Eve Marriott’s WW1 Diary 1915 – April


1st April

Jim went off to his new job at Farnborough. And nasty day as usual.

British air raid on Zeebrugge and Hoboken


2nd April

(Good Friday) Went to Church twice. Rain all the afternoon.

Trawlers “Jason”, “Gloxinia” and “Nellie” sunk in North Sea by German submarine.


3rd April

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.


4th April

(Easter Day) Lovely day, quite sunny and warm.

French progress south of St. Mihiel (Meuse) and in the Woevre district. Germans took Driegrachten.


5th April

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.”


6th April

No entry by Eve

French advances east of Verdun and in Alsace.


7th April

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.


8th April

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.


9th April

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.


10th April

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,


11th April

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.


12th April

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.


13th April

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.


14th April

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.


15th April

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.


16th April

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.


17th April

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.


18th April

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.


19th April

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.


20th April

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.


21st April

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.


22nd April

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.


23rd April

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.


24th April

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).


25th April

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.


26th April

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 .


27th April

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.


28th April

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.


29th April

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.


30th April

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”.