Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: May 24th 1916
May Robertson

London, 24/5/16.

Dearest May,

This is Victoria Day at home, and I can imagine all the celebrations that are going on all over the country. It is no particular day here, except that this year for the first time they are calling it "Empire Day" and the schools have a holiday.

And yesterday was your birthday, Dear, I did not forget it for I planned to write you a long letter, but the day came and went and was so chock full of duties that I had no time for my little chat with you. However, you had all my birthday wishes even though they didn’t get as far as to be put down on paper, and if you will look around in the corners of this belated letter you will find ever so much love enclosed.

I was so much interested in the souvenir-of-the- Bruce-Battalion number of the telescope. Certainly the Women of Walkerton have every cause to congratulate themselves on their work. It is simply wonderful what they have accomplished.

Have you moved into the new house yet, and how do you like it? It must be a great satisfaction to find yourself in "a settled place" after these fifteen years of changing about. Of course, the kids will appreciate the big barn to play in, and Norman will appreciate the proximity of the house to the school. Its handy you know to be able to slip your books into the house "after four" and get your tennis racquet or your lacrosse stick.

By the way, our office is moving within a few days. This show is growing so fast both in personnel and in equipment that we have outgrown one place after another. This new move is going to put all the aeronautical section of the War Office together with this brigade and one of our Wing Headquarters (the London Wing) under one roof. The Government has taken over a fine hotel on Victoria Embankment near Blackfriars Bridge for the purpose. There are about 400 rooms and I think it should hold us all comfortably, though I really have no idea how many people there are to be stowed away in the building. There are two big departments of the W.O. each divided into sub-departments- The Dept. of Air Organization and the Dept. of Air Equipment. Then there is the Aeronautical Inspection Department. Then there is the 6th Bde. and our own little sub-dept, the 18th Wing. The two latter are of course not W.O. organizations, but we are hand in glove with them- fellow conspirators as it were. Ruth said in one of her letters that she didn’t understand what my duties were. Well it is nothing more than keeping records of all the hundreds of aeroplanes in England- their number and type, their condition and their location, at any minute of the day. It is all done by telegram and telephone. Then too I am responsible for the allotments of aeroplanes to Wings. The W.O. allots a number of machines to us every day you see; then we have to allot them to different wings, who in turn distribute them to their squadrons. Recently they have added the allotment of engines to my duties. They are treated in the same way as aeroplanes. Our staff consists of the General and nine other officers and a lot of soldier clerks and stenographers and things. Each officer has his own little job and we all overlap just the least little bit so that when one is away his work need not lie unattended to in his absence. The jobs are many and varied. Two men are on personnel; another has night-landing grounds to look after; another takes care of the requirements of the Brigade in spare parts for engines & aeroplanes; then there are the machine gun and search-light officers, and so on. My own job is very fascinating but I make so many mistakes that I wonder they let me keep it.

This will be all for just now, Sister. Give my love to Will and the kiddies, and with best wishes for many happy returns of the day for yourself, believe me,

Always your loving brother,

Original Scans

Original Scans