3 September 1914 – Ted to Gertrude

03 Sep


Dear Mother

of course you have seen that 2 divisions are coming from India to help in this show, and you must have guessed by now from what Ben & I have already told you that we are coming. Anyhow, we have got as far as this, & embark in a day or two, & ought to land in Europe somewhere about the end of this month, where, I don’t know. But it’s all so secret, & we are not allowed to tell you anything, so I’m afraid you’ll have to go with little or no news of me for some time, except what you can get from the papers. I’ll write whenever I can of course, but I don’t know how often that’ll be, My address will be as under:

39 Garhwal Rifles
20th Infantry Brigade
VII Division
*Indian Expeditionary Force A
c/o Presidency postmaster

(* or you can shorten it by putting I.E.F.A) but ALWAYS put rgt, Brigade & division, to ensure arrival of letters.

And keep all press cuttings you can get about Indian troops in the war, & the Gloucester; I see she has already distinguished herself. I’m in an awful hurry, & in haste to catch the post. I expect I’ll be able to post you a letter somewhere en route, & I’ll try when we land, but it will be all hurry scurry I expect, & I’m a busy man as adjutant.

So wish me luck, & don’t worry about me please mother. You’ll be having Ben home soon I expect, she’ll have told you all the news. Lovely sea breeze here, & I’m as fit as a fiddle.

Best love to all

Yr loving son


Ted wrote on a piece of paper torn from a Field Service Pocket Book. The letter was delayed, possibly by censorship, and took a month to reach Gertrude, whereas Ben’s written on the same day from Lansdowne, arrived on the 25th September.

According to Drake-Brockman, they had arrived at Karachi the previous day. Drake-Brockman also says:

En route we had a minor accident which fortunately was not worse. Our engine went through a small low culvert, derailing a couple of carriages. As we were going dead slow at the time, being close to Lahore, no one was hurt. Another engine and carriages were soon obtained and we continued our journey.

It’s possible Ted wrote about this from Lahore and the letter was lost, or maybe he didn’t have time to write about it at all.


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