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Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly, R.N., Commander, Naval Forces, Southern Ireland, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Navy Forces Operating in European Waters

Admiralty House,  


10. 1. 18

My dear Admiral

          So very many thanks for the book which I will read & return. I hope very much that you are quite well again, & did not suffer from the journey. Your illness could not have come at a better time, you got quiet, good nursing, and at a time where there was nothing to bother you. Should you feel it coming over you again, take a ticket for Qt.

There are so many rumours about the new Admy.1 that I have given up trying to keep count. As long as the result is to help us to win the war it doesn’t matter what happens there, but certainly at present the anti S/M war & the convoy war are the most important. Nothing else matters just now. I am afraid that the situation will be very serious for the yachts & trawlers at the end of this month when the big S/Ms come out,2 as they will not dive & risk depth charges but will use their surface speed and 6” guns & attack our weak patrols and trawler escorts. Destroyers will not be able to go about singly, and we shall want all the light cruisers that carry fuel enough (not adventures) out here so as to assist. I shall probably send the Active with the troop convoys.3 Every trawler will have to have W/T so as to send the news & call for help.

Yours very sincerely        

Lewis Bayly.      

Love from the NIECE.4

Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 79.

Footnote 1: Adm. Sir John R. Jellicoe was relieved as First Sea Lord and Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet on 24 December 1917. Adm. Rosslyn Wemyss replaced him as First Sea Lord, and Adm. David Beatty assumed command of the Grand Fleet.

Footnote 2: Bayly has made a cross mark here referring to a note in the letter’s margin which reads, “You should talk to Wemyss about this. B.”

Footnote 3: Active was Bayly’s flagship.

Footnote 4: Bayly’s niece, Miss Violet Voysey.

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