Hugh S. Calverley - A Man at War...
On-board the RMS Franconia
WWI Scrapbook - Hugh Salvin Calverley
WWI Scrapbook - Hugh Salvin Calverley Details
Letter – We are on the Franconia – September 23, 1915

Dear Viola and Gran

We are on the Franconia, a goodly crew and plenty of room. We sail at the direction of super powers. The Signallers are organized now into 4 shifts of seven. The others parade for buzzer and lamp. They have some of the queerest names you’ve heard. Brace Girdle! A good Scotch one to start with, Harens to go on with and Sarten, Trembly, Croat to finish up with. What a mixture of North, South and oddments. There is a young S.O. on board, very tall, rather like Smith, the M-J ….to look at, Also very tall adjutant with whom I take up the Signaller’s rolls forms, piles of papers.

The mess steward didn’t love me yesterday, late for breakfast, missed lunch being sleepy and the clock stopped for dinner. He scowled. I slept on the bridge last night behind the Captain’s cabin, being the Signaller, a hot stuffy space and being no good they had one that had been aired instead.

I have been trying to do drawings on the way to Gib. and the coast of Algiers etc. with small success. I send them for home consumption only. I was going to send my top post cards but hadn’t the heart as I like them too much. I will send them in a clump when the time comes.

I got the most gorgeous curvy knife for cutting rations with and sticking Turks. It curves like this. Uncle H’s glasses are beauties. I study the coast with them.

Such a desolate coast with little white houses perched every so often, very high hills with donyas all the way down to the sea. No water at all and now and then a cultivated patch. I was asked if I was 18 so I swore I would pull the asker’s grey hairs out. There are lounges, smoking rooms, and a verandah at the back, all equally hot just now. Remember the baker’s and kitchen smells? These come up from the blow holes, also some cockroaches. I have a pal on board, the chief engineer and go and talk to him every day. I wanted to stoke but he couldn’t let me.

So long Hugh

Letters stitched together – We are on board the Franconia – September 23, 1915
1 R M S Franconia

Dear Mum

We are on board the Franconia at Davenport, lots of men and officers on board, swarms of ’em. Grub and berth is better than it was on the old Tunisian. We had good times though in spite of it.

Brown and I are going to stoke coal to keep fit it they let us do it. We sail when it pleaseth the powers above. Looks like a jolly trip to Malta before us. Dad gave me his pet leather stick as a swatter when I moved off. Wish he had been in this bunch. He would have enjoyed it hugely.

Love to the family.


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