Friday, 26 February 2016

The Diary of C.W. Kyle contd.

Mr. C.W. Kyle has arrived in London with 5 shillings in his pocket. We've been blogging his diary for the last few weeks and following his adventures as a steward on board WW1 Troopships.  Now he is in London, and sets out to enjoy himself. I can't help but wonder, how is he supporting himself?

February 1st 1918
Arrived a free man at Paddington London at 4A.M. Paid my fare out of the £2.0.0 I had and when I arrived in London had 5/- left.
Went to Y.M.C.A. Hut Praed Street Paddington. Can hardly realize I am in London, overwhelmed with its greatness. The YMCA people would give me nothing unless I paid for it. [this last sentence evidently written in at a later date, the ink is different] 

February 2nd 
Sunday. My First Sunday in London, went to Westminster Abbey this afternoon. As you enter the Main Entrance there is a notice to this effect – That a portion of the Abbey is reserved to Australian, New Zealand and Canadian and South African Soldiers to pray and meditate in. 
I saw scores of Overseas Men in Khaki engaged in devotional exercises in the place set apart for the purpose.
All the Tombs in the Abbey have sandbag protection over them. 
Queen Mary of Scots and Oliver Cromwell are buried side by side.
This evening I visited Spurgeon’s Tabernacle and Dr Dixon (Successor to the Great Spurgeon asked me to read the Lesson at the Service. I had been introduced to him previously as an Australian. 
I read the Lesson and Dr Dixon then asked me to Lecture on Monday Evening.

February 4th 
Monday Lectured at Spurgeon’s Tabernacle to great Audience subject Australia God’s own Country, the Land of all Lands.

February 5th  
Tuesday Saw Firemens' great Funeral today. It consisted of Seven Hearses conveying the remains of Seven Firemen killed by collapse of a wall at a great London Fire. It passed over Westminster Bridge

February 6th 
Went to Ealing where Air Raid by Germans took place.

February 7th 
Went from Shepherds Bush to the Crystal palace 18 miles for 4d. [pence] by Motor Bus. Saw the wonderful Palace used now as a Naval Depot.

February 8th 
Visited St Pauls Cathedral Lord Roberts and David Livingstone are buried here side by side. Holman Hunts Great picture The Light of the World is hanging in the South Transept as you enter. Over the door of Sir Christopher Wren’s Monument are these words in Latin Reader if you wish to see the Architect ‘Look Around You’

February 12th 
Went to Opening of Parliament. Very quiet. No pageantry. His Majesty rode with The Queen in his Carriage drawn by a pair of Horses. 
Lord French, Lord Jellicoe, Lord Stamfordham were there in Carriages.

February 13th
Went to Buckingham Palace to see Royal Mews. All Australians are admitted from 2 to 4PM Daily.

February 18th  1918
Great Air Raid by Germans. Bombs were dropped in a Childrens Hospital 60 were killed. 
Mr Marcus Golding of Sydney Australia was killed also.

February 19th 
Saw Childrens’ Funeral in London. There were 12 Hearses containing 60 little White Coffins. The result of Hun Brutality. 
Nothing stirred the hearts of London like this Funeral. [can find no reference to these events] 

February 20th
Went to Heytesbury Camp to see my Nephew Gunner Sansom who is ordered back to France.

February 24th 
Gave an address in Dr Meyer’s Westminster Christ Church at 9PM for an hour. Was invited to speak again.  Consented to do so.

February 26th 
Lectured to 600 boys Purley High School

March 3rd 1918
(Sunday) Was in Victoria Station this Afternoon saw a number of Australian Soldiers drunk. They were fighting amongst themselves. I asked a man who they were and he said Who do you think they are except Australians, drunken lot.
I can truly say I have seen more drunkenness in London by Australian Soldiers than I have  seen all my life in Australia.

March 4th 1918
After Yesterday’s disgraceful Exhibition by Australian Soldiers drunk I wrote a letter to Lloyd George Prime Minister of England. Whether he received it or not I cannot say but I got no reply. 
The following is a copy of the letter:

95 Star Street
Paddington W2
March 4th 1918
The Right Honourable Lloyd George
  Prime Minister
    Downing Street

Honble Sir,

I desire as an Australian in London to enter my strong protest against the Publicans of Great Britain being allowed to make drunkards of our brave gallant Australian Boys. Yesterday I was at Victoria Station London at 2.30 PM Sunday afternoon above all days I saw many Australian Soldiers all intoxicated and I thought that the friendship of Australia & England real and honest as it now is will be strained to breaking point if something is not quickly done to abolish the power of the British Brewer and Publican.

These Publicans sell liquor to Australian Soldiers and Sailors when they land in England. They have no respect for our loved Australian Boys who have left clean homes and dear relatives to fight for Old England and all the glorious liberty to be enjoyed under her flag.

There is no drunkenness Sir in the Military Camps of Australia.

There are no wet Canteens in Australian Transports. Parents in Australia train their Boys in clean surroundings and send them to you in clean Ships and prohibited also expecting  and rightly too the British Government to protect them from the British Publican and his deadly poison. Alas our Great British Ally the British Government deliberately sells them the stuff that The Commonwealth of Australia has declared to be their deadly enemy. A foe to morality and clean living.  A menance [sic] to all home happiness and efficient living.

I deeply mourn this fact that during my short residence in London I have seen more Australian Soldiers drunk than I have seen in all my residence in Australia and moreover Parents in Australia would weep tears of blood if they were to see what I have seen in London.

Dr Charles Sheldon the famous American Author and Preacher spent two months in England and this is what he said at a Public Lecture given in New York on his return a month ago – 

I saw, said Sheldon, drunken Overseas Soldiers in Khaki Uniform thrown out of Public Houses in England in order to make room for others to come in and this not in one Town but in fifty Towns I visited. Yet in America, he continued, 30 Sovereign States out of 32 have declared prohibition. 

Could not the British Government pass a Bill making it Criminal to supply any Soldier in Khaki with drink whether he be Overseas or British.

In conclusion I wish to remind you Honble Sir that in 1914 you as Prime Minister of England said “One of the things we cannot afford is the drink Bill during this terrible War, it is now £100,000,000. Yet in 1915 it was £182,000,000. In 1916 £204,000,000. In 1917 £259,000,000 and is still going up.

Finally on my return to Australia very shortly I shall let the Great Commonwealth know the state of things existing in London.

C.W. Kyle

March 7th 
Received a communication from Mr Andrew Fisher High Commissioner for Australia informing me that a Free 1st Class passage was granted to me and a Passport to return to Australia, if I desired to do so.

I replied saying it was not my intention to leave England for 3 months.

March 9th 1918
Visited Tower of London saw spot where Lady Jane Grey, Anne Boleyn, Earl of Essex & Lord Hastings were executed.
Went early to see this wonderful place. It was built by William the Conquerer and as first planned it lay within the City Walls.
With the diary are a number of plates of the Tower of London,
they seem to be torn from a booklet, perhaps a souvenir

In the 12th Century it was enlarged and now part of The Tower is in the City of London and part outside. It covers an Area of 18 Acres, and the buildings are of the Norman Period. At times it has been a Fortress, a Palace and a Prison.

The Oldest building is the White Tower, the entrance to which is under “The Bloody Tower”.   
The Tower of London was occupied as a Palace by all our Kings and Queens down to Charles II. 
It was the Custom for each Monarch to lodge in The Tower before his Coronation and ride in procession to Westminster.

The first Prisoner confined in The Tower of London was the Bishop of Durham. The first scaffold on Tower Hill was set up in the reign of Edward 3rd and the first Execution was that of Sir Simon Burley in 1388, others to follow were Dudley (1510), His Son the Duke of Northumberland in (1553), Cromwell Earl of Essex (1540), Norfolk (1572) Archbishop Laud (1645) and the last was Simon Lord Lovat (1747).

There are The Devereaux, The Beauchamps and The Bell Towers being now The Residence of The Lieutenant of The Tower and the Yeoman Garter.

Lady Jane Grey saw the headless body of her Husband brought in from Tower Hill from a Window in Bell Tower.

The Bell Tower was built by Richard I.  Here Fisher Bishop of Rochester was imprisoned by Henry 8th and Princess Elizabeth by her Sister Queen Mary.  In this Tower is the Council Chamber where in 1603 Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators were tried and condemned. 
St Thomas Tower was built by Henry 3rd. In this Tower Edward Duke of Buckingham (1521) Anne Boleyn (1542) Sir Thomas More, Queen Katherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey, Seymour Duke of Somerset and Devereaux Earl of Essex were all confined.

Under this Tower is the Bloody Tower. It dates from the reign of Edward 3rd and Richard 2nd and was called by this name in 1597. In this Tower The Little Princes Edward 5th and Henry 6th were murdered and it received its name accordingly.

I secured a piece of plaster from the room w[h]ere the Princes were suffocated.

The Upper Storey of the Bloody Tower opens on a part of a Parade Ground here Sir Walter Raleigh was allowed to walk during his 13 years of long imprisonment.

I walked up and down this parade. Immediately on the East is the Wakefield Tower built by Henry 3rd in this Tower in 1360 [actually 1536] Anne Boleyn’s trial took place.

The Records of The Kingdom previously kept in the White Tower are all here.  It is now used as the Jewel House.

Tradition says Henry 6th used this Tower for his devotions and was murdered here.

In the centre of this Tower is a large double case and in it are arranged the splendid objects which form The British Regalia. The following being the most remarkable –

First, the Imperial State Crown made for Queen Victoria’s Coronation. 
In this State Crown is a fine ruby which was given to The Black Prince by Peter the Cruel after the Battle of Navarette April 3rd 1367. This Ruby was worn by Henry 5th and the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 and also by Mary and William 3rd.

This Crown was lightened and enlarged for Edward the 7th's Coronation.

It contains 2818 diamonds and 297 Pearls. It has lately been improved by the addition of the Star of Africa diamond weighing 309 Carats cut from the famous Cullinan rough diamond.

Here also is the Imperial State Crown worn by George 5th at the Delhi Durbar. It contains a pure Indian Emerald of 34 Carats and 6000 other precious stones.

The Circlet of Pearls and Diamonds made for Mary of Modena, second wife of James II is there also lying beside this Circlet is a magnificent ivory rod mounted in heavy gold and close to this rod is an ancient anointing spoon dating from the 12th Century made for the Coronation of King John 1199.

In addition to these Royal Emblems of splendour and magnificence there are specimens of Royal Plate, Wine Fonts, Baptismal Fonts, State Swords, State Trumpets &c.

I saw the Sword of Lord Roberts, the revolver of Lord Wolseley and Lord Kitchener's Sword and I held in my hand a piece of the Keel of the Kempenfelt. [I wonder if he means the Royal George which sank in Portsmouth Harbour in 1782 and which was Rear Admiral Kempenfelt's flag ship, because the WW1 Kempenfelt was not sold for scrap until the 1920s]

In the Tower is the Gun Carriage that conveyed the body of King Edward 7th from Westminster Hall to Paddington Railway Station.

Saw the Axe and Block that were used at the Execution of Sir Walter Raleigh.   
Went into the Chapel of St Johns, the glass in this is part of Horace Walpole’s collection. In this Chapel Queen Mary was betrothed to Count Egmont Proxy for Philip of Spain in 1554.

Saw Chapel of St Peter on the right adjoining the Barracks it was built in 1100 burnt down in 1572 restored in 1550.  Buried there are Lady Jane Grey,  Anne Boleyn, Lord Guildford Dudley, the Scotch Lord Kilmarnock Balmerino & Lovat all beheaded for their share in the rebellion of 1745.

The last burial in The Tower was that of Sir Joseph Fox Burgoyne Constable of the Tower in 1871. [Curious, he is actually buried in Brompton Cemetery]

A space in front of The Chapel is called Tower Green it encloses a square plot paved with flags and surrounded by a Chain. 
I sat on this Chain and read that Lady Jane Grey (1554) Anne Boleyn second wife fo Henry 8th (May 19th 1536) Margaret Countess of Salisbury (1541) Queen Katherine Howard 5th wife of Henry 8th (1542) Jane Viscountess Rochford (1542) and Robert Earl of Essex (1601) were all beheaded in this spot with an Axe except Anne Boleyn whose head was cut off by a Sword.

All these are buried in St Peters.

Left the Tower toward evening. Will never forget my feelings as I saw the wonderful relics & the great associations of History all in the Tower.  [and I rather suspect after taking all this in he was exhausted] 

March 22nd 
Went to Buckingham Place [sic] shown over it by Lords-in-Waiting. Shook hands with me and said Australia forever.

March 28th 
Received First Class Discharge from Shipping Office Tower Hill London

March 29th 
Went to Royal Albert Hall London to Messiah (being Good Friday) 12,000 present. The Queen, Princess Mary, The Queen Mother were all there. 500 trained voices 200 Stringed Orchestra performed.

People could not keep the tears back when the Hallelujah Chorus was rendered. Radford sang Comfort Ye, Pike – behold I show you a Mystery, Madam Hudson – He was Despised &Tetterezim – I know that my Redeemer Liveth. Everything so beautifully rendered. It was three hours of delight.

April 3rd 
Visited the London Zoo. Morning.

April 4th 
Den and I went to Cricklewood Airplane Factory. Shown over it by a Mr Edwards [Den is Gunner Denzil Sansom, Kyle's nephew] 

April 6th 
Visited Madame Tussauds Waxworks saw Bed Mattress and pillow Napoleon died on. The last suit of clothes he wore, the nightshirt he died in.  His Carriage he used to ride in at St Helena.

April 10th 
Went to Christy's Great Red Cross Sale. 
I was asked to hold in my hand the South African De Beers Diamond. I did so and it was sold by Auction for Ten Thousand Guineas. A London millionaire, one Phillips, bought it. 
It was as large as a hen’s egg.

April 14th 
(Sunday) Attended Divine Service Chapel Royal Kensington. Sat in Lord Finlays seat Chancellor of the Exchequer.

April 15th 
Went to Windsor Castle, a wonderful place. Spent a most enjoyable day.

June 30th 
Have been in London just 5 months. Visited every place of renown. Mansion House, Bank of England, Royal Exchange, Large Hospitals, Public Institutions, Dr Barnardo’s Homes, Spurgeons Orphanages, heard the Great London Preachers, went to Essex, Kent, Devon, Surrey and the other Country Scenes. There is only one London.

July 15th 
Received a Passport and Free Passage on Troopship Cluny Castle for Australia from Mr Andrew Fisher. This was unsolicited. Mr Fisher said I had been badly treated by the Alien Imperial Authorities in not allowing me to Land at Glasgow, decided to return to Australia.

August 1st 
Left Plymouth for Australia at 6 A.M. on Cluny Castle

August 14th 
Arrived Sierra Leone Africa. Sir John Forrest died there a week before we arrived.

August 15th 
Left Sierra Leone for Cape Town at 2PM

August 30th 
Arrived at Cape Town at 4 A.M

September 2nd 
(Monday). Left Cape Town for Australia at 1PM. Passed Cape of Good Hope at 9PM

September 14th 
Passed Amsterdam & St Pauls Islands at 9 PM 1,500 miles from Fremantle.

September 22nd 
Arrived at Fremantle from London 6PM

September 23rd 
Left Fremantle for Melbourne at 5P.M.

September 30th 
Entered Port Phillip Heads 8 P.M . arrived at Williamstown midnight.

October 1st 
Landed at New Pier Port Melbourne at 2.30. After an absence of 2 years. Had no deaths, & very little sickness, all the way from London.

God Save the King

The End

Except not quite the end.

The last pages of the Diary are taken up with a list of "Places I preached at & Texts I took whilst in England" transcribed below, as well as this Dinner Coupon pasted below the last entries.

N.B. Above is the Meat Ration Coupon Tuesdays and Fridays in each week we were not allowed any meat in London.  & other days one meals of meat only each day.  See back of Coupon for penalty for trafficking in coupons.  (Unfortunately it is pasted down)

Places I preached at & Texts I took whilst in England

Feby     3rd                         Spurgeons Tabernacle Evening “The Rent Veil”
            10th                       Dr Meyers Christ Church Westminster “The Rent Veil”
                                        Drayton Grange Baptist Afternoon “We Spend Our Years”
            17th                       Stratford Central Baptist “Dr Hicks”
                                                Morning “The Rent Veil”
                                                Evening “What would a man give in exchange for his soul”
           24                          Stratford Central Baptist
                                                Morning “These are they who came out of great tribulation”
                                                Evening “Now he is comforted & then art tormented”
March 3rd                          Stratford Central Baptist
                                                Morning. Come unto me & and I will give thee rest
                                                Evening. “Because there is wrath beware”
March 10th                        Stratford Central Baptist
                                                Morning (Communion) “This do in remembrance of me”
                                                Evening.  And the books were opened
March 17th                        Stratford Central Baptist
                                                Morning. At the foot of the Cross stood his Mother
                                                Evening Master the tree you cursed is withered away
March 24th                        Bow Presbyterian Church
                                                Morning “The Rent Veil”
                                                Evening “Behold the Lamb of God”
March 31st                        Baptist Church Stratford
                                                Morning. His name shall be called wonderful
                                                Evening. “Finally Brethren farewell” (my last service here)
April 7th                            Took part in Service Dr. Clifford’s Church
      14th                           Paddington Congregational Church (Dr. Creighton’s)
                                                Evening. “How wilt thou do in the Dwellings of Jordan.”
April 28th                         Tolmie Square Congregational Church
                                                Morning. “And sitting down they watched him there”
                                                Evening This night their soul shall be required then whose shall these things be
                                                NB Tolmie Square is a wonderful Church. It has had four ministers in 125 years.
                                                Rowland Hill opened it.
May 26th                           Bristol (Whitfields Tabernacle)
                                                Morning “The Rent Veil”
                                                Evening “Teach us to number our days”


So this completes the Diary of this interesting complex man.  Do follow up our next post, when we will reveal just how complex he really is! Prepare yourself for a big surprise!

1 comment:

  1. We've been asked why we are keeping everyone in suspense. It is because we want you to discover the diary in the same way we did, reading it and absorbing it and accepting it as it is told to you. It was only AFTER we had read the diary that research led us to find out Kyle's full story.