we were not aware. weather fine. New light fixtures installed in our offices – excellent illum[ination]. One night alarm.

December 28th – Farnborough (Sat)

Sherry party at Addlestone – dinner & dance “Pack Horse” – Staines. Not in until 4.30am. Weather fine. No alarms.

December 29th – Farnborough (Sun)

On duty all morning. Went to Oxford & saw prof[essor] Clarke re my PhD work – left 1.30 back 5.30 – 46 miles from Ellis House to Folly Bridge Oxford via Henley on Thames. Big fire raid on London. Weather fine.

December 30th – Farnborough (Mon)

Col[onel] McQueen, L[ieutenan]t Col[onel] Bailey, Major McInnis (Walter) visited Ord[nance] 2nd Div[ision]. Minister of N[ational] Def[ence] Ralston [?] visited H[ead] Q[uarters] 2nd Div[ision] & addressed officers & men – all Officers shook hands with the minister. Weather fine. No alarms.

December 31st – Farnborough (Tue)

On duty all day. Stayed in & studied all evening. Rec[eive]’d parcel from Renie containing my leather Jacket & 2 p[ai]r[s] socks – cabled back 2/6. Weather foggy with rain. No alarms up to 12.00p.m.