More smiles please : Letters of Note

This is a reblog from Letters of Note, 28th October, 2009.

Background: At the height of the Second World War, April 6, 1943, Sir Archibald Clerk Kerr was the British Ambassador in Moscow. You can just imagine the grimness of Moscow at this time. However, it also shows that you can find some lightness in dark times. It  was written to  Lord Reginald Pembroke, the  Foreign Office Minister.

The transcript:


Lord Pembroke
The Foreign Office

6th April 1943

My Dear Reggie,

In these dark days man tends to look for little shafts of light that spill from Heaven. My days are probably darker than yours, and I need, my God I do, all the light I can get. But I am a decent fellow, and I do not want to be mean and selfish about what little brightness is shed upon me from time to time. So I propose to share with you a tiny flash that has illuminated my sombre life and tell you that God has given me a new Turkish colleague whose card tells me that he is called Mustapha Kunt.

We all feel like that, Reggie, now and then, especially when Spring is upon us, but few of us would care to put it on our cards. It takes a Turk to do that.


Sir Archibald Clerk Kerr,
H.M. Ambassador.


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