17 December 1914

                                                                 42 WELL WALK,

                                                                                               HAMPSTEAD.

Dec. 17. 1914.

To the Adjutant General.

Sir,

Not having yet seen my name in the Casualty lists, I have the honour to inform you that I was wounded near Ypres on October 29th, and sent back into hospital at Sussex Lodge, Regent’s Park.

Having been wounded while in action as a combatant officer, by appointment of the Battalion Commander, with the 2nd Batt. of the Royal Warwickshire Regt., I reported myself in hospital as a 2nd Lieut. in that Battalion. But I am informed that my real status is that of Interpreter. I went out on October 6th as Interpreter with the Royal Horse Guards, and was transferred as Interpreter to the 2nd Batt. of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment on Oct. 29.

I have the honour to remain,

Sir,

Your obedient servant

George Calderon

2nd Lieut. (Interpreter)

This is a masterpiece of bureaucratic massage. George had clearly decided to sidestep the recruitment authorities he had been dealing with hitherto, and go to the top. He had probably consulted with his ‘Godfather in War’, Sir Coote Hedley. There is nothing in this letter that is factually untrue, but the last line sends a clear message: he is a military man, a ‘2nd Lieutenant’, rather than an ‘Interpreter’…

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About Patrick Miles

I am a writer who specialises in Anton Chekhov and is writing a biography of George Calderon.
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