Letter from Ian Donaldson to his mother



Letter from Ian Donaldson to his mother


Tells of arrival in Ontario. Describes train journey through Canada and mentions new station and Group Captain. Describes local area and current activities. Mentions future long weekends and possibilities to travel. David's brother Ian who was serving with the RAF as a LAC has just arrived at a new station in Hamilton, Ontario. He describes his first impressions of the Canadians and his new station.


Spatial Coverage



Three page handwritten letter


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29th Sept
1602998 LAC I.D.
A.N.S.P.O.BOX 187
Dear Mama
We got here on Sunday last after 36 hrs on the train. The address should be permanent for the next few mths or so. The train journey down wasn't very exciting, rather dull country, though the woods are a lovely colour, with the maple trees which all turn red – at least I suppose they are maples. We had two hours to run around Montreal and stretch our legs in the middle.
This seems a nice station, they seem to regard['s' deleted] us as a slightly higher form of life than [word deleted] mere airmen, though I am not sure that that is an advantage. The Group Captain was either a contemporary or else slightly junior to me in Bodeites. [inserted] (one B.K.Burnett A.F.C. D.FC in case it interests David) [/inserted] I am thinking of investing a dollar in an O.C tie in case I am hauled before him for breaking the laws.
[page break]
I haven't had much time to look around yet. The locals are supposed to be very friendly & invite one out but it is about 9 miles to Hamilton & the buses aren't very convenient – & I don't think there will be a lot of time to spare.
We get a long week end now & then – there is one next week so I suppose I shall have to make an effort & see Niagara before it freezes.
Much to my fury I have got the job of wheeling my twenty companions around the school; my own fault for not being suitably modest. It is entirely against my R.A.F principles which are always to remain one of a large crowd & as inconspicuous as possible. Anything else merely means a lot of bother for nothing.
We don't appear to get any organised exercise here & if you try & walk anywhere someone stops & offers you a lift every quarter of a mile. The roads are all dead straight for miles.
We are about 500 ft up above Hamilton which is on the lake
[page break]
The countryside is very like England withs[sic] apple trees everywhere loaded with apples. It is fine & distinctly cold in the morning.
We get three or four long week ends while we are here, and as I have probably said before, we are in easy reach of Toronto, & reasonable distance of Montreal, so if David does know anywhere there where Donaldson goodwill is still saleable, I should be glad to know of it.
I also enclose a letter to the Spectator, in the hope that they can print it out here. I haven't their address, so could you please post it for me.
I think of anything else. I will write again when I have got properly settled.
My love to everyone




Ian Donaldson, “Letter from Ian Donaldson to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 20, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/14930.

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