Bill Goodall's Diaries: 1941/1945

25 October 1941 to 30 October 1941

We did however see something of the towns and after the blackout at home it was a joy to find the streets lit and the car headlamps shining bright. I couldn't help wondering how long it would be before the lights went on again at home. A welcome and much appreciated gesture was shown to us at a town called Truro where some kind people boarded the train at midnight to distribute apples and offer words of welcome to Canada.

Sunday, 26 October 1941. When we arrived at Moncton at 4am it was snowing hard. This was a brand new RCAF camp with well equipped quarters but seas of mud in place of roads and I was glad to lie down for an hour or two after a much needed shower.
A large breakfast was served at 7.30 and the feature which caused most comment was the bowl of sugar on the table after the rationing back home. During the morning we walked into town which we found attractive with many interesting features - the wooden houses built up on piles, the very large cars, the right hand traffic, the railways running through the streets and the abundance of goods in the shops.
In the evening we were invited to a social, run by an organisation called the Knights of Columbus, where we had a great time and were further invited home by a Mr & Mrs Wolstenholme. They were keen to hear first hand news from home and we stayed talking until 1am when we were given a lift back to camp. All the RAF chaps have found Moncton residents very hospitable and eager to make our stay a happy one - I wonder whether British people have been as kind to Canadian troops over here and I am inclined to doubt it.

Monday, 27 October 1941. All cadets today attended a lecture by the CO on what to do and what not to do in Canada and USA; he warned us not to give foolish interviews to the press and apologised for the unfinished state of the camp. We have been entertained by watching the building in progress and very impressed by the speed of the work which is aided by many mechanical aids not seen in Britain.
Our first pay of 10 dollars was issued today but after airmailing a letter to Moira and visiting a Soda Fountain I went to bed early for a solid night's sleep.

Thursday, 30 October 1941. Rumours of going to Montgomery, Alabama next week. There is little to do all day except parade at 9am and 2pm when we are usually dismissed after rollcall. We have been photographed for identity cards which will serve as passports and we have now received Canadian money in exchange for the Sterling which we handed in on board 'Pasteur'.
An attempt is being made to confine us to camp until 4.30pm and we are supposed to be back in camp by 10.30pm but twice this week we have been at the Wolstenholme home until about 2am without any trouble. We find a great variety of subjects to discuss and information to exchange on life in Canada and Britain - they are particularly interested in air raid stories.
This is a strange life and the sooner we all get down to work the better as everyone is getting restive. However behaviour has so far been excellent and I understand that Moncton residents have no complaints as yet.


© 1995 William Motion Goodall & Ian William Goodall 

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