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19 January 1915 – ‘Digby’ to Gertrude

19 Jan

H.M.S. Iron Duke
c/o G.P.O.

19th Jan/15

My dear Mrs Berryman,

Just half an hour ago, I saw over the side a very smart & good looking naval officer. He had come on board about some job, & then looked me up & had a long talk, over all yours & dear old times. The officer was Paul!

He is very fit & keeping cheery & bright, although life here is rather monotonous & decidedly damp & cold. How delightful it was, hearing all the news of your family – it all seems so strange to hear of them grown up, & how very proud you must be to feel that every son of yours is giving his time & work to the country – it’s grand, simply! Paul was telling me that he was the only one missing from a family gathering which has recently occurred. You must have loved that as it is ages since they all got together like that.

I saw something of the Foxes last June & left Weymouth as Col. Fox was dying. They are still there I believe, though Jo is married & living at Southsea & has Dollie staying with her – Vi (my wife) sees them at times as we have a house at Cosham, where I have a wonderful fat chubby son who is celebrating his first anniversary on 29th of this month. I shall look forward to seeing you all again as soon as this terrible strife is over. I promise myself that if I am spared, I will go on a motor tour with Vi for a holiday, willy nilly so will try & reach Guildford.

I am so glad to hear you are so well & as young as ever dear Mrs Berryman, & the memories conjured up by my talk with Paul has made me sit down at once & write to you a few lines of remembrance & with best love to all

Ever yours affectionately

Digby

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Iron_Duke_(1912)

From Wikipedia: Iron Duke and most of the fleet remained in port during the German raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby in December 1914, though the 3rd Battle Squadron was sent to reinforce the British forces in the area. Iron Duke went to sea with the 2nd and 4th Battle Squadrons for gunnery practice north of the Hebrides on 23 and 24 December. The following day, the rest of the fleet joined Iron Duke for a sweep in the North Sea, which concluded on 27 December. Iron Duke and the rest of the fleet conducted gunnery drills on 10–13 January 1915 west of the Orkneys and Shetlands. On the evening of 23 January, the bulk of the Grand Fleet sailed in support of Beatty’s Battlecruiser Fleet, but Iron Duke and the rest of the fleet did not become engaged in the ensuing Battle of Dogger Bank the following day.

 
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