Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst

Letter No.: 
[Summer 1918]

Dear V.

I’ve not written to you ever since I came out this time (nor for the matter of fact you to me). But I keep posted up in all your doings & I see your letters.
I wonder if you will go to Holland - I shd feel more inclined for the naval job myself - but still there is the 3rd alternative I hope, of your stopping at Morley - when all this is over it will I believe [be] the people who’ve kept the lamp alight who will count as the heroes.
The war has brought me strange jobs - can you imagine me in charge of 200 horses!!  That’s my job at present - I was dumped down on to it straight away, and before I had time to find out which were horses and which were wagons I found myself in the middle of a retreat - as a matter of fact we had a very easy time over that - only one horse killed so we were lucky.
At present I am down near the sea undergoing a ‘gunnery course’ - more of a rest than anything else but it’s given me an opportunity of learning something about my gun (among other things.)  Having been trained entirely as a 6” Howitzer man I’ve been bunged into a 60pdr!
I wish I cd have been at Thaxted - but that will all come after the war - I shd be very sorry for you to leave Morley & Thaxted and all that - but it wd be interesting to see if you have established a tradition & if it will carry on without you.
Let me have a letter when you can.  What are you writing?


address  2/Lt RVW R G A
141 Heavy Bty


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 158, ff.63-64
General notes: 

 VW was serving in the war in France.

Cobbe 114; Heirs and Rebels, Letter XX; The Musician's World: letters of the great composers, edited by Hans Gal, pp.425-426.
Original database number: