8 July 1915

British Red Cross
St Mark’s Buildings

June 30. 1915

Kitty dear — A line in the middle of a long day — not to say what I think & feel — which can’t be now.

I sent to the Military Record Office once more this morning, to ask if they knew anything more about George — thinking they might perhaps now know where he had been sent. (Of course I had long known he was not in Egypt.) The answer was that he was now reported missing June 4. The Record Office is always so behind hand (as far as I can make out) with its information, that I think it possible you may already know more than this — and I hope and hope and trust something better than this. But on this all our machinery has been set to work — and enquiries will at once be started in all the hospitals in Egypt (i.e. here, at Cairo, or in the towns of the Delta, where there are 6 or 7 provincial hospitals with British wounded). If from any of these sources I can hear of anyone who has knowledge of him or of the circumstances, I shall go and interview him — & of course I shall let you know at once of any result. If you yourself have any certain knowledge, will you get Miss Bell (or her successor, if she has left) at 20 Arlington St., to cable out to me. Meanwhile we are cabling to Malta, to make certain that full enquiries are started there.

Kitty dear, I am with you hourly. I never felt so far from England — & yet for the first time I am glad to be here. You will have started enquiries in England (through 20 Arlington St). A certain number of wounded seem now to go straight home, without pausing here or at Malta. (This is intended, at any rate — it may not actually be so yet.) Bless you. I would give anything to get you good news — who wouldn’t? I can’t help hoping and thinking you may know more there than we here.

Your always loving


Note that Percy Lubbock is not scouring all the hospitals in Egypt for George himself, but for any wounded who were at the Third Battle of Krithia on 4 June and may know what happened to George.

‘Miss Bell’ is the famous Arabist and public servant Gertrude Bell, who was still running the ‘Enquiry Department for Wounded and Missing’ at the British Red Cross and Order of St John in Arlington Street, London S.W. (see my posts of 13 and 14 June).

Next entry: 9 July 1915


About Patrick Miles

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