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Date: February 17th 1917
Dear Ones All

No. 19 R.S.
Royal Flying Corps
Hounslow Heath

Dear Ones All,

Father’s perfectly splendid letter of Jan. 31st reached me to-day. I can't tell you Pater Dear, how your words of welcome to Molly warm the hearts of us both. We have been married five weeks to-day and we are just as absolutely content with each other and with the world in general as newly married couples are generally supposed to be- and really ought to be too; still we have never been so entirely absorbed in each other that we could forget the people on the other side of the ocean, and we have wondered so often what you all would say and whether you would all write us nice letters.

Molly is having tea at The Carlton to-day with Mrs. Pidgeon. I think you have heard me speak of her husband who is a staff captain in the Training Brigade. They are just a young married couple and have both been mighty nice to Molly since she arrived.

I had to go up to Adastral House yesterday to see about some allowances of mine which had not been coming through as they should. They always give me such a warm welcome at Brigade H.Q. that I always enjoy going up there occasionally. Besides it is good policy to keep in touch with the people up there. Adastral House seems mighty empty now. The flying Corps have taken over the Hotel Cecil now, so a large part of the executive staff has been moved from the hotel at Blackfriars to the new place in the Strand. As it stands now, the Cecil houses the Air Board, and the two largest departments "Air Organization" and "Aircraft Equipment" At Adastral House there still remain Training Bde H.Q. 18th Wing H.Q. Home Defence Wing H.Q. (the Zepp "strafers") and the Aeronautical Inspection Dept. I suppose the personnel in the two offices including stenographers, clerks and messengers, numbers close to 700 or 800 now. That gives you some idea as to how the R.F.C. as a whole has grown.

I had one little pang of regret a few weeks ago when I heard that they were sending out to Canada a number of experienced R.F.C. Officers to assist in the formation of the new Canadian squadrons, for if I had been an equipment Officer at Adastral House instead of a "Hun" in a Reserve Squadron, I would have been one of the ones selected to go. Oh, how I did want to go back and see you all! Not for me though, until I have been to the Front. Yes, Father, I know they are spending immense sums on aerodromes and plants and further more I know I could get a job of that kind if I wanted it, but it doesn’t appeal to me just now, though probably I shall be only too glad to jump at a chance like that a few months from now.

The address and presentation from the County Council must have been a source of gratification to you Pater, and I am mighty glad they did it. You surely have earned far more appreciation from that organization than you have ever received however, and I am quite sure that they have not squared the account with you even yet. Thirty years of unfailing, faithful service is a big item. I shall look forward to receiving a copy of the local paper with a full account of the ceremony, for it must have been mighty interesting. Poor Aunt Ida and Aunt Nannie!           I am ever so distressed to hear about their illness. I’ll write to them both at once. Please tell me if there are any developments.

Now for your questions: Yes, I obtained my Pilot’s certificate on Dec. 3rd. You must not confuse that with "the right to wear wings" however. Now-a-days a man has to be a mighty efficient pilot before he can wear wings, also he has to pass numberless tests theoretical and practical. The ones that I still have to do before I get my wings are bombing and photography and night flying and a descent from 8000 feet with my engine off. I have cleaned up all the rest of the tests including wireless, machine gunnery &c. and a few days good weather would have finished me up a month ago, but we never seem to get any flying weather here in the Thames Valley. Nothing but mist and rain every day. I haven’t been in the air for over a week.

Yes, I still retain my rank as Captain and appear in the Army List as an E.O. 1st grade. I’ll return to a lieutenant when I graduate as a flying officer. Please don’t call me a "Fight Lieutenant" That is a term used only by the R.N.A.S. There are no such things in the R.F.C. and it always makes us so mad to be confused with the R.N.A.S. Yes, I received the two flannel shirts and wrote to both May and Ruth in acknowledgement. The size sent was 15, 16 would be better if you ever have another one for me.

As to what General Salmond said to me when I left the Brigade staff, you’ll just have to guess at that. After all it probably wouldn’t sound much to you. You see he is such a big figure in the Flying Corps that anything he says means quite a lot.

I am returning the Mutual Life dividend order form duly signed, Father, and once more I’ll have to ask you to look after the premium for me. It makes me feel like such a sponge to have you pay my insurance dues for me and yet it is the only thing I can do. I sure will have a lot to square up some day but I can’t do anything towards it now.

With heaps of love to you all.
Yours as always,

P.S. Tell Will and May that I’ll write them in a day or two.  E.

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