Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst

Letter No.: 
Saturday Oct 21st [1916]

Dear V.

I was most touched by your letter.  I've indeed longed to be home in many ways during the last month - but in other ways I should not like to come home for good till everything is over or in some other normal way.1
Remember me to all the Morleyites and wish them good luck from me - & I shall think of all your schoolgirls on all saints day.
I sometimes dread coming back to normal life with so many gaps - especially of course George Butterworth - he has left most of his MS to me - & now I hear that Ellis2 is killed - out of those 7 who joined up together in August 1914 only 3 are left - I sometimes think now that it is wrong to have made friends with people much younger than oneself - because soon there will only be the middle aged left - & I have got out of touch with most of my contemporary friends - but then there is always you & thank Heaven we have never got out of touch & I don't see why we ever should.


1. VW was serving as a medical orderly in France during the war.
2. Francis Bevis Ellis, promoter of a series of concerts of modern orchestral music, in which the first performance of A London Symphony was given (conducted by Geoffrey Toye). Ellis had been killed in action in France on 27 September.



Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 158, ff.60-61
Cobbe 100; Heirs and Rebels, Letter XIX
Original database number: