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Date: May 18th 1916

London, 18th May,1916.

Dear Pater,

I am glad to see from your letter and Mother’s of May 4th, both of which arrived to-day, that you are a little better and hoped to be up and around again by the end of that week. This illness must have been a great trial for you, and I sure that the days in which you were confined to bed, dragged by mighty slowly.

Enclosed with your letter was your previous letter of March 9th which had made three trips across the Atlantic to reach me. Undoubtedly it reached Brigade H.Q. while I was in Farnboro and fell into the hands of some clerk who did not trace up my address. It was a beautiful letter, Father, and made me feel as I read it that you must really have realized how completely broken hearted I was at that time over being stopped in my flying. I can’t remember anything in my life that has been such a disappointment to me as that was, but your letter seemed to cover the case completely and to take the common sense point of view which I am gradually getting around to myself, that it is better to be a good equipment officer than a mediocre pilot, and that’s what I am doing my little best to be now. There was one sentence in it that brought home to me that wonderful faith of yours which has made your religion a help and a comfort and a reality to everyone who knows you. Here it is "As to your new position being a ’safe job’, it does not give me a second thought. In God’s keeping you would be just as safe when flying over the forces of the enemy, as you will be as equipment officer of a squadron of aeroplanes."

General Salmond told me to take the week-end last week, so I got one of our touring cars and a chauffeur of course and drove up to Norwich, 120 miles, and back the same day. Some drive: That was on Saturday. Sunday I was so weary that I slept nearly all day, and on Monday felt so much better for the two holidays that I did about three days work in one. The country was beautiful and the roads all the way were paved or tarred as they are everywhere in this country--there is never a stone to be seen on the roads nor dust nor mud--so you may imagine it was a mighty nice drive. We left London through the East End, out White- Chapel way and I encountered the most remarkable sights and smells that I’ve ever experienced, I think. We went up via Colchester and Ipswich and coming back we found an even better road via Thetford and Newmarket, also in that way avoiding the East End and coming in to town at the head of Regent St. One gets a good idea of the dimensions of this huge city by motoring and it sure is wonderful.

To-day I was taken to lunch at the Royal Automobile Club, the largest in London, and, I believe, in the world. Some 6000 members they say. That is quite apart from the fact that all Canadian Officers are honorary members. Unfortunately I am not a Canadian officer, and it certainly does make me peeved to think of it, especially now when I am living in town, and at this place. They have bowling alleys, indoor tennis and "squash" courts, shooting galleries, a gymnasium and an immense swimming pool. It is a wonderful place, for they seem to have every luxury and convenience imaginable there.

I have been interrupted over and over again as my disjointed letter probably shows, and now it is so late that I must close. Hoping that you are feeling ever so much better by the time this reaches you, and with heaps of love

Yours as always,

P.S. Either 13 or 15 Albermarle St. is correct. We were originally in 13 and "overflowed" into the building next door. By the way we shall have moved by the time this reaches you, and this is the new address:
Headquarters 6th Brigade,
Royal Flying Corps,
De Keyser’s Hotel,
[arrow pointing to "De" above] Sounds suspicious, eh!
Victoria Embankment,
London.   / Eric.

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