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5 November 1914 – Ted to Jinny (Jane)

05 Nov

Nov 5th

Dear Jinny. Thanks most awfully for the ripping box of cigarettes matches toothpaste etc & chocolate, they were most welcome, & the men loved the cigarettes – Lovely day today & very quiet at present, such a contrast to the usual banging that goes on all day and night; I wonder what’s up, they were particularly active yesterday and we had a merry time from 10 to 4, Jack Johnsons paying us particular attention & falling all round us. Tell Ben my orderly Nain Sing was killed by a shell yesterday; she’ll be awfully sorry I know, so am I, as he was such a good little chap. Aeroplanes buzzing all round today, making an awful noise. Hope you can read this. Thanks again. Ted.

Ted to Jane 14 11 05


And here we have an example of the paternal racism of the time. Ted and Ben clearly liked Nain Singh but from our perspective it is easy to see the patronising nature of their genuine affection for him.

‘Jack Johnson’ was slang for artillery shells.

 

2 responses to “5 November 1914 – Ted to Jinny (Jane)

  1. Tamsin

    5 November, '14 at 12:43

    Yes, it took someone like Kipling – journalist not soldier – to perceive that paternalism and go beyond it “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!”

     
  2. Family Letters

    7 November, '14 at 11:53

    So hard to hear Kipling with fresh ears and without the accretion of hind-sight. (Hind-hearing?)

     

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