DIARY: Underway for Portsmouth. Passed Portland Bill at 7.30 am, Needles at 10.30 am and St Catherine’s Point at 11.15am, Ventnor 11.30 to anchor 5.30 in stream.
The Needles, Isle of Wight:
St Catharine’s Point:
23 July 1917
Dear Mother & Father
No doubt you have had no correspondence from me now for a considerable time, but now we are back again in Blighty, you will get my letters regularly at least for the time being. We have just been one month in getting home but on the whole we have had a very pleasant passage without any undue excitements. We had a lovely passage up the “blue sea” and after leaving our last port of call had 3 rather rough days but nothing to complain about. The first half of the time we touched at a good many fine places but I was unable to view them.
It is upwards of 5 weeks since I had a mail but I suppose very soon I shall have a good deal of interesting news to wade through shortly. I am able to pick up a little news when possible but I am really in the dark as to news until I have had a good look round.
I have got along quite well up to the present but a stay in Blighty will be quite acceptable after the weather I have experienced for the last few months. We called at Falmouth for about an hour but proceeded almost immediately here, where I expect we shall again take in cargo. Of course I cannot give you any idea as to when we expect leave but whether we get any or no, rests with the authorities who are not generous in this respect. Anyway, last time leave was granted the first watch got away about seven days after arrival. Judging from that, we may say roughly in 10 days time. Now would it better for me to come the first or second parts of the time ? The second batch going after the first had returned. Personally I should come first but I may be allowed the choice. No doubt I told you I again met Waygood in Malta & spent a very pleasant time with him although it was only one evening. I also saw Hall the chap Uncle Ernest Hebden knows.
I aim to call on Waygood’s Brother who is with Hall & Pickles of m/c if I get home. Tomorrow July 24th is my birthday and I am exactly one year old but it seems a good deal longer since I began on this job. Anyway it cannot last for ever & the sooner it is over the better.
We have been all the time at Moudros and I think you will have guessed that from my letters.
Write me as usual and I will write as often as possible & let you know any thing of interest.
I hope all at home and at Middleton are quite well also next door.
So much for the present. Shall have a few interesting things to say if I get home. Love to all the kiddies & yourselves
Your Loving Son
“Lovely passage up the blue sea” = The Mediterranean Sea.