Letter from T.H. Barker to his wife Mary, 12 December 1903

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Letter from T.H. Barker to his wife Mary, 12 December 1903

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Title: Letter from T.H. Barker to his wife Mary, 12 December 1903
Parent item: Collection of letters from T.H. Barker to his wife Mary (sort key: 4)
Storage location:
Format and extent: handwriting on 4 pages on 1 leaf
License: Public Domain Mark This work is free of known copyright restrictions.
Related people: Thomas Henry Barker
Related places: Moscow Russia
Description: 4. Handwritten; Saturday 12 December 1903; letterhead: Hotel du Bazar Slave.


12 December 1903

My dearest Mary

I have just received a batch of letters from Mr. Grove, British Consul, viz 4 from your dear self, one from Frank, a very kindly one from Henry D_[?] , one from Mr Herman Deaker, and one from Ellis Edwards. I did not get any letters at wikipedia:Omsk: in fact I did not remember having asked you to write there. I was there only one day, as I could not afford to miss the express for Moscow, as I should have had to wait 2 days for another. I will write for the letters to be sent home. It took me 4 days to travel from Omsk here, thro' the Oural Mountains & over the great Volga Bridge. I enjoyed the Oural scenery much: we had a splendid observation car & sat best part of the daylight in it. The daylight lasts only about 8 or 9 hours. I was berthed in a beautiful car with a Polish Gentleman, who for some reason

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appeared to have taken a fancy to me. I was alone to Chelabinsk when a gentleman put his head throught the curtains and said 'Denay'[?]  you', I know you and came in. He was a Pole whom I had met 2 or 3 times before. He sat on the opposite berth & said 'gut': he knew little more than that of German, & I said “saher karorko'[?]  in Russ is 'very good' & he took up his quarters with me, & seemed very happy. He was full of anticipation of meeting “liebe Fran” in Moscow. He wore a fur coat worth £25 & had his violin: & he played for me several times. We also had meals together, & tho he only spoke Russian he seemed happy, & shook hands many times. He had a purse full of English coins, which he said were better than Russian money.

We reached here 5 hours late at 6.15pm last night, & I wired you & Sir Alfred today. I had working & re-packing to see to, & did not get out until 11am today.

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I then went first to buy a German guide to Moscow & afterwards spent 1 ½ hours with the British Consul, Mr or rather Capt Groves. Afterwards I drove round the Kremlin to St Saviour's church, a gorgeous church. There they make much of Christ & less of the Virgin. Russia is most religious. The cabdrivers, 'vis/checks'[?]  take off their hats reverently on passing favourite shrines. Whatever the weather here we go on wheels, as there is little snow in the streets.

Moscow is a sight, a city of magnificent, ponderous buildings & ancient, richly coloured walls, towers and statutary, a place of barbaric splendour, with every attention to material and pleasure. The baths are magnificent. We have nothing like them: they are relics of Rome.

I shall be here until Tuesday night, when I leave by express for St Petersburg. I have to see here Baron _'s[?]  sister, who is married to Major General something, Judge of the Court Martial court, evidently a great & powerful functionary. They say the Russians are [illegible]  the English just now.

Mr Groves has just told me of the narrow escape of our Queen – how delighted I am at the news. It would have been dreadful had she been burnt. The Russian Empress is better, & I hear the German Emperor is middling.

I will write you again tomorrow & when I must see Cooke the Foreign Office court agent.

I note all home news & wish best love to you all, am yours ever affect husband, Tom.

Mrs Barker
36 Judges Drive

PS I hope you have got the Japanese things. Parcels go by English mail via Suez; they are larger than standard letters.