Admiral Henry T. Mayo, Commander, Atlantic Fleet, to Caroline Wing Mayo
Monday – Oct 1 – 1917
My own Carrie,
Not a line have I written since last Thursday. I wrote then after lunch and before going to the Admiralty at 3 p.m. I went and made a farewell call on Sir Eric Geddes – the First Lord of the Admiralty. Then I went for a final conference with Sir John Jellicoe.1 He went over various things with me – gave me a lot of data which had been prepared in answer to the questions I had left at the Admiralty before going to France, - and informed that the Prime Minister – Mr Lloyd George – would like to see me at 6 P.M. if convenient if convenient, of course it had to be convenient. I had not much time at the Hotel, after my interview with Admiral Jellicoe, before starting to [call me?]. Left at 4-55 and went to tea with Admiral Browning’s wife and met he[r] daughter, a friend, and Mrs Southby, whose husband is one Admiral Browning’s staff.2 Then we rushed to our Embassador’s and called,3 then had just time to get to the Admiralty and go with with Admiral Jellicoe to visit Lloyd George. The first Lord went with us and there was a pleasant half hour visit with the Prime Minister. At the Hotel we had dinner at seven and left for the R.R. station at 8-00 – The train left at 8[:]50 – and I turned in right away and slept in catnaps until called at 1-40. At 2 a.m. We left the train at Holyhead and went on the Irish Channel steamer for Kingstown, - near Dublin. We had staterooms and lounges on board and I slept pretty soundly all the way over. at Kingstown – about 5-30 a.m. we were met by Admiral Dennison and his flag Lieut.4 who had R.R. car saloon reserved for us. We passed thru Dublin and had a few glimpses of it. Had breakfast on the train - then enjoyed the Irish scenery on the way to Queenstown. Passed through Cork. at Queenstown practically all the comdg. Officers of our tenders – and the Destroyers in port, twenty of them, were at the station, also Admiral Bayly5 and his aide. We walked up the hill to Admiralty House and there met Miss Voysey, the Admiral’s niece – our hostess.6 Tuesday Oct 1st After lunch, we went out around the harbor and off to the “Melville – and part of the staff to various other vessels – getting a general idea of the way things were going. We returned to Admiralty House in time for me to have a long lark with Admiral Bayly and later there was an improvised cricket game in which Miss Voysey made about the best score. There were a lot of our officers there. At dinner there was quite a crowd – several of Admiral Bayly’s staff, General [Doran?] who commands the British Army forces in Southern Ireland, Sims, King, Noyes and I.7 at nine oclock we were taken to an entertainment given in the “Destroyer’s Club” – a most creditable show. Miss Voysey was taken along – the first and only woman ever to go there. They called for a word from the C.in C. just before the close so I had to say a few words – and was followed by Sims.
The next morning – Saturday – the morning skipped away in various ways. I had some calls – spent some time in Admiral Bayly’s “Operation office”, etc. at 11-30 went off to the Melville and all the comdg. officers of our ships were there to meet me and a stand up lunch was furnished. Went ashore at 2-00, saw things packed up, had some chatting, and at 3-00 walked down to the R.R. Station. The train left at 3-25. We reached Dublin at 7-50 and went right to the Hotel and had dinner – which was finished just before 10 P.M. Sat a while in my sitting room - then turned in at 11-50. We left early on Sunday morning – right after breakfast, the train leaving at 8-25. It was only a few minutes run to Kingstown where we took the Irish Channel steamer for Holyhead. Admiral Dennison was at the wharf and did all he could for us.l He said Admiral Da Costa8 at Holyhead wanted me to lunch with him on arrival and before the train left – but we asked him to wire that we thought the train there too short. Had a pleasant trip across Channel, being escorted by two British Destroyers – which had also escorted us on the other cross-channel trip. Had an early lunch on the steamer before reaching Holyhead. There Admiral Da Costa met us – with mrs Da Costa9 – and took Noyes and me in his motor [car] to the Hotel. There we had a pleasant call – the other officers also coming in. I was glad that we had not attempted to have lunch with them, as it would have been awfully hurried. Mrs Da Costa presented me with a basket of beautiful fruit which we enjoyed on the train. At Chester we had to change cars and wait an hour or more. So we walked up to “Murray Hotel” and had tea. The trip to Birkenhead was only an hour but the train was late. At B. we were met by our Consul – Mr Washington – and Admiral Stileman’s Secretary, taken across the Mersey to Liverpool and to this Hotel.10 After dinner, which was late, I think most of us turned in at once, yesterday forenoon Admiral Stileman called and at 10-15 we were taken for a trip to see Liverpool’s famous system of Docks. It was a most interesting trip. Back to the Hotel to wash up and then King and I went to the Conservative Club to lunch with Mr Washington, Admiral Stileman meeting us there. After lunch we were turned over to Mr [Wortley?] – member of the munitions committee – who took us to see a big munitions plant. There they employ about 12000 girls in filling shells and preparing ammunition. It was 7 P.M. when we got back to the Hotel. After dinner we went to the Empire Union Hotel and I turned in as soon as we got back at 11 P.M. I was only attempting to note the sequence of events – not to describe anything. We are shortly going an auto trip out in the country – It will be an all day trip – as we wind up at Mr Washington’s place for afternoon tea. With all my heart I am yours ever-
Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, Henry T. Mayo Papers, Box 3. The letter was written on “Midland/Adelphi/Hotel/Liverpool” stationery.
Footnote 1: Sir John R. Jellicoe, First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy.
Footnote 2: Ruth Boldero Browning, wife of Adm. Montague E. Browning, R.N; his daughter Anna B.F. Browning; and probably Phyllis M. Garton Southby, wife of Lt. Cmdr. Sir Archibald R.J. Southby, R.N.
Footnote 3: American ambassador to Great Britain Walter Hines Page.
Footnote 4: Ret. Adm. John Denison, R.N., commodore in chief of Kingston; his flag lieutenant has not been identified.
Footnote 5: VAdm. Lewis Bayly, R.N., Commander, Naval Forces, Southern Ireland.
Footnote 6: Violet M. Voysey.
Footnote 7: VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters; Cmdr. Ernest J. King, a member of Mayo’s staff; Lt. Cmdr. Leigh Noyes, another member of Mayo’s staff.
Footnote 8: Retired RAdm. Herbert C.C. Da Costa.
Footnote 9: Katherine Krill Da Costa.
Footnote 10: Horace L. Washington, the United States Consul at Liverpool, England; RAdm. Harry H. Stileman, R.N. the British officer in charge at Liverpool.