Mar 1, 1919
Took the train from Waterloo for Sidmouth and here I am at Lady Allen’s “Moor Court” house for a good rest. This place is run by the Can Red Cross Society for Officers on leave only. It’s a nice house, good outlook, large rooms & very good meals.
Here I have met Capt Lewis, Flying Corps of Montreal, Miss Phyllis White of Vancouver, & Mrs. Gore Langdon of Victoria, also a Miss Green from Canada, N.S. Whitney.
Mar 10, 1919
At Torquay we were lucky in securing the last three rooms at the Grand Hotel. Visited the Pavilion where we had tea then to the Hydro & had supper at the Imperial Hotel. This is the best in town.
Mar 11, 1919
Trotted about seeing what we could. Was greatly impressed in spite of the weather (it was raining all the time) with the general beauty of the place. Began return trip at 4:30. Had supper at Exeter & arrived back at Sidmouth 9:20. Exeter is a horrible place.
Mar 19, 1919
Left Moor Court, Sidmouth for London where I put up at the Can. Officers Club, 8 Chesterfield Gardens. It is very hard to get a room in London. Many go around to 10-15 hotels & even then some have to go outside of London for a room.
Mar 20, 1919
I was ordered to present myself at Buckingham Palace for my M.C. investiture. This I did arriving there at 10:20am. Had our coats checked & then were sorted out. The V.C.’s to one room, D.S.O.’s to another and so on. Before entering our respective rooms we were again checked. After sitting around for about 15 min a Colonel came in & instructed us what we had to do, etc. Then another chap comes along & lines us up in order of seniority of rank & alphabetically. I was third in our lineup & there must have been about 200 others for M.C. We were then paraded upstairs single file to the ballroom through the lower end then up & in the upper end. Here we were checked again & when your turn came you found yourself standing facing the King. Somebody called out Capt. Alfred Briggs, Can Army Med Corps. I bowed to King George & then stepped up close to him. He then put on my decoration saying “I am pleased to give you the Military Cross” & shook hands with me. I then stepped back two paces, bowed, turned to the right & so exited.
There was a large crowd looking on, a band playing soft music, nobody talking. It was rather a trial on the nerves. When I first saw the crowd I felt like sneaking away but that was out of the question. They all looked at you as if you were a prize dog anyway something on exhibition. After that I didn’t look at them again.
We were in service dress, wore gloves, not hats. The King was in uniform of plain grey-blue. I went through the whole thing as if in a dream. On leaving the Palace there were a large number of photographers taking snaps of you no matter which way you looked there they were & you would hear the click click of their cameras, gee it made me mad. I made a dash into a taxi & reached the R.A.C. by noon where I had lunch.
Mar 22, 1919
Reported to D.M.S. London for duty & was sent to Taplow where I arrived at about 3pm & reported. Chances at present seem very slim for getting home before July.
Mar 31, 1919
I am on Ward H1 – femur ward. I attend only to fractured femur cases. Major Preston of Ottawa is I/C femur cases. Most of the officers here are from BC. There is talk of closing this hospital 1st week of May. We had quite a snowstorm.