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Date: September 26th 1916


Sept 26. 16

Dearest Arfa:

I spent all morning and part of the afternoon at Westminster Abbey so I feel I know it a little now. It always seems so crowded but each thing is so interesting that you can Imagine that. Wolde's monument is nearly covered with the flags of different Canadian regiments - I counted eleven of them and it seemed such a fitting place. I wish ours was there too - they were mostly eastern Canadian regiments. I noticed the 38th among them.

I paid tribute to Tennyson and Dickens and saw again the inscription that attracted father's attention so "Life is a just and all things show it, I thought so once and now I know it." I don't believe it myself but it is a cheerful philosophy. Then on a stone I found "O rare Ben Johnson" snothing more. I looked around for his tomb but couldn't find it although I believe it is there. It seemed a nicer tribute than a huge monument somehow. Some quotation that would identify the person or a short description like that woould be just as interesting as a life sketch - you could always find out more elsewhere if you wre really interested. Then I went around the cloisters where you took me once and to a room where the first Parliament was held. Then to Edward VI Chapel which is used by the knights of the Bath. That reminds me - one of Lady Murray's sons is in the Admiralty and she was telling me about him one day and with much pride said he had his C.B. I nearly laughed for all that C.B. conveyed to was "Confined to barracks." However I managed to make a more or less intelligent answer and Alric tells me C.B. is Companion of the Bath. I always find initials puzzling - they can mean so many things.

I came home by Whitehall and saw athe beautiful Horse Guards. They hardly need all their armour do they - they might lend it to some of you out at the front.

I keep looking at the body shields they have here and wondering if you would like one. Or would it be only a bother most times? There are also things to put int eh ears to deaden the sound of the guns. Have you seen them? Does the noise bother you enough to give you headaches! I can get them for you if it does. Mr Logan has them I believe - you might ask him about them.

The whole top storey of the Cecil is being turned into Government offices - cooly commandeered it seems and the place is quite upset. My room is up there but I haven't been turned out yet.

I had planned a tea party this afternoon - Alric and [?] and Nancy but only Nancy turned up. [?] was ill and Alric was busy with something else so Nancy and I had it all to ourselves. She is such a nice girl - she and [?] are just dying to get off - this waiting about from day to day must be tiresome. Wouldn't it be nice if you ran across them!

Good night my Arfa with love and kisses from your little pal

Alice Leighton