May 23rd, 1943
Dear Mom + Dad
Well I got your box and letter today and it was real nice. I’ve never seen so much fruit since I worked at D.B. and they sent the fruit to Daddy. Well I got three letters and your box so it will take me all afternoon to answer them. If you send another box I’d like a mixture. I haven’t tasted a good chocolate bar since I left. But when you get this letter and then get a box ready and send it, I’ll be getting ready to come home I hope.
I’m glad Ray’s leg is getting along. Tell him and Pork they have swell sweat shirts with our crest on them and when pay day comes I’ll get them. I’ll send my watch too so when you get it open it carefully.
Ever since I come here I’ve been trying to get on the ball team and I finally made it and we won the first game I played. We go out for a workout this afternoon and play again on Monday. Its lots of fun. I’ve even taken up boxing, it’s pretty rough but I like it.
Well I have to go and play baseball, workout but I’ll be back. Well here I am, boy am I hot but it was lots of fun. I wear my shorts and puttees quite a bit now and I’m getting a real nice tan. What’s it like in Toronto?
Have you forgot that favour I asked you a while ago, remember the pictures? Tell Sweetipie to get ready for that piggyback because it won’t be long now till I will be getting off the train at good old Union. I can hardly wait, I am going to have fun. When I get home I will be a real soldier, not like Eddy or Kirk because you have to have your advance before you can call yourself a soldier. You have to have your Mars badge, that’s the arrow on your arm and as soon as I am through here I get mine.
Just think, in about 22 more days I’ll be ready to get on the train headed for Toronto. Well I can’t think of anything else to say except I hope you write soon.
Lots of love to the best mother in the world.
The East End Kid
[Shannan note – Puttees are a strip of cloth wound to cover the lower half of the leg. The internet tells me they were worm much more in WWI than WWII, but it’s possible that there was some carryover in Gord’s years.
From my research, a Mars Badge (see below) is a badge sewn to arm of the uniform of overseas servicemen]