One of Scott’s best men killed

Apsley Cherry-Garrard, a veteran of Scott’s Antarctic expedition, was now definitely declared unfit for further service. One of his companions in the Antarctic was naval officer Harry Pennell, a casualty of the Battle of Jutland in May 1916.

June 12, 1916

Lamer Park

Dear Farrer

I saw a specialist on Wed. He says he feels sure there is no alteration now inside me – but inflammation etc etc & that this will go on a very long time.

I am very gradually to get on my legs a bit & under a year I ought to be able to lead a fairly normal life, but the process will cause an increase of pain & sickness. That the Admiralty will not, & should not vex me again.

One of Scott’s best men, Pennell, went down with the Queen Mary.

Yours ever

Letter from Apsley Cherry-Garrard (D/EHR/Z9/61)

Overstimulated for three years

Apsley Cherry-Garrard had been forced by illness to return home to England from the front. He was now exercised by the financial effects of the war on his income.

May 24 1916
Lamer Park

Dear Farrer

I make out that I am paying taxes on something like £2240 supposed income direct from agricultural land & the buildings here, while I am lucky if two or three hundred (after paying garden wages) sees Hoare’s Bank!

I see that the Times Leader this morning proposes that all men used on such gardens etc should be placed on the land. How about the capital loss to the long suffering estate owner?

I’ve had a lot more sickness etc etc … I had a long talk with the doctor yesterday. He says he does not think there is very much wrong with the actual wall of the intestine now, but that the strain through which it has gone has so overstimulated everything for some 3 years that it will take a long time perhaps to get right….

Yours very sincerely
Apsley Cherry-Garrard

Letter from Apsley Cherry-Garrard (D/EHR/Z9/55)

With a lot of rough but very good diamonds – better than being an officer boy

Apsley Cherry-Garrard of Denford in Berkshire and Lamer in Hertfordshire, was enjoying himself in the ranks, training as a dispatch rider, and was not sure he wanted a commission, although as a wealthy young landowner, he could have had one easily, despite his health issues. He wrote to his lawyer to say that he was not very impressed by the callow young officers he saw.

Saturday [11 October 1914]
11 Green Street, [London] W
Dear Farrer
I am here, having been called for by the Admiralty – something to do with armoured cars – but I don’t know what they want me for as I have not applied to them for anything.

If they want me to use Lamer medically I have made myself responsible for expenditure up to £1200….
I am having quite a good life at Aldershot, but very rough. I believe I may have a commission if I want it but I am not sure that I don’t prefer to see this through as an NCO in a good R[oyal] E[ngineers] company with a lot of rough but very good diamonds – than becoming an officer boy. The one thing which fairly makes me squirm is to have to salute the very young & raw material of the said boys!

Yours very sincerely
Apsley Cherry-Garrard

Letter from Apsley Cherry-Garrard to Arthur Farrer, 11 October 1914 (D/EHR/Z8/146)

To Belgium with a pack of bloodhounds

Apsley Cherry-Garrard of Denham in Berkshire and Lamer Park in Hertfordshire, had been on Scott’s expedition to the Antarctic a few years earlier. His widowed mother wrote to the family lawyer to inform him of her son’s unusual contribution to the war effort. She also reported her daughter’s sudden engagement, hastened by her fiance’s joining up. In the event, although Mrs Cherry-Garrard talks of a long engagement, Mildred married Peter Aston on 19 November 1914.

Aug 18th 1914
Dear Mr Farrer

My son asked me to write to you & say he started for Belgium this morning with Maj Richardson & his bloodhounds –they go as an independent unit & are to be attached they think to the Belgian army. They will work dogs at the front & organise this kind of work returning in a week or two when Major Richardson would want to return to train more dogs.
My son had been longing to take some active part & this seemed particularly a job he could do. He did not like leaving us in case we have to work this [Lamer Park] as a hospital, but we urged him not to hesitate on our account as we were quite sure we could manage.

I do trust he will be all right.

Yours sincerely
Evelyn E Cherry-Garrard

My 3rd daughter is just engaged to Mr Ashton. It is likely to be a long engagement as he has not enough to marry on. His volunteering for active service brought it to an engagement. He is only 25 & she is 23 so they can afford to wait. We all like him very much & he was at Winchester with my son.

Letter from Evelyn Cherry-Garrard to her lawyer Arthur Farrer, D/EHR/Z8/111