12 Charleville Circus
Sept 14th 1915
My dear Mother
May and I were very fortunate in our weather for our weekend at Hindhead, and both enjoyed our too short stay there very much. The Hostel is a very nice place to stay at. It lies on high ground and is about 200 yards back from the Portsmouth Road, so that one can hear very little of the traffic. It is delightful scenery all about that district, and the air is very bracing. We had a nice walk from Haslemere to the Hostel on Saturday morning. We went a good deal out of the way but as we had plenty of time before lunch it did not matter. We visited the Waggoners’ pools which are not far from the Hostel on Sunday morning and after tea went up to the top of Hindhead from which one gets a splendid view. The Devils’ Punchbowl which is a wild and enclosed little valley is just below the summit. I had to leave the Hostel about 6.30 on Monday morning in order to get back to town. But I enjoyed the early walk into Haslemere as it was a beautiful morning. May came up later in the day. I think my little holiday did me good. I certainly feel better today than I have for some time. Poor Mrs Horsman was much alarmed at the Zeppelin raid last Wednesday night. They – or one of them – flew over this district but did not damage here. However they were fired at from the Crystal Palace and from One Tree Hill, so that there must have been a good noise going on. The next day the local authorities put out or darkened all the street lamps, so that it is now very dark in all the roads about here. I saw the damage in Red Lion Street and Queen Square, Bloomsbury the day after the raid. Two houses at the corner of Red Lion Street and Theobalds Road are very badly damaged and there were very few sound panes of glass within a 100 yards. Today I had a glimpse of the damage in Bartholomew Close which seems far worse. It was a very near shave for both St Bartholomew’s Hospital and the new General Post Office. I wonder whether the raiders knew they were over the Post Office, or whether it was mere chance the bombs dropped there. We did not hear the raid at Richmond, but I thought an unusual number of motors were rushing about late at night, and suspected there was a raid somewhere. Nearly everyone who saw anything of the firing agree that the shots fell short. I believe more powerful guns are now being provided, and naval gunners, so next time the Zeppelins reach London it may be the last time.
Arthur seemed very pleased at the proposal that Mary and her baby should come here. It will be nice for Mary to have Kathleen’s companionship, and I think we shall both like having them here. It will seem very strange having a baby in the house.
We propose going to the concert at Queen’s Hall tomorrow evening. They are very enjoyable concerts, and not so late as a theatre which is a consideration when one has to be up early next day.
I am glad to hear that the damascenes were all finished off early last week. Kathleen gave me my picking money which I think I shall send to the Polish Fund.
With love to you all.
I remain your affectionate son
John D Sladden