22 June 1918 – Ted to Gertrude

22 Jun

June 22/18


Dear Mother

I can’t remember if I’ve written to you lately, I know I’ve been most frightfully busy with this old school and have’nt had much time. My diary says I had 2 letters from you on 4th & one again on the 19th but I think I must have answered the 4th ones.      the one that arrived 19th was dated             & very many thanks for it.

It has got a lot hotter since I last wrote anyhow, & the last week or so has not been very pleasant. We had it 110° in the shade [43° C] 2 days ago & it’s usually 105 or 106. However living in a house with Electric fans makes a lot of difference. We still lead a very strenuous life here, up at 4 & work outdoors 5-8, & lectures etc 9.30-1 & afternoon work as well & we generally go to bed tiredish. The course ends next week & then we have a week off, & the next one begins.

I hear from Jim very often. He wants me to get him a lot of things like hair oil & writing paper. There is an officer from his rgt: on the course so I’ll get him to take a box up to Jim for me, though I may be able to manage a visit myself in the “holidays” but I don’t know yet. He seems very fit & enthusiastic.

Col Hogg has I hear gone to hospital with a pain inside but I don’t know how bad he is or whether he will have to go on sick leave or anything. We had a great dinner party 2 nights ago, about 60 people dining here, & a concert afterwards, rather a late night but we persuaded the colonel to let us get up an hour later next morning which was’nt much, but still it was a little better than usual.

Sam Orton has gone home on a special mission, fearfully secret and all. He went at 2 days’ notice so I did’nt have much time to see him. He took a wee present for Nell home with him, very kindly, so I did’nt like to load him up too much otherwise I might have sent you something along.

Your letter of April 16th said no mail had come in. I had a line from Nell dated 22nd April & she had had some letters from me, so I expect yours rolled up all right. I’m afraid I was rather optimistic & hopeful about leave then. But if there was a chance at all I simply had to sort of warn Nell did’nt I, and I’m afraid I raised the poor child’s hopes too much. I feel rather angry with myself for ever having done so, & there still seems practically no chance of my getting home this year.

I am sorry to hear about Major Thornton. I know how much Rosamond liked him. I wrote to Rosamond some time ago asking her seriously about the farm, & if there was any chance of my joining as a partner etc after the war, but I’m afraid she never got the letter as I never heard anything from her about it. And now I suppose things are all changed, so I hope she won’t bother about it. From Ben’s description of the place when she stayed there it sounded most fascinating, & she wrote & told me how suitable she thought it was for me, as apparently a good bailiff is the chief necessity & I suppose one would manage to learn the difference between a plum and an apple oneself in time.

I had a line from Dryden & she & Sheima seemed mightily pleased with their Pitney visit. I met Cocks Cowland- Cicely’s brother- here the other day & we dined & yarned over old times together : sounds rather spinky does’nt it. There is one Major Radwell of the Hants rgt here on this course who used to go to old Quentin’s place at Liphook & play raquets with him in the old days; the place was burnt down you remember & Bunchie often used to go & stay there, but neither he nor I can remember the name of it.

So you’re going to keep a bee. Good, only do mind he does’nt sting you. I always have a horror of them as you know, but I must say honey is good- “and is there honey still for tea” as Rupert Brook says. I am glad to see Lloyd George & Geddes & everyone saying definitely that we have got the submarine situation well in hand now, & also the food man says that you won’t be asked to go through such rotten times as you have been – most cheering news, and I think nowadays they are very careful when they make public statements to tell the truth.

I have a lecture now so I will end up. I see letters from London up to mid May about have arrived in Bombay so I suppose we expect them here in 10 days or so.

Best love to all

Yr loving son


Noel Thornton was married, so his friendship with Rosamund was not a romance. However, the context implies that Rosamund’s plans after the war depended on Major Thornton surving it, and that Ted might buy into a venture with Rosamund. Perhaps she was considering becoming a tenant farmer. 

Major Noel Shipley Thornton, 7th Rifle Brigade

His father died 4 weeks later

Betchworth memorial

Auckland Geddes

Honey still for tea

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