12 December 1927 – Paul to Gertrude

06 Aug

HMS Widgeon



Dearest Mother,

Many thanks for your letter of 16th Oct – mails are bad again out here now – & there are many complaints – and I am sorry you have not been getting my letters-

I have had a great disappointment over my leave – as the Admiral has had to postpone his visit up here for a week or so – on account of that affair near Ichang – the Pirating of the “Siangtan” & capture of Capt Lalor. I know him quite well – he was with me during that Wanhsien affair- It was silly of him to come up the River again – as I am sure they were after him- Anyhow I shall have to wait till the R.A.Y. does come up. I was hoping for Christmas at Hankow & had made various arrangements- but I expect I shall be here now.

I had letters from Joan & Paddy the other day – very well written. They sent me photographs – taken in their school kit – but I don’t think they are very good – do you? They both look so spikey!

Dick seems great on film acting – must be rather fun. Have you seen his films yet – you said you were going to in your last letter.

I went and dined with some Chinese officials the other evening – They give you such enormous dinners – unending dishes – & you’ve got to have them all.

I am feeling much better these days- & have been out riding quite a lot – but I get tired so easily. We hope to start our race track soon, but at present there is the usual trouble going on about “property” – several Chinese say they own bits of the track & want “squeeze”. It defeats me entirely – because it is only made on a sand bank – which is underneath the river for 8 months of the year!

Quite cold nowadays – temp down to about 46º.

Don’t think I have any more news – I hope you are all very fit. How’s your finger? allright again?

Very best love

from your loving son


Well no wonder poor Joan and Paddy looked “spikey” – their parents were going through a divorce in the 1920s! 

The mention of Richard and film acting is interesting. In the 1920s Richard was briefly to a young woman called Beryl Gladys French (she remarried in 1928) and there is a suggestion in the French family materials online that she had a career as a Casting Director for the Paramount Film Company.

Leave a comment

Posted by on 6 August, '19 in About


Write a reply.....

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.