29 November 1927 – Paul to Gertrude

01 Aug




Dearest Mother.

We have not had any mails for weeks- A lot more trouble down River apparently- & naturally we suffer in that respect up here.

I have been staying all last week with the Consul General over in the city- very quiet – & nothing to do really – but it was a nice change & I quite enjoyed it. The Admiral comes up here in about a fortnight’s time – and he has given me leave to go back with him to Hankow for a while – which will be rather fun – as I shall be there for Christmas & I know quite a lot of people there-

I am having my cabin completely changed round – painted – etc – an awful mess in there at present – so I have to sleep ashore- I am having a bath fitted & one or two other new hanging cupboards. I always think it is rather fun changing a room round.

We have just started making our Race course again – a smaller one this year I’m afraid – as there are not nearly so many people up here & consequently less money!! But we hope to get a lot of fun out of it- The Widgeon will be here all the winter as far as I can see- rather miserable all by ourselves-

We have just bought a pair of geese to fatten up for Christmas – they are most friendly – & I’m sure we shall hate killing them when the time comes – you cannot get turkeys our here – at least it’s a rare bird.

I am dreadfully anxious about now as to how my domestic affairs are getting on- you will be getting my letters about now – but it is quite hopeless for me to say anything more about it-

I only hope it will all go smoothly- and the inevitable sorrow and anguish will soon pass-.

Hope everyone is very fit. I had a cheery letter from Jane the other day.

My best love to you all

Your ever loving son


A picture of officers of “Widgeon” & “Teal”

This letter suggests that Paul and Nancy were finally on the path to their divorce. Gertrude, devout churchwoman that she was, would have been strongly opposed to this outcome and she was extremely judgmental so it’s likely the full force of her blame would have fallen on Nancy’s head, whatever the truth of the situation. It’s a credit to Paul’s charm that he remained on good terms with all of the women affected: his mother, Nancy and his two daughters. 

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Posted by on 1 August, '19 in About


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