More sightseeing reports

Raymond Ives, a former medical student who joined the same battery as Percy on the same day, jotted down his memories of that first leave in Britain. Like Archie, he did the main sights, but noted slightly different things.

Both Archie and Ives noted the Gothic architecture of Westminster Abbey, but Ives remembered also the sandbags. He mentioned the Crown Jewels at the Tower, and commented ironically on the “good old days” when they imprisoned princes, never to be seen again. When he went to Horse Guards Parade, he was in time for the changing of the guard. He didn’t note which regiment of the Household Cavalry was on duty, but he did jot down that the music was provided by the band of the Coldstream Guards, one of the foot regiments of the Household Division of the British Army.

Stopping at Buckingham Palace, he asked: ives-george


I’m reminded of Christopher Robin visiting Buckingham Palace with his nursemaid a decade later:

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
We looked for the King, but he never came.
“Well, God take care of him, all the same,”
Says Alice.

Something Ives did which Archie did not was to visit Potter’s Bar, the site of the Zeppelin crash at the beginning of October. He described “a huge pile of wreckage in an oak.” Among the sightseers was an old lady who asked him if he’d seen her nephew in Canada.



Ives, Raymond Ellsworth. Memoir (manuscript). Available from the Canadian Letters and Images Project.
The image of sightseers at the Zeppelin Oak can be found in an article of local history.

Copyright 2016. See “More about this project.”

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