From: London, Eng.
Thurs. 27 June 1918
Dearest Mother -
We sometimes get surprises. On June 24th, I was in charge of guard. At noon, Bdr. Frost comes to me saying that he had to take over the guard from me as I was going to England. That was the first I heard of it. I then saw Col. Hatfield, our orderly room clerk, and he told me that my papers and warrant were in and that I would be leaving next day. It had come thru in almost record time, being only about 5 weeks since I first put in for it. Great news indeed - but my gladness was turned into gloom. No, Casey's papers weren't in - just mine. We had been building on having our leave together as we had had it in Paris. I was disappointed but I guess poor Casey felt even worse, seeing me go without him. It doesn't mean that he is turned down or anything, but I guess they would only let so many from the division get away at the one time, and tho his papers were right next mine, yet they chose to separate them there. I don't know whether he will only be a few days, a week, or whether it will be longer. If it is only about a week, we may still be able to have part of our leave together. I am leaving an address in London for him so he will know where I have gone. The worst of it is, we may be sent to different training camps.
I often thought things were made harder for us in the battery that they needed to have been, and that I would be glad to get out of it. but, I believe most of the fellows liked me and saying goodbye was not so easy as one might think. They all wished me luck and hoped I would have a good time in Blighty.
It was only a short walk to the station and I left Aubigny about 5:30 in evening of 25th. We had a very long wait tho where we had to change trains and it was nearly noon before we finally reached Boulogne. I had made that trip once before when I went to the Rest Camp last summer near Boulogne. In the afternoon, we crossed the channel and then had a real good train journey from Folkestone to London.
After wandering around a bit, I finally put up for the night at the Maple Leaf Club on Berkeley Square. Next morning (this morning) I reported to the RAF Distribution Depot at Hampstead and handed in my papers and was told to return at 5 p.m. for my leave warrant. Casey and I had been planning to go either to Ireland or Scotland. We did not much care which - we wanted to get outside of London tho' and see more of the country. One is given a free warrant to & from the place you wish to go to.
I didn't know hardly where to go but gave as my destination, Killarney, Ireland. I had thought Ireland might be out of bounds but only Belfast is (a soldier can't go there). So, you see, I can go to south of Ireland & will see Dublin & the famous Lakes of Killarney. It should prove to be a quiet restful, interesting place, and I understand one can get all one wants to eat in some of these smaller places where you can't in the larger.
Before I left the battery, I was given with my warrant, meat tickets and sugar tickets so that I would be able to buy some meat in restaurants when I wanted a dinner. Then, the amount they do give me here is so small, you can't see it hardly. I don't know yet whether it would be worth while or indeed whether I would be able to visit our relative in Ireland. He is in county Down, pretty well north & only about 35 mls from Belfast, so he may be in forbidden area too, I don't know.
After I got thru at Hampstead, I went to West Kensington to the H.Q. of the P.O. Savings Bank and will be able to draw what I have there tomorrow, leaving only the interest so that account will not be closed. I got my leave warrants for 14 dys leave to Killarney then. I went to the Canadian Pay Office and got Â£3 there which was more than I thought they would give me. I should be alright now with that and the Â£12 there was in Savings Bank. You will be sending money which will probably be too late for my leave, but which I can put away in the Bank. It is nice that I thought to have that money in the P.O. Savings Bank isn't it? I won't likely be spending as much if I am in Ireland as I would if I stayed in London, unless I travel around quite a bit. I can't give you a new address until my leave is over and I know where I am going. It will likely be Hastings but I don't know.
About 2 wks after my leave is over, I shall have to come back to same place in London to be examined by the Air Board and I want to be in as good shape for that as possible. There are several doctors there, each specialists in a certain branch and they turn down a good many. I might think I am alright and yet have something wrong with me and be turned down. A fellow that passes them can stick out his chest and know that there is nothing wrong with him. If turned down, I suppose I would be sent to the artillery depot at Witley and go across later in a draft. If successful, I have 6 mos. or more, maybe in England.
When I left the battery, we were on rest in a good place and had been for about a month. But, before that I had been at the guns to the left of Arras. Well very best of love to all at home and to yourself.