Royal Flying Corps Diaries - Interesting days in 1917 August to September

(With comments by the website author in brackets)

Thursday August 2nd Arose at 6, sun up for a short while, raining again at 7:30. On parade all morning and afternoon. Fooled around Sheds and only showed life when Officers came around. Canadian Mail in, I didn't get a single letter.

Friday August 3rd Still raining out and cold. Made coffee in evening and had bunch over in hut. Best coffee yet. Retired at 10, electric lights on hut.

Sunday August 5th On Church Parade at 9:00. Brigadier there, 3 MMs ( Military Medals) awarded. SAI(?) after Church parade. Sent mother a snap of group in front of tent. Retired early.

Tuesday August 7th Went to entrenching area, had some more battle practice. Trenches wet and muddy after rain. In some places mud up to ankles. Back at camp at 5:00, took pictures down town and ordered prints to be ready next Tuesday.

Friday August 10th (Konnie's 21st Birthday) On parade all day. Got letters from Harry and Tubs. Sat over in boys' hut for a while and then ate at Salvation Army. Read announcement of George and Lauga's (Konnie's older brother and new sister-in-law) wedding in (Winnipeg) Free Press. Retired about 10 pm.

Monday August 13th Hut orderly, not on parade. Cleaned up place and read. Davey came over in evening and told me about rumours of going to London in the morning. Cheered up that night and retired early.

Tuesday August 14th Cleaned up hut and then myself. Got word to go to London for interview on the 11:14. Left at 10 with Davey and Frank. Arrived in London at 2 pm. Went direct to Cecil Hotel for interview. Major remarked on my weight. Will give me a trial. To be called later. Sent Freda the score of "Chu Chin Chow" (which was still being played 40 years later), saw the show in evening. Most weird spectacle. Ate after. Went to rooms in Empress Hotel, retired about 12.

Wednesday August 15th (in London) Had breakfast and went to Trafalgar Square and waited for the American troops to march past. Saw them there, then went to Buckingham Palace and saw them march past King, Queen, Queen Alexandra and Lloyd George and all the other "mucki-mucks". Went from there direct to American YMCA Hut. Had the best dinner I ever had in England. Left there and went to Madame Tussaud's Wax Works. Ate at YMCA Hut, left for Charing Cross. Left for Shorncliffe at 7:15. Back at camp that night. Fred Thorlakson waiting for me, he leaving on railroad draft in morning.

Thursday August 23rd Arose at 7 am. Hut Orderly for the day. Boys all warned for Draft except Davey, Frank and I. Spent evening with boys in 9E. Read, retired at 9:30

Friday August 31st Hut Orderly. Got a letter from Harry (Konnie's future brother-in-law) He (wounded during the Canadian Army attack on Vimy Ridge) going back to Canada, at Buxton waiting for a boat. Wrote him immediately. Spent rest of the evening with Frank and Mundie. Had eats from Frank's box at YM(CA?). Met Hallie, fooled around on road. Returned to hut, retired.

Saturday September 1st Hut Orderly. Went downtown in afternoon. It looked like rain, took a chance and left coats. Ate at Maple Leaf Club, got seats for Pleasure Gardens, "General Post" play on. Tommy fell asleep, Frank silly, I disgusted. Ate at Playdall's. Got soaked. Preached to Frank on way home. He condescended to never touch another drop as long as I didn't. Very simple enough for me. Beautiful moonlit night. Roamed around until 12:20. Made way back and retired, asleep immediately.

Sunday September 2nd Hut Orderly. Made up butter patties for D Coy. As I was finishing, Clarence Noise shows 2nd Lieutenant Homer Robinson up. I much surprised. Homer with the RFC, also Johnnie Thompson. Both going to Squadron in Edinburgh where Johnny Farquhar went to. Took Homer over to see Frank. Walked up to Salvation Army Hut. Left them there. Slept in afternoon. Over in Pay Office with Ole in evening. Stayed in Pay Office rather late. Retired about 11.

Friday September 7th Arose at 6:30. Hut Orderly. Spent morning with Frank. Draft pulled out.(for France ?)Lt. Bill C. went to 27th, France. Ole told me about being called to attend RFC course. Tommy told us he was going to France tomorrow at 3. Retired about 10.

Saturday September 8th Arose at 6:30. Cleaned up empty hut. Warned to go over to Clearing Depot, away to school. Spent afternoon moving. Took pictures on way. At Clearing Depot at 5. Went downtown, spent evening at Pavilion Hotel with Bjarni Stefansson, Hebbie, Frank and Ole. Walked back to camp leisurely. Retired in Receiving (?) hut at 11:40

Sunday September 9th Arose at 7. Cleaned up equipment, turned it in to Quartermasters. Had haircut. Repacked my stuff. Had M.O. exam. Went to town on leave with Dave, Ole, Tom, Frank, met Jimmie Jones. Went to Y.M and then to Royal Pavilion Hotel. Met Bjarni Stefansson there. Walked back to Clearing Depot leisurely. Bjarni walked over with us. Retired about 11:40

Monday September 10th Cleaned up, and were sent to St. Leonard's on Sea, Hastings to No. 1 Wing, A Squadron, RFC Cadet School. Changed at Ashford. One hour wait for trains. Roamed around, bought real ice cream. On way to St. Leonard's at 1:05 PM. Arrived at 2:30. Met by Cadets. Paraded to Billet, assigned room. Paraded for Tea. Paraded for particulars. Paraded for dinner, I off till 9. Paraded for Lecture at 9. Back at 10. At St. Leonard's on Sea, No. 1 Flight, A Squadron, No. 1 Cadet Wing, 11 Albany road, Room 14.  On the move 

Tuesday September 11th Arose at 6. Roll call at 7 am. Breakdfast at 8. Measured for suit in morning. Drilling in afternoon. Books issued by QM. Off at 4:15 pm. Lecture at 9 pm. back at 10pm.

Wednesday September 12th Arose at 6. On fatigue for morning, took picture from window. Paraded to QM Stores. Rode over town in RFC truck all morning. Paraded to Stores for Tunic in afternoon. Got my first Imperial tunic. Sat around and sang after tea. Had dinner at 7, spend evening fooling around piano.

Thursday September 13th Arose at 6:15. On parade. Had bath parade in afternoon. Were allowed downtown to purchase necessities. Came back to billet in Jitney. Tried on purchases, had a few. Gym stunts tried with Frank. Retired 10 pm.

Saturday September 15th Arose at 6:15. On drill from 7-8. Cleaning billets from 8-11. Athletic meeting from 11-1:30. Went down town in afternoon, purchased various necessities. Walked around St. Leonard's and Hastings. Went home about 8:30, no taxis, walked. Ate at Farraris (?) Restaurant. Got home about 9.

Wednesday September 19th Arose at 6:30. Boys in room up to London for Medical Inspection for RFC. I on parade all day. Played (violin) for some time after tea. Boys back at 8:00. Dave and Frank passed as Pilots. I warned for next party to leave the following morning at 6:00

Thursday September 20th Arose at 4:30. Left for London at 6 am. Arrived at 9. Passed Medical Board, through at 12. Ate at American YMCA. Went to "Round the Map" at the Alhambra in afternoon. Show out at 5, ate at YM, met Wally Byron there, left for Charing Cross at 6:30. Waited around until 7:45, left for St. Leonard's then. Arrived at 10:30, retired at 11.

Friday September 21st Arose at 6:15. On parade in morning, bath parade from 9-10. I cut big toe on my right foot and limped back to lecture. Pay parade in afternoon, I got another 4 Pounds. Went down town after and cashed my Cable Money Order for 11P 10s 8d. Had tea downtown, arranged to rent violin. Bought music from "Around the Map". Played it nearly all night. Retired at 10:15

Sunday September 23rd Church Parade at 8:30 for RCs and OEs only. (most of the Icelanders were Lutherans). Went out in Flannels with dave, frank adn Wright to lay Tennis. courts closed, went out yachting on Albertine. Tea at Ferrari's. Taxied home. Went to Church in evening and then ate at Ferrari's. Widow in corner. Went home on Tramway.

Monday September 24th On parade in morning. Volunteered to go to Egypt with Frank, Davey and others. I only one picked. Couldn't be taken on account of M.O not having my Medical History sheet. Lectures all afternoon. Took film downtown, made few purchases. Sat around played and sang until 9. Retired at 10.

Tuesday September 25th Arose at 6:15. On parade for first hour, bathing next, lecture after that. Called out in afternoon by C.O about Egypt trip. Told him of Dave and Frank. Result we three taken on party. Received a box from Allan (his oldest brother). Our uniforms fitted on us in morning. My breeches very good. Tunic being finished. Strolled downtown with Frank after and discussed the "Possibility for girls of pleasure-seeking nature to go wrong" (!)


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