Letter 19: December 3, 1941
postmarked Llanelly, Camarthenshire, Wales
I’m not sure whether this is the 3rd or 4th letter so I’ll say 4th
Say Nell use this address, they say it’s the best.
Sgt Pilot Piper F J R85176
Canadian Base (Overseas)
Post Office No 1 England
I don’t know whether this will reach you before Christmas but hope so.
Well Nell I’ve received some Canadian mail and was I ever glad to get it, it was sure an enjoyable time reading them.
I just returned from 10 days leave in Scotland and I sure had a good time, they were all swell to me. I got 4 letters the day before I left, one from you Ellen and 2 from Dad and one from a girl. When I got back from my leave I sure had a nice surprise when I found three more letters from you & all of them were in order so I haven’t missed any, there was also one from Dad & also my log book & a letter & a parcel from Archie & Muriel with a swell cake & some cookies. I also had a card & letter from Nettie Dewar.
Well Ellen coming back to my leave, I spent about 4 days at Auntie Janet’s in Sorn, Auntie is nice & really treated me swell, she has two school teachers staying with her & both are Miss Simpsons & they both are swell, the elder Miss Simpson who Dad knows is sure cheerful & full of fun. I used the younger Miss Simpson’s bicycle & peddled around the country visiting Dads old stamping grounds, it is sure a beautiful country around Sorn. I went to visit our relatives at Pyper Hill and they sure have a nice lay out, about 5000 acres of land & lots of kaoy, the mother is Dads aunt & the family are Dads cousins, Dad learnt his trade from the husband who name was Archie Pyper & he was Dads uncle (he’s dead now). One of the sons whose name is Archie Pyper (by the way they spell there name Pyper) took me into Ayr at night in his car & then produce a bottle of good whiskey (which is sure hard to get) and we had a swell evening (he is about 40 years old but he is single & lots of fun)
I sure heard some great stories about Dad in his younger days, Our Dad was really popular & quite the lad in his younger days around Sorn. I was in the Pub in Sorn (where Dad used to go) one night with Auntie Janet’s neighbour & there were three old cronies of Dad’s in there, I just about split myself laughing for about an hour.
I didn’t have much trouble understanding the Scotch people, I just missed the odd word once in awhile.
I spent two day at Uncle Tom’s at Musselburgh and he got a day off from his work & took me out to see the Forth Bridge which was sure a sight worth seeing, the bridge is about 1 ½ miles across. We went across on a ferry & then came back on a train across the bridge. Aunt Isabel is very nice & sure made me welcome.
They call you Ella in Scotland
I spent two days at Uncle Jimmy’s in Edinburgh; Nettie & her girl friend & I went to an exhibition & a show the first nigh and then on Sunday the next day we went to church in the morning & then in the afternoon we went to see Edinburgh Castle which is sure a great piece of work & then we went to see Hollyrood House or Palace where all the Kings have stayed when in Edinburgh. Edinburgh is sure a great city & is sure worth seeing. I was also in Glasgow but only passed through it.
Everybody was really swell to me in Scotland & I had a grand time.
Nettie was anxious to hear about you and Auntie Janet would sure like to see you and she told me about the last time she saw you & those big dark eyes of yours.
I wrote Dad a big letter from Scotland & I sure had lots to tell him.
Well Ellen as yet I haven’t done any flying, I’m suppose to start any day but the weather had been so damn miserable, fog, rain & clouds (it is there winter they say)
I stopped in at a dance in the city last night on my way back from leave & I got an invite from a nice Welsh girl to go to a Christmas party with her which will be okay. I also had got a bottle of Canadian Club Whiskey ordered fro Christmas & with Archie & Muriel\s parcel I shouldn’t have a bad Christmas should I. The Gov isn’t going to allow any troops to have leave at Christmas as it would congest the railways to much so there are going to give us a good feed in the mess in the camp.
So you have fallen for the R.C.M.P. force or I mean one of its cogs, well it sure sounds like real love but then Ellen I think I’ve heard much the same words from you before or have I/ I’m glad you were home to visit Dad & had such a good time together,. It was a tough break on Dad when he got his car smashed, I hope he gets things squared by Hebert okay.
Well Ellen I hope you have a good Christmas together with Dad & Archie & Muriel & Happy New Year
Your loving brother
PS I never hear any jokes, the people here don’t seem to go in for it much.
On his leave Fred took the train up to Sorn, which was about 370 miles north of where he was stationed, then over to Edinburgh, Musselburgh and back to Wales. He mentions James which was the oldest brother of Grandpa's, Thomas was also older and Janet was his younger sister.
Sorn is a small village on the River Ayr.