Eve Marriott’s WW1 Diary 1915 – July


1st July

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.


2nd July

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]


3rd July

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.


4th July

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.


5th July

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.


6th July

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.


7th July

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.


8th July

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.


9th July

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]


10th July

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.


11th July

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


12th July

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.


13th July

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.


14th July

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.


15th July

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.


16th July

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.


17th July

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.


18th July

Went down to the hospital.

Second Battle of Isonzo began with success for the Italians, who took 2,000 prisoners


19th July

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.


20th July

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.


21st July

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.


22nd July

No entry by Eve

Bukoba, on Victoria Nyanza (German East Africa), captured by British forces (22nd/23rd).


23rd July

No entry by Eve

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)


24th July

Went down to the hospital for a few minutes. Michael came home with me.

German attack near Hooge repulsed.

Dunkirk bombarded.


25th July

Went down to the hospital and massaged 2 new men.

Nasiriya (Mesopotamia) taken by British forces


26th July

No entry by Eve.

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.


27th July

Georgie Peach came, also Rowley.

Prime Minister Asquith announced total military casualties to 18 July: 830,995 on land and 9,106 at sea.


28th July

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.


29th July

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

Nancy bombed.

Loss of French submarine “Mariotte” in Dardanelles.

Austrians attempt to recapture Pelagosa.

Lloyd George addressed conference of mining industry.


30th July

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.


31st July

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.