BRITISH RED CROSS and ORDER OF ST. JOHN.
Your letter of June 16 just reaches me. I scrawl one line to go to you at once.
I think it certain that you must know by this time where and how George is. He is not in Egypt. If he is at Malta you will have heard — if very slightly wounded he was probably kept at Lemnos. The only other alternative, so far as I know, would be sending him home.
Anyhow you must know now.
If he is very slightly wounded and may be going back soon, don’t think of coming here. It is only one of several chances that he would be sent here if wounded. If he were, I should instantly telegraph to you. If he were sent to Malta you might find yourself hung up here for days before you could get there — boats are so uncertain.
It is magnanimous of me to say don’t come here — it wd be so joyful to see you. But you command the whole field best from home.
Kitty dear I think of you daily and long to hear more. I wish I could write as I feel — life is a scramble here — this must go — Dear love to you and wishes
Assuming letters took on average eight days to get from Alexandria to an address in England, Kittie may have received this letter from Percy Lubbock today, 5 July 1915. There is circumstantial evidence that she had returned home to Well Walk, Hampstead, from staying with Nina Astley at Hoe Benham by 1 July, and this letter of Percy’s was not redirected from Well Walk.
Clearly, Percy has concentrated on finding George in the hospitals of Alexandria; presumably he has not yet met or heard of anyone from the 1st KOSB who was with George on 4 June 1915. Given that Percy has not found George, and still assumes he is ‘wounded’, the reasoning of the rest of his letter is surely impeccable.
However, Kittie did not know ‘where and how George is’. But by now she may have received a letter from Captain Hogan, who had been with George at Brockhurst and commanded D Company of the 1st KOSB on 4 June. This is a vital document that we know she received, but it is not in her archive. It proved that Hogan, who had been in the successful second wave on 4 June and was reported ‘wounded’ (see my post of 16 June), survived and had been evacuated from Gallipoli. It seems likely that Hogan’s letter encouraged Kittie to believe George had been taken prisoner.
Next entry: The last blurt