26 August 1916 – Thinks Wireless should be safer; hoping leave will go through.

26 August 1916 Saturday night

Wireless School

No 50 Mess

Royal Naval Depot

Crystal Palace

LONDON SE

Dear Mother & Father

Many thanks for your parcel which arrived this evening and I must say the contents are as interesting as those of former parcels. You seem to be a little afraid of my safety in the Wireless but it is really safer than Signals.  All the hands of a ship are fastened in their respective positions and cannot get away very well in the case of a sudden emergency.  The Wireless and chiefly the Signallers are certainly the most exposed but they have the first chance if anything goes wrong.  The Wireless men are sent to Minesweepers, Patrol vessels and Coastguard stations and only the best men go to the Grand fleet.  I am quite ready for my part in whatever sphere I am placed and can only hope that I shall come through it alright.  I shall have about 3 months yet at the Palace to get proficient if I have luck.

I have no time for anything but work but I am interested so that makes all the difference. You meet plenty of drudges here and it makes me feel sick to hear them speak they are really a burden & will be very little use.

You say you have received my second separation paper and I gather that you will now have to draw 10/- per week. With this I shall have ample for all & everything.  Please send 5/_ every week in the parcel and this will see me on comfortably, then if I want any extra to get home with you can send some of the balance.  Don’t put any in the PO but buy War Loan vouchers with it, this will be better I think but just do what you think best in every case.

Glad to hear news of Charlie Hewitt. As regards leave so long as I am in the School I shall get every other week end from Friday night to Monday morning.  This will be too often to get home but I think once a month will have to suffice for the present.  It is my weekend next weekend but Lancashire is on the black list for leave so mine will be all off if they don’t remove it from the list.  I hope they will before next weekend for I want to see you all.  It is rather a long way for you all to come down here and we are only allowed out every other evening and then only at certain hours.  We have to be back by 9.15 so there is no time to go anywhere in the evenings.  Everything down here is mighty dear and even to come down for a weekend would cost a good deal.  I can get a pass for 2 visitors to come into the Palace but you would not be bale to see our sleeping quarters only from the door.

We get things very cheap at the Ship’s Stores, 2ilbs Soap for 5 ½ d and it is very much like Castile soap and a lanyard that costs 3d outside can be bought for 1d. They don’t fleece you at the stores but do if you go outside.  I am liking immense now and now we are in the school we are treated more like gents than tars.  The instructors are clever men quite different from out first drill instructors.  We have many privileges that the other tars have not and shall have more as we progress in the school.  With a bit of luck I shall do that.  Glad to hear that Grossley’s have stumped up.  I have not got the book yet but it will perhaps arrive in a day or two.  I have not got the book yet but it will perhaps arrive in a day or two.  Any sort of drinking cup will do and this scrubber is alright for my purpose.  Send me a copying pencil with a shield on the top, in your next parcel.  The cakes were in splendid condition and the quantity is quite enough.  They go down splendid after the stuff we get.  Most of the grub especially the meat is spoiled by bad cooking but it has improved this last day or two.  Have a pocket or two ready to stitch onto my jumper (reminds me of Fanny’s jumper) and bags.  This is all for the present so Ta Ta and good night all.

Best love to all including Grandma

James

PS

I only want the pockets when I come home on leave.

014-envelope

 

 

19160816-119160826-219160826-319160826-4

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