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Drake Letters Index 10. Drake to Louisa 28 July 1854 ◄ ● ► 12. Drake to Louisa 10 August 1854
The Drake Letters
 
William Henry Drake (Varna) № 1 - Louisa Drake (London), 4 August 1854
№ 1 Varna 4th August 1854 1
 
My dear Lu,
 
        As my Letters in future will be written with less regularity I shall number them. – I finished my last to you on the 29 July & left it with Smith at Constantinople to forward.
 
I that evening embarked in the Steamer Tonning was much delayed in the Bosphoros but arrived here on the Evg. of the 1st too late to get ashore   I landed at 6 the next morning & saw Mr. Filder at once – I that day got all your Letters from 4th to 17th July & Times of the 18th note from C. A. D. 2 & letter from your Brother John. 3 – I assure you they were all most welcome & I was especially glad to hear Maria 4 & her baby 5 were doing well – Varna is a wretched place dirty & disagreeable – Our Offices, for we have Several all rotten old buildings everyone is overworked and many have knocked up. D.C.G. Cowan 6 is going home on Medical Board I saw him looking very ill, he left for Constantinople on the 2nd & said he would call & see the C.G. 7 in the Village 8 – Now for myself – On Seeing Mr.Filder he was very civil, told me he had no Special duty for me at present, that an Expedition was to be Sent Somewhere & I should be sent with it – Since that nothing definite has been arranged as far as we know – The Expedition is talked of for Odessa to get Winter Quarters for Pericop to interpose an Army between Russia & The Crimea, for Sabastopol – to take it – & to Anapa S of the Crimea to let the Circassians in on the Russians – I believe Sabastopol is the real destination, none of the others would give Satisfaction to the Public at home and I think our delay is caused by our Waiting for Sir G. Cathcarts 9 Division, some part of which has arrived – I went on board the “Orinoco”   The Rifles were on board Mr. Webb also from Malta, he saw Horne 10 & my book, but neither of them knew I was here so Horne has it still, I am too busy to want it & shall be more so shortly as I believe I am to be in Charge of the Expeditionary Commissariat if you may so call it that is although The C.G. 11 & his Office will go I am to have the Charge & Superintendence of the whole Field Force so to be employed with an A.C.G. for each Division & D.A.C.G.s & Clerks for the Several Brigades – D.C.G. Ramsay 12 does the Superintendence here & is we understand to be left here in Said Charge – Nothing will meet my Views better &, as I see the faults of the doings here I shall do my best to remedy them in my own work – It has already been suggested to the C.G. (not by me) that on D.C.G. Cowan 13 going home I ought to have Acting Rank & he seemed to consider the point rather favorably I hear – of course I do not build much on such a foundation, but I shall not be annoyed if I get it. I sincerely hope I shall get this Charge as if the Army succeed I think I then should have a good chance   I forget whether I gave the way our Officers are distributed in my last but I will now as it is always of interest to know how some of our Old Friends are employed, I shall only give big wigs or Friends
 
Varna. Hd. Qrs.   C.G. Filder. D.C.G. Adams 14 A.C.G. Routh 15 D.A.C.G. Rogers 16 & C.C. Lewis 17 whose Father 18 is in Paymaster General’s Office
 
Local duty.   D.C.G. Ramsay. 19    Cash.   A.C.G. Clarke 20 M’Mahon 21 – D.A.C.G. Hawkins 22 & sundry Clerks
 
Stores   D.A.C.G. Gem 23 & Murray. 24    Transpt.    D.A.C.G. Smith 25
 
Cavalry Division   Actg. A.C.G. Darling Gardiner 26 D.A.C.G. Crookshank 27 & two others   –   Light Div:    A.C.G. Darling 28 & 2 D.A.C.G.   –   1st Div.   A.C.G. Strickland 29 & 2 others   –   2nd Div:   Actg. A.C.G. De Fonblanque 30 & 3 others   –    3rd.   Actg. A.C.G. Uniacke 31 – & 3 others.
 
A.C.G. Carpenter 32 attached to Mily. Secr. for Warrants
 
Pera. Accounts.   D.C.G. Stickney. 33 D.A.C.G. Montunaro 34
 
In Charge of duties   D.C.G. Smith 35 – A.C.G. Edwards 36
 
Cash A/c.    Actg. A.C.G. Watt 37   Cash   –   Actg. A.C.G. Willan. 38
 
Special duty getting Hay for Winter   –    D.A.C.G. Ward 39 & Downes 40
 
Potgeiter [sic] 41 at Scutari opposite Pera, & A.C.G. Turner 42 D.A.C.G. Mitchell 43 at Gallipoli – We have about 70 Officers & Treasury Clerks I understand – I am writing on a Camp Table i.e. a rough board on three unequal legs & my Seat an old candle box. – We live in a house belonging to Omer Pacha 44  4 Small bedrooms all opening on to a Single Sitting room the Stairs from below opening on it without partition & two flights of 4 Stairs lead to a sort of raised platform & small balcony at one end
the Window consist [sic] of 4 panes glass  it is innocent of any paint –
below is the Entrance below with Kitchen & Stable the latter just under my room   L Routh 45 – Carpenter, 46 Power, 47 Hawkins 48 & I am living here – no rent – 3 camp tables 3 camp Stools sundry boxes
 
My Servant 49 deserted when I left Constantinople but I miss nothing   he shammed sick & said he would come up after me – of course I shall not see him – I have not found my portmanteau – If my flannel shirts are not yet sent I want of a pair of Cotton braces sent also you need not send them specially if the others have gone – but do so if you get a Chance – No one knows what to think of our transfer from my Lords to my Lord Duke, whether it will benefit us or not – Time only can show 50 – The Climate here is far more pleasant than that of Greece a fine fresh breeze but Varna itself is unhealthily situated – low between hills & surrounded by Swamps & Shallow lakes. – There is much sickness among the Troops especially in the French Camps. The Hon: Col: Maule 51 is dead. Lord De Ros 52 going home ill, & Lord Duplin [sic] 53 do. & many others
 
Troops they say are growling at not getting a look even at the Enemy & passing their whole time in hard work but without any benefit whatever   I shall send home some money shortly as it is no use keeping too much here & only leads to robbery   We live very cheaply at present & I shall do so as much as I can   With love to all believe me
 
Your affectionate hub
W. H. Drake

Called away. –
 
We shall not move from Varna in all probability until after the 15th. The newly arrived Troops remain on board the Ships   A Grand Council of War is said to have been held yesterday – Our Officers, actually, are working themselves off their legs – Two or three lay up nearly every day – Transport is the main difficulty and that is all but impossible with such people as Turks   I shall write again shortly. Write often if even such short epistles & send all through Treasury Bag
 
Love to all & kisses innumerable
 
W. H. D.
 
[Written across the page.] Mrs. Colquhoun 54 called on you but you had not got into the House 55
 
Her direction is 11 Kensington Square Kensington
 

 

Charlotte Augusta Drake

An example of a page of one of William Henry Drake’s letters.




 
 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Footnotes
 
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
 
2. Henry’s sister, Charlotte Augusta Drake.
 
3. John Purkis.
 
4. Henry’s youngest sister Maria Harriet Drake, who married Edward Marshall White on 1 October 1844.
 
5. Caroline White was born on 1 July 1854. She was William Henry Drake’s goddaughter.
 
6. ACG Edward Alphonso Cowan.
 
7. Henry’s father, retired Commissary-General John Drake.
 
8. The “Village” refers to the street Henry’s parents lived in, Park Village East, London; an extension of Prince Albert Road, and terminating into Stanhope Street.
 
9. Sir George Cathcart commanded the 4th Division.
 
10. In 1849, when Henry Drake was stationed in Hobart, D.A.C.G. G. Horne was in charge at Norfolk Island. [J. Wood (comp.), The Tasmanian royal kalendar, colonial register and almanack 1849, (Hobart, 1849), p. 96.] In 1856 ACG George Horne was stationed in Malta.
 
11. CG William Filder.
 
12. DCG Thomas Warton Ramsay.
 
13. DCG Edward Alphonso Frederick Cowan.
 
14. DCG George Adams.
 
15. ACG Leonce Routh.
 
16. DACG John Francis Rogers.
 
17. Commissariat Clerk Henry Clutterbuck Lewis.
 
18. Frederick Lewis.
 
19. DCG Thomas Wharton Ramsay.
 
20. ACG Henry Clarke.
 
21. ACG Edmund John McMahon.
 
22. DACG Villiers William Cæsar Hawkins.
 
23. DACG Thomas Gem.
 
24. In December 1854 two D.A.Cs.G Murray were listed as being stationed in Turkey, John and James William.
 
25. DACG Charles Bagot Smith.
 
26. DACG Robert May Gardiner.
 
27. DACG Alexander Crowder Crookshank.
 
28. ACG Montague William Darling.
 
29. ACG Edward Strickland.
 
30. DACG Edward Barrington de Fonblanque.
 
31. DACG Redmond C. Uniacke.
 
32. ACG Frederick Stanley Carpenter.
 
33. DCG Thomas Stickney.
 
34. DACG Benedict/Benjamin John Montunaro.
 
35. DCG John William Smith.
 
36. ACG Alexander Edwards.
 
37. ACG Fitzjames Edward Watt.
 
38. DACG James Sholto Curwen Douglas-Willan.
 
39. DACG Edward Lindsay Ward.
 
40. DACG Arthur William Downes.
 
41. DACG Conrad Frederick Potgieter.
 
42. ACG Philip Turner.
 
43. DACG James Augustus Fred. Mitchell.
 
44. Omar Pasha, born Michael Lattas, was a Greek Orthodox son of a Croatian soldier in the Austrian army. To gain work as a tutor to the sons of a Turkish businessman he became a Mohammedan, taking the name Omar. In 1853 he was appointed supreme commander of the Turkish army.
 
45. ACG Leonce Routh.
 
46. ACG Frederick Stanley Carpenter.
 
47. ACG William James Tyrone Power.
 
48. DACG Villiers William Cæsar Hawkins.
 
49. Henry hired a servant, Constantine Christo, while still in Piræus, Greece, on 16 July 1854.
 
50. Henry obviously knew about the changes that were taking place in London regarding the transfer of the Commissariat from the Treasury to the War Department, as these changes took place shortly after his letter, William Henry Drake (Balaklava) #25 – Louisa Drake (London) (25 November 1854), some months later.
 
51. Colonel the Hon. Lauderdale Maule, Assistant Adjutant-General, died on 1 August 1854 at Varna.
 
52. The Quartermaster-General Lord William Lennox Lascelles Fitzgerald-De Ros was invalided home from Varna. He was replaced by Sir Richard Airey, aged 51. [R.L.V. ffrench Black, The Crimean war, (London, 1971), p. 40.]
 
53. George Hay-Drummond, Lord Dupplin.
 
54. Harriet Elizabeth Sarah (née Goodman), wife of DACG Francis Crossley Colquhoun.
 
55. At this stage, Louisa would have been lodging at Mrs. Wood’s, at 28 Park Street, Camden; and would not yet have moved into the house Henry had leased for 12 months at 1 Gloucester Place, Gloucester Crescent, Regent’s Park.
 
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Drake Letters Index 10. Drake to Louisa 28 July 1854 ◄ ● ► 12. Drake to Louisa 10 August 1854