Collection of Second World War Merchant Navy handwritten letters
c1941 to 1944, 85+ letters, telegrams, airgraphs
This is an interesting collection of handwritten letters from a serving Merchant Navy sailor in the Second World War to his family. It consists of about 70 letters (I say "about" as some envelopes have more than one letter), two typed letters from shipping companies informing the family that a ship has been attacked or the crew is safe, five airgraphs (four with envelopes), four telegrams, and the odd piece of printed ephemera as well.
haven't read them all but they are mostly about daily life of where they are, and ship life. An official censor has occasionally cut out a ship name or port name. However, there are some clues such as the captain's name, or where they are at a specific date, so perhaps a researcher could piece together this man's war.
They are from a man called Robert Ball, a young wireless operator, who seems to sign himself Kim, though one or two are signed from Desmond and are in a different hand so perhaps a younger brother who went into the same Service. They are all addressed to the Ball family of "Whippendell" in Duffield, near Derby and date from early 1940 to 1944 (there may be some from 1945, as I mentioned, I've only read a few).
Obviously, they don't contain military information as such, but remain a fascinating window on to the life of a serving sailor.
As expected of letters sent from the four corners of the globe, most with envelopes, some without, folded but all readable.
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