[Received December 25, 1917]

Northolt Aerodrome

Nov. 29, 1917.

Dear Mother:

I have had a very good Thanksgiving day. I went into London immediately after breakfast. Rit and Bishop Wilson (the Canadian) did not want to go in that early so I arranged to meet them at 1 o’clock at a certain restaurant. I walked about Regent’s Park and went thru the zoological and botanical gardens. They were both very ordinary. The only satisfaction I got out of them was the fact that the Washington Zoo and the Fairmont Park Hot House have it all over these places like a tent. Then I went to the British Museum and learned it had been closed for 2 years. It seems strange with all my talking about the place with other museum guards and various other people no one had told me it was closed. Anyway I saw the outside of it, a very large and formidable structure. Then I took a bus to Trafalgar Sq. and went through the National Galleries. I did not see very much here of particular appeal to me. The portrait of Lord Kitchener was very good and of timely appeal and about 4 other pictures that I especially liked. They have quite a number of pictures by famous painters, Reynolds, Lawrence, etc. but Corcoran or the Metropolitan have this away outclassed in their appeal to me. I like to look at pictures that I think are very good just from looking at them, and not merely by virtue of the name of the artist. From the galleries I came out onto the square and elbowed my way through the crowd that was around the headquarters of the war bond sales organization. They have a real live British tank from the top of which they make speeches and in which they get you to sign up for bonds. It was a very interesting thing to see like the pictures you see of them.

Then I found the restaurant and my mates. After lunch we took a walk about some of the hotel lobbies where Bishop met some of his mates on their way to and from France. Then we took a tube to the Tower of London. It is a most interesting place. We went all through. They have a wonderful exhibition of armor, cannon, swords, spears, cross bows, etc. If I had lived in those days I would have loved to have been an armor maker. They made some wonderful jobs and all done in a blacksmith shop as it were. We also were shown all the dungeons, beheading blocks, smothering chambers of the two little princes, etc. The building itself with its massive walls and gates and towers and moats is a most wonderful thing.

Rit and Bishop stayed in town to dinner and a show, but I came out here to supper.

There was no flying today because of the wind. Tonight is a wonder—calm, clear and full moon. I expect and hope there will be good flying in the morning.

I have had fine luck in weather for my three trips to London. This A.M. was a wonder. It got a little cloudy, damp and cold this afternoon but no rain. I hope to get in several times again as there are a lot more things I want to see.

I enjoyed the parks and the galleries very much even though I was disappointed.



Parr was probably making a comparison to the Fairmount Park Horticultural Hall, built for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia.165