Category Archives: Lawrence Russel

4 October 1914 – Benedicta to Gertrude

Suez Canal.

Posted Port Said

Nov 4th 1914

Dear Mother.

We get to Port Said today sometime I believe so I am going to post this, as the mail will get home before we do I fancy, if we hang about as we are now.

I hope I may see Ted at Port Said, after that I think we may leave the convoy & go on, on our own. Anyway I hope so because it seems to be endless this voyage, I’m dreading the part after this too because it’s all the worst; I was ill the 1st go off tho’ it wasn’t really rough, & in the Red Sea we had it like a mill pond.

At Aden Alix & I went ashore but it was boiling hot; now at last it is cooler, & soon we shall feel it awfully not being used to it. We are about 50 transport going along together, we have been quite near Ted’s ship once or twice & at Suez yesterday, we were in harbour together but no one was alowed off. After Port Said we get to Malta & then Gib, they say we shan’t be back till almost the end of the month but you can expect me any time after this.

We’ve heard very little news but I see in one list of casualties that Laurence Russell is wounded. I did not find anyone else I knew, but that was some time ago of course. I want to get back quickly now, once we leave the convoy as they will be in France fairly soon. I don’t suppose our people will go straight into it, they are sure to let them climatize at first. I shall hear from Ted at Port Said anyway even if I don’t see him.

The Irish Rifles are an awfully nice lot, Alix & I are having a very good time; they have a band too on board which plays twice a day, & we dance in the evenings. The Irish Rifles are only going home to get some warm clothes & then straight to France, so of course they are in good spirits. There was a Tommies concert last last night, there was quite a good deal of talent.

This is my last time of peace I fear, for the Mediterranean is so rough, Alix had a bad go of fever after we left Karachi. Our cabin was a sort of hospital, but everyone was awfully kind.   I had my rotten Lansdowne inside once again to add to the comfort of things, & I lived on Alen & Hanberries food for 3 days but have been eating again now, tho’ the food is frightfull & not getable mostly as they have so few waiters, but we are all getting used to the discomfort & are more or less cheerfull, under all the hopeless circumstances. I really wonder that we are, because of course there’s not one single person on this ship who has not a husband at the war, bar Alix & I & we’ve brothers & her fiancé.

I’m going through the canal, it’s so peacefull;  I hope we are able to land at Port Said. I want to get one or two things there, though now we are to pay for our messing & they are keeping us so long on this voyage. I shall have to be carefull with my money

I do hope you are allright. I’m longing to get back to you again. I hope you are doing that press clipping scheme for Ted. I live in hopes of seeing the Gloucester somewhere, there may be a chance perhaps.

Did I tell you in my other letter which I think will arrive the same mail as this, to post me a letter when you get this c/o Cox Southampton S.S. Dilwara to wait arrival. I shall get it allright I expect when I arrive. Heaps of love to all

Your loving


Although this is dated November,we know that Ben was in Port Said in October, she must have got the date wrong when writing her letter.


25 September 1914 – Paul to Gertrude

25th Sept.

Dear Mother.

V. many thanks for your last letter (6th Sept) – You must have had one or two more letters from me by now I expect. A mail apparently takes about a fortnight to get here, as the last papers we have are the 12th.

So Ted is going to have a look in – He must be pleased – but it will be ages before you hear where he has gone- He may be in Egypt- Yes poor Ben! She must feel a little lonely- suddenly being left – but what a good thing Dick is fairly close.

More news of disaster in the North Sea – CressyAboukir & Hogue – Big ships too – but we have no details as yet- what really happened.

I know quite a lot of officers in the casualty list- I noticed Lawrence – there’s that Henstock boy who used to be at Irving’s with me & 4 or 5 others I know.

No. You need’nt send those pillow slips now- thank you very much though, but they might so easily get lost.

We have had heaps of woollen things sent to us already from the Navy League. I had a special one from Joy Dolphin – who was asked to send it to someone she knows from the ladies of Cheltenham League or something like that – I could’nt quite understand who – but at present it’s miles too hot even to look at anything woolly out here-

I hope you are all well at home- I am in blooming health. I had a letter from Jim the other day- he seems very sick at being stuck in Porto.

My very best love to you all.

Your ever loving son Paul.

Jim Berryman lived in Portugal and worked in the wine trade there.