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Date: January 27th 1917

#460609 Pte. L Sinclair

3rd Canadians

D Comp. E Div. “Quarry House”

St Leonards on the Sea

Sussex Eng.

Saturday Jan. 27th.

My Dear Mother:-

Hello there, I’ve just come back from leave and take it from me, am not at all sorry as I’ve been on the go the whole ten days. Well there was quite a few letters waiting for me when I got back and three were from you, dated Nov. 6th, Dec. 2nd, and 27th. I also received Flo’s parcel and can tell you everything was fine. Those were some socks and she must be getting a cracker jack at knitting. I suppose Mrs Chalk must be showing her how to do it. The chocolates and dates were jake, and so was the silk handkerchief. Thats the second one I’ve got. Did Bessie tell you she sent me one. Your parcels have not arrived yet mother, but they should anyday now. Its better to have them come anyway seperately, than all at once. I never saw that parcel of cakes, tablets & Oxo tubes you sent me while out in France I guess someone else got that. Had I come out with the Bttln. that time I daresay I would have got it but I think I was better off to have got where I did. You said also both Syd and Colin had written but I’ve never received Syds letters. I got both Colins, and with regards to underwear I wouldn’t send any out. we get all we want and over in France you can’t carry superfluous things about and it only means you’ve to ditch them. Its too bad Stan didn’t have better luck. His idea of changing with me is alright but he’s better off where he is and another thing I don’t think they’d listen to that. Clifford got in for Christmas after all, well that was good. Its good experience for him too out there. He’ll learn a lot about books ect. and when things improve will find things easier at the “Peg”. Something else besides a bank tho I hope.

Peggy didn’t fancy her job at the Farmers Advocate eh? What was wrong? If she’s going in for stenography she wants to stick to that idea. and I hope she will soon be holding down a job. I think Bert was wise too not making the Peg. and when this thing is all over we’ll all be together again. You were saying he sent in some holly. I only wish you could see some of the holly out here. Its the real thing and there’s three or four different kinds of it. So [?] Moffat got the Military Cross, and Scotty McFeat the Military Medal. I’m glad to hear that about Scotty. Those medals are both the same only the M.C. is for officers, while the M.M. is for the rank & file. I heard Scotty was recommended but do not think for any one act, but good work all around while at the Somme. He was a scout and what their work was, and in such places as the Somme, I’m sure kept them busy. I got £2 from the firm and also a handerchief from Miss Mason. I think I’ll be sometime writing letters as that is one thing I’m sure slow at.

Well mother I found London in the same place but did not get up to see Hattie. I put in quite a bit of time travelling about, and the few days I was in London I went about myself. I don’t think there is much there now that I’ve not seen and as dark as it is at nights I’ve no trouble at all getting around. I’m as safe as the bank of England there in day time. and at nights I went about mostly by tubes. This is the fastest and surest way, the buses are all right but when you can’t see the buildings I’m lost, as that is one way I have of knowing places. There are too many streets to try and remember and they run I think which ever way the rabbit jumped.

The first day there nothing would please me but to see things over again, this time with a guide tho, and it makes all the difference in the world. I stayed that night at the Maple Leaf at Connaught Place. We arrived in London at Cannon St station about 6.45 and after going about eight blocks passed Marble Arch I had to get off and walk back. London was about twice as dark as the first time I was there but having a little idea of where the place was I’d no trouble in finding it. I was up and around that same night and it wasn’t long before I was back on the old trail. I hit bed midnight, and the following day Saturday was out all day with this guide who makes the rounds once a week with parties of soldiers from the different Maple Leaf Clubs.

Well we saw everything from the smallest house to a dog cemetry. We went through the [?] and St Pauls well lunch then through the Abbey and Houses of Parliament. Our drive took in the principle streets and points of interest as well as all the important buildings were pointed out to us. Such as “London Stone”, where the great fire started, where Oliver Cromwell was hung. Charles 1st ect. Where the war loan is being floated, the bank of Eng. Lombard St, the war office, the admiralty, the Colonial Blgs, Downing St and different municipal buildings. The horse guards, the different barracks. parks, monuments, and town residences of the well to do men of England.

The houses of Parliament was as interesting as any of the buildings we were in. Maybe because I did not see it before. However I sure enjoyed going through them and the insides were certainly lovely. St Pauls was very nice too as well as interesting but service was about to begin so that we did not go up into the whispering tower. This is at the very top of the Dome. I was all one morning in Madame Tussaurds wax works and again put in another day in the Natural History, and Prince Albert and Victoria, Museums, but these places like a good many others would take days and not hours to go through them properlly. Of course with me it was a glance here and there and allover. I’d put down an hour at such a place and find when I got out I’d been there three. This is how things would go and the days certainly went fast while up there.

I made up my mind to go and see Bert Chalk if I didn’t see anyone else so left his aunt’s place early Monday morning. Leaving Liverpool St station at 8.15 I arrived in Norwich at 11.30 that same morning. I did not go into the city ay all but jump on a tram and after about a miles walk reached his hospital in Thorpe on the outskirts of the place. I was there all that afternoon up until seven in the evening and found him looking very well. He has still to carry his arm in the sling tho another 6 mos and it may be from 10 mos. to three years before he is able to use it. I think he said 3 years but wouldn’t swear to it. That evening I stayed at a Mr Bells place. He’s one of the men or srgts. at the hospital and it was sure like home there. This is where Bill and John stayed and where they all had their Christmas dinner, and they were very reasonable. Bert asked to be remembered to you and I left the following afternoon arriving back at 4.45 P.M.

The following day I left by Charing Cross for Shorncliffe but was glad to leave that place. I was down into Folkstone and had dinner leaving there 5.15. It was raining, snowing, and a dismal day all around. Its always been raining when I’d hit that place and arrived back about 8.30 that evening. A week ago Saturday I went down to Witley to see Art & Pat. I left Waterloo at nine o’clock and reached their camp about 11.30. They were both looking fine and are expecting to leave shortly for France as Pioneers, but I do not think it will be for some time yet. I saw Redge there also. He was just going up to Bramshott to see Dolly. I told him I’d seen Harold in France just before he went into the line, and he. Was telling me they did not expect to hear more of Harold. I saw Harry Bell and Harold Penston here too beside that policeman who used to live next door to us on Corydon I forget his name. It is very pretty down where they are, about eight miles from Bramshott. Like everyplace else at nights its darker than blazes. I left there about seven in the evening and was back in London 9.30 that night. Ralph is down here someplace I beleive, but there is so many down here I haven’t seen him yet.

Friday evening I had supper at the Maple Leaf at Connaught Place and had just left it when that explosion occured. I thought sure I was going to see a Zepp. These are beyond a joke with some of the women. It sure shook the old burg but when the sky lit up everyone knew it wasn’t a Zepp. It just sounded like one of Fritzs heavies landing up the way.

They were very pleased with those slippers you sent them. I hope you get the vases I’ve sent. I came back here Monday. This last week has been very frosty like out with strong winds. I hope the weather has not been to severe for you all at the Peg. Im looking forward to getting some cards of the place and had better close now hoping you keep well and with love to you all and heaps for yourself I’m as ever

Your loving son


P.S. Both Art & Pat wished to be remembered to All the boys.


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