13th September 1917 Thursday

London again!

All material produced or reproduced here and throughout this work is the sole copyright of the author and the family of Doctor D.C.M. Page MC

“I lunched on board the Pullman train en route for good old London town. Huge crowds were meeting the train at Victoria. It was a stirring sight. I visited a cinema, a theatre, and a restaurant (Gattie’s), and left King’s Cross for Auld Reekie at 10.30 p.m. in a very crowded and heavy train.”

After the tiring journey from Flanders, travelling all day and night. Douglas took full opportunity to relax, both on the journey and in London. He took the Pullman from Dover where he would have enjoyed a very nice lunch with full silver service. The journey lasted just over two and a half hours.

He made good use of his time in London. At a picture house he would have watched the news cinema reports and saw the action he had just left, though in a much more homogenised form.

He may well have attended the Plaza at Piccadilly Circus for instance. He was also quite familiar with the theatres on Charing Cross Road having been there just over a year previously.

A South Eastern & Chatham Railway boat train with pre-war crimson livery, usually contained Pullman cars painted in the same Crimson Lake. The Pullmans retained the livery throughout the war.

A South Eastern & Chatham Railway boat train with pre-war crimson livery, usually contained Pullman cars painted in the same Crimson Lake. The Pullmans retained the livery throughout the war.

This is former Pullman car “Mabel” built in 1897 and used on the South Eastern Railway’s and from 1899 the SECR London-Folkestone boat services. Almost certainly the type used in Douglas’s train. After withdrawal from service, it was bought for £25 and has been used as a house in Selsey, West Sussex since around 1930

This is former Pullman car “Mabel” built in 1897 and used on the South Eastern Railways and from 1899 the SECR London-Folkestone boat services. Almost certainly the type used in Douglas’s train. After withdrawal from service, it was bought for £25 and has been used as a house in Selsey, West Sussex since around 1930.

The Plaza Picture House at Piccadilly Circus

The Plaza Picture House at Piccadilly Circus

He may well have seen scenes such as these.

Then he went along to Gatti’s the influential Italian family’s restaurant on the Strand. It stood next to where the Adelphi Theatre is today. It is also reasonable to assume that he attended a performance at the Adelphi Theatre as it was part of the theatre complex. We can see from a menu the kind of fare on offer. Easily affordable to a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps on 15/6d a day.

Menu from Gatti's Adelphi restaurant

Dining room at Gatti's

Chefs and kitchen staff working in the kitchens of Gatti’s Restaurant. (Pictures kindly supplied by Chris Penna of Gatti House.)

Chefs and kitchen staff working in the kitchens of Gatti’s Restaurant.
(Pictures kindly supplied by Chris Penna of Gatti House.)

Then he caught the overnight 10.30pm train from the Great Northern Railway’s terminus at Kings Cross to Edinburgh.

A Great Northern Railway Scotch Express. Similar to the one Douglas would have caught. A similar locomotive is preserved by the National Railway Museum.

A Great Northern Railway Scotch Express. Similar to the one Douglas would have caught.
A similar locomotive is preserved by the National Railway Museum.

Find out about our connection with Dr Page and an introduction to his diary here

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