Transcript of a letter from John Alexander Findlay to his brother Robert Findlay in Montreal, Canada, 1917
Please note whereas I try to ensure that what I publish is correct, and to differentiate between what is supported by documentation etc, and what is, in my opinion, a reasonable assumption, everything should be treated with caution. If you have come across information that you believe is relevant to your own research please either verify it independently or drop me a line to confirm its validity. Equally if believe something is incorrect, or if you wish to add any details or discuss please get in touch using the Contact Form.
If you have come to this page via a browser, I hope you will find something of interest here or elsewhere in our other Hendry Family History Pages.
Transcript of a letter from John Alexander Findlay to his brother Robert Findlay in Montreal, Canada, 1917.
Montreal. to which I replied he was my brother. He then mentioned that he was
Lieut. Elliot, Artie's chum, and that his patrol boat was in Leith under repair, and
that he learned all about us from yourself that he lived a few doors from your house. On
referring to him Ogg's remarks regarding Percy Law he stated that he knew him well and
that he was at present stationed at Nairn. He also stated that Artie is at present
undergoing a special course at Shoreham I think in the South of England. He then came up
to the Office with me and had a long chat over his adventures. He left for London
last night on 8 days leave and looked fit and well. He stated that Artie expected to
return north soon to rejoin his ship in northern waters so that I may have the pleasure of
meeting Artie later on. I wrote to him to Cromarty some time ago but have not
received any reply so far. Truly this is a little world when one begins to move
about. The effect of this great War bringing as it does millions of men together from all
ends of the world in one common cause of comrades in Arms forcibly reminds one of Burns
well known prophecy that "the time would come when man to man the world o'er would
brothers be an' a' that".
than I can give here. We are kept going quietly here with occasional
shipments to the Allies but steamers are now becoming few and far between owing to the
depredations of the enemy submarines. Still, this old country is holding out well in
this respect, and although about 20 steamers per week are being sunk on the average we do
not feel much the effect of this. From today's press reports 100 steamers of large
size have been added to Lloyds List, in 6 weeks, mostly British. while shipbuilding is
proceeding rapidly on all sides. so that virtually the Huns attempt to starve us out is
already defeated. On the other hand there are signs of an abundant and plentiful
harvest with us of everthing - another death blow to the Huns. We had a very wet
August which laid low a lot of our grain crop but not seriously and with fine weather now
prevailing the harvest is in full swing. The potatoe crop is a huge one in splendid
condition. We are not badly off for food here. For next seasons crops about 5
million acres of additional ground is to be tilled throughout the British Isles and this
will leave us pretty well Independent even of oversea supplies. Assuming that the
enemy may sink our last boat yet will we not starve. But Germany can never beat down
our mercantile marine nor the heroic spirit in which it is carried on. Britain has
the power and determination to win, and will win in the long run. The position
of Russia and the loss of Riga is unfortunate at the present time but I am still hopeful
that matters will yet come all right with Russia.
I took Mams and all of them down to North Berwick on Saturday last, lst inst. and
there they remain for the next fortnight enjoying themselves in great glee on the sands of
the sea-shore and bathing in the briny. I remained over the week end with them and will
rejoin them each week end during the next two weeks. Just as we were leaving the
house on Saturday morning a basket of lovely Victoria plums arrived from Liz from Kent.
These we brought to the top of Berwick Law on Sunday forenoon and there we highly
enjoyed her lucious gift in two senses of the word while we watched many of our coast
patrol boats passing along in search of submarines, and several large battle ships of the
British Fleet far out to sea. We are sending Edythe to Queen Street School,
Edinburgh, on opening of their session on 20th inst. My office assistant is now away
on his 3 weeks holidays so that I am left alone in the office in the meantime.
the big guns on the Western Front. My brother-in-law D. McNicol is an
Officer in the Black Watch and is at present stationed at Ripon Camp in Yorkshire.
He expects to get home to Corstorphine on leave at end of this month preparatory to going