“24 December (1940) – At anchor until 1630 – then underway with (HMS) Edinburgh and 4 destroyers to patrol off Iceland during Christmas holidays. Very fine weather – Christmas Eve – and here I am a long ways from home – Quite disappointed – thought continually about Dolly and Anne, and home. Wish Mother could have had another Christmas with us. Watched clock and pictured Dolly putting Anne to bed – turned in at 0005 – wrote to Dolly. (Wellings mother had died recently)
25 December – Christmas Day – on patrol off Iceland – what a way to spend Xmas. Oh well, if I cannot be with my two little girls I don't mind being here – It is all for the flag??? Grand weather for a change in these parts. Lat 64N Long 2E at noon....
Letter to Mrs. Wellings, 1 January, 1941. Life aboard the Hood was not all work:
"…..When midnight arrived the dining room was crowded with all the boys. The big boss was among those present. He ordered drinks all around and we drank to 1941 “Victorious and Peace.”
All hands admitted that 1940 was a bad year from the viewpoint of the war. However, they were all confident that the tide had changed and that 1941 would be a better year. I sincerely hope so because we cannot stand many years like 1940. My personal opinion is that by summer we will know Hitler's latest threat. Whatever it may be I have confidence in the British being able to cope with the situation. By fall I hope and believe England will be in a much better position than it is today. Of course no one knows when it will all be over. Time alone can tell. There are so many “ifs and buts” that a true prediction is impossible.....
Last night we had another grand dinner with turkey and all the fixings. We all thoroughly enjoyed it but of course we ate too much. I believe I will have to watch my weight or I will be putting on extra pounds. The food quality here is the best I have seen to date over here – outside of the No. 1 restaurant in London......”
Wellings was a man committed to his duty, but very much a husband and father, committed to caring for and missing his family. I love reading his letters home, he was quite the romantic.
Here's hoping they will be back to live stream soon, and have no more trouble retrieving the bell. This delay for them has surely been costly, but I know they will succeed.