Royal Flying Corps,
9 October 1916
Yours and Father's letters arrived in good time last week. Mr Reade forwarded them on to me, and I sent them on to Alf. I have written Alf two or three times since coming up here but have not heard from him yet. I expect he is pretty busy, and finds it hard to write. I do hear from the Reades though and they say he is 0 K.
We are having dandy weather for October. Quite a nice snap in the air. If I had a little time I am sure I could have a nice time here. The river is just about 15 minutes away, and there is excellent boating. Just up a little piece is where they have always held their races, and the boats etc are all at our disposal. Then too the parks are lovely. And you could enjoy this place I am sure. There are between 25 and 30 huge colleges here, in fact the town is all colleges. This evening I was over at Queens for a few minutes. The old boy at the gate told me that it was one of the oldest of the bunch. Built in 1314. Well that is fairly old isn't it? Queens and about 6 or 7 others are taken over by the soldiers, and our boys (R. F. C.) occupy about four of them.
Was up town for the weekend. Got off Saturday at 1:45 and arrived back at 7:15 this morning. Had quite a nice change after two weeks of good solid labour. I felt like a little change.
I did have a rather round- about trip home last night. I left the station (Paddington) at 9:15 P M and did not get into Oxford until 7:15 AM. You see when I changed trains I took the wrong one and traveled all over southwestern England before I got back. If it had been in daytime it would have been all OK but not so at night. When I wasn't traveling I was sleeping in waiting rooms etc so it wasn't such a great treat as one might think. Before I did finally arrive here I had traveled on some four or five different lines. And that's going some for England. And the funny part was that my one miserable ticket did for the whole round about because they never asked to look at my cardboard. I didn't give them a chance in fact, but whenever they looked like asking for it I asked them a line of questions. So as a result of my all night travels and my hard day's work I am rather [tired] tonight at 11:30 pm.
These old colleges certainly have their peculiarities of all the old nooks and corners. One has to stoop to get thru their old passage ways, and they are just like so many underground tubes. I am not terribly keen on it, but it is rather nice to see where so many great men have been educated, see their portraits on the walls, their trophies in the cupboards, and to take lectures in the same lecture rooms. And now that the professors are coming back we are getting some of them for lectures, such as chemistry, physics, wireless etc, and I must say they are the limit. I cannot make out nearly all they say, but if I had come direct from Canada, I should have been hopeless. Some of them are like Miss Mitchells, of Public School fame, when she used to have morning prayers. Then too the mechanics, who have to demonstrate the various machines, are hard to understand. They have their particular way of putting things and many of them remind me of old Alf who used to drive for Uncle Bert. Do you remember how he used to carry on? Altogether it is rather weird and interesting.
I am still on engines & etc and will be for three weeks or longer. I do hope I will make the exams O.K. then I shall go on flying. I will train here in England & will probably spend a month or two at the various aerodromes in the country. Then when I am proficient and get my wings, I will be a free bird for France or Egypt, or any place else they like. And I don't care where they send me as they all have their advantages.
Hope Father and Mother are well & that you are your usual s self. Don't work too hard & play lots of tennis. I would like a good game but have no time for it. Lots of love for all the family.