Xmas Day 1917 in London. Who would have thought four years ago that I would have been here in this city today engaged in such a life as I am? The ways of the world are certainly marvellous. Xmas here seems so strange, among strange people. No zero weather, no snow, no skating. But we are certainly having a fine vacation. There are so many places to visit, so much to see and so many ways in which to amuse oneself that the time passes very quickly. I have just got up, eaten breakfast and cleaned up and in a few minutes we are going on a sight-seeing tour to London Tower, the Bridge, the Abbey and some other places of interest. I think we will stay here for dinner, this afternoon we have seats for one of the shows at the Barrick Theatre and tonight a dance at some society's [sic] lady's home, for soldiers. That should mean a busy day should it not?
We left Seaford on Sunday morning at nine o'clock. I can tell you we were all up betimes. It was one morning when no calling to arise was necessary at reveille. As many of the troops were going on their Xmas leave the whole body was marched to the station with two bands. The music makes a wonderful difference. Then we had a special train. It is just two hours run to London. Arrived here yesterday afternoon we went to a Comedy show at the Empire Theatre and the performance was a fine treat. The orchestra of over forty pieces and the stage scenery were far superior to anything I have ever seen in the home land. With about £50 or £100 and two weeks leave one can sure spend a great holiday, but on our small allowances one has to go light.
The city is now filled with soldiers from all parts of the Empire. Many of them are just home from the trenches for Xmas leave. A few days leave must be a treat for them. Outside of the Regina boys [I] have not met anyone I know. At Southampton street yesterday I met a man by the same name but I don't think he belongs to our family. He told me his home was in Manitoba. We also were talking to the officer in charge of a Forestry Draft which left Regina just a few days after us. They are quartered at a place near London.
Reid and I have tickets to Edinburgh but I do not think we will go any further. We had an opportunity of seeing a real London fog. So dense you cannot see fifty feet in front and so thick it can almost be cut by a knife. But in a few hours it cleared up and the weather has been fine ever since.
We are sleeping and getting our breakfast at the club and the accommodations are very good. We get our other meals at the Catholic Women's League, a club for soldiers supported and run by Lord Neville. The Lord himself is in charge and is quite an agreeable fellow. The meals are very good there and the charges small. For two shillings one can eat to full capacity and that means a big dinner for a hungry soldier. So far we haven't done much but visit the sights and keep from getting lost. The streets run in all directions. To travel about there are the underground railways or tubes, the trams and the motor buses. The trams are run the same as Canadian streetcars except that there are two stories to the cars. Up in the top story of a tram or a bus gives you a good view of the city.
On our Landing Leave the govt pays our transportation to any part of the Kingdom which we wish to visit. It would be nice to go on to Scotland but there is too much to see here.
Well, in closing, I certainly wish you the best returns of the year. With love