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Guest Desmond6

Last letter home

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Guest Desmond6

Stoker Joyce (correct) Power died on HMS Hawke in late 1914. I don't know date or details of action (going to check) but I felt I should post this outspoken statement from his last letter home.

A picture of Power and extracts from his last letter appeared in the Ballymena Observer of mid-November 1914.

It states: A message from the dead (that is the headline)

The following is an extract from a letter dated 10th October written by Mr. Power to his minister, Rev. A Watson, Broughshane, and received by him on Tuesday last.

After referring to his wife and children, he says: - 'The more we have lost some ships it is nothing much, if they would only come out until we get at them (I assume he means the High Seas Fleet). We would soon get our own back.

"I do not think much of my countrymen in this war for not coming out and showing their loyalty. All the single young men should join now, for this is a just war. Would they like to see their homes ruined and dear ones murdered, while they are content to stop at home? For my part I would not be elsewhere for anything. I cannot tell you anything about what we are doing. Our letters are looked over before they leave and are sent back if we say much.'

Further on down the article states: he was a raceview man and had been employed as fireman at the Raceview Woolen Mills. Much sympathy is is felt in the neighbourhood with his wife and two young children (twins). Mr. Power was a naval reserve man and was called up at the declaration of war.

Were such 'join up and rally to the flag' letters common? What was he basing his outspoken statement on? Was there a perception amongst reservists generally that the 'ordinary citizen' was slow in joining up? Or was he (controversy here) having a go at fellow Ulstermen? Perhaps he wasn't aware of the rush to volunteer which admittedly petered out later on in the war.

Any views - and should I have posted this on the naval thread?

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markinbelfast

I've many letters home from the trenches and they differ vastly...one says that those who cheered them men on to joining have an awful lot to answer for..another talks of the pride in the glorious 1st July...others talk of such and such lifting a dud granade for a souviner only for it to activate...so much can be gleaned from them...cheers for sharing that one.

Just on the point of perceptions..last year a friend whos father was KIA July 1916 died but he recalled many times to me how his father was badgered into joining up by the white feather brigade. He couldn't take anymore and joined...died and left a wife and three under seven to cope on their own...with no help from the white feather brigade.

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Guest Desmond6

Mark - Any unusual stuff from the old papers and I'll post on forum. Cheers

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