Berkley Harker to Mrs JA Harker, 1917

New Bern-Craven County
Public Library

a member of the Craven-Pamlico-Carteret Regional Library System

Berkley Harker to Mrs. J.A. Harker, 1917


--Wires Mother From Brooklyn That He Will Be Home In Few Days 

Mrs. J.A. Harker yesterday received a telegram from her son Berkley G. Harker, who is serving his country on one of Uncle Sam’s fighting ships, announcing that he would be home within a few days. The telegram was sent from Brooklyn, N.Y., where Mr. Harker is supposed to have landed. However, he stated that he would leave there immediately and would go to Boston for a few days before leaving for home.

Mr. Harker has been in foreign waters hunting submarines, also larger “game” for several weeks. A few days ago the editor of the New Bernian received a letter from Mr. Harker, which was mailed “somewhere in France”, and which gave a brief account of how he has been employing a part of his time since he left for foreign waters. The letter follows:

“After about six months service in the best navy in the world and establishing a name from the crew as a “Naval Reserve Rebel,” as anyone from the South is forced to accept in the Navy, I will try and tell you how one of the Naval volunteers from New Bern is getting along.

“Being one of the lucky ones to be able to serve at the front with the destroyers, I am about as near a regular service sailor as could be expected in such a short time.

“After spending weeks at sea playing hide and seek with Fritz, believe me, I am grateful and appreciate being in port again as the sea is rough most of the time and this kind of service we are required to make high speed and you know bucking the sea does not make it good for sleeping which I am very fond of.

“You probably think I ought to be grateful for not getting seasick but after many weeks of such service one is not subject to such an awful feeling.

“I hope you will not think I am getting sick of the job as it is the most exciting work I ever had and so far the time has passed fast enough. Of course I wish and so does the rest of the crew, that the war was over but not unless it was finished for all times. After seeing the way people have been put to death, and in such unmanly ways I don’t think any one would want peace that is merely time to prepare for another war.

“After being in company with some of the Germans who were interned in Norfolk some time ago I didn’t hate them at all but no matter how you try to forgive you cannot keep his ever recurring brutality from affecting you and so you come to the opinion that the instigator of all this war should be put an end to for all times.

“You may think I am optimistic and think it is an easy task for us, but I know we are doing useful work and saving lots of seafaring men from Davy Jones’ locker and in time the U-Boats will be ‘N.G.’

“We are not planning for Fritz to get us still I say I am thankful we are on the briny ocean instead of being on land. I am glad the money that Uncle Sam spent on us in the cruises we made was not wasted as I know it has been in many ways beneficial.

“Some time ago several of us had a short leave and being anxious to see the world we decided to go to London so in due time we reached our world of sights only to be greeted with a German raiding party that same night and believe me it makes a person feel uncomfortable when you hear booms exploding all around you, but it didn’t last long so we retired. We tried to see the damage that was done but the police would not let us get close enough.

“I have the address of Dr. Jones, who is in France, and I expect to see him soon as I think we will stop at that port shortly.”

The Morning New Bernian, Thursday, December 27, 1917, p. 6, c. 3


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