The Mail and Advocate, 1916

February 5, 1916

The “Neptune” brings a message to Terra Nova from our naval boys in Naples

H.M.S. Rowan,
Naples, Nov. 29, ‘16

Dear Wife,—Just received your letters and very glad to hear that you and Eric were well, as it leaves myself and all our crew at present, thank God. Well Dear as for news your not going to get much from me as I have told you before its against the rules.

Anyway, since we came in here the good old S.S. Neptune came in with a load of fish from St. John’s, NFLD., and myself and Dick went on board her, and I told you before that I had a Turkish rifle which I took from a Turk while we were at the Dardanelles. Well I am giving her in care of the Mate of the S. S. Neptune and I am also sending you a little parcel by him and you will find in the parcel a Turkish bullet to fit the rifle, also a piece of shell that I got at the Dardanelles after the bombardment, and the other articles in the parcels keep it yourself.

Well Dear we have lots of time to spare while we are here and it is something new to us. I have been ashore several times since we came in here. We are getting fitted up while we are here. We have been at the Dardanelles since the 25th of May and since we went out there we have had some hard old times. I can tell you that it is not all pleasant under shell fire, when shells are pitching all around you. We have been under shell fire three times. While out in the Dardanelles our work was carrying troops and bringing back the wounded, and we had to do our work mostly by night owing to being too much exposed to the enemy by day. So that’s mostly all I have to say for now. Don’t fail to write and let me know as soon as you receive the parcel and rifle. I do hope it will turn up o.k., as I fought hard to get it and it belongs to Eric. The mate of the Neptune will give both rifle and parcel to Uncle George Gardner, as he have to pass Uncle George’s door to go to his home at St. John’s, and Uncle George will see that you  will get it o.k.

Remember me to your Alice, kiss Eric for me. Good bye and God bless you both. From your loving husband,
Robert Gardner

P.S. – While being on board the Neptune for a minute or so we thought we were home.   R.G.


Hodge’s Cove
Jan. 29th, 1916

(Editor Mail and Advocate)

Dear Sir,—Please allow me space in your valuable paper to state that the letter enclosed is from my husband, also to say that I have received the Turkish rifle and parcel o.k. My husband’s father happened to be in St John’s on the arrival of S.S. Neptune and he received it sent it on here to me, and if Mate of the S.S. Neptune reads letter he will know that I am very thankful to his for bringing it over from Naples, and will also know that I have received it o.k.

The rifle has two or three bullet holes in it, which shows that the owner had narrow escapes, and every piece of steel in it has the half-noon on it which shows that it is really Turkish, as the half-noon is on the Turkish flag. In the parcel were several articles and the half-noon was stamped on each, except one thing, a silk motor scar with the Union Jack, which is a souvenir. Thanking you for space.

Yours, etc.,
Mrs. Robert Gardner


Transcribed by Wanda Garrett, November 2022.

These transcriptions may contain human errors. As always, confirm these as you would any other source material