17 March 1917 – Ted to Gertrude

17 Mar


March 17/17


Dear Mother

No mail in yet, and that makes nearly a fortnight without one. I hear too that mails home have been very much delayed, so you may not have heard from me for a week or two either.

Well we are just off, at last, after many false alarms, so you can begin addressing your letters as I told you now


or c/o India Office. I think I told you all this before but the letter may not have arrived. I have had a frightfully busy time these last weeks, and I feel quite tired and weary; but I expect the voyage will buck me up a lot. I am giving up my adjutancy; my time is up anyhow at the end of this month, so this is my last day as adjutant, & tomorrow I command a company, quite a new job for me!

We were under orders to move last Thursday and today, but the move was postponed for some unknown reason. We are going down to Karachi in 2 trains, Sunday & Monday; I go on Monday. Cheer up Mother, I’ll be all right & I think we are in for a very interesting time in Mesopotamia. What price the News from Russia! But it seems to be a jolly good thing as German influence has obviously been too much in evidence there lately, and there seems no doubt that the Russian people are all out to down the Hun, & so have taken the matter into their own hands and ousted the government & the Tsar has gracefully retired.

It’s wonderfully cool here still, hottish days but quite cool nights, & cold early mornings. I have collected a whole heap of new kit for Mesopotamia, thin clothes & thick hats, & mosquito nets and all the latest jims! But the conditions there are so vastly improved now that it’s really one of the best run shows we have. Have’nt we been wonderfully successful, & the capture of Baghdad must have made our prestige thrice as strong after the Kut disaster an’ all.

I have’nt had much time to go out this week. I went to a small dinner & dance at the Wilts last week, very cheery. Mrs Bingley I saw, & she said she was writing to you to say how well I looked! I’m certainly feeling it, though rather worn & jaded with office work & mobilising, which is rather a strain. I have seen my friends the Ricketts once or twice, they are going up to Kashmir soon as he was on some course up there. Please tell the family how frightfully sorry I am I have’nt written much lately, but I really have been up to my eyes in work & I always feel so done at the end of a day.

I’ll write again from Mesopotamia I expect, but don’t expect much from there as posts are bound to be erratic, & there’ll be a big gap after you get this letter I expect.

Mrs Kaye took these of me; she says they are good!

Best love to all

yr loving son


The role of Adjutant involves acting as administrative assistant to a more senior officer and Ted had been Adjutant to Colonel Drake-Brockman since before the start of the War including during their service on the Western Front in 1914 and 1915. Ted had been a Captain for several years, but he would have wanted the chance to command his own Company in the field for a long time. His excitement comes across very strongly in these pre-embarcation letters.

Leave a comment

Posted by on 17 March, '17 in About


Write a reply.....

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