from Vaughan Williams, Ralph, 1872-1958 to Holst, Gustav, 1874-1934

Letter No. VWL446

Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst

Letter No.: VWL446


Dear Gustav,

I was so glad of your letter – what troubles you are having – I only hope you’ll get refunded some time – luckily you don’t depend on the army for it. I wonder what Island you are at – I was at Milo for one day & bathed in the bay – I don’t know Galipoli1 – it was Taranto where I landed. I am still out here – slowly trekking towards Germany – not a job I relish – either the journey or its object. I’ve seen Namur and Charleroi and was disappointed in both – every village we pass is hung with flags and triumphal arches ‘Gloire à nos vainqueurs’ etc.
We usually march about 10 Kilos or more a day & rest every 4th day – it’s a tiresome job watering & feeding horses in the dark before we start (though I must confess that there being 8 subalterns in this Bty my turn of turning out early for this only comes once a week). Then usually 2 or 3 wagons stick fast in the mud at the 1st start off & worry & delay ensues, & finally when one gets to one’s destination one has to set up one’s horse lines & find water & fill up nose bags etc. & if this has to be done in the dark it beggars description.
So you see there’s not much music-writing going on at present. But I’ve started a singing class and we are practising Xmas carols and “Sweet and Low”.


1. sic; presumably Holst was at Gallipoli