Halsey 3rd Feb 1915

From HMS New Zealand

By Ian Fisher

To listen to the audio clip, click play on the bar on the right.

Dearest Mother,

Ever so many thanks for your letter of Monday, which was full of news of you all. I am quite all right again thanks, in fact I was all right the day after the action and only had a splitting head ache, caused, I think by the fumes from the cordite chiefly, and as I had really had no rest from Friday 22nd to the time we returned to harbour on Tuesday I did feel a bit done, as added to the work, the excitement of an action I think must take it out of one afterwards; a sort of reaction after being very highly strung and ones brains working at the fullest pressure, as one has to think of so many things all at the same time.

My family have indeed treated me well in the way of letters and I do appreciate them so much. Freddie wrote me one of the nicest letters I have ever had I think, and I have had dozens and dozens from all over the country and telegrams from all over the world. I find it awfully hard to answer them. I am very glad to hear about Bridget Curtis, but am sorry to think of poor [Nanny] being left by herself. I enclose my autograph and if I can get hold of any more – Jellecoe’s or Bealty’s, I will write and send them to you. How nice of the Newfoundland Masons to send Father that cablegram – I have sent it on to Coog. There is no chance of my being photographed at present I fear, but if I come out of this war I will willingly do anything you like.

Thanks for the receipt for the eyes – they have the boracic acid powder on board, which is splendid. I feel I never thanked you and Father for all your good wishes for my wedding day, but of course the letter didn’t actually arrive on board till we got back from the action two days after, and in answering all your congrats I omitted the other thanks. Fifie wrote a delightful letter as usual, for which please thank her. I do think it was very extraordinary of the Drakes to have engaged a choir from Hemel Hempstead for big Bill’s funeral, but very like Mrs “D”, and I should think our choir must have been very sad. I wrote Edith a long letter for her birthday. It was very good of you to send round my letter to the family, or to copy it out, as it is quite impossible to write to everyone at once. All I ask is that nothing I say may ever be put in the newspapers, at any rate without my permission, but I feel sure it would never be done by any of my family.

Well my dearest Mother I must end. I expect we shall soon be having another go at the Germans, at least if they will only give us half a chance. My best love to you all at home and God bless you all is my constant prayer

Ever your very affectionate Son

Lionel Halsey

D/EHL F61/30



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