Blake, Gerald, Letter, 21-27 December 1914

to Clive Blake


Case Study: 
Gerald Blake, an English Participant in the Christmas Truce of 1914
Blake, Gerald
21-27 December 1914
Place: France
McMaster University Libraries
Copyright, public domain: McMaster University owns the rights to the archival copy of the digital image in TIFF format.


Dec 21st 1914
Dear Clive,
I have your letter of the 11th, but no papers have come yet, if any were sent. I had seen before it came that Romania is still at peace, and (like Italy and the rest) seems likely to confine its activities to talk and diplomacy; also that Portugal had its differences with Germany confused. It is well that Portugal did so; but I cannot understand those other countries not seizing the first opportunity to regain (or gain) their missing provinces. However, it would be awkward for us should Sweden apply the principle, not to mention that both France and England hold territories inhabited by men of Italian race. It is quite a recent principle, that kingdoms should coincide with national areas! It is a bad principle to Austria.
We have not seen our kitbags since Crowborrough, nor did we expect to do so. Please keep all articles, except what I should write for. At present I only need socks and bodybelt. As to the khaki, it is a spare suit, and I am not going through the campaign in a shirt and pair of boots, as you seem to think! The tunic was too tight for me, but I suppose the only thing to be done is to sew on the buttons again as near the edge as possible.
As to the Falkland fight, I have not heard officially of the Dresden's fate. You talk of prophecy; well it is rather curious that I should have talked of our weaker cruiser strength in the North Sea and that the West Hartlepool affair should follow immediately. I have heard no details as yet, not even if it was a cruiser squadron that did the deed. If a battle squadron or battle cruiser squadron (as I have heard rumoured) my remark above does not apply, but (failing information) I rather expect to hear that the German 2nd Cruiser Squadron, plus light cruisers, did the bombardment. Of course it was quite contrary to civilized warfare, but we must expect that. I was very interested to hear from you about the F. Karl. Information from the French Minister of Marine must be treated with respect, otherwise I should say it was merely a reflection of the loss of the Yorck. How did he come to know? Your list of German commerce raiders remaining contains the Strassburg. Are you sure she is out, as this is the first I have heard. They say B11 has torpedoed a Turkish ship. Talking of the Dardenelles reminds me that you say that