The best news since war began

Various letters from family members to Ralph Glyn discuss war news and life on the Home Front. Ralph’s sister Meg told him about her naval husband’s latest visit home. He was not terribly impressed by his father in law the bishop’s involvement with Missions to Seamen.

23 Wilton Place Nov. 12th
My darling Ralph

To my great joy Jim came home for breakfast again yesterday, having brought Royalist in to Newcastle to be made into a Capt D’s ship. Yesterday morning he went to the Admiralty & found that they are agitating there to give him the Constance still, so things are rather hung up at present.

Yesterday evening the parents & Maysie & John came to dinner, & we had quite an amusing evening. The parents… had just had a meeting in Peterborough for the Missions to Seamen & collected £100.

“A What?” said Jim.
“A missionary meeting” says Mammie.
“What for?” said Jim.
“To convert seamen”, says Dad.
“What into?” said Jim, & then asked if he couldn’t convert the £100 into his pocket.

Maysie ordered your cigarettes, & I went to Fortnum, & in future they are going to send you small consignments of picked things in plain boxes so I hope they’ll turn up alright, & I have countermanded that large order of mess things. Mother has asked me to get you some magazines which I am going to do today, & I’ll also send you a couple of 1/- or 7d books.

I lunched with Aunt Syb one day. The butler has enlisted, & Ivar has gone with his Division to Mesopotamia, but he couldn’t get any leave to come home first which was hard luck….

Today Asquith has promised we shall have Compulsory Service by Nov. 30th if more men don’t come forward. That’s the best news I’ve heard since war began, it would really almost be patriotic to stop men enlisting for the next fortnight if one could!…

Your very loving Meg

Ralph and Meg’s mother Lady Mary wrote:

The Palace
Peterborough

Nov. 12 1915

My own darling…
Ivar [Campbell, Lady Mary’s nephew] gone to Mesopotamia & no leave before he went but I hear he went in good spirits & preferring it to Flanders swamps….

Anne [Meg’s little girl] loved getting a letter from you. Did you hear of her reproof when Nannie told her not to waste food in wartime?
“It is not wartime, it is teatime.” …

Own Mur

Ralph’s father wrote:

Charing Cross Hotel
November 12 1915
Darling Ralph

I am glad you have got Willie Percy in your next tent, & you have friends all round you. The papers today are busy sending General Monro to Servia!! They talk bosh in every direction & are very maddening, & grumbling that they have not enough told to them, & so they tell inventions of their own….

We had a slow tiresome journey to & from Winchelsea – so many troops moving – & we had a train full of new recruits. I really think Lord Derby is well on his way & the men are coming in at present very well – but will it last? & be enough?

The “people”’s mind is turning to compulsory service – certainly in the south and Midlands, but the northern people are spoilt with excessive wages & are nasty in every way….

Your loving father
E C Peterborough

Letters to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C2/2/)

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