Monthly Archives: July 2016

28 July 1916 – Richard to Gertrude


July 28.


Dear Mother.

Many thanks for your letter. 2 Tatlers & 1 D.M. rolled up. You need’nt send Tatlers as I see them in the Club, yet it’s nice to have them to read in the bungalow, but I expect people at the front would like em best.

I’ll try & see if I can find out about that Major Carson. I do hope Topher is all right. Really the officer Casualty list is so big, what must the Tommies’ be. Jim seems a useful man nowadays. I expect he’ll get his star before I do! rather I know Betty Neville. Who on earth married her!

I am finished with that train now. Don’t imagine that Enquiry which you may see about in the papers of a train going across the Sind desert refers to mine. I was much more careful!

A very short letter but no time. I’ve left it so late.

Best love to all.

Yr loving son



Possible Major Carson (halfway down)

Hansard mentions of Sind train deaths

Report in NZ Press (close to bottom)

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Posted by on 28 July, '16 in About


27 July 1916 – Paul to Gertrude


c/o G.P.O.

27th July.


Dear Mother-

Thanks very much for your letter- I wrote to Ben to 10 Elsworthy – but I suppose they will forward it on, won’t they. I don’t know – but I think I rather agree with you about her going down to Brighton – but I suppose she did what she thought best- So glad to hear Jane & Chubbie were so splendid with her.

The Bishop of London came onboard us yesterday – in his purple cassock an’ all – He came round & shook hands with us all – and made a very pleasant sort of address to the men.

I did not know Chubbie had gone to Scotland already – pity we are’nt anywhere near where she is, though we have been there quite a lot. I heard from Sheina from the “shop” this morning – thoroughly scared at being left alone for a minute-

I saw one of the Wigglesworth boys – Goofey – was killed the other day. He was in the R.A.C. Sorry to hear about Jack Houghton. Worse & worse these casualty lists.

Digby is giving a lecture to-night on his experiences in France – but I can’t go as I have someone dining with me – I dined with Drew last night.

with my very best love to you all

your ever loving son


Paul is referring to the death of Benedicta’s fiance Ivan Bennett, Paul’s letter of condolence apparently went to the wrong address.

Paul and Gertrude did not approve of Ivan, and from what he says in this letter there was a family discussion about whether or not Ben should visit Ivan’s cousins in Hove, a mile or so along the south coast from Brighton. From what Paul says, it looks as if Ben did visit them but Paul and Gertrude would rather he hadn’t, but it could be the other way round.

Read more about Ivan and his romance with Ben.

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Posted by on 27 July, '16 in HMS Malaya, Rosyth


27 July 1916 – Ted to Gertrude


July 27/16

Dear Mother

Very many thanks for your letter which I got yesterday dated July 5th. Yes I had a huge long letter from Paul, as I think I told you, most awfully interesting in spite of the censor. We have’nt seen the text of Jellicoe’s despatch yet, only extracts in telegrams.

A pouring wet day, & not much of it clearing either. I got soaked through on parade this morning, but as it’s our usual condition nowadays it does’nt matter very much.

Yes there is some fighting going on now, & I know how anxious you must feel about it all. We seem to be successful on the whole, but it must wait some time yet I’m afraid before we can advance at all quickly. However all is undoubtedly well so far, & full of promise. I managed to get a few hours in with Dick as I wrote & told you; it was awful good fun, & I’m awful glad I went.

The girls seem to have had a good weekend at home; Mr Stanton is new, is’nt he?

I suppose they find Jim’s services of more value as an instructor in bombing etc at home & that’s why they won’t let him go. I expect he would like to go, after all the long time at home, but perhaps now he’s not worrying much about it. I did’nt know Betty Neville was married; who to? I remember Roberts of the “Mallow” was an old flame of hers. I hope they promote Jim a captain soon, but I wish our promotion was as quick!

No news since I wrote yesterday; the show at the Club yesterday was quite amazing & I’m glad I went & met a few people. I wish the rain would stop. I heard from Jinny yesterday but I must answer her letter next mail; no time just now. I have also written to Jane today.

Love to all from your loving son


Ted’s doubtfulness about Jim is interesting in the light of Jim’s army records which of course Ted would not have been privy to. Ill-health prevented Jim from contributing well to the army. His CO was unsympathetic, saying Jim had “a curvature of the spine which gives him an excuse for avoiding anything he does not care for”. Harsh sarcasm indeed. 

Jim’s CO had prevented him from going to France, saying  “I do not consider him likely to do well on active service” and “this officer should be transferred to another formation, and his promotion should be delayed”. 

At this distance of time, it is impossible to tell whether the CO’s dislike of Jim’s physical problems prejudiced him against Jim, or whether his harsh judgement was fair.  

Jim’s physical difficulties and Topher’s frayed nerves contrast with the three brothers whose letters we have. Paul had an athletic enthusiasm for sport, Richard exudes a work-hard, play-hard glamour and Ted always declares himself “awfully fit and well” in the face of trench foot, wounds and shipwreck.


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Posted by on 27 July, '16 in About


26 July 1916 – Ted to Gertrude


July 26/16

Dear Mother

Very many thanks for your letter of 28th June, which arrived last Saturday, but I don’t seem to have had much time to answer letters so far this week, but I must try & catch the mail now. It leaves tomorrow, but I generally try & post today to make sure. I believe there is another mail due in today, but whether I shall be able to answer any of that in time for this mail I cannot say.

What splendid news about Jim! I am glad & will certainly write him a line. But I can’t get hold of her Christian name at all; I don’t think I can ever have heard of it before, Sheina is it or Sheima; anyhow that does’nt matter very much. Yes rather I’ve often heard you speak of her as Miss Hellier in your letters, & Dryden often seems to have gone round to dinner there. I’m most awfully glad, for old Jim’s sake, the very best thing in the world that could have happened to him; & I’m so glad you’re glad. The war has proved prolific in family engagments has’nt it. Can you send me a snapshot of her, or anything, of course I’m longing to see what she’s like. I have’nt heard from Jim since I came out, & I must say the news came as a great surprise to me.

Thanks awfully for Action Front; the stories are splendid; I have been vastly entertained. Thanks awfully too for all the good wishes you sent along. Glad the £4 turned up safely, & thanks for the bills. I had forgotten all about Betser, but I will pay him at once; I’m setting up Tagney & Randall & one or two more town bills next month. Sorry you’ve been worried with them. Poor old Topher, no leave yet, & I don’t suppose he’ll be getting any just yet awhile either.

I had great fun at Ambala, & saw Dick for a few hours. I arrived one morning at 5.30 as I told you I think, ‘cos I wrote from the Club there. His train turned up punctually at 6 pm. & mine went off again at 2.30 so we had about 8 or 9 hours together. We talked hard the whole time of course, & rode about on his motor bike. He rode it & I sat on behind & took the salutes! We had dinner on his train, and after that went for a spin round Ambala, quite a long way out into the country; it was hottish, so very pleasant flying through the air like that.

We got well out into the country & then sat & talked on a bridge; the place was just like England in the moonlight, & might have been, except for the croaking of frogs & various other Indian night noises. Then we came back & sat & talked in his train till it was time to go. He was awfully fit & well, & I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, even though I was only away about 2 days. His train is quite comfy, electric fans an’ all, but I should think it was jolly hard to keep clean on those desert journeys.

The Lieut-governor of the U.P. turned up last Thursday. We paraded for him at 3 o’clock, all four regiments up here, & at 3 o’clock exactly it came on to pour, great sheets & streams of water, no ordinary shower. However as we were there we stayed there & of course, being only in thin drill kit, were soaked to the skin in less than 2 minutes. At 3.15 the L.G. turned up, mackintoshed an’ all, but as he stepped on to the parade ground, he said “I can’t stand this” & flung off his Burberry, & came on in his morning coat & beautifully creased trousers! Seeing us stand there in this awful downpour was too much for him, & of course in 3 minutes he was a drowned rat! Soaked through & through; jolly sporting of him, as his kit must have been ruined, whereas our khaki drill of course does’nt matter, being washable.

Well he inspected us all, & presented some medals to men who had won them in France, & we marched past him & then the parade was over, about 4.30, so we had been standing in this appalling downpour for 1½ hours! I’ve never been so wet, or seen anyone so wet as the L.G. was! However, we all went on to the club, where there was an at home for him, of course we changed for it, & you would never have guessed we were all the same people as had been on parade. He dined with us in the evening, a big official dinner, & went next day, but I should think it would be a long time before he forgets his visit to Lansdowne.

Thanks awfully for the Spectator, most interesting, & the other papers are turning up regularly & are much appreciated. Yes, specs is a rotter I’m afraid.

I hope Casement will have been strung up by the time you get this. I met a man here, one Barker, of the 8th Gurkhas who knows Jinny quite well at her shop. Love to all.

Your loving son



Action Front

One & only mention of Tagney & Randall Tailors, London



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Posted by on 26 July, '16 in About


21 July 1916 – Paul to Gertrude


c/o G.P.O.


July. 21st


Dear Mother-

Very many thanks for your letter – you seem to have had a busy week end again – such heaps of strange people to me they seem to be- I’ve just had a long letter from Jane telling me all about it. I hear Sheina is going to help her when Chubbie goes on her holiday – rather nice for her eh!

The Bishop of London is coming to visit the Fleet on Sunday – & to hold a confirmation- Think I shall go & hear him speak – as I never have as yet.

We are having topping weather again – it’s such a dud place where we are though – no tennis or anything like that.

Awfully little news – I am very well & fit-

Best love to you all

Your ever loving son


Bishop of London (pic from visit to Fleet below)

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Posted by on 21 July, '16 in HMS Malaya, Rosyth


20 July 1916 – Richard to Gertrude

Thursday 20th.

on the old train still.


Dear Mother,

Many thanks for your letter. It is a shame about Topher’s leave. I do hope he has it by this time, but I suppose as long as the big push goes on no one will get any. Pathetic indeed his nearly crying when he got your letters. Fancy Paul shaking hands with the King, getting in with Royalty an’ all.

How exciting that motor accident sounds, but I wonder there are’nt more really, except I suppose so few people drive nowadays, is’nt petrol 2/10 a gallon or something. Guildford seems in the habit of having an annual fire. I know where you mean. Gates is where I get a Wensleydale cheese. It was lucky the hospital escaped.

I am glad Dreda enjoyed her holiday. Many thanks for the Bystander & London Mail & Daily Mirror.

Ted came down this time to see me at Amballa. His old C.O. was very stingy & he could only be with me a very little while. However it was awfully nice seeing him & he looked very well, but perhaps a bit balder. I did’nt tell him so, & don’t for goodness sake say I said so. He had dinner with me on the train, & we biked about Amballa on my old mo bike. Ted sitting on a cushion on the back. His train went at 2.15 that night. I was so glad to see him though & I hope he’ll be able to get down to Karachi.

I believe I may have to do another trip as the real O.C. Amb. train is not back yet.

We are just passing through the Sind desert and it’s getting hotter & hotter.

I hope to get some mail tomorrow but you never know.

Best love to all

Your loving son


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Posted by on 20 July, '16 in About


18 July 1916 – Ted to Gertrude



July 18/16


Dear Mother

Very many thanks for your letter last mail & the pink papers an’ all. I am just down here for a day to meet Dick, who is turning up tonight in his old hospital train; even if he’s absolutely punctual I shall only see him for a few hours, as I have to catch a train back tonight to make certain of getting back to Lansdowne tomorrow.

I came down yesterday and arrived here about 5.30 this morning. A good deal hotter than Lansdowne of course, but not unpleasant, very muggy & sticky as usual in the rains. But it’s an amusing little Jaunt & ought to be awful fun seeing Dick this evening. I rather fancy it’s his last trip in this train.

The Lieut-Governor of the United Provinces is coming up to Lansdowne on Sunday; he’s the biggest Civil bug of the U.P. so we are having parades & lunches & dinners for him, so that’s why I have to hurry back.

What rotten luck on old Topher not getting his leave yet; but I’m afraid he won’t be getting it now. We seem to be having good success still on the Western front, which speaks volumes for the new armies & the munition workers; the cost is great, & the casualty lists terribly long, but it’s got to be I’m afraid. So far I think the push has been wonderfully successful, everyone seems very confident.

Yes I saw the King has been to see the fleet. Paul’s moving in high society isn’t he, shaking hands with Royalty an’ all. What excitement you’ve had; I know the Grocer’s shop you mean, & the Abbots hospital must have had a very narrow squeak. I had a long letter from Rosamond last mail, she does seem to enjoy her farming I must say. Is’nt Ben going on to land too soon? I have an idea she said something about it.

What a splendid letter that was from our prisoner of war, thanks awfully for sending a copy, we were all most interested. I suppose they get a Hindustani-speaking German to write for them, & I think they treat our men fairly well too.

Thanks awfully for sending the food etc, they do appreciate it don’t they. I rather agree with you about the war being over this year. Is’nt Verdun wonderful.

Love to all- from your loving son



Lt-Gov of the United Provinces, 1912-17

Three Pigeons pub fire alluded to re Abbot’s Hospital

Podcast & poss info on Indian POWs


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Posted by on 18 July, '16 in About


13 July 1916 – Ivan Bennett, Ben’s fiancé, is killed in Trônes Wood

Benedicta Berryman, the eldest of the Berryman sisters, was engaged Ivan Bennett who was killed in Trônes Wood, on the 13th day of the Somme.

Ivan Bennett (Wiggs) - © IWM (HU 113701)

Ivan Bennett (Wiggs) – © IWM (HU 113701)

Ivan’s childhood

Ivan Provis Wentworth Bennett was younger than Ben, 25 to her 30, and working for a law firm when war broke out. Ivan’s background was similar to the Berrymans’. He was the son of a retired army officer, and the grandson of a gentleman landowner on one side and a clergyman on the other. Ivan was the fourth of five children. However, there had been a scandal; Ivan’s mother Eleanor (née Senior) initiated divorce proceedings which were finalised in 1907.

Researcher and local historian Mary Alexander says very fairly:

[Ivan’s father Frederick was] guilty of adultery, assault and cruelty to his wife. Divorce was very unusual, difficult to achieve, and shameful. Perhaps Frederick was a particularly unpleasant man, or perhaps Eleanor was unusually determined. Frederick seems to have retired early from the army, and this, with the family’s frequent moves, might suggest an inability to settle down. … [Or perhaps] Eleanor was difficult to live with, sending Frederick into the arms of Mrs McTavish, with whom he was accused of committing adultery, and provoking him to strike his wife.

Divorce did not lead to closure. Epitaphs of the Great War says about Ivan:

[Eleanor] was … widowed in 1908 when her [former] husband committed suicide in Bournemouth. Following which, Ivan, who was 17 and in the Lower Sixth at Wellington College, left school and became articled to a firm of solicitors in Guildford.

So not only did Ivan suffer the emotional and social consequences of his parents’ divorce, but his professional opportunities were also curtailed by his father’s suicide.

As a child, Ivan sometimes stayed with his extended family. Epitaphs of the Great War also says:

In the 1901 census, ten-year-old Ivan is staying with his uncle and aunt and their five-year-old daughter Dorothy Joyce Husey-Hunt in Hove, Sussex. His parents and siblings were living in Bedford.

As we shall see, this family connection remained strong even after Ivan’s death.

Romance, and war

The Berrymans all called Ivan “Wiggie” or “Wiggs”, a naval nickname of unknown origin for someone called Bennett. The obvious question is whether Paul gave him the nickname.

Ben and Ivan probably met in Guildford between 1908 and 1913. Her mother, Gertrude, disapproved of the romance. Gertrude had strong but narrow convictions and there were so many things about Ivan for her to disapprove of: his parents’ divorce and his father’s suicide, his age and relatively junior position in a law firm, and a possible connection with spiritualism which Gertrude, deeply religious as she was, would have disliked. The Church of England was not without its feuds, and Gertrude may have disapproved of the churchmanship of Ivan’s grandfather the Revd Senior. And Ben mentioned that Ivan was “against soldiering” (perhaps he associated soldiers with his father’s domestic violence). Impossible now to know what Gertrude disliked so much about Ivan. Whatever it was, in 1913 Ben went (or was sent) to India to stay with her brother Ted and meet his much more eligible fellow officers. But war broke out, Ben came home and Ivan joined up.

In September 1914, Ben wrote

Wiggs tell  me he was inlisting (sic) into Kitchener’s 2nd Army, well it obvious the right thing to do, however much against soldiering one is. I do consider the civilians are fine all the same, as it’s not their job- after all one expects a soldier or sailor to live for a chance of active service, their whole training leads up to it, but with a civilian he has all the roughest part & none of the nice.

Within six weeks of Ben’s return, they were engaged and she wrote defensively to her mother:

I don’t know whether you’ll be pleased No I don’t suppose for a moment you will be I can’t quite expect it but Wiggs and I have decided that it’s best to be engaged. The unsatisfactory way in which we were going on was NO good, it isn’t all done on the spur of the moment, much thinking has been done & I’m sure it’s best. There are to be no great shoutings about it but anyone who wants to know can, you will I fancy think we are doing right, the other situation was rotten for me but I didn’t want to sort of rush Wiggs into anything so things had to wait.

Ben’s brothers mention Ivan occasionally in their letters. Their fondness for Ben led them to  accept the situation. The one photograph we have of him shows him with her brothers and looking as if he’s about to laugh, so maybe they came to like him for himself.

When she saw this photograph, Ivan’s great-grand niece said:

I … couldn’t believe the family resemblance “Wiggs” has to my Father at the same age!

Ivan Bennett

Back L-R: Ivan Bennett, Ted Berryman, Richard Berryman
Front L-R: Topher Berryman, Jim Berryman
Spring 1915

The Wartime Memories Project provides context for Ivan’s military career:

7th Battalion, The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey) was raised at Guildford in September 1914 as part of Kitchener’s Second New Army and joined 55th Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division. The Division initially concentrated in the Colchester area but moved to Salisbury Plain in May 1915. They proceeded to France in July and concentrated near Flesselles. In 1916 they were in action on The Somme …. including the capture of Trones Wood….

Mary Alexander gives us the specifics:

He became a 2nd Lieutenant on 12 September and a Lieutenant on 27 January 1915. Ivan went to France in July 1915 and was made a Captain on 12 November 1915.

Ivan’s last Leave

In May 1916, Ivan was home for 10 days’ Leave. It seems likely that he would have visited his cousins in Hove, his mother in St Leonards on Sea, and possibly Ben who had a job using “adding machinery” in a bank (presumably in Guildford). Richard gives contradictory information when he comments on letters from Ben. On 2nd June he says:

Bad luck on Ben not being able to get away, now Wiggs is home.

But perhaps they did see each other; a fortnight later, Richard says:

[Ben] seems to have enjoyed herself when Wiggs was home

However, Ted reports:

Ben tells me his nerves were all wrong, so I’ve no doubt a few days at home did him no end of good.

100 years on, it is tempting to assume Ivan had shell shock but he could have just been exhausted and jumpy. This all hints at difficult and possibly rather fraught final encounters in a star-crossed relationship cut short by war. Poor Ivan. Poor Ben.

The Battle of Trônes Wood

Mary Alexander continues:

[Ivan] was not there for the first day of the Somme in 1916, but took part in the attack on Trônes Wood on 13 July.

The Regimental diary for July describes the action in detail in an appendix; these pages can be read here, here, here and here. The diary says:

The situation in TRONES WOOD was not clear. Enemy were known to have received orders that it was to be held at all costs.

Nobody in the battalion has reconnoitred the area from & over which the attack was to be delivered, & time would not permit of any such reconnaissance being made. All orders … had … to be made from the map, which, it was afterwards found, does not give a very accurate representation of the ground.

Bombardments took place all day, and the Battalion went into action at 7:00pm:

The remainder of the Battalion was immediately met with a heavy Machine Gun and rifle fire….. The first line suffered immediate & heavy casualties. The second line reinforced at once but also suffered heavily, & in spite of very gallant leading by CPT. I.P.W.BENNETT & 2/Lt P.R. WOOLATT was unable to get within 100 yards of TRONES WOOD.

The bombardment recommenced from 8.45 to 9.15 over ground which the men had been sheltering in, and before and after the bombardment, the remaining men withdrew, the wounded being brought in under shell fire and rifle fire by “2/Lt. J.S. WALTER and 2 men ….. working continuously and most gallantly for 3 hours”.

Ivan is not mentioned in the report again, other than being included in the list of those killed.

Wikipedia describes the terrain thus:

The wood had dense undergrowth which … made it difficult to keep direction and during the battle the trees were brought down by shell-fire, becoming entangled with barbed-wire and strewn with German and British dead.

Mary Alexander says:

During gallant leadership he was shot in the head and killed. His batman, Private Courtman, helped him until he too was wounded.

Wikipedia goes on to say:

By …14–17 July… all the trees in Trônes Wood had been toppled, with only low stumps remaining. Tree trunks, barbed wire and human remains lay everywhere, the ground open and easily observed from German positions.

Writing home in August, Ted says to his mother:

Many thanks [for] the enclosures about Wiggs; pathetic reading but how splendidly he died, and what a general favourite he must have been. Thanks most awfully for sending them; I am so vastly relieved to hear he died quickly; I knew he must have died bravely.

“Crowned with the sunshine of eternal youth”

Ivan was initially buried on the battlefield, either near to where he was killed or possibly in the cemetery shown in this photograph.

Graves in Trones Wood just after the war: Michelin Guide to the Somme Battlefields

Graves in Trones Wood – Michelin Guide to the Somme Battlefields

Despite the amount of information available about his death, his grave wasn’t marked with his name and his body was not identified until it was moved to Thiepval Anglo-French cemetery in 1931.

Epitaphs of the Great War  says:

If Ivan Bennett had not had such distinctive initials his body would probably never have been identified. … his body was not recovered from the battlefield until it was discovered in December 1931. There was no identity disc on the body, which was wearing an officer’s tunic with the buttons of The Queen’s West Surrey Regiment, but among the effects discovered with it was a whistle, a cigarette holder and a pencil case engraved with the initials I.P.W.B.

Mary Alexander says:

When he died his address was in Hove. Administration of his will was granted to his mother. He is listed on the parish memorial in Holy Trinity, Guildford, and on the Merrow war memorial, where he was living before the war.

His mother administered his will, but in January 1917 Ted says

I do hope Wiggy’s things have been settled amicably by now, it seems strange that it can’t be done somehow & poor Ben must feel it frightfully.

This suggests that Gertrude wasn’t the only one who had qualms about the relationship, but that Ivan’s mother may have disliked it too. His short life was clearly full of complexity and it is interesting that he recorded his address as Hove. Did he see home as being with his aunt, uncle and cousins rather than with his mother in St Leonards on Sea?

In 1931, it was his cousin, Mrs Dorothy Joyce Bousted (nee Husey-Hunt) who chose his epitaph “Crowned by the sunshine of eternal youth”.

Epitaphs of the Great War says:

The lines come from ‘Rupert Brooke’, a poem by Alfred Dodd published in 1918 [which] outlines Dodd’s belief in the survival of the spirit after death, not as in the Christian belief in eternal life but as in the world of Spiritualism.


Ivan is just one of the hundreds of thousands of young men who died without children or grand-children; the great-uncles whose names are forgotten. My mother did not know who the “Wiggs” in Ben’s letters was, and my thanks are due to the many people who helped me piece together his story. Chris Miller identified that “Wiggs” was Ivan Bennett. Rebecca Aubert confirmed his photograph. Mary Alexander and Charlie Eve sent me most of the biographical details here. Sarah Wearne curates the Epitaphs of the Great War website giving other biographical details and information about his epitaph. The photographs of Ivan’s grave and Thiepval come from the War Graves Photographic Project at Additional information is from Wikipedia, WW1 Battlefields, and The Wartime Memories Project.



13 July 1916 – Ted to Gertrude


July 13/16


Dear Mother

The mail is very late this week and won’t be in for 2 days yet, & that makes us 10 days without a mail. I don’t know why it’s so late, I suppose it got held up somewhere. We have had torrents of rain all the week, and hardly a fine interval, but I suppose we must expect this kind of thing at this time of year.

What stirring things are happening on the Western Front, are’nt they; but I’m afraid the casualty lists are woefully long. However we seem to be making good progress, though of course very slow & methodical; but it’s impossible for it to be otherwise; an advance must be slow & cautious, & we must feel our way along & make mistakes as few as possible by running no unnecessary risks. The new armies seem to be fighting splendidly; what a tribute to Kitchener, & I have no doubt his untimely death has spurred them on.

I’m afraid I’ve got a bit behind hand with my correspondence lately & I owe lots of letters; I must try & work them off this afternoon. I’ve just had a gorgeous swim in our tank at the mess; it was half raining at the time but of course that made no difference. It was pretty cold, the water, but gloriously refreshing : good exercise too.

We are all anxiously waiting Jellicoe’s despatch, which is now published I see. We have had bits of it in telegrams, but I suppose the whole thing will get out here eventually. From all accounts it’s very technical & somewhat hard to follow in parts.

Excuse a dull lettter only there’s no news. All work here; Dick & I are trying to fix up a one day’s meeting at Ambala now he’s on his ambulance train for a bit, but we have’nt managed it yet!

Love to all

From your loving son


Jellicoe’s despatch



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Posted by on 13 July, '16 in About


12 July 1916 – Paul to Gertrude


c/o G.P.O.

July. 12th


Dear Mother –

Many thanks for your letter – mine will take a bit longer now – and our little bit of gaiety will be at an end for some time.

Am so glad you have had good news of Topher up to date – & hope you have heard from him again. Never seen such a huge list of casualties as just lately – appalling is’nt it – but thank goodness most of them are “woundeds”

Sorry to hear about Specs’ brother. I saw the name but did not realize the relationship- -sorry [refers to smudge on the page]

I had a letter from Jim – awfully happy he is – a fine job he has got now I should say – & how ripping if he is made a Captain-.

I should like some sweet peas muchly- [only I don’t think they travel very well – anyhow you might try – as where we are now you can’t get any flowers at all – & I like them in my cabin so.

I believe I really am clear of all those comic spots of mine now – at least I hope so – thank goodness-

We’ve got 2 soldiers spending a fw days with us now – rather dull for them – because there does’nt seem much chance of another scrap in a few days – & that’s about all we can show them really – but they’ve never seen a ship or a Fleet before – so I suppose that is something.

With much love to you all

ever your loving son


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Posted by on 12 July, '16 in HMS Malaya, Rosyth