From: Overseas & Imperial Officer - Cadets Club
5, Cambridge Gate, Regent's Park, Eng.
Dear Mother -
It is rather over a week since I wrote and there have been few changes since then. On the 16th, I received your letter of Dec. 1 and on the 17th yours of Nov. 18. Some missing, you see. Have got no mail since nor shall be likely to get any. Here is an outline of events:-
Dec. 17 - Canadians from the School off to their various reserves. Artillery to Bordon, not far from Witley. We left late in afternoon and I stayed overnight in London with Copping at an uncle's of his in Cricklewood.
Dec. 18 - I see Nemo at Charing Cross Hosp. for a few min. Learn that Casey, who had left Oxford for Bordon a few days previously, was on leave in London and was to call on Nemo that p.m., but could not wait as train left at noon. Arrived at Bordon in evening and put in huts. We are treated as cadets, wear their uniforms and have no duties. Expect to go back home first class.
Dec. 19 - We get passes for four days leave. No one knows how soon we leave for Canada. Those from B.C. & Alta. are, I understand, going by way of Panama Canal and up Pacific Coast. A much longer trip, but very pleasant, I should imagine. Hunted for Casey and found out he was due back about an hour before I was to leave. But missed him again. He must have got away from station in a closed taxi just before I got there. Left at 5 o'clock and found rooms at the Cadet's Club here. Very good place too.
Dec. 20 - Had a long visit with Nemo (our nickname for Kent). He can get about on crutches now and we went to a theatre in afternoon and had lunch in a restaurant afterwards.
Dec. 21 - London is crowded with soldiers. Restrictions are off most things and people are able to buy for Xmas as they haven't done since the war started. I have been in London so much tho that if I had only had a longer leave, I should have gone to Edinburgh and other places in Scotland. I shall not be able to go there now before going home.
Dec. 22 - Go with a friend to a large Wesleyan church near Westminster Abbey and have the special Xmas services. We are really only in the way at Bordon - they don't know what to do with us - so until we get definite word about leaving for Canada, I shall likely have lots of leave. So, we wired for six days extension.
Dec. 23 - Spent afternoon with Nemo. He had a short letter from Casey saying he was getting leave to Scotland and would stop on his way up. But, we have heard no more so he couldn't have got his leave or I would have seen him before this. Strange how I have just missed him so many times. It would be too bad if I missed him altogether and we went back on different boats. We can't write either as we have no certain address.
I think, mother, that you had better not write me any more. I should perhaps have told you that before this. If anything happens that we are kept here, I can let you know, but it may be the middle of January before you get this and I really expect to be on my way by that time.
Got a telegram from Bordon giving me three more days, so now I have till midnight of Boxing Day, Dec. 26th. That gives me Xmas here and Boxing day as well. Pres. Wilson is to arrive tomorrow and there are to be great celebrations for him. I may be able to see this. London has already given great welcomes to Clemenceau, Haig, etc., but they are nothing to what this promises to be.
There were crowds on streets yesterday buying the last few things before Xmas. Today is cold and rather dull with very few people about. They are probably indoors celebrating this, the last khaki Xmas. Stores, theatres and everything are closed, so London is rather an uninteresting place today. Tomorrow, being Boxing Day (a Bank Holiday) everything will be just as tightly closed.
Will write again soon. Love to all.