Friday, September 5, 2008

Aunty dearest, may I have a medal?

One should never let such a boring thing
as active service lead to slackness in one's cravat.

{an old post from my old blog, but still worth a laugh I think}

I came across this the other day and it was too funny not to share. Lord Dunkellin was on active service in Persia at the time this letter was written. One of his duties there was to send regular reports to his uncle, Lord Canning. When he had no military or diplomatic intelligence to offer, he wrote to his aunt instead.

Lord Dunkellin to Lady Canning (his aunt) on the 16th December, 1856.

"I dedicate this despatch to you, as nothing of any material importance has occurred since I wrote to Uncle. C. so I will not obtrude myself on his time. We are getting on very well tho' the excitement of fighting and the new location being over, we are rapidly relapsing into the monotony of camp life. I have got a very good tent thanks to the General who is the best natured old man in the world, and having more than one of his own, has lent me a jolly Bengal Hill tent. It is much more convenient being on shore than living on board ship, as I am in the middle of everything and can see & hear what is going on much better than if I were afloat, besides at any rate here I am fixed, & feeling certain of my wherabouts, whereas I might be shifted from ship to ship according to the vacillating fancy of the Admiral in a most unpleasent manner. I hear that the General has sent in a flourishing account of our march & capture of Bushire, & I am certain the Admiral has done the same. Many here, especially the young ones, are anxiously speculating on the chances of having a medal given for the business. If there be one granted from India do you choose the ribbon, and take care to let us have a pretty one that will look well on red & blue coats...I think a white rubbon with crimson edges** wd. be rather tasty...I am rather disappointed in our spoil, especially in the horses. There are only four or five worth looking at; I shall try and get one at the auction today... The loot in the way of dresses, cloths, carpets, etc. etc. is not particular... I will try and get something to bring back for your room. The arms are dirty and worthless. So I do not think there will be any amount of prize money."

** Sadly, no white and crimson were to be had, just clasps added to the India General service medal. Dashed bad luck if you ask me.

No comments:

Post a Comment