“The only thing that really matters is the western front”

Ralph Glyn’s friend Hereward Wake, home on medical lave and visiting his wife’s family in Northumberland, was critical of the way the war was being fought. C W Laird of the shipbuilders Cammell Laird was trying to get a gun manufactured in bulk.

Howick
Lesbury
Northumberland

23 July 1915

My dear Ralph

I hear you are in the Dardanelles. Good luck to you, & write me a line to Courtenhall when you have a moment.

A pity we have dared to ignore the first rule of war & undertake such a job as yours, & we all wish it were feasible to chuck it & bring the troops back to kill Germans.

It seems Warsaw will be German in a few days & possibly Riga too. But these misfortunes will not make the Russians chuck it, and the only thing that really matters is the western front, when by this time we ought to have 2 millions instead of ½ a million. I have been home 3 months, home with neurasthenia, a cursed disease, & I’m still no good. I’m not supposed to write letters, so will finish this now.

I hear John Wynne Finch is back in France.

You were right when you said the war would last some time!

Yours
Hereward

C W Laird
58 Pall Mall
London, SW

23/7 1915

My dear Glyn

My proffered services are still no nearer finding acceptance at the hands of a grateful country. Seriously, if I felt that my leg would stand it, I think [what end] by offering to act as a boy scout at the War Office – a commodity of which they are very short.

As to the gun, I took her to Enfield yesterday again, and she is being again considered. If formally, shall put out for the States and try to get her made unless Govt offer facilities here. Heard as late as the 25th of May that the gun at the front was still doing good service, now with the IXth Div. It strikes me that an individual gun that has kept at it all this time is a pretty good test.

From Paris they are calling for me to go over to show gun. Did in fact go over ten days ago and promised to show the gun again with a nuch lighter tripod stand (3 ½ lbs) which has been designed but is not yet ready, though one has been with gun at front for months. But for Paris the difficulty is getting manufacture.

The bright spot on the horizon seems to be the mere possibility of the taking of A[?] Baba and the Turks despairing of holding on to the further positions.

C W Laird

Letters from Hereward Wake and C W Laird to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C31/11-12)

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