On embossed Admiralty notepaper
c/o British Embassy,
19th August 1918
My dearest Lillie,
I was awfully pleased to get your letter posted on the 12th, this evening on my return from Inmana. I am so glad you have made friends with the Wilcockers and that you like them. I think you are wise to stay on at Lee Grove Park, as you seem to be so happy there! I had a glorious time at Numana, but I felt just a wee bit homesick for Rome although I was only three whole days away. I had the nicest bathing I ever had. There was only one other English officer there, but I met several delightful Italians who were most friendly. In the train back from Ancona to-day I met an Italian attaché from the Italian Embassy in Paris we had travelled out together from Paris to Rome last May. Of course we fell on each others necks. It was the funniest coincidence. He was spending a few days with his family in Central Italy before returning to Paris via Rome. I took leave of him at the station, and would you believe it?! We met again in the same restaurant for dinner! He told me there was a British officer on the train who asked him if my name was Dillon when he saw us speaking. He told me the said British officer told him he was at college with me and tried to see me afterwards, but missed me in the crowd. So I went off to the station and found a T.C.D. [Trinity College Dublin]chap, whose name I cannot remember but whom I knew fairly well. It was very funny “entirely”? He was on his way to France around via Rome, so we just had a chat for a quarter of an hour at the station all about our lost youth. It was grand to have a breath of old Ireland even for a few minutes. His train left at 8.40 p.m. and then I went back to the station at 9.30 p.m. to see off the Italian attaché to Paris. Of course we are great friends now after our three chance meetings so we have arranged to meet again in Rome, Paris or London. I am taking a day off tomorrow and going for a drive with Lord Monk-Breton on the Appian Way. He is going to England soon I am very sorry to say, and I do not know if he will come back. I am always afraid that the Naval Mission may come to an end, and in that case I shall try to be transferred to the Military Mission, which by the way comes under Major Haldane. In that case Lord Monk-Breton might be of more use to me in London. So you see it is impossible to think of leave at present, although I am always longing to see my dear folks in London town. Lord Monk-Breton will settle the question of my *** in London. My Bank has received nothing yet and they are beginning to get crotchety. I am awfully happy.
Best of love to you & Anna
Many thanks for the Bystander and the other papers which I have received all right now. Of course I noticed and appreciated the funny thing in Punch to which you allude.
Many thanks to Anna for letter & book on Tabs which arrived this morning 20.8.18