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Category Archives: Breslau

17 November 1914 – Richard to Gertrude

En route Calcutta.

Nov 17

My dear Mother.

Many thanks for your letter. Sorry you had had no mail when you wrote. I think I remember the time I missed. I hope you did not have 50 fits when you got the cable I sent yesterday. Such a pity to go on writing when I am not here & I can’t at present give you any other address. I told you last week about the wire I had, well another came yesterday saying “Please proceed forthwith Quetta and report Asst Director Medical Services for duty, pay etc now under reference to Secretary of State”. Result – I am now on my way to Quetta. Far at all? I suppose it means about 10 days journey! Of course I am missing this mail as it arrives at Lahoal today, a nuisance.

I wonder how you are getting on with the two officers, I hope they are nice men & clean. Many thanks for Long way to Tipperary, I think it’s farther to Quetta!

I had intended coming home with Craigie Manders. He leaves shortly & I will write to him & ask him to go and see you. I saw him only 2 days ago & he can tell you the news.

Old Russell his wife & kid arrived the other day. I fancy he was glad to get back. He’s quite a decent sort of man, but rather an old fool & I could not stay in their bungalow for long. I have not sold “Summer” or “Tu-Tu” but they are being looked after for me by 2 men, & should be alright. You see “Summer” being a race ‘oss & there being no races, no one wants her much, she’s worth £100 but I am afraid I shall not get that.

I shall post this in Calcutta when I arrive, I heard from Paul the other day, he says when he saw the Breslau last she had all her funnels!

Are’nt you glad the Emden is caught, everyone here is of course.

Well cheerioh, sorry I can’t tell you what I am going to do exactly.

Yr loving son

Richard.

Oh by the way, I’ve sent my old bicycle home to you, & a big box full of all sorts. They are to go by the cheapest so I expect they will take a longish time.


£100 in 1914 was worth between £8,068 and £9,769 now, depending on the calculator you use.

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5 October 1914 – Paul to Gertrude

October 5th

Dear Mother.

V. many thanks for your two letters- 16th & 21st- they arrived together 2 days ago. I am glad to hear Jim has come home & enlisted – the last letter I had from him, he was fearfully keen. Ted by now I suppose must be well up at the front.

I can’t quite make out why you have’nt got many of my letters – I’ve sent a good few off – but they may have been censored. I wrote you a fairly long account of our little scrap with the “Breslau” – but you have never told me whether you got it – so I suppose that one was anyhow. We have had some cuttings sent us from various papers re our show – truly amusing – The “Morning Post” one was quite the best – did you see it.

We have also had heaps of scarves etc from the Navy League – they seem to be doing a great deal in that line, but I can quite see that it can be overdone.

One thing about this war – anyhow from our point of view is that we can save a lot of money – you see I have’nt been ashore now for 8 weeks – so we have only our food onboard to pay for; so if you want some money (cash) – I can send you a remittance thro’ the Admiralty for £5 or so which might help along the larder for a week or so – now mind you let me know.

There seems to be a certain amount of stagnation in the war now – anyhow where our fellows are fighting- This 23 days’ battle seems to get no further either way – how fearfully exhausted they all must be.

Yes I see that Lawrence Russel is killed now – also George Moodie wounded – how I should have loved to have been in that charge the Scots Greys did.

Jane tells me you are trying to get a Belgian lady (refugee) to stay!

Well I can’t think of any more news-

I am quite well- & I hope all of you are too.

Very best love from

Your ever loving son Paul


It’s frustrating that Paul’s letter about the Gloucester’s encounter with the Breslau is lost. Chapter 7 of Geoffrey Miller’s book “Superior Force” describes the encounter.

£15 in 1915 converts to £215 in 2005 values.

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18 September 1914 – Paul to Gertrude

Sept. 18th

Dear Mother.

Thanks ever so much for your last two letters dated 23rd & 30th August- I expect by now you have had one or two more letters from me – as any merchant ship that we board, I generally drop you a line in pencil & ask them to post it “WHEN” they get home.

All those papers vastly exaggerated our small fight with the “Breslau” – it was’nt the “Goeben”, although she was there – & of course it makes us fearfully annoyed on board here to read all the absolute tosh that is written about us. We did have a fight true – but where people get hold of all the damage we did I dont know-

We get news fairly regularly now & it seems as if our army & the allies are doing ever so well – good for them. I am glad to hear Guildford is doing well in the recruit line.

Not a bad paper to take is the “Naval & Military Record” – price 2d – weekly – it summarizes the news very well & has more naval news than most-.

My very best love to you all & I hope you are all well – Your ever loving son

Paul.

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4 September 1914 – Paul to Gertrude

Sept 4th

Dear Mother.

V. many thanks for your letters- at last we got a mail two days ago – letters up to the 18th which is really rather good, and we hope to get more to-morrow.

This war is really terrible isn’t it- the worry & suffering that must be going on at home is really too awful to think of, and we are still ages behind in news. I do think it awfully fine of everybody to volunteer so quickly – everybody is doing their little bit now I suppose.

Our latest news is that the Germans are well into France now, so if they get anywhere near Paris there will be some trouble, and will prolong the war ever so much.

Yes. I wonder what Ben will do – Will she go down to Assam & stay with Dick?

We are wondering whether the Goeben & Breslau will come out of the Dardanelles- but there seems to be an idea that they will go up to the Black Sea – an awful nuisance – as then we won’t be able to have another go at the Breslau. Did you see the account of our chase in the Daily Sketch of the 18th, try & get one if you did’nt.

Good night mother. My very best love to you all & I hope you are all well. I am very well.

Your ever loving son

Paul

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15 August 1914 – Paul to Gertrude

H M S Gloucester

15th August

My dear Mother,

Just in the midst of a hurried coaling so xcuse any dirt. I am still safe & sound & so is the Gloucester – but it is a strenuous life this war – & we get very little news out this way.

Hope everybody is very well at home.

It is sickening about the “Goeben” & “Breslau” being sold to the Turks, as we did hope to have another go at them. We heard today that the Breslau has a decided list one way- thro’ her action with Gloster – so we must have hit her a bit.

Terrifically hot out here.- We are away from Malta & no hopes of going back yet awhile. Have had no letters since the 31st July – no mails whatever.

Very best love to all
Your loving son
Paul.

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