Letter to the Editor from John Dobson

I refer to the Article “A DULCE DECORUM PARADOX”, written by my nephew, Lawrence (Larry) Iles, which I understand you have recently published.
I wish to put the record straight as follows:-
1) In the section of the Article relating to my father, JOHN DENNIS DOBSON, Mr Iles refers to a manuscript.  This manuscript was in fact composed by Commander Stephen King-Hall, then a navel lieutenant serving on HMS SOUTHAMPTON, a light cruiser, during the battle of Jutland.  This manuscript was given to my father, a writer (secretary) in the Royal Navy, to type up AFTER the Battle.
Some items included in the said paper were referred to in “A NORTH SEA DIARY” 1914-1918, written and later published by Stephen King-Hall.
2) I have a copy of my father’s World War 1 service record (ex National Archives) which clearly shows that he NEVER SERVED on HMS Southampton and therefore could not have composed the paper, with its detailed references to the battle.
3) The service record also proves that, at the time of the Jutland Battle, my father’s ship was HMS CRESCENT, a cruiser of the Edgar Class, which was a DEPOT ship based at Rosyth and which took NO PART in the Jutland conflict.
I have continually asserted in writing to Lawrence that my father merely typed up King-Hall’s paper and was certainly NOT the author of it.  My father made this clear to me, well before Lawrence was even born.  However, Mr Iles has consistently refused to accept my assurances on this.
I shall be grateful if you will make clear that the ‘manuscript’ references by Lawrence Iles were based on a ‘misunderstanding’ of the facts, as any basic historical research would have confirmed.
Yours truly
John L Dobson

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One response to “Letter to the Editor from John Dobson

  1. lARRY ILES REPLIES,mARCH 26 2015,I am sorry to have taken so long to of now necessity publicly reply to my very right wing in his politics and understanding of what he mislabels history uncle.In fact as the Monitor editors can attest I went out of my way to change the final text and part of my Dulce Decorum Paradox articles to accurately ensure I got my maternal grandfather,s precise Jutland assigned writer,s role right,one officially if as writer John now acknowledges he had,after intemperate private correspondence denial altogether I have in my possession.As for the over-confident assertions concerning King-Hall,a writer whose work was frequently published post WW1 verifiably by the EXTREME SO-CALLED INDIVIDUALIST BENN PRESS,real historians rather than John,s richest 2 sons,my otherwise beloved cousins ,need caution thereby.Probably Hall was the actual participant,but the writer was,indeed Dobson.Despite the published book,diary cited we cannot yet say,as both Dobson grand pere and Hall were evasive about precise battle details,because they both might legally have been hauled up for breach of the 1911 Official Secrets Act for then illegal misuse of the once government typed document I alone have in here USA the copy of given me explicitly by BOTH my maternal grandmother late widow and my mother Bridget.Alas my uncle has consistently refused to validate either their two oral repeated confidences with me as to JD Dobsons detestation of WW1 after its horrors,although intriguingly Uncle does now privately write me that over egging may be his fathers actual combat way of expressing his desk job dislike of such sacrifices as the dying young watch out lad.Also as all readers of both parts of PARADOX can attest this right wing relative refuses to discuss the context post 1916 battle itself,jELLICOE THE COMMANDER WAS SAVAGED BY TORIES AND DEPUTY BEATTY Partisans for not pursuing the Germans,both Dobson and Hall were in short playin politics to defend in my view rightly Jellicoe.In conclusion the original article was prior circulated to six eminent historians,some of Uncles war and establisment own politics and over-masculinist views on WWi,see Journalism History recently for Australian research on such war over-denial.Iregret Uncle has not done basic fairness history accordingly and decline any further MONITOR controversy publicly with him in irreconcilability with him on WW1,regretting his devaluation of our womens history family history testimony and alas that neither Paul nor Patrick have contacted either me or my brother Chris for a copy of the anonymous Jutland battle I paraphrased,ACCURATELY.

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