“I wonder what the Archangel Michael thinks of destroyers and aeroplanes”

The Bishop of Peterborough and his wife wrote to their son Ralph, serving in the Dardanelles, with the latest news of political developments at home, and an encounter with two disillusioned soldiers serving with the Canadian forces. See here for more about Munro.

Nov 13 [1915]
The Palace

My darling Ralph

Thank you so much for your great letter to me of Nov 2nd & telling us of your going off in the Destroyer on work – & that we possibly may catch you by a letter to Marseilles – so here it is.
You will indeed have a good experience – & going about in this way will be full of new interest – but I can understand your reluctance to leave General Headquarters. I see that General Munro is gone to Salonika, & when I saw it in today’s papers, I wondered if you would have gone there with him – but you will not have gone off on your “destroyer cruise” before he left.

Everyone tells us that Munro is first rate & I heard also that in France he did a job that Haig got praised for & held a tough corner & saved us at one time, & then was not as fully appreciated for it as he should have been.

Your name appears in today’s Times, with K’s and 3 or 4 others, as “persecuted” by HM to wear your Servian & Russian orders – so there you are!

God bless & keep you
Your loving father
E C Peterborough

Nov. 13, 1915
The Palace

My own darling,

And now today your letters, and all their news, and I can think of you knowing & hearing the news of the other “fronts” & I wonder if you will see the wonderful account I have in the Daily Chronicle of the Serbs & their great fight and successes against Bulgarians.

Of Winston Churchill’s resignation – and all the excitement over it, and the speech he is to make on Monday. And all the time the growing consciousness at home of all you have suffered of delay in supplies – the impatience of House of Commons, and the insistence on questions, and determination to bring to book the Government. And when you wrote you had no idea of the C I C’s journey, or the gravity of the crisis in Greece, of the welter of awakening, and of the Derby success in this recruiting.

We travelled yesterday with two genial and congenial khaki men and one turned out to be a son of the new Archbishop of Dublin. They were on their way to Sandling, but Bernard was doing paymaster of the Canadian Contingent. He had come over with them after 8 years in Toronto. His account of things over here as to pay, & feeding and condition of the camp was most disheartening. The other man was from Leith, very Scotch, and he had been in mercantile marine service, and he too was disgusted.

Lord Exeter and his Battery sail on Tuesday & go to France – so the Walker family know….

One gets no news of the king beyond press – but the Queen is doing all sorts of things for him still, and one gathers he has had much pain & discomfort…

I am glad you have this bit of work to do – so full of succour that I feel sure an Archangel Michael will take care of you & have the keeping of you. It is the mission that he must have all his hosts ready for and I wonder what he thinks of destroyers and aeroplanes. He must long for his charge to have other means of progression but it doesn’t really matter so long as the work is done. I think darling, the end is in sight and the way of rebuilding Jerusalem is nearer, & of reconstruction and of renewal?…

Own Mur

Letters to Ralph Glyn from his parents (D/EGL/C2/2)

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