25 June 1916 – Ted to Gertrude

June 25/16

Dear Mother

The mail got in just after I’d sent off your letter last week, so I did’nt have time to answer your letter of course. Thanks very much for it, dated June 1st. Yes, I’ve only lost that one mail so far, the Sussex one, & all the others have turned up, though sometimes 2 come in one week & then next week no mails turn up at all, though latterly they have been quite decently regular. Nell numbers all her letters to me so as I can tell if any get lost, & I’ve got them all except the Sussex ones, so I must have got all yours too.

So glad Mrs Quentin approved of Nell; she met Bunchie of course in town one day at the Harris’. Where is Bunchie now I wonder; I wrote to her once from Malta, but I never got a reply.

I don’t think the English tin helmets are very becoming, do you? They seem so flat & broad brimmed; the French ones look so much neater & nattier.

What a house party you had that week-end; I heard from Nance too & she said she had been over for the day; I hope they had good times at Bognor.

Such pouring rain here still, & thunder today, two most appalling crashes about midday, frightfully loud & frightening. I had a lovely swim this morning in a big tank we have in the mess, where we collect water for the garden. It’s only full in the rains, so we always use it as a swimming bath then.

Many thanks indeed for the number of “Land & Water”; most interesting & I’m glad to see the Indian Army’s work in France duly recognised. I have’nt finished reading it yet, & I will put it in the mess for a day or two for other fellows to read, but I shan’t leave it there. Also for the Pink papers, & John Bulls etc which have all turned up regularly, & make pleasantly light reading after a heavy day’s work.

You seem to have a lot of aeroplanes over nowadays; I see a picture of poor Col Lewis in one of the papers this week. Daylight saving seems a great success everywhere; I suppose they are sure to keep it on after the war.

This is just a scribble to answer your letter; I’ll write again before the mail goes this week.

Love to all from

Your loving son



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Posted by on 25 June, '16 in About


23 June 1916 – Richard to Gertrude

c/o Cox & Co


June 23.


Dear Mother-

Many thanks for yours & the bystanders & tatlers. I will expect the Camera. It has not arrived yet. You must excuse a short letter as I have left it so late & I must catch the mail. Blow that man for not sending the watch. But I saw a friend of his tother day, he says he is sure he will post it in the end. Hope he does!

You say you must go to bed it’s long after 11.30, it’s not really it’s 10.30 is’nt it?

Best love to all

yr loving son


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Posted by on 23 June, '16 in About


22 June 1916 – Paul to Gertrude


c/o G.P.O.

22nd June 1916


Dear Mother-

Very many thanks for your letter. the Chaplain came back from leave the other day & he is fearfully pleased with the book markers & is writing to you I think.

We are having simply gorgeous weather up here – lovely and hot – real midsummer & I have had lots of tennis-

Yes I see in the papers about that fire in the High Street – really – You remember Enid Nelson – she came to stay with us once for a dance – well she’s up here fairly close – she’s been married sometime now to a naval officer-

To-day I am thinking of going to see the Conway-Gordons – if I can get away in time.

Topher seems to be slightly nearer his leave – hope he is home by now-

There’s not very much news-

best love to you all

Your ever loving son


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Posted by on 22 June, '16 in HMS Malaya, Rossyth


22 June 1916 – Ted to Gertrude

June 22/16


Dear Mother

We were expecting the English mail today, but I fancy the boat was late at Bombay so I suppose that’s why. It’s always frightfully disappointing when you expect the mail and it does’nt turn up.

There’s absolutely no news this week; it’s done nothing but rain hard the whole time, really hard & we have’nt seen the sun for a week. I always hate the rains, everything is always so damp & generally unpleasant.

I wish we could hear some more news about the naval Battle; we heard a good deal at first, but since then things have been very quiet and we are still anxiously waiting Jellicoe’s full report. It seems the Germans must have suffered very heavily and isolated scraps of information keep on leaking out. What a splendid victory it was, was’nt it & how proud you must be that Paul took part in it. I don’t suppose he’s been able to tell you much about it as yet.

I’ve written to Ruth to tell her to get herself a present, something really nice, when she starts at Guy’s; anything up to 3 guineas or so I’m quite ready to give.

I hope Cox sent you the money; he told me he had sent it last mail, but things take a long time to get home nowadays & one is never certain about things arriving at all. The Pink papers roll up regularly and are much appreciated, as we don’t take them in the mess.

I hoped to hear in today’s letters from home that Topher had got his leave, he certainly deserves it poor boy; I hope he’s got over his flu all right. Any more news of Jim going out?

I enclose Sir John French’s farewell order to the Garhwal Bde, the only Brigade in the Indian Corps that got one from him; he gives us his personal thanks you notice, which is a great compliment. Please keep this amongst the family archives.

Hope you’re all fit & well at home. I’m going strong; rather bored & very busy still. Excuse a dull letter.

Love to all

yr loving son


Please give Ben the enclosed picture of a bureau, I’m thinking of giving Nell one something like this.

I met a Mrs Sherring up here, who was one of the Wrights at Frimley Hall. I think Ben met her in 1914.


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Posted by on 22 June, '16 in About


18 June 1916 – Paul to Gertrude


c/o G.P.O.

Trinity Sunday – 18th June


Dear Mother – Very many thanks for your last letter – Everyone has come back from leave now – rather a pity as we have found that we could have had a full week each – instead of only 4 days – but it can’t be helped now.

The King came on board on Wednesday and looked round the ship – the damage an’ all – We are awfully pleased as it is the first ship he’s been to since the action. He shook hands with us all and said a few kind words.

I got the collars all right – thank you very much – can’t think why I left them behind.     I have had simply heaps of letters to write since I’ve been back- I’m quite tired of writing & telling people I am perfectly well & fit. I’ve been playing a lot of tennis lately – there are some excellent courts up here.

With best love to you all

Your ever loving son



HMS Malaya in Invergordon (repeated in 2/6 letter to Ted)


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Posted by on 18 June, '16 in HMS Malaya, Rossyth


17 June 1916 – Richard to Gertrude

c/o Cox & Co



17th June.

Dear Mother.

Many thanks for your letter May 25, you won’t get this till a bit late, as I see the mail steamer does’nt leave Bombay till 20th, so I am writing a day late, but the Quetta mail will catch the ship they say.

I remember seeing “Peg of my heart” in London with Chubbie. Very good is’nt it? It’s poured with rain here last night & this morning, quite exceptional I believe, & anyhow we shan’t get much.

You did have adventures going down to Mr Hunt’s, that wheel coming off must have been funny, his place sounds awfully nice. I always like the idea of old country vicarages.

Yes I saw a Mr Kirwan had died, it was in one of the Indian papers last week. I believe I have seen him, & fancy I once heard him preach.

How idiotic of me, I sent £1 to Cordwalles myself & now you’ve sent 10/-, they’ll get quite a lot out of me. I forgot I had asked you.

I was going to play cricket today, but the match is cancelled because of the wet. I am so sorry as I am getting quite fond of cricket & so far I have made 15 & 16 not out, so I am going to try & never get out.

I heard from Ben (2 letters) this week, she seems to have enjoyed herself when Wiggs was home.

Well best love to all.

Yr loving son



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Posted by on 17 June, '16 in About


15 June 1916 – Ted to Gertrude

June 15/16


Dear Mother

Very many thanks for your letter which arrived yesterday. I also heard from Ben & Rosamond & got various papers, for which many thanks. Your letter was dated 24th May, so the mails seem to be coming a little quicker nowadays. Everyone says in their letters how nice & hot it is at home now; Nell says it’s lovely down at Gloucester; they all went down to Salisbury to see Jack before he went off to France, & they seem to have all enjoyed themselves.

So glad you’ve seen Peg o’ my Heart: pretty little piece is’nt it; I saw it 4 times I think, including once at Bristol with Kathleen. My dear mother, what adventures you had with Mr Hunt; that taxi wheel coming off might have been much worse, how lucky you did’nt turn right over into the ditch. His vicarage sounds lovely & I’m glad he was so pleasant. Thanks for sending Louie a photograph; Yes, please send Mrs Stack one, 150 Sutherland Avenue, Maida Vale.

Poor old Topher, down with flu now; every mail I expect to hear he has been home on leave, it certainly seems hard to get nowadays. Yes I saw Mr Kirwan’s brother’s death in the paper. I was most awfully sorry, & please tell Mrs Kirwan so from me; I met him once or twice out here, in Lucknow I think, & he was quite well known out here. Kathleen’s husband is still out in France I believe, & a captain now!

Yes Nell’s photographs are awful sweet are’nt they; I too like the side face one best I think, though the two full face are awfully pretty too. I got four! one of which I don’t like at all. I had a long letter from Dick a day or two ago, & letters from Ben & Rosamond this mail. So sorry Ruth’s arm is bad, I hope it’s all right again now; my love to her.

What about daylight saving? I suppose you are getting used to it now, & I expect it will be generally adopted after the war, for the summer at anyrate. After all it does’nt much matter what time you call it, so long as you get all the daylight you can. But I should think it takes some getting used to, it must be very strange at first.

The rains have fairly broken now & we live in a perpetual downpour, & mists & clouds. It’s freshened up the place a lot, and made it much cooler, & it has come just in time to save a serious famine in Garhwal. It has also improved the golf links, which were hard and dry and almost unplayable before; but they are in splendid condition now, & I generally try & get a game in most afternoons.

Any more news of the North Sea fight I wonder? They don’t seem to know for certain what damage they did to the Germans, but from all accounts of the Kitchener memorial service in the papers today; what a wonderful display of sympathy was shown; well, he was a tremendous figure in History, & will loom very large in English History especially. I don’t suppose there was a more outstanding figure on either side in the war, nor will there be.

I must try and get some more mail letters off today; I’m afraid I have got a bit behindhand lately with my correspondence.

My leg has more or less recovered now, though it is still a bit stiff, & of course I can’t play footer or anything, as I can’t put any strain on it, or twist or turn suddenly on it, & I am still a bit lame. I wonder if that microscopic wound I got weakened any muscles, because it was in just the same place; but I don’t think it is likely.

Best love to all

from your loving son


Charles Harrison recording (1913)


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Posted by on 15 June, '16 in About