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Date: April 21st 1940

P.S. I will let you know as soon as we have a settled address - in the mean time you might as well use the Bank of Nova Scotia.


c/o Bank of Nova Scotia

108 Old Broad St.


Dear Jean:

We have been 3 days & 3 nights on dry land - and have quite recovered our land legs - we came down from Liverpool by special train during daylight on Thursday and managed to see our people at the Canadian office just before closing time, and were taken to London House, a sort of club hotel place, with special privileges for Canadian & other overseas officers on leave. Thanks, I believe, to the generosity of Lord Nuffield. At any rate, we were made very welcome and at home, and given livable rooms - although in the older wing of the place, and rather small, and with mazes of complicated passages and staircases to unravel for access & egress - clean & o.k. The new wing is [?] modern, and quite nice, with common rooms - great-hall (dining) etc. There are officers from Army Navy & Airforce as well as students from all parts of the Empire.

The trip from Liverpool by train was very interesting - and I see some interesting changes since I was here 6 years ago. One of the most striking is the tremendous extent of new housing developments, in some cases old slum tenements replaced by huge apartment blocks with, I am told, quite low rentals. In other places rows & rows of new duplexes & individual houses of a little better clan - on new grounds - adjacent to older towns. Tremendous, new factories, boy you've got to hand it to these people they may seem casual and unhurried, but they are getting things done in a big way.

It was interesting trying to pick up my bearings again in London - London House is not far from Russel Square, in the same vicinity where I stopped on one occasion before. The first evening Bill and I walked down to the Strand and Aldwych [?] Park - in the gloom of the black-out, where we took in a show, "Destiny Rides Again" - Marlene Dietrich & I forgot his name - a really good show. We walked back to the room afterward and even in the black-out I was able to recognize quite a few familiar landmarks.

The black out is something - you see no lighted windows or store fronts - no electric signs, no street lights, traffic lights are little slitted +'s with hoods over them, (flashing red 7 green etc) auto lamps are a bare glimmer - just enough to warn the approach of a vehicle. Café's theaters & other retreats of night life all have a heavily curtained outer room of darkness as you enter from the street. Inside, all is bright & gay as ever, but from the street you would think everything were shut down & deserted.

Its amazing tho how smoothly the traffic is run - one thing - many people stay home, I suppose, then they are getting used to it, and are being more careful by second nature- I should love to have a night flight over the city just to see how it looks from the air.

We were cordially received by the Canadian [?]to whom we were instructed to report firs t- then we have been shunted around o several of the Imperial offices - which are scattered all over town it seems - at any rate we finally seem to have found the key man, who is going into our case, and expects to have it all doped out in a day or two, and then we will know what & where & when. For the time being we were told to stand by and attend to any matter we think necessary. Bill contacted a friend of his father, Mr. Bert Hayward - a pickle manufacturer - a wonderful plant he took us all through and its smells are most stimulating & agreeable - like Mrs. Swannell's kitchen during ketchup making operations. Well Mr. Hayward took us both out to his home in the country for the weekend, and that is where I am writing this. They have a lovely home about 25 miles from town at Dorking - up on a high hill - a situation and home very much like your own in California - lovely view - Mrs Hayward is charming - and does her own cooking - just now the two girls, Jean, 14, and Margaret 16, are at home from school on spring holidays - they are fine girls & full of fun & pep. Yesterday ate a goose dinner cooked by Mrs. h. in an amazing stove, Bill & Mr. H. played a round of golf, and the girls took me out for a walk around the lovely countryside - just about walked the legs off me - but it was a real treat to get out in the countryside. This morning we all went around on Golf - the kids too, and then after dinner, Mr. H. the girls Bill & I drove down to the South Coast through Surrey & Sussex & back - a delightful drive about 100 miles round trip. This is a very beautiful part of England the villages are very interesting -

We may have to go to London tomorrow, but if they aren't ready for us at the war office, we will stay out here an extra day, & go in Tuesday.
Well Dear - I think of you so often - everything I enjoy I wish you & Mary were here to enjoy I too. Someday we will do it together.



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