Joan Zilva

Text Box: An  account of a 14 year old’s WW2 overseas evacuation based on her letters home



Chapter Eight part 2—1942 And Still There

Text Box: Not the kind of medicine I eventually practised!
Text Box: The one of me reading has been displayed earlier.
Text Box: I’m still very surprised.  I wasn’t his type then - or certainly thought I wasn’t!  (Nor did Mrs Bartlett). 
Text Box: These seem to me to be very reasonable answers to what I was being effectively told of Mrs Bartlett’s letter earlier.
Text Box: I seem to be winning gradually!
Text Box: See This Country Canada article that follows.
Text Box: This puzzled me when I read it recently and I had to look it up.  Briefly, in 1939 and 1940 the Canadian Prime Minister, Mackenzie King, fearing a split between French and English speaking parts of Canada leading to a pro-Vichy city council in Quebec, promised the French-Canadians that there would be no conscription for overseas service.  After Pearl Harbour, the capture of nearly 1700 Canadian prisoners from the garrison in Hong Kong after its surrender on Christmas Day, and the sound defeat of anti-conscription candidates in four by-elections on February 9th, his hand was forced.  In Montreal, on February 11th, French-Canadians demonstrated against conscription.  Nevertheless, eight days later parliament voted to introduce it.  A referendum was held on April 28th.  There was a record turnout and the result was for conscription - mainly because of the majority of English speakers in the country.  Dave said that was a repeat of  the debate on conscription in 1917, when the francophones, were also overruled, and it aggravated the continuing rift between the English and French speakers.
Text Box: A bit of irony!
Text Box: CPR=Canadian Pacific Railways.
I was winning at last! 
Text Box: Their own false reassurances coming home to roost.
Text Box: Presumably registration for rations.
Text Box: I was still only 16.
Text Box: So there to all Mrs Bartlett’s aspersions (including another to come)!
Text Box: Miss Harrison “the dope”!
Text Box: Pretty boring history.  No wonder that I couldn’t remember it - it didn’t interest me. 
Text Box: This must have been misdated again.  It must have been June 14th.
Text Box: Junior School Certificate in England was two years from university entrance level (the Higher School Certificate course), while Senior Matric in Canada would have got me into university.

I’m not sure what was more than usually bad about the war situation Text Box: Good old Dave!  He tried to teach me American history and chess too.  So what was all that about the children learning to leave me alone?  (Not to speak of my lending Rosemary my last 25 cents!).
Text Box: My first letter of condolence
Text Box: The article in question by “guess who”. I can’t see that I had much problem with English
Text Box: I obviously did pick up Canadianisms, as shown in my letters.  However, I think this reply, too, is sensible.  I got very self-conscious when I got home.  I remember that my father objected most to “baggage” (in English slang then meaning a woman of ill-repute) instead of “luggage”.
Text Box: I’m not sure exactly what I was referring to here.  That week Stafford Cripps had asked for greater Indian military cooperation in exchange for their independence after the war. Nehru rejected this bribe, but still promised full resistance to the Axis powers 
Text Box: It did!
Text Box: Back to shorter letters thank goodness, now I had permission.