Letter to Horace from London, England

[Letterhead King George and Queen Mary’s Club
for the Oversea Forces Peel House,
Regency Street, Vauxhall Bridge Road, S.W.]

Sept. 16th 1916

Dear Horace:–

I have been out to four S.A. meetings to day two open air and two inside we had some good times but they are not different here than in canada a sincere Christian is a man or woman in any land. I had dinner with the captain and his wife. I don’t think they are long married she is a great women good looking to.

I want to take in a church service to night some where. I have a notion to go to Westminster Abby or St. Pauls Cathedral. but they are a long way from here I would have to make two changes on bus and I don’t know which ones so I would have to ask a policeman.

They call up all the boys here from 18 years 8 mo for training they train for a year and then go to the front. We get all kinds of reports of the front here right from the boys carrying the wounds. This Peel house is run as you can see for over seas forces alone we are all together here, there is some fine young Australians here. they have uniforms I would prefer to ours but we are not kicking at all. The farther I go Horace the worse I see life and the more of sin I see and the uselessness of it is the peculiar fact of it. Good young men ruining them selves right alone and Horace if any place in the world I guess you can see fine young wemen it is right here man there is girls you meet on the street that look about sixteen as tall as I am and built as fine and well proportioned and yet there is the sin undermining them every day. I haven’t spoken to a girl outside of the S.A. since I hit here unless our waitress who are of the best class in England they are the wealthy class giving voluntary service free gratis for the good of the over sea’s forces. They are some fine young wemen they dress in khakie and wear heavy belts to resemble ours.

Supper is in seven minuits I want to get in and then be ready to get away to church. I go back to camp Wed. P.M. but a leave like this breaks up the drill and it is like going at it new again the fall is passing on quickly I suppose by the time you get this letter there will be frost on the ground nights, well there wont be here. I will tell you if we get frost, it has been fine no rain for about 10 days so I have had a good time to see London if the rest of the time stayed like the last while. I hope your crop turns out good as is possible and next year get a good one and a lot of summer fallow done better next year and you will be going along all right. I will be back in a cupple of years and we will make things go all right.     They can’t surely kill use all if they do why it is a part of life any way, we have to face death some time and if we abide in God’s grace he will carry use over the river to a brighter world beyond I will write some more before I send this I am off to supper. L.

9.40 P.M.

I went out after I ate supper and walked some whear and asked about three police men about different churches and the services of each. At last I got down in the vicinity of Westminster Abby. but I found that Central Hall was a good place to go so stood on a street corner and talked to a police man for about 30 minuits waiting till the crowd went in then I was 30 “ [ditto under "minuits"] early. I will enclose program and sketch of building. I think there was about 2000 people there and the building is grand. I never heard a better sermon in my life. Horace I would more than like to know that every one of our family could say to that they have no fear no matter what may befalls them before morning if you and Mother could tell me that you can entrust me to Gods keeping entirely so you have no fear but all confidence in God it will help me to go on thru life as I find it from now on.

There are lots of boys from all over writing home at these tables and there are lots more lying half out of the chairs a sleep flayed out from disapation instead of get good out of there vacation, and a 1000 seats going to waste at Central Hall tonight and and lots of S.A. Barracks 1/3 fild what is wrong or where will it end. Well I can only answer for one. I have no fear of the future if I don’t live a day on the battle field or if I never reach that far.

It started to rain while I waited for service at the corner and has been raining ever since so it is rather damp out at present. I ran very nearly all the way home but that does a fellow good. I am learning the ways around S. west London. I realy an’t in London proper at all I am out in the City of West Minister where all the Parliament Buildings the Abby and etc. are. But I am going to go down into London for a full day yet before I leave. I have driven quite a bit in London tho on Friday. I want to get to bed early to night for I find that chacing around London is harder job than drilling. I was up and away down to a S.A. meeting at 7.10 A.M. and I guess it was 11.30 before I got done my bath last night.

Have Alice send this slip to Elmer I wrote him and it will get to him before I write to him again

I never expected to be used like I am here for the money it cost the way they use the soldiers other places. There is the scalping class of people that would beat there mother if they could you have to lookout for no matter who you are or under what circumstances. I lost the winder off of my watch today it unscrewed so I have to get an other one tomorrow.

Well good night old boy be good as ever your loving brother