Capt. Arthur David LINKLATER

Captain Arthur David LINKLATER 1879 - 1955

World War II (iv)

Old age hath yet his honour and his toil

There is a bit more meat covering the war years to be got from the bare bones of records he kept in his ‘Annual’ from 1923-1946. He had occasional paid employment. From 29 July - 14 August 1939 “Beresford Seamens Rest relieving Bicker-Carter £4 per wk” and again on 16 August 1939 “In charge Lord Charles Beresford Distressed Seamans Home for 3 weeks relieving Bicker-Carter” On 11 Nov 1939 he records “Pay increase to £4.10.0” but pay for exactly what is not made clear. On 1 January 1940 he “transferred to Southampton” to work, but again at what is unclear. Was that where the Seamen's Home was? On 26th October 1940 he wrote “in charge Southampton - Roberts to Liverpool” but come 29/30th November he writes “Southampton raised to the ground” but no further details; it was presumably bombed. In spite of that, the 1st January 1941 found him in “office through the day” - of note for Dum as he was a great one for “seeing the New Year in”. He was possibly at his lowest ebb on 31st December 1941; having already noted in his Christmas Review that “the financial position very bad. All capital gone, as well as most of the furniture. etc” - the etc including hope I suspect, he goes on to write “At 43 Plattsville Liverpool on my own. Not even a drink in the house to remind one of the New Year”

On 19 June 1941 he was ‘head-hunted’ by his friend from their Calcutta days, Capt. Coombs; “Coombs called at office & inquired if I would go to Liverpool” He records a “weeks leave in London” 18/25th August 1941 but does not say leave from what. Elsie had taken the odd part time job and now, with Dum accepting whatever Capt. Coombs had offered him in Liverpool, and presumably the work mentioned by Evelyn, “W.P. remained London with Mrs Hindle. Then to St Columba's Hospital.” not, I think, as a patient but where she had work. Come 20 September 1941 he writes “W.P. to Drapers Cottage Homes at £70 per year” It sounds like some sort of agency nursing work; 3 Nov 1941; “W.P. left Mill Hill.” 6 December 1941; “W.P. to Mrs Crabtree” Then on 23 May 1942 “W.P. after 2 months with Mrs C. at Northwood left. To the ‘George’, Ruislip ay £3.10.0 for 3 days.” But then on 6 June “W.P. to Liverpool and shifted to Wallasey Village” so they were reunited but with minimal fanfare. On 2 November 1942 “W.P. to Hilder Hume, Bold St, Liverpool at £2 + £1 expenses.” before finally 5 November “W.P. to Owen Owens at £2.5.0. per week.” or about £117 per year.

Meanwhile Dum's career was bumping along the bottom in much the same vein as before. Come the 1st Jan 1942 “Office & docks. Same as any other day.” On 22 October “to London interview re Manager Merchant Navy Club.” This was on the basis of a tip-off from a friend that a suitable place might be going but nothing seems to have come of it. Apart from everything else Dum's health was now failing. On 8th March 1944 “Application for old age pension No. 30495020” is duly recorded. From the end of 1944 this was to be his only income.

1st January 1945. W.P. at work. I at home on my own. Cold and very foggy. Yesterday was my last day on pay and now I have the new experience of being unemployed or if you like retired on the old age pension of 10/- a week, and the unseemly position now is that being too ill to work W.P. has to support the home. A bad business indeed!

10/- was ten shillings. In today's [2018] money 10/- is 50p but that is more-or-less meaningless. What you could buy for ten shillings in 1945 was obviously far more than you can buy for 50p in 2018.

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