Admiralty Telegrams

A hundred years ago the quickest way to send a message between two places was often by telegram. A telegram was sent by wireless telegraphy. The message was passed to an operated who encoded it into Morse and then sent it via electrical pulses down a cable to the receiving telegraph office. The operator here listened to the dots and dashes and translated these back into English and wrote the message down for delivery to the recipient. The system was time consuming so messages were kept as short as possible (commercial operations usually charged by the word or letter) and the system relied on the competence of the operators to ensure there were no transcription errors. Despite this it was a secure way of sending messages very quickly over long distances. The messages received were written down on special forms and today we are looking at a pair of these sent On His Majesty’s Service by the Admiralty to a post office in Romley, Stockport, in 1916:

Unfortunately the message was written in pencil so it is very hard to make out the writing on the telegraph. The message continues onto a second page so was clearly quite lengthy:

As best I can determine, the telegraph reads:

…with reference to this invitation to …for the…of air starting …order number 102 reference C for 11560/16 only but comprises the seperate BO as shown…

I cannot guarantee this is accurate, but it is the best I can do at translating it! this suggests the message was in regards to some sort of stores or contract that had been placed by the Admiralty. If anyone can make out more of the message, please comment below!

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