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Letters of Short, John, marine engineer, Fl. 1931-1937


Object connections:

Collection Archive
Gallery locationNot on display
VesselsNeuralia (1912)

Record details:

Biographical details John Short was a marine engineer serving in the Middle East and Far East on merchant ships, in the few key years before the Second World War. He wrote a substantial collection of letters to his fiancée Ella Ambrose, who worked for a time at Supermarine in Southampton. They were married in 1937, in Winchester.
Description Correspondence between John Short and Ella Ambrose, whilst he served on board various merchant ships including HMT NEURALIA; SS VERONA and SS WAROONGA, and several British India Steam Company vessels (see BIS collection for the company archive). Some letters are considerably lengthly (20+ pages) and provide details of daily life for both crew and passengers aboard these ships. The collection seems fairly complete for years 1934-1936, but there are significant gaps, particularly in letters from Ambrose to Short, from 1930-1933, and there is nothing from Ambrose from 1936 onwards. Both authors provide insightful details of daily life in the 1930s, and these letters are chiefly characterised by the huge amount of mutual affection expressed.
Date made 1931-1937

Finding Reference SHO
Catalogue section Personal collections
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Extent 5 boxes: 370 letters
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