Saw Colonel Wrinch today and he asked me how I liked it up here. Full
of enthusiasm (it was a nice day!), I said "Oh fine, sir."
Then, thinking better, I said, "Well, perhaps I shouldn't appear
too enthusiastic!" The Col. said, "No, perhaps you oughtn't
to be too hasty with your enthusiasm," and added that it was
quite a change from being in Ottawa. I heartily agreed with him there!
He took a short trip into the bush with Riddell today but don't know
whether they are going out again tomorrow.
We've now got an army wireless set in our room, and although it only
brings in shortwave programs, it's not too bad. The only thing is,
it doesn't bring the stations in very well, and although we can get
England, the programs are a bit "wavy." Still, it is better
This afternoon Jerry and I went out into Hudson Bay with Denny Hayes,
who is another sergeant in the Sigs here. The ice is certainly piled
up out in the Bay; in some places it's piled up about 40 feet high.
There were crevices in the ice all over the place and you could hear
it cracking continuously. However, I doubt very much whether the water
would be very deep out where we were, because the ice is so very thick.
. . . We could see some water where there was no ice, but that water
must have been five or six miles out from where we were.
Yep, Riddell does all right by us fellows here and sees that the boys
in the bush especially get lots of good rations and that they are
located in comfortable positions. Speaking of rations, the food here
is very good and the rations are of the best. . . .
Riddell is making one more trip out into the bush, so I'm going to
try to go along with him because I won't have another chance to do
I've seen only one papoose since I've been up here. I think you would
be disappointed in the appearance of the Indians which I have seen.
They all dress like trappers (no feathers!) and look very much the
same. Of course, some of them wear beaded moccasins and gloves, and
some wear coats of skin, but outside of that, they look somewhat like
the rest of us. . . .
The latest Ottawa newspaper I have seen was the one which arrived
at our home just before I left. Late papers of any sort are few and
far between up here. The latest paper of any sort I have seen up here
is February 18!
We have been busy the last few days with turning in equipment to Stores,
something I don't mind doing, as it means we are gradually getting
packed up. I think Riddell is going out into the bush next Tuesday,
and he told me today that I could go along with him. He said that
Jerry could go too if there was room. Don't imagine that we'll be
out for more than a day or two, but I do want to go, just for the
experience. I really think that we do more work around here than the
fellows do out in the bush, but I don't mind, as it helps to pass
Yesterday afternoon, I ran into Capt. Art Stafford, who was a QMS
with me in 2nd Div. Sigs. He was also with our section (as an officer)
for a few days at Frith Park. He is stationed in Edmonton with the
NWT & Y System and is a good man to know. He asked me where I
would like to go up north, and I told him that I didn't want to go
anywhere unless there were married quarters. He said that they would
be glad to have me on the NWT and Y System, as they were short of
operators. Art is going back to Edmonton on Sunday.
Will be going out into the bush with Riddell tomorrow and will probably
be out for a couple of days.
Was working all day yesterday assisting Denny Hayes, our carpenter,
drawing rations, and last night worked until 11 p.m. helping to repair
a snowmobile (I think I should mention that I'm really a wireless
operator!). Will be assisting with the rations this afternoon but
don't know whether we'll be working this evening or not.
There was a bingo game and dance at the Sergeants' Mess and, as usual,
I went over for the eats and had a couple of beers. The affair was
still going strong at 1:30 a.m. when I left. There was a five-piece
"orchestra" playing for us, and they weren't too bad, all
I happened to see the Montreal Gazette for February 21st this morning
(latest paper!) and noticed that, when it was 6 below and 18 at Ottawa,
it was 38 below and 26 below here. Of all the places recorded (in
the paper), Churchill was the coldest and Dawson, in the Yukon Territory,
was next, so being up here is good training for the NWT and Y Radio
System! You know, you get used to the cold weather after a while and
you don't mind it. They say you have to be here a couple of weeks
before you get used to it, and I think they are right. . . .
Saw the "sked" plane take off yesterday morning for Winnipeg
and Ottawa. . . . You would be interested in some of the magazines
we have in our Sergeants' Mess. Evidently, we get regularly Punch,
London Opinion, and Lilliput, and I've even seen a late copy of the
Strand. Of course, we get Time, Newsweek, Life, etc., but the newspapers
aren't very recent. . . .
The last time Riddell was out in the bush, one of the fellows who
was with him saw a big white wolf about 400 yards away. This chap
took a shot at it, but although the wolf gave a jump it kept right
on going. There were some traces not far from Neil Wiberg's camp.
Contrary to my belief, you don't hear the wolves howling at night
here. They seem to stay a good distance from this place, and in fact
you rarely see one even at 50 miles distance. On Riddell's last trip
the boys met up with a herd of about a thousand caribou, and one of
the fellows was making them run all around by shining a spotlight
on them. He would shine the light just in front of some of them who
would be moving along and they would stop dead in their tracks. Then
when they started off in the other direction he would shine the light
on the other side of them and they'd stop dead again. Outdoor sports,
or what-have-you! Incidentally, you're not supposed to shoot caribou.