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Date: October 25th 1943
Mother – (Mary Stubbs)
Anthony Stubbs

Oct. 25 /43.
Letter No. 1

Dear Mother:

I hope you got the telegram long ago saying I had arrived. I am staying where I expected to be comfortably housed in an hotel. One of the messes is also in this hotel which saves walking in the rain. I am favourably impressed by all I have seen so far. I love the winding streets and the individuality of each building, the absolute cleanliness of the streets and the newness of the double decker busses.

In restaurants, instead of one cup of tea, you get about 2½. Also it is much nicer to have lots of ersatz butter (which is indistinguishable from the real thing) on your toast than one minute pat. We get quite a lot of clothing coupons to bring our outfits up to standard and I am sorry now that I got an overcoat in Canada. There is a far better selection here with better cut and lower prices. No foolish restrictions on pleats here. We eat well in the mess except for breakfast which I usually miss anyway. It is typically English and so perhaps more like I would get at home than at any Canadian mess. I like it. Of course anyone in the Services is far better off than the civilians.

I don’t like the blackout. It is easy enough to get lost in the daytime. However one doesn’t get faraway because busses stop at 9:00 and everything else is closed by ten. Part of our hotel is still privately operated. This is a restaurant and bar and here you can usually get gin and even scotch if you are early enough. Of course there is always ale which I suppose I shall learn to like in time.

I expect a weeks leave soon and hope to spend part in London and part with Uncle Geoff. I’ve written Peter and Dick but have no replies yet.

I think you said I would be amused by the trains, particularly the freight cars. I could hardly believe they are real; they looked more like toys and they still hook them together with a bit of chain. The engines came in for a lot of comment too. I like the coaches better than our day coaches. We came down first class and it was very comfortable.

On Saturday night two of us tried to find a fairly secluded bar we had seen earlier in the day and by the time we got to the place there were no spirits left. We started on beer then a mixture of sweet and dry vermouths. Several of these and then some Curuçao with a little Kűmmel which was rather expensive. Afterwards we gate crashed a dance at the American officers club and took of the girls home. Then yesterday we went out to tea with them and later had a sort of cocktail party with some more guests who arrived. They lived in the more expensive district right beside the golf course and it was very pretty out there. We were lucky in being able to get a taxis both ways because it was quite a way and to come home through that maze of roads in the blackout would be quite impossible.

They say last week was unusually wet but it is often worse in Vancouver so the rain may not bother me but the cold will. That is why I sleep in so often. Yesterday we slept thru a church parade and they had a rather accurate roll call. I wonder what will happen.

With love from


[Note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]

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