10 November 1916 – Ted to Benedicta

10 Nov


Nov 10/16


Dear Ben

Mail goes out tomorrow so I must try & drop you a line, late though it is; it is 10.30 after dinner, & the mail leaves the local post office at 5.45 am tomorrow morning so I’ll just stroll over & post this & then go to bed.

What about the Arabia being sunk. Awful is’nt it but I see they saved everyone thank goodness. My friend Mrs Proctor was on board poor woman, but I suppose she’s all right. Did I ever tell you, the day before she left Lansdowne I heard quite by chance she was going down the hill next day, and as I could’nt possibly find a minute to go & see her, and as she was a cheery soul & I liked her, I just scribbled a note, wishing her luck etc. She wrote back a hurried line of thanks, & afterwards I heard through a mutual friend that she was ever so bucked at my note, I & the mutual being the only two men in the station (she had many friends) who took the trouble to say goodbye.

She was feeling rather wretched at the time, her husband having just gone to Mespot, so I’m glad I did just that little thing. Funny how these little efforts count for so much sometimes. Her husband poor man must be having a rotten time; because when she came out last year she booked a passage on the Persia, & changed it, but he thought she was on the Persia, because he sailed from Egypt to India just then, & did’nt know she had cancelled her passage, & on arriving in Bombay he heard about the Persia, & did’nt know for 2 whole days that she was’nt on it. And now this had happened, but she’s saved I sincerely trust with all the others. I must write to her, only I have’nt the foggiest idea what her address is.

We have settled down now at last & are very comfy in camp here, electric light an’ all. We have laid out the camp rather nicely, whitewashed bricks as borders to all the roads and paths, flower beds & palms in tubs, so it all looks quite neat & smart.

D.B. & I share a car my dear! A tinpot American invention called a “Chevrolet”, a sort of between-a-overland-and-ford. But it goes quite well, 4 seater, self starter an’ all. But can you imagine a C.O. If you please not having a car of his own! Why, everyone here of an official or social standing has one, & he has to share one (on hire too!) with a junior captain! However I suppose I must play up to him. He is learning to drive but is a perfect fool at it as you may imagine, & thinks he is competent already in 2 lessons! Wait till he gets onto some windy roads and some traffic. I am learning too of course, & we should have some fun out of it.

Nothing much doing here. The 1/4 Wiltshire Rgt is in camp next door; quite good chaps. The Earl of Radnor commands our brigade, & I am having short drinks with him and the Hon: G.S. Herbert of the Wilts tonight at the Club. Some society! The army nuts are not down from Simla yet, & the Viceroy is away till January, so the place is very empty. Simla comes down about the 15th of this month, so things should liven up them. Foxo is still at the depot, as Nobby & his crowd are not down from Simla yet, they will be down about the middle of the month, & then Fox comes down here. I hear the 1st Batt move to Quetta is postponed again till December now. I wonder if they’ll ever go!

Lovely down here now, very cold mornings & pleasant days. I have had a day’s duck shooting, & hope to put in lots more while we are here, of course all this part is familiar as we were here at the Durbar 5 years ago but all the splendour has gone & the place is really hardly recognisable.

Hope you are getting on all right at the Canteen. Write & tell us all about it when you have timel your letters are always welcome. We are a dud mess here, only 7 of us C.O. & I & France, & 4 others you don’t know, children from Sandhurst. I wish Foxo would hurry up & come down, as it’s rather trying. I can’t help thinking some of us could be more profitably employed. I hate the idea of this sort of stunt during the war, but as we’ve got to do it, I suppose I may as well take the best of it.

Very sleepy. It was a guest night tonight, & they played tonight’s the night. How it reminded me of that cheery evening last year, somewhere about this time too!

Lots of love from yr loving


Ted of course had been on the SS Persia when it sank. Let’s hope that Procter didn’t serve in Samarra.,_6th_Earl_of_Radnor



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