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


Admiralty House,   


25. 10. 17

My dear Admiral

          Very many congratulations on your most successful birthday. But still more congratulations on getting the Pargust, and on nominating Hanrahan for her.1 No one could do it better once he has mastered the principle which he will not take long to do. I would be sorry to see Campbell2 sold off to look after her fitting out as he wants to be actively employed and hopes to be sent here in a light cruiser to relieve the Adventure. But if when Pargust is commissioned she comes round here or to Bantry (B---)3 then Campbell & I will use our experience to help Hanrahan to stand on his feet, ready to run the race. It would be the best way really. The Cassin was not nearly so close a shave as the Benham: the latter was the nearest thing to sinking that is possible to even imagine.4 They have got some very good photographs of Cassin for you, I have set a sent to Whitehall.

It is quite extraordinary to me to read that the House of Commons and England were astonished at the condition of Ireland. Surely everyone knows that the whole country is ready to rise against the present regime at any moment, only waiting in the hope of getting some light guns or machine guns. And by skillfully giving in to them the Govt has added 50% to the rebel recruits.5

Were you amused at my interviews with the Lord Mayor.6

Certainly run down in Nov. if you are at leisure; delighted to see you.

Yours very sincerely

Lewis Bayly

Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers. The letter is written on stationary and the heading appears in the upper-right of all three pages.

Footnote 1: Lt. Cmdr. David C. Hanrahan. For more on the acquisition of the Pargust, see: Sims to Opnav, 16 October 1917.

Footnote 2: Lt. Harry Campbell, repair officer, Dixie.

Footnote 3: The handwriting on this word is unclear, and the editor was unable to decipher it.

Footnote 4: This is an odd assertion on Bayly’s part, since the Benham, while it encountered submarines on two separate occasions, was never actually struck by a torpedo. On 13 July, two u-boats fired on her, but missed. Two weeks later another sub fired and missed. See, DANFS. Cassin, on the other hand, suffered a crippling blow and had to be towed back into port. See: Report of the Torpedoing of Cassin, 15 October 1917; War Diary of U-61, 15 October 1917; and Sims to Sims, 21 October 1917.

Footnote 5: From 24-29 April, 1916, Irish separatists rose up in the Easter Rebellion, seizing control of much of Dublin. The British army retook the city and arrested the ringleaders of the rebellion, but subsequent British policies soon alienated much of the Irish population. Dublin was placed under martial law, and over 3,000 were arrested or sent to internment camps. In the aftermath, relations between Ireland and the British government remained tense, and although the separatist party of Sinn Fein did not take part in the uprising, they enjoyed a marked increase in support afterwards. Tucker, Encyclopedia of World War I: 375-376. For tensions between American naval personnel and the Sinn Fein, see: Sims to Sims, 18 May 1917; Sims to Daniels, 11 September 1917; and Sims to Daniels 15 September 1917.

Footnote 6: Sir Charles Hanson.