A geographical error

Lady Mary Glyn wrote to her son Ralph with her comments on the news. The Appam was a British civilian ship transporting some wounded soldiers and German prisoners of war, as well as civilians, from West Africa. Sir Edward Merewether (1858-1938) was the British Governor of Sierra Leone, and was also onboard. The ship was captured by a German vessel, and taken to neutral America.

My own darling Scrappits…

It is Monday Jan 31 [1916] …

I have been seeing people all day – no time to write or read – even the account of the Paris Zeppelin raid. Poor Sir Edward & Lady Merewether of Malta [dogs?] lost in this Appam tragedy. It is too sad. And Lady Wake’s brother Beau St Aubyn in the Persia – doing a good turn to Johnny Ward whose place it was to go. There seems to be little hope of his having been saved, though the man standing next to him at the time of the explosion was picked up. So the whole round world is full of tragedy – but the assurance is that the Germans cannot hold out much longer. Lettice has heard that there is most certain information as to the economic conditions being desperate & quotes Bishop Bury of N Europe….

Poor Mackenzie, stationmaster – has his son home desperately ill – consumption of the throat. He has not been to the front but serving with Kitchener’s Army & it has been too rough a life….

We began the evening with a Zeppelin excitement, One reported at Bourne – & then at Ryde near Thorney, & Peterborough was warned. Now, 11 pm , I hear the Zeppelin dropped a bomb at Stamford and one other place, & we shall hear more tomorrow, & I only hope it will not come back upon its track to right this way. I am conscious of most inadequate precautions! & worry myself to think how we could protect the children [Meg’s little Anne and Richard, who were visiting]. “The safest place is just where they are”, says T’Arch [possibly the Archbishop] & counsels no move to any quarters other than where they are, as we have no cellars.

Ralph’s sister Meg Meade, who was staying with her parents, also wrote to him:

Jan 31st

My darling Ralph

I wonder if you ever have ever got those 6 pairs of socks I sent you from Mother about a month or 6 weeks ago – in fact just before we heard had shifted to Egypt where of course you won’t want them, but they’d have been useful in the Dardanelles.

I like the name Iron Rations for Robertson! I hear he had a proper chase round in the WO before settling down to work, & he would only take on his job on condition he was allowed to make what changes he liked.

I haven’t seen Aunt Syb or Joan since getting your letter, so have not been able to give them your message. But Aunt Syb told me that Ivar’s Battalion had been through such awful fighting that all the officers including the Colonel seem to be killed or wounded & she doesn’t know how – if ever – she’ll hear any more about Ivar. It’s so tragic. I do feel so miserable about it, and she is so wonderful. Your forecast about the Tigress [Tigris?] weaker was a bit out. That force seems to be having an awful time from the papers, but of course they may be lies, & after their having informed us the relief force was within 7 miles of Kut. When it was never nearer than 27, what’s the use of believing anything they say. They said their “mistake arose from a geographical error!”…

Letters to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C2/2-3)

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