Dated: Mar 1, 1917 (shows Feb ?, but should be March based on content)
Mailed from: London
Attached to: HMS Bacchante
Profession: Farmer, Temporary Sailor
Rank: Ordinary Seaman, Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve
Addressed to: Mrs. N.C. Draper, Keswick, Ont.
Writing instrument: Pen, black ink
Writing Paper: 1 sheet with The King George and Queen Mary Maple Leaf Club 1915 letterhead. Paper is ivory-coloured, thin and feels like newsprint, but pen strokes easily bleed through.
People mentioned in this letter:
Ethel** - Ethel Isabel Draper, 27 yrs old, (Noah's wife of 6 yrs)
- Mildred* - Noah's daughter, 3 yrs old, aka Midge
- J.D.* - Noah's son, James David*, 9 months old aka Jay in early months
Percy - Percy Roy Draper*, 33 yrs old, Noah's brother, lives in Sask
Katie - unknown at this time
Alice - Alice Alma Prosser*, born June 1915, daughter of Ethel's sister Sadie
Places/things mentioned in this letter:
- in dry dock after being rammed by another boat (HMS Achilles)**
- Tower of London**
Word or Phrase Use:
"laying in the basin"
"I am glad I can say I am a Canadian"
* Look under the Categories/Labels in the right side column for more posts on this
person/place/thing, or use the search box in the header at the top of this page
** see History Notes below
February 6, 1917
Mrs. N.C. Draper,
My Dear Ethel;-
Well I am in London on 3 days leave
expected to be at sea before this but
we were laying in the basin ready
to make the trial trip when one night
another boat ramed us & put a hole
in our side, (I was asleep & did not know
about it untill the next morning) so
we had to go back into dry dock & may
be there a week or two. one half of the
crew was given 3 days leave on Monday
& the other half today & given free tickets
so I came up here,
Have not heard from Percy yet so can not see
Katie, Ha Ha. but I want to see the tower
of London, West Minister Abbey & several
other places tomorrow. there is a party
leaving here at 9 30 am. tomorrow & returning
at 5 p.m. costs $1. Well I have not received that
parcel yet, mabey it will be ready waiting
for me when I get back, say Ethel have you
not got that letter where I told you I had
got the Photos I sent it nearly a month
ago. I got a letter from you yesteraday
tell Mildred that I have had milk
to drink since I wrote that other letter
altho I would like to have a drink from her
cow, & when her daddy gets back from this
war he will not leave again in a hurry
unless he has to. Ha Ha.
Well I hope Alice is better before this
I know how they would feel if they lost
her but we must hope for the best, eh.
There is quite a few Canadians here
at the club no one else is allowed here
& it makes one feel good to be among
the Canadians again for when all is
said & done they are hard people to beat
& I am glad I can say I am a Canadian.
Say dont make any mistakes about 1/2 sheets
of paper, see they are whole & then fill
2 or 3 for I like to get long letters.
Well I guess I will close for this time
as it is getting late will write
again on Sunday. Bye Bye.
Love to all kiss the kiddies for me.
x x x x N.C.D.
History Note 1 - HMS Bacchante & HMS Achilles Mishap
Although Noah has dated this letter at the beginning of February, we know it had to have been March because the HMS Achilles' ship's log shows the mishap happened at just after midnight on February 22, 1917:
22 February 1917
Lat 53.40, Long -3.00
12.07am: HMS Bacchante swung to ebb and fouled Achilles' stern, engines worked as required.
With the Bacchante back in dry dock, the crew has been given 3 days leave and so we find Noah in London. As for the wrong date, it's interesting to note that Noah's next letter shows February 4, 1917 where he is still in London, and attends church. Along with that letter tp Ethel, he included an Order of Service which is dated March 4, 1917. It's the confirmation that the letters were actually written in March vs February and will be included in the next post.
History Note 2 - Noah's London Postcards
Noah mentions wanting to see the Tower of London in this letter and either brought back or sent to Ethel the following series of postcards about his explorations while in London.
Noah's next letter will show more sights of his London adventure.