Halsey 4th June 1915

From HMS New Zealand

By Ian Fisher

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

Dearest Mother

Just a line to say my appointment is officially out as Captain of the Fleet, so my address in future will [be] HMS Iron Duke. Will you let the family know my change of address as you write to them? I have no time to write to any one at present. I go from here on Sunday to my new job and I do dread the leaving. I met Coog at 1.30 today and we went out and lunched with the Bealty’s, then we went to a football match where I had to make a presentation to the gunners ashore from the men of the No.2, and Coog was let in by the soldiers to give away medals.

I returned to the ship at 5 o’clock and have now, 11.30pm, just returned for a farewell dinner given to me by Sir David Bealty who had all the Admirals and Captains to meet me. He said all sorts of nice things about me in drinking my health, which I am sure I did not deserve, and I quite got a lump in my throat and found it very difficult to reply to. I do hate these functions and tomorrow night I am being dined by my own officers on board here.

Poor old Coog hasn’t quite made up her mind what to do, but I think would like to come to you at Gaddesden, as there is no chance of my seeing her after Sunday – as my base will be too ungetatable altogether – and she had arranged to be away from St Anne’s for at least another 10 days or more. I am being relieved by a very great friend of mine thank goodness, and I am delighted as I know he will not capsize all my arrangements and that he will be liked by all my good fellows on board.

You must not expect much correspondence from me for a bit, but of course I will write when I can. I am so sorry to hear poor Jock Wood has had to have his foot amputated and you will have seen that Mrs Bolitto’s only surviving son is killed. I do hope and trust that I shall be able to do well in my new appointment, but I cant help feeling that I am leaving something that I flatter myself I know all about, for a very big job that I have got to find out all about. However, I can but do my best, which you may be sure I shall do. And I pray I may be given the strength to carry out successfully all that is expected of me, and I know I have the wishes and prayers of you and all my family. Good night my dearest Father and God bless you all, your very affectionate Son,

Lionel

D/EHL F61/43

This page was added on 05/05/2015.

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