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Date: September 3rd 1916
Dear Ones All


Dear Ones All,

Mother’s letter from Vancouver and May’s letter both reached me within the last few days. I am so sorry to hear of Will’s heavy loss through the collapse of his office building. It is sure to take the cream off what would otherwise probably have been a very good year’s profits. Surely the run of bad luck that has been with Will for so long will soon come to an end. There seems to have been just one catastrophe after another.

Early this morning- at about two o’clock- I was awakened by a heavy bombardment, so got up and joined the rest of London in watching the Zepp strafing and being strafed. Several of them came over last night but only one directed its "steps" to London- and it, as you know by this time, didn’t return to Hunland. It was a great sight. The Zepp looked like a tiny golden cigar with the searchlights turned on it, and the archies were thundering away to beat the band. None of the shells seemed to be very close, however, and in about ten minutes the big fellow sailed away out of sight in the clouds and the firing stopped. I was just about to go back to bed as it seemed as though the show were all over for the night, when away to the north there appeared a little spark. It grew and grew until it was a great red blaze, which hovered for a moment and then shot down to the earth. Then all those millions of watchers realized that the first Zeppelin had been brought down on English soil, and I wish you could have heard the shout that came up from this big city. Meanwhile two different colored lights appeared right over the spot where the Zepp had been and then I realized that it was our own little R.F.C. who had done the trick for these last little specks of light were the Verey lights of an aeroplane signaling for landing flares to be set out to guide it home. We have some new stunts for Zepp fighting and this is the first time they were tried out. The chap in the machine was a pilot named Robinson. He will probably get the V.C.

To-day Capt. Eggar and I motored out to see the wreck. It fell in an open field- which is a mercy- well to the north of the city, near Enfield. A company of Grenadier Guards were there to keep back the mob, but we managed to find some one we knew and went right in and inspected the wreckage. Naturally after a tumble of 12,000 feet there wasn’t very much left of the Zepp, and the fire had warped and twisted almost every part of it. They were carefully collecting the engines however, so that they could dismantle and examine them. I collected some souvenirs, a few radiator tubes, some bolts and screws (for P.L.) and ball of fused aluminum. There was a horrible smell of burnt flesh around the place for the corpses had not yet been removed. The sight of them was a bit horrible too.

Now I know that some of my letters never reached you, for in May’s letter she says she has heard that Bun Robinson is home. Why, I told you about that many weeks ago and asked if he might not he invited up to Walkerton while he was home. I saw a great deal of him while he was convalescent here.

Like a bolt from the blue- but a very nice little bolt- has come the news that I am to have a week’s leave beginning the day after to-morrow. Haven’t made any plans at all. I am just going up to Scotland to look up the relatives there, and if there is any time left I hope to go to Brighton or somewhere by the sea. I am pretty well all in and I want to get every little bit of fresh sir that I can.

Since beginning this letter I have seen the report of Lieut. Robinson. It is so interesting that I am sorry it is marked so plainly "Confidential" The story of the means that he employed is particularly fascinating. This last sentence is a sample of the matter-of-fact way in which he tells his little yarn:- "Being short of petrol and oil I could not make my own aerodrome so landed on Hainault’s farm" ( He had been up there chasing that Zepp from 11.30 till nearly 3.00 a.m.)

I am sending you a letter from Ralph Jarvis who flew over to France with me, telling about a couple of scraps that he has had lately. The first paragraph of course is just piffle. Jarvis is one of the best boys I know, and you must please excuse the little "damns" that he uses.

Heaps of love to each and every one you.
Yours as always,

Original Scans

Original Scans