31 December 1918 – Ted to Gertrude

31 Dec

Indian Comforts for the Troops Fund.

Recreation Hut.

Dec 31/18


Dear Mother

Very many thanks for 3 letters from you, dated 22nd Oct Nov 5th & 18th. So they did wire home officially about me. I was so afraid they might & yet I hoped so much they would’nt. I’m so awfully sorry to have given you such a shock, just when everything seemed so safe and certain too. By now you will have got my letters telling you all about the show, but I’m glad the India Office got news of my being only slightly hit. It was nothing really, only some shell splinters & they only caused a little inconvenience for a day or two-

Of course the letters we have been getting from home lately have been gorgeous, so happy & optimistic, and now we have your ‘peace’ letters, written after Nov 11th. Many thanks for the Evening Standard of the 11th, I expect all the morning papers next day quite lost their heads with excitement. Well, there was a good excuse for them at anyrate. I see they are resuming a weekly mail steamer home from Bombay now, & letters will travel by the normal Marseilles route, so you may get a regular mail now. It does’nt seem to matter much when we post out here still.

So glad my Babylon letters arrived safely. Yes, it was an awfully interesting trip, & I’m glad I went though it was frightfully hot and a great rush. I have’nt been able to get any more prints of Babylon done yet, but I hope to someday & will send them along to you-

Nell was delighted with the scarf you sent her on her 21st birthday, it was most awfully good of you to send her such a ripping present. And what a lovely present Peace was was’nt it! She was tremendously pleased too with all the things the rest of the family sent, how awfully good you all were to the dear child: thanks so much. She of course is tremendously pleased about peace, but is keeping her head splendidly, & does not expect me to come “clattering home”  -as Ben calls it! at once. But I certainly do hope to manage to put a few weeks in at home during 1919-

Many thanks for sending along Ben’s new address. I had a short line from her last mail- We got 2 mails in two days! One belated mail of mid-October that was very much overdue, & 2 days later one of mid-November which took about the normal time to arrive-

What a lovely parcel you sent me at Christmas, ever so many thanks for it. The things were all most welcome & a great change in the usual mess diet. The Bath oliver biscuits were much appreciated, but everything was tremendously acceptable. I am to thank you in the name of the Brigade mess-

We had a great day out shooting yesterday & got 50 black partridge & one or two other odds & ends like quail & pigeon. They are lovely days those – an early start & we generally cross the Tigris in pontoons – great fun- & shoot from about 9 till 1 – then lunch in the open, & very hungry we are too- Shoot again from 2 till 4, row back home, tea, bath & change, & then a slack till dinner. It’s such lovely weather, cold brisk days & champagne air as good as anywhere in the world. One gets gorgeously tired after a long day like that, for it’s hard work trampling over scrub & plough- But alas! Such days are few & far between, but all the more enjoyable when they do come-

Today was the first day of the Babylonian Race meeting, as they have styled the Tekrit Races – quite good fun, & some quite exciting races- I came off the course 10/- to the good, so did’nt do so badly. Immensely proud of myself because I chose my horses which I thought likely winners when they were on show in the paddock. A bit of a judge of horseflesh I think! There is another day’s racing day after tomorrow, & things are very cheery as one meets so many fellows, because people crowd in from all parts to these meetings. This one is awfully well run, nice railed off paddocks & rails, a grandstand made of sandbags (no fear of that collapsing anyhow!) and all the paraphernalia of a real race course.

I love all the crowd & noise & excitement & ripping horses all nicely groomed & prancing about & the jockeys in their bright colours- shocking is’nt it! But it is fascinating all the same to watch, though I don’t as a rule care for your racing man. Anyhow I’ve promised to take Nell to the 1919 Derby; remember how we boys used to go with the Drews in the days of old?

It has been blowy & cold today, with a little rain, & I think we are in for some more rain- My bath is ready so I must stop- Best love to all & all good things in 1919 for all at Delaford, & may I be there to share some of them!

So sorry about the wire re me: but, as I told Nell, you’ve had your 3 shocks (they generally come in 3’s) about me, my voyage out & its excitements, my Amara foolishness in going to hospital, & now this latest little matter – so let’s hope the next Cable will contain far more acceptable news!

Yr loving son


I played cricket on boxing day & made 7 & 0! Have’nt touched a bat for 6 or 7 years, but I am awful glad to get a game, as you know I am rather fond of it- I hope to get some more games soon- Christmas passed off quietly enough here





Christmas Card from 34th BRIGADE MESOPOTAMIA

a bit late I’m afraid



(card showing British residency Baghdad & map)

You will recognise lots of places on this map

I expect. I’m close to Tekrit now, but heaven

knows where we will be when you get this-

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