Rover Bulletin No 26

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 NUMBER TWENTY-SIX      29th October, 1943.

Dear Lads,

Every thing at “Love’s Abode” is exactly as you knew it. No changes have taken place except at the moment we’re more snowed in with leaves than ever we were. With so few lads here and so many other extra duties to attend to we are collecting one big gardening job instead of many small ones. In our haste to get last month’s material together, some letters arrived just after we went to press and we had Jim and Gilbert here then too.

With GILBERT there is no change and JIM went on his rounds calling on EDDIE, ESSIE (Geo. K’s wife) and MATTIE (Ian’s wife). EDDIE, is still in the Bank at the West Ind, Fire Service, etc. ESSIE was very pleased GEORGE had written – so were we – and MATTIE is delighted to get our news for Ian.

JIM met TWINK WEMYSS ( perhaps some of the older members will remember him) who works in the advertising department of the ‘News’. CAPTAIN BAND, TWINK asks specially for you. Captain, you belong to us now you know – not the 1st or any other crew but the good old 4th (Jimmy Frier’s terrors).

Early on NIBBY (of Second Rover Mate’s fame) was down on his yearly month of holiday.

Incidentally we learn that JIM SUTTIE is getting on well in Aden although no other news is available


JIMMY’s (Johnston) wife Marion has sent us several photos of wee Jimmy, now a very sturdy youngster and apparently full of spark. We hope to visit MARION soon So that we may hear more of JIMMY. (Wish he was on on of the ships arriving at present with P.O.W. from Germany). We recently sent JIMMY a book of plays and one from Mr Jazel for his Little Theatre. It’s a very lengthy business – a special permit is needed for any printed matter.

JOHN (BAIRD) on another leave, visited us again with his pipe and all. Hope you got those pipe cleaners O.K. John. No giving them away for hair curlers you know.

Two weeks ago two Tommies blew in. TOMMY (Thomson) and TOMMY (Hyslop) two lads who are right in the front line if anyone is, and all the time too. TOMMY (H. ) has had more gruelling experiences at sea and TOMMY (T) has completed some thing like a couple of dozen night bombing trips not to mention a forced parachute descent on returning in the pitch black which ended up with nothing worse than bruises. When the time comes when we can all speak with complete freedom the yarns will be tremendous. You’re missing no news meantime lads, we’ve all got to wait till its over. To those two Tommies and to any others of you who are going through it, we take off our hats to you and wish you jolly good luck.

DAVID (Clark) was home and is still pegging away like most of us. 

PETER WILLIAMSON is at gunnery school for higher gunnery and if he passes will become an instructor in small arms which, says he “should be quite interesting”. Pete keeps all our Bulletins and wants specially the one which mentioned his marriage. You’re our “newlywed” and because of that “All joys be thine” Thanks for your good wishes for all the lads.

JOEY (Stewart) now doing navigation mainly (RAF) is a swad leader although only a wee fellow, and is in the Squadron Rugger Team. Thanks for your very realistic sketch of wee you leading the other big lads, Small bulk, guid goar!

GEORGE (Simpson) was home and is really in love with his job. He is at the stage of finding delight in the air with his instructor and, but for weather conditions would have had a solo trip. The whole career is ideal. Great stuff George we’re mighty pleased too.

BILL (McKelvic) was home too, asking for you all. He has moved at last but the whole unit has too, so not so good. Bill’s brother Archie is in a high ranking job in London (RASC) and I don’t think – one thing is certain, it’s cushy and he’s delighted.

Hello! another letter from ROWAN with the glad nows of his coming home early in 1944. We’ve to keep his fourpence worth hot for him. “Five years in Africa at a stretch is too much” he says “ask Muz what he thinks”. We’re looking out for you ROWAN, good lad.

Our letter of the month is from IAN, our “Ambassador” in West Africa who is pleased to report fine health, good spirits end everything under control .

We have now MUZ in the North, ECK in the South, ROWAN in the East end IAN in the West.

After a pleasant sea trip he travelled 1st class by train with plenty room to relax and watch the changing scenery (running water and wash basin, comfortable bed and good service). Good food too – here’s e sample:

Breakfast:- grapefruit, fish, bacon, egg, sausage, fried potatoes, grilled tomatoes, marmalade and coffee. Lunch: roast chicken, new potatoes, vegetable salad tripe.

Dinner:- soup, lemon sole, roast duck, spinach, french beans, roast potatoes, fruit with cream, coffee. Sorry to make your mouths water lads but I hope you will forgive me for rubbing it in.

Natives regard the railway as a public highway and sell fruit dirt cheap at the stations. Some of the maidens were attractive, some otherwise, some clad, some slim clad, some unclad. Some of the railway curves were hair raising and the native driver kept full throttle. He shares a very attractive bungalow complete with native servant and every modern convenience. His office is nearby. Sports, a cinema, comfortable mess or ENSA Show are all good – and B.B.C. programmes. “I think I’m very fortunate and although reduced to a simple private for the third time, I am still pegging away” Really grand Ian! Long may it continue.

All the very best lads,


© 104th Edinburgh North East Scout Group