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Date: March 14th 1916
Dear Ones All

Hotel Cecil, Strand
14 March, 1916.

Dear Ones All,

I am full of very mixed feelings to-night (no, I don’t mean that my dinner has disagreed with me or anything like that) I have finished my first day’s work at the War Office, and haven’t yet gotten over the shock of finding that I had been given a Staff appointment instead of a job as an assistant equipment officer as I had expected. It seems that Malcolm the C.O. in Norwich wrote some sort of hysterical wheeze about me to Headquarters, you know in the army they think any man is a humdinger who can add a column of figures- with the result that orders came through yesterday for me to report at H.Q. No 6 Brigade, R.F.C. No. 13 Albemarle St. London, W so- here I am. All the other Huns are envious of me and the C.O. congratulated me and said that I had landed one of the best jobs going- and I am quite mystified about it all and not in the least happy either, for I don’t want to be a "Brass Hat" Staff Officer. I want to fly, and they won’t let me, and I would rather have a pair of wings on my tunic than all the red lapels in the country. And yet I suppose there are heaps of men who are anxious to get just such a job as mine. It is what literary persons call "the irony of fate" isn’t it?

13 Albemarle St. is devoted to military aeronautics and of course, is not the main building of the War Office. That, if I remember rightly is off Whitehall, while we are just off Dover St. near Piccadilly. There is one mighty nice thing about it- like everybody in the Flying Corps, the staff officers are all young men. Our Brigadier General is not out of his “thirties” yet and there are hardly any in the Corps who are older than that. And furthermore they are gentlemen, and neither snobs nor martinets, and I am quite sure they will be mighty fine chaps to work with.

In my next letter I may be able to tell you more definitely what my work is to be. As far as I can learn now it is to be sort of act as a go-between with the individual squadrons which extend all the way from Montrose in Scotland to Dover and Bristol in England. There are dozens of them, located all over the country, and if I have to call on them all at regular intervals (as it looks as though I must) it will keep me on the road all the time. However, all that is pure conjecture and it may be that all my work will be done in London. It will be hard work and long hours and lots of responsibility- the Brigade Major assured me on all those points- but, on the other hand, being at Headquarters brings good chances of promotion if a man makes good- (and equally good chances of de-motion if he doesn’t)

I am being sent to Reserve Aircraft Park at Fam- borough the day after to-morrow for a two weeks’ course in engine and aeroplane spare parts and after that my work really begins. My address is not the Cecil, as I shall be moved to some cheaper place of abode as soon as I come back to town. Until you hear something else, letters will reach me O.K. if addressed c/o Headquarters, 6th Brigade Royal Flying Corps, 13 Albemarle St .London , W.

I met Roy Robertson walking along the Strand the other day, and it surely did seem as though the world had shrunk. Fancy meeting any one you know on the busiest street in the biggest town in the world. Roy is looking fine and we had a great time together. Went to the Zoo in the afternoon and saw “the lines and taggers and gerafts and things” and then had dinner together at Romano’s, and all the time our tongues did not stop wagging for a minute. Roy is at Folkestone for a couple of weeks organizing a new unit, I understand. He had lots of interesting things to tell about the doings at the front.

No letters have come from any of you for a couple of weeks or more, excepting Molly and Ruth. What is the matter? No newspapers come through at all now from Canada or U.S.A, owing to the new English law relating to paper importation, which probably accounts for my not having received any newspapers from America for six weeks or more. You might send me some clippings though, for they surely are welcome bits of reading. Molly sent me a clipping telling about Glad Murphy’s death- poor old Glad!

It is late, Dear People, and I must close. With a great heap of love and assuring you that London is the loneliest spot on earth- ten times worse than Elsinore- believe me,

Yours as always,

P.S. Never a hole has appeared in any of my socks yet. Don’t you think that speaks pretty well for the little woman who knitted all those feet!   E.

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