Letter to David Donaldson from Esther Hale



Letter to David Donaldson from Esther Hale


Congratulates David on arrival of a daughter. Mentions brother Ian and writes of life in Canada in particular cold weather and use of coal and rationing. Passes on family news. Mentions contact with Kenneth Lawson and writes that Warrie who had completed a tour on Boston Bombers.




Temporal Coverage




Three page handwritten letter


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January 22, ‘43

[Inserted] Warrie's address is F/O W.M. Hale, J6948, attached R.A.F. R.C.A.F. Just in case you have a chance to look them up. E.H. [/inserted]

Dear David,
We were all so glad to hear from you, even though the Airgraph letter was of necessity very short.
My congratulations for the little daughter! She has chosen for herself a pretty nice father – and I have no doubt also a wonderful little mother – judging from what you have told us of her.
I have written your brother [page break] Ian and hope we will hear from him soon. He has picked a pretty cold winter to spend in Canada as an initiation. It is really [underlined] very [/underlined] cold this winter. Also, our fuel is presenting a mild problem. They tell us there is plenty of coal, for instance, but a shortage of transportation. The result is not so good. In our own case, for instance, we can only get one ton of coal at a time, and we usually burn about 25 tons in the winter. So we keep limping along and pestering the coal people, and just when we think we will be out of coal [page break] the next day, and wonder what will happen to the water pipes, along comes a ton. It is too silly. I understand their [sic] doing with a tin of soup – only one at a time to a person – but not coal. We are rationed on sugar, butter, tea and coffee, but it is very easy. The only shortages we really feel are the things that are not rationed. As soon as they are put on coupons, everything is all right.
Speaking of your little daughter, our Betty had another little son on Christmas afternoon – a darling little fellow. They are calling him James – which, for most of us means “Jimmie”. Pat is back home now, as Doug was sent to a little half-frozen island off the coast of Alaska – Annette Island where wives are not allowed. He is sleeping in a tent! Can you imagine it! In this freezing weather! For four days recently they had no water or heat of any kind! That doubtless excludes [underlined] drinking [/underlined] water. Jacqueline is a Wren.
I had a letter from Kenneth Lawson not long ago, in which he said he had seen you. He will have been pleased at that. Warrie has completed his first batch of raids – February – October with Boston Bombers. He is now instructing for a spell then goes back again on raids, I understand. I wish he could see you – we all send our love [one indecipherable word] Hale [page break]




E Hale, “Letter to David Donaldson from Esther Hale,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 5, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/15028.

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