25 March 1917
Dear Mother & Father
I am still plodding along on the Amphitrite but the only good thing that can be said about it is that one is comparatively safe on board.
I am now in the police office on board acting as messenger & doing odd jobs merely to kill time.
I do a bit of scrawling for them & yesterday one of the writers complimented me on my handwriting.
The ships police do all the drafting but they are a detestable set of men taken as a whole of course. Their chief characteristic is that they are splendid bullies. One of theme here is a real rotter and I have never met his equal. Their business methods I am not struck on at all, and as soon as there is anything to do they all seem to go mad. Of course they are always right but if left alone the are generally harmless & the spasms soon pass.
They are not liked at all & you will scarcely find a Service man to give them a good name. there are good & bad as in every trade & I have come across some quite decent chaps.
I despatched a parcel of dirty clothes Saturday & hope they arrive safely. Yesterday I met an old friend of Walt Butterworths. He had come to join a Trawler here & it was his first ship. He had been held up for 2 or 3 months at the Palace was in quarantine.
I have swapped the letter from Cheltenham about M/.G.S.
I was very glad to hear from Pealey.
Sorry Dad is so badly off for men, we could spare a few hands from here quite easily & heaps would be on too pleased to be allowed to come but it is impossible of course.
We have had ½ rations of potatoes for over a week now & the other ½ is composed of rice, peas or beans. Glad you are alright for them at present but everyone will have to be as careful as possible.
You will be having a gay time with the painters but get the carpet down as soon as poss. Glad Lois got through her operation alright. I always thought that you did not like visiting but it breaks the monotony of always being at home but Dad does not like it so well as you, he is a proper home bird.
I was talking to one of our Ships Company the other day & he asked me if I had any relations at Huddersfield. He said that they were called Simpson & were very much like me in looks and they ere Butchers so that seems a good clue.
Perhaps dad will know, though I know he does not bother much about the relations.
Things are pretty dull but we are cheerful enough and ready for anything that come along. Don’t send any of the things I wanted until I send word. I may be here 6 months but on the other hand they may draft me away in five minutes. I am pretty well used to waiting now & patience is a thing that the navy teaches us.
I will write again in a day or two but will write immediately if I am placed on draft.
There is nothing more to say at present so I will pack up. Hoping all are well. Best love to all
Your Loving Son
P.S. Letter & Guardian just arrived but parcel not yet to hand.