Nov. 22 '16
My Dear Ones at Home,-
It seems that I have quite a long letter to write to you tonight, and I will not be able to tell you all about my trip to London in detail.
I think that I told you about our first day (Friday)
On Saturday morning we went through the houses of Parliament with a party of soldiers under a Y.M.C.A. guide. In the P. M. We went with a YMCA. party to see through Kensington museum. The party went too quickly to suit me so I got separated from them and wandered around enjoying myself alone amidst all the wonders until the doors were closed. Saturday evening I had a headache & so stayed in the club room
On Sunday morning we went to St. Pauls, but I cannot say that I enjoyed the service. I could not tell a word that was said through out the whole service or sermon, and it grew so monotonous that I went to sleep in the middle of the bishops sermon.
It was a very, very wet all day, and we stayed inside. [deleted words “all day”] In the evening I went to Westminster Chaple and heard Rev. G. Campbell Morgan He was wonderful - so scholarly - so earnest - and yet so simple. I never heard a man with so perfect a voice and so perfect a command of the language. He preached a plain gospel sermon on “Grace”, taking Pauls idea, Johns idea, and Peter's idea of 'Grace' His text was the last verse of Rev. - the last verse of II Peter and the last verse of Titus.
On Monday morning I started out to find the Pecover's. I took the 'tube' to Paddington, & a short distance from the station found Bathurst St. and soon recognized our own name over the door of a 'shop'. I rang a bell, and a jolly looking little man who resembled Mr. Evelyn came upstairs. As soon as he saw me, he smiled & said 'You're Markle, aren't you, & nearly shook my hand off. Friendly!
Say he used me like a long lost brother. 'So jolly glad to see me, dont you know. He took me into his office, and called his sister who helps in the shop - Nellie - and she was even more glad to see me than Frank Then I was introduced to Mr. Adeane, Franks partner who remembered your Father quite well -
Frank of course, insisted that I go home to dinner, & he decided to take the rest of the morning off. He took me for a walk thro' Hyde Park to the Albert Memorial Monument, and we saw thro' the grand Memorial Hall. Then we took the underground home to dinner. Mrs P. used me like her own son They made me feel as if I had known them all my life, and of course I was to spend the night with them
And Madge, the only child. Oh say! Some girl. Friendly! And lively and Pretty!! Well say - believe me - some girl. She is 18 or will be next May. Oh I like my new cousin immensely. She is going to write to Dorothy She reminds me more of Dorothy than any girl I every saw.
For the P. M. I went to see Madame Tussads wax works, and found it most interesting -
Now I will tell you briefly about Frank's family He has a good business & is I imagine pretty well off. Like all the Pecovers he is a kind of Jack of all trades on a large scale. They do painting, decorating Glazing, Gas Fitting, Iron Mongery - Plumbing & Fitting & Electrical Fitting
Frank looks after the practical end of the establishment & Adeane the business end. There are two other brothers who are also in the same business on a smaller scale and there are 3 old maid sisters who live together near Franks. There are other branches of the family - cousins of Franks who all live around Padd'tn, but they are all at logger heads with one another. Frank's have a nice comfortable home in a terrace, - No. 3 Oakington Road. They are all active members of the Congregational Church. Frank & Madge & both very musical & Frank of course loves to entertain you with his flute. Madge plays the piano & both are singers.
At night all of Franks brothers, that is Alf & Arthur, and their wives came in to have a look at me & we had a most enjoyable evening.
I stayed at Franks till Tuesday night, when I had to come back to camp
I am certainly quite in love with Frank and his wife and Madge. They are relatives that we can be proud of, and I feel now that I have a home in England
I sent you a picture of Grand father Pecover, that was in Aunt Maria's collection. Aunt M. lived with Frank for a number of years, & they thought the world of her.
When I got to camp I found six letters here that had gone to Broughton one from Father written Oct. 30, one from Mother written about the same time one from Dorothy, one from Gladys Sexton & one from Lillian Kellough The parcels are not sorted out yet, so I have not got my pajamas yet. When they do come I will send them to Pecovers in London as I will not be able to use them now.
We are going to France next Monday - Nov. 27. Our orders came today. We have been issued with rifles & new equippment, & all preparations are being made to leave on short notice. The 184th battalion is no more, - I am in A Company of the 11th reserve battalion. Brothers & friends were all separated & put into different drafts. A Coy. is the first draft that has to go, altho' we did not expect orders so soon. We have to re-inforce the 8th battalion, they need reinforcements at once. Argyle & I are both in A Co. but we are the only ones from our old bunch that are, & even we two are in different squads. We will go into the trenches together however.
We have all new officers and Sargeants, except that C. H. Newcombe is head of our company. I do not know where Sargeant MacPherson is, or Lieut. Groggan.
Now I am far too tired to write any more tonight, but I have told you the principal news.
When you get this, your boy will be doing his bit some where in France, - but God will listen to your prayers and mine, and he will keep me under his care, and why should I be afraid -
I will write again before I leave