Drake Letters Index 65. Drake to Louisa 9 March 1855 ◄ ● ► 67. Drake to Louisa 16 March 1855
The Drake Letters
William Henry Drake (Balaklava) № 55 - Louisa Drake (London), 12 March 1855
№ 55 March 12th [1855] 1
All well
My dear Lu,
        My last was of so late a date, the 10th that I have nothing new to communicate   Our weather has continued very fine & warm and guns are being placed in battery in front Shot & Shell taken up as before   The Soldiers are improving in their appearance but Sickness still prevails in Camp, Fever a sort of low typhoid the Doctors call it which takes off many in fact nearly all those who have been before attacked & recovered from Choleraic & Dysenterical complaints (I don’t know whether those words were coined by the Medicos or not. Balaklava is beginning to assume a cleaner appearance, Old houses are being pulled down walled [sp?] knocked over and the materials used for the Streets, all this might very well have been done long ago but the truth is our great men were asleep or quarreling [sic] among themselves about all sorts of trifles   The Quarter Mastr. Genl. 2 is universally blamed & I cannot help thinking very deservedly – I see Lord Palmerston 3 says the Commissariat belong to neither the Aristocracy or to the Gentry   to whom do we belong   I claim to belong to the Gentry of England just as much as any Temple 4 that ever lived & certainly as much so as the offspring of Miss Mee 5 who I should fancy not a very aristocratic personage by birth – However it is just like their usual ignorance on all matters connected with the Commissariat & it will so remain until we get a Chief recognized as our head man & who would be able to let the guidances [sp?] right in lieu of letting them blunder about in the dark as they do now –
Sir John McNeill has not yet arrived from Constantinople but is expected daily   He has a Steamer told off by Admiral Boxer as his residence while here as there is no place on Shore –   3 OCk. Mail of 27 Feby just arrived & I have your letters & Illustrated News. Thanks to the Young ladies 6 for their Letters   I have not time to answer Laura’s 7 by this Mail but will Shortly – I suppose Sir J. McN. has come up by said Mail, With love to all believe me ever,
Your affectionate Hub
W. H. Drake

I have just seen a youngster from the front, the Russians have thrown up a battery which we must take as it enfilades ours or we must draw back!!!
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
2. Brig.-Gen. Richard Airey, Quarter Master General.
3. Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, prime minister 1855-1858.
4. Lord Palmerston’s family name was Temple. See above.
5. The maiden name of Lord Palmerston’s mother, Mary, was Mee. She was the daughter of a London merchant, Benjamin Mee, who was living in Dublin.
6. Presumably his daughters.
7. Henry’s daughter, Laura Mary Drake.

Drake Letters Index 65. Drake to Louisa 9 March 1855 ◄ ● ► 67. Drake to Louisa 16 March 1855