Robert Graham (FT 1969-2000)
Until the early 1970s, telegrams were the cheapest and most reliable means of communicating with correspondents in the field. They were costed by word count, thus there was a long tradition of telegraphese - whereby words were elided like ‘upsumsoonest’. Phone calls were extremely unreliable and often had to be booked.
I received this telegrams from JDF Jones, foreign editor, at the Hotel Intercontinental Calcutta during the 1972 Indo-Pakistan war (where I was staying with over 300 foreign air stewardesses, grounded because a no fly zone was in force over the Indian sub-continent).