19 January 1928 – Paul to Gertrude

15 Aug

Jan 19th

H.M.S. Widgeon

Dearest Mother-

I am on my way back to the Widgeon again & am taking passage in the Cockchafer. Don’t quite know when I shall arrive in Chunking though. There appears to be a little trouble on the Upper River again- Yang Sen – as usual making himself a nuisance – & I do not expect any ships to be moving about-

I have been receiving letters from you – not a bit in order – the last one was Nov 19th – & before that I have had up to Dec: 11th – Oh and also your plum pudding & socks arrived. Thank you most awfully. I took the pudding down to the “Bee” – my flagship – as I was dining there one night & we had it for dinner – most delicious- I was not the lucky one with the 6d!-

Of course I know that the children are all happy and safe with you – and it was a nice thought of you to cable – but as you say it is dreadfully expensive. I have had letters from most of the family about my tragedy – all very sympathetic & kind – saying they will do anything for Joan & Paddy- I wrote to Nance’s relations – but have had no replies yet- I did have one from Charles Swan – but written before she could have got mine, telling me he knew all about it & how dreadful it all was etc – but he & Marjorie had not yet told their father – but I wrote to him of course-

I do hope the allottment to you from the Bank is all right. I definitely wrote to them & said I wished it sent to you – on receipt of a letter from Nance to them – so I suppose she has my letter by now – & all is fixed.

It must have been a tremendous affair for Nannie packing up No. 20 – I daresay she got some help – I think she has been wonderful over it all-

I had really a ripping time at Hankow – & I am sure I feel all the better for it- and am now quite keen to get back to the Upper River again – & get settled down. I have such heaps of letters to write too.

No, I still have a corn- another Doctor chap at Hankow had a try at it – but no good – So I must certainly have a go at Dick’s man when I come home.

We are still enjoying lovely weather – a bit parky now & again.

Give my best love to Joan & Paddy – I shall be writing to them in a day or two-

Hope you are fit again

with best love from your ever loving son


And this really is the last of the letters donated to the Imperial War Museum.

There is one more post which tells you what happened to the Berryman family in the years after the First World War up until the time I knew some of them in the 1960s and 70s. 

Thank you for keeping me and the Berrymans company through the First World War and continuing to follow Paul into the late 1920s.


Posted by on 15 August, '19 in About


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