Tuesday 21 November

Posted: May 4, 2017 by saraherhodes in 1916

Yesterday was just a middling sort of day. In the morning I collected some more pay and then went to the Admiralty in Whitehall. I heard that officers were allowed to visit the grand Fleet. It meant going to Scotland and going out on one of the boats on patrol duty in the North Sea for about four days. One was liable to go on any boat from a Cruiser to a Dreadnought, also the risk of getting into action. It would have been a unique experience to be in action in both classes. On enquiry, I found that the trip had just been cancelled for three months.

Received your parcel containing all those delicacies for Christmas. I couldn’t keep it till then. It was just a splendid parcel. I have been shouting the crowd to Australian almonds and raisins etc. The dominoes, pipe and tobacco especially are being much enjoyed. This is an awful country for tobacco. You can follow up with a tin of Havelock Aromatic any time you like. The socks and dates etc are very fine. It was just the ideal parcel for active service.

One of the turns at the Coliseum last night was Pattman, an organist. He had a big organ rigged up. It is supposed to have 1147 pipes. Ten miles of electric wire and 4208 gold contacts and cost nearly 3,000 pounds. Amongst other items was The Storm. It made one feel like putting his overcoat on. He was assisted by a very good Contralto who sang “The Lost Chord” a piece of Samson and Delilah and “Land of Hope and Glory”. You can bet it was some item.

Today we had a fine run in the car out to Epsom and all round the Downs. It was a lovely morning. At lunch time, a fog suddenly descended on us, and it was night. In the afternoon, K and I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum again. After another look through, we still have a lot to see. It is the finest thing I have ever seen in Museums. The building is superb. There isn’t anything crowded. Everything is classified and well arranged. There is a full collection of almost everything known. Afterwards we had a look through Harrods, or rather, part of it. Fay and Gibson’s isn’t in it. There are hundreds of departments. You can buy everything you wish. They will wash you, shave you, and dress your hair, clothe, feed, sell you a house, supply you with a motor and all furniture, bank your money, or anything desired. It is something extra special in shops. I am going to Aida tomorrow night. Fancy I will have to see more Grand Opera while I am here.

Today I had lunch at the Trocadero and then went to the London Opera House. It is a tremendous place, used for Vaudeville. I counted 49 boxes but the place is a frost, only a few hundred people there, an absolute white elephant. Afterwards, tea at the Trocadero and then 15 Australian letters when I got home, all full of the Military Cross. I don’t know how to answer them all. Many thanks for all your congratulations. I am being decorated at Buckingham Palace tomorrow by the King. Will you thank all those people for their congratulations. There was great excitement here over the photos. I was like a guide describing them all.

I am leaving for Scotland on Monday.


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