Ex parte reports are not quite cricket

Ralph Glyn’s officer friend Stephen Pollen had returned from the Dardanelles.

28, Hyde Park Gardens
Nov. 9th [1915]

Dear Glyn

I am so sorry to have just missed you. It was so kind of you to have burdened yourself with a parcel for me & I am only glad to think your trouble was not wasted & that the coat is useful to you.

Many thanks, too, for the cheque although I don’t see why you should pay me a full price for a second-hand article! It is no use writing you all we hear here of what is in the melting-pot about the MEF. The centre of decision & the Decider have shifted to your GHQ.

I am to remain & assist Sir I.H. to finish off his despatches &c, & shall, I fancy, not be available for a few weeks more as we are waiting on various documents from your side. Subla [sic] Bay complicates the matter as ex parte reports have been received at WO & apparently have no small influence which is not quite cricket.

I would have liked to see the show through. It is nice to be home but not nice to come in the way one did! And what a difference being “in” it & “out”! The fortune of war & its no use lamenting.

I hope to be usefully employed again – & after all in this war, if one can be that it should be enough…

Yrs ever
S H Pollen

Mind you make use of me if there is anything you would like done.

Meanwhile a Scottish writer had taken up an idea Ralph had put forward to improve the supply of reading material for the troops.

Geo. A. D. Kirkland
55 West Regent Street

9th Nov. 1915

Dear Captain Glyn

I have seen some letters you have written McDonald about the supply of books etc to the troops at the Dardanelles. The Council took up the Scheme enthusiastically and in the absence of a better man appointed me Hon. Secretary of a Committee to deal with the matter.

What we have done is this. Colonel Smith Park communicated with Lady Hamilton and after hearing from her and obtaining information from other quarters we inserted a letter in the Herald and Scotsman and have received a large quantity of books and magazines as well as candles and night lights. We are putting them up in bales of about 50 lbs, with an intimation inside of where they come from and are sending them to Lady Hamilton’s Dardanelles Fund, which is really a branch of Queen Alexandra’s Field Force Fund. They send a consignment to the East every week and will incorporate our bales. This, of course, is a slight variation for the method suggested by you, but we are assured that the QAFFF as special arrangements and facilities which it would be well for us to utilise.

I enclose a cutting from the Record in which you will see some familiar figures. The bales have been carefully made up by a professional packer.

Mrs Anstruther’s Association which you mention to McDonald was one of those with which we communicated. They are prepared to supply and send 100 books for a payment of 5/-; should our supplies of books dwindle we may use the association. It receives books through the Post Office and makes them up, but Mrs Anstruther has been good enough to say that though it is not their rule she would take our books separately and send them with those of the Association. We may take advantage of her offer later. Meantime we are sending to the QAFFF. All your friends in the College who remain civilians are very busy with Lord Derby’s Canvass with the assistance of our friends on the other side, who do three quarters of the talking and a quarter of the work.

I am glad to see from McDonald’s letter that you seem cheerful in regard to military prospects. So am I though I don’t know anything about it.

I am
Yours very truly
George A D Kirkland

Ralph Glyn
c/o DMO
War Office

Letters to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C31/36-37)

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