[Written at top]: The Queen's paper is so very small so use the Grand's.Box 12-742 TO MARY BALDWIN MCQUESTEN from her mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jul 28 1924 Monday [approximate date]
To: Mary Baldwin McQuesten ['Whitehern,' Hamilton, Ontario]
From: Queen's Hotel Southsea, England
My dear Mary,
Before this reaches Calvin will have gone to Muskoka, so you must just send it on. On Friday, before leaving London went to the National Gallery (quite near us) and off to Wembley, had lunch there, then in a chair started off, first to Queen's Doll's House, had first class view, have fine book of it to bring home. Certainly the Can. National Bldg. is magnificent, did not go into C.P.U. went West and East Africa, Burmah [sic] (India was closed) (Tom & H. were there) Australia, New Zealand. Tho' it came on to rain, was protected by rubber sheet and umbrella as we went between the buildings. Went & came by Tube. All wonderful. Sat. started from Waterloo Station at 10:50 with an immense crowd bent on seeing Great Naval Review at Spit Head by the King. Train being late and we having to reach Hotel with baggage, the actual Review was over, but we were taken to the roof and saw the Queen Elizabeth and other great vessels stretched out before us, for we are directly opp. to Spit Head, and Isle of Wight. After lunch we distinctly saw from our bed-room window the Victoria and Albert with King and Prince of Wales preceded by the Patricia, the Steam Yacht of the Elder Brethren of Trinity House with Duke of Connaught. The King's Yacht, followed by the Admiralty Yacht, all steamed past us into Portsmouth, where the King left for London. In the evening a large motor boat took us out into the Harbour to view the vessels and then we found our way up to Clarence Pier, where there is a great building, circular with seats all round the upper story. From this viewed the illumination of the fleet and a great search light display. The only great Review since 1911. Enormous crowds. This morning rain pouring, a great storm and fog, but as I write at the window have seen two immense Dreadnoughts pass close by on their way into the P. Harbour. It seems so wonderful that we should have reached here just at this very time and that we should have hit upon the very best spot to see every thing. Very extraordinary looking objects are the Dreadnoughts, grey in colour. I have some newspaper cuttings, if I enclose them, take care of them. A big cruiser has just passed.
By the way, have decided not to go to Paris. I am not interested in it and it would tire me too much to cross the channel and I would rather use my strength in seeing what I can of England, the places I have read and heard about. Later took lunch at the "George" and saw Nelson's bed-room where he slept the last night before leaving also Lady Hamilton's room, canopied beds. Then we down and went over the Victory, a very fine young sailor gave us over an hour telling every detail and gave me a piece of the wood, they are repairing it. I hope Tom will be able to tell a little of what we heard; then we saw the Dockyard Museum. There we saw the original model of the Victory worth 15,000 lbs., after which it is now being renewed inside and out. Also the enormous figureheads of old vessels. Saw the figurehead of the Bellerophon with a hole in its cheek. The King and Prince of Wales spent an hour there on Saturday, we were shown their signatures. It was the 10th Anniversary-200 ships and 30,000 men took part. The Tiger, the lone survivor of Beattie's famous "Cat Squadron." On the Victory we saw the Royal Barge given by George III to carry Nelson's body at the funeral and never used again, but presented to the Victory.
They have most beautiful beds of flowers here and shrubs and trees. The Ladies' Writing room is exquisitely furnished. Nowhere can we get nice white bread, the brown is good, but I dislike hotel meals very much, but their afternoon Tea and Cakes are nice. Hope you have been able to see Edna. With much love.
M. B. McQuesten