HMS Worcester
Off Greenhithe
March 6th 1914

My Dear Hilda,

Thanks very much for your nice long letter which I was awfley (sic) glad to get, I don't think you can preach about not writing for a long time, I am sure it is nearley (sic) a month since I

(2) had your last in fact I was quite frightened, I thought the yarns * might have gone down the wrong way and so I was extreamely (sic) pleased to get your postcard, and afterwards letter.

I quite agree with you that it is best not to put those (?) little spicie (sic) bits in black and white, but as you asked for them I thought you would think me a fearfully

(3) unsporting bounder if I diddent (sic) send them.

You were a lucky begger having your people down for Easter, that's the best of being at a deacent (sic) place, when I was at Margate mine used to come down sometimes for the weekend, but if you once came to Greenhithe you would kick the bucket straight off, I asshure (sic) you I was very near it indeed.

(4) the first time I saw this miserable hole. Of course it is out of the question for my people to come down for more than a half holleday (sic). I only wish we were stationed off Eastbourne it would be no end of a rag and I would go ashore [....] even if I had to swim it.

I had quite an interesting little adventure the other day I spent Wednesday afternoon in London without leave a thing

(5) that no one else has done since I have been here. It was like this a great friend of mine a chap called Ralph Dieseldorff was rather ill sometime ago and his Mater came down and took him home, a specialist on examining him said he had appendicitis and so on Tuesday last he was operated on by Sir Alfred Fripp at Guy's Hospital, and as I happened to like him very much I thought I would go up and see him on the Wednesday

(6) so I got leave to go to Dartford for a German lesson (I have them on Mondays and Wednesdays from a private tutor as there is no master on board who teaches German) then I borrowed a Squash hat which I buttoned under my arm and put a mackintosh over it, then I went ashore in uniform, the difficulty is that they will not sell a Worcester cadet a ticket for London at Greenhithe or Dartford railway stations and even if I went to Greenhithe station discised (sic) I should

(7) probabley (sic) be recognised so what I had to do was walk to Dartford and on the way to put the mackintosh over my uniform to cover up the buttons, put my uniform cap under my arm and put on the squash, then get my tickets at Dartford and sail away. The only difficulty was that there is only one deacent (sic) train for about a couple of hours and that leaves Dartford at 2-3 and we only come ashore at 1-30 and there are 3 ½ miles between Greenhithe and Dartford

(8) so I had to run the whole 3 ½ miles halfway going behind a hedge in respectable uniform and rallying (?) out the most disreputable rogue in a dirty mackintosh and a slouch hat my dear Hilda you would of roared if you could of only seen me there it was the devil of a joke (?) anyhow I managed to get to Dartford just as the train came in and I just caught it by the skin of my teeth still I arrived at London

(9) Bridge quite alright, and then I jumped into a taxi the man looked at me and asked me if I had got the fare (I was still the tramp) and when I satisfied him I got in and while he was driving I once more transformed myself to a respectable Worcester Cadet gloves ....the only signs of the tramp being a dirty mackintosh hung over my arm, I jumped out at Guy's and went in you should have seen the taxi driver's face when I paid

(10) him, he looked as if he had seen a ghost when he [watched/witnessed ?] the transformation scene I was fairly bursting with laughter and the poor man dident (sic) try and drive away but sat still staring after me. Then I went up and saw my friend he was quite well considering that he had only been operated on 24 hours before his mater was there as well and she insisted on taking me out to tea when we left him at 4 o'clock (the visiting hours are 3-4) and I had a simpley (sic) .... tea I felt

(11) quite a pig by [gad ? Ye Gods ?] you should have seen those poached eggs and cream buns disappear. Then she insisted on seeing me off at London Bridge again in the train. I once more changed into the tramp and I got out at Dartford, then came the exciting finish who should I come straight into in the High Street, but my headmaster by George my heart was in my mouth how I thanked the Lord that I had on a squash hat and not a [illeg Solar ?]

(12) I pulled the thing right down over my eyes and held my handkerchief to my face blowing my nose violently he looked straight at me and as he passed he brushed my elbow and then he did not know me by George it was a narrow shave I fairly raced back the rest of the way and behind the hedge I once more transformed myself into Dennis Wheatley caught the six o'clock boat back went on boardand reported myself to the Chief Officer

(13) as returned from my German lesson, Oh what a rag it was I haven't enjoyed myself so much for ever so long I wonder what the Chief would have said had he known where I had really been, you get such a ripping sensation when you know that if you are caught you will probably get the order of the boot or else a game room licking (that's only used for the worst offences, you are

(14) strapped down to the horse in the gymnasium and they leather into you with only a short on your back, there has only been one chap get it since I have been here, and I did not want to test it although that must be another ripping sensation)

(19) So I shall be back again for next Christmas I expect (?) I must close now, write me another letter before I come back if you can spare the time.
I must close now as it is going (?) lights out.
From ever yours very sincerely, hoping to see you soon,

Pardon the blotch the d--- fool has switched off the light


* See Room 4, Exhibit 1.