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Author Archives: Paul Berryman

21 March 1917 – Paul to Gertrude

H.M.S. MALAYA.
c/o G.P.O.

21st Wednesday.

 

My dear Mother- Very many thanks for your letter. Yes. I heard about Jim & his ship being mined from Nance – How awful; really one would have thought they are safe enough out there. Oh but I am glad he is safe, and all his belongings too. A good thing to hear he was safe first – before hearing anything about the outrage – saves so much anxiety does’nt it.

Nance says she does’nt know what to say about how kind & sweet you have been to her last week end – she seems to have had a rotten cold – and a throat much the same as mine and Dreda’s. She seems much better now – and thank you so awfully Mother for looking after & taking care of her. She more than loves being at Delaford-

So I hear Ben is’nt going farming to start with the others – Nance seemed to have some doubt too about going – because she thought she would’nt be able to come & see me – if there was a chance the same as when I first met her – but she says now she is definitely determined to go – for which I am ever so pleased.

The world’s coldest day to-day -plenty of sun really- but consistent snow blizzards- & tons of wind.

I should imagine Ted is vastly pleased about going to Mesopotamia – I feel so sorry for them & their mails – when they have a huge change like that. Dick & Topher I expect are having a run for their money too on their horses at last. Should you say an exciting week’s news! Marvellous is’n it!

I hear Jane has been asked up to stay in Scotland with a great friend of mine to whom I introduced her when I was on leave – one McCulloch by name – his brother is in this ship and I know all the family. Priceless people they are & they are cousins of that fellow Stewart- you may remember his name – he was in the Gloucester with me & then he went down in the Hampshire. Dreda knows about him. I know his people too – so I am well in with the whole lot of them really. So if Jane asks you anything about going – I can absolutely vouch for her. Ned McCulloch – my pal wrote to me & asked if he could have her up there to stay – when he went home- He’s getting a new leg at present – poor fellow.

That Horlicks is lovely

Must end now – My bestest love to you all-

Your ever loving son

Paul


Jim was on the Tyndareus which had struck a mine off Cape Agulhas, South Africa, on the 6th of February.

 
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Posted by on 21 March, '17 in About

 

16 March 1917 – Paul to Gertrude

H.M.S. MALAYA.
c/o G.P.O.

Friday 15th.
[Paul got the date wrong]

 

My dear Mother – I never got another chance yesterday to write to you – I had a lovely time ashore – really it was a topping day – spent most of the time turfing a new golf green we are making. We had a mess dinner in the evening – dined several of the Gun Room – also we had the “Somme Films” – excellent I thought but rather sordid in parts.

Of course re this farm idea of the girls – I must say – there is that to think about – re their good jobs when they come back in September-, but I should think in their cases – they would probably be taken back again – especially Dreda & Marjorie where they are known – Ben I’m sure could get a job similar to her present one if she wanted it – & Lance’s is’nt a paid job you see; so on the whole I don’t think they ought really to lose by it.

The thing is that I should’nt like Ben & Dreda to get too far away from you – you ought really to have someone with you at home; Jane wrote to me yesterday & said she was going to make her job into a daily one & so be with you in the evenings.

I see Gordon Campbell is excelling himself – really excellent work he’s done though we know very little about why he was promoted – D.S.O. & a V.C. We shall probably hear soon though. High excitement at Hillier House I should imagine. If you hear anything – why etc – do let me know will you – I saw Digby for about ½ a minute ashore yesterday – very Digby-ish as usual.

Rather – black cats are fearfully lucky they say – so don’t lose him now.

They seem to have had a great week end at No. 10  Elsworthy. James & Marjorie were there as well.

I had a long letter from Mrs Conway-G – old C.G. is not so bad apparently as was first thought – & must have a month’s complete rest. Very surprised about my engagement.

Bestest love to you all-

from your ever loving son

Paul


Paul had recently got engaged to Nancy Swan, whose aunt by marriage was Mrs Conway-Gordon. At this distance of time, it is impossible to know if “Marjorie” was Nancy’s sister. Nancy’s father was Colonel Charles Arthur Swan C.M.G., M.A., J.P., and her mother was Ethel, only daughter of Colonel F.I. Conway-Gordon. Her brother was brother was Major Charles Francis Trollope Swan MC who was born in 1887 and her sister Marjorie was born in 1886.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Campbell_%28Royal_Navy_officer%29

http://lewishamwarmemorials.wikidot.com/person:campbell-gordon

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=10222242

His writings

http://guttedarcades.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/vice-admiral-gordon-campbell-vc-dso.html

My Mystery Ships online

https://archive.org/stream/mymysteryships00gord#page/n9/mode/2up

Pencil sketch of Gordon

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/7628

Hillier House now flats for the elderly

http://www.hillierhouse.org.uk/about.aspx

 
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Posted by on 16 March, '17 in About

 

15 March 1917 – Paul to Gertrude

H.M.S. MALAYA.
c/o G.P.O.

Thursday. 15th

 

Dearest Mother-

Just a hurried line to thank you for your letter & for the Horlicks – lovely it is – I am writing again to you – but I have’nt had time today yet- & I must go ashore as it’s such a ripping day & I shall miss the mail if I wait till I come off-

My bestest love to you all

from your ever loving son

 

Paul

 
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Posted by on 15 March, '17 in About

 

12 March 1917 – Paul to Gertrude

H.M.S. MALAYA.
c/o G.P.O.

Monday, 12th

 

Dear Mother-

Thanks ever so much for the parcels of clothes – I enclose 2/- for the postage.

I hear Col Conway Gordon has gone to hospital with an enlarged heart & Mrs Conway is awfully worried about him naturally- He’s been ordered a month’s complete rest & quite likely he won’t go back to Cromarty again. Rather sickening for them – as they liked it up there so much.

Went and lunched with Tommy Drew yesterday – I had’nt seen him since I came back -so we had a goodish long talk about things.

Bestest love to you all-

from your ever loving son

Paul


It’s frustrating that we don’t know more about the Conway-Gordons who were related to Paul’s fiancée Nancy Swan.

Nancy’s father was Colonel Charles Arthur Swan C.M.G., M.A., J.P., and her mother was Ethel, only daughter of Colonel F.I. Conway-Gordon. Her brother was brother was Major Charles Francis Trollope Swan MC who was born in 1887 and her sister Marjorie was born in 1886.

Nancy herself was born in 1895, making Nancy 22 in 1917 to Paul’s 28.

 
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Posted by on 12 March, '17 in About

 

8 March 1917 – Paul to Gertrude

H.M.S. MALAYA.
c/o G.P.O.

Thursday. 8th

 

Dear Mother – Thank you muchly for your letter- So glad Nance has been down again for the week-end. I am awfully pleased at that idea of them all going farming during the spring & summer. I do wish you could get Jane to go as well- she did’nt like last summer in Town & it would do her all the good in the world to get some good fresh air for 3 or 4 months.

My hands are fearfully cold at the moment – just come back from a funeral of one of our men who died yesterday & it’s bitterly cold ashore & was snowing most of the time. I wrote Ted a long letter the other day – 6 of these sheets I think it was.

So sorry I did’nt say goodbye to Capon- thoroughly remiss of me – will you make my apologies & say how sorry I was-

I don’t want these Wellingtons really- not much use these days. After the war perhaps – if they fit – but Dick’s feet are smaller than mine I think.

Must go & have some tea – & some dripping toast-

Bestest love to you all-

from your ever loving son

Paul

 
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Posted by on 8 March, '17 in About

 

4 March 1917 – Paul to Gertrude

Rosamond sent me some lovely fresh eggs the other day – simply gorgeous they were

H.M.S. MALAYA.
c/o G.P.O.

Sunday. 4th.

 

Dear Mother-

Thanks awfully for your letter & enquiries – I am perfectly fit and well again – but am having an Arsenic tonic to buck me up a bit. This sore throat seems to be fairly rife- I am sorry to hear Dreda had one too – & do so hope she is allright again now. I say it’s all Nance’s fault- as she’s had a cold for sometime & won’t do anything for it – but I’ve just written to her & thoroughly scolded her for not taking care of herself- So naughty of her not to take something.

Simply blowing a gale to-day & bitterly cold; so I have’nt been out on deck much.

Nance said she was going down to Delaford yesterday so as to help cheer Dreda up during her “convalescence”-

Must end now-

Heaps of love to you all

from your ever loving son

Paul

Will you send me a Box or Tin or Bottle of Horlicks – I liked it so much that night you gave me some in your room


 

http://www.toxipedia.org/display/toxipedia/Fowler%27s+Solution

 
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Posted by on 4 March, '17 in About

 

28 February 1917 – Paul to Gertrude

H.M.S. MALAYA.
c/o G.P.O.

28th Feby

 

Dear Mother-

Thank you very much for your letter. I am up and about again now. I was furious having to go to bed with that rotten sore throat but I suppose it was best.

Must be gorgeous having Dick home again – I must say I rather liked that moustache. It was a pity he could’nt have arrived sooner – but I am awfully thankful that I saw him- I am afraid that was rather a rush that last time I came down to Delaford – but it could’nt be helped, and I think I was jolly lucky in seeing as many people as I did- There now I never saw Mrs Dalton – & I’ve only just remembered.

I am so glad you like Nance, and thank you awfully Mother dear for all your wishes & Blessings.

Everything is more or less settled down again onboard – & getting shipshape again. The new padré seems an awfully nice man – he comes from St Martins-in-fields – & his name Matthews.-

Just discovered 2 stiff shirts – I did’nt know I had more than one. One is a piqué Donegal shirt Coy one of mine & the other I see is a 2159 of Dick’s – so I’ll send it along at once -but I don’t want any stiff shirts – so please don’t send me any of the others.

You won’t forget my shoes will you-

one pr. (old patent leather lace up evening shoes

(which I left in my room

one pr (Oldish – but good – plain toe cap

(uniform outdoor shoes – I saw them last

(among the cleaned boots etc in the Hall.

I had a sweet little letter from Nell last night- I must write to her in a minute or two.

That war loan is jolly good news is’nt it – that will shake the Germans up more than most things I should say.

Well I must end now-

Best of love to everybody at home-

from your ever loving son

Paul


Paul’s phrase “thank you awfully Mother dear for all your wishes & Blessings” suggests that he and Nancy have finally got engaged. 

Nancy’s parents were Colonel Charles Arthur Swan C.M.G., M.A., J.P., and Ethel, only daughter of Colonel F.I. Conway-Gordon. Her brother was brother was Major Charles Francis Trollope Swan MC who was born in 1887 and her sister Marjorie was born in 1886.

Nancy herself was born in 1895, making Nancy 22 in 1917 to Paul’s 28.

Bonar Law statement on War Loan, declaring it had raised £1,000,312,950

 
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Posted by on 28 February, '17 in About