March 31, 1944

Dear Dorothy,

Will jot down a line to you, as I haven't lately. Mail comes by waves here. I had a letter from the girls sometime ago on the 18th it was written saying they were planning on going home but no letter since. I don't worry much about mail as I always figure on a better chance the following days when I miss a few.

The big new news as far as I am concerned this week was an opportunity of seeing the King, Queen, and Princess Elizabeth. I was up to Buckingham Palace and failed to see them, naturally enough.

Note from Brett Exton - In February 1944, Odell travelled to London whilst on leave.

So you know just how surprised I was to see them pass just by camp! General Montgomery was along but I didn't catch even a small glance of him. The roads were lined with school kids, civilians, and very naturally soldiers. I got a good look at the King and he looked so much like his pictures that I could have identified him, but as the Queen and Princess were on the opposite side of the car I didn't get such a good view. It was quite a thrill as there aren't very many such opportunities. Quite a lot of the people here have never seen them before so I hear. That also seems likely as I stayed around in the States quite awhile and never got a look at a president.

I had quite an interesting trip, one day the past week through a bit of country very much like the old home state. Trees are getting green in spots and as grass was green all winter, spring seems here, though we have some cool breezes now and then. The town I visited was just about the most interesting I have seen. It had the original stone wall around it and in good repair, though it has long since spilled over the wall and spread out. The streets were very narrow though that is the rule here. It was on the bay and had just about the most beautiful view of the coast I have ever seen.

I went to see some boxing matches but was more interested in the town I believe. I have you a bracelet, this time a British version that I will mail soon, also some late pictures. I wanted to buy quite a few souvenirs but found the supply limited and a very high tax. I have some real good views of places here on postal cards if I can mail them. I hope I can, as they will give you a better idea of things, than I can by writing volumes. Tell Dad I received his letter of the 3rd yesterday and will answer when I have more time, as it is almost mail time now. Spring should be in for sure there as tomorrow is April first.

We are having a battery party, which should be good. Not very much news as you see so I will close for now.

Hello to the boys and all the folks.

Lots of love, Odell

Note from Mrs Williams - Included with this letter was a sketch of a castle drawn in pencil - perhaps it came from a pamphlet from a tour. Odell wrote on the back - "A not very good picture of a castle, chateau, or what-have-you. Quite a joint ! Started in 1100 finished 1600. In peace time OK. for tourists. In war, a quiet reminder of man's stupidity."

If anybody recognises this castle, I'd be please to hear from you.