Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Bernard James Glynn
Sunday, October 8, 1916 - I went to mass and Holy Communion. I saw Father Bernard and said goodbye to many friends after mass. I sent my baggage down to depot at 12:00 am noon. At 12:45 pm I said goodbye to mother and children & all next door & friends. It was harder leaving than I thought it would be. Father, Yale, Aunt Katie, Joe came to train. I said goodbye to Joe & Father. Father was all broken up. Many friends to see me off. Will I see old N.F. again. Stopped at Hamilton said goodbye to Auntie Martha. Saw Snooks & H. Smith. Yale & I went to Toronto. Stayed at Snooks. Spent very pleasant evening with Mary & Grace Casey.
Monday, October 9, 1916 - Stayed at Mary's all day phoned Mother. Spoke to Aunt Mary on the phone. Mary & I spent our last few hours together very pleasantly. It's just like leaving another home and mother. Leaving my dearest friends behind. Mary & Grace expected to go to station with me but Mr. McIntyre did not wish her to do so. I had to say goodbye, Yale & Snooks came to train with me. I said goodbye to them as the train pulled out for Halifax. I felt awfully blue.
Tuesday, October 10, 1916 - I did not sleep at all in my birth. I changed trains at Montreal. Had breakfast in nearby hotel (the steak was awfully tough) I sent a number of cards home & to Mary. Entrained at 9:00 am for Halifax. Met most of the fellows who are going over with the R.F.C. Played cards and chatted all day. Saw Quebec bridge which caved in. Scenery not much. Put in fairly pleasant day. Retired to upper berth at 11:00.
Wednesday, October 11, 1916 - Slept fairly good last night. Thinking of home & Mary a lot. Meals have been very good and expensive $2-$3 per meal. Wrote a long letter home and to Mary. Stopped at many French villages. Scenery prettier. Played cards with two R.F.C's & Major King of Headquarters in Ottawa. He has been very nice & has given us useful advice. Retired 11:00 pm. Arrived Halifax four am stayed at Halifax Hotel. Went to show.
Thursday, October 1916 - Slept fairly good. Four R.F.C. in our room. Lieuts Norman Keith, John Fry & Russell Moore & myself. Reported per orders 11am went aboard His Majesty Transport "Olympic". Was given $300 cabin. This is a magnificent Liner. To not know when we will sail, about 6000 troops aboard mostly Highlanders. The meals here are very extra. Retired 11 pm.
Friday, October 13, 1916 - Slept well. Still in dock at noon. Played cards and smoked. Four PM pulled up into Bedford Basin. Five PM lifted anchor and headed for Atlantic. There are four cruisers here and many other ships including the Calgarian. They gave us a mighty cheer as we left. All the whistles saluting. It was very impressive. I've seen my last of the dear home of the Maple Leaf & all my dear ones for a long time. Will I ever see it again? God knows.
Saturday, October 14, 1916 - Had breakfast at 9:00. The ocean is rather rough. We are wearing life belts all the time and have drill. There are two guns mounted on for'ard & one astern. In the evening it is very dark outside as not a cigarette even is allowed to be smoked. The sentrys are pacing the decks. Four guards one on each corner of our deck is mounted with machine guns. Norm Keith of Toronto & I sat out until 11:00 talking of our girls. How I wish mine was here.
Sunday, October 15, 1916 - Did not go down to breakfast. Have a touch of seasickness. There are a good many sick today. There are no Catholic services aboard. It's an awful feeling but I've kept up pretty good. I can't lay in my berth the ocean is pitching so. I'm writing a letter home & friends & a diary letter to Mary. There isn't a lady on board. Sat on decks with NK until 10:00. Lonely for home.
Monday, October 16, 1916 - Rose 8:15. Had breakfast. Beginning to like roll of ocean. The danger of subs has passed until we near the coast of Ireland but we have to wear our life belts all the time. Our meals are delicious. It is getting warmer & the sun is coming out. There is a fine gymnasium on board. We also play tennis. A lovely breeze is sweeping decks. I wish Mother & Father were here to enjoy it. Sat on deck until 11:00 with NK and John.
Tuesday, October 17, 1916 - Had breakfast 9:00. It's lovely aboard. I got special permission to take some snaps from Captain of Olympic. He's a wise duck. At 12pm five torpedo boats met us & are escorting us. They are very fast. Held up one suspicious looking boat. I took a good many snaps of the fellows on board. Had a very pleasant evening in smoke room, singing, recitation, stories etc. Went out on deck after.
Wednesday, October 18, 1916 - Breakfast 9:00. Five torpedo boats escorting us. The ocean has quieted down & it is nice & warm on deck. Boat HMS Olympic we pulled into bay near Liverpool 7:30 pm and dropped anchor for night. I wonder what my first impression of England will be. Will I like it as much as Canada? Impossible.
Thursday, October 19, 1916 - We pulled into dock at Liverpool. Disembarked at 10:30 am. Wrote some cards home. Took train to London. Could not get rooms at base so stayed at London Hotel. I'm awfully fed up with traveling and wish I were settled down. Don't care for Liverpool much of course I didn't see much of it. Suppose I'll get used to this country before the end of war.
Friday, October 20, 1916 - Reported to Adastral House (RFC Headquarters) 11:00 am. Given our papers. Took train to Oxford to #2 School of Military Aeronautics. Reported sent on six day leave to get uniform. Put up at Norfolk Hotel very nice place. Stayed with Burt Doran, Hugh Billings, John Fry and Norman Kells. Retired 12:00 am.
Saturday, October 21, 1916 - Rose 7:00. Had breakfast at hotel and took train to London at eight o'clock. Got rooms in Norland Hotel through Mrs. Mitchell, Burt's aunt. Very nice place. Wrote a few letters. Retired 11:00 pm. Sent cable home.
Sunday, October 22, 1916 - At Norland Hotel, no mail. London is some city & is certainly a wicked burg. Around Strand, Lester Square & Piccadilly Circus. Went to bed early.
Monday, October 23, 1916 - Breakfast 8:30 wrote some letters to home, Ethel, Mary. Went to tailors etc.
Tuesday, October 24, 1916 - monotonous day didn't do anything but hang around.
Wednesday, October 25, 1916 - went to movie saw some friends stayed with them for night
Thursday, October 26, 1916 - went to Cox & Co. got my credit, feeling tired. Got my uniform. It's very good. Retired early.
Friday, October 27, 1916 - Left London 4:00 pm. Report there 5:30 pm (at Oxford). Assigned to room 4, staircase 3, Meadow Building, Christ Church College which is very old. I have nice room. Bert E. Watts is my room mate. Very quiet and nice Canadian fellow came over on boat with me. Hope I'll like this burg that makes me feel like a midsummer's night dream.
Saturday, October 28, 1916 - I've not started class. Hang around Oxford. I like the place now.
Sunday, October 29, 1916 - went to mass at St. Aloysius Church. Spent day with the fellows. No mail as yet.
Monday, October 30, 1916 - Began studies here are a few, engines rotary, monosoupape, Le Rhone, Gnome, Clerget, Stationary Engine, Rolls Royce, Beardmore, Renault, R.H.F., bombs, electricity, wireless sending & receiving, aerial observation, meteorology, astronomy, map reading, elementary rigging, Rigging aeroplanes, machine guns, photography, cross country flying, theory of flight.
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