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Date: June 22nd 1916
Dear Ones All


Dear Ones All,

I don’t remember whether I wrote last week or not. Things got so congested and the days were so close together that I have lost track. One of the home letters has gone astray I am afraid as Father said in his last letter that he had told me in his previous one all about Harry’s visit, whereas as a matter of fact, I have heard nothing at all about it. No doubt it was all on account of our moving to De Keyser’s Hotel, and the fact that we did not move until long after the time we had expected. Most likely the letter was sent to De Keyser’s before we got into the place. Anyhow its too bad, and I hope you’ll tell me all about Harry’s visit in your next letter. It sounded as though Harry had been unsuccessful in his application to the Army Medical Corps and I am mighty sorry if that is the case. Isn’t it a shame that red tape should stand in his way when he has prepared to sacrifice so much, and oh! how I would love to have him over here with me.

Are the feet all better now, Pater? You certainly have had a terrible time, and I hope it is all a thing of the past now.

Bun Robinson is here in London now, in hospital with shell shock, nerves and a strained back. I have seen him a couple of times and will probably see more of him when he is able to move about. He is older and changed somewhat, but in most respects the same old Bun. His address is Guy’s Hospital, St. Thomas St. London, E.C.

Neil Van Nostrand has been home on leave and I ran into him quite accidentally the other day. He is very tired of it all and. anxious to get back home. We are each of us longing to be in the other’s shoes, and we had a fine time the other day pointing out the advantages of each other's job.

I had a fine joy ride the other day. I told Ruth all about it and possibly she will forward the letter. It is ever so long since I have been in the air and you can't imagine what a treat it was. There were two parts that gave me more solid enjoyment than anything else- one was when we climbed up on top of the clouds and got some real Canadian sunshine, not a bit of fog or mist to be seen above us anywhere, nothing but a bright blue sky and a blazing sun; and below us there was no sign of the earth to be seen, just a great sea of fluffy white clouds. The other part was when we flew over London and I got some faint idea of the size of the city. Every now and then the pilot would shut off his engine and shout out to me the names of the places that we were passing over. Sometimes I could pick them out by myself, but they do look so funny from a mile up. For instance Trafalgar Square looks about like this: [drawing inserted] the four strokes being the backs of the lions and the dot in the centre being the great stone shaft with Lord Nelson standing on top. Scott shouted to me- "if you can drop a collar button on his hat you get a cigar!"

This afternoon I had to go out to Northolt Aerodrome and while there saw the biggest thing in the world with wings- the new Russian Sikorsky biplane. I can't give you the dimensions of it of course, but the Curtiss Trans Atlantic flying boat is only about half as big. It carries a crew of 14, has windows and doors all along the sides, and you have to get into it by climbing a ladder and then going through a door in the side of the nacelle. It is the most wonderful thing I have ever seen in the way of aeroplanes, but whether it is really a success or not still remains to be seen, for it has never been flown.

We are all settled at our new quarters now and find them ever so convenient except that hardly any of us can find our way around in the building. All last week we spent our time trying to find where everybody else lived. The enclosed clippings would give one the impression that we have a sort of harem or something, but in our own particular department we have no girls at all except the messengers, and they are nothing to write home about. By the way, they have changed the name of the place to "Adastral House" (from the R.F.C. crest and motto "Per ardua adastra") but I don’t suppose it matters much and De Keyser’s Hotel will do just as well on my letters.

On the day of Lord Kitchener’s memorial service I was on Fleet Street at noon and saw the procession of carriages and cars coming back from the Cathedral. The King and Queen and every celebrity you ever heard of were there, so it was quite a sight. I wonder if people who are not really engaged in military work feel that Kitchener’s death is an unsupportable loss. People in the army don’t feel it like that. They say that he did a wonderful work and that he was absolutely indispensable during the first 18 months of the war but now his work is done and all that remains is the consummation, and that the closing months of the war may safely be left in the hands of such men as Robertson and Haig.

That is a splendid proposal for Father and May to accompany Mother and Ruth to the head of the lakes and then for Mother and Ruth to continue their journey out to Vancouver. What a whale of a time you all will have. Please don’t let anything interfere for you all need it so much, and Fred and Eva are looking forward to it too, I know.

Give my dearest love to Cousin Maude Creamer and Gladys. Now I must close for it is getting late. Someone across the street is playing the prologue from Pagliacci and it takes me back to Massey Hall, where I heard that ugly Italian, Buffo with the glorious voice sing it O-Oh! I want to go home!

Heaps of love to each one of you, dearest people in all the world.

Yours as always,

Original Scans

Original Scans