Topic: 8 June 1939: To Hazel from John Glen McCauley

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[This letter is missing pages 1 & 2 but from its contents the date is estimated at 8 June 1939]. In which John writes Hazel about Jimmie Adcock, London's thousands of Scottie dogs, a possible trip to the Continent, a visit by Gordon Saunders who is in the RAF (John comments 'its time Hitler was stopped' but is unsure what to sign up for), Trevor Bellringer's return from South America, Duffy teaching English in Düsseldorf, a possible holiday taking a tramp steamer, an offer to send Hazel a car in place of money owed and Westie's unhappiness on the Gold Coast in West Africa.

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C/o N.Z. House

415 The Strand


8 June 1939 [est.]

Dear Haze,

[This letter is missing pages 1 & 2 and from it’s contents the date is estimated at 8 June 1939] ...there’s anything on – I’m off. Only you can well imagine what the scenes are when there’s a state drive for instance – people line the streets from start to finish and to the entire depth of the footpath – Hell it’s terrible.

In my last letter to Rae I spoke of a chap (Jimmie Adcock) who often came to the colony of N.Zers – I owe Jimmie a letter too and when writing will ask him to look you up – he can give you more news than I can by writing.

This is a great place for dogs as you’ve no doubt heard – there are literally thousands of Scotties and its a treat to see them come here to the park and enjoy their run around. Other times they must be kept on leads, and nearly every home has a barker. I’d get one if it wasn’t for the fact that there’s no-one at home to look after him.

I’m looking forward to the summer very much after such a severe winter, although heaven knows if I’ll see much of the country this year. It’ll mean getting a better crate if we consider the Continent, and what’s more I’ll probably get a free trip there yet. I’m keen to see Ireland but it’s not so handy as the Continent and would be more costly I know.

I was interrupted by a chap taking up all the seat so here goes for a final attempt at home. You apparently let the cat out of the bag with Gordon Saunders – he arrived last Oct and didn’t get in touch with me but procured my address to pop in and surprise me but I wrote to him first. He stayed here last weekend and seems to be enjoying all the RAF has to offer – most of them are thirsting for war and may yet be favoured – the position is grave indeed but we all hope for the best but realise it's time Hitler was stopped.

Every precaution is being taken by the active services – planes motors are kept warm, weather forecasts come in regularly, phone numbers must be left by pilots on leave, charts are set for Berlin and so on, aerodromes are camouflaged and colossal supplies of oil are kept in outlying districts. On the other hand the unorganised side leaves much to be desired – I have read the National Services Book and still can’t find what I should do – the Civil Air Guard would have appealed considerably were it not for other responsibilities – personally I’m not afraid of conscription in spite of my dislike for discipline and all parts too.

Trev. Bellringer returned from South America last week and is looking for a journalistic job, but take it from me its tough here. If he misses he’s off on another boat somewhere. Duffy is teaching English at some learn-quick school in Düsseldorf – he could have it for me - if he’s not careful he’ll end up in a concentration camp of Mr. Hitler’s.

One holiday we had in mind was to catch a tramp steamer going to Norway and have a look at Sweden as well – to go there from the Continent means travelling too far out of the way of other attractions and covering a Hell of a lot of ground – it is a popular way this tramp steamer business for those who know of it and we need to book well in advance – hence our not booking.

Money in this place just vanishes into thin air and most of us are always broke, but I think... [line damaged]. Harold says Bet and Kath are still coming over – if they don’t hurry England won’t be here and it doesn’t move that quickly. Am glad your hanks arrived OK.

It certainly is too bad about the cars and their import regulations – anyway I suppose that if you’re going into business you will need the cash – except that no doubt a car would be handy – there is one way out of it maybe if you do still decide later, and if it appeals – I owe you £60 (which no double you could well do with now too) – if I sent you a car as a gift as it were – no money would pass hands – you wouldn’t get much for £60 N.Z. currency but I could probably afford to send you one later and you could give Rae the balance over and above what you consider your £60 towards what I owe her – if this doesn’t appeal say so – what is more I’m waiting for Merv to tell me my position at home and want to arrange for you to get what I own you soon as possible if you need it – the probability is you’ll prefer the cash. A copy of my reply to the Public T is enclosed.

Westie doesn’t sound 100% happy at the Gold Coast – it’ll be damn lonely I know but he may get used to it. Should you get a chance I know he’d appreciate a line – not much but more often – he is naturally a home sick chap and out there in Hell. C/o Survey Dept, Box 214, Sekondi, Gold Coast, West Africa.

Cheerio, regards to Andy.

Love, John [handwritten].

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8 June 1939: To Hazel from John Glen McCauley