6 January 1928 – Paul to Gertrude

13 Aug

Jan 6th                                               At Hankow

Dearest Mother

You’ll see that I am at Hankow – by my address. I got my leave all right & have really been having a most enjoyable time here- & the weather has been just wonderful- cold – but sunny & fresh – so I have got back all my old colour & am feeling fine. I do lots of riding & golf- & everyone is very kind.

Of course there were great Christmas festivities – parties, dances etc. They all seem to have one long holiday about this time.

I have met all my old friends & there are one or two gunboats here as well- I live ashore in a flat. I have seen our new Admiral & he has been most kind & has given me leave till next Thursday – but I doubt if I get back to Chunking yet awhile – as the River is so low – there are no steamers running.

I’ve been spending a good deal of my time here in the dentist’s chair – slight argument between him & the Doctor – about taking 6 out!! I don’t know who has won yet!

I have had a few letters from you – but they all arrived together Nov 10th Dec 6th & another one 11th Dec- I managed to stop the latter on its way to Chunking – one of them was an answer to mine about Nance & I am afraid you are terribly cut up about it – but you are all being wonderfully kind to me – Joan & Paddy, and I know they will be looked after & be comfortable.

Poor Nannie must have had a rotten time & I do regret not having written to her – but I simply found I could’nt at that moment – very difficult really – because I suppose she knows more about it than anyone else, & naturally I should want to ask her masses of questions etc- which, in a way- would be unfair, But truly she has behaved in a wonderful way through it all & deserves every praise & my thanks for looking after the children  – so I am writing to her – I have not heard from the Swan family yet – but of course my letters now are running about all over the place – & I may not get any till I get back to the Widgeon. I’ve had ripping letters from Ben & Ruth-

Your Christmas household sounded too lovely & you must have had a splendid time with all your grandchildren there. I hope they were all very good-

What an awful blizzard & storms you had though – I have been reading lots of wireless telegrams etc – about it all – snow & floods – & Guildford was mentioned, something about 2 buses being snow drifted- Really it all made most unomfortable reading – I hope everything has subsided a bit by now!

I never knew Hilda was being married – or rather is married by now. Must have been a great party from No. 20 & Joan & Paddy thoroughly enjoying themselves – being very important-

Everyone seems to have coughs out here – do hope you were all right before Christmas-

My best love to you all & now I know Joan & Paddy are all safe with you – my heart is much higher. Give them all my love

Your ever loving son


Paul’s comment “Nannie… knows more about it than anyone else” suggests that Nancy had an affair. I am not aware that she married again and this is not a family genealogy project so I have not tracked down their divorce records, assuming they still exist. Paul is right, Nannie would have been in an extremely difficult position.


Posted by on 13 August, '19 in About


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