Eve Marriott’s WW1 Diary 1914 – December

1914

1st December

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.


1914

2nd December

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.


1914

3rd December

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.


1914

4th December

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.


1914

5th December

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.


1914

6th December

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.


1914

7th December

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.


1914

8th December

No entry by Eve


1914

9th December

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.


1914

10th December

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.


1914

11th December

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.


1914

12th December

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.


1914

13th December

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.


1914

14th December

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.


1914

15th December

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.


1914

16th December

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.


1914

17th December

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.


1914

18th December

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.


1914

19th December

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.


1914

20th December

A nasty cold day, very frosty. Went to church. M and I stayed in my room most of the afternoon.


1914

21st December

M and I went for a walk and succeeded in losing Rough, but he turned up again as usual. HPM came to stay.


1914

22nd December

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.


1914

23rd December

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.


1914

24th December

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”!


1914

25th December

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.


1914

26th December

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.


1914

27th December

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.


1914

28th December

A nasty wet day.


1914

29th December

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.


1914

30th December

Thawed and was very nasty and wet.


1914

31st December

Rained as usual.