Eve Marriott’s World War 1 Diaries
Gave up house-hunting and did some last shopping, and had lunch at Harvey Nicholls. Left by the 4.45. H goes to Newquay on Monday, I am hoping to go there too of course, but it is too expensive. Found Rowley and Michael at home, Char, Georgie, Fred and Esther gone. Evening papers full of remarks of horror, things look worse than ever. Yesterday the house agent at Hampstead was showing us a very small unfurnished flat when Helen said to him “and we have room for Ocky here?”Miss Ocky Beaumon, who is thinking of sharing it with us. The boy said, before I could answer, “There is a hockey ground quite close and some good golf links near,” which amused us a good deal.
On this day in 1914, the Postdam Conference ended, Great Britain mobilised its troops and Russian troops invaded Eastern Prussia. Austria was at war with Serbia and Germany had declared war on Russia the day before.
Went into Rugby with Meriel and things look so very war-like. M picked me up in a car by the school and we went up to the ground. A good many people were there, all talking of nothing else of course but the prospects of war. We heard wonderful remarks, one that we had declared war and there had been a battle, and all sorts of comments, all of which turned out to be wrong. They only played one game as there were so few players, nearly everyone having gone off to rejoin regiments. Saw the Heaths who had Miss Starr with them, who could not get back to Germany of course.
On this day in 1914, Germany declared war on France.
War has not really yet been declared but must be soon, I am sure.
On this day in 1914 Germany invaded Belgium (who was neutral), President Woodrow Wilson of the United States announced that the country would have a policy of neutrality, and Britain finally declared war on Germany.
The Lutterworth Show, Father and Digby went. Old Topham made a welcome speech and they would not have the band, which seems rather absurd. We really are at war with Germany now. I must say it is almost a relief to know the worst after all these years of wondering when it will come. All the same, I hate the thought of it.
Mother heard from the office at Leicester asking if she could undertake to provide 30 beds for wounded soldiers. Rather a large order. Good news in the paper that the Belgians are holding their own while at Liege.
Typed out lists of requirements. Mrs Watson wrote me a note I received about 11 asking me to play in her tournament that afternoon. I said I would, though I did not want to a bit. Had a great meet in the Girls Clubroom of the VG Detachment and a lot of outsiders whom we asked because we thought they might lend things. Everybody was very good and promised all sorts of things. Abbot has offered to lend a Wesleyan Sunday School, which seems to be an ideal place with kitchens and everything complete, and the Grammar School have offered 12 beds. Heaps of people offered bed clothing and to make shirts. I had to keep lists, which was most difficult. Had lunch at the Aldersons and went up to Mrs Watson’s, where I played with Cecil too badly for words. I had a bad headache and was dead to the world. The papers say the Germans have lost 25,000 at Liege and asked for an armistice. I can hardly believe they can have lost so many already.
Felt a most awfully warm and incapable of doing anything. Stayed indoors most of the day and did a little dressmaking. Esther and Fred came home about lunchtime. Fred and Digby spent most of the evening discussing what they should do. I think the chief idea is to join the reserve of Officers, in which case they will serve throughout the war and probably be attached to a regiment and may serve outside the country, whereas the Territorials only serve at home.
Stayed in bed for breakfast but got up later and felt rather better.
Drove over to the Pembertons with Fred, Rowley and Michael. The Clarkes, Belchers and all the Bouchers were there. Alison Boucher is engaged to a Mr Taylor I think his name is. Quite young, a friend of Robin’s at Cambridge. She is a pretty attractive little thing, but Sybil is the most attractive I think. No news much. Mr Pemberton has gone to Warwick with the Yeomanry, he volunteered for foreign service and expects to be sent soon.
Had a working party in the rectory garden and made flannel shirts, a horrible occupation
Did the flowers. Mr Watson and Cecil and two nieces of Mrs Pemberton and John came and played tennis all the afternoon. We had some quite good sets. Fred went into Oxford to see the O.T.C. people there and decided to join Kitchener’s new army, which is just being formed. He passed his medical exam. Tumbled off his bicycle on the way home and hurt his knee.
Had rather an early lunch and then the whole family party except Fred went down to the Darlingtons and played in a tennis tournament which had been hurriedly arranged yesterday. As there were lots of us including Bay, we felt that someone ought to secure a prize somehow. I had Dinks Kittermaster as a partner, Bay Reggie Alderson and Esther Connie’s husband, Mr Griffin, who is a priceless old thing, very fat and talkative and quite amusing. Rowley and Digby played together and Michael and Ronald K Dinks and I began by losing 5 games straight away to Miss Alderson and Dorothy K, so they were so sorry for us that they altered our handicap and gave us off 30 instead of 15. The result was that we immediately began to play much better and finally won as everybody else had to give us points. However, nobody seemed to mind much and I got an umbrella and Dinks a golf club. Went straight on to a lecture on Home Nursing.
On this day in 1914, the Battle of the Frontiers began. This was a series of battles fought in southern Belgium and on the eastern borders of France which resulted in a German victory.
Got up early and went down to the Cottage Hospital with Esther, arriving there about 8.15. Stayed there the whole morning, helping to do all the usual hospital work. There were only two patients, which was unfortunate. One was a poor little Mrs Robinson who looked very ill and had had an operation, and the other was an oldish man who did not seem to have much the matter with him. We gave them their medicines and took their temperatures and felt their pulses etc, and dusted several rooms and watched the nurse bandage a boy’s squashed arm. Found a postcard from Vi saying Robert was much the same and very weak. Stayed indoors most of the afternoon as I was rather tired. Digby went to Oxford for the day and passed his medical examination for Kitchener’s army which he is going to join as well as Fred. Digby told us that Jackson, the greatest runner Oxford has ever had, who won an Olympic games medal race which has seldom if ever been beaten, was rejected by the Medical Board on account of his legs being bad! It is true, I believe, that he has varicose veins and a bad knee and weak heart, but it seems almost as if they might have risked that!
Very warm, went to church. Grace Topham came over in the afternoon.
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On this day in 1914, Russia began to invade East Prussia.
A hot day. Started to bicycle over to Claybrooke to see CN who is ill, poor old thing, but my bicycle broke down between Bitteswell and the Elms, so I borrowed Mrs Clarke’s, she being out at the time, and went on on that. Found poor old Aunt C looking very ill and weak and in great pain. She has sent for a nurse who I hope will come soon. Went to a first aid lecture on the way home. Baddish news from the war, the Germans seem to be in Belgium.
Played tennis at home. Had a service at 7 o’clock, the same as they’re having everywhere. Had some special prayers and “God Save the King”. Michael in white flannels standing to attention pleased me a great deal. The Germans are over-running the whole of Belgium.
Esther and I went to the Youngs and played tennis there. Mr Clarke, Dr James, Dennise Aldridge and of course Mr and Mrs Hughes were there, besides Mabel and Allan. Had some very good sets and I played a little better than I usually do, however, but not at all well. Went down to the station on the way back to get an evening paper and found Cecil Stocks there, who had been playing cricket at Lutterworth and told me that Fred, who was also playing, had had a wire from a Colonel, Highland Light Infantry, asking him if he would like to join the 3rd Battalion. When I got home I found this was true and that Moore and various other B.N.C. men had also been asked to join. Of course Fred had wired to say “yes”. Very interesting, we suppose he will be wearing a kilt and sporran!
Very hot, went to church twice.
On this day in 1914, Japan declared war on Germany. Additionally, Austria-Hungary began to invade Russian Poland.
Mother went to Leicester.
On this day in 1914 Russia lost the Battle of Tannenberg to Germany.
Esther and Fred went to the Youngs to play tennis and mother and the little boys to the Jarys. Francis Stocks turned up on a motor bicycle for tea and stayed for some time. He was on his way to the new house. F and E came back with a lovely story about 150,000 Russian soldiers having passed through Rugby during the last few days on their way to France or Belgium, presumably the latter. It seems too good to be true. We want some help badly at present, I should say. Cecil Mickalls, who commands the Territorials at Rugby, seems to have told the Youngs and one would think he ought to know.
Bicycled down to Lutterworth to get some bits for Fred, who went off about 10.30 to camp somewhere near Didcot. In the afternoon Digby and I went down to the Darlingtons and played tennis there with the Cave girls and Lucy and “Willow” Darlington and a Mr Fosberry whom I had not seen before. Mr Watson came in later as well. Had some sandwiches there and went on to a Home Nursing lecture.
Very hot. War news is rather bad I think. We seem to be pretty hard pressed in France. Father and Digby played cricket at Lutterworth. Esther and I bicycled down there for tea and saw the end of the match. Lutterworth were beaten in a most idiotic way. A letter came for Fred from the W.O. saying he was to join the 7th Battalion in the Rifle Brigade, instead of the 3rd of the Highland Light Infantry as we thought.
Went to church. Francis S turned up in the afternoon on his motor bicycle and stayed some time. He does not believe the Russian story at all.
Robin arrived looking much the same as usual but thinner. He seems to have had quite a calm and uneventful voyage except that they had to have their lights out the first part of the way.
Played tennis here. R is not very good. The Aunts of course hovered round all day. Went to a Home Nursing lecture in the evening.
On this day in 1914, German troops captured both Craonne and Siossons.
Meant to go to Sheringham and packed everything in the morning, but not having a wire from Margery or a letter, I decided to stop another day. Robin went away. Mother went over to see CN.
Went to Sheringham by the 2:5 train from Ullesthorpe. Travelled into Leicester with Esther Willoughby who had been to Claybrooke for two nights to see CN. Got to Sheringham about 6.30 and was met at the station by Margery and a friend of Jimmy’s called Stewart Ritson who M seemed to expect me to have hear about before, but I never had. We walked up to Edgebrook and found Edie and Jack there and a little girl of about 14 called Frances Friedel, daughter of the old music master who was there years ago when we were there. Jimmy is out somewhere in France with his motor bicycle, he is a corporal attached to the R.E. and goes about looking after the telephone wires. He seems to have been most clever about the way to get the job, as before the war he asked some friend at the War Office what would be the best way to get a job with the Army, and he said motor bicycles were in demand, so Jimmy calmly wrote to the War Office and asked what he could do, and they said they would write again if there was a war, and sure enough, when war broke out they sent for him at once and he found quite by chance that he was under Geoff Godfrey Fausset.
Margery and I started off soon after breakfast to go to Catton for the day to see Harry M, who has got a house there now. We went by train to Norwich (where the station yard was full of soldiers and recruits in plain clothes drill) and then took a hansom and drove out to Catton about 3 miles on, where I saw some posters of the Eastern Daily which said “British Gun Boat Sunk” in large letters, and remarked to M that I hoped it was not Jim Mansfield’s ship, not of course really expecting it to be the same. However, when we arrived at Catton Kitty opened the door and told us that it was “The Speedy” and that she had had an awful fright as Nurse had rushed at her with the paper saying that she was sunk, to look and saw that only two or three were drowned. Since then, Jim himself had rung them up on the telephone and was talking to Kate the moment we arrived. He said he was none the worse but had had a bad shaking and hoped to turn up there sometime in the course of the day. We hoped we might see him, as we stayed till 5 o’clock, but he never came and we only passed them on our way to the station in a cab. The Besants and Mrs Walter and Andy Patterson came over while we were there. Phyllis Burt was there too.
On this day in 1914, the Battle of the Grand Couronné began.
After all the excitement of yesterday we hoped for a quiet day. I thought of bathing and we got as far as going to look at the sea, but no further. There seemed to be lots of people about still. Edie went out in the afternoon and Margery, Mrs Ritson and I had tea together in the shelter in the garden. Just after we had finished, a telegram was brought to Margery, who read it and then said “I don’t think there is an answer” and began walking towards the house. Mrs R had just remarked “Every telegram seems alarming in these days” when M called me and I followed her and found her looking at the telegram in rather a puzzled way, and she said “I suppose it is silly of me to think that this means Charlie’s going to France”, and gave it to me. I thought it could mean nothing else, but it was rather vague and said he was leaving Newcastle for Southampton, and leaving there at 12 tomorrow. Sent another wire to ask his address at T, and decided to say nothing to J and Edie for the present. Made M rest and went down to see Dr Sumpter to arrange for C to ring me up on the telephone and enquire about trains. In the middle of dinner another wire came and M had to change, and she and Jack drove into Norwich in a car to catch a very bad midnight train arriving in London at 3 am!
On this day in 1914, the Retreat from Mons ended and the Battle of the Ourcq began.
Went to see Edie who was having breakfast in bed as usual and was inclined to weep and be very miserable, poor thing. She had had a letter to say her mother was very ill, among other worries. Calmed her as best I could and then walked to church at Beeston with Mr R. It was a lovely hot day and we dawdled and went the wrong way once and were rather late. Frances F came too, she is rather tiresome I think. Edie came down to lunch and was rather more cheerful. Afterwards Mr R and I walked as far as “Pretty Corner” and then sat in the heather for ages and basked in the sun. He is a nice boy and very amusing in a quiet way, not at all Jimmy’s style and I cannot think how he comes to be a friend of his, nor can he apparently. Jimmy’s humour is the kind that laughs when you sit on your knitting needle, but Ritson is really funny, rather in L Baumer’s style, in fact he reminds me of him very much sometimes. He also plays delightfully. He cannot enlist or do anything sporting of that sort because he has a weak heart, which is rather bad luck. When we got back to Edgebrook we found Mrs Macfarlane and a friend and Mr Wyndham Cremer at tea, the latter is most attractive, rather like Dick Turton.
On this day in 1914, the Battle of the Marne began.
Bathed with Francis, it was lovely, the sea being quite calm and not at all cold. In the afternoon I went for a long walk along the seashore with Mr Ritson. We took off our shoes and stockings and went a good way barefoot. It was a lovely day. Edie heard from Jack that Charlie did not leave on Sunday after all but was still at Southampton, so they would stop until he went away.
A lovely hot day. Bathed again. In the afternoon I hired a bicycle and SR took Ralph’s and we bicycled over to Blakeney. There were masses of the most lovely blackberries on all the hedges. We first went to look at the church, which has had a lot more done to it since I saw it last. Then we went to try and find the Pearts, but were told that Mrs P was out. I then thought I would have a hunt for the Murdocks, but as we were going their way met Mrs Peart and various relations of hers who were just going down to the links. She introduced us to her sister and a niece and a brother-in-law, and we then all bicycled down to the links together and had tea outside the clubhouse, just like old times except that there were no Scotts or Tillards about. Mr Peart, Dr Cooke and Mr Agnew turned up later having been playing golf, and Mrs Cooke just before we came away. It was ripping seeing even a few Blakeney faces again. It appears the Murdocks left yesterday. There seem very few people about. Got back rather before 5. Margery and Jack turned up by train about 7. M quite cheerful and full of tales about the people in the hotel at Southampton.
On this day in 1914, the Battle of the Drina began and Austria invaded Serbia for the second time.
Bathed. Beryl Packard came.
On this day in 1914, the German troops began to retreat from the Battle of the Marne.
Beryl went away.
S Ritson and I started composing a long letter to Charlie in the style of Florence L Barclay, authoress of “The Rosary”, “Broken Halo” and other works. Though I shouldn’t say it, it really was rather a masterpiece. SR did most of it, while I found bits out of the book for him. I only hope Charles will laugh over it as much as the author and authoress did.
Played golf with Jack on some new links which Mr Cremer has made. There are only nine holes at present and rather rough, but will be very good very soon I should say. Jack played with two clubs by way of a handicap and beat me about 3 holes, which was tiresome of him. I did not play so very badly but was rather unlucky. Mr Ritson caddied for me and I believe took a few photographs.
On this day in 1914, the Battle of the Grand Couronné ended and the Battle of the Aisne began.
Walked to church with Mr Ritson and came back in a car with Margery. Mr Cremer and Mr Ketton came to lunch. The former is said to have a mad wife, which is a sad story. I remember seeing her when she was most sane and a jolly looking woman, though not so attractive as he is. Norma Macfarlane came in soon after lunch with knitting. S Ritson and I went for a walk round by Pretty Corner. Finished Charlie’s letter, which really is a masterpiece I think.
Went down to the sea with Margery and SR and watched the bathing but did not bathe myself. Mr Ritson left at about 12.30 and MF and I went down to see him off. He had to run most of the way as we were so late, and we followed more slowly and only just got there in time to say goodbye. M and I went down to have a last look at the sea after tea when it was getting dark. There was a lovely sky. We leant over the sea wall to admire the view, but a sentry immediately came up and said no-one must lean over the wall, so we had to move on. The whole seafront is full of soldiers as soon as it begins to get dark, so I suppose they are taking a few precautions, though you don’t notice them much.
Left by a rather early train. M saw me off at the station. Had lunch and spent some hours in Leicester. Arrived home about teatime. Found old Edward Nevile staying there.
Mother was in bed with a headache most of the day. Old Edward Nevile went over to Claybrooke to see CN and spent most the the afternoon there.
A nasty wet day, rained all the morning. It cleared up a bit in the afternoon and we went blackberrying and got a tremendous lot.
Did nothing particular. Went to a Home Nursing class in the evening. Rowley and Michael went back to school.
Very cold. Did the church vases and went to see poor little Mrs Bosworth who is ill in bed. Mother went up to London for the day to meet Fred there and help him to buy clothes and things. Went after to see CN in the afternoon. She looks worse than when I was there last I think, but seems much more cheerful and inclined to talk. Looked in at the Boughton Leighs on my way back and found Mrs and Mona. Only stayed a few minutes however. Mother came back by the 4.25 having had a busy day mostly spent at the stores with Fred, who was in uniform and saluted by all the soldiers they met!!
Did nothing particular in the morning. Mr Hubble took the service in the afternoon and gave us one of his best sermons on the subject of Pilate, who he said was a fine character and was in a very difficult position and was more to be pitied than blamed. I have always had a sneaking sympathy with him myself, but I never expected to hear him defended from the pulpit.
Home Nursing lecture.
On this day in 1914, the First Battle of Picardy and the First Battle of Albert began.
Had a working party at the rectory.
Mother went over to Claybrooke to see CN who she found considerably worse. Kate Gilliat and Mrs Tyrrel came in to practise bandaging and making poultices.
Aunt Mary went over to Claybrooke to see CN and found her no better. They sent for another doctor, who is to come tomorrow. Also wired for Florence and Esther. Went to a Home Nursing lecture. Jim turned up much to our surprise at 10.30. We had to rummage in the kitchen for food.
Decorated the church, or rather helped mother by tying up about 10 bunches of oats. Florence Nevile suddenly turned up in a taxi on her way over to Claybrooke to see CN. She only stopped a very short time and sent back a note from Esther to say that she seemed no worse today.
Digby got a notice from the War Office appointing him to the 10th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade. Father had a wire from Esther Willoughby to say that CN died last night quite quickly and rather suddenly, as they had thought her a little better yesterday afternoon. Bicycled over to lunch with the J Broughton Leighs and afterwards went on to see Esther and Florence who were waiting for Eddie to turn up. Stayed there a little and then went back to the BL’s to tea. When I got home I heard that Jim, who had gone back to Rugby on his way to Southampton, had met Eddy accidentally at the station and sent him back in our car, which was a wonderful piece of luck for him.
On this day in 1914, the Siege of Antwerp and the First Battle of Artois began.
Working party at the rectory. Esther and I went up there for a bit. We both came back a bit before the end because Esther Willoughby came over, so we went back to see her. Lecture in the evening as usual. Aunt Lucy came to stay for the funeral.
Went over to Claybrooke to CN’s funeral in a taxi with Mother and Father. Stopped at the Boughton Leigh’s and changed into a coat and skirt of Mrs BL’s, which was a bit wide and short for me but really fitted wonderfully well on the whole. Quite a lot of people were at the funeral, including old Edward and two of the Lincoln ones, Mrs Collinson and a brother, and all the aunts of course. Aunt Alice came back to us for the night and Aunt Anne stayed at the cottage. Had tea after the funeral at the old house, which I suppose we shall probably never enter again, and afterwards went back in the Goodacre’s car which they had lent for the occasion. HPM was there too.
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On this day in 1914, the First Battle of Arras began.
Picked blackberries with Esther and went to a H. N. Lecture.
Did the church flowers
On this day in 1914, the British Royal Naval division started arriving at Antwerp and Ypres was occupied by German cavalry.
Went to church. Esther and I walked over to Bitteswell and had tea with the Youngs.
On this day in 1914, the Austro-Hungarian counter-offensive began in Galicia, the First Battle of Arras ended, and Lens and Bailleul were occupied by German forces.
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Working party at the Rectory. Grace Topham to tea and bandaging and a lecture at 7.30 so it was a day given up to good works.
Went into Leicester and shopped.
On this day in 1914, Antwerp started to be evacuated and the Belgian Government was moved to Ostend.
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On this day in 1914, a British air raid was carried out on Germany and General Foch was given the command of the Allied forces defending the coast of Flanders.
Lecture in the evening.
On this day in 1914, the battles of Warsaw and Ivangorod began and Germany took the final forts of Antwerp.
A lovely day. Fred turned up for the week-end in khaki much to our surprise. Finished my cushion at last.
On this day in 1914, the Battle of La Bassée began.
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On this day in 1914, the Battle of Messines began
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On this day in 1914, the Allied forces reoccupied Ypres and the Battle of Armentières began.
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On this day in 1914, a German submarine sunk H.M.S. “Hawke” in the North Sea
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On this day in 1914, the Battle of the Yser began.
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On this day in 1914, Ostend was bombarded by British warships.
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On this day in 1914, the Battle of Warsaw ended and the Battle of Ypres began.
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On this day in 1914, the Battle of Ivangorod ended
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On this day in 1914, the Battle of Langemarck began.
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On this day in 1914, the Battle of Langemarck ended.
Went to church twice.
Packed and got up some plants to send to Aunt Tottie.
Went to Shotsham via Peterbro. Had to change lots of times. A rotten journey. Aunts Lil and Vi met me at Trowse. Grandfather looks much older. Had a fearful shock in the evening on seeing a notice in the Morning Post referring to C.C.R.
On this day in 1914, H.M.S. “Audacious” was sunk by a mine off the coast of Donegal.
Drove up to the Rectory in the morning with Grandfather and Aunt Gwen. Saw Aunt Ada who has got a bad throat and doesn’t look well. Stayed there for lunch and walked back afterwards.
On this day in 1914, the Russian cruiser “Zhemchug” was sunk by the German cruiser Emden”.
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On this day in 1914, the Battle of Gheluvelt began.
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Went for a walk with Aunt Vi.
On this day in 1914, the British Government ordered that hostilities should start against Turkey, and Lord Kitchener sent a guarantee of Arabian independence to the Sherif of Mecca.
Went to church twice. Had lunch at the Rectory.
Bruce has been killed. Went to Boyland.
A dreary day. Went a walk with Lorlon and the dogs. We all went to dinner with some people called Best. Fred Irby had been shooting there that day. Mrs was a nice little thing who has a son in the Leicester Yeomanry.
Had another awful knock. As I was reading the Times in the evening I suddenly found myself reading an obituary notice of Charles Nunnely killed in action on October the 26th – the day before Bruce. No one will be left soon …. Poor little Margar..
We went to a sort of drawing room meeting at the Birkbecks at Stoke. A recruiting officer was there and he gave a short address about having woman’s meetings. Aunts Lil and Ada were there. It is a very nice house, modern but most artistically furnished and full of nice things. Mr & Mrs Birkbeck are both rather amusing and unusual I should think. He has a squeaky voice and paints, she is very tall with gorgeous red hair but otherwise plain.
Motored to Hempnall with Loulou to see a woman at a shop there and arrange about a meeting. Then went on to Stoke and saw Mrs Birkbeck who certainly is very attractive. Then we went to lunch with some people called Hervey at a place called Rainthorpe I think, quite the most perfect house I have ever been in I think. Fred Irby was shooting there and there were various other men there but no other women except Lady H. who was very picturesque and charming. I sat next to Major Rhodes at lunch. Afterwards walked about with Sir Charles Hervey, a funny old thing, and watched the shooting for a bit and then looked round the house which is most beautifully furnished.
Picked mushrooms and went for a walk with Loulou. Had a letter sent me which Vi had about Margery who must have been wonderfully brave. The telegram came at about 10pm when the H Mansfields, Connie Mrs Jim and some man who had come to dine were there. Margery said quite calmly “My husband has been killed but don’t worry about me. I shan’t realize it for quite a long time”, and then equally calmly telephoned to Mr Sumpter to tell Edie. The old man who sweeps the drive was talking to L today and she asked after his health upn which he tapped his very ruddy cheeks & said, “The doctor, he’s like the feel of my cheeks, he say they feel so verra healtha!”
Played about at Boyland.
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Motored into Norwich. Very cold.
A nasty wet day. Went to the Vicarage to stay.
Walked to Oldfields and to the keepers with some notices to be stuck up. Very cold. Went for a long walk with Aunt Ada in the afternoon and to lots of cottages.
Pouring with rain. Went to church. Aunt Vi came in before church. Sat indoors all the afternoon and went to church in the evening.
Went down to the park after lunch. Thought grandfather looked ill. Afterwards drove round Stoke in the evening in the pony cart with Aunt Ada leaving. The most beautiful sky I have ever seen.
Had a most long, dreary and depressing journey to York. To start with, my train was an hour late leaving Norwich and as there were troops being moved all over the place we missed the fast train at March and I really think we stopped at every station on the way. It was awful going slowly past Heighington, Lincoln and Torksey I had dreaded that part of the journey but hoped we should dash past them I fairly howled both then and at Doncaster, where I seemed almost to see B and M in the refreshment room where we have met so often. Found Margery really most wonderfully brave and cheerful at York. Poor little thing, she looks frightfully ill and thin but is trying, almost too hard, I think, not to give way. Edie was there too. M showed me a letter from Jimmy in which he told her exactly how C had been killed and all the nice things his officers had said about him. One was that he was “a most perfect …………………………. he had ever come across”. She had also seen a man in the hospital who knew him a little.
Drove into town with Edie and M and did a little shopping. M went to lunch with the Prices.
M went off to Loughbro’ for the night to see Mr Heygate, a brother officer of C’s who is home wounded. I went for a solitary walk in the afternoon and to my great surprise I met Bremner walking along a little road. It appears she is staying in York with her father and mother-in-law, and her young man has been ordered suddenly to Hornsea because of this invasion scare, so she is left forlorn and rather dull. Brought her in to tea and to my great surprise Edie at once said that she knew her father. Walked back into the town with her. Mrs Lawson came in for tea.
Margery turned up at lunchtime. Went to a lecture on (?rationing) with Christine B and her mother-in-law, Mrs Gutch, a ….. foul name to take instead of Bremner It was not frightfully interesting. Mrs Tew came in to see Margery.
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A rather nasty cold day. Dr and Mrs Craig came to lunch. M and I went to a service in the Minster, which was a most trying affair as they sang a ….. anthem about “they shall rest from their labours and their works shall follow them”. We were sitting in the chancel in full view of everybody and I found it most difficult to keep as calm as M. It reminded me so of the day when I last went to Lincoln with B and M, March 1st when we sat in exactly the same sort of place and everything looked exactly the same Harry came to tea and dinner and Mr Taylor, who had a bad cold but was quite interesting and amusing.
Rose came over and spent the afternoon. I met her at the station and walked back into the town with her. We found Esther’s car outside a shop and went in and found her there. Walked back to lunch. Sat indoors most of the afternoon and talked. I walked back with her a little way towards the station. Jack and Edie went away in the morning.
Went to try and find Bremner but she was still at Hornsea.
Went into the town. Went to tea with the Craigs in the afternoon, a Mr Lloyd was there who is a trooper in the Scots Greys. Went to the Minster and sat in the nave and listened to a man playing a thing of Macdowells on the organ. It poured with rain and we got very wet.
A nasty wet day. Went into the town. Stewart Ritson came to stay. He played delightfully after dinner.
Bremner turned up in a dog cart and stayed for some time. Afterwards we walked into the town and did a little shopping. B told me that Capt King had been killed, which is too sad, as he was so nice. H came to dinner.
Ruth, S Ritson and I went for a walk in York and explored some of the streets near the cathedral, and also walked along the wall. Saw one most beautiful old house. In the afternoon we all went to a service in the Minster. M and SR went first and R and I followed later. It was in the nave, so that we could not hear so well as last time. Afterwards stopped for a bit and listened to the music.
Went up to the top of the Minster tower with Ruth and SR. It was rather cold but there was a lovely view. Shopped in the afternoon.
TR went away. Had rather an early lunch and went to Malton afterwards to stay at Appleton for a night. The cart met me at Malton station, where I saw Uncle Peter for a few minutes and I drove straight out to Swinton Grange to meet Rose and Gina at the hospital. Went straight to the recreation room, which has been turned into the ward, and there found Rose looking most professional in her nurses kit. She at once took me up to a wounded soldier and told me to help him with his knitting. He was a perfect dear, very good-looking and intelligent and most cheerful, although he had lost a leg and was the champion ….. of the Army and a great runner and jumper and all sorts of things. He told me lots of thrilling stories, and so did a little man nearby who was doing some elaborate embroidery which he was rather proud of. He seemed much prouder of it than of the fact that he had helped to repel a Prussian guard at the point of a bayonet although he had never been shown how to use one till the day before. Went into the other Convalescent Home with Evelyn Ward and saw a very nice rifleman who was a great friend of hers. They all seemed quite charming.
Worked in the morning and went to the embroidery class in the afternoon. Daphne was there. Learnt a very pretty and quite simple pattern for a cushion which I am going to teach to Ruth. Went to tea with a Miss Hopkins afterwards. A strange Italian girl was there, who read some poems aloud to us in Italian.
Sat indoors and practised some new stitches. After lunch, drove to the hospital and found Rose there. Looked at the small kitchen and had a very long and most interesting conversation with my friend Private Dixon who really is perfectly charming. I wish I could remember a few of the interesting things he told me. Among others, he said that he thought “the women of the upper classes were taking this better than the lower classes; they don’t care so much. It is that caring I cannot stand, that is why I don’t want to go home.” He told me a thrilling story about how he lost his leg and when I sympathised he said he did not mind, as he had got a lot of Germans first. Whenever I am feeling thoroughly low-spirited I shall try and think of him. Went into the other place with Evelyn for a few minutes. It was full of soldiers who all sprang up when we went in, which was rather embarrassing. Went into the (?bay) rooms and into the Behrens’ house to look at her portrait by Lazlo, which really is excellent. Went back to York, travelling with FAM part-way.
Went into the town with M and R in the morning, and in the afternoon we went to the Military Hospital to see wounded soldiers there. I found a most intelligent surgeon who had a very good map in which I succeeded in finding Neuve Chafello, which is the place where Charlie was killed and quite close to where Bruce must have been killed too. We had never been able to find it in any map before. The kind surgeon gave it to me for M. He was a nice man and explained the principles of handling a bayonet to me most realistically. M had had a wire from Edie to say that Jimmy was coming home for 48 hours leave from France, so she and Ruth decided to go to Sheringham for the weekend. They wanted me to come too but after some consideration I decided it was too expensive and that I would go to Walcot instead.
Went to Walcot for the weekend, arriving there rather late for lunch. Found only the family at home. Aunt May looks better that I expected and Uncle J seems in great form. Poor Lewis has been up to London to be fitted and has been told that he has some little lump which he has had for years and never knew about, which they say ought to be operated on for ….. , so he is going to have it done on Tuesday here. Rather bad luck but they do not think it will be at all serious. Stayed in all the afternoon and talked to Aunt M by the fire. She has just been to Heighington and says they were fairly cheerful. They have heard very little about Bruce except that he and Major Buckle were killed at the same time when they were bringing up some reinforcements on the 27th, when they were being terribly hard pressed and Germans had turned very frantic. They were buried together in the evening. Geoff is coming home almost at once and is going to France about a fortnight afterwards. Will was mentioned in Dispatches.
Very cold and beastly. Went to church with Lewis. Stayed indoors in the afternoon and talked to Aunt May. She says they have heard very little more about Bruce than there was in the papers. He and Major Buckle were bringing up reserves when they were both killed, the Germans having got round their (?flank) owing to another regiment giving away. As twelve out of the fourteen Officers were killed or wounded, there does not seem much chance of hearing much more. They were both buried side by side the same evening. He had taken Ajax out with him. He was killed before B was, I don’t know how.
Went for a short walk with Aunt M. Left at 4 in the afternoon and came back to York. Margery and Ruth got back an hour or so after me. I travelled back with a very charming boy in K’s Army part-way, who talked to me a lot.
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Aunt Kate came to stay. In the evening MR and I went to a …………. and poured out tea and handed round buns for a lot of Territorials, who see it as a sort of club. They were quite nice but not so attractive as the wounded ones I have seen. R played darts most of the time with a little boy and a nice-looking Private.
Gina came over by the same train as Rose had and spent the afternoon. Aunt Kate left after an early lunch and M and R went to the station with her to see Phyllis, who was going to travel up to Scotland with her in order to see Jack, who is at Edinbro’. G and I went out shopping for a bit afterwards and then came back for an early tea.
Beastly day again. We meant to go and see some more wounded (?hussars) at the hospital, but after having tea with the Craigs on the way and then walking to the hospital, we found that they were expecting a train load of wounded in almost at once and so were very busy and evidently did not want us in the wards, so we came away.
Margery went into York starting just before lunch and not returning till nearly 2 o’clock. In the meantime her sister-in-law, Mrs F (?Numeley) had arrived. Her name is Lionella and about 14 other things. I had seen her before, once at M’s wedding. Great excitement because poor C’s valise came back, but it did not have many interesting things in it. I took Mrs N into the town in the afternoon. It poured with rain and was very nasty. HM came to dinner. Mrs N told me about Capt King and his little boy dying the same week, not knowing I knew him, which has hard. It appears one of her brothers is in his regiment.
A beastly day. Ruth and I went to the Minster to the morning service. It was very long and we had a “poor dry sermon”, as Mr Pepys would have said, but the singing was perfectly lovely. Saw Miss (?Purey Cast) who was at Heighington one day last year, but she did not see me. Lionella went off to see her brother, who is home on leave and is staying with his mother-in-law in York. Harry came to tea.
Ruth, “Lionella”, Robin and (?Nannie) all went off at about 9.15 and I walked to the station to see them off. After that we shopped in the town for some time. Miss Ellis came in and suggested that I should go to a memorial service for those who have fallen in the war at the Minster tomorrow evening, but I am afraid I cannot as M and I are going to look after the soldiers’ room. Pouring with rain all the afternoon.
Went to the hospital in the hope of seeing a wounded 5th Fuselier, but we had no luck as usual, as the Matron told us there had been an operation in the ward and no-one was allowed to go in, also the man was asleep. The Matron was very kind to us and talked quite a long time, but it was no use. Looked in at the Craig’s on the way home.
M went into York to see a soldier in the hospital who was in the 5th. Afterwards I met her in the town and we went to lunch at the Rices. I bought a paper on the way which contained the news of the bombardment of Scarbro’. A thrilling episode but everybody seemed to take it very calmly on the whole. Mr and Mrs Rice and the youngest boy and a little Caley girl were there. Walked back and looked in at the Craigs, where we found Dr and Mrs Craig, his mother and sister and young brother who had just been invalided home having been in the London Scottish charge. He had an injured arm but did not seem very bad. Not a very nice day though. Miss Ellis came to tea.
Had a most strenuous morning packing and eventually hoping that M would begin to pack. It took her a long time but at last she began to make an effort and to my great surprise we actually got off by the train we had intended to, which left about 12. Harry was waiting to see us off at the station, but of course did not see much of us!! Had a horrid crowded journey as far as Doncaster, but after that it was better. Arrived home rather late for tea, found mother and father and E and C there, and Fred arrived rather later, home on leave ….. a week.
Very cold and beastly. We stayed in till the afternoon and then I and M walked into Lutterworth. Mother and E. I went to the Cottage Hospital, where I talked to Sister Brittan for a few minutes.
A nasty cold day. Went out for a few minutes in the morning and for a walk with M after lunch. Esther and Fred went to Leicester. Father also went into Leicester and saw some wounded men in the hospital, including one who was in the West Kent Regiment, and told him all about Bruce. His account was very much like the one in the papers. He said that B and Major Buckle were in the reserve trenches and the Wiltshire Regiment gave way at one side of them and let the Germans get round, so that the two trenches were cut off from each other. The men in the reserve trenches (but not in the front ones) who were really getting it worse, began to leave the trenches, upon which Bruce and Major B got out to stop them and bring them back, and both were killed. Bruce was shot and died some time after, I’m afraid. The man who told Father had seen him after he was dead, but not actually killed.
A nasty cold day, very frosty. Went to church. M and I stayed in my room most of the afternoon.
M and I went for a walk and succeeded in losing Rough, but he turned up again as usual. HPM came to stay.
Shoot all day, mostly round the Longs. M, Esther and I were beaters. Father, Fred, HPM and Mr Jameson shot. Very cold and frosty. Rowley came home.
Had lunch early and went into Leicester with Margery. After helping her to buy a skirt, took her across to the Midland station and waited there some time to see her off, but her train was so late I really could not wait any longer, so left her there and rushed through a little shopping and then caught the 4.55 home. We expected Michael to turn up by that train but he never did and later we had a wire to say he had missed his connection in London and was coming to Leicester by a late train. We knew there was no possible way for him to get out that night, so rather wondered what he would do. He would be stranded in Leicester about 10.30, but everyone took it with the family calmness and we all went quite peacefully to bed. Fred went back to his regiment.
Went down to Lutter with Carl to buy presents. Michael suddenly appeared while I was talking to Mabel in the street. He had passed the night with a doctor in Leicester, the father of another Osborne boy with whom he had travelled home. Quite pleased with himself and not at all worried by his experiences apparently. Mother had a note from M’s ….. condoling with her on the “foul anxiety she must have gone through”!
A very dreary Christmas, very different from last year. Went to church twice and had the ….. in the evening, a very small one compared with last year’s, which lasted two hours.
A nasty day, thawing and wet. Digby came home looking very ill. Sent ………………… Had a little ………. in the evening with Digby’s presents and Rowley’s, which had come too late for the other.
Went to church and afterwards Mother and I drove up to Coton and had lunch there. The Miss Farquhars, a Mr Brown, Mr Mossop, Mr Jacobson, another man whose name I did not hear, and a wounded ….. called Capt Kennard, were there besides Mr and Mrs James. Sat between Mr Mossop and the wounded one at lunch, the latter was not really very talkative and one of the ugliest men I have seen. He had been through a lot apparently, and lost a finger and half a thumb. Mrs James, Miss F and Mr M walked part-way back with us.
A nasty wet day.
Father and Mother went to Leicester. Esther, Digby, RM and I walked over to (?Cestersover) where the beagles meet. There was a lot of snow on the ground and it was very cold and nasty, so we hardly thought they would hunt, however they turned up in a car and had a try. There was rather a …………….., but they had a very long run lasting nearly till 4 o’clock. E, R and M all had colds and soon gave up, but I stayed on to wait for Digby for ages. Finally I went into the farmhouse with Mr Young and Colonel Green-Thompson and had lunch at about 3.30. Digby and T Aldridge, who was hunting the hounds, came in about 4. We walked back by moonlight, rather pretty but very cold.
Thawed and was very nasty and wet.
Rained as usual.
A nasty wet day as usual. Stayed indoors as it simply poured almost the whole time.
H.M.S. “Formidable” sunk by German submarine in the English Channel.
Mother went to Leicester to try and get a little sense out of the VAD people, but did not do much good. Jim suddenly turned up about dinner time.
Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia appealed to Britain for assistance against the Ottomans, who were conducting an offensive in the Caucasus. Planning began for a naval demonstration in the Dardanelles to divert troops from the Caucasian theatre of operations.
Went to Church. We had a special service about the War, a horrid day of course.
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London Stock Exchange reopened (having been closed since July 31st, 1914).
Grace Topham came to tea. Father in bed with a feverish cold.
German attack on Edea (Cameroons) repulsed by French garrison.
Went into Leicester and had a tooth temporarily stopped by old Vice and bought some shoes. Saw Edie Fox and Dottie Caultey at Johnsons. The former looks ill and talks in a very hoarse voice, which is a worrying sign I think, as she always was pale. I’m afraid she is pretty bad, poor thing. Talked to her about Mr Heygate . She said she had been so surprised at M’s calmness and the way she talked about Charlie. Travelled with Mrs Gellinder who told me a sad story about a girl who is to be housemaid with us.
Aunt Mary had heard from Aunt A about some Belgians here in Leicester and said she might like to have some in the cottage so we had talked about going over today. To our great surprise a little Belgian girl of about 18 suddenly turned up having come out from Leicester by train and walked up to here. She was a dear little thing. Mother took her to see the cottage as Aunt M was out. I went to tea with the Tophams and afterwards went to see three Belgians. The little priest was there (who is a dear little man) but I don’t think the others very attractive.
Fred came home for the weekend.
First day of the Battle of Soissons in northern France. (Continued until the 14th January.)
Fred and Esther went to Leicester. Mother and I drove up to Coton to lunch and found the biggest party I have ever seen there, I think, including all the Aldersons, Mrs, Miss and Monty and the Staintons! I sat between Mrs S.and a Mrs Ralli, both of whom are deaf and most difficult to talk to. The latter cheered up a little towards the end and remarked that Christopher Columbus was a grossly overrated man. There was a Belgian abbé who looked very nice, but could only speak French, and a nice man called Sir Charles Matthews who I think is at the Bar. Went into the garden with Mrs. A afterwards and then came home.
Beastly day today. Went to church.
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Mafia Island (German East Africa) seized by a British force.
Went to Dunton by train and walked up to the Aikmans’ house where the Beagles were to meet. I found a perfectly strange woman at the station and took her up with me. The whole place has been altered tremendously but looks much the same outside. We sat for some time in the little oak panelled room but which is rather altered now as glass has been put in in one side, and looked at some illustrated papers. Then on one page I suddenly saw Bruce’s face smiling at me. Ran about for some time with the Beagles and then came back and had a little early lunch and went home. Edie S. and Robin Belcher and various others friends were over. Went to tea with the Youngs with mother. Alan was there, having come home on sick leave with eczema.
British War Council resolved that the Admiralty should prepare for a naval expedition in February against the Dardanelles
Mrs. Roas came to call to ask us to make mittens for her nephew’s company.
Battle of Soissons ended
Esther and Rowley went to Keele and Michael back to Osborne.
Walked into Lutterworth in driving rain and went into Leicester by train travelled in with Mrs. Young. Went and had a tooth stopped by old Vice and did a little shopping and had a very hasty cup of coffee and a bun at Millers and then came out and went up to the Girls’ Club room and helped to sell the most foul rubbish at a rummage sale for the funds of the V.A.D. Mother had been there all the morning and said there was evidently a code of attack at rummage sales which she did not know. Very likely Mrs Evans and Mrs Derwent enlightened her. Afterwards, I and Mrs E and Mrs D went to tea with the Tophams and I walked back afterwards in the snow and pouring rain and got very wet. Digby came home for the weekend.
Went to church. Mother went down to Lutterworth to meet Dr Bob Fagge and Sir Astley Clarke and she and Grace and Abbot took them over to the cottage hospital and the Wesleyan Sunday School. Both were much struck with the look of the buildings and thought them a most suitable place for a hospital for wounded soldiers, which is perfectly splendid and the most cheering thing I have heard for many a long day.
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German attack on Jasin (East Africa) began.
Aunt Alice came.
First airship raid on England: widespread damage to buildings in Kings Lynn and Great Yarmouth, and several deaths.
Planted a lot of things that Aunt Vi had seen on offer at Shotesham lots of irises and pansies and various other nice things. E and B came back from Keele.
A nasty day with a good deal of damp snow on the ground in the morning, which very soon departed.
Went for a walk and planted some more things in the garden. Esther went to stay with Vi and Rowley went back to school.
Mother and Father went to Leicester. Aunt A and I walked to Bitteswell where we had a rather horrid lunch with the Youngs and then ran with the Beagles for a very short time. They soon ran a long way and we gave up and came home.
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Action of the Dogger Bank. German cruiser “Blücher” sunk.German airship “P.L.-19″ brought down near Libau.
Aunt Alice went away
Lieut.-General Sir W. Robertson appointed Chief of the General Staff, British Expeditionary Force, France
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Beginning of Turkish advance on Egypt through Sinai
I heard that Aunt May had broken her thigh bone, poor dear.
Lieutenant-General Sir R. C. Maxwell appointed Quartermaster-General, British Expeditionary Force, France
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United States merchant vessel “William P. Frye” sunk by German armed cruiser “Prinz Eitel Friedrich”. The ship had been on its way to England with a cargo of wheat but was intercepted off the coast of Brazil.
Went into the Cottage to read to Aunt Mary.
First operation of German submarines in the Irish Sea : Walney Island battery (Barrow-in-Furness) shelled.
Mr Pavey (who is staying with the Gilliatts for the weekend) came in and told us some wonderful stories about his life as a Private in the 10th Lincolnshires. Brocklesby did not seem very promising but then again may improve. Drove over to Brownsover and had lunch with Lottie Boughton Leigh.
British Admiralty warned British merchant vessels to fly neutral or no ensigns in the vicinity of the British Isles to avoid identification by German submarines.
Went to Church. Mr Pavey came in afterwards and told some more of his experiences in the army as a Private. I bicycled over to Ashby to see Edie Sedgwick in the afternoon but came back very soon to see as much as possible of Jim. He had turned up quite unexpectedly at 7am but only stayed till the evening and then went up to London to see about getting a commission in the Engineers, which he is very keen to do.
Mr Jameson came to lunch.
Hospital ship ‘Asturias’ attacked by German submarine off Le Havre. Bread and flour rations introduced in Germany
A nasty wet day. Sewing party at the Rectory.
Turkish advance-guards reached the Suez Canal
Kate Gilbert came in and Edie Sedgwick, Gwen Inglis & Mrs Christopher S. came to tea.
Beginning of action on the Suez Canal
Dined at Coton. We arrived there very late as of course father was not ready and we had Walker’s motor which is easily the most foul conveyance I have ever been in. Arrived dishevelled and cross and very late to find a whole room full of officers from the regiments which are now in billets at Rugby. There were about 8 of them (Mr James & father were the only civilians) & they were in all different uniforms. It really was a most excellent basic dinner party. Some were in the old dark blue one never sees now and some in khaki. I sat between a nice Captain in the Border Regiment to whom I talked about my dear Dexo to my heart’s content, and a plain but pleasant person called Capt Gofton who was a Swiss. Afterwards played “coon-can”. Nobody knew the rules, needless to say! Mrs J had a lovely dress & rich emeralds.
German Government announcement that submarine blockade of Great Britain was to begin on 18th February.
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British, French and Russian Governments agreed to pool their financial resources. Numbers in the British Army reached an estimated 3 million
Went to see 2 Belgian girls who had just arrived at Aunt Mary’s. Both quite nice girls, apparently. The younger one is quite pretty, the other one plainer and older. She (the older one) never ceased talking in very bad French the whole time, but she was much easier to understand & I think they are superior people. I talked to them with a fair amount of success, but not very fluently. Jim came home.
British S.S. “Lusitania” arrived at Liverpool flying United States flag.
A horrible day, windy and wet and beastly. Went to Church and bicycled over to Bitteswell afterwards and had lunch with the Youngs. A Mr & Mrs Leadbitter were there who had lately come to live at Swinford. A tall man and a little rather attractive woman with an ugly laugh; both were the sort that can talk about nothing, apparently. Dollie Donaldson that was now a Mrs Fulford came in for lunch.
Heavy German attack at Bagatelle on the Western Front
1st Canadian Division crossed from England to France.
Nestor Lloyd came over in the evening and stayed to tea and while she was there Kitty Mansfield came to stay looking most flourishing but rather sad about Arthur Charles who had yesterday died from the result of his wounds which he got sometime quite early in the war. It is very distressing for them all as he had been wounded in the head and had more than one fearful operation. I’m sorry for his people and the girl he is engaged to. Esther came back.
Esther, Kitty and I walked over to Bitteswell to the meet there. We waited for some time on the green and then we were told it was at the Hall so walked on there. Lots of people were out for a wander and it was a lovely morning. Over a few fields towards Claybrooke and then came home. Cecil Stocks came to lunch and then Jim turned up for the weekend rather to our surprise. He is getting a new job which he is rather mysterious about. It is something to do with wireless but we do not quite know what. Kitty and I took Rough for a short walk. Fred turned up about dinner time.
Raid by 34 British Naval aeroplanes on Ostend, Zeebrugge and other sites in Belgium.
A beastly and foul day. Snowing, freezing and everything that is horrible. Drove down to the station and only just caught the train to Leicester as we had to walk the last part of the way into Lutterworth from Hill House. Saw the Youngs and R.H. at Leicester station. Spent most of our time in shops and stores but did not do much somehow. Then had lunch at Millers during which Edie Sedgwick and Mrs Fulford came and talked to us. Went with K. Flowers to the Midland station and she then went over to Oakham to Arthur’s funeral clad mainly in my clothes, and I did a few more things and then caught the 1.15 home. Poor Kitty got back about dinner time. She said it was not quite so cold as we expected. It was a memorable funeral but the fact was it was rather spoilt, apparently, by the firing of the most inexperienced territorials who did their part very badly. She said Mr Charles and Arthur’s girl were splendid. Digby came up with her in the taxi so we had all three boys.
Went to Church. The Belgians came in afterwards, or rather Jeanne did and all the family gathered round in a circle. Mabel came to tea on her way back from Coton. Fred and Digby left by a train about 8.00.
Jim went back to London before we were downstairs.
Entente Governments suggested to Greek Government that Greece should intervene in support of Serbia, and promised military support at Salonika.
A nasty day. Stayed indoors with K most of the time. The Belgians came to tea. K was braver than on Sunday.
British Government decided to send a division (the 29th) to the Dardanelles.
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Kitty went away. Perfectly beastly day. Walked down to Lutterworth to see D. Goodacre, but was not allowed to call.
Fierce fighting near Arras, in Champagne, near Verdun and in Alsace.
Bicycled into Rugby and did a little shopping and saw a woman at the Registry Office and called on Mollie Hardy, who is likely to leave next week to join her husband at Sheerness.
Bombardment of forts at entrance to Dardanelles by 5 British and 3 French battleships and battle-cruisers.
Did a little gardening. Jim came down for Sunday. It appears that he is getting his new job which is still rather a mystery apparently. He does not know if he is Private or Sergeant or whatever but something in the Royal Engineers and if the Kaiser gets to know exactly what, then all is up with us. He is to come to Lords every day and practise drilling and messing about with wireless apparatus and get splendid pay which is better than the other two boys.
German forces gained small amount of ground near Ypres.
Went to Church and strolled down to M’s cottage with Jim afterwards. Called on the Belgians. Jim went back to London.
German aeroplanes dropped bombs on Colchester, but without damage.
Father in bed and rather sorry for himself. They are supposed to be going to Walcot tomorrow.
Calais bombed by Zeppelin. Heavy bombardment of Rheims with damage to the cathedral
Mother went to Walcot. There is nothing worthy to write about this week as E and I and Father all had bad throats and were not able to go out much or do anything.
Seven merchant ships sunk by German submarines in first week of blockade of British ports
Esther heard from Muriel who was coming here next week that Geoffrey has caught a wound in his leg and a bullet in his arm and is in hospital at Le Havre. The War Office just sent them a telegram to say he was wounded and no more, so they were very worried, poor things. They had a letter from home which sounds as if he is not too bad.
Jim came down in his new uniform which is really not quite so bad as a Private’s usually is. It is quite plain with no badges or buttons just a leather cross strap. There is nothing to give a sign of his identity at all.
Heard from Mrs M. that Geoff is in hospital at Osborne but they did not seem to know how he is. Jim went back.
Further bombing of Reims cathedral and Soissons.
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British blockade of German East Africa commenced.
Went to London by the early train and when I got there, having travelled with Kate Gilliat, I drove to Helen’s studio where I found her and Tod. She had said that she would get me a room but I found that Bay had asked me to go there so I went to the Bakers’ instead. Had lunch with Bay and Mrs B. and then went out shopping with Bay and a Miss Jenkins. Went to several rather smart hat shops. Had tea at the studio and then went to a small restaurant in Soho to dinner with H. Tod and a Mrs Beaumont and a Mrs Richardson, and after that all of us except Tod went to see Fanny’s first play, which I had seen once before. We went to the pit. It was very empty.
British Vice Admiral Carden began bombardment of Dardanelles forts.
Bay and I did a little shopping and then we joined H. at Harrods and went to another little food shop in Soho called the ‘Petit Riche’ and had lunch there. Joyce joined us there. It appears that the ‘Norman’ on a submarine that we used to rag her about so at Grindelwald is really Norman Holbrook V.C. etc! Went to see ‘Peg O’ My Heart’ and liked it very much. Had tea at the Troc, I think, and then back to the studio where we stayed for supper. It was an impromptu one meant only for Tod but very good. Rang up Jim and told him to come round afterwards which he did, also a charming young friend of Bay’s in the Naval Flying Corps called ‘Brian’. He played bridge badly but his little wings were too sweet for words.
Reims again bombarded by the Germans.
Had a nasty shock this morning. Bay came in said she had found out the mystery about Bill, whose curious conduct in not coming near her or H. for a long time had been puzzling them a good deal. It appears that he has been figuring as a correspondent in a divorce case!! Bill of all people!! Nowadays everyone who does not get killed in this dreadful war feels so reckless. She only discovered by hearing Mrs Hargreaves talk about it on the telephone, then lunch, then met up with H. and Mrs Robertson who were just going out. Bay broke the sad news to them, much to the fascination of a man sitting just behind her and drinking it all in. Went down to Rye by the 4.30 train. Found Vi and Connie Sidgwick there, and all the kids except Nancy. That wretch Tod had known all about Bill, but never told us. Why?
First case of “indicator” nets aiding in the destruction of a German submarine (“U.-8″ in Straits of Dover). Crew taken prisoner. Russian Government sent circular telegram to Entente Governments laying claim to Constantinople.
Went over to Winchelsea, which is a most lovely place, and looked at the old church and at two houses which we thought might do for Connie. Went there in the car and walked home by Camber Castle – a long walk over very flat country with huge dykes all over. Looked at Camber Castle on the way. An old man took us across in a ferry boat at Rye Harbour.
Bombardment of Smyrna by British squadron (5th – 9th)
Scottie turned up.
Dardanelles: bombardment continued by “Queen Elizabeth” and seven other warships.
Connie and I went to church at Rye. It was full of soldiers who sang lustily and is a most lovely old church. Walked back.
Ostend bombed by 6 British aviators.
A beastly day. Connie went to stay at Peasmarsh with the other Scotts. Dug the garden. Tom went back to London in the evening.
A horrid day. Snowing off and on. I hardly went out at all.
Heavy fighting between Four-de-Paris and Bolante on the Western Front. Submarine U12 rammed and sunk by H.M.S. “Ariel”.
A lovely day, quite warm for a change. Went to the club house to get the papers. Played golf with Vi. She beat me hollow, of course.
Battle of Neuve Chapelle (10th – 13th ); British plan of attack informed for first time by aerial photographs taken by Royal Flying Corps
Walked to Peasmarsh.
British made progress near Neuve Chapelle, occupying village of l’Epinette. British auxiliary cruiser “Bayona” torpedoed and sunk close to coast of Scotland.
Started off for Bexhill in the Argyll. Vi drove with great success up and down the most fearful hills I have ever met in a car. We had a little trouble once or twice at corners when she went too far and stopped the engine as reversing is not her strong point. Found Mary looking blooming and in great form and George looking very ill as usual. Had lunch with them and all the boys and afterwards watched a hockey match between the best and the rest. G & M then walked down to the shops with us and we did a little shopping. Went home another way, one awful hill but the others not quite so bad. Helen & Tom came down.
General Sir Ian Hamilton appointed Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean (Dardanelles) Expeditionary Force.
Wrote letters and sat on the sand hills with Helen in the morning. She was feeling rather mouldy and developed a temperature after lunch. Vi and Tom motored over to Peasmarsh to lunch. I walked over to the club house and got the paper. Put H. to bed after tea. Vi & Tom spent most of their spare time planting shrubs.
Swedish S.S. “Hanna” torpedoed without warning. First neutral ship actually sunk by German submarine. Belgians gained ground on the Yser. Germans bombarded Ypres.
Vi’s birthday. A perfect day.
Beginning of Battle of St. Eloi; Germans attacked south of Ypres.Belgians made progress in the bend of the Yser and south of Dixmude. Violent German attacks failed between Four-de-Paris and Bolante. Light cruiser “Dresden”, last German cruiser left at sea, sunk by British warships in Chilean waters off Juan Fernandez
Went down to London. Had a train that left about 12.15. William motored into Rye. He is still feeling rather ill poor dear. Arrived at Cannon St about 3.30 and left my luggage there. Went by various buses to the wilds of Camberwell and after great difficulties I succeeded in finding St John’s Gate which is the headquarters of St John Ambulance. There I was interviewed by a hospital nurse and another lady who accepted my application to be taken on for duty at the Memorial Hospital, but said that I must sign on for a year or the duration of the war, which I did not like to do because they may send soldiers to Lutterworth. Went back to Cannon Street and took a taxi to Clareville Grove where I found Tod had taken a room close at hand. Had tea with Tod and afterwards Jim came in and T and I had supper at Beauchet’s in Soho and afterwards went to the Scala Theatre and saw some very good pictures. There was also a moving map of the war which was very funny.
First British merchant ship (S.S. “Blonde”) attacked by enemy aircraft
Had breakfast with Todd. A word came from Helen to say she was still too ill to come up to London. Went out shopping most of the day. Had lunch at Selfridges were I saw Goodacres and Miss Winny (?) who was there with her motor. Afterwards bought a picture for Mother Scott for a confirmation present at a nice little shop just beside Hamptons. Then into Hamptons where I found heaps of lovely photos of Italian pictures for 1/- each. Went back to the city in time for tea. Met Todd in the tube on my way back. Jim came to dinner. Afterwards we went to a cinema together at Marble Arch.
Packed and then played bridge with Todd until it was time to catch a train about 1pm at Waterloo. I went through to Bordon where Ruth met me at the station in a tiny pony cart and we drove up to Headley in it. Mrs Wallace and Sir Herbert and Lady M went for a walk after tea and heard some delicious music proceeding apparently from a from an Army Service Corps encampment, so R and I followed it by going straight across country until we found a clarinettist. We talked to him a bit and found he had been a conductor of a theatre orchestra in private life. Afterwards we joined Mrs W again and went off round the camp of the A.S.C. and saw them making bread and all the loaves and flour in store also the meat which I didn’t like so much. A funny little officer showed us round, and another rather nice one. Some people called Mr & Mrs Squarey came to tea and Mrs W also came in later, and a most charming American whom I had met there before.
General Sir Ian Hamilton took over command of Dardanelles Expeditionary Force
A nasty cold day. Fred turned up for tea and stayed to dinner. He had a rather bad leg as he had been playing football and it was rather bad before as he had fallen all of a sudden when running a race. Had a wire from Mother to say that they were going to send wounded to Lutterworth.
Allied attack on Dardanelles repulsed; one French and two British battleships sunk.
Drove to Bordon station with Ruth to get my hat box which had been left there. Saw hordes of soldiers both coming and going, among others one who by all accounts looked exactly like Bamber Baker although Bay had told me he was in France. I did not pay much attention to him, but I found out later it was important at the time. The whole of that division is at Bordon as well as a brigade of the 14th – Fred’s. Miss Murray came over in a car and has been here most of the afternoon. A nice and rather quiet girl.
Heavy German attack in the Vosges
A horrid day, very cold. Went out with R in the morning. Major Somebody and his wife and sisters-in-law came to call. He was nice but the women seemed rather dull. While they were there Mr & Mrs Mainwaring, Robertson, Miss R, his sister and Bay all came over in a car. We had expected Mrs & Bay but not quite such a large party. Sir H and Ruth were very charming to them. Lady M and Mrs Wallace were out, perhaps locally…It appeared that the other three were Mürrenites of the deepest dye and a great argument on the rival merits of the German Mürren and Grindelwald started at once. It was very nice to see the Robertsons again. They are an awfully nice couple. They came in an enormous car and had had some difficulty in finding the house. Ruth and I went round to the Squareys’ house after they had gone.
Action of Jakalswater (German South-West Africa).
Went to Church with the 9 family members. A lovely day, just like summer. Had a letter from Fred saying he was in bed as his knee was still pretty bad, so we decided to go and see him in the afternoon. We had a long, hot and rather nasty walk into Bordon and went through a lot of the camp which is simply full of men. We kept on asking where Guadaloupe Barracks were, but took ages before we could find them. First we went all through Quebec and another lot of huts. At last we found the Officers Mess of the 7th Battalion Rifle Brigade and then no one was to be found to tell us anything. At last a young officer appeared and Ruth asked where Fred’s room was upon which he said rather sternly that he was afraid he was in bed. On Ruth explaining that I was his sister he relented and took us to a horrid little hut where we found poor Fred lying on a camp bed in his great coat. It was a beastly little room, very dark and with hardly any furniture except the bare necessities of life. We stayed and talked to him for some time. His mood seems to be rather bad. Walked back and went to tea with Mrs Duffins who was most amusing.
First German airship raid on Paris.
Very cold again, so different to yesterday. Did not go out much.
Turkish raiding forces discovered near El Kubri (Suez).
Ruth and I left Bayfield and travelled together as far as Wellington College Station where we both got out and drove up to her Aunt’s house which is about a mile away, so decided to stop there instead of Reading. It is a modern house, quite new in fact. I think they are only just getting into it. It was furnished in the most original and artistic way and quite regardless of expense I should say. The dining room was a harmony in grey and orange with black net curtains. Mr & Mrs Mansfield were both very nice but sad to say the Military Cross hero Geoffrey, whom Ruth had been most anxious for me to see was out. I walked back to the station and travelled very, very sadly alone. Altogether I had 7 changes between Bordon and Lutterworth, so it cannot be called a good journey. Saw Alan Young at Lutterworth in Private’s uniform.
First kite-balloon ship (vessel with tethered, manned reconnaissance balloon) commissioned.
Went down to Lutterworth and spent the morning messing about at the new hospital with Mother and various other people as we are expecting to receive wounded on Friday. It really is a perfectly splendid place. There is one ward with room for 12 beds and a very nice smaller one and a room where men can sit, a small room over towards the small kitchen. Took a lot of things across to Mrs Ffinch’s house where she has given up a small room kindly to the hospital. Went back to a rather late lunch and unpacked afterwards. Fred came home on sick leave, very lame poor dear.
Raid by British Naval airmen on Hoboken (near Antwerp). Chilean protest against violation of her territorial waters by the British at the battle of Juan Fernandez.
Went down to the hospital again and washed heaps of china. Dressed Fred’s leg by way of keeping my hand in.
Dutch (neutral) ship S.S. Medea sunk by German submarine.
Mabel Young came over to see Fred. Bicycled into Lutterworth and went to see sisters in the hospital. Mrs Entwistle and Flossie Ramsley came over in the afternoon.
Metz bombed by six French airmen.
E called. Walked to Coton to meet with Aunt Lucy and Valérie Gillot, eldest lady of the Belgians. It was a horrible day and snow at intervals. Jim turned up late at night having driven out from Rugby. He told us that the whole business at Lords had been given up and he had been spending most of the day chatting over a commission with a good deal of assistance from a Mrs Farran F, a widowed lady who is a friend of Townshend’s and apparently makes a hobby of getting commissions for stray would-be officers. She seems to be a person of considerable influence at the War Office. Jim had also been down to Bedford for a few hours on purpose to get the Headmaster’s signature on the application form, so he had had a busy day.
Bosporus forts bombarded by Russian Black Sea Fleet.
Went to Church. Horribly cold and snowing at intervals. We started to bicycle to Bitteswell, but it snowed so hard we came back. Father and Mother went to lunch at Coton.
First passenger ship (the British SS “Falaba”) sunk by German submarine.
Still horribly cold and freezing hard at night. Jim went back to London to continue his hunt for a commission.
Russians took 5,600 prisoners in the Carpathians.
A nasty day. Jim came home and told us he had got a commission in the Flying Corps. Most exciting news. He is to be employed on wireless work only and is to be on probation for a month.
Further German bombing of Reims cathedral
Went into Leicester with Jim and Father. Travelled in with Mrs Rows and Mrs A Watson and Cecil. Did some shopping at Johnsons where I bought a pair of shoes suitable for cycling with great difficulty. Came out and met Jim in the street, he having just been to the dentist. We then did a little shopping together, bought some ammunition for Fred’s revolver with much difficulty, as the man had orders only to sell it to officers and then had a cup of coffee at Millers and went back to the station. I had a foul shock on the way there as we nearly overtook Capt and Mrs C.C. Rolph and I lost my nerve completely and hastily crossed over to the other side of the street and passed by them I hope unobserved. She really did look a typical Leicester lady in the latest thing in plaid skirts and small hats. C was limping a bit and did not look well. I felt rather a brute but a meeting would have been most embarrassing for both of us, with all the foul things I have said about her in the past. Got home in time for a late lunch. Corbett Smith called. Aunts came to tea. Esther came from Heighington.
Severe fighting in the Carpathians. Home Secretary appointed a Committee of enquiry into the recruiting of men from retail trades.
Jim went off to his new job at Farnborough. And nasty day as usual.
British air raid on Zeebrugge and Hoboken
(Good Friday) Went to Church twice. Rain all the afternoon.
Trawlers “Jason”, “Gloxinia” and “Nellie” sunk in North Sea by German submarine.
Rained most of the day. Fred played golf with Mr Loveday in the morning and beat him after not having played for months. Esther and I went to tea with the Youngs and Mrs Boughton Leigh was there. Heard a good many rumours.
Dover Straits barrage (anti-submarine defence made of netting) completed.
(Easter Day) Lovely day, quite sunny and warm.
French progress south of St. Mihiel (Meuse) and in the Woevre district. Germans took Driegrachten.
No entry by Eve
King George V banned the consumption of alcohol in any of the royal households in response to Lloyd George’s statement that Britain was “fighting Germans, Austrians and Drink, and as far as I can see the greatest of these foes is Drink.”
No entry by Eve
French advances east of Verdun and in Alsace.
Mother and Esther were going to Leicester about 1.00 but just as they were starting several regiments of Kitchener’s army began passing the drive gates. There was a tremendous stream of them which seemed as if it would never stop and lots of baggage wagons one after the other. Rowley and I went into the road for him to take a photograph and Mother and E drove in the penny cart as far as the gate when they were stopped. They waited rather a long time for them to get past and at last Richardson, who was at the horse’s head, hurried out very foolishly. He thought he could get past so he began leading her across the road between two hitch wagons. R and I were looking on. It was hopeless and of course the tail of the nearest wagon caught the cart and the whole thing toppled over, throwing Mother and Esther out in the middle of the road. Luckily they were not much hurt – in fact, Mother was not hurt at all and Esther’s leg only a little but her skirt was ruined. A nice officer came up and apologised to Mother who truly said it was not his fault at all. She had to lie on the sofa for the rest of the day.
First Indian units sailed from Egypt for the Dardanelles.
Went down to Lutterworth, which is one seething mass of soldiers. Hundreds of the men went through during the morning until the greater part of the 11th Division must have passed through. They looked very smart and had all their equipment. They are supposed to be going out in about a fortnight. Saw Grace who talked a great deal.
Attempted assassination of Hussein Kamel, Sultan of Egypt.
Got up very early and was down at the hospital at 8 together with several more to help nurse two ill soldiers who had been left behind, the young corporal who had a bad attack of influenza and another. They both had bad colds and were absolutely thoroughly tired out and dead to the world and did not seem to want to talk at all. Washed corporal in bed with assistance of new district nurse and took their temperatures etc. Also saw a woman called Mrs Davis having a horrid wound dressed. I did more real nursing than I had ever attempted before. Got back about lunch time rather tired and went down again for tea, but did not stop long. Esther’s leg better but she is still on the sofa. Charles Gilliatt came in for tea, very fussed about Kate who he thinks is ill. He asked Mother to come and see her as Mother “makes such a difference”.
French completed the capture of Les Eparges. Germans bombarded Reims. Indecisive fighting on the Meuse.
Went down to the hospital again. Both the soldiers are better and the corporal is another man altogether to what he was yesterday, quite cheerful and inclined to talk. The boy is still feeling rather weak I think, but is much more cheerful and seems decidedly better, so I did not think he really was going to be seriously ill, though the doctor says he has had a narrow escape of a very bad illness. I broke the thermometer which was a pretty stupid thing to do, but did not do anything very bad otherwise. Saw Mrs Davis having her horrid wound dressed and a girl having her back dressed which was rather nasty. Talked quite a lot to the corporal, who is a most versatile person. Saw Mr Hughes and Mrs Boughton Leigh on the way back. Digby came home for the weekend.
German relief ship “Harpalyce” torpedoed,
Went down to the hospital, but did not stay very long. The corporal was in great form, full of conversation, and showed me a portrait of his young lady who really is one of the plainest people I think I have seen for some time. He also talked a great deal about aeroplanes and told me he had often flown. Got back quite soon as there was really very little to do, as there are only 3 men and one girl in the hospital. Went to Church in the afternoon. Mr Cavey came to tea and afterwards he and father and Rowley and Michael and I walked part of the way across the fields with Digby, then father and Cavey went back and the rest of us went on and saw Digby off at the station.
Severe fighting near Albert on the Western Front.
Went down to the hospital again and stayed most of the morning. Ellen came.
German airships bombed Nancy. First Allied advance on Yaunde (Cameroons) began.
Went to the hospital. The men are much better, especially the Corporal. He is a dear, but I do not believe all he says quite. In the afternoon we went down to Lutterworth again and made beds at the Wycliffe hospital, as the new one is now called. It looked very nice when they were all done.
French progress near Berry-au-Bac. Failure of French attacks near Maizeray.
Went down to the hospital. Did not stop very long. Came back for lunch and afterwards bicycled down to Lutterworth. Went to the Wycliffe Hospital to see if I had anything there. Found sister and nurse and both the two soldiers there making themselves very useful, one cleaning out the bath. Ellie and Esther came down to look at it. Bicycled on to Ullesthorpe and had tea with the Boughton Leighs. Mrs Charles was there.
Germans accused the French of using poison gas near Verdun. Zeppelin raid on Tyneside.
Did not go down to the hospital as the patients are so well. Two little guests came to tea and talked a great deal.
Ostend bombed by 15 Allied aeroplanes. French airship bombed Freiburg. Severe fighting off Ostend.
Went down to the hospital and did a few jobs there. It is quite finished now and looks most awfully nice with all the beds made and everything ready. Said goodbye, almost with tears, to my nice solders who are nearly well, but who are not going back just yet. Had a wire from Kitty asking me to go over tomorrow. As there were no boys coming in and not much to do, I decided to go.
French airships bombed Strasbourg and other German towns. Zeppelin raid on East Anglia: aeroplane bombed Faversham and Sittingbourne.
Packed most of the morning and had an early lunch. Went to Norwich. Had a dull journey. Arrived at Warren where the Mansfields now live about 7 o’clock. Found Kate and Kitty there and Charles’s uncle called Sam was there and was nice and is in the Lincolnshire Yeomanry. After dinner Capt Maynes arrived who I used to know when he was at Colchester; he looks much older now and his hair is quite grey, but he is, as ever, really a perfect darling. He was through all the earlier part of the war and was wounded about the middle of September, shot through the bottom of the lung, I think. He was ill for a long time afterwards and is now training recruits at Felixstowe.
Capture of Hill 60 (Ypres) by British forces.
A nice day. We messed about with Kitty’s chickens after breakfast, she has a lot of young ones all of whom seem in a precarious state of health. We all walked to church and on the way Captain Maynes began talking about his job at Felixstowe. Played very nicely on the piano and after a bit I went for a walk with Capt M and took the opportunity to find out a little about what Bill is doing now. It appears there is a “Miss Smith” at Felixstowe who he says he is going to marry, but Maynes thinks she is a bad lot and told Bill so, with the result that he said in his most bristly manner, “If only you were not wounded…. But they parted good friends. Ardyn Paterson came to tea. She took Paterson back to the station afterwards in her little car which she drives pretty well.
German attacks repulsed at Hill 60.
K and Captain M and I went over to the Pattisons. A funny little man with a long nose showed us over, and a boy with very long hair. We saw the garden arrangement for a few minutes before we began. Came back after a rather late lunch and basked in the sun in the garden afterwards, while Maynes babbled on about all sorts of people we had never heard of and told us some thrilling tales about the war, which he always speaks of as if it was best fun in the world. Nevertheless, his hair went quite grey in the few weeks he was at sea and he still can’t sleep at night. I discovered that the man that fat subaltern often speaks of at Felixtowe is H. Hargreaves.
German retirement in Alsace. Continued fighting for Hill 60. Sir John French denied that the British had made use of poison gas.
We went into Norwich and did a little shopping and look at the Strangers Hall and into the Cathedral and then had lunch at Maynes’ expense at the Maid’s Head which really is a most lovely old place. Afterwards came home about tea time. Maynes left just before dinner; it was a sad moment parting from him and knowing we should likely never meet again when he is probably going out in about a month. He is a little darling. Jim’s nephew arrived for dinner with a girl with a nice brown face.
Germans bombarded Reims and Ypres. Asquith, speaking at Newcastle, denied that military operations had been hampered by lack of munitions.
Went into Norwich with H and Margery and bought some flowers for her. Mrs Morgan, Ethel and “Em” were in the sea when we got back after tea.
Lloyd George delivered a speech on the capacity of the country for producing munitions.
Spent most of the day messing about in the garden. Mrs Stephen Clark and a very tall old lady and a very nice boy called Lionel turned up in a car.
Second Battle of Ypres began: town of Ypres largely destroyed. German advance checked by Canadians after French retreat before poisonous gas attacks.
Went into Norwich with K & M. When we got back K found a letter from May beginning very characteristically, “I wonder would you care to come to Felixstowe for the weekend? My mother and sister are there & etc.” Of course Kitty was fully booked, though she pretended she did not know whether she wanted to come or not.
Second Battle of Ypres: German attack east and west of St. Julien repulsed by Canadians. Germans took several hamlets.
Went into Norwich with Kitty and saw her off at the station with many instructions. Mrs Musgrave, one of Kate’s sisters and a pretty, but very quiet, pale faced very little boy came to stay.
Second Battle of Ypres: Germans took St. Julien, French and Belgians recovered Lizerne. 3rd Canadian brigade withdrawn. Fighting round Kilimanjaro (German East Africa).
Kate, Mrs Musgrave, Tony and I all walked into Norwich and went to the service at the Cathedral. They sang well on the whole, but I thought the boy who sang solo had a cold coming on. It was horribly cold in the afternoon, a Colonel La Motte came to call and Mrs Fitzgerald, who is nursing at the hospital, and a Major and Mrs Harvey. The Major seemed very nice and began talking broadly about “Kitty” and “Jack” until I found that he had never met any of them before and only knew them because his mother-in-law had made friends with Kate in the train!! Had a very tense evening as they rang up from Bournemouth to say Miss Charles was ill and of course Kate supposed that one of the boys was killed, as she always does if any bell rings anywhere or any telegram comes, and then she decided to come there tomorrow quite early and had to look out trains etc.
Second Battle of Ypres: Germans retook Lizerne, British repulsed at St. Julien. Dardanelles: Anglo-French forces landed on both shores of the Straits.
Mrs Musgrave and the little boy went to see the sights of Norwich, Kate having left at about 9.30 in the morning. Margery and I were left to play about alone. She is a really most attractive girl and I like her fully. We fed Kitty’s horrible chickens and sat in the garden.
Second Battle of Ypres: Germans pierced British line at Broodseinde, French recovered Het Sas, British failed to recover St. Julien. British airmen bombed Courtrai and various neighbouring places. Dardanelles: Hill 141 stormed and V Beach secured. S. “Kronprinz Wilhelm” interned in U.S.A .
Marjorie went to YMCA club which Kate usually goes to and I went to the castle with Mrs Musgrave and Tony and afterwards we all met and had tea in a shop. When we got home we were astonished to find Jack there, having arrived quite suddenly over one night. He said he had just got his flying certificate and had been give about two days’ leave because his hut had been burnt to the ground and he had lost all his kit including a fine coat that has just cost £15, a leather waistcoat, also new, that cost £2 and his beautiful suitcase that belonged to Arthur with silver fittings. It really was bad luck. I found a telegram saying that wounded were coming on Thursday and I was to return tomorrow. I resolved to take it calmly as I shall not believe any wounded ones until I see them. We made Jack tell Kitty when she arrived after dinner that we had both been sent for by telegram, me to nurse and M by Jim. Meanwhile we hid in the back of the drawing room and heard all she had said. It was almost too successful as she talked rather too much about me and not much about M.
Second Battle of Ypres: Allied attack north of Ypres checked by use of gas. Dardanelles: Allies established themselves across the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Kitty and Margery came into Norwich with me and saw May off at Thorpe. I gather from Kay that Maynes’ wonderfully good behaviour could not last until she got home ; he accompanied her part of the way and tried to kiss her in the train. Had a hot journey with two changes. Saw Mrs Jary and Miss Morgan at Ely. Met by Richardson and the crowd at Welford. Heard that ten slightly wounded ones are expected tomorrow.
Second Battle of Ypres: German offensive definitely stopped. Germans bombed Dunkirk, Pervyse and Nancy: French bombed Friedrichshafen.
Went down to Lutterworth in the afternoon with the other nurses and waited until about four when the soldiers were expected to arrive. Mrs Price Taylor and Mrs Masters from Leire were also there. They arrived very late, nine men and a Red Cross orderly with them and we gave them tea and supper later, but did not do much else as they were all dreadfully well. Only one man was very lame. The orderly went away after tea. Miss Sarson and a man came on for the night. There was one most attractive Scotsman in a kilt who is in the Seaforths and has been through nearly the whole thing and another Scotsman not in a kilt who is very young and silent. Three men in the KGLI, one in the Warwickshires, another in the Leicesters and another in the Norfolk regiment. They are all much too well and I foresee a great problem in keeping them all contained and amused in such a small place.
Second Battle of Ypres: artillery duels north of Ypres, Canadians withdrawn from the Ypres salient. Germans bombarded Reims and Dunkirk. Continued German advance in Galicia. Turks retreated from neighbourhood of the Suez Canal.
Was down at the hospital at 8.00. Miss Sarson said they had had a good night and had slept well. Mrs Martin came on later and did the dressings with the doctor. Nash, a fine old Yorkshireman, has a large hole in his leg where a bullet has been through and Adcock who is a rather a nice man in the Warwickshires whom I like to think might give us some trouble later has got a very nasty wound in his arm which has been giving him trouble ever since October. Sorrel, in the Leicesters, has got his feet bad through standing over 12 hours in a wet ditch in Neuve Chapelle when he was stuck there and could not move without getting in deeper. They seem to be the worst cases; most of the others are very light. In the afternoon some of them went out in the cars lent by various people and I took the Adcock and Bollington over to the Rectory garden and played clock golf with them all the afternoon, which they all took an interest in. Bollington was really good, having got over bouts of pain from the shrapnel wounds in his arm. He is a nice boy who was a butcher before the War and looks like one.
Second Battle of Ypres: attempted German advance from St. Julien repulsed.Zeppelin raid on East Anglia. Australian submarine AE2 sunk by Turkish warship in the Sea of Marmora. Australian submarine AE2 sunk by Turkish warship in the Sea of Marmora. German Embassy warning in more than 50 U.S. newspapers about sailing in “Lusitania”.
Saturday 1st May
Was down at the hospital again at 8.00. Mrs Martin came later. Was allowed to help to bandage Bollington’s arm. Mrs Sarson told me when I got there that Watts had had a temperature the night before, so I firmly sent him back to bed till the doctor came which was a good thing as it turned out, as he was kept there for the rest of the day. He is a corporal in the Norfolk Regiment and has a slight wound in his foot, but he doesn’t seem well and no wonder as he has been out there ever since the beginning of the war till the night at Hill 60 which was only a week ago. He has never been ill or wanted or had a day’s leave till this so I think he deserves a bit of rest. In the afternoon I took Sorrel across to the Cottage Hospital to have his leg treated with an electric therapy machine. Jeffery, a nice quiet-looking boy wheeled him across in a bath chair. Found Sister Britton there who has just come back; she came across at tea time. Found Fred when I got home. He had come for what is probably his last weekend.
Second Battle of Ypres: Repulse of German attack on Hill 60, British ordered to withdraw to new line.
Dardanelles: Turks attack the Allied line at Gallipoli.
S.S. “Gulflight” torpedoed without warning: damaged, but reaches port. First United States ship attacked by German submarine.
Sunday 2nd May
Went down at 8.00, found there had been some trouble last night as the men had been out of bounds. Of course, I think it is a pity not to let the men go where they like so long as they behave themselves. Some of them went to Church, but not many as the doctor came very late. Watched the dressings and massaged Sorrel’s feet. Went back for lunch.
Russian Black Sea fleet shelled the forts on the Bosporus.
Turkish Minister of War sent British and French subjects into the danger zone at Gallipoli.
Monday 3rd May
Went down to the Cottage Hospital for a change and spent a very busy morning as there was an operation on a little girl at 8.00 who had to have a boil lanced. Afterwards went to the VAD hospital and saw Mother and Sister Britton and heard that they had had a truly awful morning as there had been a fearful row the night before owing to Jock having gone out after the place was supposed to be shut up and he wandered down the Bitteswell Road until he met an attractive damsel whom he asked to come for a walk with him and told her how he had got out of the hospital. Unluckily for him it was Evans’ maid, who went home and told them all about it so, of course, Miss E told Sister and poor old Jock was fairly ‘had’. This morning seems mainly to have been spent in low spirits for all the men and especially poor Jock who has got to go which is really too sad. Went home and in the afternoon four of the men (Adcock, Bollington, Pears and Jeffrey) came up here and spent the afternoon with the little boys who played bowls and clock golf with them.
Submarine E14 sank a Turkish gunboat in the Sea of Marmora.
Italy denounced the Triple Alliance.
Advertisement in American papers stated that ships flying the British flag were liable to destruction in the war zone.
Tuesday 4th May
Went down to the hospital at 7.00. Unearthly hour, never again. 6 all well except Watts, who is still in bed and seems thoroughly worn out & no wonder. Took his temperature and saw that the place was cleared out before Sister came, then watched the dressings being done then bandaged Watts’ feet. After that there was nothing to do for some time and afterwards saying a sad farewell to Jock who left us under a cloud to the great distress of everyone, I think. I stopped for some time talking to Watts who really has had the most thrilling experiences. Mr Taylor was there too and we both listened enthralled for ages while he went on in his gentle way in broad Norfolk. I think he said he had once been reported ‘killed’, once ‘missing’ and twice ‘wounded and missing’. Once he was 15 days cut off from all the others surrounded by Germans with a small group of men, but they fought on and were eventually found by our own people, who had quite given them up. Went back for lunch and had a thoroughly lazy afternoon in the garden. Esther came home.
Second Battle of Ypres: French advanced between Lizerne and Het Sas, while Germans captured Zonnebeke, Wetshoek and Zevenkote.
Wednesday 5th May
Had a nice peaceful day at home which I thoroughly enjoyed. Esther and boys played tennis. It was very hot.
German submarine U-20 sank ‘Earl of Lathom’, a sailing vessel carrying bacon and potatoes from Limerick to Liverpool.
Thursday 6th May
E & Mother went to the hospital in the morning but I stayed quietly at home. Very hot again.
Second Battle of Ypres: British recovered some trenches on Hill 60.
Steamship ‘Centurion’ torpedoed and sunk in St George’s Channel by German U-20.
Friday 7th May
Had another day off. Mother and I drove over to Brownsover and saw Solties B. Leigh. She took us round the garden which really is lovely now. There was a very pretty girl there who is I think one of Harts. She comes from South Africa and had never been in England before this, or not since she was a child. It was very hot. A tremendous thunderstorm came while we were there and it simply poured with rain for ages. Got home to find we had had hardly any at all which was annoying.
Cunard ocean liner RMS ‘Lusitania’ torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-20. 1,198 lives lost.
Saturday 8th May
Went on duty at the hospital in the afternoon. Dorothy Goodacre was there and she came in after a bit. Had a great breakthrough with Watts. As we got there Mrs Derwent who was just going off said he was very bad and in great pain and had done nothing and was altogether in a very bad way, so we were rather alarmed, very. I took him his medicine at 2.00 and he certainly looked very miserable indeed and would hardly answer me at all, so I started a little conversation with Bollington also in the same ward in bed and two more men which Watts presently joined in, so then I began talking to him about patience which we had played the other day and soon he was up and cheerful again and began teaching me card tricks and bucked up so well that at tea time he had 2 cakes, having previously refused all food with a wan smile.
Battle of Frezenberg Ridge (Ypres) began
Death in action of Lieutenant Geoffrey Phillip Legard of 2nd Battalion
Northumberland Fusiliers (commemorated on Menin Gate, Ypres). [See entries for 15th and 30th May.]
Sunday 9th May
A nice day but much colder. Esther and I walked over to Bitteswell and had tea with the Youngs. Met several of the soldiers on the way back who told us that two doctors had come over from Leicester to inspect the hospital this afternoon. By some miracle all the men except Bollington (he was supposed to be indoors) were to be found, so it seems to have come off quite well.
Allied Spring Offensive began: Battle of Aubers Ridge.
Second Battle of Artois began
Death in action of Captain Townsend Powell of 2nd Battalion Northants. Regiment (commemorated on Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium). [See entry for 15th May.]
Death from wounds of Lieutenant Reginald John Legard of 2nd Battalion Prince of Wales’s Own West Yorks. Regiment (buried at Merville, France). [See entries for 15th & 19th May.]
Went down to the Wycliffe hospital and had a fairly busy morning on Watts’ hands with some success.
Naval convention signed between Great Britain, France and Italy.
Anti-German demonstrations in London and Liverpool caused by the sinking of the “Lusitania”.
Tuesday 11th May
Went to the hospital again.
Second Battle of Ypres: Germans bombarded Ypres-Menin road.
Wednesday 12th May
Messed about at home in the morning and went down to the hospital at 1.30 to 5.0. It was a nasty wet day. They were washing the wards which made it most uncomfortable. Watts played the piano for a time while Bollington performed on the harmonium at the same time so we had a nice cheerful noise and they really were very funny. Watts had a small air gun which he was shooting with and I had two shots and hit the ball the first time, and then he squeezed up the paper into a little bunch and I hit it again. He is a frightfully good shot himself and wins cups and things apparently. I found a telegraph post absolutely riddled with shot having been used as a target.
H.M.S. “Goliath” torpedoed.
Report of Bryce Committee (“Committee on Alleged German Outrages”) published.
More anti-Germans riots in England.
Thursday 13th May
A perfectly beastly day and raining hard. I drove down to the hospital for lunch and stayed there for the afternoon. D. Goodacre was on duty too. She is rather a fool in some ways but means well. Bonnington’s brother, a rather superior person, came over from Sheffield for the day to see him and stayed to tea. Watts put my thimble on a screen and smashed it to smithereens – a pretty good effort as it was a tiny target. He was not the least penitent about it.
King George V struck the names of seven German and Austrian royals from the roll of Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.
Battle of Frezenberg Ridge (Ypres) ended.
H.M.S. “Goliath” sunk by Turkish destroyer in the Dardanelles.
Friday 14th May
Stopped at home and did nothing particular. After tea we went down to the hospital meaning Uncle P(eter) to sing to the soldiers and none of them were to be found, although they were supposed to have been told by Adcock, so we came back. We also heard that they had refused to go to Mrs Watsons at the last minute after saying that they would originally. They are the limit really.
Second Battle of Ypres: French and Belgians advanced near Het Sas and Steenstraate.
Article in the “Times” on the shortage of munitions: headline “Need for shells: British attacks checked: Limited supply the cause: A Lesson From France”.
Internment of enemy aliens in Great Britain began.
Saturday 15th May
Went down to the Cottage hospital and washed a little girl and dressed Bollington who is going on alright but cannot use his arm at all of course. Did many other odd jobs and got back in time for lunch. Uncle Peter left at 1.00. Mother returned about then. They had a rather worrying morning at the other hospital which ended in a bad headache. It now appears that Watts is deeply offended at something Dorothy said to him and refuses to do anything and she is to go back to Leicester! What foul babies they are. Esther heard from Muriel this morning that Geoffrey is missing. It really is almost too foul to be true. Also Reggie Legard is wounded and Townsend Powell killed. What a life we lead. Digby came home looking very well but no Fred. We had hoped he might turn up, but I am afraid this must mean he has gone or just going.
Battle of Festubert began.
Lord Fisher (First Sea Lord of Great Britain) tendered his resignation
Sunday 16th May
A nasty cold day. Went to Church. In the evening Fred suddenly turned up, having driven out in a car from Leicester. He arrived about 3 and left again with Digby at 8. They spent most of the afternoon birds nesting but he says he really is going off in a few days so I expect this really is “goodbye”.
Battle of Festubert: British advance continued.
Zeppelin raid on Calais.
Monday 17th May
Mother went down to the hospital. Found a whole lot of new men had arrived yesterday so that we are now quite full up at the Wycliffe as there are 17. She said they seemed a nice quiet lot and looked as if they would be giving us no trouble.
Zeppelin raids on Dunkirk and Ramsgate.
News reached Gallipoli that a German submarine had successfully passed through the Straits of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean.
Tuesday 18th May
E. and I bicycled over to see Yolande. She is very lonely, poor dear, as her “Ted” has gone out to Alexandria with the Warwickshire Yeomanry and is ill in hospital there. Heard the garden is perfectly lovely with heaps of rock plants. She told us that R. Hughes had got a man in the recreation department. Rather a good thing I should think. On the way back we saw Gass and I said goodbye to him as I thought he was going tomorrow. I feel sad and I said a fond farewell to Adcock, who was most friendly and said he was “going to track over to our place if he got a little farewell”. As a matter of fact none of them went at all on Saturday.
Battle of Festubert: British advanced to La Quinque Rue-Bethune road.
Lord Kitchener in the House of Lords insisted on the importance of an adequate supply of munitions.
Wednesday 19th May
I heard from Todd who said that Reggie was shot in the head and died about an hour later without recovering consciousness so he did not suffer at all. Heard from Aunt A who has gone to Heighington. I am afraid her letter does not sound as if there was much chance of Geoff being on leave as apparently he was wounded pretty badly. Still, one never knows. Capt. Scott was killed. Capt. Muriel & heaps of others were also killed when landing at Gallipoli Peninsula.
Age limit for British Army recruits fixed at 40. (Extended to 50 in 1918.)
Frederick Ernest Marriott (Eve’s half-brother) embarked for France with 7th Battalion Rifle Brigade.
Thursday 20th May
Went down to the hospital in the afternoon for the first time since the new 6 came. Rather alarming seeing so many new faces, but the old friends were a great support to me. Miss Alderson was the other nurse. Helped her to put a fomentation on a badly wounded hand belonging to a man called Hannan in the Somersetshire L. I. A splendid looking man who had been through the whole thing till a week ago about. He knew Lieutenant Watts and even the Pretyman boys. He looked a picture of health and seemed in the best of spirits so I suppose being a warrior suits his constitution. Watts and Bollington and two new men called Beverley and Leigh were all in the little ward. Most of them more or less asleep most of the evening. Yolande came in and I showed her round and introduced her to Bollington and she talked to him and Leigh. The others were asleep. Grace Topham looked in now and then.
Battle of Festubert continued with a slight British advance.
Friday 21st May
Rather wet. Heard that Fred had actually gone to France.
Saturday 22nd May
E. and Mother went to the hospital. Jim turned up unexpectedly, of course, in a taxi from Rugby. He looks very well and brown and smart in his new Flying Corps uniform, though he agrees with me that it would look better with a pair of wings embroidered on it! He seems to be getting on with it splendidly there and says they all think him quite an expert on all sorts of subjects he knows nothing about. He shot rooks in the afternoon and we played tennis after tea.
Gretna Green/Quintinshill rail disaster which involved five trains, killed a probable 226, injured 246 and remains the worst rail crash in the United Kingdom in terms of loss of life. Those killed were mainly soldiers. [See entry for 29th May]
Battle of Festubert: British advanced south of Quinque Rue.
German air raid on Paris.
Sunday 23rd May
Went to Church. Jim went off directly after lunch. It was very hot. I sat in the garden and read a book. Bobbie turned up in a car about 4 o’clock, but only stayed a very little while. He was full of remorse, of course.
Italy declared war against Austria.
Monday 24th May
Went down to the hospital at 1.30. Almost all the men were about the place. Bollington’s brother had come to see him again and came to tea and Holmes had a lady friend who had come down from London to see him; she had tea in the kitchen. She seemed a nice girl, but very plain. Mrs Pryce Taylor was on duty and was quite nice. Miss Fosberry hindered us both very much by coming in early at about 4.40 and got thoroughly in the way at tea time.
Battle of Bellewaerde Ridge (Ypres) (24th/25th).
Italian forces crossed Austrian frontier (midnight 24th/25th).
Tuesday 25th May
Went down to the hospital at 1.30. A quiet afternoon as so many of them were out. 4 went out with Grace and 4 were asked to tea at the Evans next door, and all went except Watts, who lost his nerve at the last moment and stayed behind after peeping through the hedge several times to see if the others had gone. He is very shy about going anywhere although he is so easy to talk to.
Close of 2nd Battles of Ypres
Battle of Festubert ended
H.M.S. “Triumph” torpedoed and sunk by submarine off the Dardanelles.
Wednesday 26th May
Went down to the hospital at 8.30 till 1.30. A lovely day, very hot. I settled to ask 4 of them to tea with us, so invited Watts and Nash, never thinking they would come as they never go anywhere if they can help it, but to my great surprise they both said they would and Watts asked if Bollington who is a great friend of his could come too. Of course, I said “Yes!” and also asked Price who is a very nice gunner and has been an officer’s servant for a long time. I meant to ask Sorrel, but he had gone away to see his wife and had not returned. Nash’s only objection was “What about them poor arrivals that is coming this afternoon? Who is going to look after them and show them the ways of the place if we all go out?” – “arrivals” being 3 new soldiers expected to arrive here! Of course everyone said he was the last person who ought to be left to teach them all manner of wickedness! Mother drove down in the car and loaded up Watts & Bollington while Price & Nash walked, arriving about 4.30. We had tea in the covert and made a bonfire there & afterwards they played a rather curious tennis and bowls in the garden and we took them round the garden and showed them a few nests & etc & they were quite “up”, I think. It really was a triumph for W & N.
Italian Government announced blockade of Austro-Hungarian coast.
British battle squadron concentrated at Malta prior to joining Italian fleet in Adriatic.
Zeppelin raid at Southend.
Thursday 27th May
Had a day off at the hospital. Esther went down in the morning. In the afternoon we drove over to Ullesthorpe and played tennis at Mrs Pemberton’s. It was frightfully cold driving and dreadfully windy there, so it was not much of a day for tennis really, but they had a lot of people there, Mrs Clarke, Mr & Mrs Belcher, Dr Rogers & Edie Sedgewick and Dr Stokes. I played first with Cecil against Edie and Robin P and also against the winning team and we were badly beaten & then after tea I played with Robin against Mr Clarke & Mrs B and we won. Mrs Arnold Watson came so I talked to her about our solicitors and told her a story that quite amazed her.
H.M.S. “Majestic” sunk by submarine at Dardanelles. 49 sailors went down with the ship.
Winston Churchill resigned his post as First Lord of the Admiralty, having been largely blamed for British failures during the Dardanelles Campaign.
British minelayer “Princess Irene” destroyed by internal explosion in Sheerness harbour.
Friday 28th May
Got down to the hospital and 8.00 and had a busy morning. Tested the big ward and helped with the dressings & watched Price & Reynolds the guardsman being massaged. Had a wire from Capt Fagge about 12 o’clock saying there were several Northumberland Fusiliers at the Northern Hospital so I got off early and rushed home and went into Leicester at once to see them. Was rather delayed by meeting a lot of the Leicester Yeomanry and various other regiments coming from the memorial service, but got to the hospital about 4 and was allowed in after waving my telegram at several people. There were five men but they took a lot of finding as they were scattered about all over the place in different wards, but at last I managed to see them all, but got no information out of any of them, except that they had been in a battle on Monday in which all the companies of the Regiment seem to have been killed or wounded except their own. I only talked to one other man, a nice little Welsh man, who gave me a French bullet. Got back very tired at 7 o’clock.
Arthur Balfour appointed First Lord of the Admiralty, in place of Churchill.
French advance in the “Labyrinth” (north of Arras).
Saturday 29th May
Had lunch early & drove down to the hospital where I found Mother just going off. Miss Evans was on duty as well as me and we had a nice peaceful afternoon. Washed bandages and had a most interesting conversation with MacWilliams who is in bed still in the long ward with a swollen face which rather spoils his beauty, but he told me heaps of exciting stories, most of which I managed to understand, I think. His regiment is the 9th Argyll Sutherland Highlanders and territorial one and they seem to have suffered dreadfully lately and lost nearly all their officers and men, so they were sent back to the base after Mac W’s was wounded and the 4 remaining officers sent home on leave & 3 of them were killed in the Gretna Green rail accident and one injured. Mac W’s brother was killed quite close to his home in the trench by a bullet which ricocheted & hit him in the head. He is a little dear. All but one were in to tea so we had a lot to do to get it ready. I had a little tea up in the small ward and gave tea to Les, the Canadian boy, Batty Bollington. The two latter have been getting on really very well.
Sunday 30th May
Heard from Aunt Alice that they have heard officially that Geoffrey is killed, which is really too foul.
Western Front: Germans attack at Hooge.
Italians make progress in Trentino.
Severe fighting in Cameroons.
Monday 31st May
No entry by Eve.
First German airship raid on London; several hours of bombing left 5 dead and 35 injured.
Tuesday 1st June
The Belgians came in after tea. Vi turned up at about 6.00 in the Argyll after driving all by herself all the way from Ellesmere in Shropshire where she had been staying with Babs.
Kitchener made a Knight of the Garter
Wednesday 2nd June
Vi took mother to a sale at Bitteswell in the Argyll. I went down to the hospital at 1.30 and Vi came down in the motor at 3.00 and took Hannan, Pears & Holmes out for a run. They came in rather late for tea having enjoyed themselves very much apparently. Mrs Gellender was the other nurse on duty and we washed some bandages and had rather a busy afternoon. Bollington was lying on a chair looking rather ill, poor dear, and had tea in the garden. The others were almost all in for tea. Old Nash and Hannan had an altercation afterwards about a dead blackbird found in Hannan’s pocket, having been there all afternoon. Went into Rugby after tea with Vi and Carl and bought some sweets of various sorts to send to Fred.
German transport sunk by British submarine in Sea of Marmora.
Thursday 3rd June
Played about with Vi in the morning and helped her to pack. Went into Rugby in the car with her and met Jess at the station and went up into the town with them, taking her as far as Sam Robbins and then left them and went back to G(reat) C(entral) Station and home from there. Bicycled into Lutterworth in the evening and went up to the hospital, where we found Nash & Price sitting on a seat outside the hospital. Gave Nash a shirt from Mother for a farewell present and said “goodbye” to him as he and Pears are going tomorrow.
San Marino declared war on Austria-Hungary
Friday 4th June
No entry by Eve
Zeppelin raid on east coast.
Dardanelles: French and British made general attack at Gallipoli.
Lloyd George (newly appointed Minister of Munitions) spoke at Liverpool on the output of munitions and the role of trade unions.
Saturday 5th June
Went down to the hospital instead of Esther, as she had a bad head. It was really a most trying day. She was well out of it. As soon as Sister got there, I realised there had been trouble of some sort about men going into public houses, but I asked no questions. Our old friend Nash had a busy morning as there was only Grace on besides me and she did most dressings while I helped. Nash, in a moment of explanation, told me that he had had a “telling off” from Doctor for going down to the post office to cash a cheque for £100! At lunch time the storm broke in the form of a speech from Mr Taylor in which he said that the men had been seen in public houses and out of bounds at all hours.
Winston Churchill spoke at Dundee on the Dardanelles expedition.
Sunday 6th June
Went down to the hospital at 9.30 as it had been arranged that I am to learn massage from Nurse Joy. I saw at once that Hannan was still angry, as he usually greets me with a beaming smile and a good deal of conversation and today he hardly spoke at all. Price was down first, he seems quite recovered, though he was cross yesterday, not that any aspersions have been cast on him, but they all think they were unfairly treated and so did I considering how very good they have always been. When it was Hannan’s turn he was nowhere to be found and I think that there was awful trouble as apparently Nurse Joy is somewhat mixed up in this affair. He turned up at last and then she came in and immediately began discussing the subject of yesterday’s row which I think a good thing as it is evidently rankling very much. She said Mr T had said much too much which is quite true and then Hannan held forth at some length on the subject of grievance. It was really most distressing, as he is such a dear. It appears he went out with Buck and is accused by someone of having come back in a rather excited state, which he hotly denies.
Zeppelin raid on east coast (24 killed, 30 injured). Hull was the worst hit; the target was actually London but the attack was diverted by bad weather.
Monday 7th June
Went down to the hospital at 9.30 to do the massage & when I got there I found that Dorothy G, owing to a mistake of Mother’s, had never turned up, so I stayed on until the end of the morning. After lunch Hannan had a long heart-to-heart talk with Mr Taylor so I hope he will be happier now, but he is still rather silent and refuses to go out. Price & Watts were to have come up to shoot rabbits this evening, but Watts & Bollington are both worse & have been ordered back to bed in the garden where they prefer to sleep. As Watts could not come, much to his disappointment, Mother asked Reynolds & also asked Price to bring another. We were much surprised when Hannan turned out to be the third, as I thought he was far too miserable. However, he enjoyed himself very much. They tried to shoot starlings, then went rook shooting with Father, and got 16 which was wonderfully good.
German airship “L.Z.-37” destroyed in mid-air by Lieutenant Warneford, R.N.A.S., near Ghent (first occasion of airship successfully attacked by aeroplane).
Tuesday 8th June
Went down to the hospital and massaged Ballard’s hand and looked on while others were done.
Northern Union committee (meeting in Manchester) resolved to suspend competitive football for the duration of the war. Horse racing had already been suspended by the government.
Wednesday 9th June
Massaged for an hour.
Italian forces occupied Monfalcone.
Canada announced intention to raise a further 35,000 men.
Thursday 10th June
Massaged at the hospital.
Garua (Cameroons) capitulated to Anglo-French force under General Cunliffe
Friday 11th June
Went down to the hospital. In the afternoon Mother and I drove down to Claybrooke and had tea with the John Boughton Leighs. Afterwards Mother stopped and talked to Mrs Hall for a bit. It’s expected that they are going to have some wounded soldiers there. The Goodacres have promised the room for 20 beds in the house, which is very good of them.
French advanced 1 km on a front of 2 km and repulsed a strong counter-attack south of Hebuterne (south of Arras).
Saturday 12th June
Went down to the hospital and watched the massage but did not do much. Went into Leicester by the 1.20 and did a little shopping. Bought a blue linen coat and a scarf at Morgan Squires and a warm muslin over-shirt. Digby home for the weekend.
A letter to the ‘Spectator’ gave a first-hand account of the effects of a gas attack: “As far back as two miles from the firing lines the poplar trees in full leaf were entirely stripped of all foliage, clipped as naked as in winter. The grass for over a hundred yards in front of the enemy’s trenches was turned bright yellow from where the gas attacks were made. A cat, the pet of a Highland regiment, was killed by the fumes in less than an hour (one mile behind the first line).”
Sunday 13th June
Went down to the hospital and massaged Hannan’s hand and watched the others being done. Had the beginning of a cold.
French repulsed at Souchez but successful south-east of Hebuterne.
Monday 14th June
No entry by Eve
Tuesday 15th June
No entry by Eve
French airmen bombed Karlsruhe.
British took, but failed to hold, German front line trench east of Festubert.
Zeppelin raid on north-east coast.
Loss of German submarine U.14.
Wednesday 16th June
No entry by Eve
British advance north of Hooge, and east of Festubert.
French gain ground in severe fighting north of Arras.
Thursday 17th June
Esther’s 21st birthday. A nice day, but cool. Went to the hospital for massage and found a new woman instead of Nurse Joy who has offered to come over from Swinford three days a week to do the men. She is a nice little thing, which is a very welcome change. Hannan, Reynolds, Mac William & Holmes came to tea. We made them play tennis which I did not think many of them had ever done before. First E. and I played with them and then they played together. They are all very fine at it. Afterwards they wandered round the garden and Hannan picked a huge bunch of flowers.
Germans set fire to and evacuated Metzeral (Alsace).
Friday 18th June
When I got down to the hospital I was told that Nurse Joy had gone suddenly and I was pleased. Did the massage alone as best I could.
End of Second Battle of Artois.
Raids by Austrian warships on the Adriatic coast of Italy.
Saturday 19th June
Miss Adams came over again from South Kilworth and promised to come every day until I have learned to the massage by myself.
French bombardment of Munster (Alsace).
Sunday 20th June
Went down to the hospital where I found that the other V A D nurse had not turned up so I stayed to help Grace till lunchtime. Watts and Bollington were in disgrace owing to them having been across to the rock garden yesterday when they should have stayed here. Not a very serious offence but apparently the doctor severely had told them to stay in bed on a special diet. Watts is very cross and sulky about it and refused to eat his lunch at all, in fact they both did, I think. I took it out to them and they were quite pleasant to me about it. Went home and stayed in the garden until tea time then went down again at 5 o’clock till 8. Mrs Price Taylor was on which was lucky as she likes to cooperate and is nice to them but they would still do nothing.
HMS ‘Roxburgh’ hit by a torpedo fired from U-38 by Korvettenkapitan Max Valentiner. (During his career Max Valentiner was to sink 144 ships, damage another 6, and take a further 3 ships as war prizes.) Swift action by the crew of the ‘Roxburgh’ saved the ship, and her band played ‘Here we are again’ as she rejoined her squadron in the Firth of Forth.
Monday 21st June
Went down in the morning for massage and again for the afternoon and evening. I was on with Grace all the time and she was in a good temper on the whole. Watts is still pretty cross and has unsewn his stripes off his coat, of all the unusual things to do by way of protest against his treatment, but Bollington is quite up and cheerful again. It was a very hot day indeed. Mabel came in in the evening with some money and a lot of goods and I took her into the garden where she talked to W and B who were lying on their beds. Lander was also there but fast asleep. Capt Fagge came over. Mr Yonge (George) of Kimcote over too & talked to Hannan who comes from his part of the world. He was rather cross at being woken up I think but they seem to have got on well together. It was a peaceful evening and not much to do. Wood and Battye both had temperatures and had to go to bed early.
French forces repulsed German counter-attacks north of Arras, gained ground in Lorraine and advanced in the Dardanelles.
Tuesday 22nd June
On at the hospital from 8.30 till 1.30 but did not do much work as I had a lesson in massage from Miss Adams and afterwards helped Sister to develop some photos. Hannan was awfully nice and when he found I was coming to sweep out the little ward he took the brush from me by force and did it himself, though it is not his business. He is usually very careful about doing his own share but no more. We had all the men in a group (after great difficulty in collecting them) outside by the monument and Sister Britton and I took photographs of them which I hope will be a success. Then, after we had done the massage, I had a lesson and practised on Watts who seems to have recovered his temper and was quite amusing and very nice. Always is. Then we helped Sister develop her plates both of which were very good and then I helped with the lunch and came away soon after. Esther went down for the afternoon and evening. Poor Mac W had terrific toothache and was very irritable but I think it was partly because he was miserable at the idea of going away tomorrow.
Third Battle of Lemberg ended: city retaken by the Austrian forces
Rudyard Kipling, head of the British War Propaganda Section, was quoted in the ‘Morning Post’: “There are only two divisions in the world today – human beings and Germans.”
Wednesday 23rd June
Massaged etc from 5 to 9 in the evening with Grace and Esther. They had appeared early as there was a concert afterwards by Mr Buck and his son & Mrs Kimpton Smith and Mrs Brown’s son and Mr Morris recited. Mac Whillan, blushing highly, was prevailed upon to sing two verses of the ‘Little finest little song with no particular point’ which amused all the men enormously. Hannan could not be persuaded to perform too. They all sat on their beds and applauded vigorously while the rest of the audience sat on chairs at the back. Did not get back home until about 10 o’clock.
Munitions of War Bill introduced by Lloyd George in response to the shell crisis. (The Bill was to bring private companies supplying the armed forces under the tight control of the newly created Ministry of Munitions, regulating wages, hours and employment conditions. It was to be a penal offence for a worker to leave his current job at such a “Controlled Establishment” without the consent of his employer, which in practice was almost impossible to obtain.)
Thursday 24th June
Went down for massage in the morning and stayed at home the rest of the day.
Saturday 26th June
Massage in the morning and on with Grace in the afternoon. A horrid afternoon. The char women were washing the floor and we had to polish furniture and then just as we were in a state of worried confusion & were wondering if we should ever get ready for tea, Mrs Allison, Mrs Jary and Miss Schwabey turned up and had to be shown round and stayed for ages.
Continued fighting north of Arras and on the heights of the Meuse.
French airmen bombed railway station at Douai.
Saturday 26th June
Went down to the hospital and watched Miss A massage Battye and Ballard as well as Hannan and Reynolds. Mother came in with a wire from Jim saying he was going down by an early train to Rugby so I went back home and he turned up just after I had changed. We then walked down to Lutterworth and took him back to the hospital and showed him round. Heard that Watts & Bollington had been going out again when they were told not to as they were going to be sent back to Leicester. Very sad but a good thing I think as they were getting thoroughly bored here and tiresome in consequence. Lee welcomed Jim in the most correct style then shook him warmly by the hand which rather amused us. Played tennis at home in the afternoon.
Beginning of the Battle of Argonne in France, German attack led by Crown Prince Wilhelm.
Sunday 27th June
Got out of going down to Lutterworth on account of Jim. Went to church and went down to the hospital for the afternoon. Miss Blunt was on with me so we did just what I liked for a change and took it pretty easy. Talked to Bollington who was in bed poor dear, and did some washing. Only a few were in to tea and Hannan, who was out, seems to have made some muddle about his acknowlegement as a note came from Mrs Bishop to know if he was coming to tea with her when he had really gone somewhere else. Had a very cheery day, everyone talked quite a lot.
British advance up the Euphrates began.
Monday 28th June
Action of Gully Ravine (Dardanelles) began.
Operations of the first advance on Yaunde (Cameroons) ended.
Tuesday 29th June
Hospital for an hour or two in the morning
National Registration Bill introduced, “a Bill for taking a census of the nation to show what every single person can do for her in her need” (definition by Rev. P. L. Snowden, Vicar of Hepworth, Yorks, in 1915)
Wednesday 30th June
Had a long morning at the hospital and was allowed to do a little massage on Reynolds. It was very stormy with thunder at intervals. Went down to the Youngs’ and had lunch there and then came back and was on duty at the hospital all the afternoon with Mrs Pryce Taylor who was very nice and pleasant and we had quite a nice cheerful tea with most of the men in.
200,000 miners in South Wales who had been on strike since early in 1915 were – temporarily – pacified by a pay settlement.
Watts, Billington and Lander all departed to Leicester, Lander to have the shrapnel taken out of his foot and the others for other treatment. They were much regarded by most of us. Did a little more massage and then Miss Adams came back home to lunch and gave me a lesson here on Esther’s leg. Mabel came to tea on her way back to Coton. Mother came back.
Second Battle of Krasnik began (see 19th).
Otavifontein (German South-West Africa) captured by South African forces
Total German casualties to date reckoned at 1,700,000, of which 306,000 killed and 500,000 permanently disabled.
Went down and did some massage in the morning. E and I played tennis for a change at Arnold Watsons. Cecil’s sister & Mrs W and I first played 2 sets against him and E then after tea I played with him. We had some excellent sets. The one who played with Cecil won every time. Mrs & Major C Smith were there. Mother took 2 of the men, Woods the little clergyman and Coles (the little man who has not been to the war at all), to the Youngs to tea, and then came on herself to the Watsons.
Naval action in the Baltic between Russian and German squadrons off Gottland; German minelayer “Albatross” driven ashore.
Munitions of War Act, 1915, became law in Great Britain. [See entry for 23rd June]
Hospital in the morning. Mother and E went to Leicester. All the soldiers in the county were taken in cars to Newnham & had tea in the park there. All ours went and Mother & E saw them leave Leicester & saw Watts and Billington go past in a car and waved to them. Digby came home. Helped to make hay. Father came back.
Dardanelles: Turks announced losses of 5,159 men killed and 15,000 captured in previous five days.
South Africa’s offer of volunteer contingent announced by General Smuts.
Pouring with rain. Bicycled down at 8.30 in the middle of a thunderstorm. Dusted the long ward and massaged Reynolds and Battye by which time Adams had arrived. She did Hannan, Ballard & Griffiths and the Scotch boy and I did Poston and Nicholls. As I was finishing later, Dr Moss & Sister came & Dr Moss took his seat at the top table with all the men standing by their beds, and did then read them a letter from Harrison saying that we were not to let the men go about alone as we have been doing. He explained that he had not had any complaint to make about their conduct but we must follow the Leicester people. It is sickening as we really have got on so much better with them. All the men grumble of course and I agree with them, but advised them to put up with it until things calmed down. Got home in time for lunch. Digby went off at 5.00. Rained off and on all day.
Battle of the Argonne died down, the Crown Prince having failed to break the French line.
A perfectly foul day. The worst we have ever had at the hospital. Sister Britton in a tiring temper, absolutely beside herself with rage. I have never seen any woman lose control of herself so completely . She came into the ward where Miss Adams was massaging Hannan and I was there too and she railed fearfully at all three of us and told us Griffiths and Poston were sent away and chastised Hannan for “grumbling at the new rules” ….such rot. Got away and went home and found things rather calmer. Felt absolutely worn out afterwards.
Fierce fighting at Souchez, Arras, and on Meuse.
Turkish attempt to dislodge British from Gallipoli Peninsula defeated.
Kaiser William II promised German support for Austria against Serbia.
Went down to the hospital in the morning. Things more calm, but not too pleasant.
British capture of trenches near Pilkem.
Archduke Josef Ferdinand beaten near Krasnik.
On at the hospital in the morning and again with Esther in the evening. She only came round for a few minutes and was in a fairly good temper so we had quite a nice time and a very cheery spirit with them all talking a great deal about the war. Hannan talked about the Prettyman brothers and said that Fred was not nearly as popular as Ted; Ted was a “cushy” officer and brave as well .
End of first Battle of the Isonzo.
Italian cruiser “Amalfi” torpedoed and sunk by Austrian submarine in the Adriatic.
Cecil S came to lunch and afterwards I drove him down to the cricket ground as there was a match between the Rugby School boys and the Lutterworth club. Watched most of the afternoon. Mr & Mrs K Bradley were there. I took Mrs B round the hospital during the interval. Esther was on duty, but came over at 5.00 and Mother went on instead of her and then she came and watched the match for a bit. Had a very nasty tea in the pavilion. It was a good game as Buswell made a lot of runs for us to start with. John Cave was playing for Rugby.
French success at Fontenelle (Vosges).
British repulse German attack south-west of Pilkem.
Monticello taken by Italians (Trentino).
Third reading of National Registration Bill.
Order passed to increase Canadian Expeditionary Force to 150,000 men.
Hannan and Ballard went away. The former was regarded by everyone except Sister, but the latter by no one in particular.
Bomb thrown at Sultan of Egypt.
South-west Africa conquered; German troops surrendered unconditionally to General Botha.
Lord Kitchener and others spoke at the Guildhall. “Nominally the meeting had been called by the Lord Mayor of London as an aid to recruiting but actually it turned itself into a sustained and lusty demonstration against Lord Kitchener’s critics and in favour of conscription.” [Reported Birmingham Daily Post, 10th July 1915]
Went into Leicester and did quite a lot of shopping, most of it very successful. I travelled in with Mrs Young and Mabel. Bought 2 skirts at Goodricks for 8/8, a truly wonderful bargain, and a black muff and various stockings and so forth. Got back by the 1.15, rather tired.
General Botha made known terms of German surrender in south-west Africa. Lord Kitchener cabled congratulations and invited him to England.
Esther and I on at the hospital. Quite a peaceful morning. Sister only came on for a short time and was in quite a good temper for her. Massaged Reynolds, Battye, Nicholson and Woods. They had a splendid lunch of roast beef, green peas and new potatoes and redcurrant tart and custard. Mabel came to tea.
German light cruiser “Königsberg” destroyed in Rufiji River, German East Africa, by British monitors
Venice bombed by Austrian aircraft
Esther and I drove over to Entwistles and played tennis. There was no one there except Flossie and Nesta so we had two ladies fours with them. In the morning Miss Adams and I did massage.
State control of coal industry announced in Germany.
South Wales miners’ conference rejected Government proposals.
Went down to the hospital and did a little massage and then Miss Adams came up to our house and gave me a lesson and stayed to lunch. We are very sorry to hear at the hospital that Lee, Batty and Reynolds were all leaving today instead of tomorrow, as we had all expected. It was most annoying as I had just seen a message to Mrs Stewart to come over and see Reynolds as he was in the same trench as her husband when he was killed. Told Flossie to let her know that he had gone as I met her at the Arnold Watsons in the afternoon. I and Aunt Alice went there to play tennis and poor Esther had bad toothache and could not go.
British government proclaimed striking a criminal offence.
Had a word from Mrs Stewart asking me if I would go over to Leicester with her to see Reynolds. Went down to the hospital at 10.30 and found that all 3 men who left yesterday were still at Leicester. Mrs S. turned up a little late in a two-seater which she drove herself and we motored into Leicester and straight to the 5th Northern hospital where I sent a card to Dr Fagge. Luckily almost the first soldier we saw in the blue hospital clothes was Poston who came and talked to me and while I was talking to him Lee and Batty both came up so I asked Batty to find Reynolds which he did almost at once and we were saved a lot of trouble. Mrs Stewart had a long conversation with Reynolds who gave her a detailed description of how her husband was killed.
National Registration Bill passed by House of Lords.
E and I went out with Aunt Mary and Aunt Alice.
Failure of Germans in attempt to reach left bank of Yser resulted in heavy losses.
Welsh miners went on strike again.
Drove over to Ullesthorpe to see their hospital and while we were there 3 of the men came in very drunk!!
German attack in Lorraine (forest of Parroy) and in sector of Fontenoy (west of Soissons).
Russians defeated Austrians on east bank of Dniester and captured 2,000 prisoners.
W. turned up at break time. Appeared almost without issues the whole day.
An estimated 100,000 women (some dressed in peasant costumes of the allied nations) demonstrated in London for the right to serve their country.
Went down to the hospital.
Second Battle of Isonzo began with success for the Italians, who took 2,000 prisoners
Went over to Darlingtons and talked to Lucy about the hospital a good deal. Mr & Mrs Sales were there.
Total casualties in Dardanelles to 30th June announced in House of Commons: 42,434
Largest mine of the war so far detonated by the British at Hooge (7pm), killing several hundred Germans and 10 British. It left a crater 120 feet wide and 20 feet deep.
Mabel came over in the morning to say that the cricket match which had intended to come to Rugby was, as far as they were concerned, not on, so of course I decided not to go, too. E went to Leicester to visit her ward and found that 6 of the men were coming there that afternoon. Esther was on duty when 10 new ones arrived.
Battle of Le Linge began, and was to continue for nearly 3 months. Fighting was for control of the peaks and passes of the Vosges Mountains.
Went down to the hospital and massaged Nicholson. There were a whole lot of new ones, but none who wanted massage. Miss Adams came back home and gave me a lesson on Esther’s back and stayed to lunch. Went to a missionary bazaar afterwards with mother, at Youngs’. Mr Hughes was there in khaki. Edie and Mrs Hall both very full of their hospital which has not been a bed of roses. Edie says they have got new rules now.
British forces reached Euphrates from Kurna and captured Turkish troops.
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Bukoba, on Victoria Nyanza (German East Africa), captured by British forces (22nd/23rd).
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King George V visited five munitions factories in Birmingham, expressing his appreciation of the workers’ “zeal and cheerfulness” and their efforts “not only to maintain the present output but to increase it”. (23rd – Reported in Derby Daily Telegraph of 24th July 1915)
Went down to the hospital for a few minutes. Michael came home with me.
German attack near Hooge repulsed.
Went down to the hospital and massaged 2 new men.
Nasiriya (Mesopotamia) taken by British forces
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French attacked Lagosta (Adriatic), destroying Austrian submarine supply station, etc.
Italians landed on and captured Pelagosa Island (centre of Adriatic).
German destroyer sunk by British submarine in North Sea.
Georgie Peach came, also Rowley.
Prime Minister Asquith announced total military casualties to 18 July: 830,995 on land and 9,106 at sea.
On duty all the morning at the hospital. D. Goodacre was as well. Had quite good morning and lots to do. Mabel and Miss Rolls came and looked round.
Air-raid on St. Omer.
Germans crossed Vistula between Warsaw and Ivangorod.
Final debate on Compulsory Service; situation under review by Asquith.
Went down to the hospital and did the massage as Miss Adams did not come. Walked down again in the evening with Georgie and showed her round. Mother busy as she had gone down to receive 3 new men who were coming. Collected some men going to tea with the Youngs and walked down with them. They were Ratcliffe, Jock Nicholson, Peppin, Downe & Guthrie. They had tea in the Servants’ Hall while I had tea with the Youngs in the Hall and afterwards we played cricket and clock golf on the lawn. I think they liked it. Mrs Young and Mabel walked back part way with us.
Fierce artillery action around Arras
Loss of French submarine “Mariotte” in Dardanelles.
Austrians attempt to recapture Pelagosa.
Lloyd George addressed conference of mining industry.
Worried. Waited in all of the morning expecting the doctor to come. I may have typhoid but he never came out until about three in the afternoon. He then said to stay in bed for 24 hours, which was rather a jar.
First use of flamethrower in battle. At 3.15 am, jets of flame from German Flammenwerfer devices swept across trenches at Hooge occupied by companies of the 7th and 8th Rifle Brigade.
Frederick Ernest Marriott (Eve’s half-brother, serving with 7th Rifle Brigade) was killed whilst leading his platoon in an attack on the German trenches at Hooge. (The 7th Battalion Rifle Brigade suffered 400 casualties on this day, the 8th Battalion some 500.)
Two German spies, Willem Roos and Haicke Janssen, executed by firing squad at the Tower of London. (A total of eleven spies were shot at the Tower during the war.)
The Pope issued an appeal for peace.
Stayed in bed until lunch time feeling very sore on my left side and having rather a headache. Got up after lunch and stayed in the greenhouse with Georgie all afternoon.
Final day of big troop movement (lasting ten days) of German forces from Eastern to Western front.
Much better. Went down to the hospital and massaged Guthrie Tennant and Jock Nicholson, who was in bed having had a bad headache last night. They had all got on their new colours and looked very smart indeed. There was a great deal of fuss about sheeting on beds etc. Esther and Grace were on. Patterson and a small friend of Michael’s came to stay.
Constantinople harbour raided by British submarines; Galata Bridge blown up.
British retook some trenches at Hooge.
Start of the ‘Fokker Scourge’ with the Fokker monoplane dominant over the Western Front.
A nasty day. Mother and E went down to the hospital in the morning and I went in the afternoon. They have a new nurse as superintendent as Sister is going away on a much needed holiday. She was not a great success today but may improve. She faced the men about all sorts of little things such as being 5 minutes late every day and putting their things on the bed instead of the chair and they got rather cross. E and the little boys and Father went down to a meeting in the town hall to celebrate the anniversary of the beginning of the war – a thing I think we should try to forget.
German success at Hill 213 (Argonne).
Germans claimed 9,000 prisoners taken on Eastern front.
British submarine sank German transport in Baltic with troops of von Below’s army.
Father came into my room just as I was finishing dressing with a letter from the Colonel of the 7th Rifle Brigade to say that Fred was killed on the 30th when “gallantly leading his men in an attack on some German trenches” which was unsuccessful as they were stopped by barbed wire. Of course I always knew it must come but it doesn’t seem to make it any better. Went down to breakfast and found all the family very calm and brave of course. Georgie left at about 12 o’clock.
Second Battle of Isonzo ended with a total of 90,000 casualties but with minimal territorial gains for the Italians.
French battleships bombarded Sighadjik (Smyrna).
Russians sank a number of small vessels in raid on Anatolian coast.
Paterson left soon after breakfast. Very silent. Had nice letters from Aunt May and Vi. Mother heard from Mr Lawson, the subaltern next below Fred who is wounded and in hospital. It seems that all the officers in B Company were either killed or wounded and that he did not know very much about what had been happening but did hear that Fred had been killed instantly while cutting some wire. It seems that he and F had arranged that if one of them was killed, the other should write to his people.
Germans threatened Warsaw; civilians evacuated.
Anniversary of declaration of war marked by a “service of national intercession” at St. Paul’s, an occasion “without military pomp or splendour” attended by King George and Queen Mary.(Reported in the Daily Mirror of 5th Aug.)
Went up to London today to meet Digby there and we both came back by the 4.40 train arriving about 7 o’clock. Of course, the minute I saw Digby in a cape with a sword, I knew he was going out and he said that he had to leave London at 8.30 on Saturday. It really is a dreadful time to have to part with him. It appears that he had been coming for 48 hours’ leave when they heard about Fred but had just seen a notice to tell him that he and 15 others were to be sent out to the front at once. He takes it very calmly and is quite cheerful about it but I can’t see why he couldn’t have had his 5 days’ leave which he was entitled to really and was to have had in about 10 days’ time.
20th Birthday of Hugh Digby Marriott (Eve’s half-brother, known to the family as Digby).
Germans annexed Warsaw.
When it was fine, we played tennis. Digby was apparently in his usual cheerful spirits and chatted away as usual, which was a great comfort. He went away by the 6 o’clock and E and I and boys bicycled down to Lutterworth to see him off at the station. As Digby was so splendidly cheerful, it was not so bad as it might have been.
Allies landed two divisions at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli. They opted not to take the strategic heights overlooking the beaches and were eventually pinned to the coast by Turkish troops.
345 British establishments declared “Controlled” under Munitions of War Act.
Dr Turner came and inoculated me at 11.30. I did not do much, but stayed indoors all day. Vi and Jim came in the evening so I came down to dinner and really did not feel very stiff. Mary and Esther went down to the hospital in the morning and found all was going well. Vi says she & Tom saw Digby off at Victoria this morning, full of his usual bright chatter.
Hugh Digby Marriott embarked for Belgium with members of the 8th Battalion Rifle Brigade and was posted to Hooge.
Gallipoli: very heavy fighting and large losses in oppressive heat.
Rather rainy, stayed in bed until about 11 but did not feel at all bad this time. Came down to lunch and sat in the garden afterwards. Most family went to Church again after tea. I stayed and talked to Vi and Tom who went back by the evening train. Jim went back in the afternoon.
German Fleet attacked Riga and was repulsed.
Went to the hospital in the afternoon and was on duty with Dorothy. G came with a friend in the afternoon. Sumpter came too. Fred was in the Rugby Advertiser which has a daily ‘Casualties’ section. Did not say much.
Zeppelin raid on east coast; one airship destroyed at Dunkirk.
British recaptured trenches at Hooge.
French air-raid on Saarbrucken.
Had a very long and tiring day in Leicester. In by 10.30 and had a tooth stopped which hurt considerably and then shopped a bit and had lunch at Wynnes. Then went up to see the men in the ward with Mother. There were very few men there so it was hardly worth going. I found one good looking, very attractive surgeon who was in the Rifle Brigade 1st Battalion and a new man Reiser who was in Fred’s platoon. Did not stay there long, otherwise did a little more shopping and had tea and cake at 4.30. Walked up to the cricket ground when I got to Lutterworth where there was a match between our V A D Hospital and Ullesthorpe. Our men won easily; Guthrie, Downes and Rendell best performance.
Gains at Hooge consolidated.
British artillery and aircraft active on Belgian Coast.
Mother, Rowley and Michael went to Appleton.
German attacks in Argonne and Vosges repulsed.
British attack in Gallipoli died away.
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First ship sunk by torpedo from British seaplane (Dardanelles).
Zeppelin raid on east coast of Britain; 29 victims.
A tremendous thunderstorm after dinner but really a lovely sight.
Troop transporter ‘Royal Edward’ torpedoed in the Aegean en route for Gallipoli. An estimated 935 infantrymen and medical officers lost.
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19 French aeroplanes bombarded Valley of Spada on the Western Front.
On duty at the hospital. Everything fairly peaceful. I think there was certainly some discontent with the new regime. The little nurse is very nice indeed to me and I like her, but she is inclined to be unnecessarily fussy at times. She massaged Major Guthrie and Tennant. The latter is much better, but G does not seem to be getting on much. Mrs Ward had a bad headache so Dorothy and I dosed her and made her rest while we did cooking/ coal fire/floor for the men’s dinner. There was a thunderstorm in the evening and a couple came into the greenhouse who shouted and stayed ages.
Venice bombarded by seaplane
National Register taken: under the National Registration Act, all citizens (men and women) aged 15–65 had to be registered on this date.
Went into Leicester and saw a man who was in Fred’s regiment and in his machine gun section. He knew him well. He told us that they had just left the trenches on the 30th having been relieved by the 8th Rifle Brigade and marched miles back, and then had to come straight back again as they had been attacked by liquid fire. Apparently they had to march in open order, being heavily shelled all the time. When they got to a wood fairly near the trenches the Germans simply appeared … [illegible] … crawled there. Fred got through and got his platoon together and charged but was stopped by the barbed wire and almost all were killed.
A U-boat bombarded the coast near Whitehaven, proving that Britain’s maritime defences could be breached by German submarines.
Went into Leicester by the 7.40 train and up to the base hospital where I went to see a man in Fred’s Battalion who was not in his company and only knew him by sight but told me certain news about the 30th. He was a nice lad but not very attentive.
Zeppelin raid on east coast.
French gained footing on ridge in Vosges (Sondernach crest).
Austrians approached Brest-Litovsk.
Germans claimed two million prisoners to date: 330,000 British, French and Belgian and the rest Russian
On duty at the hospital in the morning. All seemed fairly peaceful.
French captured position on Ablain-Angres road (Vimy), and trench on Schratmannele crest (Vosges).
Mother and the little boys came home.
Germans retook trenches on Ablain-Angres road.
German battle cruiser “Moltke” torpedoed by British submarine “E.-1” in Gulf of Riga.
British submarine “E.-13” attacked by German warships while aground in neutral Danish waters.
British liner, S.S. “Arabic”, sunk by German submarine.
H.M.S. “Baralong” (special service ship) destroyed German submarine “U.-27”
Went down to the hospital in the afternoon and cleaned out the lockers assisted by Miss Coles. Kinder’s mother came in and I talked to her. She seemed a nice person. Only Peppin and Sergeant Marshall were in to tea. The latter talked quite a lot about the war.
Italy declared war on Turkey
Went down to the hospital and watched Miss A do a massage and afterwards she came back here and gave me a lesson and stayed to lunch. Jim came about 2.30 and changed into flannels and played cricket with the little boys. E and I and 3 soldiers (Sergeant Marshall, Parkinson and Slack) came to tea. Had tea in the garden. Jim calmly remembered that they were going on about the 28th and when we said where to, he said ‘Oh, to France I suppose.’ It really will be too foul when he has gone too.
The Battle of Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli – the final British offensive in the Dardanelles. The attack was repelled and 5,000 men lost.
Went down to the hospital & massaged Slack. Guthrie and Tennant came back after everybody had gone to Church. Jim went away directly after lunch.
Went down to Lutterworth and saw Dr Turner.
Week of fierce air-raids began. British bombed Lens, Henin Liétard and Loos and German camps in Belgium.
British warships bombarded Zeebrugge and Knocke.
At the hospital from 1.30 to 5
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Brest-Litovsk (Poland) taken by German forces (25th/26th).
At the hospital in the morning with Grace. Only Goffe, Peppin, Downie & Slack are left now. Had a letter from KRM. Saw that Major Besant was at Leicester and wished I could go and see him.
French bombed poison gas factory at Dornach.
Went into Leicester by the 2.40, which was very late as usual, and tramped to the boys’ hospital where I saw Major B sitting outside in his pyjamas and a dressing gown. Talked to him for a moment and then went on to L2, the ward mother visits, and talked to Mrs Faire who was there and a nice man who was in the 8th King’s Royal Rifle Corps and had been in the next trenches to Fred at Hooge. They were fired upon from Hill 60 so they would go into each other’s trenches when things got very hot. Went back to the Officers Headquarters and had tea with Major B. who was very nice as usual. He has been wounded in 9 places and has also suffered from shell shock and as he has got a bad heart he had to have an operation without anaesthetic which must have been foul, but he is a brave man as he knew his heart was bad and yet managed it. He told me a lot of most interesting things. He seems to have been a sort of Mayor of Ypres and lived there for some time, in a nice home I should have thought.
German trenches captured between Sondernach and Landesbach (Alsace).
South Wales Miners’ Federation declined Mr. Runciman’s award; Government refused to meet them in any further conference.
At the hospital from 8.30 to 1.00. Not a very decisive morning as Sister managed to annoy Slack rather more even than usual and he gave us a piece of his mind after she had gone. He is such a nice boy, it is a pity she can’t get on with him. Others are good tempered generally and take her more calmly. Grace was in great form and full of gossip about everybody in Lutterworth. The men were still rather grumpy at dinner but after Sister and Grace had gone they cheered up and were quite funny, all except Slack who still grumbled.
Reports from the South Wales coal fields stated that 25,000 miners had already joined a new strike.
A nasty cold day and rained hard all morning. I walked down in the rain and massaged Peppin and Slack and then managed to persuade the latter into going to church, which he did not want to do.
Violent artillery duel in Argonne.
Jim turned up by the middle of the day train at the same time as Mother and Toby Scott . Of course we recognised him very easily at Rugby Station.
Russian victory on Strypa (southern Galicia), taking 4,000 prisoners and 30 guns.
Letter from Mr Balfour gave total deaths from Zeppelin raids as 89 – all civilians.
Played about with Jim and photographed him in uniform. He went after lunch. Played tennis with the children after tea. Toby fairly good, Mother very bad. Heard from Shotesham that Grandfather was very ill and later had another wire to say that he had died.
Death of Robert Fellowes of Shotesham Park in Norfolk (Eve’s maternal grandfather) at the age of 97.
Dispute in South Wales Coalfield officially ended.
During August 1915, Edith Smith (of Grantham) was appointed Britain’s first woman police officer with full powers of arrest.