Letters from the Great War – “It’s too bad about Lord Kitchener’s ship going down”

Somewhere in Egypt/Middle East – June 27, 1916 – (Letter #16) 

Dear Brother;

Just a few lines to let you know I am in the pink. Hoping this will find you the same. It is very hot here at present, but the nights are cool, so it is not too bad. Do you ever hear from Vernon MacLeod? Is he still in France or is he living? Did you answer my last letter that you got from me in Milford. If you did, I never got it. I got one from Mother. It was sent on to me.

Do you get steady work now? I know I don’t have to worry about losing my job. Do you think it will last much longer? I hope not. It was too bad about Lord Kitchener’s ship going down. What do you think about it in Boston? Send me some papers and put a sheet of fine emery paper in them as I want it for my bayonet. Do not forget.

I will have to come to a close for this time. Hoping to hear from you soon. Give Mary and Teddy a kiss for me. Did B go home this Summer? So, goodbye for this time.

From your brother, Lee

Editor’s Note:

  • Lord Kitchener was the British Secretary of State for War during WW1. He predicted a long war and organized a large British volunteer army. On June 5th, 1916, Kitchener was on his way to Russia to discuss munition and financial challenges when his ship, HMS Hampshire, was struck by a German mine off the west coast of the Orkney Islands in Scotland. They had taken a different route than originally planned. Some suggest it was because of bad weather and others suggest it was to throw off anyone considering an attack. Two destroyers had accompanied the ship, but they were falling behind and instructed to not continue. It was shortly after that the ship stuck a German mine. Kitchener was among 737 who died. This stuck fear in the British. They thought they would now lose the war. In the years since, there have been conspiracy theories surrounding his death. Kitchener, Ontario, is named after Lord Kitchener.

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