Dear Mother. V. many thanks for your last letter – absolutely no news at all – to tell you. We have been having the most gorgeous weather for some time now – and this evening is the first rain we have had for over a fortnight – but it is still cold – but not that beastly damp sort.
Your last letter I got was written on our day of action. I expect you have heard all about it & I can tell you no more – we were round & about there – but did not actually do any scrapping.
We’ve got a parson now amongst 3 of us small ships. Such a nice man – he has been at Buenos Ayres for the last 8 years- & remembers the Essex lot when he went out there – He seems a thorough man – anyhow he impressed us all yesterday when he took the service on board here for the first time
I’ve had 2 letters from Ted – just lately – he seems rather sick at having to go back to the trenches so soon- he wrote congratulating the navy on our effort the other Sunday.
I’m so glad you heard from Digby. I haven’t seen him again.
I have seen any amount of my pals lately, the weather has been so good for ship visiting & there are heaps of Essex fellows here. Des Dolphin is just next door & I ask him to lunch nearly everyday – but have never seen him yet. He might come over tomorrow however. I dined with Lobby Hewett – the other evening – he asked after all of you.
Good-night – Mother & I hope you are all well & flourishing.
Very best love from your ever loving son
It’s difficult to tell exactly what “scrap” Paul is referring to. The Gloucester took part in the hunt for the Emden in November 1914 and according to www.naval-history.net she then was detained to search off the coast of Africa for the German AMC Kronprinz Wilhelm. But I am not convinced that this is what Paul is referring to. http://www.naval-history.net/ have transcribed the Gloucester’s logs for January to June 1914, and so we can accompany Paul day by day for the next six months.
Log for the HMS Gloucester 1 February 1915
Lat 58.9, Long -3.1
7.55am Collier Westgarth secured alongside
9.40am Finished coaling having received 115 ton. Collier cast off
10.18pm Weighed and proceeded as requisite out of harbour
1.33pm Passed obstruction. Course as reqte through Pentland Firth
11.15pm Skerries Lt abeam 3′ (miles)