This pair of items combines my interest in military ephemera with my affection for London, and particularly, London Underground maps. Both items were provided to Canadian soldiers, sailors and Airmen who were on Leave in London during the Second World War.
The first item is a pocket-sized 2.75″ x 4.25″ Leave Guide for London that contains tips and suggestions on where to stay, where to eat and what to see. It also includes a fold-out map in the back. The booklet ends with an article entitled Enjoy Your Leave – But which includes the warning: Be wary of ‘free’ admission to dubious night haunts from which its hard to escape with any money left on you. London folk are friendly to soldiers from overseas, but don’t mistake for pure friendship the very affectionate greeting of women who stroll idly about the street corners.
The second item is 4″ x 6″ London Leave Clubs booklet that includes a listing of clubs, suggestions on places of interest to the visitor, an H.C. Beck London Underground map and a fold-out map in the back. I’m dating this item to 1943 based on a reference made to 1942 visitor figures in the text.
For more scans of both items check out my Leave Guides for London set on Flickr.