Pte. L. Sinclair #460609
“C” Comp. 61st Battalion
c/o Army Post Office
May 2nd 1916.
Just got back from London last night. I was staying with Bert Chalk. at his aunts place in Upper Holloway, and sure enjoyed my five days leave in Ldn.
You cant imagine what a big place it is and to try and see it in five days now is going some. There is so much to see, and the little while we had why we couldn’t begin to look at things.
We arrived in London at Waterloo station shortly after four Wednesday afternoon and we took a tube to Upper Holloway. This is just on the North West limits of the city an about four miles from the central parts. It was a half an hours ride for us each day and we spent a lot of time riding about on these buses which is the best way I think for persons in our positions to see london. In starting out each day we would take a bus to Piccadily Circus or Trafalgar square and start walking. We never knew where we were going and all streets looked the same to us. You could walk for hours and never get away from the traffic or large stores. When we thought we had gone for enough time in one direction we would take a bus back, passing Piccadily or some other point we knew and start off in another direction. Well when we left Monday I knew the big streets about Trafalgar fairly well and the next time I strike London it will not take me so long to move about. I was through Westminster Abbey, The National Art gallery, and the Tower, but I could not put in the time I would have liked to, to look them over. These places are very interesting, and although it took an hour or two to go through each place, we could only give the things a glance as we past. At some of the places I bought post cards and I will send them along whenever I write. We put in one whole morning at the zoo in Regents park. Well I never saw anything like it. I beleive they have every living animal, bird, reptile and insect going. You could put in two or three days here and never get tired of it. All the buildings are clean and the names from the biggest animal to the smallest insect are up on all the cages. Marking where they are from, and who gave them to the zoo. This sure must be some place in peace times, and when all the building and different museums are open, why it would take weeks to see the place. On account of the war a good many of the place are closed and the most valuable treasures are away in vaults. Sunday I was just passing St Pauls as the chimes were ringing. We did not go in for service but just stepped in to see the place. This is another fine old Church and is right in the heart of the city. They certainly have a fine set of chimes and like all churches over here, they are full of monuments, bust, memorials tablets, and beautiful stained Windows. Especially Westminster Abbey with its old tombs and carvings as far back as the thirteenth century. Sunday night I was in Hyde park and the crowd, good-night, there was about twenty girls to every man and you couldn’t look side ways at some. Its funny to have them say Oh! here comes the Canadians, and talk about class. I’ve never seen anything like it. In front of Buckingham Palace runs the Mall and to the right of the palace is Hyde Parke. Monday morning we went again to Hyde Park and took a seat on Rotten Row. This is where all the society folks go to ride and you see quite an exhibition there. They [?] a person a penny to sit there and it seems your paying pennies for everything you do. Well I got to like the place before I left and am going to put some more time there the first chance I get. Prices dont seem much cheaper for things over here than they are in Canada and you pay for everything you get.
Well mother how are things in Wpg? Up until now I’ve received no letters and their has been little Canadian mail arrived in camp. I heard there was quite a casualty list in the papers not long ago. This must have been the 27th, for we heard they had quite a casualty from being mined. What do they think of the Irish in Winnipeg? One of the boys in our house was on leave at that time and he was three days doing guard & picket in Ireland. Bill Anderson could not get home, he used to work with Colin. We heard about as much of that as we do the War, even in London you hardly know there is a war going on. I heard they had quite a time with the troops in Winnipeg and that the 78th had left. I suppose it must be pretty slushy about now. How are things about Fleet Ave? We are moving to Shorncliffe tomorrow so we will see a little more of the country. Only one thing that rotten over here is the grub. Its the best of beef, but you dont get any too much and instead of butter you get margarine, its just like cheap butter made from different fats.
Well I hope everyone at home is well and has Stanley got his seeds yet? Remember me to all and best regards to everyone from your loving son.
Mother can you give me Jims address in Oak Hammock. I should drop him a line,