Category Archives: France

5 November 1914 – Ted to Jinny (Jane)

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.


3 November 1914 – Ted to Jinny (Jane)

Me having dinner when Jack Johnson is about

Me having dinner when Jack Johnson is about

Nov 3rd

Dear Jinny – sporting effort-

Thanks most awfully for your letter which I got last night. I am I should think the dirtiest man in Europe, filthy, have’nt washed or changed my clothes for a week, & probably won’t do so for another week! Thanks awfully far sending along some cigarettes, I’m sure they’ll be much appreciated. An enorm parcel arrived last night, but I could’nt possibly open it here, but hope to do so when we retrieve our baggage. We came into these trenches just as we stood, and are still in the same condition. My word it is cold at nights, last night we were expecting an attack, so had to keep awake, but I got fed up towards morning & went off to sleep, or tried to, but it was too darned cold. And the enemy never fired a shot, so I was had all round.

The first night we got here I was taking about 40 men from one trench to another smaller one, which we had to enlarge (you have to do most of the digging by night, as they spot you & pip you if they see you by day, snipers all over the place) when suddenly a furious fire opened on our right. We fairly flung ourselves down into this teeny little trench & the fun was fast & furious for about five minutes. Luckily we had no one hit, though they had maxims on us, which make a most horribly alarming noise. The colonel & I have our head quarters in a hole in the ground in a farm yard, supposed to be bomb proof, though nothing is proof against Black Maria, from whom we have had several visits, but she has’nt hit us yet, tap wood.

Tell Ben we are all still in thin Indian khaki, so I leave you to imagine the cold, especially as we have no kit at all, only what we have got on. I’m sorry I can’t tell you where we are, but it’s not allowed. You should see me staring at aeroplanes; Mr Stare has never seen one before, & the first one I saw just dropped a bomb on the station we detrained at, but missed luckily –

We have been congratulated – the 20th Bde I mean – by General Willcocks on our resistance, as these damned Germans have attacked us several times, but we have managed to keep them off so far; also Sir John French has sent his congrats & gratitude to the Indian troops as a whole. So let’s hope we keep it up. I’m doing the real heavy soldier, sitting on an ammunition box, & writing on the lid! Well Jinny I will write again when I can. No more now. Yr loving brother


Written on a scrap of paper.

‘Jack Johnson’ was slang for artillery shells.


3 November 1914 – Ted to Gertrude

Nov 3rd/14

Dear Mother

Thanks most awfully for your letter which I got in the middle of last night! Well, at last we have reached the front. We left [Orleans] on the 26th I think, did a 2 days train journey, marched 10 miles one day, billeted in a village on 28th, marched 8 miles on 29th & relieved a regiment here in the trenches in the night. And we’ve been in the trenches ever since, night & day. The Germans have made lots of attacks on us, & all along the line, but – tap wood – as far as we are concerned have not been successful. We have had few casualties. Anyhow I am all right. Being adjutant I have to be at Bn: Hd quarters with the CO, receive & write messages etc, & generally be in a central position so that all may know where we are & can communicate with us.

All day long incessant artillery & rifle fire goes on between the two forces, & the first 3 nights we were here we were attacked each night, one night we had 5 separate attacks! at 6, 9, 1, 3 & 5; but only two of them were heavy & we managed to keep them off. Lord what a noise goes on on these occasions. Banging & banging, bullets whisking about, & shells bursting, you never heard such a noise. It seems as if there were people firing all round you. Then the attack dies down, & only intermittent rifle fire goes on; but it is incessant. Some of these German heavy shells are real jam, “Black Maria” is a beauty, you can hear her coming for miles, & she falls with an enorm bang, & as the papers say makes a hole big enough to put 3 horses in! And planes buzz about all day; I of course am Mr Stare-Stare, as I’ve never seen one before!

Cold at all, I should think so, & we all dressed in thin khaki drill, Is’nt it wicked, I shiver all night. You see we came in here as I say on 29th (having left our kit & heavy baggage – if you can call 35 lbs heavy baggage! – behind as usual to come on later) in just what we stood up in, & thats what we’ve been in ever since, & are likely to be in for some time, as there seems no chance of getting our kit up. So we’ve all been eating drinking sleeping in our kit as we are, & I have’nt taken a single thing off for 6-7 days, and dirty, well, we are all black! Our headqrs are in a farm here, & the colonel & I live in a little funk-hole underground, out of the way of Maria & J. Johnson & Co. Today is a lovely day, & they are fairly quiet, so we are sitting out in the garden under a haystack out of sight, but the men are all in the trenches ready for anything.

Your parcel came last night too, but I could’nt possibly open it here, so sent it back to my kit; it sounds lovely, & I am longing to open it. All very well here, & things in general are going on all right. Our heavy guns have just started again. Tell Ben the blue jersey has saved my life, I’ve had it on continuously – there goes Maria again! – for a week now. I got a letter from her, postmarked 23rd. I must end now. Best love to all

Yr loving son


‘Jack Johnson’ was slang for artillery shells.


30 October – Ted’s Diary

How amusing the people were in the train coming up from Marseilles and from Orleans too. They crowded round the carriages at every halt, and gave us all cigarettes, nuts, etc etc. In return they asked for souveniers in the shape of buttons and badges. One fair damsel I saw [was] wearing the badges of every regiment and corps in the division  She must have made herself very nice to everyone, but I did not make her acquaintance.

Well the morning of the 29th we left Calonne and marched about 8 miles and halted, about 11 o’clock. At 6 we moved again, the weather being bitterly cold, and found we had orders to relieve the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in the trenches that night… We got to the trenches at midnight and, after having them explained and receiving a few final words of advice from the officer, we entered into the war proper. We had hardly settled down, in fact had not finished taking over the trenches, than the enemy began his favourite night attacks. Whether he came on in force or not I don’t know, but we opened a heavy fire on him, which lasted about 1/2 an hour  and then all was quiet again. I know I was just taking a company to man a little shallow trench when it began, so we lay down and opened fire/. But there were very few – if any! – Germans in front of us, so I think it really was a false alarm, though they certainly fired back at us from the trenches with rifle and maximum gunfire.


24 October 1914 – Ted to Gertrude


Not had a chance to go on with this till tonight, We got here at 10.30 one morning & marched straight out to camp, almost as muddy as the other, but mud of quite a different kind, sort of sticks to your boots. However we are very comfy, & are getting some more equipment etc before we go on. I sent you a p.c. yesterday to say I was all right. We went for a route march this morning, through most lovely lanes etc & gorgeous trees, poplars, & vineyards, all the autumn tints were lovely, & coming up in the train too the country was gorgeous

Thanks awfully for all the things you are sending out, they sound gorgeous & I am daily expecting the parcel. Everyone very fit here & all in high spirits. I have’nt had a chance to go into the town, & all yesterday I was as busy as I could be in office; but I hope once we leave here there won’t be quite so much head work, though the physical exertion will be much greater I expect.

By the way, what’s wrong with an air pillow, a small one, it seems to be the thing to have; so light & convenient, & I’ve had to bang a pillow out of my 35 lbs kit – tell Ben this! – so sleep on clothes & any old bundle, but I have one of the khaki pillow cases Ben made me, which I stuff with grass etc when I can, so manage to be fairly comfortable; anyhow I sleep all right. And there’s some stuff called CREX for tired feet which our Colonel has & says is v. good to put in water when washing; tabloids I think, could you send some along, or any similar stuff. The great thing is small parcels, & by letter post if possible, to ensure quicker & more certain delivery-

Well, my old horse had to go to hospital as I told you, but they are so short of gees, that, though we want 8 for officers, they have only given us one, for our interpreter who has never ridden a horse in his life, so I shall be able to have his. Poor old Araby, I wish he had kept fit; Ben will be awfully sorry. I imagine Ben is arriving about today; how the house will buzz with talk; I wish I could be there to join in it all. I heard from Paul yesterday, just a scrawl wishing me luck. Not so busy today, & I think we’ll be moving on in a day or so.

Must, end up & have this censored. Tons of love to all. Yr loving son



23 October 1914 – Ted to Gertrude – Letter

Oct 23

Dear Mother

Just got another letter from you in answer to one I wrote from Marseilles. At least I wrote it on board and posted it when we landed, by the pilot. Then orders came out that all letters posted in French post offices wd be destroyed, so we fondly imagined those wd never roll up. Anyhow, I wrote to you again from camp, so I expect that’s rolled up too now. I had had lots of letters from you all since landing, including some forwarded from India, in which you say you expect I wish I was in the show! It seems so funny reading them. Also a whole lot of letters have arrived here for Ben, c/o me, so I will forward them on as soon as I can. I suppose we must stick to orders, & refer mysteriously to “this place” & “that place”, & mention no names, silly as it seems.

Anyhow, we left the last place I wrote from – give you one guess! on the 18th, & came by train here, by a most roundabout way, arriving on the 21st. The camp there was in an awful state, feet deep in mud, & we had persistent rain for 6 days. Imagine the state of our kit, and ourselves. We got orders on the morning of the 18th to entrain at 2 o’clock that night, or next morning rather. There was an awful muddle of transport, & owing to the mud, well, I never saw such a mess! To cap it all it poured in torrents from 2 to 4 & made things 50 times worse of course. However it’s all part of the days work I suppose, & we kept smiling through it all. Eventually we got the transport off, & marched off at 8 p.m. arriving at the station at 12.30. We loaded up the train, & started off at 6 a.m. next morning. We had had no sleep of course for 24 hours, & had been working hard all the time, so were of course rather tired. We had been soaked through & had got more or less dry again marching, but none of us had our clothes or boots off for more than 36 hours; this I know is nothing to what others have-been doing up at the front, or to what we shall doubtless be going through in a day or two now, but it just shows how one can be quite decently uncomfortable miles away from the war really. None of us are any the worse for our wetting, & when I did finally manage to get a change all the clothes socks etc I was wearing were quite dry!

Such fun in the train; every station crowds of people, stare stare, & shouting & waving. All the girls asking for souvenirs, & almost tearing buttons & badges off one’s uniform. However I managed to hang on to all of mine, as I could’nt spare any, though I gave away one or two odd stars – interrupted here by ten million orders etc coming in – sorry.

This letter is from that clichéd address “somewhere in France”.  According to Drake-Brockman, they had in fact arrived in Orleans on the 21st October.  Ted continued this letter on the 24th October.

20140327_100940 Rotated Resized

Ted’s letter had been opened by a censor after being sealed; this was unusual and was a check on how effective the censorship was rather than a check on the contents of the letter itself

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Posted by on 23 October, '14 in France, Orleans


17 October 1914 – Ted to Gertrude

Oct 17.

I couldn’t send off the letter I began yesterday or when-ever it was as I’ve been too busy. And the weather! Well, it’s been raining hard for 3 days & nights, so you can imagine the state of our camp. Feet, simply feet deep in mud, and all our kit wet & horrible; rather a nuisance this, before we have actually started. I sent you one of those p.c.’s a day or 2 ago, saying I was all right. I fancy we leave the place in a day or two – so silly it seems not being able to say where we are; but I don’t suppose it will tax your guessing powers much to find out! Anyhow we are off somewhere I know but when and where I don’t know.

We had all our photographs taken this morning and I’ll try and send you a copy if they come in time. I have lost my reserve supply of Colgates tooth paste, 2 tubes, I can’t think what’s happened to it; so you might send me a tube about once every 3 weeks or month or so. Everyone seems to be sending us warm kit etc, but as our kit is only 35 lbs I don’t know how we are going to carry it all unless we wear it. One can get precious little into 35 lbs, it’s a choice between warmth & dirt, i.e. whether to take more blankets etc, or a good supply of soap etc. Of course everyone goes for warmth, as it’s impossible to keep really clean once we’ve really started.

We have two French interpreters attached to us, each regiment has, as our French is very rocky, but we ought to be quite good after this show. All the letters have to be censored, hence my lack of news, not that I’ve got much to tell you anyhow. Today is a ripping day & quite a hot sun, which is a good thing & gives the kit a chance to dry. We get French papers & the Paris daily mail here, but there is precious little news in them. Send along a picture paper occasionally will you, a daily sketch or something, they are always amusing.

I have’nt been back into the town since we came out here to camp, but the people were very enthusiastic when we marched through the other night, little boys & girls darted up & seized your hand saying goodnight, & cheering & shouting; most amusing.

I wonder if old Ben has rolled up, I hear she had a nasty toss down companion on the Dilwara, but is quite all right. She can tell you all my news I think. I have got 2 or 3 letters from you all at home, & you must excuse my not answering them all. I’m awfully fit & feeling as well as well. My poor pony got “laminitis”, a foot disease, on board & had to go to a vet: hosp: here, so I’ll never see him again. However govt is buying all our horses, & I shall get a remount as soon as I can. No more just now

Yr loving son


This is a continuation of the letter Ted started on the 14th October, 1914.


14 October 1914 – Ted to Gertrude

This letter was written just outside Marseilles on some scrappy paper.

Oct 14th

Dear Mother

Just a line to say we’ve landed in France – not allowed to say where! – and am absolutely all right. We disembarked 2 days ago; marched out 10 miles to camp (no joke after a month on board ship!) and got to camp at 12.30 at night, & to bed by 3 am, when it began to rain, & it’s been raining ever since! We are camped in some meadows, rather swampy, so you can imagine the state of the ground. However we are all in high spirits & it would take a lot to damp them. Excuse a scrawl, but am writing in my tent on the floor. We have all our kit – such as it is – at present, but we shall soon have to be on 35 lbs only; The A.S.C. are feeding us like fighting cocks here.

How splendid Jim enlisting, what a sportsman; I expect we shall meet some day, hope so. I got lots of letters from you Jane & Dryden, all the ones you posted to India office. Thanks awfully for them. Very busy, as I have to get acquainted with all the thousand and one orders of the force. So glad to hear you are all right at home. Please send me a khaki muffler, lightweight but warm. Tell Ben the blue jersey is the warmest thing in Europe & the buzz of the force; really, no rotting. Past 10 o’clock, so I must go to sleep. Still raining hard. Not very cold here, but damp and miserable, very muddy & dirty-

I got another letter from Jane today, I must try & answer them all tomorrow. I wonder if old Ben’s arrived home yet. She’ll tell you all my news. I posted a letter in a french post office to you, but now I hear they will not be forwarded. I also want some thick pants, to the knee, but not too solid, light but warm style if obtainable. I would’nt mind some cigarettes & baccy occasionally- I am going to try & keep a diary through the war, but I expect it will be a pretty scrappy one when once we get to the mysterious “front”! We get a few papers occasionally, & I see Antwerp has fallen; I wonder what their game is.

By the way, send along a few picture papers occasionally Daily Sketches etc, they all help to amuse us. And I want a pair of thick gloves, 8’s, leather lined wool or something warm; and a folding lantern, for candles, with talc sides; you can buy them at the Stores I think. Old Ben will tell you all about our escapades at P. Said, I would’nt have missed that day for worlds. All our letters are censored, so I can tell you nothing, not even where we are or where we are going; don’t worry we’ll be all right, but wont it be cold! Ugh.. When you write, enclose a card, or p.c. then I can write back at once; or enclose an envelope, anything so as I can get some news back to you soon, as these things are always handy.

This letter was continued on the 17th October.

The rain seemed to annoy Drake-Brockman more than it annoyed Ted.

The route lay for a part of the way through Marseilles town, and the inhabitants, notwithstanding the lateness of the hour, opened their windows and clapped and cheered us all the way. The journey was mostly uphill, and the cobbled streets made one’s feet rather tired towards the end of the march. Camp was reached at midnight. After some difficulty our exact part was located, camp pitched and kits sorted out, and such arrangements made as were possible in the darkness. Luckily, though it was rather threatening, it did not rain on the way, but at 5.30 a.m. it began to come down and rained heavily, with the result that the camp, which was situated a bit low in some meadows soon got terribly muddy. It was wet and miserable all next day, the 14th, and the day after. An intermittent drizzle made it very cold and damp.


11 October 1914 – Ted to Gertrude

off Sardinia. 11.Oct 14

Dear Mother

I don’t know quite when this letter will reach you. I sent one home to you by Ben which I gave her at P. Said to take home to you, but whether this letter or she will get home first I don’t know. Well, here we are, on our way to Marseilles, where we arrive tomorrow & where I hope I shall be able to post this. I don’t quite know what we do or where we go when we land, but in any case we’ll have to keep quiet for a bit, as we’ve been a month on this voyage and of course men and animals are very soft in consequence. You will have seen by the papers that some Indian troops have already landed in France, but that was the 3rd divn, & I was wondering if you thought by any chance that we were with that lot. Ben will explain when she get s home exactly how things are, & to what Brigade & Division we belong, so I won’t go into any elaborate explanations now. We have had quite a good voyage from P. Said, 18 transports escorted by the French Battleship “Jaure Guiberry” awful name is’nt it.

Ben & I had most awful fun at Port Said, & sent you some p.c’s from there which I expect you have got by now. I went & got her off the Dilwara, & we went ashore & made a whole lot of purchases, & wandered about seeing sights generally. And it was a sight! Nothing but officers in uniform and crowds of them, also hundreds of French sailors all waving little union Jacks. Ben & I kept on saying “vive l’entente” to them, & they were fearfully pleased always. There were 2 French battleships at P. Said, & two or three British cruisers & torpedo boats, but the old Gloucester was’nt there; I wonder where she is. After we had walked all over the place, we foregathered with Alix & some pals & had a tremendous dinner at the hotel, where we met everyone we’d ever met in India, & I kept on introducing Ben to officers who had just rejoined from leave, & I think she’s met everyone in the regiment now, we had quite a good dinner, with a little French tricolour stuck in the flower pot on the table. I had to be back by 10, so we wandered off, & rowed back & then sent old Ben off to the Dilwara. It was a gorgeous day & I can’t remember having enjoyed anything so much for years.

It has got much colder of course since we started, & today there is really a biting wind, & we are all fugged* up in the saloon, and the deck is quite deserted.
*”cubbed” is the word I was trying to think of, Ben always uses it.

We get scraps of war news by wireless occasionally, & today we hear about the Zeppelin being burnt by our navy airmen, & the siege of Antwerp. There is of course much speculation as to where we are going. At last after many guesses, rumours, & hopes & fears, we know we are going to Marseilies; then we go to a concentration camp near Paris, and after that, heaven knows where they will send us, where we are most wanted. It will be pretty cold on the continent this time of year, so could you send me along a khaki muffler some time, a nice soft light but warm one if you can get one, also a pair of warm gloves leather lined wool sound all right, size 8. Ben has got my address, but I’ll give it you again, unless of course you’ve had any other address given by the India or War office.

I.E.F. “A”

You see I’m not allowed by regulations to tell you where I am, or mention any towns etc, only just the barest items of news can be sent, otherwise one’s letters are liable to censorship and much delay, & very often destruction. But of course you can send me what you like to the address above, & say what you like in your letters, as they are not censored.

I have got a lovely Jersey Ben gave me in Lansdowne which is ripping & warm, tell her it is the buzz of the ship, and I get thoroughly ragged about it, as it’s a most gorgeous blue colour, & everyone else has khaki ones! By the way, can you send me 2 pairs of warm drawers, not too thick, but thick-ish, short ones reaching to the knee, as I know it will be most infernally cold all the winter. But don’t send too many things, as one’s kit is limited in weight of course, and I’ve got as much warm kit as I can carry almost. Doubtless a little baccy & cigarettes would not be out of place sometimes. But I leave it all to you. I expect everyone is making clothes etc for the troops, & so we should be plentifully supplied if only the things roll up.

Well, we live in stirring times, so don’t expect to hear from me again till you do hear from me: the Indian troops should be a good deal in the limelight, so you will probably see references to their doings in the papers occasionally. So wish me luck, & dont worry about me. Best love to all the family; I have’nt had any letters for ages! Ben will tell you a lot of my news first hand, I would’nt have missed that day at Port Said for Worlds! I wonder if she’s got home yet.

Tons of love from your loving son


Again, this was written as one long paragraph and has been split into several to make it easier to read.


30 September 1914 – Ted to Gertrude

S. S. Concordia
Red Sea

Dear Mother

Here we are, well on our way to heaven knows where! All sorts of rumours where we are going to land of course, England, Southampton, Marseilles, Boulogne, everywhere in fact one can think of, but no one knows at all, it’s being kept an absolute secret. My last letter was from Karachi I think, when I told you I had met Ben, & she wrote and told you I expect, & you must have got those letters by now. We had awful fun there, she & I, as we were in dock for about 4 days before we sailed. I used to be fairly busy all day on the ship, but always managed to get off in the evening & go up & have dinner on the Dilwara & sit & talk to Ben till far into the night. Well, one day we got orders to leave the wharf, & next day, the 21st Sept, we sailed, so I have’nt seen Ben since then.

This is a huge convoy of transports, 4 – in all, & we have cruisers & battleships escorting us.  The old Dilwara used to be just alongside of us, but too far off to distinguish people. But ½ way across the Indian ocean she went gadding off on her own, with a small cruiser as escort, most exciting for Ben, was’nt it. She went on to land troops at Aden, & pick up some fresh ones, & this morning I can see the old Dilwara tearing along to catch us up. You see the Konigsberg, that small German cruiser, is still knocking about in these waters somewhere, hence the elaborate precaution of escorts.

Well, we ought to reach Suez in a day or two, but we shall take about 3 days getting through the canal at least, with all these ships, so I don’t suppose we shall leave Port Said till about 4th or 5th October, & then perhaps we may know more where we are going. The Dilwara I know is going to Southampton, & should arrive there I should think – this is only my own idea – about 25th Oct, but no doubt Ben has told you something more definite than this. I expect you could find out from the India office when she is expected if you want to run down and meet old Ben- of course there is just a chance that we may stay a day or two at Suez or Port Said, waiting while we all get through the Canal, in which case I may be able to get over to pay the Dilwara a visit, I hope so. What fun it wd be if Paul & the Gloucester were at Port Said too, & were part of our escort through the Mediterranean, & then we’d be quite a family party on the high seas. We met a small 4-funneled cruiser last night, but could’nt make her out, & I was wondering if she was the Gloucester ordered off East somewhere. Ainsly Talbot was on board the Dilwara, but has been landed at Aden. But Ben will have told you all the Dilwara news I expect.

It was a rough-ish, choppy sort of weather for the first 3 days out of Karachi, & I expect old Ben had to stick to her cabin. Our men, who of course have never seen a ship or a sheet of water bigger than a bucket before, were fearfully ill poor devils, but are much better now. Since the first 3 days we have had a gorgeous voyage, sea like glass, & cool breeze. The first day in the red sea was hottish, but since then it’s been lovely; hot of course, but a good strong head wind to keep us cool. I want to see Ben at P. Said or Suez to see how she stood the voyage so far.

Field lantern with talc sidesBy the way, I want you do to something for me, I want a camp lantern, to take candles, something after this style. If talc sides not procurable, glass will do, but I’d rather have talc if you can get em. You can get them at the [Army Navy] Stores or Harrods or any stores like that I think. They are generally made of black tin, with talc sides which slide in & out, & weigh about 1 lb. If possible I should like a folding one, but never mind if it does’nt fold up, an ordinary one will do. But it should be square shape, as above, & please send out one or two extra talc slides with it to replace hem if they get broken. Anyhow the A & N stores camp furniture dept: would know the thing exactly if you ask them, as I know they keep them, but I expect there’s been a run on them lately. Anyhow, have a shot will you at getting one, p’raps some military stores in Aldershot wd have one. Well, having got it please pack it up ready to send it to me when I can give you an address- of course wherever we land we are bound to sit down for a week or two to get men & animals fit after this long voyage, as we shall all be pretty soft, so we shant go gadding off at once, & there will be lots of time to send it to me. P’raps the India office will publish an address, but if they don’t & if we’re not allowed to tell you where we are (quite possible, this, as they keep things so secret) then you might ask the India office what address to send things to. But they are sure to let you know some address.

The sea here in the Red Sea is a most gorgeous colour, deep blue, & a gorgeous wind blowing. I am feeling most awful fit & well, & so much better than I ever did or do in Lansdowne. I can see the old Dilwara just off our starboard quarter, fearfully nautical these days, but its too far off to distinguish people easily, even with [field] glasses. Funny to think how hot we are now, & in about a weeks time we shall be shivering with cold I expect. We’ve only got think khaki drill kit, so lets hope they give us some warm clothes before we start. I’ve got lots of warm cardigans etc, but our kit is limited to 35 lbs!! So we can’t take much. Ben gave me a lovely Cashmere cardigan jersey, a blue one. I thought my yellow one was too good for this show, so Ben has got it & I’ll wear it all right after it’s all over. She tells me she got the lovely purple scarf you sent, & is very envious, but she’s going to keep that too for me. Thanks awfully for it, I’m simply longing to get hold of it & wear it, as I love those scarves. It arrived after I’d left Lansdowne. I hope you are all fit & well at home. we have’nt heard much war news, just a few spasmodic wireless messages; but what we have heard seems favourable; I wonder what the situation will be when we get there. I will stop this letter for a bit now, & finish it off later, when we reach Suez or P. Said.


3rd Oct.

Am sending this home by Ben. I believe we are going to Marseilles, but dont know for certain. Awful hurry. Tons of love from


Note – the first part of this was written entirely as one paragraph, though presumably on several pages of note-paper.  It has been split into paragraphs to make it more legible.