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Date: September 9th 1916

Sept. 9/16

Dear Hazel -

As you will notice we have at last arrived at Scotland. There are six of us - Bill Gough Lee Alex Newton Maguire and Eddie Morton and we are having some time in fact the time of our lives. We have been staring with our mouths wide open ever since we landed here so it is no wonder that people look at us so much. The rest think it is because we are so classy looking but I know it is because we are so peculiar looking. I don't tell them that though. We have certainly seen some sights since we landed in this place. It is a grand town wide streets and loads of parks. We were thru Edinburgh castle this morning I think Mary Queen of Scots must have been a wild one allright. We went all thru the place and saw everything. The castle itself is a huge place built on a high rock and the sides are very steep. From the tower you can see for miles around on a clear day. I know you have seen all these things yourself so will not attempt to describe them. We were at Holyrood Palace this afternoon and saw many historical articles of Mary's, Lord Darley and the Scottish kings. The royal family have part of Holyrood furnished and often visit there. We did not see their apartments of course but the old timers certainly did not have very comfortable places The floors are all stone of course and the walls are the same very few of the chairs were even padded. [?] were gold and the tables were small and clumsy looking. The beds were all so short I don't see how they could sleep on them unless they slept cornerways or may crosswise as they were wide enough for about a dozen to sleep side by side. We were in St Margarets Chapel were Mary used to Worship in It is an old building and the smallest chapel in Scotland. They made us take off our hats when we were there as they said it was holy ground, In Holyrood nearly all of the nobility of Scotland ie the part that is dead - are buried. We saw where Queen Mary and Lord Darnley's bodies are buried side by side. Our guide told us that recently they dug up some stone coffins and we saw them - the coffins - and in them were all the bones of the dead people but as soon as the air got in they all crumpled into dust all but the hair and have it there now in a glass case. They sat you cant make hair decay but mine seems to be going fast enough. I am getting quite bald and have a long moustache with waxed ends that drop down towards my chin. When I go home I will have to wear a rose in my tunic or have a sign on me of some kind so that you will know me. There are several Canadians & Australians here but so far I have not seen anyone I know altho we have got quite chummy with several. The Australians are fine fellows and easy to get acquainted with. Most of them are here on furlough some from France and some from Egypt. They have nearly all been to the front and been wounded, It kind of makes me feel anxious to get there after hearing these fellows talk. It kind of makes one feel ashamed that we haven't done any fighting yet and the war has been on for over two years. I don't know when we will go but I don't think it will be for a long time yet unless we transfer to something else. The boys all say that France is full of soldiers and I know England is. The Scotch are awfully kind to us. Here as in London they have barmaids of course I heard that - and it is nothing out of the way to see more women drunks than men. There are all kinds of girls here - I mean lots of them and lots of sailors so this is a merry town - I like Scotland - to visit and wish that some of my friends were here to enjoy everything with me. We are on an 8 day pass at present and intend to enjoy it to the limit. Hope the girls and your dad are all well. All our crowd fine and happy

Got your letter address it all to the Army P.O at London.

Yours Jack

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