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Drake Letters Index 13. Drake to Louisa 19 August 1854 ◄ ● ► 15. Drake to Louisa 2 September 1854
The Drake Letters
 
William Henry Drake (Varna) № 4 - Louisa Drake (London), 24 August 1854
№ 4 Varna 24 Augt 1854 1

 
My dear Lu,
 
        My last was on 19th. Since I wrote by singular accident yours of the 2d & my Fathers of the 3rd were found tucked into a London Price Current which had not been opened You had just recd. mine on leaving Greece Since that they have got rid of the Cholera & so the Lord be praised have we, at least very few cases now occur. I think you seem to have done very wisely about the School, at all events it would have been more unwise to let them continue idle & lose what they already knew, On the 21 Carpenter 2 & I dined with D.C.G. Ramsay 3 we had very heavy rain all day & now we have pleasantly cool weather & cool nights – Yesterday I quite by chance saw Capt. Shadwell 4 A.D.C. to Sir Colin Campbell, 5 it is singular he knew my Brother 6 intimately & we knew his Br. [sp?] in the Fly &c. An Araba (Bullock cart, with Sir Colin’s baggage had broken down & I sent them two Mule Carts, Sir C Commands the Highland Brigade which with the Brig: of Guards under M. Genl. Bentinck 7 form the 1st Division under the Duke of Cambridge 8 who has gone down to Pera ill (erisypelas 9 of the legs I heard) Lord De Ros 10 is going home ill & a great many other Officers, many have died, but more have become ill & debilitated Yesterday we heard Col. Trevelyan 11 & Lt. Col. Crombie 12 of the Guards & Col. Doyle 13 A.Q.M.G. were dead the 1st [Trevelyan] & 3 [Doyle] are so [dead], & probably Lt. Col. Crombie also. All the preparation for embarcation are now hastening We have Shipped many of the Artillery Guns the French have embarked Troops during the past two days & it is understood we leave about the 31st only waiting the arrival of the French Seige Train & part of our own Sevastopol is said not to be strongly fortified on the land side & I hear our General expects to take it in a month, 14 good, if done.
 
I was disturbed here by Several of our Officers coming in (6 A.M.) whose Brigade Artillery are going to embark today or tomorrow it begins to look more like business. Mail of 8 Augt. in today No letters for me, but I scarcely expected one you may send me an [London] Illustrated now & then Many officers get papers through the Ty. Bag – I send a letter for John, 15 Melbourne, I continue you see each 5 days to send a Scrap letter as I do not know the day we may be called on to embark & then of course you will be some mails without a line but as you will know the cause you will not be alarmed but be assured of this, if I have an opportunity I shall send you even a Cover with Alls Well & the date if I can do nothing else.
 
Mr. Webb is ordered up to be attached to a Brigade of the 3rd Division, A.C.G. (Actg.) De Fonblanque 16 He will make a very bad fist of it I feel satisfied, but I shall hold De F. responsible, & keep him at him. Our work here is most unsatisfactory all hurry, confusion & mismanagement – little done compared to the noise of doing it – The inhabitants of Varna are beginning to return to the Town from the Country towhich they went partly because it was a bad season & partly from the Cholera but it is a wretched hole dirty & disagreeable – & the population of the very lowest character & Class
 
Adieu with best love to all I am sent for by the C.G. 17 who by the way continues civil to me
 
Your affectionate hub
W. H. Drake.
 
 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Footnotes
 
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
 
2. ACG Frederick Stanley Carpenter.
 
3. DCG Thomas Wharton Ramsay.
 
4. Captain Lawrence Shadwell, Aide-de-Camp to Sir Colin Campbell.
 
5. Sir Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde, British Field-Marshal.
 
6. Henry’s brother, John Minshull Drake.
 
7. Maj. Gen. Henry John William Bentinck, Coldstream Guards.
 
8. George William Frederick Charles, 2nd Duke of Cambridge, British Field-Marshal.
 
9. Erysipelas: St. Anthony’s fire; the rose; a febrile [pertaining to fever] disease accompanied with a diffused inflammation of the skin, especially of the face. [The household dictionary of the English language, (London, [before 1893]), pp. 231, 254.]
 
10. Lieutenant Colonel Lord William Lennox Lascelles Fitzgerald-De Ros.
 
11. Colonel Walter Trevelyan, Coldstream Guards, died at Varna on 21 August 1854.
 
12. Colonel Thomas Crombie, Coldstream Guards, does not seem to have died at this time.
 
13. Colonel Charles Hastings Doyle, A.C.Q.M.G., returned to England after his health broke down in Varna.
 
14. The Siege of Sevastopol was eventually successful for the Allies on 9 September 1855, more than a year later, when the Russians evacuated the city. [W. H. Russell, Russell’s despatches from the Crimea 1854-1856, (London, 1966), p. 17.]
 
15. Henry’s son, John Drake.
 
16. DACG Edward Barrington de Fonblanque.
 
17. Commissary-General William Filder, C.B.
 
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Drake Letters Index 13. Drake to Louisa 19 August 1854 ◄ ● ► 15. Drake to Louisa 2 September 1854