My dear Mother,
V. many thanks for your letter. I heard from Ted & Jim too last week – Ted had just heard about my engagement- but Jim had’nt had any mails since he left – so he would’nt have known.
Some Rhubarb would be awfully nice to have – we don’t get much fresh green stuff up here – and I am so fond of it – lettuces – or anything like that.
Oh yes I remember the Ramseys – Mr Ramsey anyway – he had a beard did’nt he. No I won’t say anything about it – It does’nt seem necessary either-
Did’nt I tell you Nance was coming to Aldershot in my last letter – I thought I had – She’d simply love to come over to Guidlford-
Such a lovely hot day to-day no wind (for a change) & a broiling sun – & we are playing a soccer match too-!!!-
Tonight I am dining with the Captain – a slight Royal dinner party – P.A. [Prince Albert, the future George VI] & his “bear leader” myself and a Captain from another ship-!!
Awfully sorry to hear about Harrow – she must be fairly old by now – as you say. Have you still got that black kitten that you found – must have one to keep Blanco company-
Beginning to collect a few clothes for my men’s theatricals now – I want some Fancy Dresses – periods – & such like – for both sexes – we’ve got heaps have’nt we – could I have some – Would you ask Specs if he can let me have a mufti suit or two – he’s sure to have some he does’nt want – For a female – I want a black blouse and skirt – and any spare shoes the girls may not want any more – any luck?-. I hope to give my show at the end of next month – I do hope it will be good.
My very best love to you all from
Your ever loving son
Prince Albert was the younger brother of the glamorous Prince of Wales and wasn’t expected to inherit the Crown, but he became George VI after Edward VIII’s abdication. When he became King he wrote nostalgic letters to old friends about their time in the Navy which had shaped so much of his character and his view of the world. Few of these friendships continued after he married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923, and fewer still survived his accession to the throne in 1936. But letters from Prince Albert / George VI and Berryman family stories attest to his friendship with Paul during and after their service on the Malaya.
Paul’s letters to his mother show patience, courtesy, tact and discretion. Paul was some seven years older than the Prince, but he had a younger younger brother, Topher, who also stammered and was easily intimidated or overwhelmed. So perhaps Paul brought a degree of insight and kindness to his interactions with the young Prince as well as his unquestionable loyalty, masculinity and sportiness. Certainly, Albert was to write to him with genuine fondness in later years.