13th September 1917 Thursday
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“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.
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.
Then he caught the overnight 10.30pm train from the Great Northern Railway’s terminus at Kings Cross to Edinburgh.
Find out about our connection with Dr Page and an introduction to his diary here
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