The Bay Museum is a friendly museum situated on Canvey Island. Based in a degaussing station, it now offers a wealth of artefacts, books and displays focusing on both local and world military history. Open from 10am till 4pm, the museum also organises trips to France and Belgium to experience the battlefields first hand, as well as helping you research your own family military histories. The museum is run by volunteers who always warmly welcome visitors and are never short of a war story!
Letter to Miss Dillon 17 February 1919
LONDON S.W. 1
17th February 1919
All further communications on this
subject should be addressed to – the Secretary
London S.W. 1
and the following number quoted.
I desire to place on record my appreciation of the splendid services rendered by all officials and members of the Women’s Legion Motor Drivers during the War.
It is now nearly four years since your President, the Marchioness of Londonderry, first proposed that the services of women should be utilised in connection with the transport services. The numbers have steadily increased, and to-day you form an important and for the present an indispensable part of the Military organization at Home. There have been times when it would have been almost impossible to carry on without your valued and ungrudging service. Knowing, as I do, what this has meant to the Army particularly and to the nation generally, it is a great pleasure to me to be the one to express your country’s appreciation.
I would take this opportunity of saying that in the state of transition from War to Peace conditions your help is still urgently needed, and I appeal confidently for a continuance of your loyal service, trusting that only very urgent grounds will induce you to ask for your release at present.
Quartermaster-General to the Forces
To all Officials and Members
of the Women’s Legion Motor Drivers
GD1929 5000 2/19 HWV(P) H3024
Report of Drifters off Mudros 14 February 1919
D “Northesk” II No 2022
Feb 14th 1919
The following changes in the personnel of crew of H.M.D. “Northesk II” No. 2022.
- Williams Tel discharged to “Europa”
- Smith O.S. “ “ “Europa”
Both discharged A.M. Feb 14 1919.
War Diary of AA Laporte Payne 13 Feb 1919
Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda
February 13 1919
I am expecting orders to go to the 3rd Division in Germany as the Colonel has recommended me as a battery commander in the Army of Occupation. This Brigade is being demobilized and the Colonel goes home on a month’s furlough.
It is a bit too cold here. Everything is frozen hard.
We are going out pig sticking on Saturday, which promises to be rather amusing. It is rather a shoot in the French manner, as the French here get them up, and go out armed with guns, knives, swords, revolvers, and trumpets.
George Ryan’s letter home dated 11 Feb 1915
11 Feb 1915
Dear M & F,
Thanks very much for the parcel, which I received yesterday. I didn’t expect to get it so soon. The pudding isn’t the first I’ve tasted this year, but of course it was the best. Both the pudding & the cake were alright, none the worse for the journey. The cake smashed up a bit when I cut it, but that’s a sign of good quality isn’t it? Tell May, as far as I can see, the cherries on top are intact. The cigarettes are A1 quite a treat, the tobacco ditto repeato. The handkerchiefs will be very useful, as one or two of my old ones are showing signs of wear, in other words split almost in two. In fact I’m using one now as a cleaning rag. Also tell May the piece of rag you put in will come in very handy, she seemed to think it wouldn’t be of much use. If she would like to know all particulars I’ve torn it in half; one half I’m using as a tea cloth, (I like to wipe my knife & fork etc, myself, then I know it’s done properly) & the other half I wrap my bread in. (We are given a pound loaf in the morning & have to keep half of it for tea).
I didn’t have to pay any duty on the parcel as I expected. Apparently that new order comes into force, that soldiers pay no duty.
Well, we got back here from Ishapore last Sunday. We had a very easy time there, I would not have minded the job for good if we had had a few things with us, as we had a chance of mixing with the English people a bit, that’s more than we can do here. I didn’t have a chance of going over the Factories but perhaps I shall next time, if we go again.
We’ve been put through it slightly since we got back here; a four mile run before breakfast, drill, sham battles, etc 9 – 12. Then two afternoons a week we go for a route march at 4.0 p.m. We went for one on Tuesday, between 7 & 8 miles. We got back soaked, trousers, tunic & all. It does take it out of you, it’s too much in the hot sun.
The barracks here are not quite so handy, there’s a second floor to them but the beds are a little more comfortable, the corrugated iron being replaced by interwoven strips of iron.
I forgot to tell May last week I made my first attempt at darning socks – the last week we were in Dinapore. So my socks lasted well, didn’t they. I made a very good job of it, but I don’t think the darns looked quite so neat as yours. I couldn’t get on with putting my hand down the sock, so I pushed a tobacco tin down & did it that way.
We have not got the letters here this week yet. The mail boat was 3 days late, then ours will be another day later still as they’ve got to be forwarded on from Dinapore. It’s a nuisance keep changing our address. I expect a few weeks after you’ve got this address we shall have shifted again.
Hoping this will find you all well,
Yr loving son
This is the last sheet of that lot of paper you gave me I can’t get any more till the canteen opens this afternoon. But I think you will be able to read this alright.
War Diary of AA Laporte Payne 8 Feb 1919
Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda
R.P February 8 1919.
155 Army Brigade R.F.A.
The above is my address. I have managed to get to Colonel Congreve’s Brigade, and at present I am commanding A Battery, but later I may go to C Battery. I took three days on the journey here, and it was cold! Now we have hard frosts and snow. The Colonel is in bed ill, and is probably going away on leave soon.
George Ryan’s letter home dated 7 Feb 1917
On headed notepaper with regimental crest 9th Middlesex Regt.
7 Feb 1917
Many thanks for your letters of Jan 3rd & 10th, the latter addressed to Hasan Abdal. Shall be glad to hear from May & Edie again. You have mentioned about them writing for two weeks in succession, so I ought to hear from them next mail. May used to say, the third time is never like the rest.
I am very sorry to hear Cousin Ellen does not improve at all, & that she has had to go to the Infirmary. I’m sure she was too much for you to look after.
I also heard from Mr. Walker last week. He mentions about your letter to him & asks what he is to do, so I suppose he never received my letter. I shall write to him next week, & will let you know what I tell him to do. Well I don’t think there’s anything of interest to tell you this week. The weather has been very fine the last week; just like it is in May at home. I am still on the Pioneer Staff, keeping my hand in at paste dabbing, & paper-hanging, tell Dad.
I am sending the Jan No of our magazine. I don’t think it improves much. I should think it’s rather hard for people outside the Battalion to understand some parts of it. What’s your opinion?
Hoping you are all well; I’m in the pink.
Fondest love to all from
Yr affectionate son
P.S. In case last weeks mail goes to the bottom of the sea, I will repeat one thing that I said & that’s “In future please address letters to Rawal Pindi, until I alter it again”.
P.P.S. I meant to have told you the “latest” which is that we are going down to Lahore, very shortly, into the 3rd Div.
Letter to H.A. Titcomb 5 February 1919
Copies to be made for uncle HAT.
February 5th 1919
Sergeant Major H.A. Titcomb,
R.A.F. Repatriation Records,
43 St. Cross Road,
I saw Trenchard on Sunday and he expressed himself as amazed to hear of your history. He was not aware that you had been refused a Commission. I have heard from him today and understand that you will get your release in a few days time. If things should not go satisfactorily please let me know.
I understood from you that you do want to get out but are in no hurry; should the results of my efforts be more rapid than you anticipated do not be sufficiently quixotic to decline, because then you might stay there for years & years. I understand that the demobilisers have got to demobilise everybody and everything, including the regimental mascots, before their own turn comes.
Yours very truly,
Not named here.