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Date: September 25th 1916


Sept 25th: 16

Dearest Pal:

To-night the hotel is in great form with decorations and wondrous uniforms. The Republican Guards Band has arrived and I was one of huge crowds who stood for nearly two hours, part of the time in rain, to greet it. I had gone to South Kensington to call on Mrs (Col) Hall but found she was out of London just now but is expected back. Coming home by Buckingham Palace I found crowds gathering and lingered around to see the fun. After about half an hour I asked a policeman when the band would come and he said "pretty soon now" so I waited another hour and then asked again and got the very same answer. However it did turn out to be "pretty soon" this time. Our own Brigade of Guards was very resplendent led by four (I don't know who they were) clad in gold tunics with red sashes and their lower limbs encased in white Then the Guards in red tunics with gold braid and very tall [?], then the Scotch Pipers in khaki and kilts, then the French Band in navy blue and gold braid and rain coats not so georgeous but very smart. It was well worth seeing but I might have been doing loads of things in those two hours and still have seen it. The patience of a London crowd is wonderful. I have noticed it before around Charing Cross. I have just had a card from Mrs Buscombe saying Eve's husband died of wounds last Friday. I didn't know they were married. Poor girl I'm so sorry. I am going to see them to-morrow.

I had a letter from Mr Elder to-day - he says he is joining your battery. Didn't he get the advancement he was expecting! It is rather funny but I sent him a pair of socks (the ones he says I promised a year ago) the very day he wrote. Hasn't your cake arrived yet? Mrs Logan and I were quite wishing we could be in the party that is to eat it.

I am sending the cricket group I took that day at Linchmere Isn't it splendid! If any of the men fancy themselves in it I can get them copies. I sent one to Roy Hearn's mother for it is so very good of him. And you look so dear and Arfelly - just as you always do at cricket. I haven't sent any of the others for they would probably be rather a bother so I am keeping them till you come home to show you.

There are a great many Australians around. I see them everywhere and most awful villains they seem to be too for they always are arm in arm with at least one girl; very often two. That feather they wear in their hats is very fetching no doubt.

The Frenchmen are really quite grand. Without their rain coats there is a great deal of gold braid and medals showing. They speak English nearly as well as we do. I'm glad you see so much of the M.G. Co. You know so many of them.

Love and kisses from
Your little pal
Alice Leighton