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Date: December 8th 1916
Father and Mother

The Royal Aero Club

Dear Father and Mother,

Only seventeen days till Xmas! How well I remember the way we kids used to count off the days on the calendar, and how painfully slowly they seemed to go. How we used to lie awake nights speculating as to what presents we were going to get and then the supposedly-veiled hints that we used to give on every conceivable occasion to our parents and to other affluent members of the family, as to exactly what sort of moccasins we wanted, together with glowing descriptions of certain toy steam engines in Eaton’s catalogue, and the wonders of the toy department at the back of McCrum’s store. Then the fun we used to have endeavouring to impartially divide our savings of about $1.15 into the purchase price of some seven or eight Xmas presents for our expectant relatives and friends.

Xmas never means nearly so much after you grow up- unless, I suppose you have a family of little ones, and then of course, it becomes real fun again. Still it always is, or should be, a season of family re-unions, and with a family composed of such lovable people as ours is- it’s awful hard to be away.

As I write, the weather outside looks anything but Christmas-y. There has been no snow of course; only the bare trees show that it really is winter. There is the regulation London fog and it is raining slightly, so one can only faintly see the big double-decked busses lurching past on the street outside. Indoors it is rather more cheerful- grate-fires, big leather chairs and things. The celebrated Capt. W.L. Robinson, V.C. was in the room a few minutes ago. His head seems to have been turned, I am sorry to say, over his suddenly having become a national hero. Pemberton-Billing, a thoroughly disagreeable type of "bounder" of whom you have read of course, is sitting behind me with a little crowd of satellites, talking very loudly (as is usual with Mr. P.B.) about the probable personnel of the new Lloyd George ministry. In spite of a few chaps of Pem-Bill’s calibre however, the Aero Club is a mighty cheery place and one can always meet lots of regular fellows here, men that you are proud to know.

I hope we have at least a temporary improvement in the weather for Xmas. Last year I remember it rained all day and everyone was thoroughly unhappy. By the way, I wonder how in the world England ever got "settled" anyway. Why doesn't everyone emigrate just as soon as they get sense enough to leave? To California or Ceylon or the Welland district, or anywhere out of this intolerable, sunless country. Imagine people by the million here in London presumably quite sane and all that, who have been contented to live here all their lives, just as their fathers have for generations back. Talk about "English conservation"! - the way they stick to their climate is the distilled essence of it! Still the Esquimaux chose a funny sort of climate to live in too.

I finished my course at Brooklands and am now on a few days' leave pending orders to report to another squadron for higher instruction. I do not know definitely but expect it will be to No. 19 R.S. Hounslow.

As reported in the papers, there is to be no Xmas leave this year excepting in remote cases. It is too bad as otherwise we might have arranged a sort of gathering of the clan in London. However, we may be able to fix it up yet. As I shall be just on the outskirts of town and can get in to Victoria in half an hour on the tube, I shall certainly be on hand if any of the Canadian Family Robertson are to be found.

Don’t forget us over here, for our thoughts, surely are all with you just now. I hope that both Harry & Ruth get home as they planned to do and that everybody will just have a whale of a time. Very best love to both of you, and a Merry Xmas to all is my heartfelt wish.

Always your loving son,

Original Scans

Original Scans