Monthly Archives: July 2015

26 July 1915 – Paul to Gertrude

H.M.S. Gloucester
C/o G.P.O.

Monday 26th.


Dear Mother.

V. many thanks for your letter. I say I am sorry to hear about Ted- I do hope he is ever so much better now – How extraordinary that his orders should arrive just as he went sick-

Yes I had a paper from Topher saying he was just off to Salisbury Plain – they seem to move them about a good deal – must be rather a nuisance being so unsettled.

We have done nothing very much lately – seems to be the same old story every week – but we have got to wait I suppose.

On Saturday I played cricket and hope for another match or so during this week- The weather has been awful our way too – rains nearly every day & we continually have thunderstorms.

I’ve introduced that game of Tiddleywinks into the Mess – really you should see the keenness there is to play it – I am still champion – but don’t think I shall remain so very long.

Jane wrote me & said she was trying for a post office job – but she must certainly stay at home & help you while Jim & Ted are there-

I enclose one of those photographs of me, like I sent Jane – at least I think it’s the same, isn’t it – did I send you one of those groups with Mr Drew in – He recovered from his German measles & we are out of Quarantine for them- We were awfully lucky in not getting any more than 3 cases – all officers.

Ben wants to send me all sorts of things – Jam & fruit so I’ve sent her a sort of permanent address – Has’nt Mr Bennett gone yet – I thought someone told me he had gone-

With ever so much love to you all

from your ever loving son



14 July 1915 – Paul to Gertrude

H.M.S. Gloucester
C/o G.P.O.

July 14th


Dear Mother.

V. many thanks for your letter- I’ll send Topher’s trousers back now because I expect mine will arrive to-night. We have just come back from being at sea for a couple of days – nothing doing out there though – the weather was quite nice and it did us good I think as we have’nt moved for sometime!

I heard from Ted – so he has passed his board- I wonder when he will go out – and Wiggy is going out too- I do hope he gets on all right & comes home safely. So Ruth has had some leave too – well I’m sure she deserves it. Yes how you must have laughed over Harry Tate – even your description made me laugh like any thing-

We are still in Quarantine for Hun measles – I told you we had them did’nt I –another of us went down with it 2 days ago – awful nuisance, as it was the very last day of our first quarantine.

Simply splendid Ian H’s despatch I think & of course we knew all the landing places & various spots he mentioned fairly well, which made it all the more interesting.

Poor old Dreda. She is working hard – she told me she hated the sight of pen & paper to write letters. I can quite imagine it.

There is ever so little news – with much love to you all – ever your loving son



Harry Tate was a music hall comedian –

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Posted by on 14 July, '15 in H M S Gloucester, Ivan Bennett, Wiggs


8 July 1915 – Paul to Gertrude

H.M.S. Gloucester

July 8th


Dear Mother –

Thank you very much for your last letter & the bags & shoes have just arrived – Don’t quite know why you’ve sent Topher’s bags- as I left mine behind – the only ones belonging to that grey Hopes suit – they must be somewhere I suppose-

What a mass of friends seem to have come in on Sunday -, by your letter they appeared to be pouring in continuously- I hope Topher is’nt sickening for anything serious – I wonder what it is.

We have just been ashore to hear the Archbishop of York speak – he’s apparently been visiting the “Navy” lately & giving sermons. Most interesting it was & he spoke awfully well – I’ve never seen such a crowd of sailors before. About 10,000 of them altogether.

Suppose everyone will be fairly busy seeing dear old Ted off when you get this. Is he leaving on the 10th or only going up for another medical board?

I am at last investing in a fountain pen. I have so much writing to do, I really had to – I don’t think I shall like it a bit.

There appears to be a slight heat wave down your way – how lovely – cos lately up here we have had miserable wet days & yesterday evening we had a fire!

Awfully little news – with ever so much love to you all, from your ever loving son


Bags = trousers

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Posted by on 8 July, '15 in H M S Gloucester


Summer 1915 – Richard to Gertrude


Indian Medical Service

My dear Mother.

Many thanks for your letter which has just arrived. What a krewst all those gold hats arriving, & what a good thing Ted was there. I am sure it would be a good thing if you went to Pitney as it’s quite time you had a rest, and I could get over to see you I daresay.

I went through Langport the other day when I went to Plymouth. Jim came to the dance & we all enjoyed it awfully, tell Ben Vinny nearly killed himself going there. Went at 60 mph down the hill from the triangle & of course came off. Bust the bike & ought to have been killed.

Jim is over again today, I must try and get Topher somehow. Fancy Ben & Dreda sleeping in the garden. Mad I suppose. Ben hasn’t got a job yet then. Yes it is nice having the car again. I never knew I owed Specs 50. I will see if I can’t pay him. He lent it then, did he?

The hospital is empty now except for about 1 man. Bournemouth is frightfully full now, everyone on holiday I suppose. Please tell Jane I’ve absolutely cleaned the bath now with Zoy & Brookses & I also washed Susan today in Lux

Many thanks for the slacks. Ask Ted if he can send the derzi 10/-

Best love to all. Yr loving son


It’s difficult to tell when this was written. Richard  says “it’s nice having the car again” and Paul mentions an accident in his letter of the 30th June in reply to a letter from Gertrude, so I have posted this on the first Saturday after then, the 3rd July.

Richard wrote this before Ben got a job in August, but in weather good enough for Ben and Dreda to sleep outside and for Bournemouth to be full of people on holiday. Ted was with Gertrude when she was visited by senior officers (“Gold Hats”), so it was after he was wounded in May but before he was declared fit for service which in August. On 24 August, Paul mentions Dick and Jim looking for dress suits, but they presumably went to more than one dance.  

When I first read this, I wondered who or what was Susan that she could be washed in soap? A dog? A bicycle? We do eventually find out….


Posted by on 3 July, '15 in About