15 July 1915

Today Kittie received another letter from Gertrude Bell, who was managing the Enquiry Department for Wounded and Missing at 20 Arlington Street, London S.W. on behalf of the British Red Cross and Order of St John:

Dear Mrs Calderon,

Sir Louis Mallet has written a personal letter to the Red Crescent and sent to them Mr Calderon’s name. I do hope we may hear of him.

Believe me yours sincerely

Gertrude Bell

For the context of this letter, see my post of yesterday.

At about this time, Kittie also heard from Arthur Maxwell Labouchere, the Adjutant of the 9th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, to whom George had been close when he was training with this regiment at Fort Brockhurst:

Dear Mrs Calderon,

I cannot tell you how sorry I was to read Captain Hogan’s letter, as we had no idea that George was missing. Now we must hope that he is among the prisoners and that news will soon come through about him. There must be an Association for making all enquiries possible about prisoners and wounded in Turkey, as there is for France and the War Office should be able to put you at once in communication with it. Onslow Ford tells me that he knows Ian Hamilton and can write to him on the chances of his being able to make special enquiries out there. I will try to find someone who has some business connections with Turkey; for the moment I know of nobody, but will at once write to friends who might know. I feel sure that the best method will be to get in touch with the Association that must exist for this very purpose — they may be able to work through the American Embassy. I will ask the Chaplain to pray for him, and please God we shall soon hear the news we all hope for.

Yours very sincerely

Maxwell Labouchere

Hogan is Captain Hogan, who makes several positive appearances in George’s letters after leaving for Gallipoli, but about whom nothing more seems ascertainable, as we do not know his forenames and the name was very common in the British Army. His name does not appear in the official history of the K.O.S.B. (possibly because like George he was merely attached to them from the Ox and Bucks), nor amongst the named buried at Twelve Tree Copse cemetery, nor on the Helles Memorial for those whose graves are unknown. Let us hope he survived Gallipoli and even the War, as seems possible. His letter to Kittie is unfortunately lost. The letter of Labouchere’s above, however, would suggest that Hogan wrote to her directly, told her that George was ‘missing’, and held out the hope that he might be in Turkish captivity.

Onslow Ford was a fellow officer of George’s at Brockhurst; presumably a son of Edward Onslow Ford, the Victorian sculptor. Sir Ian Hamilton, Commander in Chief of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force at the Dardanelles, was probably a distant relation of Kittie’s through her father, John Hamilton of Brownhall and St Ernan’s, Donegal.

Obviously, Kittie and Gertrude Bell were already well ahead in doing what Labouchere sketches out here. In a letter from him to Kittie dated 2 October 1915 he is still encouraging the view that George is a prisoner: ‘I am sure that any Turkish lists must be incomplete and that many names have not yet been published.’

Next entry: The Press tries to help


About Patrick Miles

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