Monthly Archives: September 2015

29th September 1915 – Paul to Gertrude

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

Wednesday. 29th


Dear Mother.

Many thanks for your letter – Dreda & Jane seem to have enjoyed themselves very much at Bognor. I heard from Dreda while she was there. I must write to her in a minute.

Rotten weather we are having now – all rain & quite cold – This afternoon we ran off some heats of our sports – pouring all the time – I won my 100 yds heat & tomorrow is our ½ mile – an awful track, all long grass-

I’ve made friends with our Chaplain’s kids – who are up here- I went to tea there this afternoon & thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Isn’t the news lovely – we’ve just got our evening papers & I see they say 120,000 Germans are accounted for, in some way or another – I wonder when our casualty lists will be out?

Is it any use having my sea-chest sent home – it will cost 15/- apparently to send to Guildford, and if I store it – it costs 4d a week – what do you think – it’s mostly full of pictures & clothes I don’t want at present.

Mr Tyers was married to-day – he’s that fellow who came to see you with his fiancée – & brought my cigarette Box-

Slight old acquaintance- Mrs Maturin – eh? – Course I have’nt the slightest idea what she is like.

My cold has quite gone now thank you & I’m feeling ever so fit again.

There is no more news – very best love to you all from

Your ever loving son


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Posted by on 29 September, '15 in H M S Gloucester


28 September 1915 – Ted to Gertrude


Sept 28th


Dear Mother

Very many thanks for your letter & the puttees & nail scissors, which I got today. So glad to hear Jim is all right again, I expect he’ll pick up fairly quickly now.

Really today is too awful for words, persistent rain & bitterly cold, miserable. I’m just going in to Gloster now to dine at the Club, & be comfortable for a few hours anyhow.

I have been up to the Fieldings a lot, every day in fact, so I thought I’d give today a miss & of course it’s just the sort of day one would love to go up. I play billiards with the old man a lot, so of course he’s always asking me up. I bought that Berlin puzzle for ‘em & of course they do nothing else all day. Tell Ben Nell is as nice as ever; she & I are going out to tea tomorrow to an old gipsy woman to have our fortunes told !!! (I can hear Dreda & Jane saying “what nonsense”!)

Good news from the front, eh? But I’m afraid the casualty lists will be heavyish when they are published; but it’s got to be done-

What a dismal prospect from the mess window! Rain & mist & a dark leaden sky. Ugh, how I hate it, & we have no fireplace or stove in the mess!

Love to all   yr loving son


My mother commented on this in the 1980s:

It would be fascinating to know what the fortune-teller told them. 

When I was a child, Nell told me that a fortune-teller had told her many years before that “your man will never be killed or drownded”.

My mother went on:

It was probably Mrs Ridler, the gardener’s wife, who had told Nell that she would meet her second, and true, love at a party and who made other true predictions. 


Ted and Nell, Autumn 1915

Ted and Nell, Autumn 1915

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Posted by on 28 September, '15 in About


22 September 1915 – Paul to Gertrude

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

Wednesday. 22.


Dear Mother.

V. many thanks for your letter – I’m afraid I am a bit late with mine – but these last 3 or 4 days seem to have been rather a rush somehow – and last Saturday I caught a rotten cold playing rugger in the rain, & having to wait about afterwards – so I’ve been feeling thoroughly Paulish – It’s much better now – though my supply of handkerchiefs has given out – It’s turned into a cough now – besides that, I’ve had to attend 2 boxing tournaments – which haven’t helped at all; and I’m going again to-day.

I’ve heard from Jim once or twice – he said he felt much better & hoped his stay at Bournemouth would do him no end of good.

Glad to hear Dreda is getting a holiday- I expect she deserves it – after sitting in that stuffy Bank all these days.

Poor old Tew. Yes truly a Camberley tragedy – I see the New Budget is out this morning – really the figures are huge, and how it’s all worked out I don’t know – What vast economies we shall have to make – One thing, the £130 touch will affect a good deal of people I expect.

Well I must rush off again to examine some fellows in gunnery!

rather a rushy letter I’m afraid

Very best love to you all

Your ever loving son



Spectator article on budget

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Posted by on 22 September, '15 in H M S Gloucester


15 September 1915 – Paul to Gertrude

H.M.S. Gloucester

Wednesday. 15th


Dear Mother.

Thank you very much for your letter- I am so glad you enjoyed your holidays & that everyone says you look ever so much better. I’m sure you have had a well earned rest.

I must say we have been having simply gorgeous weather lately – really hot it’s been, and I’ve had some good basks in the sun – but to-day is the first time I’ve been able to get ashore though; & I’ve been for a motor bicycle ride & marvellous to relate, I arrived back from where I started after a 2 hour ride.

I’m glad you like those photographs – they are rather interesting are’nt they- That one of you is quite good I think- the tiniest woman in Asia I should say!!

I did’nt write for those cardigan’s – because I don’t really need them – I seem to have got heaps of woolly waistcoats & things left over from last year.

Bee’s plums arrived rather crushed – but excellent whern stewed or in a tart.

Oh. I’ve found my sea-chest really this time & have sent to find out what’s in it etc because I can’t remember –except my gun – which I want for clay pigeon shooting.

Sorry to hear Jim is still a bit dicky – I hope he’ll get better soon

Chubbie’s brother has arrived home from the Dardanelles – he’s got a concussion – and is convalescing.

Well – I must stop – I’m just off to bed –

Goodnight & very best love to you all

from your ever loving son


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Posted by on 15 September, '15 in H M S Gloucester


12 September 1915 – Gladys to Jack Fielding, about Ted


Sept. 12th 1915-

Dear Jack,

We have been wishing you were home this week, we had a real old pre-war madcap of it on Friday- & longed for you & Marjorie. Captain Davis is now at the camp on Sneedham’s Green & he asked us to a tea party on Tuesday & we had a jolly time of it & played “up jenkins” on his bath for a table!

Two other officers – a Captain Berryman & Mr Culverwell were at the party, both very jolly & both home from the front- They belonged to the Indian army & were wounded & are now temporarily attached here. Well – during tea someone said what a pity we couldn’t have a fancy dress ball or some such jollification in the old Y.M.C.A tent! So we suggested our house as a trifle more feasible & so we fixed it up then & there for the Friday evening! The only other guests were Auntie, Bertha & the rector & Mrs Williams, who are staying at Belmont & Helen Fox.

We all dressed up & at 8 our guests arrived & were rigged up variously as greek, pirate & turk! Captain Berryman is a great sport, you’d like him awfully, he simply kept us in fits, Father was nearly ill & Auntie kept on gasping “I can’t laugh any more!” I hope he’ll still be here when you get your next leave.

Aileen Vinicombe & Margaret Walker are staying here too so we were quite a jolly party. I really think you would lose your heart to Margaret, she is one of the most taking little persons I know. A bit like little Marion only much more in her.

The rector came late & when he did make his appearance he came solemnly in pyjamas, & carrying a baby’s bottle & a candle, a beautiful dressing gown, night cap/& walking round the room, still very solemn, he at last found Babs to whom he presented the feeding bottle!

We had a very nice photo arrive yesterday from Oxo in his officer’s kit. He is attached to the 2nd Gloucesters. Did you hear we have a cart for Nobby. A ralli car in neutral coloured wood, upholstered in grey- It is quite smart & runs beautifully. So the C.O. looks kindly on you, don’t be overcome by his blandishments whatever happens!

I suppose it’s no good thinking yet about another leave but I do hope it won’t be so long on the way this time.

We had all the clerks from the office here yesterday, several of them said “We want Jack here today”. So we did & so we do so can’t you get down again soon. How about your teeth by the way – oughtn’t they to be seen to?

Must go now as I’m due at the camp.

Much love


Ted met four sisters at a tea party on Tuesday 7th September at the camp at Sneedhams Green outside Gloucester. The Fielding sisters had been invited to tea by an officer returning hospitality who asked Ted to come along to help him entertain them. As Gladys says in her letter to her brother, this led to the party on Friday the 10th at their house above Gloucester. 

The sisters were still in mouring for their grandfather and were not sure what to wear. Nell, aged seventeen and the youngest but one, compromised with a white blouse and a black skirt and tied her dark hair back with a black ribbon. 

Their father John Fielding owned an engineering works in Gloucester. He and his wife Pauline had five daughters including Gladys who wrote this letter to their only son, her brother Jack.

Ted in 1915

Ted in 1915

Nell c1915 aged 17

Nell c1915 aged 17

Fielding Family and Friends c1915

Fielding Family and Friends c1915

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Posted by on 12 September, '15 in Ted Berryman


9 September 1915 – Paul to Gertrude

H.M.S. Gloucester


Tuesday 9th


Dear Mother. Very many thanks for your letter & I am so glad to hear you are having a good holiday, & such a good rest – So you are off to Pitney to-day – now do stay away as long as you can, & don’t do any work – but just rest yourself.

Poor old Ted – that fever is a rotten show is’nt it – & I hear Jim has got shingles – he always seems to be in the wars-

I have had several letters from the girls- Jane tells me she has left her P.O. job. Quite right under the circumstances I think- & I do hope she gets another job to her liking-

Our weather has been lovely too just lately – & I’ve been ashore once or twice & taken some exercise. I believe we are going to have some sports soon – if possible – they might be rather amusing – tho’ an awful bother these days.

I’ve had letters from both Willie & Wiggie lately. The latter doesn’t seem to like it a bit – poor old Wiggie – soldiering was never his line I’m afraid – but he’s awfully cheery and all that

Wonder what America is going to do over this new Hun frightfulness. I suppose it will all end on paper again – sickening isn’t it-.

Well there is no news really – give my love to all at Pitney and heaps of love to you Mother dear-

Your ever loving son


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Posted by on 9 September, '15 in H M S Gloucester, Ivan Bennett, Wiggs