Well here we are again in old Edinburgh on leave and it has all happened so "sudden-like" that I have hardly had time to breathe. I'll start at the beginning & make a story of it.
Last Friday morning at breakfast at West Sandling the Serg't Major came in & wanted all the Canadians whose Reserve was at Bramshott. There were only four of us - Spriggs, McPhail - Stan Carter & myself. Well we were told then that all Canucks were being sent back to their units & we were the first to go so we packed up & left at 12.55 that afternoon. It suited us right down to the ground for there wasn't any chance of our finishing the course & we were all red up with that rag-time mob. Believe me I've had all I want of the Imperial Army. It makes a fellow appreciate his own Canadian unit.
We got into London about 3 PM and decided to stay over until next day so Spriggie went out to where his relatives are - the Pledgers - and Mac & Stan & I roamed around the big smoke & took in the sights. In the evening we went to see Box of Tricks at the London Hipprodrome. It was real good. We had quite a time finding somewhere to stay for being Cadets we weren't allowed into any YMCA or place like that - We found a little hotel down by Victoria Station at last & managed to get fixed up. In the morning we all met again at Waterloo station at 9 o'clock & went down to Bramshott. We hadn't the faintest idea what was going to happen to us be we reported to Div. H.Q. and somehow I felt lucky. Still I got quite a surprise when they handed us an order to the 15th Res. with instructions to look after us and it ran - "These Cadets will not be disposed of but will be treated as offices & if possible be given leave immediately" - We shook hands all around when we got out. It was just noon when we got to the 15th Res. & say - you could have knocked me over with a straw when the adj. said "Well we'll fix you up with leave after dinner. Go over to the Officers Mess & the Orderly Officer will see that you are fixed up for dinner". None of us had nerve enough to go but we appreciated the invitation just the same. We got dinner in Lintown and then came back & got fourteen days leave with instructions to wire for two weeks extention at the end of that time providing they haven't sent for us. Well we padded off down to the station again & bought tickets for Edinburgh. We had officers warrants so had to travel 1st class, and it took all the money I had to get a ticket. It was Saturday night when we got to London so we all found a hotel & met next morning at 9 at the Canadian Pay Office. Being Sunday they couldn't ay us - only men from France can get money on Sunday. That meant another day wasted for we were all so near broke that we had to lick the steam off the windows for dinner. That afternoon Stan and Mac & I went out to the Albert Museum. It's a wonderful exhibition altho' we didn't have time to see half of it as it closed at 4 P.M. We actually tried to go to church in the evening but we couldn't find the necessary church. Thats one thing they don't seem to have in London is churches. Well we went to a movie instead & then went to bed early. Yesterday morning - Monday - we all met again at the Pay Office and got paid this time - but L4 is all he would give us. It seems it was all we had coming to us. I owed Mac L1 then so that left me with only $15 or L3 for a months leave. I wanted to go back than but Stan wouldn't stand for it & so here I am up in Edinburgh staying at his cousins. We landed in here at 6 this morning & got down here just as they were getting up. they gave us a royal welcome beleive me. You cant beat Scotch hospitality. We had breakfast & then went to bed. We got up at 2 - had dinner & now its about 3 P.M. Haven't made any plans for my leave for I haven't enough money to go anywhere. I cabeled yesterday for some but they told me it would be two weeks before it came on account of the Xmas ruch. Still I can always go back to Branshott. Hope I didn't send for too much. If you can't spare it don't worry. I'll get along alright. I hardly think I will be able to see any of the fellows in hospital as they are quite a ways from here and its costs like the duece to ride on the cars over here.
I'm awfully sorry about giving that Rosary away. It wasn't up to much & had pretty unpleasant surroundings when I got it. I never liked it for that reason. Yes I'll promise to take home all the things I have left. I sent quite a few from Sandling over a month ago - did you ever get them?
The camera came the day I left London. I was out to Pledgers for dinner & got it then. Its going to come in handy up here. Many thanks.
This is all for now. Hope you have a whale of a Xmas -
Lots of Love Bill
P.S. Met Bert Armstrong in Bramshott. He is in the Res. there. Peener is being demobilized at Vancouver. Burnie & Chief aught to be in Ed. by now. They will probably hunt you up.