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Date: January 10th 1916
Mum & Dad - (Jennie & Arthur Winterbottom)
Sydney Winterbottom

Connaught Barracks
Jan. 10, 1916

Dear Mum and Dad.

First let me say that after a pleasant trip I have arrived and so far saved from the orderly room by my letter written to the major. I have not yet even been asked for the certificate Doc. Irving kindly made out for me. I think then I can tell you with absolute certainty that I have got off stock-free and a dandy long holiday to boot. – But let me describe my journey down. –

Well to begin with the cars were so stifling hot that I felt quite ill for a starter. Later on as I became accustomed to them I began to enjoy myself. There was a baby of about two years old across from me who sang – “Its a ’rong ’rong rway to tipperrarrarry” off and on all the way to Vancouver. Beyond this nothing out of the way took place until I arrived in Vancouver at nine‑thirty. There I found it snowing for a wonder and the weather not at all unpleasant. I went up to the station, checked all my bulky baggage, caught a “Davie” street car and in due time arrived at Cardero St. From here, after some hesitation I chose what I considered the right street and set out putting my trust in luck. Well to cut things short, I arrived at Mrs. Carnsews first pop. Here after arranging to spend the night, I found Adrian who to my joy told me he was returning with me next day. After chatting to Mrs Thrupp I retired for the night. After breakfast the following morning Adrian and myself first visited the “Stanley Park” animals and gave the bears some oranges, but they did not scrap as I hoped they would. We next went to the Hotel Vancouver. This Hotel is sixteen stories high. It is beautifully finished inside with paneled oak ect. while its floors and stairs are marble. Among other things it contains a beautiful dance hall fitted out with the most beautiful lights and coloring. Well to resume, we next took the lift to the roof garden which is on top of the hotel. From here the whole of Vancouver can be seen easily. We descended fourteen stories by the fire escape which consists of a sort of spiral steel ladder which descends inside a sort of side tower. Well we got to the bottom and found ourselves on top of the kitchen roof about sixty feet above the street. We would be still looking for an outlet if it had not been for a page who let us out. After this adventure we visited Mr. Watey, our former High-school teacher, who expressed his pleasure at meeting us and showed us countless specimens in botany – much to Adrians joy. As it was nearing (11.38) (Helens train arrived then we next arrived at the station where we found, Muriel Costley, Else Wiley and his sister, Kittie Johnson, [inserted: “Molly D.”] and Mrs Thrupp and Muriel. The train came in, there was frenzied greeting, kissing and squawking and we all trooped up Granville St. Helen went with Mrs Thrupp to dinner. Kittie took Marg. Marsella Mclean and myself up to her place for dinner. Here I met mrs Johnson, fat and good natured as usual. After a very nice dinner and chat I and the girls returned to the wharf (my boat left at 3 oc.) where after the usual good by stunts we went aboard and all too quickly saw the waving girls and Mrs Thrupp fade into the distance.

On our arrival in barracks we were joyfully pounced upon by the orderly corporal who informed us we were to be on guard the following morning. Of course we were told by the fellows that “It seems funny that those guys whose leave takes them farther from here are all layed up with some sickness or other.”

The ham sandwitches went down jolly well also the dessert. Hoping to hear soon and with lots of love to you all. I am

Your loving son.

[postscript added to top of first page:]
P.S. Don’t be surprised if I dont write for some time as I yet have to acknowledge my Xmas gifts

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