19 January 1917 – Ted to Gertrude

19 Jan

Jan 19/16.
[Ted dated this 1916 out of habit]


Dear Mother

We’ve been nearly a fortnight now without a mail, I can’t think what’s happened, as we have’nt heard of anything happening to any of the mail boats. I suppose it is held up for censor reasons somewhere.

I have had really quite a busy week & have met a whole lot more people lately, which I always think is a good thing don’t you. I had dinner out last Saturday with some friends called Blakeney, quite nice people with rather a pretty daughter. He commands a Garrison Bn: of the Bedfords quartered in the fort here. Afterwards we all went on to a dance at the Club which was quite good fun, though I did’nt dance of course, but there were a whole lot of people there & the evening passed pleasantly enough.

In the afternoon I had lunch with the Cruickshanks, Mrs Cruickshank being a very old friend of mine; you may have heard Ben speak of her as Molly Ormsby, she’s the daughter of Col Ormsby in Lansdowne who used to command one of the Gurkha regiments there, & I knew her awful well. Her husband is in the I.C.S. but has joined up for the war & is at present on Sick leave from Mespot. They were here two days and I had various meals with them in their hotel & wound up by seeing Mrs Cruickshank off on Monday at the station, as her husband had to rejoin his rgt at some out of the way place, & she was going to friends for a few days. Ripping meeting old friends like that again; I hadn’t seen her since we left India in 1914.

On Tuesday the Wilts came in from next door & dined with us as regimental guests, just 5 or 6 of them to represent the rgt. We had a very cheery dinner, marvellously served by our Cook, who is really an artist. One dish was sort of cutlets, made of pâté de foie gras, each cutlet being cased in a different coloured sauce, green pink & blue & all colours! Most alarming to look at, but no one is any the worse for eating them I fancy. In the afternoon I played tennis at the C-in-C’s house with one of his ADC’s & his wife by name Nelson, very nice people, & a nice Englishy grass tennis court, so much nicer than the hard gravel ones you nearly always get out here.

Wednesday I played tennis with Mrs Bingley & had tea there afterwards. She asked to be remembered to you & wanted to know if you were still working in the hospital. I like her, she’s nice & homely & the Kid Barbara is an awful dear. In the evening I dined with a pal at a hotel, he was giving quite a large party & we all went on to a sergeants’ dance afterwards & put in an appearance for an hour or two there, great fun.

I met a fellow called Miles at dinner, in a Terrier Bn: of the Somersets out here, he was at Cordwalles with me & I remembered him well when he said so but I should’nt have known him if I had met him casually. He is a Baronet now! & a very nice chap, Lady Miles is also a very cheery little person, & we had a tremendous F.F. & altogether it was a highly amusing evening.

How we laughed at that old sergeants’ dance! Rather funny Metcalfe & Miles & me all meeting here, & none of us had met since Cordwalles days! And then a chap called Maclean has just joined us, he was at Canterbury with me, & another fellow is just joining us who was on the Persia, called Miller-Hakett, so would you say I was raking up any old acquaintances! I strolled into tea with the Reids yesterday, very pleasant, & in the evening there was a big dinner & dance at the Club, & I dined with Col Armstrong of the Wilts and it was a very cheery evening. I had another Camberley F.F. with Mrs Mackenzie, she’s awful nice & a general favourite. Quite a giddy week was’nt it.

I’ve had very busy mornings otherwise as there still seems to be lots to do. We had some heavy rain too this week, & it’s laid the dust nicely. Still nice & cold here, morning & evening; but quite warm at midday. Cox has got my sword, but it has’nt arrived here yet. The Viceroy & C-in-C are both back now, but it has’nt made any difference, & I don’t think there’ll be much official entertaining, though private entertaining seems to be going strong.

Must wind up

Best love to all

ever your loving son


Cordwalles was the prep school all the Berryman brothers had been to between the ages of 8 and 14.

FF was family slang, probably for Face-to-Face.

Colonel William Blakeney

Lt.-Col. Sir Charles William Miles, 5th Bt.

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