14 April 1916 – Ted to Gertrude

14 Apr

April 14th/16

Dear Mother   Very many thanks for your letter of March the 15th. We got an English mail very unexpectedly last Sunday; they still seem very erratic. I believe there is another mail in in a day or so, probably the “Sussex” mails, or what is left of them so I don’t suppose we can expect very much.

Yes rather thanks, the weekly times rolls up regularly now up to time, and the Pink papers too are always very punctual. We do indeed seem to be losing our Kits rather frequently. I heard from the India office & they say the whole question of compensation for Kit lost in the Persia is “under consideration”, so I suppose we shall get something out of them eventually.

Never mind about the camera; keep it till I get home again; meanwhile I’ve got one to go on with, & all those films you sent me too, so I’ve got lots of stuff to use up. By the way, please let me know how much these films cost, & the attaché case, also the notebook Ben sent & I’ll send the price along. Tell Ben the notebook rolled up all right & is much admired & envied.

So glad Topher is so optimistic about the war; he ought to be in contact with current rumour certainly; anyhow it shows the right spirit is abroad in the army. What terrible fighting there is going on around Verdun. It’s ghastly to think of all those literal heaps of dead men; of course from the allies’ point of view nothing could be more favourable but it all seems such a useless waste of life somehow. On the other hand I think the German must be exterminated. He’s proved himself so utterly unworthy to be numbered among civilised races, & the things he has done should be so severely punished that nobody will ever dare do them again.

I think everything points to a fairly speedy finish now; I think they will collapse, and various influences will tend to make the war fizzle out sooner than is expected. Did you read about that terrible outbreak of typhus in a British prisoners’ camp in Germany & how all the German doctors fled & they pushed food through to these prisoners through the barbed wire for 8 months. Just imagine the cruelty & cowardice of it all, & the utter inhumanity displayed. They simply must be exterminated, or so crushed as never able to hold their heads up again.

Yes I got cheery letters from Jinny; she seems very pleased with her job. Nell too writes very happily, Mr Fielding has been very seedy lately, a weak heart, but he seems quite to have recovered now. I sent old Nell a lot of that Kashmir work, you know, table cloths & cushion covers, yesterday. A very poor selection as the man who came round selling them had nothing very nice on view.

Lovely up here now, but the place & the whole country in fact is badly in need of water. I am writing this before breakfast, as I find I can get so much more done then; 6 o’clock I get up, & I’m always quite ready to, as it’s no effort to get up on such lovely mornings. I sleep out in the verandah & it’s always lovely & fresh. We are still very busy and I generally have had quite enough by the end of the day, so that’s partly why I like to start the day as early as possible.

So glad to hear Ruth is getting her job at Guy’s; and I expect she’ll be glad to get away from Broadstairs & see planes & things. Where’s she going to live in London? I heard from Dick a day or two ago; he seems rather bored, but his motor bike should keep him occupied.

Must get up now

Best love to all

Yr loving son


I’m very fit & well.

This is the news report Ted is probably referring to about German POW camps –


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