Drake Letters Index 55. Drake to Louisa 5 February 1855 ◄ ● ► 57. Drake to Louisa 12 February 1855
The Drake Letters
William Henry Drake (Balaklava) № 46 - Louisa Drake (London), 8 February 1855
№ 46 Balaklava 8th Feby 1855 1
My dear Lu,
        I recd. yours, one from C. A. D. 2 one from C. A. D. D. 3 & one from my Father on the 7   I was very glad indeed once more to see my Father’s writing the best proof of the retreat of the Enemy 4 – The Attack seems to have lasted longer than usual but has I hope really taken itself off at last
Our weather continues mild & fine & has had a very good effect on the Army at large   They have had from the first very little deficiency from full rations – not certainly 1 ration in 20 – I see by the papers the death of Mrs. Clarke 5 Mrs. Moore’s 6 Mother – you mentioned her being ill – The Russians have been firing day & night for two days & nights last night even more than common they have done us no damage either to life or Works even at this moment they are firing heavily on the lines near Balaklava – Genl. Liprandi’s 7 Division is back again on the heights they before occupied
We are much Stronger here than we were as they expected Balaklava wd. be the point of attack as a diversion to the Assault on Sebastopol – I see by the Times you still think we are to take the City – People here get up crams 8 daily as to the day named for the Assault but the day passes & another is at once fixed upon – The fact is nobody could know but the Commander in Chief 9 & it is too important a Secret to leak out, even if they have decided the point themselves which I very much doubt – Col: Haines 10 has just been to say good bye he is ordered home to command the Depot of his Regt. at Birr in Ireland – I wish I was likely to be ordered home on duty. – D.C.G. Smith 11 at Pera is very ill indeed – Edwards writes Booth 12 that a Medical Board has ordered him home & that he is very low partly on that account – I don’t think I should be low if ordered home but I don’t want to go on a Medical Board.
The number of Ships we have now is full of all Sorts of Supplies except Hay is very great of Biscuit Rum & some other things we have at least 2 months’ Supply & one of St 13 Meat   we have also an abundant Supply of vegetables which are given to the Soldiers gratis as well as limejuice & extra sugar so that much you see in the papers is rather overdrawn as to Starvation – but yet there are many thousands of Sick at Scutari & here – Since Edwards wrote Booth Smith has become worse & is said to be dangerously ill, inflammation of the Bowels is his complaint, a very serious affair –   9th Feby   Just received yours of 25th Jany, one from C. A. D. 14 & one from Miss Lu 15 and my A/c with the C.G. 16 As regards my Bills I leave to his judgement entirely what is to be done – I do not expect to want the Cash or at all events only a part even if the War ends & I be placed on H.P. 17 that wd. not be for months & I shall probably send home a good Sum every month – I live on my rations & my Friends & in consequence save the whole of my Pay which is now very handsome – The War will have done me that good as well as my Step & if I have worked hard it has all been done tolerably quickly for if Peace does come I suppose the 20 May the anniversary of my leaving England wd. again find me on her Shores & one [written across the page] year could not have been spent to greater advantage on my part
With love & thousands of Kisses all round
Believe me
Yr. affectionate Hub
W. H. Drake

C.G. Ramsay 18 just arrived & is going to leave for England the day after tomorrow
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
2. Henry’s sister, Charlotte Augusta Drake.
3. Henry’s daughter, Charlotte Augusta Dring Drake.
4. His gout!
5. Frances Fanny Clarke, who died in London on 16 January 1855.
6. Fanny Mary Jane Moore (née Jackson).
7. Russian Lt.-Gen. Liprandi.
8. Crams: sweepstakes? E. Partridge, in his book A dictionary of historical slang (Harmondsworth, 1972, p. 220) defines cram as “A lie; hard ‘mechanical’ study; a crib, an aid to study; a coach or private tutor; a crush or jam”, which, I feel, does not fit the context here.
9. Lord Fitzroy James Henry Somerset Raglan.
10. Col. Frederick Paul Haines of the 21st Regiment of Foot (Royal North British Fusiliers).
11. DCG John William Smith.
12. DACG Robert Booth.
13. Salt.
14. Henry’s sister, Charlotte Augusta Drake.
15. Henry’s daughter, Louisa Maria Drake.
16. Henry’s father, retired CG John Drake.
17. H.P.: Half Pay.
18. CG Thomas Wharton Ramsay.

Drake Letters Index 55. Drake to Louisa 5 February 1855 ◄ ● ► 57. Drake to Louisa 12 February 1855