6 July 1914 – Ted to Gertrude

06 Jul
Ted's First Letter of the War

Ted’s First Letter of the War


Dear Mother

Just a line- Exciting times are they not, & heaven knows what may have happened by the time you get this, if you ever do. But you must’nt mind mother; I know the state of mind you must be in. Dont be frightened. War is a horrible thing & this was bound to come, & the sooner the better. It could’nt have come at a better time for England, & you need have no fear at home, you wont be troubled there.

And of course you are proud of having a son in the navy who is a member of the finest Service the world has ever seen, and whatever else you must be glad that he’s to have a chance of doing his duty & distinguishing himself. So dont be anxious; rather consider him lucky to get his chance; & I know Paul will play the game when it comes to the real thing.

I feel very out of it here; you can quite understand my anxiety as a soldier to be where the show is, but I dont see much chance. They may call on the Indian army for help, but I dont know what they are going to do. Anyhow I repeat I do feel most awfully not being on the spot, & I envy those who are getting their chance at last. I fully realise somebody has got to stay behind, & look after England, India, Egypt, & the rest of them, but it galls just the same, I would give anything to have a look in in this war.

I’m afraid we are all going to go through a trying time, but you must be brave, mother; I know you will be, &. dont be frightened or let the girls get frightened, there’s nothing to be afraid of; the Fleet will see to that. I only wish you had a son at home to help you through it all.

Best love to all & wish your service sons the best of luck,

Yr loving son


There is more information on each of the brothers on their pages; see the menu at the top of the site (if you are reading on a Mac or PC) or at the side of the site (if you are using a mobile device).

Ted and his sister Ben(edicta) were in a Hill Station in India at the start of the War. Lansdowne is in Uttaranchal in the Himalayas, and is still the headquarters of the Garhwal Rifles.


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