Eve Marriott’s WW1 Diary 1915 – August

1915

1st August

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.


1915

2nd August

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.


1915

3rd August

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.


1915

4th August

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.)


1915

5th August

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.


1915

6th August

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.


1915

7th August

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.


1915

8th August

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.


1915

9th August

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.


1915

10th August

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.


1915

11th August

Mother, Rowley and Michael went to Appleton.

German attacks in Argonne and Vosges repulsed.

British attack in Gallipoli died away.


1915

12th August

No entry by Eve

First ship sunk by torpedo from British seaplane (Dardanelles).

Zeppelin raid on east coast of Britain; 29 victims.


1915

13th August

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.


1915

14th August

No entry by Eve

19 French aeroplanes bombarded Valley of Spada on the Western Front.


1915

15th August

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.


1915

16th August

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.


1915

17th August

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


1915

18th August

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).


1915

19th August

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”


1915

20th August

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


1915

21st August

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.


1915

22nd August

Went down to the hospital & massaged Slack. Guthrie and Tennant came back after everybody had gone to Church. Jim went away directly after lunch.


1915

23rd August

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.


1915

24th August

At the hospital from 1.30 to 5


1915

25th August

No entry by Eve

Brest-Litovsk (Poland) taken by German forces (25th/26th).


1915

26th August

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.


1915

27th August

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.


1915

28th August

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.


1915

29th August

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.


1915

30th August

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.


1915

31st August

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.