‘My eye, they do seem bitter about Gallipoli’

Lady Mary Glyn and her daughter Meg Meade both wrote to Meg’s brother Ralph. Lady Mary was staying with her other daughter Maysie Wynne-Finch in Windsor, while Meg was in Portsmouth caring for a sick friend’s children, and mixing with senior naval figures.

Elgin Lodge
April 19 1916

The Cabinet Crisis is a real one & may bring about great events, but Asquith … seems to be able to keep together the Coalition at all hazards.

Trebizond is the good news of today’s paper. Well, the French are teaching is what it is to “hold”, and it is my belief we are to hold for the Kingdom that will surely come and we are all to think of the Christ as St John saw him… and He will make no mistake and order no sacrifice that is unavailing – the only leaders now are those who are “joyful as those that march to music, sober as those that must company with Christ” and we see them at all the fronts, but not yet among those who have made of statecraft a craft for self and for selfish ends. It is lamentable how few there are who are trusted & who can “hold” now for the Kingdom of that Lord & His Christ you soldiers know and obey. And yet I cannot believe that a country is ready to win the war so long as there is no real love and faith in God or man as a nation through its representatives. And our power will crumble if we give way to a carping spirit of criticism, and sometimes in perfect despair I find myself trying to believe in AJB and Walter Long, Bonar Law & those in whom the “Party” have consented before the Coalition. But as you know I have never had much belief in AJB’s power to impart a conviction which is founded on the rubble of the failure to find an absolute conviction….

Your own Mur

April 19th
Admiralty House

I have to be with them [the children] all day long to keep them busy, & we spend a lot of the time going over ships & running about the harbour in the barge, & playing golf, & the Flag lieutenant, who’s a nice lad called Murray, comes everywhere with us & we have great fun. Mr Murray was wounded about a year ago when his ship Swift was in the Canal, or no, when she was somewhere round by Smyrna, & he had been sent with some men in a boat to rescue some stranded boats on a beach where they were told there were no Turks. However the wily Turks were in hiding, & fired when the boat was at 80 yards range, so poor Mr Murray got badly hit through the tummy & for some time they never thought he would survive. The Flag Captain & Commander for the present are the same as Hedworth Meux had, Captain Stapleton Cotton & Lord Francis Osborne….

As a meter of fact I don’t know what damage the Zepps have done, & you know as much as the British Public are allowed to know. Unless one meets a native of the place the Zepps have been at, one never hears anything. As usual the Zepps only hurt the poor quarters of Edinburgh. The Grassmarket was worst off. A whisky distillery was blown up, & one bomb dropped by the castle within 15 feet of the Hun prisoners, a pity it missed them, but it’s just as well it failed to touch the Castle. You take quite the right view of Jim going to keep Royalist!

I think the parents have had the idea of a raid on Jerusalem broken to them by Aunt Alice, who had it from Harry who is a busy Transport official in those parts. I hear that Generals in France refuse to have the Anzacs until they have learnt some discipline. That Maori dance must have been a weird sight! We are a wonderful & elastic nationality without any doubt.

The day I came here I met at a luncheon in London a Roumanian who said he had come to England to collect ammunition for his country who would them come in on our side. As we make a practice of supplying every other nation except ourselves with ammunition I see no reason why it shouldn’t be true.

I don’t like your accounts of tummy trouble & fever, so be careful, & get some sick leave before you do a breakdown. You have never really got rid of the old Gallipoli complaint. I met a Marine yesterday who is taking an enormous naval gun out to France & he was in Gallipoli all the time. My eye, they do seem bitter about the sketchy work done by some of the Staff about the landing operations, but I suppose that’s inevitable, & someone’s got to bear the brunt of failure, & I can’t help always feeling that Ian Hamilton is blamed unduly harshly! He had an awful job to do, & he can’t be entirely blamed for that old disastrous habit which the CO showed of dreading the burden of any responsibility. That seems at the bottom of most of the failure…

From for ever your loving

Letters to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C2/4)

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