From the beginning, telegrams were used for messages of great importance: politicians and generals sent hundreds of them. Queen Victoria loved them and the police in Britain have used them so often that they have special telegram address:
Perhaps one of the most interesting historical telegrams is one sent by the head of the Navy on September 3rd, 1939. It read simply:
“Winston is back”.
In Victorian England, one of the most important battles happened in South Africa – the siege of Mafeking. The first battles in which the telegram was used. Telegrams flew from Mafeking to London and from London to Mafeking. The first one read:
“All well. Four Hours Bombardment. One dog killed”.
Things didn’t stay so easy. Lady Sarah Wilson sent a telegram from the city saying,
“Breakfast: horse sausages. Lunch: minced mule. Well, Sarah.” When the town was saved, Queen Victoria received a telegram:
“Relief on May 18.”
But not all historic telegrams were sent from famous people. My favourite was sent by a huntsman just before the First World War. It read:
“No hunting if England declares war.”