April 28, 1919 to Mother.

Monty reports a cold wave and “a fine little snowstorm.”

“Attended the championship boxing matches of the AEF Saturday night.”  He saw the Crown Prince of Belgium whom he describes as “a rather shy looking youngster of 19,” not as enthralled with the boxing as his companions General Pershing and the general’s Belgian military counterpart.

“Everyone is of course talking about Wilson’s note about Fiume[1] and no one knows what the outcome will be.”  He expects they’ll know the answer by the time his letter gets to them.

Monty’s outings, especially the opera, seem more and more to be blunt observation of his surrounding, especially the notable people. “Was at the opera again last Wednesday night with M. Pellerin. The opera was ‘Castor and Pollux’ which didn’t interest me a lot but the scene in the house was most interesting as it was a gala night in honor of Admiral Beatty and the visiting officers of the British fleet and the costumes and uniforms in the circle of boxes was brilliant. Had quite a good look at Admiral Beatty who appears very young for his position and responsibility.”[2]

 

[1] Wilson contemplated an independent state and a possible League of Nations headquarters; his intent was to remove it as a bone of contention between Italy and the newly formed Yugoslavia. Fiume was an independent state in 1920 and remained so until 1924 when it was annexed by Italy.

[2] Admiral David Beatty was 48 at the time, having reached the rank of Admiral in 1916 when he became commander in chief of the Grand Fleet. He accepted the surrender of the German navy in November 1918; he was promoted to Admiral of the Fleet on May 1, 1919, several days after Monty’s sighting. He was apparently the youngest Admiral since Horatio Nelson who died at Trafalgar at the age of 47.

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