15 January 1916 – Richard to Gertrude

15 Jan

Saturday 15.


Dear Mother.

Tomorrow we should be in Alex. Rotten voyage, dull & rough. I wonder if I shall see Ted, but I expect he will have gone by now.

I will cable you when we arrive, if I can afford it!

The dog is very fit & very popular on board. I call her “June”.

I hope my money matters have worked out alright & that there was enough at Coxs.

Best love to all, I’ll let you know when I can our ultimate destination.

Yr loving son Richard.


After spending 1915 working in the Indian military hospital in Bournemouth, Richard was on his way to a new posting.


Posted by on 15 January, '16 in About


4 responses to “15 January 1916 – Richard to Gertrude

  1. Arne D. Erlingsen (@ADErlingsen)

    15 January, '16 at 12:23

    Is this a direct transcript of the letter, and if it is, was it normal to use “yr” over “your”?

  2. Tamsin

    15 January, '16 at 13:46

    They are direct transcripts and I’ve come across “yr” for “your” in other contexts too. What is intriguing about these letters is the misplaced apostrophe in “do’nt” and “does’nt”. Just a couple of the brothers do it – the other correspondents seem normal. An idiosyncratic teacher for a few years at school perhaps – we’ll never know.

  3. Arne D. Erlingsen (@ADErlingsen)

    15 January, '16 at 15:27

    There’s a mention of cables, and come to think of it; their correspondence is quite quick. Is this going by telegraph? If that is the case, that could explain the abbreviations. Thanks for putting this out here.

  4. Family Letters

    16 January, '16 at 18:40

    Hello –

    These are actual letters. In the case of the ones from Egypt, India and France, they were sent by mail and transported by ship. However, the brothers were often snatched time when they were busy, and they also scribbled on on smallish pieces of paper. This is also just a fraction of the total correspondence – we have the letters they wrote to their mother, but not the ones they wrote to each other, their sisters, fiancees and friends. As well as letters, Ted certainly wrote some of his unit’s diaries on a day to day basis, and I suspect Richard wrote medical records. They also wrote letters breaking bad news and letters of condolence. The letters we do have are in the Imperial War Museum.

    Ted and Paul write longer letters, Richard often seems rather impatient with his mother.

    Here are some photographs of the originals.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment.


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