H. Stanhope to Kathleen, Malta, July 5, [1897]

BCARS
Add MSS 412
Box 6 File 3

H.M.S. Melita
Malta
5 July

My dear Miss O’Reilly,

I hope you will agree with me that the above looks a more civilised address. We arrived about 10 days ago having done a week at Cyprus in case of quarantine, but we had’nt any to do, as I had made special arrangements about my ship with the Quarantine Board at Alexandria. I did’nt want to come here so soon but the Admiral wrote me he could’nt help it, as they wanted work for the Dockyard people during the summer whilst the Fleet is away, and my ship is due for a 3 yearly refit as she recommissions in October. I suppose I must remain on; I dont like the idea of it as there will be an entirely new lot of officers and I shall have a lot of work shaking a new ship’s company down into their places. I must thank you for two letters, one you wrote on my birthday which arrived a few days after I got here, and another which came yesterday such a very nice, kind and sympathetic letter. It seems rather a hideous dream when one looks back to the time at Jeddah – however by a merciful dispensation of Providence one only seems to remember the good time one has had at a place & not the bad. I thought it so nice of you asking for a photo of the “Melita” that I packed you off at once the one that has always stood on my writing table. You need’nt be afraid of robbing me as this is the place (Malta) where the photograph was taken, so I can get lots more at a moment’s notice. Of course,

[section missing?]

I and other naval officers quite agree with you on the Admiralty rules about promotion many attempts have been made to have them altered without success. Would you like to have a try? I dont much look forward to being all the summer at Malta. Nearly everyone has gone away, and there is nothing going on. The only thing is to dine twice a week at the Summer Club on Wed. & Sat. when one can ask ladies, if any are to be found, and a band plays. It is a very close, hot little island. I find tennis and raquets out of the question and cricket very poor after last summer, all on grass, on the Bosphorus. So I have had to take to a pony from six to half past seven, and even that has to be done mildly. I read all about Maud Dunsmuir’s wedding in some paper, Miss Effie is the only one left now. Victor Stanley arrives back here in a few days as First Lieut. of the “Illustrious” coming out from England, he gave up his Flag “[?]” work with the Dockyard Admiral here. I dont suppose she will come out till the winter. I should be glad if she did come, as she is such a nice little woman and everyone liked her. Victoria B.C. does’nt sound very lively just now, except for the banging and hammering near Point Ellice. I wish you would tell Mr. Jones, the photographer, to do away with that horrid photo of me, he did. I remember him coming down to the tennis court one day in the Dockyard and taking some groups too – they were bad. I wish you would tell him that no artist would dream of putting a thing like that in a frame. Well Good-bye for the time. I like your letters of B.C. news so much. My brother is staying with a sister in Princes Gate doing the season, having let her own house for 6 weeks. Kind regards to all ever yrs sincerely

Harry Stanhope

P.S. Thanks so much for the lilies, they go like former ones into “Thought & Words”. Alas the author of them is no more – our dear cousin died about 3 months ago. It gave my mother a great shock.

 

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This collection of letters has been digitized from an earlier transcription project and is for informational purposes only. This transcription has not been verified against the originals. Researchers interested in these letters should consult the original documents housed at the BC Archives.

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