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Date: January 9th 1918
William McLellan

Jan. 9/18

Dear Folks:

Well here we are again and in Edinburgh this time and having the time of my life. I'll tell you what I've been doing since I wrote you last at Bethune.

Arrive in Bolougne about dark that night & spent the night there in a rest camp. In the morning we embarked and sailed to Folkstone and maybe I wasn't sick. It was funny too for I wasn't nearly as bad on the trip coming across the Atlantic. However it didn't last long and at Folkstone we entrained and reached Victoria Station London about 4.30. I followed the crowd intending to go to the Maple Leaf Club for the night but before I got very far someone yelled "This way Canada" so I went over. You see there's some sort of reception Committee who meet all leave trains and look after the Canadians. There were quite a few Canadians on the train and while we were waiting to get them altogether a bunch of nurses came along & stuffed cake into us and asked fool questions about France. We eventually got to the club where they cashed our cheques and gave us tickets for supper - bed & breakfast. I had a shave & clean up & had supper & then went downtown with another guy from Toronto. We took the tube from Victoria Station (soldiers on leave ride for free you know) to Charing Cross and then went up to the Strand. We spent an hour or so around Trafalgar square where the big Wellington monument is and then decided to see a show. We decided on the Coliseum and altho we paid ten shillings for a seat still it was worth it. I have the programmed I think & will sent it. After that we had a feed at Lyon's and then went home. The next morning I went down to the Bank. You know they have a district that they call "the Bank" and almost all the banks are there. I didn't get any money but the old gent said they had a big bunch of delayed mail in & to come back the next day. So I went back and done some shopping. I bought a pair of breeches for 3 7/6 and a pair of putteess & a cap. I had dinner then and went to a matinee at the Empire. In the evening I run into a fellow I knew who used to be in the old 196 and he treated me to a seat at the London Opera. The next morning - that was Saturday - I went to the bank and got the 11 pounds OK and believe me I was glad to get it. A fellow can have a whole lot better time you know when he doesn't have to worry about the money. Well after I got the money I felt perfectly satisfied so I went down and had dinner in the Victoria Tea Rooms - where you pay for the scenery and not the eats. In the PM I took a bus ride around town - or rather a small part of it - and then got ready to catch the 8:30 train to Scotland. London is a fine city you know but after you have seen the place once you get tired of it and of course besides I had made arrangements to meet Chief & Peener. While I was waiting for the train I strolled down from the Strand of Picidilly and Leister Square and Oxford Circus - (this isn't a circus you know but a square - ) and just watched the people - thousands of them. You would certainly have enjoyed that for you see every sort and description. Well I didn't have a very good trip north for the train was crowded and I didn't get a chance to sleep but at every station like Hull, York Newcastle etc I got out and had coffee & cake, served free, gratis, by some women. I don't know who they are but it went good anyway. I got into the Waverly Station at 7 P.M. and started to find Chief. You see he had been expecting me for almost a week & had met every train til then & had given up hope of my coming. You see I had trouble getting away because the B'n was in the line. Well I strolled down Princes' St. looking for the Victoria House but I had it mixed up and it should have been the Victoria Hotel so naturally no one knew where it was. I met an old man & asked him & he said I must mean the Victoria Overseas Club so he turned around & took me back there. Well I went in and had a good breakfast - real porridge & cream the first I've had since I enlisted and then I set out to find Chief. I only went a little way when I found the Hotel and fell awake to my mistake & went in. The old lady said "Yes Corp Spencer is here but he isn't up yet" so I went up & pulled him out of bed. Peener hasn't showed up yet -- I guess he must have had trouble getting his pass. The hotel is a quiet little place run by a real Scotch old lady who thinks there's nothing too good for the "Western Universities Laddies". You see this had been a regular home for the old 196 for the past year. Sunday P.M. Chief took me out to see the sights - the old castle etc and we ended up with dinner at Fairleys. I don't think I can tell you just what I think of Edinburgh! its so different from London. The whole city looks old, and comfortable and asleep. London looks dirty. The people will do anything for Overseas troops and just walking down Princes' street & watching the people you can see all the difference in the world. In London they all look tired & restless and fed up. Here they look fresh & satisfied with everything. You feel at home here the minute you land - a fellow alone in London might as well be in Labador. "Hen" and another 196th guy came this morning so we have quite a family now. Have I ever told you about "Hen"? Well he's one of the bunch. His name is Herb Henderson and he used to be a bank clerk in Lacombe. He a real good scout and very much one of the bunch.

Tonight we are all going to the Lyceum and I'll tell you later what I think of the Edinburgh shows compared with London. There's just one place I want to see before I go back & thats Drury Lane Theatre in London. Its supposed to be the biggest & most magnificent theatre in the world.

Well this is some letter for length. Thanks very much for the money. Its helped lots - in fact I don't have to worry about a thing now and aught to have the time of my life. I'll have my face mapped today and send you one later.

We may run down to Glasgow some day. I've lost the address of the Martin Family but I'm not crazy about going there anyway.

So long for now. Love to Everybody and thanks again for the kail.

As ever Bill