Drake Letters Index 94. Trewman's Exeter Flying Post 21 February 1856 ◄ ● ► 96. Louisa to Maria Drake 29 February 1856
The Drake Letters
William Henry Drake (Balaklava) № 142 – John and Maria Drake (London), 23 February 1856
№ 142 Balaclava 23rd Feby
1856 1
My dear Father & Mother,
        Accept my thanks for the kindness of your congratulations. I need not tell you I was very much pleased at my Honour as well for my own Self, as the children say, as for the recognition of the Department. I was much rejoiced at finding Sir George 2 had his K.C.B., & I trust it may have a salutary influence on his health & spirits. My hand is well shaken since I heard it, by congratulating friends. I heard from Sir G. by the mail. He does not appear to have benefitted much by his change. He says “My health & wretched state of spirits are much the same”. I do not expect he will remain long in the charge. He has nothing left to gain, why sacrifice his Health at his age; 3 such warnings are not to be dispised. I may now also tell you that there are some other Honours to come. The French are going to give three Chevalier Crosses of the Legion of Honour to each Regiment & six to each Dept. Of the Commissariat, I was the first selected & approved for it. At first we were only to have had two to Regiments & 4 to Depts: of these 4, I stood No. 1. The two additional were given afterwards. They are given to us for Service in the Crimea, in the Field, & Sir. G.M. has done that which will be horribly disgusting to the Dept. He has given one of the last two to D.C.G. Smith 4 who was only three days here on a visit to look at Sevastopol after it fell & to eke out his time to the end of the month when he was to resume his charge at Pera. He could not have been one of the first four as, at that time, he had not put his foot in the Crimea. So you see with my Red Ribbon, my Chevalier Cross, & Medal & three Clasps, I shall make quite an imposing appearance! 5 I hear the Tunic is generally condemned as the full dress & that the Queen 6 has directed certain officers on particular occasions to wear the old Dress Coatee. It is said to have been the case at Capt. Sayers wedding to Miss Phipps. 7 Our weather is beautiful again but rather blowing. There is a scheme on foot for putting a bridge across this harbour, to enable men to embark more quickly!!
Your affectionate Son,
W. H. Drake

1. This letter was transcribed by Brig. A. C. F. Jackson. I have not seen the original, nor a copy of the original, only a copy of the transcript.
2. CG Sir George Maclean.
3. Sir George Maclean would then have been about 61 years old.
4. DCG John William Smith.
5. [Brig. A. C. F. Jackson notes: WHD did very well out of the Crimea from the medal point of view. He got C.B.; Chevalier of Legion of Honour (French); British War Medal with clasps, Inkerman, Balaclava & Sebastopol; Sardinian War Medal; Turkish Order of Medidje.]
6. Queen Victoria.
7. This wedding, between Captain Frederick Sayers and Miss Maria Henrietta Sophia Phipps, obviously caused a great deal of talk at the time. For more detail see, accessed 2 October 2017.

Drake Letters Index 94. Trewman's Exeter Flying Post 21 February 1856 ◄ ● ► 96. Louisa to Maria Drake 29 February 1856