Eve Marriott’s WW1 Diary 1915 – June


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