am somewhat surprised that the spirit of the Confederacy is still
so strong here and it appears that hatred of the Yankees has
not died away. The coloured question too is much in evidence
and we have been lectured by the CO (American) to the effect
that no white man was to associate in any way with a negro except
in the relation of master to servant; also that a white man disregarding
this rule would be outlawed.
Yesterday was Armistice Day and a big procession was held in
Montgomery in which the British cadets took a leading part. We
marched with rifles and fixed bayonets and many townspeople told
us that we were the smartest body in the parade which is very
creditable as most of us have no experience in rifle drill. Following
the parade we were allowed out of the camp for the first time
(open post it is called) and we wandered through the city which
is very attractive. It is very much bigger than Moncton but to
our eyes the coloured problem is strange and rather ugly.
A pleasant feature of life at Maxwell Field is that our officers
sit at table with us eating the same food. Our particular officers
of G Squadron, Lieuts Thompson and McDowall, are very well liked
and six other officers are attached to us having been transferred
from the Infantry to the Air Corps for flying training.
17 November 1941.
We enjoyed our first weekend leave on Saturday from 2pm until
3pm on Sunday which I spent with room mates Charles Hollins and
Alec Flett. It was quiet but we made some interesting contacts
- one in particular was with a professor from Auburn University
whom we met in a restaurant and who has invited us to Auburn
two weeks hence. He specially wants us to see the big ball game
there but to do this it will mean leaving Montgomery at 12.30
on the day so he is writing to the CO for permission - we earnestly
hope it will be granted.
On Sunday morning the three of us were strolling along Dexter
Avenue when a big Packard stopped and a lady and gentleman asked
us to hop in for a drive. We did so and were taken round the
district for an hour or so - seeing Gunter Field, the basic training
centre on the other side of town, Kilby Jail which looks just
like the jails one sees in films and a big girls college called
Two of our room mates reported sick this morning with what looks
like flu but generally the health of our contingent is excellent
considering the big change in food and climate. Still no mail
for anyone but I was thrilled to get a cable from Moira on Friday
- the first contact with her since I phoned from Wilmslow on
October 12. She has received my first letter and is about to
join the ATS.
24 November 1941.
Mail is now arriving regularly and it is noticeable that there
is little difference in the time taken by Air Mail and Surface
Mail. It was a big shock to learn of my Uncle Galt's death in
Glasgow - he was run over by a bus in the blackout.
25 November 1941.
Last Wednesday night the British cadets organised a dance in
the City Auditorium and various parties were made up for the
cadets. I was invited to a Mrs Henderson's home before the dance
where I met some charming people - I arrived about nine o'clock
and we chatted until nearly eleven when all moved off to the
dance. This was a great success and the British dances such as
Palais Glide and Lambeth Walk seemed to go down well with the