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23 August 1916 – Ted to Gertrude – 2nd Letter

LANSDOWNE,
GARHWAL,
U.P.

Aug 23/16

Dear Mother

I wrote you a line this morning, & now the mail has come in & I have just got your letter dated August 2nd, for which many thanks. Also the enclosures about Wiggs; pathetic reading but how splendidly he died, and what a general favourite he must have been. Thanks most awfully for sending them; I am so vastly relieved to hear he died quickly; I knew he must have died bravely.

I heard from Ben too; & I must try & answer her letter if possible this mail; but as it leaves tomorrow I shall be rather pushed. Poor child; I feel as if it would take me years to get over my sorrow for her.

So glad Ruth is going in for war work as apparently the demand for nurses is tremendous now. And Ben too, the very best thing she could do, & what a splendid nurse she will make. Nell tells me they wanted to move her from Gloster to another hospital, but they have changed that now and she is putting in extra time at the Gloster hospital instead. Apparently Mr & Mrs Fielding are very depressed about their son in the Gunners in France; I wish they would take an example from you; for you have many more to think about & yet you never show anything; you’re just splendid, mother, & I’m very proud of you.

Right; many thanks for the bureau cheque; I have asked Cox to send you £12 this mail; if the £11-5 excluded carriage, the rest can go to pay Betsers Bill for Boots. If not, please let me know & I’ll send some more. It sounds a lovely bureau, but Nell does’nt mention it in her letters, so I suppose it had’nt turned up. Apparently she has been wanting one for years, so it’s rather a lucky shot of mine.

Raining again now, after a very nice fine week. I am supposed to be teaing out, but I shan’t go if it pours like it is now.

On land & water has turned up from you I see; many thanks, I have’nt opened it yet.

Best love to all

Yr loving son

Ted.

I’m very fit & well, but rather bored! Any amount of work though.

I see the bureau was £11-15, so am sending £12-10; NOT £13!


Betsers engravers

http://www.handengravers.co.uk/member/gm-betser-co-ltd

 
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Posted by on 23 August, '16 in About

 

23 August 1916 – Paul to Gertrude

H.M.S. MALAYA.

c/o G.P.O.

Aug. 23rd

 

Dear Mother

V. many thanks for your letter. I’m glad the wedding has all been fixed up allright for H. Trinity – the last I heard was that it was to be at St Mary’s – must have been a slight scare that – Jim being recalled suddenly like that.

How ripping for Dick & Ted to have met. Wherever is that place Ambler – I must look it up. I suppose it was Ted who went to see Dick.

I’ve sent that little oar along & I hope it will arrive safely.

I had a letter from Ruth a few days ago- please thank her for it will you – She seems quite busy at the Hospital.

I’ve just started my usual cold – I’m always the first one to get them – It’s just in its worst stage now.

Awfully sorry to hear that Julian Yeatman is wounded- I met him up in town when I dined there one evening-

We’ve just had a beautiful Ship’s Bell presented to us by the Malay States- & tomorrow a Malayan fellow is coming up to make the formal presentation – and each officers’ mess has got a little silver model

[last page missing]


Julian Yeatman was the R. J. Yeatman who co-wrote 1066 and All That. The Yeatmans were friends of Gertrude’s and Benedicta Yeatman was Ben’s godmother. 

 
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Posted by on 23 August, '16 in About, HMS Malaya, Rosyth

 

23 August 1916 – Ted to Gertrude

LANSDOWNE,
GARHWAL,
U.P.

 

August 23. 1916.

 

Dear Mother

Very many thanks for your letter last mail. Terribly sad about poor Wiggs, I do hope old Ben is getting along all right: poor girl, I am most frightfully sorry, but words are useless to express what I really feel. I am glad she had a good friend like Dolly Darwen close at hand to go to; I can quite imagine she was most awfully kind to her. I know she will be brave, but it’s a terrible blow for her. The Queen’s seem to have done awfully well, as far as one can gather from the meagre mention that is made of regiments in the papers, but at what a cost! Fancy only 200 men coming out of the fight.

Still, we seem to be pushing on slowly, and on all fronts, which must tell eventually, & the news from Salonika today seems to indicate great happenings there in the near future. I hope Jack Houghton is all right; what a nasty wound he got, but at least he is alive. Hope Paul’s all right, I see the German fleet put its nose out again but retired hurriedly & we lost two cruisers, but is not it ripping to think the crews were practically all saved. I imagine we can spare the ships, it’s the trained crews that matter most.

Alix has I believe arrived in India; I saw her name down in a list of passengers arriving at Bombay yesterday. I must see if I can manage to go & see them in Simla if I can wangle the leave.

I am sending you a book of photographs taken in Egypt, of the trenches we made at Ayun Musa, & various other pictures of Port Said etc during the war. I sent Nell a similar book, and now I hear hers has reached her safely, I will send one along to you. Lovely weather lately, very little rain & nice & cool, & some lovely views of the hills. We get a mail on Friday I believe, in 2 days’ time, quite nice & early this week.

No more for the present

Best love to all

Yr loving son

Ted


It’s not clear what else is “terribly sad about poor Wiggs” other than that he died. Wiggs’s body wasn’t identified until the 1930s, so Ted may be referring to the fact that he had no known grave at that time. Or perhaps he had originally been posted as missing and was now confirmed dead. 

It’s satisfying that we still have this album. Here are some of the best photographs from it.

Ayun Musa 1916

Ayun Musa 1916

Ayun Musa 1915

Ayun Musa 1915

Ayun Musa 1915

Ayun Musa 1915

 
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Posted by on 23 August, '16 in About

 

18 August 1916 – Ted to Gertrude

LANSDOWNE,
GARHWAL,
U.P.

Aug 18/16

Dear Mother

You know that picture of Neuve Chapelle in the Academy this year, the Rifle Brigade & 39th clearing the village; well, the Colonel has very kindly given me a framed artist’s proof as a wedding present (a bit early perchance!) & is having it sent direct to me c/o of you; so will you please send it on to Nell when it comes; it’ll probably be a biggish thing, so please let me know how much the carriage is, & I’ll send it to you. If you want to have a look at it, open it before you send it on, only I think she ought to have it. Our men are very much in the background, it’s nearly all Rifle Brigade, but it’s quite a nice thing to have.

This is only to catch the mail. I believe another English mail is due here today.

Best love to all

Yr loving son

Ted.

Neuve Chappelle by James Prinsep Beadle

Ted’s copy of The Rifle Brigade and the Garhwal Rifles at Neuve Chappelle by James Prinsep Beadle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Prinsep_Beadle

 
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Posted by on 18 August, '16 in About

 

17 August 1916 – Paul to Gertrude

H.M.S. MALAYA.

c/o G.P.O.

17 Aug.

 

Dearest Mother

V. many thanks for your letter. And here’s to wish you many happy returns of your birthday- & God bless and keep you for years to come.

I wrote Ruth a line for hers – & I’m glad to hear she has started her work again- But I thought she was going to Guy’s Hospital!

Yes – both Sheina & Jim have written to me & told me about the wedding- They want me to be best man – but I can’t possibly get away I’m afraid-

So glad to hear Topher is fit – how awful the bathing arrangements must be- I thought they were much better than that-

We are having another Regatta soon – Oh! I am sending you a little silver oar which I won last time- will you take care of it for me- might do for the treasure table in the Drawing Room-

All our fine wather seems to have vanished – such a pity-

I saw Digby the other day for a short time – he always seems so fearfully busy & important!

Now I must stop – very best love to you all

Your ever loving son

Paul

 
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Posted by on 17 August, '16 in About, HMS Malaya, Rosyth

 

17 August 1916 – Ted to Gertrude

LANSDOWNE,
GARHWAL,
U.P.

Aug 17/16

Dear Mother

A very belated mail reached us on Monday, & I don’t think it was even then complete. I got a letter from you dated July 19, & Nell’s last was on the 16th, so I expect some is hung up somewhere. Many thanks for your letter. Yes rather, we have read Jellicoe’s despatch now and I think I told you I had a long letter from Paul all about the show. So he’s gone off again has he, but I’m afraid he and his pals did too much damage last time to actually encourage the Germans to come out again. However one never knows of course. The news continues to be good, especially from the Russian front, and what tremendous efforts we are making in the ammunition and gun line, our present output must be enormous & almost incredible.

Quite fine days here now, though a day or two ago I was tempted to pitch my tents in the garden in the sun, to air them a bit, but like an ass I left them up at night & it began to rain about 3 am & went on nearly all next day! However  today has been fine and warm again so I have managed to dry them and put them away.

Glad Ruth’s pleased to have got what she wanted; I expect I shall hear next mail what it is. So glad Jim is in such good form, & is so important; I suppose they are keeping him at home to run courses of bombing and such little things.

Fancy Nance getting a little two seater; hardly war economy, but I don’t think that matters much. Nell seems very fit & flourishing, & very hard at work as the hospital is very full just now of course. Our 1st Bn: is off to Quetta shortly, as a sort of garrison for the place I suppose, & also probably to make room for the 3rd Bn: here. No more news about the raising of it yet, but I suppose we shall get some shortly.

Best love to all

Yr loving son

Ted.

Did I tell you I had moved out of Dolly Lyell’s bungalow as he is replastering it & generally repairs etc. I am living in 2 tiny little rooms ordinarily reserved for the Brigade clerks in peace time but now empty.

I saw one of the Lloyds’ photographs in the paper the other day, engaged to some man, I forget who or what, but I saw the name Lloyd of Hartford House Winchfield


“Nance” was probably Nancy Swann who would become Paul’s fiancée.

Gladys Mary Lloyd

http://www.mundia.com/in/Person/52038937/13291503293

Her first husband, Major Geoffrey Lee Compton Smith, was captured by the IRA and executed on the 30th April 1921. It is an extraordinary story and his letter to his wife displays the British upper lip at its stiffest. He leaves his watch “to the officer who is executing me because I believe him to be a gentleman and to mark the fact that I bear him no malice for carrying out what he sincerely believes to be his duty”.

http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/compton-smith/compton-smith.html

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1924/may/19/major-g-l-compton-smith-murder

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2743800/COMPTON-SMITH,%20GEOFFREY%20LEE

http://historicgraves.com/story/major-geoffrey-lee-compton-smith

http://irishvolunteers.org/2012/04/frank-busteed-cork-ira-no-1-brigade/

Her brother Wynell Hastings Lloyd was also murdered, in his case he was shot in his trench by one of his platoon in 1918

http://www.woodyatt.bravehost.com/cradley/pafg24.htm

 
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Posted by on 17 August, '16 in About

 

15 August 1916 – Richard to Gertrude

Karachi.

August 15.

 

My dear Mother

Many thanks for your letter & the D.M.  Surely I asked you to send the D.M. or Daily Sketch & at the same time mentioned to you I saw the other papers at the Club if I wanted to.

Harold has not arrived yet, but I daresay the 2 parcels will roll up in time. I sent a cable too for my dress clothes, we may wear mufti again! And I’ve just bought some new uniforms. I am glad you remembered Harold’s book, how did you find it.

You did have a big house party last weekend, it must have been difficult to find food for them all but you generally come up to the scratch.

How awful for Cis Morse getting run into like that. She never married did she, funny as she was such a nice girl. I once met a great friend of hers coming out to India. An elderly man, a Capt Mac       , he was a bit dotty I fancy! & his wife & Cis were apparently great friends.

That’s quite new that search light near Guildford.

Funny Topher seeing Geoffrey by the side of the road.

Missed last mail, imagining it went later, but there’s a scheme by which you wire to the G.P.O. Bombay & they post the wire. I hope you’ll get it all right.

I played cricket last Sat with more or less success. Made 24 runs & caught a very difficult catch indeed.

Today I cadged a ride before breakfast on someone else’s pony. We have 2 dogs here now, a little Dachsund who is quite nice although an objectional breed, but of course he’s quite innocent. June & he fairly rag about.

Get Ben to send me June’s pedigree sometime when she can copy it out.

Must just write a line to Ted, I have’nt heard from him for a long time.

Best love to all

Yr loving son

Richard


Richard apparently had considerable charm. He must have needed it to overcome the ruthless selfishness which means he can ask his grief-stricken sister one month after her fiance’s death to write out his dog’s pedigree “when she can”. Sometimes it is very hard to like Richard, and this is one of those times. 

 
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Posted by on 15 August, '16 in About