This transcript reproduces Eileen Younghusband's writing as accurately as possible, including errors of spelling and punctuation. When personal and place names are misspelt, we have attempted to include the correct versions of the names in square brackets [ ] after the misspelling.
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Suggested citation for this volume: Diary 5, Sep 1918-Feb 1919; Eileen Younghusband archive, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick (MSS.463/EY/J5)
Images of the original diary are available through Warwick Digital Collections.
Wednesday September 18th 1918.
We have had a glorious rush in London today — Mummy Daddie, Shortie and I. We left here at 9 o'clock in a taxi and got a train from Brentwood at 9.19 which landed us at Liverpool Street at 9.50. Daddie went to luncheon with Uncle Claude and did various other things in the city. Mummy, Shortie, and I went by 'bus to Waller our house agent to see about the list of delapidations sent in by Hampton for the Mill Cottage. Then Shortie and I went to Miss Wolff's where I found a post-card from Emmeline to say she was coming at 2 o'clock instead of 12. So we went straight off to Evans to do the shopping I wanted to do I bought an overall, a ripping pair of gloves price I am sorry to say 9/6 and a pair of garden gloves in the garden glove place a well meaning female would insist upon demonstrating a patent knife cleaner and a patent household mop which tiresome proceeding made me 10 minutes late for luncheon. We went into Maison Lyons after sweets and found that fruit jellies were the only things they had so we had a ¼ lb; they were very good and even more sticky. I had luncheon with Wolfie and Shortie went on to the stores. Emmeline duly appeared at 2 o'clock and stayed till 3.15. She says I have got into a few muddles, that my time is much better, I havn't forgotten much and singing is heaps better. She also says that I shall have to play before the Director of Trinity College and that I had better play the first of Carolls [ Carroll's ] "Sea Idylls" which I have been learning while I have been away from her. When she had gone we tore off to Miss Hammond's and I had my hair washed then we had tea in a Stewarts just by her in Regents Street and then we went on a bus to Liverpool Street and had to wait in the train over 20 minutes till it went at 5.42. When we got to Brentwood we found Daddie who had come by a non-stop train which left at 5.39 and got there ¼ of an hour before our train! We had ordered the taxi to meet us so Shortie and I went up in it and Daddie waited for Mummy, who arrived at about 6.45 and then they came part of the way in a taxi.
I had a letter from Pompey this morning. He is coming up to London at the end of the week.
We have advanced again in the Balkans and taken a thousand or two prisoners.
There was a good deal of firing the other night and we thought it was a raid but it turned out to be practising.
We have advanced a bit and been pushed back a bit in France.
Thursday September 19th 1918.
I gardened most of the morning.
This afternoon Shortie and I went into the wild garden and found quite a dozen strawberries and some fine apples.
I have just had a long letter from Peggy, very cross because I havn't written to her for such ages but as it happens I wrote to her this afternoon. They come up to London on October 1st.
A friend of Mummy's whose name is Miss Hart Dyke is coming to stay here tomorrow till Monday.
We have taken another bit of the Hindenburg line and several thousand prisoners and advanced again in Bulgaria.
Friday September 20th 1918.
I played the piano and gardened and wrote letters and read and pottered about most of the morning.
Shortie and I went into Brentwood this afternoon; it is a most uninteresting town, the shops aren't even as good as Wimbledon which is saying very little for them but they are nice people in the shops. We went to the station to meet Miss Hart Dyke by the 4.49 train, Daddie was also there to meet her because we had never seen her before but she popped out of the station and into a taxi so quickly that we missed her and having waited for the next train we came up in a taxi and found she was here.
At the last moment it has been decided that I shan't join Trinity College this term but have my music lesson at Miss Wolff's because in the winter it may be difficult to get up from here and the lessons at Trinity College would have to be paid for whether I had them or not so I have written to Miss Medd-Hall asking her if she can give me my lesson any afternoon except Saturday and to Miss Wolff asking if I can have my lesson there.
It is Joffie's birthday today; he is four years old.
I had a letter from Mrs Idie this morning.
It is a year today since I started writing my diary during which time I have written over 800 pages, what a horrid waste of paper!
We have advanced again in France and taken 10,000 prisoners. We have also advanced in Bulgaria but have been forced to evacuate Barku [ Baku ] because the Russians and Armenians gave us so little help.
Saturday September 21st 1918.
Daddie and Miss Hart Dyke went for a walk this morning. I gardened and sewed.
Miss Hart Dyke sat in my room and looked at the books most of the afternoon. Mummy went to see Mrs Robinson the butler's wife who lives in the village.
Daddie has been showing Miss Hart Dyke photographs of India this evening. She is made on Egypt and got very excited over an Egyptian book called "Egypt and its Monuments" by Robert Hitchin and illustrated by a Frenchman which Daddie found when he was rumaging at Bath and said I might have; she says she has been trying to get it but it is out of print and she can't.
I have been printing photographs this afternoon.
Poor Cousin Jessie's boy Vere has been killed at the front.
We have surrounded the Turkish Army in Palestine and 18,000 of them have surrendered.
Sunday September 22nd 1918.
Mummy, Shortie, Miss Hart Dyke and I went to Church this morning.
I wrote letters most of the afternoon and got thoroughly sick of them by the time I had done. I wrote to Mary, Pompey, Emmeline, Wolfie and Peggy and have just written to the Secretary of Trinity College.
Monday September 23rd 1918.
The dinner gong rang while I was writing my diary last night and I didn't have the energy to finish it after dinner.
We went for a walk yesterday evening and finally arrived at a place called Brook Street on the main road to London.
I had a very nice letter from Emmeline yesterday morning saying she was afraid she couldn't give me lessons at Wolfie's because all her time was taken up and that is why she wanted me to go to Trinity College and that if I missed any lessons there she would make them up in the holidays. So I am going to Trinity College. I also had a post-card from Wolfie saying I might use her piano and that she would try and come down here on Thursday.
Miss Hart Dyke went away at 12 o'clock She is a very good sort.
I have been doing drawn thread work most of the day with a little gardening thrown in.
Miss Willmott says she won't be back till Thursday morning.
The Serbians advanced 8 miles in twenty four hours in Bulgaria and we have surrounded and captured practically the whole of the Turkish army in Palestine which numbers 25,000 men. Nothing very particular has happened in France. The other day we took the village of Moeuvres and were driven out by the Germans and took it again in a counter-attack two days later and when we got there we discovered an outpost of seven men of a Scotch regiment who had been surrounded when we were driven out still holding out; they had no casualties but had had nothing to eat and were afraid their ammunition would give out. Splendid wasn't it?
I have just had a letter from Peggy.
Tuesday September 24th 1918.
I had a post-card from Wolfie and a post-card from Peggy this morning.
My activities have consisted exclusively in doing drawn-thread work today.
We all go up to London tomorrow (including Joffie who, poor darling, is not at all well and has got to go to the vet) and as far as I know I start at Trinity College.
General Allenby has entirely surrounded two Turkish armies consisting of 35,000 men and has up to the present taken 25,000 prisoners and 260 guns while our losses are described as "absurdly light". In the Franco-Serbian offensive in Bulgaria the Bulgars are retreating in disorder on a 90 mile front. The news has been wonderfully good for a long time now.
Wednesday September 25th 1918.
It is two late to write the day's doings now and I am sitting at the writing table in my nightgown. We have had the most lovely and exciting day.
Thursday September 26th 1918.
To begin with yesterday our taxi man sent word to say his motor had gone wrong and he couldn't come and another taxi which we sent for never came. Daddie went off directly after breakfast to the station and we having pottered about waiting for the taxi for ages decided to walk, so off we set Joffie and all and when we got to the station the booking office clerk told us that there was a strike on and he didn't know when there would be a train or whether we should get back at night, however we decided to risk it. There was a fair crowd on the platform but we only had to wait about a ¼ of an hour for a train and although it was very full in some parts we got a carriage with only three soldiers in it by going to the back of the train. It was a very fast train and only stopped at Romford; a nice guard at Liverpool Street told us that it is not supposed to stop at Brentwood at all but it was stopped by signal.
Mummy went off on a 'bus and we went in the tube to Marble Arch and deposited Joffie at Batt the Vet then we strolled down Oxford Street glueing our noses to the shop windows. We went into Evans and I got six square motifs made of real live Cluny lace for the noble sum of 8¾d each and a yard and a half of linen at 4/6 a yard. Linen like I got last year at 3/11 a yard is now seven bob. We next walked down Bond Street and went into a gramophone shop to get some needles, they said they couldn't let us have needles unless we bought records, so I got "Loch Lomond" sung by Harry Lauder price four bob and they let me have two boxes of needles which were two bob each. Records and needles have gone up in price again.
After this we went to Wolfie's to ask if we might eat some sandwiches, which we had brought with us there. Poor Wolfie was in bed with a chill. I practised a bit on her piano and then we went to the stores and then we went to Trinity College where I was to have my lesson at four o'clock. I was in fear and trembling because I thought I had got to play in front of the Director but everyone was very nice and I didn't even see the Director to speak to. Just about the middle of my lesson who should appear at the door but Bobs! and the little beast came in and sat in the room for the rest of my lesson, it was one of the most nerve racking experiences I ever had but I couldn't help seeing the humour of the situation and grinning broadly now and then. She was pretty flabaggasted to see me there. Afterwards Shortie and I tore off to a Lyons in Oxford Street and had coffee and cake and then scrambled into a bus and went off to Liverpool Street where there was a great crowd of people watching the train indicaters; by great good luck we found both Mummy and Daddie. We got there about 6 o'clock and about 6.15 they put up that there would be a train stopping at all stations to Chelmsford at 6.32 so we hurried off to the platform where there were crowds and crowds of people; it was an enormously long platform and the people were standing 6 and 8 deep on the edge the whole way along. Shortie and I clung together and Daddie and Mummy kept together the train soon came in and by dint of scrambling Shortie and I managed to get into a carriage, she got the last seat and I managed to get standing room by the window which was much the best situation because the atmosphere further in must have been stifling, the passengers were mostly men and they nearly all smoked pipes and cigarettes which besides making almost impossible to breathe is very dangerous in such a crowd. The train soon went off, Daddie says a good many people were left behind but I was on the other side so I didn't see. We stopped at every station and there were 22 people in the carriage — 10 standing — at one time but about half way the train became practically empty. We met Mummy and Daddie at Brentwood Station, a gentleman had given Mummy a seat. Somebody else got the only taxi and there was no other to be had so we had to walk home where we arrived at 8.30. I throughly enjoyed all this excitment.
I went down to the butler's cottage and practised on his piano this morning and his wife gave me a lovely basket of roses.
We have taken 45,000 Turkish prisoners.
Friday September 27th 1918.
I had a letter from Mary this morning. She didn't know what on earth had become of me because I hadn't written to her for three monthes and she wrote to me at Wimbledon and the letter was returned by the dead letter office.
Miss Willmott got back from Wales about 7.30 yesterday morning. She got down from Wales all right because the L.N.S.W.R [ L.& S.W.R ] havn't struck but she had a terrible job getting from Liverpool Street to Brentwood. She is going away tonight to stay with her sister, Mrs Barclay who lives somewhere near Worcester.
I gardened and practised on the Robinson's piano this morning and this afternoon Shortie and I went to the Well Meads garden (which is the same thing as the vegetable garden) and found quite a fair amount of strawberries and raspberries which we ate.
Mummy and Daddie went to call on the Rector and his wife but they were out.
Wolfie didn't come yesterday because she wasn't feeling well and she might have had a bother with the strike.
It is the firemen and drivers who have struck — of course for more pay. Public opinion is very much against them.
We and the French and Serbians have got into Bulgaria and are nearing Uskub [ Skopje ]. The French and Americans have advanced seven miles on a twenty mile front and take several thousand prisoners. We have reached the Sea of Galilee and a few days ago we entered Nazareth.
There is to be a thanksgiving service in St Paul's Cathedral for the deliverance of the Holy Land.
Saturday September 28th 1918.
Daddie went into Brentwood this morning.
I sewed and practiced most of the morning and in the afternoon Shortie and I sat in the garden and sewed.
We are having perfectly lovely weather at present.
The railway strike isn't over yet but the government is going to make the strikers join the Army if they don't go back to work.
We have advanced towards Cambrai and taken 6,000 prisoners and the French and Americans have advanced and taken 18,000 prisoners. The Bulgars want to make peace. This week the Allies have taken 79,000 prisoners and over 500 guns.
Sunday September 29th 1918.
We went to Church this morning.
I wrote to Peggy and posted the letter in a box which we subsequently heard is never cleared!
It has poured nearly all day.
I looked at "Punch" nearly all the afternoon and this evening have been trying to make an index for my book of gramophone notes.
Monday September 30th 1918.
Mummy went to London early this morning because she had got to go to the monthly Y.M.C.A meeting. She won't be back until about 7.15.
It poured nearly all the morning.
I sewed most of the day but went and practised on the Robinson's piano in the afternoon and also went to the local post office which also sells writing paper, cake, soap, soda water and a few more things and bought a 15/6 War Savings Certificate and nine sixpenny War Savings stamps; they are most attractive bright blue things with the head of a lovely female who I conclude represents Victory on them. You stick them on a card and when you have collected 31 you change them for a War Savings Certificate.
Summer time came to an end for this year last night and the clocks had to be put back an hour which thought it had the advantage of giving one an hour longer in bed is a great nuisance because there is practically no gas in this house and when it gets dark (which it does at about 6 o'clock with the ordinary time) we have to go groping about with lamps and candles.
I had a letter from Emmeline this morning to say that she has arranged for my lesson to be at 12.15 and that she had told Miss Butler to go to Miss Wolff's at 2.30 to give me a singing lesson which was rather cool cheek of her because I didn't tell her definitely that I was going to have Miss Butler this term as I hadn't asked Mummy about it. As it happens I wrote to Miss Butler last night asking her to give me a lesson at 3.45.
The railway strike is practically over.
The War news is still very good. We have advanced again in France and taken several thousand prisoners. I was wrong about the prisoners and guns the Allies took last week, it was 99,000 prisoners and 565 guns. Daddie thinks we are going to try and push the Germans away from the sea in Belgium before the winter. I hope we shall! We have sent our terms of peace to Bulgaria they are —
- Evacuation of Serbia.
- Break with the Central powers.
- Demobilize or join the Entente.
Mummy just back from London with the news that Bulgaria has surrendered and accepted the Allies terms which means that Germany's road to the East is blocked.
Tuesday October 1st 1918.
Wolfie wrote to say she would come down for the day by the train which arrives at 11.30.
I went and practised at the Robinson's, and then we went to the station to meet Wolfie. She was most frightfully taken with the garden and house and thinks it is the most beautiful garden she has ever seen. In the afternoon she had to go and see a Mrs de Rougemont who is running Combe End Hospital near here and who I think is a former Wolfite. Mummy had to go and call on a Miss Ind so we walked with her there.
Mrs Robinson has sent me in some beautiful roses.
We all go up to London tomorrow.
I have been sewing hard whenever I could today.
We are all advancing in Flanders and we have taken 10,000 more Turkish prisoners in Palestine.
Thursday October 3rd 1918.
Daddie didn't go to London yesterday.
Mummy, Shortie and I started off to walk to the station at 8.30 and caught the 9.19 non-stop. When we got to Liverpool Street Mummy Shortie and I got on a 'bus and went to a big draper in Oxford Street called Bourne and Hollingsworth Mummy bought herself a grey woolie there and me a lovely coat for the winter, we only decided to buy one going up in the train; it is dark blue velour blanket cloth (or some equally hopeless name) and had got big pockets and a belt round the waist and buttons down the sides and does up high or low and has got a very large collar and cuffs of beaver and is altogether very nice but I am to say it cost 1½ guineas. It has had to be shortened a little bit and won't be here for a week. I am longing to see it. We left Mummy at Bourne and Hollingsworth and went to Trinity College. Emmeline says I am to play the three first pages of the Minuet slowly twenty times a day! I am learning Walter Carroll's "Sea Idylls" now.
We went to Wolfie's to luncheon. Poor Wolfie says she dreamt of this garden all night. After luncheon Shortie went to the stores and managed to get some jam. I stayed at Miss Wolff's all the afternoon and Miss Butler came at 3.45 and gave me a singing lesson, she says I am much better. We had tea at Wolfie's and then tore off to Selfridge where I bought some writing paper, then we went and fetched Joffie from the vet, he nearly went wild with joy at seeing us, we went by tube to Liverpool Street where we met Mummy and came back by the 6.26 non-stop. Daddie met us at Brentwood and after some time we got a taxi home.
We have taken St Quentin and are fighting in the suburbs of Cambrai which the Germans are defending desperately. They are apparently retiring on a big scale in the Lille region.
We have taken Damascus. We heard a rumour this evening that Turkey had given in and Daddie went off to Brentwood to get an evening paper but the rumour turned out not to be true.
Friday October 4th 1918.
Miss Willmott came home yesterday evening.
We went into the Wellmeade Garden yesterday afternoon and found a few straberries and apples.
I sewed practised and gardened this morning and sewed all the afternoon.
Daddie went up to London by the 9.19. He had got to go to a meeting of Guy's Hostipal of which he is a director or trustee or somthing and he was also going to see Cousin V who has taken a house in Onslow Square
I don't think I practise the Minuet 20 times a day but I know I am getting very tired of it! I should think I might know it by heart soon without any undue excess of brilliance on my part.
The Essex Field Club is coming down to see these gardens tomorrow.
Shortie has gone to the station to meet Daddie to help him carry up some parcels which he is bring from the cloak room at Liverpool Street where Mrs Idie, who has gone to stay with Alice at Hunstanton, left them for us.
The Germans have made Prince Max of Baden their Chancellor. Miss Willmott knows him and says he is very pro-English.
We have advanced again and taken Armentieres and Lens and the French have also advanced. Of the 56,000 inhabitants of St Quentin there is not a single person left there the Germans having deported them all to some other part of the country; they have also cleared out every article of any value.
Saturday October 5th 1918.
It rained nearly all day today.
I practised and sewed this morning
The Essex Field Club arrived about 3 o'clock, twenty four of them came Miss Willmott marched them round the garden and told them about the plants and they shied long Latin names at each other. They had tea at 5 and looked at gardening books after tea till they went a little after 6. They are very nice people!
We have advanced again in France.
Sunday October 6th 1918.
We went to Church this morning; it was the Harvest Festival and the Church was very prettily decorated.
Mummy went to Warley Hospital this afternoon to see an Irish Guardsman who used to work in this garden who is ill there.
Shortie and I went to the Children's Service this afternoon. Mrs Simpson was coming too but Joffie ran all down the road after us and refused to go back so she had to go back with him which was a great nuisance.
Daddie went to tea with Barrows at Brook Street.
I had two letters and a parcel from Peggy this morning. The parcel contained a dear little book of trout flies with several flies and a cast in it. I also had a long letter from Shuttie containing some very strong remarks on the subject of Denise. I have written to Peggy and asked her to ask Mrs Leigh if I can go to luncheon there on Wednesdays.
It has been a beautiful day.
I have just been writing to Denise.
There has been another Franco-American advance and they have entered Rheims: We have also advanced. The Germans have proposed new peace terms, they include the evacuation of Belgium and the independance of Alsace-Lorraine.
Monday October 7th 1918.
I practised and did drawn thread work this morning and afternoon.
A Miss Ind called after tea and seemed very nice.
I have been doing a rather elaborate drawn-thread work pattern out of a book, it has turned out very pretty — rather like lace.
The Germans, Austrians and Turks have sent a note to the Allies asking for an immediate armstice [ armistice ] and to arrange for peace terms on the basis of the fourteen points laid down by President Wilson (I havn't the faintest idea what they are). Meanwhile we are still advancing in France and taking Turks.
Tuesday October 8th 1918.
I practised and did drawn thread work this morning and sewed and gardened this afternoon.
Mrs Robinson gave me some lovely roses when I went to practise there this morning.
We wrote to a place at Grimsby for fish some time ago and none has ever arrived but a post-card came this evening to say two parcels had been sent off which is rather terrible.
Mummy had a telegram from "Uncle Duddy" (Lord Leigh) this afternoon asking them to luncheon with him at the Ritz on Friday but they can't go because Mummy is going to stay with Lady Antrobus from tomorrow till Saturday and Daddie doesn't think it worth going up to London specially for it. I wish I was going!
We all go to London tomorrow.
We have attacked again in France.
Thursday October 10th 1918.
We went up to London by the 9.19 as usual yesterday. Mummy went down to Lady Antrobus at Addington in the afternoon. Shortie and I went first to Trafalgar Square which has been wonderfully camouflaged as a ruined French village for a War Bond Campaign which is on now. There were trenches and dug-outs and ruined cottages and shattered trees and muddy, hilly ground and a wireless station and camouflaged guns and sign posts in the trenches one said "Threadneedle Street" and another "Hell fire Corner"! I bought one 15/6 War Savings Certificate with the aid of a dividend of 7/6 and which I got the other day and my last 10 bob note. It was pouring and there were very few people there. It has been on since Monday and in two days they have made £9,000,000 but they want £100,000,000. They stamp the certificate with a thing like this —
After this we walked to Lloyds Bank in St Jameses Street and changed a cheque; then we went to Bourne and Hollingsworth to buy Mummy an umbrella. Then Shortie left me at Trinity College where I had my lesson from Emmeline who says Miss Butler said my singing is greatly improved. After my lesson Shortie fetched me and took me to Peggy's. Peggy greeted me with much effusion and a deep bass voice as she was rejoicing in a bad cold. She has got Lady Lugand's daughter staying with her for the term and Rowland having grown about 10 inches and developed a man's voice was also there. The new French governess is the most killing contrast to Denise, she is old and rather prim and rather quiet and doesn't look the least French and talks very good English. Peggy had a truely lurid time with Denise before she left, the latter told Mrs Leigh everything and Peggy promptly denied them and as Denise had mixed up a good many stories with the truth she (Peggy) was believed. Bobs is floating a story round that Peggy often goes to tea with Pauline Chase the actress, which is quite extraordinarily feeble because Pauline Chase is in America.
Shortie fetched me a little after 3 o'clock and we went to Evans and got some grey silk for a blouse for Mummy and to Marshall where I got some pink batiste. Then we had tea at a Lyons and went to Wolfie's where I had my singing lesson and saw Wolfie for a moment before we tore off to a fur shop at Finsbury called Lucas to do somthing for Mummy after which we tore off equally hard to Liverpool Street and caught the 6.26. At Brentwood some people called Delamere very kindly brought us up in their taxi. Daddie had come home by the 6.8. It poured the whole time we were in London which was truely nice.
We have taken Cambrai and advanced on a long front and are only 2 miles from Le Cateau. President Wilson in his answer to the German peace note refuses to negotiate with them while they are still on Allied soil.
Friday October 11th 1918.
I had a letter from Mummy this morning, she is having a very nice time but terrible weather. I also had a letter from Wolfie, she has very kindly been to Kemmler to see if they can do anything about bringing the piano down here, they can't do anything and all they can suggest is that it should come by rail and then it would have to be packed which would cost £1.
Mrs Nichol ("Cousin Maud") is giving a dance for Peggy and Rowland next Wednesday and has very kindly asked Shortie and I to go and sleep there so that I can go to it, I wish to goodness I could dance but I havn't been to a dancing-class for over two years and have forgotten everything I ever knew, I can't even dance the Fox-trot which is the dance now.
Shortie and Mrs Simpson went into Brentwood this afternoon.
Mrs Idie comes up from Hunstanton tomorrow, meets — or more probably misses — Mummy at Liverpool Street and they both come down here arriving at 4.3.
I have practised and sewed nearly all day.
We have taken Le Cateau and advanced a good bit and taken several thousand prisoners. The Germans have torpedoed an Irish mail boat from which 480 lives have been lost and a Japanese liner from which 291 lives have been lost. Beasts!
Saturday October 12th 1918.
I practised and sewed this morning.
We went to the station to meet Mummy and Mrs Idie at the station and then went to the Convent to arrange about lessons for me, the Superioress was quite charming and I am to go there for a whole day and to have French, drawing, painting and needlework.
Mrs Idie seems to have had a very nice time with her niece and she has learnt how to make chocolate!
Over 500 lives were lost on that Irish mail boat — the Leinester [ Leinster ] and two transports of ours carrying American troops have collided and 430 lives have been lost and an American transport has been torpedoed and 121 lives lost. The Germans send their reply to Mr Wilson about peace terms today. We are advancing rapidly in France.
The Royal Geographical Society have written to Daddie to ask him to go and lecture to the troops in France and Italy. Apparently the military authorities are arranging for lectures for the men on every subject.
Sunday October 13th 1918.
We went to Church this morning.
Daddie walked over to South Weald which he says is a very pretty little village.
We took Mrs Idie over the garden this afternoon and I played hymn tunes for nearly an hour.
It has been a lovely day.
I am reading "The Prisoner of Zenda" by Anthony Hope, for I think the fourth time.
The Germans have accepted President Wilson's terms and agreed to evacuate Allied territory but I don't know what will happen. 225 lives were lost on that American transport and 600 on the Leinister [ Leinster ]. Meanwhile we are still advancing in France.
Monday October 14th 1918.
I had a letter from Wolfie this morning and Shortie and I both had letters from Denise.
Poor Aunt Aimée is very ill at Torquay.
I have as usual sewed and practised nearly all day.
We tryed on dresses for the dance this afternoon. I am going to wear a pale blue one trimmed with real lace and a turquoise and white sapphire dog collar which Mummy gave me at Christmas. I can make up my mind whether or not I really want to go to this dance, it will be my first real dance but I am terrified at not being able to dance.
The French have taken Leon and there has been another big Anglo-Belgian attack.
Tuesday October 15th 1918.
I practised and sewed this morning.
Aunt Aimée is much better.
We went to tea with Mr and Mrs Padre Sahib (their name is Williamson), they are very nice and she used to live at 14 Lansdown Crescent Bath which is where our house was.
I had a post-card from Wolfie this evening saying that the Grand Duchess George's girls will be there at tea tomorrow. Some Buckingham pillow lace which I had written for a long time ago came today and is very pretty
Captain Childers is coming down for the night tomorrow night.
I expect I shall have a good deal to put down next-time I write my diary!
We have advanced several miles on a 28 mile front and are only eight miles from Ostend.
Thursday October 17th 1918
We all went to London by the 9.19 yesterday morning. Shortie and I went straight to Mrs Nichols and deposited our things there then we went to Bourne and Hollingsworth and got me a pair of corsets, then to a shoe shop called Kelsey where we got a most angelic pair of white and gold brocade shoes, seize 2½ with long buckles. Then we went to Trinity College where I had my lesson from Emmeline. I left my coat in the student's waiting-room and somebody took the gloves out of my pocket which not unaturally made me perfectly furious as we had paid 9/6 for them only about a fortnight ago.
Shortie then took me to Upper Berkeley Street where we were greeted with the news that Mrs Nichol couldn't put us up for the night as some officers had come on leave, so Shortie had to dash round there and bring our things to Mrs Leigh's. Mrs Leigh offered to put Shortie up too but she finally went to Wolfie's; Mrs Leigh gave me her own room which was very good of her. Shortie fetched me about 3 o'clock and we went to Marshall and bought some putty coloured silk stockings price 12/6 (my shoes I am sorry to say were 50 bob), we also got some awfully pretty white moiré hair ribbon shot greeny-blue and pink. Then we went to Wolfie's and I had my singing lesson. Princess Nina and Xenia were there for tea and were most awfully nice, they can get no money from Russia now so they are terribly poor. When they had gone we went to a hairdresser in North Audley Street and I had my hair waved and done ready for the dance, then we went back to Upper Berkeley Street and Rowland tried hard to teach me the Fox Trot, the One Step and the Hesitation Waltz.
We had supper at 7.30 and dressed afterwards. Peggy had her first real evening dress, it was awfully pretty, pale blue ninon with Angel wings sleeves and a most glorious blue and silver ribbon round the middle and in a big bow behind. Lillah (Lady Lugand's neice) had on a red dress and of course her hair down, I was awfully glad she was there because there were no others with their hair down.
We got to 3 Seamore Place at a little after nine and the dancing began soon after we got there. It was a ripping floor to dance on and there was a very good band which consisted of a n***** who played the piano and another who played three drums and cymbals and bells and a few more things all at once and Rowland says when he got tired of these instruments he hit the other n***** over the head! the third member of the band was a most profoundly miserable looking Englishman who played the banjo. There were more than ½ a dozen Wolfites there and heaps of pretty girls and such pretty dresses. The men were mostly Coldstreams and American Naval Officers there were 90 people altogether. I should think I danced about 10 dances but it was rather terrible not knowing how to dance; I had about an equal number of suppers and ate plain cake, fruit cake, Russian salad, sandwiches, sort of cold fish mayonnaise and ices and drunk lemonade and champagne cup! Bobs was there in great form and seemed very popular. "Uncle Duddy" came in about 12.30 and fox trotted with Mrs Leigh. Peggy carried on all no hows with a nice American naval officer, he bet her a real Iron Cross to nothing that 10 more people wouldn't come in after a certain hour and 18 came in so she won it She danced with him half the evening and she told me this morning that he proposed to her! He came to England the night before last, is going to the front today and is soon going to Germany as a spy. He is 20, comes from Philadelphia and has £70,000 a year, I presume she refused him but it must have been rather an awful proformance. She has started pretty soon!
My nicest partner was an English naval officer who knew Ian.
We got home a little before 5 o'clock.
I wasn't called till 9 o'clock when Shortie appeared and Peggy came into my bed and we drunk coffee.
Shortie went off to do several things and called for me at 11.30. We tore off to Liverpool Street and caught the 12.10. Daddie and Captain Childers were at Brentwood station and I am sorry to say the latter had to go up to London by the next train.
Several of the people last night came on from theatres and they said that at all the theatres it was flashed on the screens that Germany had surrendered unconditionally and people got fearfully excited and sung "God Save the King" and shouted. Of course it was only a rumour.
Pompey had luncheon with Daddie at Coxes Hotel yesterday; Captain Childers was to have gone too but he had to go before some board.
Friday October 18th 1918.
As usual I sewed and practised today. I also did a little gardening.
Daddie went to the War Office on Wednesday about going out to France and Italy and they have invited him to go out for a month. I expect he will have a jolly good time.
With any luck we shall get the piano down soon. I don't know whether I mentioned that the little Broadwood in the music room is very much out of tune and some of the notes don't sound.
We have taken Lille and Ostend and shall probably very soon take Bruges and Ostend then the coast will be cleared.
Saturday October 19th 1918.
Daddie is going to France on November 4th. Endless passport papers for him to fill up came this morning.
Of course I practised and sewed this morning. This afternoon we picked up Spanish Chestnuts and got about 3 lbs.
I wore my new camisole, which has taken me about a month to make, at the dance. It is made of linen with the hems down the front hemstitched and my name worked on the bottom and the shoulder straps are alternate squares of drawn-thread work (25 little squares in each square with a dot in white embroidery in the middle of each — fearful things to make) and Cluny lace and edged and backed with pink batiste. There is a broad hem round the top with pink ribbon through it. It bears a decidedly vague resemblance to the like-nothing-on-earth drawing here.
A Mrs Murray Ind (sister-in law of Miss Ind) called this afternoon and we are going to tea with her tomorrow.
We have reached the Dutch frontier. The Serbians took Nish some time ago.
Aunt Aimée is better.
Sunday October 20th 1918.
We went to Church this morning and the de la Meres walked back with us, there is a nice daughter of nearly 18.
I have written to a Mrs Box (about the piano), Shuttie, Mary, Alice Blyth and Mrs Nichol today.
We duly went to tea with Mrs Murray Ind at Coombe Cottage. Her brother was there and his son who is in the Gordon Highlanders and a Colonel Fitzgerald.
I have been reading "Rupert of Hentzau" by Anthony Hope for about the 100th time.
Renée is appearing in somthing or other at Eastbourne on November 4th; that is the first I have heard of her for months.
We have cleared the whole Belgian coast of Germans. The entry into Lille must have been very wonderful, the inhabitants nearly went wild with joy.
Monday October 21st 1918.
Daddie went to London this morning and got back in time for late tea.
Of course I havn't done much else besides practise and sew.
Mummy may have to go to London tomorrow.
Daddie went to see about his passports and things and amongst other things he had to sign a declaration that his food cards wouldn't be used while he is away.
We have crossed the river Selle (though I'm afraid I havn't the faintest idea where that is) and taken 3,000 prisoners.
This entry really is too thrilling, I must stop.
Tuesday October 22nd 1918.
Mummy went to London today.
We picked up chestnuts this afternoon, there are simply thousands of them lying under the trees.
A whole battalion of soldiers with their tin hats on marched past in the morning with bagpipes playing which of course brought the whole households rushing out hilter skilter.
Tomorrow I am glad to say is London Day. I simply love this weekly trip to London.
The Germans have replied to President Wilsons reply to their reply to his reply to their peace note (got it??) but it is not at all satisfactory and probably nothing will come of it. We are advancing in Flanders and are only a mile from Tournai.
Thursday October 24th 1918.
Daddie, Shortie and I went up to London by the 9.19 yesterday morning. Shortie and I went straight to Miss Clarke, she is making me a brown freize coat and skirt which I think will be very nice. Next we went to Harvey Nichols and Shortie bought an umbrella and I some hair ribbon. Then we went to Trinity College and I had my lesson. I have started to learn the Intermezzo from "Cavallura [ Cavallaria ] Rusticana", it is rather difficult but very pretty. Emmeline has given me a perfectly terrible new peice, it is a Romance in D* by Jean Sibilus [ Sibelius ] and is all composed of large fat chords which make my hair stand on end to look at even. Emmeline says I am catching up some of her other pupils and she wants me to go in for an exam at Christmas, you have to learn several peices, play from sight, play endless scales and arpeggios and have an ear test.
Shortie took me to Upper Berkeley Street after my lesson. Lillah's father was there to luncheon, he comes over from Ireland once a fortnight and both he and his wife were shot in the rebellion. They went riding almost directly after luncheon, Mademoiselle and I walked to the beginning of the Row to watch them start.
Shortie fetched me about 3.15 and we went off to Wolfie's where I had my singing lesson and Wolfie gave us tea and was very anxious we should stay the night. She has got bad lumbago poor thing.
We went from Marble Arch to Liverpool Street on the top of a 'bus and came home by the 6.26.
I am glad to say Pompey is coming down on Monday.
Of course I practised this morning. This afternoon I went to the Ursuline Convent in Brentwood and had a painting lesson, there were only five other girls in the class which lasted for 1½ hours. I had to paint a mother-o'-pearl shell. I am to go there on Mondays for drawing, French and needlework.
We waited a long time at the station for the evening papers which don't come in till the 4.3 train.
We have advanced a good deal and nearly taken Valenciennes.
Friday October 25th 1918.
We all did the usual things this morning. In the afternoon Mummy and Daddie went to call on Colonel Vesey who is the C.O here. Shortie went into Brentwood.
President Wilson has replied to the last German peace note and demanded unconditional surrender. We have advanced a good deal on a twenty mile front and taken over 7,000 prisoners and over 100 guns. Women are going to be allowed to sit in Parliament.
Saturday October 26th 1918.
I practised, sewed and picked up Spanish chestnuts this morning and picked quite a large bunch of sweet violets this afternoon in the garden.
It has been the most glorious day and we have been out of doors nearly all the time.
A soldier appeared to see Miss Willmott (who was away) just after tea. He told us that in the German push in the spring when they took Armentieres 800 men who were all that were left of a division of 20,000 men were marched from some other part of the line and put in without any rest to defend part of this section and they were too tired to fight so a good many were killed because they were so worn out and hadn't the energy to resist the Germans.
The Austrian Empire is breaking up. We are still advancing in France and have taken several thousand prisoners.
Sunday October 27th 1918.
We went to Church this morning and to tea with the de la Meres this afternoon; they live in a nice big red house opposite the Church, they were very nice and kind and know Uncle Claude and the Liddles and Mr de la Mare is going to take Shortie and I into Brentwood in his taxi tomorrow. They have got a daughter driving ambulances in France and she has nearly been hit several times; one of the others a Miss Fraser was driving one night when her motor was smashed to atoms by a bomb; the orderlie beside her was killed and she was wounded but managed to crawl 200 yards to a hospital where she fainted and next day she was decorated with the Croix de Geurre [ Guerre ].
I have been sticking autographs in my autograph book today. I also wrote to the Miss McLarens.
We are still doing well in the War.
There is a fearful epedemic of Spanish Influenza almost all over the world and hundreds of people are dying every week.
Monday October 28th 1918.
I went to the Convent this morning and had drawing, French and lace making lessons. The nun who gave me French was awfully nice and full of fun and little sister Theresa who gave me my lace making lesson is a dear. I have begun to make point lace which is awfully interesting.
Pompey came down by a train arriving at 12.10 and Daddie went to meet him at the station and they came and picked up Shortie and I at the Convent.
Unfortunately Mummy has had to go up to London today for a Y.M.C.A meeting.
We took Pompey all over the house and gardens and he was very much interested in it all.
A gentleman named Mr Christie Millar or Millar Christie who lives near Chelmsford came over to see Miss Willmott this afternoon and Daddie, Pompey and he all went to the station together for the 6.18 train. Daddie is going to wait there for Mummy who arrives at 6.50.
I had a long letter from Mary this evening. She says the Spanish 'flue is very bad in Bath.
The Matron came from Worley Military Hospital this afternoon and wanted all the available rooms got ready for some wounded soldiers to come in here this evening.
We have taken Aleppo and the German submarines are reported to be returning home and Ludendorff the great German general has resigned and Germany has answered President Wilson's note and said she is ready for any arrangements to be made for an armstice.
Tuesday October 29th 1918.
Mummy had a telegram from Aunt Di this morning saying that Uncle Vernon was seriously ill with 'flue so she tore off to London to see him. He had been mildly ill since Wednesday and then on Sunday he had a sudden relapse and they didn't expect him to live yesterday but he is slightly better today. The dreadful thing is that he is deaf and now he is so ill they can't make him hear at all and they had great difficulty in getting a nurse as so many nurses have got 'flue.
Daddie also went to London and he took Cousin Nell to the Walter Raleigh Tercentenery celebration at the Mansion House. He also went to see about going to France, he is to go from London at 11 o'clock on Monday in the Staff train. They have asked him to go to the Fleet lecturing too. He brought me back a very nice book on water colour paintings by a man called Rich.
I went to practise at Mrs Robinson's this morning for the last time as much to my joy our piano arrived this afternoon. It arrived at Brentwood station this morning and the greengrocer brought it up on his motor lorry. The railway only charged 6/8 for bringing it down and the tame greengrocer only 5 bob. It is a comfort to have it.
Alas! I am not to be allowed to go up to London tomorrow for fear of the 'flue. It is a most terrible nuisance missing a music lesson and missing the fun of going to London.
Mrs Idie goes back to Bath tomorrow.
We and the Italians are advancing in Italy and have taken several thousand prisoners, but you can't believe what the Italians say. The Austrian Empire seems to be getting a trifle mixed up.
Wednesday October 30th 1918.
Mrs Idie went off to Bath early this morning.
A most enormous areoplane flew over this morning; it was about four times the seize of an ordinary areoplane two of which were with it and looked like two small flies beside a bluebottle, and it had three propellors.
It has been a glorious day but I am sorry to say I stayed indoors playing the piano nearly all the morning.
We went to thank Mrs Robinson for letting me practise on her piano.
Mummy has been very worried about Uncle Vernon all day but a telegram came this evening to say he has had a good night and day and his temperature is going down which is good.
I am reading my diary for a year ago and I must say that although it isn't at all thrilling it is nothing like so dull as this one. I suppose I have got lazy about writing, anyhow I had written just double in the corresponding time last year.
There have been about half a dozen revolutions in Austria and the Italians claim 20,000 prisoners.
Thursday October 31st 1918.
We are all feeling very sad this evening because dear Uncle Vernon died at 1 o'clock this morning. Mummy had a post-card from Aunt Violet saying he wasn't so well so she went up to London in the morning. It is far best for him but hard, hard for those who are left. They had only been back from Wales a fortnight and we wanted so much to get him down here to see this garden because he loves gardens and gardening. Mummy is wonderful.
Shortie took me to the Convent this afternoon and I did painting from 1.30 to 3 and lace making from 3 till 4. Afterwards we went to the station and waited for Mummy who arrived at 4.45.
Turkey has surrendered. All prisoners of war in Turkey are to be released at once which means that Pompey will get his brother back which will make him very happy. The British fleet or portions thereof is to sail up the Dardarnelles [ Dardanelles ] to Constantinople and the Turkish army in Mesapotamia [ Mesopotamia ] is to surrender to General Allenby.
The Austrian Empire has broken up and they have nearly surrendered; they are withdrawing from Italy and we and the Italians claim 40,000 prisoners there. Over 4,000 people have died in England from influenza this week but they say it is declining; I hope so anyway.
Friday November 1st 1918.
Mummy and Daddie both went up to London by the 9.19 and they have'nt come back yet (5.30).
I have sewed and played the piano practically all day.
The days are growing very short now; it is almost dark by 5 and as the illumination in this house consists of lamps and candles and very bad gas in a few of the rooms one can't do much in the evenings.
I can't realize that Uncle Vernon is really dead, it seems so impossible somehow. I say over and over again to myself "Uncle Vernon is dead" and myself answers "Uncle Vernon dead? no he can't be they must have made a mistake". Poor Aunt Violet!
We have advanced again in Flanders and taken over 1,000 prisoners and brought down 99 German areoplanes in one day. The armstice with Turkey is signed.
Our new ration books arrived today and we start them on Monday, they are better than the old ones because the coupons are perforated instead of having to be cut out. Jam and tea have been rationed.
Saturday November 2nd 1918.
At last I have finished a peice of work which I have been doing for nearly three weeks; it is an oblong piece of drawn thread work 15 inches long and 9 inches wide and is done in squares of ¼ of an inch in this kind of pattern; single crossing stitch. solid linen "spider's web".
I had a large parcel from Mrs Idie today containing home made chocolate and ginger biscuits for Daddie to take to France, two pairs of pale pink and one of white silk stockings, one white pair and one pink pair of satin dancing slippers and a pair of white kid gloves, these things belong to Mummy; also a lovely peice of white embroidery one fine muslin which Mummy bought in Belgium.
A telegram came from Aunt Geraldine this evening to say Aunt Aimée is very ill.
Shortie went into Brentwood this morning to see about flowers for the funeral but there were none to be had.
Uncle Vernon is to be buried at Sharnbrook in Bedfordshire which is the village of my grandfather's place Colworth Park which would have belonged to Uncle Vernon being the eldest son, if they hadn't lost all their money. The funeral is to be at 2.30 on Monday and there is to be a memorial service at St Jameses' Picadilly [ Piccadilly ] at the same time to which Shortie and I are going, Mummy of course is going to the funeral. I am going into mourning. Daddie's train goes at 12.25 from Charing Cross on Monday so we shall all go up together by the 9.19, it's a pity I shall have to miss going to the Convent but it can't be helped.
British troops have landed at Gallipoli and minesweepers are busy clearing the Dardarnelles [ Dardenelles ] of mines for the fleet to sail up it. The Emperor Karl of Austria has offed it with the Crown Jewels and 18 railway wagon loads of food and furniture and Count Tisza the Austrian ex-Prime Minister has been assassinated and King Boris of Bulgaria has abdicated after reigning one month and we have advanced in France and taken Valenciennes and 4,000 prisoners. There has been fighting in the suburbs of Valenciennes for a long time. Germany is still asking to have her colonies back! The flue is declining in London.
Sunday November 3rd 1918.
We all went to Church this morning.
I picked violets most of the afternoon and made a little wreath of violets, maidenhair fern and red vine leaves for Uncle Vernon tomorrow.
A very nice letter (or rather two letters) came for me from the Miss McLarens for me this morning. They are in London so I hope we shall be able to see them some time.
I have written to Mrs Idie to thank her for all the things she sent.
There is no more very special war news.
Tuesday November 5th 1918.
We all went up to London by the 9.19 yesterday morning. Shortie and Mummy went off to try and get some flowers and then went down to Sharnbrook to the funeral. Daddie and I went in a taxi from Liverpool Street to Charing Cross where we put Daddie luggage in the cloak room and then went and telephoned to the Leighs to see if Mrs Leigh could take me to the Memorial Service it turned out she was going to the funeral with Mrs Leigh but she said Mademoiselle would take me. So then we rang up Cousin Nelly Farmer and she was out but we arranged that I should meet her at the Church. Then we went to Cousin V at Onslow Square to see if she could be at Charing Cross when Daddie's train went so that I should see him off and then take me to Upper Berkeley Street but she had just gone out so then we went to Pompey's flat and he was at home and said he would meet us at Charing Cross. Then we tore wildly to Daddie's club (the Travellers) and to see Major Fox (who has been arranging Daddie's tour) at White Hall Court which has been turned into Government Offices.
Just as we got there some weird looking people in Russian uniform and covered with medals and with long black beards and look awful ruffians emerged. Then we went to Charing Cross and found Daddie's seat which had been reserved for him in a Pullman Car on the Folkstone [ Folkestone ] boat train, they are ripping those Pullman Cars, they have got tables and big arm chairs and electric reading lamps and you can get luncheon on board. Pompey met us there. About five minutes before the train was due to start a tiresome old man came and asked for Daddie's ticket; we had been to the ticket office when we came first with the luggage and the man in the office said if his seat was reserved he could pay on board; but this tiresome old Johnny said he couldn't and he couldn't go by the train unless he had a ticket and tore him off right down the platform and he only got back just in time to get into the train and it was actually moving as a man gave him his ticket. Pompey was furious. The train went at 12.35 and afterwards Pompey and I walked to Upper Berkeley Street. Peggy has been having a fearfully gay time; she and Rowland went off to a dancing class soon after luncheon. Mademoiselle and I started for the Church at two o'clock by the school room clock congratulating ourselves on having heaps of time; we went into Edgeware Road to get a 'bus and I happened to look and suddenly to my horror caught sight of a clock which said 2.25 and the service was to begin at 2.30! it turned out that Rowland had been playing about with the clocks as the school room clock was very nearly ½ an hour slow. By great good luck we managed to get a taxi; Mademoiselle left me at the Church. They had only just begun when I got in but of course I didn't know where to go however luckily I caught sight of Pompey and went and sat beside him. It was a beautiful service and the singing was lovely. Cousin Tottie, Aunt Mable, Cousin V, Cousin Maud, Cousin Nelly, Cousin Gertie, Sir David and Lady Prain, Mr Ward Cooke, Mr George Russell and Sir James Dunlop-Smith were there. Cousin Nell and Cousin Gertie very kindly took me in their taxi to Upper Berkeley Street. There was nobody in when I got there but Peggy, Rowland and Lillah (who had been away for the week-end) soon appeared and Peggy and I went to Oxford Street to buy cakes. After tea we all bear fought and pillow fought wildly. Mummy, Shortie, Mr and Mrs Leigh got back about 6.15 and we stayed there till 7.30 when we went to Marble Arch and went by tube to Liverpool Street where we caught the 8.2 which arrived at Brentwood at 8.30. We had asked the Station Master in the morning to try and get us a taxi, he said he would if he possibly could but when we got to the station there was no taxi and no Station Master so we had to walk home which as it was raining hard and blowing harder and as dark as pitch it took us an hour to do. Mercifully we had an electric torch or I don't know how we should have found our way home.
It rained ever since 1 o'clock yesterday and was pouring in torrents at the funeral. Shortie says Uncle Vernon had lovely flowers.
A telegram came from Daddie last night from Folkestone saying he had arrived there safely and an officer was making all arrangements and another telegram came from Boulogne (which the post office people spelt Bouloyne sumer) this morning saying he had arrived there safely so that is good. A letter also came from him this evening written in the train to Folkestone.
Poor Aunt Aimée is dead. She is to be buried at Hove and there is to be a Memorial Service for her in London on Thursday.
We are going up to London tomorrow and I have written to ask Wolfie if she could put Mummy and I up tomorrow night to save having to come back here tomorrow and go up again on Thursday. Shortie will probably go and sleep at her home at Streatham.
Mummy has had a great many letters of condolence. Aunt Venetia said she would have gone to the funeral and come back here with Mummy afterwards but Mummy's letter didn't reach her till Monday morning. Mummy is going to try and get her to come and stay here which will be a very good thing I think.
I shan't be able to go to the Convent again on Thursday which is a pity.
Mrs Idie has offered to come back to be with Mummy.
I do hope Daddie is having a good time and enjoying himself. I expect he is; he seemed very happy to be off on the gad once more.
Austria is out of the war by an armstice signed a few days ago the terms of which havn't been published yet. The Italians claim 300,000 prisoners and 5,000 guns in their offensive against the Austrians. We have made a big advance and taken 10,000 prisoners.
Wednesday November 6th 1918.
Mummy discovered this morning that the Memorial Service for Aunt Aimée isn't till Friday so we didn't stay the night in London but we are all going up by the 10.42 tomorrow and going to stay the night with Wolfie.
Shortie and I went up by the 9.19 and went straight to Bourne and Hollingsworth where I bought a black coat and skirt price 6½ guineas; coats and skirts are a fearful price now. They had no decent black and white blouses so we went to Peter Robinson and got quite a nice striped flannel shirt for I think 16/11; then we went to Evans and I with great brilliance found a pair of very nice black suéde gauntlet gloves for 6/11. Then we went to Murdoch and bought Paderewski's "Minuet in G" for Mary Robinson. Then we went to Trinity College on the way there we met Uncle Holly and Aunt Bobs and Shortie when she was coming away from Trinity College met someone in Wigmore Street who she is sure was Renée which of course annoys me horribly. Shortie went to tell Wolfie we shouldn't be coming for the night and to the bank after she left me and when she had taken me to Upper Berkeley Street she went to the Stores. Aunt Violet had just been to see Mrs Leigh about letting her house. Shortie fetched me at 3. And we went to Wolfies. By some mysterious process I managed to be ¼ of an hour late for my singing lesson which was at 3.15. A Lady Victoria Forrester, who was very nice, called to see Wolfie while we were there. Wolfie is going to put us all three up tomorrow night.
We went on top of a 'bus to Liverpool Street and came home by the 6.26.
Mummy has had a letter from Daddie from France and he seems to be having a very good time. He was at Boulogne when he wrote and was giving two lectures yesterday. He says Boulogne is full of officers and ambulances.
We have made a big advance on a 70 mile front and a big German retreat has begun. We are 3 miles from Mauberge [ Maubeuge ]. All British prisoners who have been more than 18 months in Germany are to be exchanged. The Versailles Council has told Germany that they must make armstice terms with Marshal Foch.
Saturday November 9th 1918.
We have been doing a great deal since I last wrote my diary and unfortunately I forgot to take it to London so I have had to miss writing it for two days. We all three went up by the 12.42 on Thursday. When we got up Mummy went off to see Uncle Claude and do several other things and we went straight to Wolfie's and left our things there; then we went to Wills and Segar a big florist in South Kensington and got some lovely pink roses to send to Brighton for Aunt Aimée. Then we went to a servent agency which wasn't the least use and then to Miss Clarke where I tried on my brown freize coat and skirt which of course I shan't be able to wear for some time yet. From Miss Clarke's we went in a 'bus to Brompton Road and went and had coffee and rolls in a little French shop; then we walked along Brompton Road as far as the Hyde Park Hotel looking at the shops. While we were waiting for a 'bus who should appear but one of the Miss McLarens! She was most awfully nice and we all went on the same 'bus as far as Orchard Street We are going to try and meet for tea one day. We went in another 'bus to Bourne and Hollingsworth and fetched my black coat and skirt and then went to Evans to change my black gloves which the girl had given us in the wrong seize. Then we went to another registary office in Duke Street and from there back to South Audley Street.
Wolfie very kindly said we might stay Friday night too as Mummy thought she would be going down to Brighton to Aunt Aimée's funeral, finally she didn't go but we stayed in London all the same because there was so much to be done.
Mummy had a letter from Daddie this morning and we found another waiting when we got back this evening. He seems very well and happy and says he lectured in Boulogne on the very spot where the first of our troops landed in 1914 and where Napoleon gathered together troops for an invasion of England. He had just had a talk with General Sir John Cowans when he wrote the second letter. He says that they get the War news far later in Boulogne than we do in England, there are no papers except a very poor local one before midday.
It poured nearly all the early part of yesterday morning and we didn't go out till 11.30 when we went to Marshal, Debenham and Evans trying without success to match some Roman satin of a very deep cream with Georgette or crepe de chene. Miss Wolff gave us luncheon and afterwards Mummy, Shortie and I went to the Memorial Service for Aunt Aimée which was at St Peter's Eaton Square at 2.30. It was a beautiful service. Aunt Violet, Uncle Claude, Aunt Di, Uncle Holly, Uncle Oswald, Aunt Bobs, Uncle Douglas, (who I hadn't seen for ages) Aunt Aimée, Cousin V, Oonah, Cousin Maud, Cousin Roderick, Great Uncle George, Cousin Nelly, Cousin Gertie and Mr Ward Cooke were there. We walked as far as Victoria Street with Uncle Claude afterwards and then went to Culford Gardens to call on Aunt Mabel who wasn't at home so then we called on Mrs Grant Great Uncle George's sister (she is 93!). She also wasn't at home so we went into a shop in Kings Road Chelsea and had quite a good tea for 4½d a head!
Sunday November 10th 1918.
Then we went to call on Miss Buxton who had just left London so then we went to call on Cousin Ruth Whitbread in Eaton Place; she wasn't at home but Mrs Whitbread was so we went in.
Colonel Fitzgerald Cousin Ruth's brother-in-law was there and he told us that he thought the armstice would be signed that night (which it wasn't) and that Foch wanted an armstice soon because so many men are deserting from the French army. Mrs Whitbread gave us tea and Cousin Ruth soon came in and was very nice. We got back to Wolfie's about 6 o'clock and she gave us high tea so we got three teas that day!
Shortie meantime had been to call on a friend and had tried several shops to match my satin.
Yesterday morning Shortie and I started off soon after 9.30 and went first to the Labour Exchange to try and get a boy to come and work in the house here, they hadn't got any boys but they are writing to Grays where the local branch is to see if they have got any. Then we went to Liberty to try and get some sky blue chiffon velvet which they hadn't got, so then we went to Dickens and Jones where they had almost the right thing but 22 bob a yard! Then we went off to Knightsbridge and tryed Harveys, they had quite the right thing at 18/9 a yard so we collected patterns and went on to Harrods and got some crepe de chene which Shortie had found to match that satin. Then we went to the stores and to Selfridge and then back to Wolfie's where we packed up and then went and had luncheon at the Blenheim Restraunt. Then we went to South Audley Street and fetched our box and things and said "good-bye" to Wolfie and went and got onto a 'bus at Marble Arch. We were trying to catch the 4.18 train but yesterday was Lord Mayor's Show Day and there were such huge crowds in the City that the 'bus had to go a long way round and we got landed some distance from Liverpool Street and had to come back by the 5.2 train which is much slower. We managed after some time to get a taxi at Brentwood Station.
There were 14 areoplanes flying over London all together yesterday morning and also a huge airship and five of the big new areoplanes together and one separately flying very low; it was an enormous thing with two propellors, one on each side of the engine.
We went to Church this morning.
I have written to Daddie this afternoon. Mummy writes to him every day and he to her.
There is a great deal of War news. A mutiny started in the German Navy at Keil [ Kiel ] a few days ago and has spread all over Germany and this morning came the news that the Kaiser has abdicated and they want to make Prince Max of Baden Regent. German delegates have been to see Marshal Foch about the armstice and have sent the terms to the German General Head-Quarters at Spa in Belgium but there is no definite news of its having been signed yet. Apparently the German Navy mutinied because the officers wanted to go out and fight but the men knowing it meant certain death preferred to mutiny.
A rather wonderful air fight took place the other day; one of our airman was flying over the German lines and he was attacked by 60 German areoplanes in succession and succeeded in bringing down 10 of them though he was wounded several times and could only use one hand. He succeeded in flying back to our lines and alighting and is now lying in hospital dangerously wounded.
Aunt Venetia may be coming to stay here on Wednesday. I hope she will!
Monday November 11th 1918.
The armstice with Germany is signed!
We had a taxi to the Convent this morning; the drawing mistress never turned up but I had French literature and lace-making, the little lace making nun (Mother Theresa) told me that the doctor had told her that the armstice had been signed at 5 o'clock this morning, soon after she told me we heard the children cheering and bells began to ring and syrens to blow so she and I rushed into the street where we found Shortie. The boys at a school close by were cheering and shouting and screaming as if they had gone mad. Mother Theresa became very excited and wished to dance and wave flags, she is a dear little thing. We were all far too excited to think of finishing the lesson so we got our things and went up into the town where everybody was hanging out flags and children were running about wildly waving flags and everybody was crowding into the shops to buy flags and everyone with a cart or motor or bicycle was covering them with flags. We bought three small Union Jacks in one shop and then found another shop where we got a big Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes and the French flag. Then we collected a net of fish which was waiting at the station; a train went out as we got there with a great many soldiers in it, all waving Union Jacks and cheering. We walked home, I with two Union Jacks, the French flag and the Stars and Stripes stuck in the belt of my coat. We didn't get home till 1.45 and they didn't know the news in this house till we got here. I hung all the flags out the windows after luncheon. There have been thanksgiving services at the Churches this evening. What wild excitement there must have been in London, I wish we had been there! It is wonderful to think the fighting which has been going on for over four years has ceased and if those beastly Germans keep their word and do what they are told there will be no more fighting, no more ships sunk, no more air-raids, no more casualty lists, no more War news, no more prisoners taken and last but not least no more German actrocities. Peace may not be signed for a long time yet and if the regular government goes it may be very difficult to deal with the revolutionaries in Germany but we have taken a big step towards peace and the terms of the armstice are sure to be very drastic.
We have reached Mons so with luck the War ends where for us it began.
I had a long letter from Daddie this morning. He is very busy and seems to be having a splendid time. He has been to or is soon going to, Lille which will be fearfully exciting. Of course he didn't say in his letter that he was going to Lille because of the Censor, but he called it "the town where they make stockings, near the town where they make lace".
Tuesday November 12th 1918.
We are in London for the night.
Wednesday November 13th 1918.
Mummy was going up to London yesterday and going to stay the night with Uncle Claude and Aunt Di at Ashstead so she said we had better go up too to see what we could of the rejoicings and ask Wolfie if she could put us up for the night; so we had luncheon early and all went up by the 12.40.
First we went to Uncle Claude's office in Old Broad Street and waited ½ an hour for him but as he didn't come we went away and got on top of a 'bus and went past St Paul's, along the Strand and down Whitehall to Mummy's bureau.
Thursday November 14th 1918.
London is a city of flags, every house is covered with flags nearly every vehicle has got a flag on it and almost all the people are wearing little flags and children are going about waving huge Union Jacks. The King and Queen had been to a thanksgiving service at St Paul's not long before we passed and there were boards with "Church full" on them in front of the Cathedral. There were crowds of people all through the City and a huge crowd at Trafalgar Square and all down the Mall; they had torn a huge appeal for War Bonds on Nelson's Column to shreads and were sitting on the lions and everywhere else they could get. In the Strand a big R.A.F motor lorry with about 50 soldiers, sailors W.R.N.AS [ W.R.N.S.], W.A.A.C, W.R.A.F etc: in it and a most miserable looking bull dog in the middle; a large placard on the side of the lorry said "down with the Red Caps!". We also passed a procession of women dressed in flags and every other weird garment they could get hold of. Almost the funniest thing was two wounded soldiers bearing aloft a brilliant pink sunshade with a large slit down one side of it.
We stayed at the bureau for about ½ an hour then Shortie and I went to Miss Wolff's and Mummy went to her club. Miss Wolff was very pleased to see us, said it was perfectly all right about staying the night and gave us tea after which we went to meet Mummy at her club, then she went off to a Y.M.C.A. meeting and we walked down Bond Street and along Oxford Street and finally having wandered about till 6 o'clock and being by then somewhat tired and having seen nothing except thousands of flags, we went back to South Audley Street. Wolfie said next morning that she heard wild cheering at midnight alas! I was asleep and didn't hear it. It turned out that it came from Trafalgar Square where a huge crowd collected and let off fireworks and made bonfires of any and everything they could collect even tearing up the wood blocks of the road and fetching a German gun from the Mall where there are several on view, and burning a road menders hut.
We went out about 10 o'clock next morning and got onto a 'bus and went down Holbourn [ Holborn ] to Kingsway and then walked down Kingsway to the Strand and got a 'bus from there to Hyde Park Corner. As we passed Trafalgar Square we saw where the crowd had broken huge bits off the solid granite steps of Nelson's Column.
At Hyde Park Corner we got onto another 'bus and went up Bond Street to Oxford Circus and left some patterns at Liberty and then went to Trinity College. Poor Miss Medd-Hall doesn't seem to have enjoyed the peace rejoicings at all! I went to luncheon with Peggy who as usual has been fearfully gay. They were on the first 'bus that came down Park Lane after the news arrived and everyone was at the windows cheering wildly and hanging out flags. They went out in the afternoon and couldn't get anything to come back in but finally succeeded in hiring a fish cart in which they came back! Shortie fetched me about 3 o'clock and we went to Miss Wolff's for my singing lesson; on the way we met Cousin Nell who was profoundly doleful and said she was quite sure the Germans had no intention of keeping the terms of the armstice. Mummy came to tea at Miss Wolff's.
We went to Liverpool Street on No 6 'bus which goes down Regents Street and along the Strand. All the paint on the lamps which had been put on to make the light dim because of air raids had been cleaned off down Regents Street and most of the way through the city so for the first-time for many, many months London seemed brilliantly lighted. Large crowds were beginning to collect in Trafalgar Square and at the mouth of the Strand. People were dancing in the Square and a good many people were rending the air with penny whistles and kindred horrors. We met a procession of soldiers from some hospital and a traction engine with a large wagon behind containing at least 50 soldiers, sailors and women war workers all waving flags and shouting. We also met a taxi which must have contained nearly 20 Naval officers sitting on the roof, the back and everywhere else where it was possible to sit. In the Strand a taxiful of officers passed us and with two officers standing on the roof!
More tomorrow must go to bed now!
Friday November 15th 1918.
Mummy had written to Aunt Venetia to ask her to meet us at Liverpool Street and come down by the 5.42 train. She wasn't there but to our joyful surprise we found her here when we arrived. She had come by an earlier train.
I went to the Convent yesterday.
Daddie was at General Head Quarters when the news of the signing of the armstice came, which must have been fearfully exciting.
There is so much War news to put down that I don't know where to begin. The chief terms of the armstice are — all invaded countries to be evacuated; all prisoners of war to be returned from Germany; Heligoland may be occupied; the treaty of Brest-Litovsk annulled; six battle cruisers, 10 battle ships, 8 light cruisers 50 modern destroyers and nearly all the submarines to be surrendered; all hidden mines and time fuses to be revealed by the German government. Allied battleships have reached Constantinople. There was a report on Wednesday that the Crown Prince had been shot but it turns out he hasn't, which seems a great pity. Revolutions have broken out in Holland, Spain and Sweden and one broke out in Switzerland but has apparently died down. It has now come out that one of our best battle cruisers — the "Audacious" was sunk by a mine in October 1914.
Marshal Foch says that if the armistice hadn't been signed for another 3 days he would have been able to absolutely cut the German Armies in two. Presumably we let them sign it when they did to prevent any more blood-shed.
People seem to have gone on in a most wild way to celebrate the signing of the armistice. In London one gentleman stood at a window and threw £1 notes onto the crowd; people all made for the 'buses without having any idea where they wanted to go and some 'buses had 70 people on them (they are made to carry 34!) and taxis which hold 4 or 5 people had 25 in them; some munition girls made a ring round a policeman and danced round him! The nightly crowd in Trafalgar Square has burnt several of the German guns out of the Mall and has been requested to desist which it is to be hoped they will do.
There were over 7,000 deaths in the United Kingdom from influenza last week.
Aunt Venetia has gone up to London today to see her brother who is home on leave. She had a letter from Patsy this morning in which she says Nina has gone in for a theory of music exam which lasted 5 hours!
Saturday November 16th 1918.
We showed Aunt Venetia the gardens this morning, otherwise we have done nothing much all day.
Mummy appears to be developing a cold and I developed one yesterday much to the consternation of Shortie.
We were going up to St Paul's Cathedrel for a thanksgiving service tomorrow but have decided not to.
Mr Asquith who was a great friend of ours and Daddie's master at Clifton, died about a week ago.
German delegates have met an English Admiral on the North Sea to arrange about the surrender of the German fleet. There have been riots in Brussels.
Sunday November 17th 1918.
I had a letter from Daddie this morning in which he says he has been for a drive in an express tank — which goes 8 miles an hour! — and he is going Lille which will be fearfully interesting. He says all the Tommies mistake him for a Frenchman because he is in plain clothes and at one place they mistook him for Clemenceau and presented arms when he came along!
Aunt Venetia and I went to Church at Christ Church this morning. They had a special thanksgiving service.
I have written to Daddie and Mary today.
Mother Theresa has written to say there have been two cases of illness at the Convent and she thinks it would be better if I didn't come tomorrow.
Mummy is not at all well. I think she has got a chill and she won't stay in bed.
There was a procession of discharged soldiers in London yesterday. Miss Willmott saw it and said it stretched from Shaftesbury Avenue to Hyde Park Corner
There were great revels in London again last night.
Tuesday November 19th 1918.
I quite forgot to write my diary last night which wasn't much of a calamity as there was nothing to put in it.
Aunt Venetia and I went for a little walk this morning taking the dogs.
I had two letters from Daddie yesterday He says he heard that the German delegates cried when they signed the armistice.
Aunt Venetia is going to stay till Friday and then Mummy is going to Bath and Shortie and I are going to stay with Miss Wolff till Daddie comes home if she will have us. Mummy is so terribly restless and ill and has taken such a dislike to this place that I think she will be much better at Bath and she says she won't leave us here alone so we are going to London which will be nice as we shall see something of what is going on.
The Allies are marching towards the Rhine and the French have nearly reached it. Half the German Navy is to be surrendered by Thursday. The Germans are objecting to the terms of the armistice and there is a rumour that the Kaiser hasn't abdicated at all and is soon going back to Germany.
Wednesday November 20th 1918.
I had a letter from Daddie this morning; he had just been to Amiens and seen where the Germans nearly broke through there.
He has got me some peices of German shell and some cartridges.
Shortie and I went to London by the 9.19 this morning. There was a a most fearful fog both here and in London. We went first to Miss Hammond to say I couldn't have my hair washed because of my cold (I had written to make an appointment at 10.30). We had coffee and buns in a Lyons; then went to Lloyds in St Jameses Street to cash a cheque and from there to Trinity College. Miss Medd-Hall made me sing to her and says I am getting on very well; it was a most glorious piano to sing to. I went to luncheon with Peggy who is indulging in an orgy of dancing. Then we went to Wolfie's and asked her about having us to stay; she can't have us till Monday but will be very pleased to have us then. We didn't stay for my singing lesson but came home by the 4.18 because the fog was so fearful that we thought we mightn't get home later. We luckily managed to get a taxi from Brentwood station.
20 U boats have been surrendered.
Thursday November 21st 1918.
Mummy has decided to go to Bath on Saturday instead of tomorrow.
I went to the Convent this afternoon. They have had three cases of diptheria there but the whole place has been disinfected and they say it is all right now.
Friday November 22nd 1918.
Mummy had a most amusing letter from Daddie this morning. He had been to a big thanksgiving service + I think in Amiens Cathedrel — with a General and his people and they sat in the choir. There were a great many candles on and round the altar and they began to set light to the decoratations so the verger tore about with a long extinguisher trying to put them out and the choir kept calling to him when fresh fires started and he got so excited that his robes fell off and he kept jumping on and off the High Altar and finally his trousers caught fire! Presently the priest came round with a plate to make a collection and Daddie thought it was Holy-Water and said "no thank you" but finally realizing what it was, after much rumaging produced ½ a franc! He says the French are fearfully fond of the Australians and the people of Amiens are going to erect a statue to them because they think it was the Australians who saved the town from being taken by the Germans.
Aunt Venetia went away by the 12.40; Shortie and I went down with her to the station in her taxi and came back in it.
I wrote to Daddie this morning.
The first part of the German fleet has surrendered.
Sunday November 24th 1918.
Mummy went up by an 8 something train yesterday morning because she wanted to see Mr Luttrell's brother-in-law who was going to Dunster by the 10.15. She went down to Bath by the 11 o'clock train. Shortie went up to see her off and then went to Holland Park Avenue (Uncle Vernon's house) and saw Cracknell — their servant — who said he had been very ill for a long time.
I played the piano for nearly 4 hours yesterday.
We went to Church this morning.
I have been reading off and on for a long time and have just finished "An Englishman's Love Letters". She is most desperately devoted to her lover and he apparently to her but when they have been engaged for about 3 months he suddenly breaks off the engagement without giving any reason and says they must never meet again and she slowly dies of a broken heart. It is most fearfully tragic but I don't think it is true though the whole book consists of her letters with just a preface which explains nothing.
The King reviewed 20,000 disabled soldiers in Hyde Park yesterday.
Monday November 25th 1918.
We are at Miss Wolff's but I am much too sleepy to write more tonight.
Tuesday November 26th 1918.
We went to the Convent yesterday morning leaving our luggage at the station on the way. Mother Theresa has given me the pattern of the lace handkerchief border and I have started it.
We came up by the 12.40 train and went by tube to Marble Arch and then got a taxi here.
Miss Wolff gave us tea early and then we went to Murdoch to get some music which Emmeline had ordered for me and then to Mr Percy Longhurst my dentist and made an appointment for 11 o'clock this morning.
The Henrys (two nice American Wolfites) came for a spelling and arithmatic lesson from 6 - 7 and Wolfie made me have a lesson too.
I found a letter from Mummy when I got here in which she says Hugh Childers is at Bath and is going to Colchester so he will be able to come over to Warley.
When poor Aunt Venetia got home she found that Patsy, Uncle Dick's secretary and one servant had got 'flu. I had another letter from Mummy this morning and one from Mary.
Wednesday November 27th 1918.
We went out at about 10 o'clock yesterday morning. Mercifully the dentist didn't find any teeth to stop. We went to Speaight the photographer to pay a bill; they are going to publish one of those photographs of me but they don't know what papers it will be in. We also made an appointment with Miss Hammond for 10 o'clock on Friday.
In the afternoon Wolfie took me to see an artist who does lacquer work. We had to go a good long way down Edgeware Road and then in a train along the Harrow Road. There were a good many weird looking people in the train and one old couple almost opposite to us pretty fairly drunk; the man started an argument with a woman farther down the car, I don't quite know what it was about but it was somthing about whether munition girls had done their bit or not, the old woman chimed in with a furious declaration that "her Arfer 'ad done 'is bit", the other woman responded with still more fury that she was sure he hadn't and they then advanced down the middle of the car to engage in mortal combat however the conductress and driver stopped them and the driver tried to turn the drunken couple off but they refused to go and after some more talking he left them and went on. Then they started at it again and the heated lady at the further end was held down by her friends and a handkerchief in the last stage of dirtyness was stuffed into her mouth. The wife of "Arfer" arose with the intention of putting an end to the other's life but was stopped by the conductress with whom she executed a kind of hesitation waltze and nearly sat down on Wolfie's lap. The poor conductress became quite hestyrical and said she had never heard such language before and they must get off. Then "Arfer" quite irrelevently of the subject of munition girls shouted at the top of his very husky voice that he had got £50 on him, the other fair damsel cast extremely rude doubt on his veracity and he produced and waved in the air a huge wad of the dirtiest £1 notes you ever saw. By this time the language was getting so heated and the dances down the car so frequent that Wolfie thought it was time we bade them a fond farewell so much to my sorrow we got off.
Thursday November 28th 1918.
The lacquer work was awfully nice and he showed us heaps of sketches of old Chinese designs which he had done in the British Museum.
I had a long letter from Daddie yesterday morning written at Tournai. He says the villages about there are not nearly so devastated as they are further back because we only got as far as that in the German retreat and so they didn't get so much chance to destroy them. They had built a big theatre in Tournai because they thought they were going to keep all that part of Belgium; Daddie gave his lecture in the theatre.
We went to Miss Clarke yesterday morning and then to Head where I got some more lace braid and the things for making filet lace. Then we went to Trinity College and then Shortie took me to Peggy's and then went to her home at Streatham to see her sister who is very ill. There was a huge Victory Ball at the Albert Hall last night to which the Leighs were going.
Peggy and I took Wriggles for a walk in the Park after luncheon, then we went back and collected Mademoiselle and they brought me here. Miss Butler gave me my singing lesson and says I am getting on well. A nice Wolfite called Jean Macgrieger who draws very well came to tea.
I had a letter from Mummy this morning.
Wolfie is taking me to a concert at the Aeolian Hall this evening.
Friday November 29th 1918.
It rained hard all yesterday.
Shortie went to Lucas the fur man with some things of Mummy's. I stayed in all the morning and wrote to Mummy, Daddie and Mrs Idie and sewed.
Wolfie, Shortie and I went to Harrods in the afternoon and did various shopping and had tea at Harvey's.
The concert was very good, it consisted of piano, violin and 'cello and Olga Haley sang some Irish and Welsh songs of Beethoven's, she has got a very pretty voice.
Daddie will probably get back on Tuesday.
Saturday November 30th 1918.
I went to Miss Hammond's yesterday morning and had my hair washed.
We went over to get a 'bus afterwards and getting off the 'bus we were going to get onto was Aunt Di and Aunt Lil and Aunt Di has asked me to go down there from today till Tuesday which will be great fun. Aunt Lil is going to ask me to go and see her too. It was jolly lucky meeting them. Staying at Ashstead is awfully nice and I havn't been there since July 1917.
We went to the stores and did various things and I got an awfully pretty song called "Roses of Picardy".
About 3.15 we sallied forth to go to Wimbledon to see the Milnes who are looking after Polly for us. They were very kind and Polly looks most plump. We didn't get home till nearly 8 o'clock which put Wolfie in a terrible fuss.
Ashstead Sunday December 1st 1918.
I arrived here about 3.30 yesterday and am having a lovely time. It is 10.15 p.m. and though I know it is very wicked of me I am busily engaged in reading in bed.
Monday December 2nd 1918.
Am an expert motorist (?) and the time is 10.15 p.m. good night!
Tuesday December 3rd 1918.
How on earth shall I write down all I have been doing these last few days? I think I will begin with today and work backwards.
Aunt Di brought me up this morning and Shortie met me at Waterloo at 10 o'clock. I had a most glorious time at Ashstead, they are so kind and I always love going there.
Shortie and I went first to Mrs Massey's a servant agency where we had no luck; then to Charing Cross to enquire what time the boat train from Folkestone came in, they said it came to Victoria so we went there and found it was expected at 1.40. Everything was in the most glorious muddle because we didn't know if Daddie was arriving today or what time he would arrive.
Mummy had written to say she would come up as soon as she had a telegram from Daddie but we didn't know if she had had a telegram or if she was coming up. We thought it was so uncertain that it wasn't worth while meeting the boat train but about 2.30 Daddie appeared here (South Audley Street) having caught it. He look very well and seems to have had a glorious time. Yesterday he motored from Lille to Etaples and lectured at the latter place in the evening; this morning he was motored to Boulogne and caught the morning boat. He has brought me back heaps of interesting things — a peice of the Cloth Hall at Ypres, a little case which goes on the leg of a carrier pigeon with a message to Daddie from G.H.Q in it saying the armistice was signed, a peice of English machine gun cartridge belt and a peice of German ditto, a peice of German shell, several money notes issued in Lille and some Belgian coins, several shrapnel cartridges and a German 8 inch shell case which Daddie had fearful difficulty to smuggle over as the French want all of them because the brass is worth 25s.; he wrapped it up in his big motor coat which he wanted to wear and the shell case nearly slipped out! It is a huge thing and will do beautifully for a flower vase or gong or waste paper basket.
Wednesday December 4th 1918.
Anne Keppel who is an awfully nice girl stayed to tea at Miss Wolff's. In the middle of tea a telegram came from Mummy saying she had just got Daddie's telegram, which he sent off from Lille on Sunday and she would come up early this morning; Daddie promptly decided he would go off to Bath and within 15 minutes had bounced off his luggage consisting of a sponge bag!
We went to Brunton Street this morning to enquire after Blandford who has been Uncle Oswald's butler for years and who is fearfully ill with double pnuemonia in the London Hospital; he is slightly better this morning. We saw Anne and Joan who have grown enormously and Uncle Oswald asked me what I would like for a Christmas present which is a matter for deep thought. When we left there we went to Miss Clarke and then to Trinity College. I went as usual to luncheon with Peggy but she had gone out to luncheon having forgotten I was coming. Poor Mademoiselle was fearfully worried at having to tell me that Peggy had forgotten, she would have liked to have given me some polite message but Peggy insisted I should be told the truth. She came in just before I left. Miss Butler gave me my singing lesson and Rennie Northey stayed to tea at Wolfie's; she is a Wolfite and her father General Northey conquered German East Africa and is going out there as governor so they all sail on the 10th. Just after tea Mummy and Daddie appeared in a taxi and we all went off to Liverpool Street and managed to catch the 5.39 which was fearfully full. Luckily we got a taxi at Brentwood.
Daddie has had a letter asking him to go to the Fleet on the 16th which is Monday week. He is to go to Scarpa [ Scapa ] which is where the surrendered German fleet is and as one is allowed to photograph anything one likes now he will be able to take my camera and photograph it which will be fearfully interesting.
Joffie with a huge pink bow round his neck which made him look too absurd for words greeted us with great effusion.
Mummy seems a little better.
I found a War Loan dividend for £1.5s waiting for me when we got here which was nice.
We are 20 miles into Germany.
Thursday December 5th 1918.
I went to the Convent this afternoon and learnt to make filet lace.
Daddie has brought back several very good stories; one is about an American officer who was taken prisoner at Château Thierry, and who would keep shouting out "jolly good licking we gave you at Château Thierry" which made the German officer furious and he told the American to shut up but still he went on and after some time the German officer appeared with a paper and said "unless you sign this paper saying you become a German Citizen you will be shot"; the American said he had no desire to be shot and he would sign the paper and so he signed it; then he said to the German "now I understand I am a German citizen?" the German said "Yes" and then the American said "jolly good licking the Americans gave us at Château Thierry"!
Now I must try and write an account of the ripping time I had at Ashstead. Shortie took me down there and arrived about 3.30; Shortie went back to London and Reid (Aunt Di's maid) met me in their new tiny motor and drove me to the Cottage which is in Ashstead Park. A very nice Jew named Mr Meres came to tea. On Sunday we went to luncheon with the Ralli's [ Rallis ] who the Park belongs to and after luncheon Uncle Claude motored me over to see Robert Allan who used to be gamekeeper at Colworth (Mummy's old home) and his father before him. He is over 80 and has got a very nice wife and daughter they live near Dorking. We had tea there and then started off home, as we were going round a corner another car came tearing along bang on the wrong side and if Uncle Claude with great presence of mind hadn't turned right up the bank we should have had a collision. After this we lost our way in the dark several time but finally got home safely having had a lovely time
Uncle Claude went to London on Monday morning. Aunt Di and I instructed the gardener in the planting of a rose tree and then Aunt Di gave me a lesson in driving the motor in the Park, it was huge fun and much easier than I had expected, I am longing to learn to drive properly. In the afternoon we went to a working party at the Ralli's of which Aunt Di is head. I made eye-shades which are perfectly beastly things to make. Uncle Claude told me a great deal about the inside of a motor and how it works which was very interesting.
Foch and Clemenceau were in London from Sunday till Wednesday and Shortie, lucky thing, saw them when they arrived on Sunday.
Friday December 6th 1918.
Having exulted in my brilliance in escaping playing to the Director of Studies at Trinity College, a letter came from him this morning saying he would like to see me on Wednesday week. Such is life!
I have mostly practised and made filet lace today and have also written to Cousin Gerty asking if I may go and see her on Tuesday, she asked Mummy and I to luncheon on Wednesday but of course Mummy was at Bath and couldn't let me know in time. I also wrote to Aunt Venetia to tell her we had all got back here.
Miss Willmott was at tea at Marlborough House on Tuesday and says they were all delighted with Foch and Foch was delighted with his reception in London. Daddie heard rather an interesting account when he was in France of how Foch came to be Supreme Commander (old Lloyd George says it was all his doing). Petain asked Haig if he would put an Army Corps under him, Haig said "yes" and then suggested that they should both put themselves under Foch, Petain agreed and Foch was overjoyed and tore off to Haig and émbrassed him and burst into floods of tears. An everbody thinks that Foch had some wonderful deep laid scheme for smashing the Huns but he says that his only idea was just to hit the Huns whenever and wherever he could.
Sunday December 8th 1918.
I went to the Convent yesterday morning for an extra painting lesson and practised and made filet lace for the rest of the day. I have got a fierce, harsh mania for the latter.
Shortie and I went to Church this morning.
I wrote to Uncle Oswald the other day and said I should like books for a Christmas present.
Daddie was staying in a huge house in Lille belonging to a young French lady and which had of course been occupied by the Germans. In one room was a bronze bust and on it a German label authorizing the owner to keep it! but her gloves and ribbons and veils and things were just as she left them in a little cabinet and apparently hadn't been touched.
I had an awfully nice post-card from Aunt Di yesterday.
Bye the bye there is a General Election going on.
Monday December 9th 1918.
I had five letters this morning. Two from Cousin Gerty, the first saying she didn't think she could have me to luncheon tomorrow and the second saying she could. The others were from Wolfie who has got lumbago badly and Uncle Oswald and the fifth was a reciept.
Mummy and Daddie went to London today so we all went down to the station in the motor. Shortie and I went to the G.P.O where I changed my dividend and bought 9/6 worth of War Savings Stamps. Then I went to the Convent. Afterwards we went to Miss Harman's (the drawing mistress) house to see a picture by one of the girls and then we came home.
Mummy and Daddie got back about 7.30.
Wednesday December 11th 1918.
We came up to London by the 9.19 yesterday morning and came straight here and left our box and then went to do somthing for Mummy and then came back here (South Audley Street) for a concert which was the real reason why we came up to London yesterday. It consisted of violin and piano, the violinist being a Mr Dressel who often plays here. Among other things he played Paderewski's Minuet (I had asked Wolfie to ask him to) and it isn't published for the violin and he had to make it up but he played it perfectly beautifully.
Afterwards we went to Cousin Gerty's and on the way went to see the U boat (German submarine) just by the Houses of Parliament.
Thursday December 12th 1918.
Cousin Gerty was very kind and took me to a big doll show for the Children's Jewel Fund at Sunderland House. They were all very well dressed but chubby boy dolls dressed as soldiers and sailors don't look quite appropriate somehow. There were several good historial scenes and some wonderful wax models of famous men in the war very well dressed. Afterwards Cousin Gerty dropped me at South Audley Street.
Yesterday morning we went to Head's and bought several things and then to Harvey Nichols where I bought some blue satin for making Christmas presents. We also got some toys for the children at the lodge and then went to Trinity College, I am sorry to say yesterday was my last day there, I have enjoyed it very much. I went to luncheon with Peggy and they dropped me at South Audley Street afterwards. They go to Stoneleigh on Tuesday.
Miss Butler gave me my singing lesson as usual and we had tea with Wolfie and came down here by the 6.8 train and were very thankful to find a taxi had been ordered to meet us at Brentwood station.
Daddie is at a dinner given by Aunt Aimée Dawson's brother at the Travellers Club tonight. He is going out to dinner tomorrow night too.
I had a post-card from Mother Thérèse saying Miss Harman couldn't come today so I didn't go to the Convent.
We have managed to get a boy at last and we brought him down with us last night. He rejoices in the name of Ernest Tombs and lives at Streatham and so Shortie knows all about his people.
I have written to ask Aunt Kathleen to let us know when Laurie can come and stay down here as Clifton breaks up on the 16th.
We have entered Cologne and Bonn.
Friday December 13th 1918.
I wrote to the Director of Studies at Trinity College yesterday saying that as I shouldn't be in London next Wednesday I was reluctantly compelled to forego the pleasure of seeing him till the beginning of next term.
Daddie went to London by the 12.40. We are all going to London on Monday but as Miss Medd-Hall can't give me a lesson on Wednesday I shan't go up that day.
It is less than a fortnight to Christmas and I have scarcely thought about presents yet which is really too awful. Every year I wait till about two days before Christmas before I buy my presents and then can think of nothing to get and have a most frenzied rush to get anything.
Saturday December 14th 1918.
I had a letter from Aunt Kathleen this morning saying Laurie won't be able to come and stay with us at all these holidays as Ian is home on leave and they are going on another visit.
Cousin Gerty has written asking us to go to her farm at Ware for Christmas. I think Daddie and I are going there on Boxing Day for a few days.
Daddie slept till 10.30 this morning.
Today is polling-day.
Sunday December 15th 1918.
Shortie and I went to Church this morning.
This afternoon Daddie and I went to call on the Heselines and to tea with Mr Gibson and his daughter Mrs Fay; they live in a dear little old house which was three cottages and which dates back to 1460. It must have been fearfully exciting here in the raids, they told us they saw all the Zeppelins brought down.
Daddie goes to the fleet tomorrow. I have been instructing him in how to use my camera which he is taking with him. We are all going to London tomorrow.
Tuesday December 17th 1918.
Mummy and Daddie went up by the 10.40 yesterday morning and I went to the Convent and Shortie and I went up by the 12.40 and went straight to Euston where we arrived about 2.15 and soon met Daddie. There were two huge long trains going to Thuso [ Thurso ] and 100's of naval men and a good many American sailors, who I suppose were going to the Fleet for Christmas. No one was allowed on the platform except the people going by the train so as soon as the train came in Daddie went off to get a seat and he saw the Master-at-Arms who gave him a cabin all to himself, it contained a real bed and a wash stand fixed in the wall; when he had got his seat he came back to us and we looked all over the place for Mummy but as she hadn't appeared at five to three Daddie had to go off without seeing her as the train went at 3 o'clock. Just as we were leaving the station we met her and she says she had been waiting at the barrier since 2.30, it is the most extraordinary thing why we didn't see her because we were by the barrier too. When we left the station Mummy went to see a Y.M.C.A lady and Shortie and I went by 'bus to Picadilly [ Piccadilly ] Circus and then walked up Regents Street trying to find Christmas presents. We spent an hour in Liberty but only managed to get three things; when you have found what you want it is almost impossible to get served. I got quite a decent paper knife for Mary for 9d and we got a fan for Daddie to give Sheila Tighe and an elephant for Joan (toy of course!!) and a perfectly terrible thing has happened I lost the elephant! it cost 10/6 too but I think I left it in a shop and have written to ask; I hope to goodness we shall get it back. We went to Butterick's pattern shop and I got a transfer of initials and one of Butterick's transfer journals then we got on a 'bus and went to Liverpool Street and met Mummy and came home by the 6.26 and lived happily ever after.
A telegram came from Daddie this morning sent from Inveness [ Inverness ], the train was due at Thurso at 12.40 this afternoon and from there it is about an hour in a ship to Scarpa [ Scapa ] where the fleet is.
We went down to the farm this afternoon to see the dairy it is a beautiful one built by Miss Willmott I think. Lady Angela Forbes is charging 4 bob a lb for butter when the ordinary price is 2/8 and 2/7 a lb for geese when the control price is 1/7 which is very kind of her!
My first Christmas present arrived today; it is from Aunt Bobs. Of course I shan't open it till Christmas Day.
The President of Portugal has been assassinated.
Wednesday December 18th 1918.
A week to Christmas!
Another parcel came for me this morning; it is from Uncle Oswald and contains a book.
I have been frenziedly trying to finish a handkerchief sachet which I have been making for Aunt Di and actually got it done before dinner; it really is very pretty althought I say it as shouldn't; it is linen and square somthing like this, the little squares are drawn thread-work with French knots in their middles and it is lined with pale pink silk.
A telegram came from Daddie from Aberdeen saying he is on Admiral Madden's flagship the "Revenge". It is most mysterious because we thought he was going to Scarpa [ Scapa ] in the Orkneys and he wouldn't have gone anywhere near Aberdeen.
I had a post card from Peggy this morning saying they don't go to Stoneleigh till tomorrow morning so would I go to luncheon there today if I was in London but of course I wasn't in London.
Sir Douglas Haig arrives in London tomorrow and is to be recieved at Charing Cross by the Duke of Connaught and drive in state to Buckingham Palace and have luncheon with the King. We are going up to see him and to finish Christmas shopping.
Wolfie has asked us to go and stay there this week but we don't think we shall be able to go because there is so much to do here just before Christmas.
I wrote to Daddie, Peggy and Wolfie today.
Friday December 20th 1918.
We went up to London yesterday morning and arrived in time to see the 9.19 out of the station so we had to wait for the 9.40. When we got to London Shortie and I went straight to the Army and Navy stores where we bought a very nice leather wallet with a diary in it for Ian, price 9 bob, Grimm's Fairy Tales for Brian price 5 or 6 bob, Prester John" by John Buchan price 1/6 for Mrs Idie from me, "The Rosary" from Shortie for a friend of hers and a leather calender and post-card holder price 2 bob for me to give Wolfie. In the fancy department we met Colonel Gurden looking profoundly dejected and trying to get served.
Mummy had written to Uncle Vesey asking him to take me to see Haig arrive; he wrote to say he would be very pleased to take me and I was to meet him at Stable Yard St Jamese's (where he lives with Uncle Douglas) at 12.30 so we left the stores a little before 12 and walked there, on our way we bought "Taffrail's" latest book, "A Little Ship", price 6 bob for Laurie and posted my parcel to Aunt Di.
Shortie left me at Stable Yard and went to join the happy throng in St James'es Street where she got a very good place and saw beautifully. Uncle Vesey took me to the forecourt of Buckingham Palace where we saw splendidly. We get there at about 12.45 and they weren't due till 1.30. There were a good many wounded soldiers from various hospitals and about 50 other people altogether. Uncle Vesey introduced me to a good many people including a very nice Lady Petre who is young and very pretty and lives near here. Soon after we got there the son of the King of the Hedjaz [ Hejaz ] who is staying in London arrived in full war paint attended by two of his countrymen and Mr Synge who looked most funny in the midst of fierce looking Arabs. An escort of areoplanes came with the train to Charing Cross and the flew over London. Soon the Duke of Connaught arrived having met them at the station and then motored straight to the Palace, then Robertson arrived and then the War Cabinet began to come in dribblets and then Lady Haig and then finally when the procession was almost there and nearly blocking the gates with his motor came old Lloyd George with the usual grin on his face. The huge crowd up Constitution Hill and by the Palace was cheering madly and waving flags and handkerchiefs and everything else it could get hold of and boys were climbing the railings of the Palace for all they were worth, then they came in, Haig and another General or two in the first carriage and three or four other carriages with Plumer, Birdwood, Rawlinson, Salmon and others. I waved my handkerchief and Uncle Vesey cheered so loudly in my ear that it's a wonder I didn't go deaf. It was a glorious day and of course I regretted the whole time that I didn't take my little camera and photograph them. Uncle Vesey very kindly took me to luncheon at the Queen's Restraunt in Sloane Square where Shortie fetched me. We went first to Lyons in Regents Street and redeemed the elephant having had a letter to say it was there. We walked along Oxford Street looking for presents and went into one or two shops but the crowds were fearful and even if one could find what one wanted it was impossible to get served so we went into a Lyons and after a long wait got some coffee and cake and lemonade (a much better mixture than it sounds!) and then went back to the stores where I got some cigarettes for Daddie, 2/11 a lot of 25 isn't it dreadful?
Saturday December 21st 1918.
We also got "The Water Babies" illustrated by Heath Robinson price 6 bob for Anne and "Robin Hood" illustrated by Walter Crane for Pat Roberston [ Robertson ] price 5 bob. Then we went to the Auxilary [ Auxiliary ] and got a fur foot-warmer for Daddie to give Mummy price £2.2s. Daddie had given me a fiver to do his Christmas shopping with and after having bought all those things I have got 11/1 change which I consider rather brilliant of me.
We had a fearful rush to catch the 6.26 train but just managed it.
I went to the Convent yesterday morning for a painting lesson and afterwards we went into the town and I bought two calenders one 7½d and the other 1/-.
A parcel came for me from Mrs Idie yesterday and this evening two came one from Wolfie and the other from Sir David Prain.
I had a letter from Daddie this morning; he is at Scarpa [ Scapa ] and has seen the German fleet and taken four photographs of it which he doesn't think will come out as the light was bad. He says the Huns are awfully cross because they thought they had only got to bring the ships to show to us and that then they would be allowed to take them back and they thought they would be allowed to go to Edinburgh and to make friends with our men but they are not allowed to leave their ships and one ship is not allowed to communicate with another all of which makes them somewhat huffy.
Shortie had a telegram last night from her home saying her presence for the week-end was absolutely essential so she went off this morning and we had a wire this evening to say she will be back tomorrow. Her sister has been ill for some time so she thinks it must be something to do with her. I hope it will be alright.
I have been reading "Robin Hood" which is going to be sent to Pat Robertson it is very nice but how terribly they treated the poor people in those times.
I had a letter from Peggy this evening and the tiresome thing saw Renée in Rumplemayer's [ Rumplemeyer's ]. Why do other people always see the people one wants to see??
Sunday December 22nd 1918.
We started to go to Church this morning but it rained so heavily that we turned back.
Shortie appeared back about 5 o'clock Her sister was no worse.
I have read "A Little Ship" by "Taffrail" today. It is most awfully nice almost as nice as "Pincher Martin" and is mostly about life on destroyers and very interesting.
Mummy had a letter from Daddie this morning; he is having a splendid time and was on board the "Royal Sovereign" when he wrote
I having been sorting out Christmas cards today and am sending to the following — Nina, Patsy, Pompey, Cynthia, Sir David Prain, Cousin Nell, Cousin Alys, Cousin Ruth, Miss Medd-Hall, Miss Ratcliffe, Hugolyne Gwynne-James, Miss Buxton, Lady Barrington, the Miss McLarens, Helen, Shuttie and Mother Thérèse.
Monday December 23rd 1918.
Have very little time for diary tonight; have been reading a delightful book on Kate Greenaway and it now bed-time.
We have been frenziedly doing up presents today and my room looks as if an earthquake had taken place!
Three more parcels today, one from Uncle Claude and Aunt Di, one from Peggy and one from Aunt Venetia.
Daddie arrives back tomorrow so we go to London to meet him.
Christmas Eve 1918.
We went to London by the 9.19 and then went to Euston to meet Daddie whose train was due at 10 o'clock and was only 5 minutes late; we got there at 10.15 and rushed frenziedly up and down the platform because we couldn't find Daddie and thought he had gone, however finally we found him. He was in great spirits and seems to have had a splendid time.
We all got into a taxi and went to Manor House to leave parcels for Ian and Laurie. Aunt Kathleen and Laurie were just coming out as we got there, Laurie appears to be just as full of pranks as ever! From there we went to Marble Arch where Shortie and I got out and then Mummy and Daddie went on to Liverpool Street to leave Daddie's luggage. We went to South Audley Street Post Office and got off parcels and then to Wolfie's to leave a book from Mummy and a parcel from me. Then we left parcels at Bruton Street and then went on to the Stores, on the way we went into a Lyons and had some fierce and wonderful arrangment of oxtail and lemonade (I don't mean that the oxtail and lemonade was mixed!). At the stores I got rather a nice engagement block for Peggy price 2/6, and Shortie got a book for her pet man in the grocery department. Then we went and posted Peggy's parcel and Shortie bought a calender for Mummy and then we went to Barrett's in Picadilly [ Piccadilly ] where Shortie bought me a very nice pair of embroidery scissors for a Christmas present. From there we went to Swan and Edgar's where Shortie bought Mrs Simpson a nightdress case. Then we went to Wolfie's to fetch a box we had left there; Wolfie gave us tea and then went to Liverpool Street where there were huge crowds everywhere. After some time we met Mummy and Daddie. There was a free fight for our train when it came in but we managed to get seats.
Four parcels this morning! one from Mary Meade, one from Aunt Kathleen, one from I don't know who and one from we think Cousin Nell.
Daddie has brought me heaps of interesting things — a Christmas card and a cap-band of H.M.S Revenge sent to me by Admiral Madden, a cap-band also of the "Revenge" from the Captain, a cap-band from the Captain of the "Royal Sovereign", a Christmas card from Admiral Nicholson and a Christmas card sent to him from Admiral Rodman of the U.S. Navy, a post-card with pictures of characters in a play given on the Royal Sovereign and signed by all the actors (mostly middies) on the back, a note-book with autographs of Naval officers in it and above all Beatty's signature which one of the Admirals gave to Daddie. Not so bad is it?
Christmas Day 1918.
We went to Church this morning and took toys down to Jacob's (the Swiss Gardener) little children after, they were fearfully pleased.
The present-giving took place this aftertoon. Mummy gave Daddie an umbrella and a silver paper knife; Mrs Short a big bottle of lavender water and Mrs Simpson stuff for a dress. Daddie gave Mummy a Shetland shawl which he brought from the Orkneys, Mrs Short a cardigan from the Orkneys and some handkerchiefs from Lille and a brooch from Montreuil (our G.H.Q in France) and Mrs Simpson a little bag and handkerchiefs from Lille. Now for my presents — Mummy gave me a £5 note which I shall keep till I see something really want of that price and then buy it; it is a jolly nice present — the best of all! Daddie gramophone records; Uncle Claude and Aunt Di a ripping purple leather jewel case; Mrs Idie a beautiful peice of pen painting on black satin of a peacock and roses and things — really beautiful; Shortie embroidery scissors; Aunt Violet a very nice edition of "Cranford" with heaps of pictures and three pretty little handkerchiefs; Aunt Alys and Uncle Romer a very nice suede treasury note case with places for stamps; Wolfie six lovely pairs of stockings several of them silk, these will be really most useful; Peggy a book of sketches "London at Night"; Mrs Leigh a very pretty handkerchief; Aunt Kathleen three handkerchiefs (there seems to have been wild enthusiasm to give me handkerchiefs!); Laurie a pen-holder; Uncle Oswald a book with beautiful garden pictures called "An Artists Garden"; Aunt Bobs a Limerick lace collar; Anne and Joan a blue necklace made by French prisoners; Aunt Venetia chocolates; Cousin Nell a long saxe blue and black bead chain — very pretty; Sir David Prain a flower anthology; Miss Willmott a book "How to Press Flowers" and Mary a calender. Havn't I been lucky?
We go to Cousin Gerty tomorrow.
I have written 15 letters today and can scarcely hold the pen so good night and a happy Christmas.
Friday December 27th 1918.
White Hill Farm, Dane End. Ware.
We arrived here quite safely in time for luncheon yesterday. The train up to London was rather full but the train to Ware was quite empty.
This is a very pretty farm about 6 miles from Ware. There is a gentleman named Mr Francks staying here and also a neice of Cousin Gerty's whose name is Victoria Vernon and she is engaged to a clergyman who was staying here for the night; his name is Mr Frift and he is very nice.
Sunday December 29th 1918.
There seems no time at all for writing my diary. I play about with Victoria all day long and we have great fun.
We all go away tomorrow and probably, Victoria will go up to London with us for the day.
Tuesday December 31th 1918.
We all left White Hill Farm by an 11 o'clock train from Ware yesterday and didn't get to London till 1 o'clock — 21 miles from Ware to London!! Victoria came to London with us and we were going to have luncheon at the Charing Cross Lyons but it was so late that we had to have it in the station. After we went to the Grosvenor Gallery to see a Sea-Power Exibition; there were a good many pictures by Lavery but they were disappointing all daps of paint, those by Charles Pears were better. We had tea at Stewarts in Picadilly [ Piccadilly ] and then Daddie left us to go to Bath.
We pottered about a bit and then went on top of a 'bus to Liverpool Street and got Victoria's box out of the cloak room and saw her off to Kings Cross where she got a train to Knebworth where they live. We had an hour and a half before our train (the 6.26) was due to start so we went and bought some papers and tried to get a porter to carry our luggage but we couldn't get one so we thought we had better try and carry it ourselves but when we got to the cloak-room Shortie found she had lost the ticket so we had to go over to the Station-Master's Office and fill up a form and show two letters which mercifully I had in my pocket to prove our identity and then a man went over to the cloak-room with us and finally we got our luggage out and after ages managed to get a porter and came down by the 6.8 and as all the first part of the train was reserved for sailors and soldiers and as all the rest of the train was apparently full came in a 1st class carriage with our 3rd class tickets which was great fun and which was a forbidden pleasure which I think quite half of the rest of the passengers were indulging in!
Mummy and Daddie come back tomorrow. Daddie is having luncheon with Colonel Kent so they won't be down till the evening I suppose I found such a pile of letters waiting for me when I got back.
Christmas cards from Cynthia, Miss Buxton, Miss McLaren and Shuttie and letters from Cousin Alys, Peggy and Mary. This morning I had a letter from Miss Hillier thanking me for my photograph which we had sent her and this evening I had a letter from Wolfie saying she won't be able to come down here for my birthday which is most tiresome of her. Tomorrow is my birthday and I shall be seventeen, oh dear! aren't I getting terribly old? I shall be a whole year older and we shall have begun a new year by the time I write my diary again.
We had Mary Robinson in this evening and played the gramophone to her.
No birthday parcels have come for me yet but I always get very few birthday presents because my birthday is so near Christmas.
I wrote to Peggy and Aunt Venetia this afternoon.
We had a lovely time at Cousin Gerty's and I will write more fully about it and a truely lurid adventure which Victoria and I had later on.
New Years Day January 1st 1919.
I am 17 and feel 70. How appalingly old one does feel at 17, I feel like taking to a bath chair and spectacles and elastic-sided boots and benignly patting great grand children on the head.
Mummy got down by the train which arrives here at 2.30 having managed to take one hour to cover the 18¼ miles which separate us from Liverpool Street. Daddie came by the 4.18 having had a very nice luncheon party at the Carlton.
I had a letter from Mummy and another from Daddie this morning and one from Sir Evan James thanking me for my photograph and saying he is coming over here and bring me a present and a long letter from Alice Blyth sending me three handkerchiefs which was very nice of her and also "Off Shore" by "Taffrail" from Victoria; it was awfully nice of her to send me a present I think. I opened my presents after tea; Mummy gave me a perfectly lovely ruby and diamond ring; Daddie a tripod and portrait attachment for my camera; Mrs Idie a very pretty pearl brooch and a gold half sovereign to keep as a curiousity and Wolfie three very nice pairs of kid gloves, one brown, the other grey and the other white. Shortie is going to give me a book when I have decided what I want. Peggy forgets my birthday regularly every year and then sends me a frenzied letter on January 2nd saying she has just remembered my birthday and a present is coming, however when I wrote yesterday I reminded her that today is my birthday as she had asked me to do.
I have written to Victoria, Mrs Idie, Alice Blyth and Wolfie today.
Thursday January 2nd 1919.
We have all done Nothing in Particular all day. I have written to Mary and Miss Medd-Hall and sent the tripod and portrait attachment to Mrs Idie to take back to the shop in Bath to see if they will either give the money back or change them as unfortunately I have got both of them.
I must put down Victoria's and my adventure at White Hill Farm. We went out for a walk one morning and after interminable ages reached a village called Sacombe where we sat down for a little while in the Church porch to rest and then started to go back by another way; we hadn't gone very far when a motor went past and in it was a doctor who Victoria knew, he stopped and picked us up as he was going in the same direction as us and we went off quite happily, when we had gone about half a mile we met a girl riding on a very pretty chestnut horse which came along quite quietly and took no notice of us till suddenly just as we were almost passing it it shied right into the motor. Victoria and I hid our faces in our hands and though our last hour had come, there was a bump and we looked up and the horse had cantered into a field apparently none the worse but one of the mudguards of the motor was badly bashed in, I suppose one of the horses hoofs must have struck it. The doctor got out and tried to soothe the horse and talked to the girl who was very plucky and seemed to look on it all as a joke, and then we went on.
Cousin Gerty has got a pianola which is the most heavenly instrument to play and I should think would be very good for one to play because you put all your own expression and time in and can think just about those things.
I have been reading a life of Kate Greenaway containing a great many reproductions of her perfectly delightful child pictures. She was a very great friend of Ruskin who admired her work enormously. I have also been reading Rupert Brooke's Memoir which I enjoyed very much it is sad to think he died so young
Captain Robinson V.C. the first airman to bring down a Zepp has died as the result of the hardships he endured in Germany.
A ship bringing sailors home on leave has struck a rock and sunk and 300 lives have been lost. It is very sad.
Paderewski has gone to Poland and has been proclaimed head of the Polish republic and is heading a rising against the Huns.
A million and a quarter people were massacred by the Turks in Armenia.
President Wilson left England on Tuesday and is going or has gone to Italy.
I forgot to say that Pompey sent me a book called "The Lore of the Honey Bee" by Tickner Edwardes for a Christmas present.
Saturday January 4th 1919.
I read "Fraulein Schmitt and Mr Ansthuther" by the author of "Elizabeth and Her German Garden" yesterday. Although it was sad it was most extremely amusing in places. I am now delighting in Elizabeth in Rüger" by the same autor.
Daddie went to London yesterday and had a man who was with him in Tibet, Pompey and his brother to luncheon
No more ink in fountain pen must stop.
Sunday January 5th 1919.
Such a nice surprise came for me by the post this morning, in the form of a pretty little silver box for my dressing-table from Sir Evan James.
We went to Church and on the way back met Mrs de la Mare who asked me to tea on Tuesday.
I finished "Elizabeth in Rüger" today and also read "The Solitary Summer" by the same author. It might be better if she was not quite so taken up by her own soul but her sense of humour prevents it from becoming tiresome, in fact all three of her books which I have read in the last few days are quite delightful. A Mr Gibbs (rather a tiresome man) who came over here to see Miss Willmott was tutor to her children. She is English but was married to a German a Count Von Arnem [ Arnim ] who apparently was very nice but he is dead and she has married Lord Russell, who, so rumour says, is not particularly desirable.
There have been fearful blizzards in various parts of the country and our brometer has fallen as low as it can fall and shows every sign of taking a frenzied leap across the space which separates "stormy" from "very dry". We have only had snow twice since we have been here.
Paderewski has been made President of the Polish Republic and there is fighting going on there and in Russia and some British war ships have been sent to the Baltic.
America has announced her intention of building the biggest navy in the world and has already got one ship — the New Mexico — driven by electricity. Nobody over here seems to take them very seriously.
Monday January 6th 1919.
I have sewed nearly all day and Shortie and I took Joffie for a walk this afternoon.
Mummy is at present engaged in making herself miserable over a book called "London Vanished and Vanishing".
I had a letter from Wolfie this evening. She is trying hard to get a servant.
Miss Willmott is expected to return this evening.
It is a sad and deplorable fact that my entries in this book parttake of the concise bareness of an official commouniqué; I'm afraid I shall never be a rival to Fanny Burney!
Did I mention that we have given the present tenant of the flat (Mr Paul) notice and he goes on January 31st? and so with luck we shall be back there very early in February having left here for good.
Sir David Beatty is to be first Lord of the Admiral.
Tuesday January 7th 1919.
I went to tea with Judy de la Mere this afternoon. She is very delicate and has to rest all day and is not allowed to go out except in a bath-chair and is very often alone when all the others go to London and places so altogether she has a pretty thin time. She leant me three books.
The rumour that Beatty was going to the Admiralty has been contradicted.
Mrs Idie has taken the tripod and portrait attachment back to the photographic shop and they have credited them.
Roosevelt is dead.
Wednesday January 8th 1919.
I had a post-card from Miss Medd-Hall this morning saying she could give me a lesson today or tomorrow, rather short notice! I have written to ask for a lesson at 3 tomorrow afternoon.
Shortie had a telegram from Fred (her nephew) telling her to come immediately so she flew off to Streatham and has just got back (9 o'clock), her sister has got some complaint which makes her terribly irritable and she is almost off her head. She has been getting worse for some time but now she will have to go into an infirmary.
I wrote to Mrs Idie this afternoon and also sent a post-card to Miss Butler to ask her if she could give me a singing lesson tomorrow.
Miss Willmott had the Barrow children and another boy and girl to tea and we went down and saw them after tea. They were nice children.
There has been some trouble with the troops about demobilishing.
Friday January 10th 1919.
Daddie, Shortie and I went to London by the 9.19 yesterday morning.
Shortie and I went to the Stores and several other places for Mummy and then had liver and bacon at a Lyons, then we went to Marshall whose winter sale is on and we bought some ribbon and a pair of brown suéde shoes for me, they cost two guineas and had been reduced from 50 bob. From there we went to the Pantecknachion [ Pantechnicon ] to arrange about the things being moved from here. Then we went to Wolfie's and Emmeline appeared at 3.30 and gave me a most scaley lesson, about half way through Miss Butler appeared so she had to wait till Emmeline had done then she gave me her lesson.
Wolfie is still having awful trouble with servants, she can't get anybody. We had a great rush for our train (the 6.26) but caught it quite easily.
Daddie had a letter from Admiral Madden this morning bewailing the break-up of the Grand Fleet and saying he is afraid the Government intends to reduce the Navy to the minimum.
The first lot of photographs which Daddie took at the Fleet have come. They are very good and very interesting, there is one of the Seidlitz, one of the Hindenburg, one of a cruiser of the Koënigsburg class (all German of course) and two of the quarter deck of the Revenge with the 15" guns.
Saturday January 11th 1919.
I had two letters this morning one from Miss Wolff wanting to take me to see a singing mistress on Wednesday or Thursday morning and the other from Trinity College saying my lesson is to be at 12.15 as usual which is most tiresome, I had asked for it at 12 o'clock because it will make us so terribly late for luncheon when we have to get all they way back to the flat.
A Mr and Mrs Russell who lived 5 or 6 miles from here bicycled over to tea; they are very nice and her sister helps in Mummys enquiry bureau.
I had a letter from Peggy yesterday. She is having a fearfully gay time and wants me to go and see her soon.
Our boy went today to Shortie's unbounded relief. He was so lazy and dirty that we only kept him a month.
I read a child's book which Judy de la Mere lent me called "The Manor School" by L.T. Meade yesterday It was boring till about half way through when it became quite nice.
There is much fighting going on in Berlin and the water supply has been cut off.
Sunday January 12th 1919.
We went to Church this morning and Miss Ind came to tea and was very amusing and told us a great deal about the past history of Miss Willmott and about the houses and country round here.
I have written to Wolfie and Peggy today
Winston Churchill has been made War Minister and F.E. Smith I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer, everyone is perfectly furious.
Monday January 13th 1919.
Daddie went to London by the 9.19 and didn't get back till nearly 8.30 because there was such a thick fog that his train was ½ an hour late starting and ½ an hour late arriving here. He went to the Memorial service for Roosevelt at St Ethel somthing Church in Bishopsgate; he says a man named Skinner (an American consul) gave a very good address. He also went to a Geographical Council meeting; they were very much agitated because a man had given a lecture about the Arctic regions and he had read it almost all out of a company promotors phamplet and gave lantern slide portraits of the company promotors, the secretary wrote him a letter telling him he had degraded the Society and was very nearly had up for libel! Unfortunately Daddie had to leave before they had finished discussing him.
I practised and sewed most of the day and also finished a very nice book called "The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll". He must have been most delightful and amusing and passionately fond of children. A sister of Cousin Eric Liddle's [ Liddell's ] is the original "Alice" of "Alice in Wonderland"; the story was told to her and her two sisters.
Tuesday January 14th 1919.
I have at last finished my square of filet lace, it is of a knight on horse back (the knight twice the seize of the horse) holding a hawk on his wrist; floating gracefully in the air in the balmy distance is a tree and all round the is a border of this kind of pattern in squares.
I copied the pattern from a peice of imitation filet which I bought at Bath for 1d a long time ago.
We all except Mummy go to London tomorrow and Shortie and I stay the night at Wolfie's because we are all going to luncheon with Aunt Mable Liddle tomorrow.
Friday January 17th 1919.
We went to London by the 9.19 on Wednesday morning and Shortie and I went straight to Wolfie's and left our box and saw Wolfie and then we went to Trinity College and I had my lesson at 12 o'clock instead of 12.15 which is much better. We had luncheon in a Lyons, then went to Selfridges and bought some crackers for a children's tea fight we are going to have soon, then to Day's Library to see about some book for Mummy and then to Miss Wolff's where I had my singing lesson.
Shortie went down to Streatham because she had a letter that morning to say they had had to take her sister to an Infirmary; it is sad but they will know better what to do with her there. I read a very nice book by Myrtle Reed called "Old Rose and Silver" in the evening, I had read a book of hers before and not cared much for it but this I liked very much.
Yesterday morning Miss Wolff took me to see a singing mistress — a Mademoiselle Douste de Fortis ("whats in a name?"). She told me that Miss Butler had taught me nothing which is not true because I had no idea of singing in tune when I started with Miss Butler but that she thought I should have a very pretty soprano voice, how can you be a soprano if you can only get up to E with an effort?
Shortie meanwhile had been out shopping and when she came back she took me to Culford Gardens (where the Liddles [ Liddells ] live), we met Daddie there and Mummy came later. Harry, Morice [ Maurice ] and Bridget were there; Bridget is eleven and rather pretty, Morice is either 12 or 13 or 14 and Harry is either 6 months younger or 6 months older than me, I forget which, he is in the same house as Rowland at Winchester. They are all awfully nice children. After luncheon Daddie took us to the Exibition of Canadian War Pictures at the Acdemy, most of the pictures were extremely good, some lurid and one or two fearfully and wonderfully weird after the fashion of futurists. The picture I liked best of all was of the Dover patrol, it was a moonlight night, in the distance are the cliffs of Dover and two searchlights are sweeping the sky, the sea is rough and the are several destroyers about and the moonlight on the water is wonderfully well done. A very interesting thing there was the areoplane in which Major Barker fought the 60 German areoplanes. We had tea with the Liddles and all came back by the 6.26.
Miss Russell came to tea; she is the daughter of the Mr and Mrs Russell who came to tea the other day and works at Coombe Lodge Hospital and is very nice.
Aunt Violet is coming down for the week-end tomorrow.
There are hundreds of crocuses and snowdrops and a few crocuses out in the garden.
We are having a tea fight and bun scramble tomorrow.
Sunday January 19th 1919.
Aunt Violet came down by the 3.25 yesterday. Daddie walked down to the station to meet her and I was going down in the motor but at the last moment Holliway found the inner tube of one of his tyres was pushing itself out in the most forward and unseemly fashion so he had to go back to mend it and Shortie and I tore down to the Station for all we were worth and when we were nearly there we met Daddie and Aunt Violet walking up carrying her box so we waited for Holliway who came down to meet us when he had mended the tyre.
The tea fight was a great success; Miss Ind, Mrs Foye, Mr Gibson, Mr and Mrs Williamson, and Mr Frazer and his daughter came.
We went to Church this morning and have been taking Aunt Violet over the house and garden this afternoon.
Daddie is having tea with the Russells at their house "Stubbers" which is 4½ miles from here across the fields. Miss Russell went with him and wanted me to go too but I had no desire to walk 9 miles over the fields!
Monday January 20th 1919.
I had a very indignant letter from Peggy this morning because she says I havn't written to her, as a matter of fact I sent her a postcard a week ago saying I could go to luncheon there last Wednesday or tea Thursday but she never answered! however I have written what I hope is a sweet and soothing letter.
Aunt Violet went away this morning.
We had 8 of the Swiss gardeners little children to tea, four girls and four boys and the Robinson boy and girl. First they ate what we will describe as a very hearty tea, then they had crackers which they enjoyed very much, then we played "hunt the thimble" and danced "ring a ring o' roses" while it was being hidden; then they all had presents, Violet's rapture on recieving a doll in a blue dress, dressed by Mrs Idie, knew no bounds They also played "Blind Man's Buff" and Mary and Frank Robinson sang very nicely and we had the gramophone which amused them very much and one asked if there was a man hidden inside it. They went home about 7.15 having I hope enjoyed themselves enormously, before they went they gave three cheers for Mummy, Daddie and I. They are dear little children.
Poor little Prince John the King's youngest son is dead. Apparently he had always been very ill and delicate
Wednesday January 22nd 1919.
Daddie went to Brighton yesterday to give a lecture and stayed there the night.
I finished "Cranford" — which I love — yesterday, read one or two of "The Essays of Elia", started "Diana of the Crossways" and couldn't manage it so gave it up in favour of "Evelina" by Fanny Burney which I liked.
I developed a fearful cold and had to stay in bed today instead of going to London. Shortie had to go to London as she had several things to do there.
There is a movement in Portugal to put King Manuel back on the throne.
There was quite a heavy fall of snow last night and there are two daffodils nearly out in the garden. I hope you admire the light and airey way in which I skip from Portugal to daffodils?
Friday January 24th 1919.
I stayed in bed all day yesterday too and read and sewed a little and enjoyed myself very much.
Mummy had to go to London and she went to see Mr George Russell who has been ill.
I had breakfast in bed this morning and got up after.
It is Peggy's birthday today. I wrote yesterday to wish her "many happy returns of the day" and I had a letter from her this morning asking me to luncheon on Wednesday.
I have got a knitting mania.
Saturday January 25th 1919.
I had a letter from Peggy again this morning greatly to my surprise.
Poor Shortie had a telegram about her sister this morning so she tore off and isn't back yet.
I am trying for the first time to knit on four needles; I can't say it is a sucés fou at present, there are fearful gaps where all ought to be smooth and beautiful. But as far as I can make out I have invented a new way of knitting because I knit plain all the time and it comes out with one side all plain and the other side all purl, I fear I am knitting upside down though which will be tiresome when the work gets long.
Mummy and I left notes at the Heseltine's and the de la Mere's this afternoon asking them to tea on Tuesday. We also called on Miss Ind who has got a dear little cottage and a nice little garden.
I had a letter from Wolfie this evening.
Sunday January 26th 1919.
We went to Church this morning.
Daddie went over to tea with the Russells Miss Ind came in after tea.
I've managed to write this day's doings without any undue lack of space havn't I?
Daddie is giving a lantern slide lecture to the soldiers at Coombe Lodge hospital tomorrow evening.
I have written to Peggy and Miss Wolff today.
We have started packing — at least Shortie has started with an air of grim determination to pack every single article I possess. Everything one wants one is informed with fearful firmness is packed.
We leave here a week tomorrow. In some ways I shall be sorry but this is not a place to be in in the winter, it is very cold and there are only lamps and candles for light and there is nothing to do and it is most deadly dull. Of course in summer the garden would be beautiful. The books here are wonderful; there are a great many very old and rare ones. She collects books on gardening, Napoleon and Music but she (by "she" I mean Miss Willmott) doesn't approve of modern books on gardening she has got piles and piles of music in green leather portfolios and each one labelled with the contents and then she has a card index of it all. In the Music Room there is an organ and every kind of musical instrument you can imagine, Miss Ind told us that some of them are quite famous.
The Peace Conference has started at Paris and is busy discussing a League of Nations. Russia refused to send delegates.
Monday January 27th 1919.
We have just got back from Daddie's lecture to the wounded soldiers; it was awfully good and he had some very good lantern slides and they seemed to enjoy it enormously. He told us about a mission he went to the Chief of Hunza and about the mission to Thibet [ Tibet ] and about German intrigues in India in the war.
It is snowing hard and the ground is quite thickly covered.
Shortie got back very late Saturday night having found that her sister was no iller (is there such a word?) than usual. That is the third time her nephew has telegraphed for her and she has gone tearing off to find nothing more than usual had happened.
Wednesday January 29th 1919.
Daddie, Shortie and I went up to London this morning. We tore wildly for the 9.19 and arrived at the station just as it left so we had to wait for the 9.40. Shortie and I went first to the flat to leave Chi Chi basket for him when he comes up on Friday; then we went to Mrs Box to leave a note for Mummy and then to Gorringe where I tried unsuccessfully to get some blue wool; then we went to Trinity College. Emmeline is giving a piano recital next Wednesday. She says I am getting on very well. We had luncheon at a Lyons — for the last time I hope! Then I tried again for wool at two shops they had the blue I wanted but not enough of it which made me very cross. Wool is a terrible price one of these was 15/6 a lb and the other 12/11. Next we went to Wolfie's and I saw her in Mount Street and caught her up, she was going to look over a house for someone in Park Street so I went with her, it was a nice little house but had no bathroom. Houses and flats in London are quite impossible to get and are letting at the most extraordinary prices; this lady had just let her flat; about the same seize as ours, at 15 guineas a week for 6 months and people are sleeping in lounges and places at hotels and in some cases paying 5 guineas a night for a room.
I went to tea with Peggy, she has been having the most appalingly gay time; as far as I can make out she has been to a dance every night for nearly a month and luncheon and dinner parties and theatres innumerable. At last she has managed to get to know Teddie who she is more crazy on than ever. We came back by the 6.26.
Peggy has given me "The Willow Tree" the story of the play for my birthday present.
Mrs de la Mere came to tea yesterday.
I have been reading "Per Aspera" by Georg Ebers and as it is over 800 pages long (in two volumes) and I only begun it on Monday I think it rather brilliant of me to have finished it this evening. It is about Alexandria in the time of Caracalla and most interesting and bloodthirsty.
Sometime ago when we were in London we saw several lorrys full of German prisoners go along Oxford Street; they were guarded by soldiers with fixed bayonets sitting in all the corner seats.
There are several bad strikes on.
Friday January 31st 1919.
Daddie went to Newark yesterday to give a lecture.
In the afternoon Shortie and I went to the Convent to say "good-bye" to little Mother Thérèse, I am so glad we went because she was so pleased and she wants me to write to her. She is such a dear little thing and I am very sorry to be leaving her.
Shortie went up to London today to meet Mrs Idie who came up from Bath and went to the flat which Mr Paul gave up today. She brought Chi Chi up with her.
Daddie came back by the 4.18.
I have written to Alice, Mary and Helen today.
Mr Lloyd George and President Wilson appear to have had a slight difference of opinion over somthing or other.
The Peace Conference has decided that the German colonies shall for the present be ruled by the countries which conquered them and Turkey-in-Asia is to be ruled by "the four powers" (I don't know what four powers).
Some facts about the raids have now been let out. In one raid alone over £1000,5000 worth of damage was done.
Saturday February 1st 1919.
I had a letter from Wolfie this morning saying she is having a literature class on every other Saturday from 11-12.30 for the Russian Princesses and one or two other people and she wants me to join it which will be very nice as I think I ought to do some more Literature and I havn't the courage to re-join the Thursday two hour class which entails reading aloud and writing essays!
Mr Fraser came to tea.
Captain Childers is coming over for the day tomorrow.
I have been reading a book called "Juliana Horatia Ewing and her books" which is a memoir of the writer of children's books by her sister and with a good many of her letters tacked on at the end. She must have been very charming and amusing though her health was terribly bad.
The strikes are very bad in Belfast and Glascow [ Glasgow ]; in the latter place there was rioting in the streets, and the police charged the strikers and there were a good many casualties; now several thousand soldiers have been posted about the city and the strike leaders arrested and for the moment there is peace.
Tuesday February 4th 1919.
3, Buckingham Gate.
My diary has been packed which is the reason why I havn't written it for so long.
Mummy went up to London Sunday morning and went back to Warley yesterday morning.
Shortie and I went to Church on Sunday. I am sorry to leave that nice little Church.
Captain Childers never came which was very disappointing.
Daddie and I went to tea with the de la Meres who were very nice and asked us to go down and see them in the summer.
Daddie went up by the 9.19 yesterday morning and Mummy, Shortie, Joffie, Mrs Simpson and I came up by the 5.38 which gets to Liverpool Street at 6.5 where it becomes our good old 6.26.
A motor-van came down from the Pantechnichion [ Pantechnicon ] to fetch our things and it had three breakdowns on the way from Warley here with the result that it didn't arrive till between 8.30 and 9 o'clock.
I was sorry in some ways to leave Warley but it is nice being in London again. We havn't been really in London since we were here in 1915.
Mummy has gone down to Amesbury for the day to see Lady Antrobus.
I found a letter from Mary awaiting me on my arrival yesterday. She has been ill in bed for a week poor thing!
Mrs Idie is looking very well. She has made me such a pretty brown velvet hat to go with my brown coat and skirt and she has made a tartan skirt of Mummy's into a kilt for me and also a navy blue serge kilt of mine which I had long grown out of she had made very nice by putting it on a band.
There is a strike on the tubes and none of them are running and now it has spread to the underground and they say the 'buses and trams are coming out (or to be more exact going in) on Thursday and there is a rumour that the electricians are going on strike in which case there will be no electric light so altogether it is a nice cheery prospect.
Wednesday February 5th 1919.
Yesterday morning we went out to try and get my wool and on the way we met Cousin Ruth who was very nice and wants me to go to tea with her neice who is staying with them in London. We went to Head for the wool and had to wait nearly ½ an hour before we could get served because at the wool counter which runs the whole length of the building people were standing three and four deep and all apparently trying to buy wool to knit jumpers, there is the most extraordinary craze for knitting jumpers. I got a most lovely blue wool, it is like a rather light saxe blue only a more blue blue. It was 11 bob a lb and I had 1¼ lbs from which O, most intelligent reader you will see that I had to pay 13/9 for it. We managed to get a 'bus both there and back which was very lucky as the 'buses were very crowded because of the strike. Cousin Winifrid Magniac called in the afternoon. She is living at Farnborough and was only in London for the day. She is so nice.
Daddie and I went to tea with Cousin Nell who was awfully nice and very pleased to see us. She says poor Cousin Gerty isn't at all well and she also told us that Aunt Bobs is going to have a baby, I hope it will be a boy.
We suddenly discovered last night that Aunt Vallie was in London and going back to France today so I telephoned wildly to Cousin Tottie and found she was staying with Cousin (I always call her Aunt) Mable so I telephoned there and she is coming to see us this morning; Daddie has gone to fetch her.
Mummy got home more dead than alive at 9 o'clock last night.
Yesterday wasn't so bad for our first day in London was it?
The strike is still on and the 'bus people show every sign of striking!
Thursday February 6th 1919.
I had got to go to Trinity College for my music lesson yesterday morning and then again in the afternoon to a recital which Miss Medd-Hall was giving so as I knew we should probably have to walk there and back I rang up Peggy to ask if I could go to luncheon with her and before my call got through she had rung me up to ask me to luncheon which was what one might term a remarkable coincidence.
Aunt Vallie appeared about 10.30 and was even more amusing than usual. She belongs to some corps which looks after French soldiers and her uniform is covered all over with cocks and she says people are always asking her if she belongs to the National Egg Fund! and in the underground and places people were always asking her what the cocks meant and she got so tired of explaining that she looked after French soldiers and that the cock is the emblem of France and therefore they wore cocks that she said she belonged to a contingent which was recruited in London and they wore cocks because they were cockneys.
We managed to get onto a 'bus when we went to Trinity College and arrived there punctually at 12 o'clock but when I got up to Miss Medd-Hall's room I found a girl practising and no Miss Medd-Hall, this girl had been waiting since before 11.30 and she waited till 12.30 and then went. Miss Medd Hall appeared just after 12.30; she hadn't been able to get into a 'bus and couldn't get a taxi and it was too far to walk so she had to wait till she could get a 'bus. I went to luncheon with Peggy and she wants me to go to tea today but I am not sure if I shall be able to. Daddie fetched me and took me to Miss Medd-Hall's recital which was jolly good she does play well. Meanwhile it had been snowing solidly ever since about 11 o'clock and we walked all the way home and arrived pretty fairly damp.
Aunt Vallie came to tea and Daddie walked with her to Waterloo where she caught a train at 6.45 for Alton near where she has got a house. She gave me a ring made by a soldier at the front in his spare time out of a peice of German shell.
The strikes seem to be getting worse instead of better.
Friday February 7th 1919.
I didn't go out at all yesterday morning because Mummy wanted Shortie to go out with her so I knitted and practised and wrote to the Miss McLarens to ask them to come to tea.
In the afternoon I went to Miss Hammond's and had my hair washed I wanted to have it "bobbed" (cut short) but she refused to do it because she said it was going out of fashion and my hair was too straight to look nice short.
We went to tea with Peggy where we stayed till past 6.30 but managed to get onto a 'bus quite easily in Edgeware Road but they were terribly full going the other way and there were Army motor lorries taking people about.
I had a most killing letter from Helen this morning. She is coming to London on Wednesday or Thursday which I am very glad of.
The L.S.W.R struck yesterday and the electricians threatened to cut off the electric light at 6 o'clock yesterday evening, however nothing happened. There was to have been a national strike today but now "the strike is over the battle done" (not "won") and the underground will be almost normal today. The strikes made it terribly difficult for people to get to their work and according to the paper there was a 'bus queue a mile long at Hammersmith Broadway one day.
Saturday February 8th 1919.
Yesterday morning Mummy and I went to a lecture on Folk songs by a Mr Ford at Wolfie's. He sang some folk-songs and a pupil of his sang too and it was quite charming. Mummy wants him to teach me singing.
In the afternoon Shortie and I went to Miss Clarke and had a terrible time getting there as the underground wasn't running having apparently struck again and of course the 'buses were full to over flowing. There were a good many Army lorries about crammed with people and labelled with their destination, such as "Kew Green to Liverpool Street", Hounslow and Hammersmith", "Golders Green".
Daddie had Sir Philip Chetwood, who was 2nd in command in Palestine, to tea at his club yesterday and he told Daddie a great many interesting things most of which I have forgotten.
I was going to Wolfie's for a literature lesson with the Russian Princesses this morning but Mummy had a letter from Wolfie to say that they have heard privately that their father, the Grand Duke George, has been shot in Russia. Poor things! it is terribly sad especially as he was safe in England and then he went back to Russia.
It is quite a nice day today which is a comfort.
I rang up Pompey yesterday and he is coming to tea today.
The paper this morning says the strike is settled now.
Sunday February 9th 1919.
Daddie took me out with him yesterday afternoon to go to the "Morning Post" offices with a letter he had written. When we were half way up the Mall a taxi suddenly stopped just by us and someone called "Eileen"; it was Cousin Cecil, she and Peter and another boy and another lady were going to the Ruhleben Exibition at the Central Hall Westminster. It was absolutely packed but a wonderful exibition, it was things made by the prisoners in Ruhleben Camp in Germany. There were pictures, some of them very good and a good many stamped with the German Censor's stamp. Wonderfully made leather things such as purses; bags and note cases, silver work; jolly good photographs of people; posters for plays held in the camp, models of ships, woolen things and book-binding. Ruhleben was originally a race course and there was a most realistic reproduction of a horse box in which five men had to live. An auction was going on of things from the camp - I met the Miss McLarens there and they are coming to tea on Thursday. Daddie fetched me when he had been to the "Morning Post" office and we tore back here where we found Pompey, Cousin Tottie and Colonel Kent.
We are going to tea with Cousin Tottie on Tuesday. She told us she had seen a girl who had been with Aunt Vallie in France and the girl told her that one day Aunt Vallie appear in a pink silk blouse with her uniform! and it turned out that she had given all her kahki shirts to American soldiers who were brought to the French hospital and had no new ones given them when their old ones were taken away.
I finished the front of my jumper yesterday.
Mummy and I went to Church at St Andrew's Ashley Gardens this morning and this afternoon Daddie and I went to the Memorial Service for Theodore Roosevelt in Westminster Abbey; by great good luck Mr Synge was presiding over the door of the choir and he let us into the choir. It was a beautiful service and they sung the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" very well, Canon Carnegie preached. Prince Arthur of Connaught, Admiral Sims, Lord Bryce, Mr Austen Chamberlin, Mr Walter Long, Lord Curzon and Lord Charles Beresford were there.
Miss Russell neice of Mr George Russell came to tea and Sir Bernard Mallett, the Registrar General, came in after tea. Mr Russell is not at all well.
Aunt Violet was coming to tea but she had to stay in bed with rheumatism.
The papers say the strike is over but the trains aren't running which is useful! Cousin Tottie went in an Army motor lorry the other day and the driver told her that if the 'buses strike the Government has 900 lorries ready to put on in their place.
Tuesday February 11th 1919.
Shortie took Joffie down to the country yesterday morning. He is going to live with some friends of Mrs Idie's at Feltham while we are in London.
Mrs Idie and I went to Gorringes to buy one or two things in the afternoon.
Peggy came to tea and stayed till about 6.30.
At 7.30 we got a dreadful shock, poor Shortie appeared looking very much dazed and scarcely able to stand. She had been knocked down just outside Waterloo Station by a beastly boy on a bicycle and a nice gentleman brought her back here in a taxi; he wanted to take her to St Thomases Hospital but she refused to go because she thought it would give us such a fright. She had a terrible pain in her chest and in her head. We got a nice doctor who said there was nothing much wrong and she had had a very lucky escape. This morning she has got a black eye and it is closed up but she seems better.
Daddie and I went to see the opening of Parliament today — or rather the King and Queen going to open Parliament. We went into the Mall about 10 minutes before the procession was due to start and got a very good place almost in the front row. They didn't have the big coach and the cream coloured ponies but a big state landau and six black horses. The King and Queen were in the first carriage, the King in kahki and the Queen in black. The Duchess of Suterland [ Sutherland ] and Sir William Robertson Chief of the General Staff and another lady and gentleman were in the second carriage and in the third were Sir Rosslyn Wemyss, Lord Grenfell and one or two other people. There was some cavalry before and behind and several outriders in scarlet. Afterwards we went to the Exibition of Canadian War Photographs in colours at the Grafton Galleries. They were very big enlargements very well coloured and quite wonderfully realistic.
Uncle Claude and Aunt Di are staying in London with Aunt Lil for a few days and Aunt Di is coming to luncheon on Friday which is very nice.
Thursday February 13th 1919.
We went to tea with Cousin Tottie on Tuesday and stayed till past 7 o'clock and she gave me a pot of very good blackberry jelly which she had made.
They have bought a house near Andover and she is very excited about it.
Yesterday morning I went to Trinity College for my lesson. Poor Miss Medd-Hall suffered very much from the strikes because of course she had great difficulty in getting about and had to miss a good many lessons and now she is trying to make them up and she has almost more than she can do anyway.
Mummy and I were going to tea with Aunt Di yesterday but I had a bit of a cold and Mummy said I mustn't go out so we didn't go.
I havn't been out all day today
Mummy went to luncheon with the Dowager Duchess of Bedford.
The Miss McLarens came to tea and were very nice and are very busy with music.
Colonel Gabriel who we knew in India and who since the war has apparently been doing somthing in every quarter of the globe and is now financial adviser to the govenment of Palestine or somthing weird like that, came to tea — at least he came about 5.30 and had tea. He has only been in England a week and he goes back to Palestine tomorrow. He says that Wilson is quite in the hands of his secretary who is a Jew and that he is surrounded by Jews.
Sir Bernard Mallett also came in the evening.
I have finished one sleeve of my jumper and am now doing the back.
There is no very special news. Everyone is thoroughly sick of Wilson.
Friday February 14th 1919.
Uncle Claude and Aunt Di came to luncheon and Uncle Claude wants to teach me to drive their motor in Regents Park when they come to London again.
Cicely Haddow and her brother called in the afternoon; he is in the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders and very nice. Cicely is having a very gay time; they hope to go back to India in March.
We had quite a tea party — Miss Russell; Lady Robson; Father Russell; Sir Bernard Mallett; Mr Ede and Lord Haldane. They came to form a committee to discuss Mr George Russell's affairs which apparently are in rather a tangle.
Helen is coming to tea tomorrow.
There has been a revolution in Rumania.
Saturday February 15th 1919.
I didn't go to the Literature Class at Miss Wolff's this morning because I didn't feel very well.
Cousin Tottie came to luncheon and she and Mummy went to look at some things which are going to be sold by auction at a house in Upper Brook Street on Monday. She came back to tea and Helen and Lady Percy also came to tea; Helen was even more amusing than usual; we played the gramophone she tried to teach me the Fox Trot and we played the piano and tried to sing duets — which can neither be imagined or described in their result. She told me that she was at a hunt ball in Leicestershire about Christmas-time and Maud Bailey a fat and plain old Wolffite was there too and she was dancing with her arms round her partner's neck when suddenly her foot slipped, she fell and went slithering across the ball-room and cannoned into Helen and her partner; they too fell and the whole lot gracefully rolled over each other in one glorious tangle!
Daddie went to see the Haddows this afternoon.
I have finished the back of my jumper which I am very glad of as I was beginning to get thoroughly tired of it. I now only got one sleeve and the collar to do and to sew it up.
Daddie is going to lecture to soldiers in Kent for a couple of days next week beginning on Monday.
The Peace Conference are discussing the League of Nations of which Wilson modestly says he wishes to be President. He has gone back to America for the present — thank goodness.
Monday February 17th 1919.
I had a letter from Aunt Lil this morning sending me some wool which Aunt Di had got for me to make the collar of my jumper of. She also asked me to go to tea with her one day (I mean Aunt Lil did).
Have just discovered the amazing fact that I didn't write my diary yesterday. Shortie and I went to Church at the Chapel across the road in the morning. Daddie went calling in the afternoon, drew a blank at the Duchess of Somerset and the Duchess of Bedford and found Mrs Cazalet, Lady Chetwode and Lady Treowen (where he met Baroness Orczy) in. He also went to see a Major Cockerell who is I think in the War Office. Aunt Violet called after tea and Colonel Gabriel came to dinner.
I went to luncheon with Peggy today. She is busy trying to concoct practical jokes to play on unoffending young men in which evil design I assisted her.
When Shortie fetched me we went to see Wolfie who has had a bad cold and seemed very tired and unwell. She wants me to go to a French conversation class on Tuesday mornings. It was pouring with rain but luckily we managed to get a taxi home.
Wednesday February 19th 1919.
Practically nothing happened yesterday. I didn't go to the French conversation class because it was snowing and Mummy didn't want me to go out.
This morning I went to Trinity College Miss Medd-Hall says I have caught up Peggy in music which is gratifying.
Mummy and I went to call on Cousin Gerty this afternoon but she was out so then we went to the hut which they have made twice the seize by adding on a room for the social evenings
Cousin Tottie came to tea but had to go rather soon; she has asked me to go round to her flat tomorrow morning and she will show me how to Swiss darn my jumper.
Daddie got back between 5.30 and 6 o'clock. He had lectured at Sheppy, Chatham, Maidstone and Gravesend, and seems to have had a very good time; he met an officer who knew the Kaiser quite well before the war, he got to know him through winning a prize which the Kaiser gave for yachting and the Kaiser used to have him to stay with him quite often. He thinks the Kaiser has been mad since the war.
Cousin Ruth called after tea.
I finished the second sleeve of my jumper yesterday. I have finished the actual jumper in exactly a fortnight and have only got the collar (of which I have done half) and the sewing up to do.
Mummy bought two grey carpets and one green one, two pairs of red velvet and two pairs of rose pink damask curtains at a sale of Sir Reginald and Lady Cathcart's things at a house in Upper Brook Street on Monday. One grey carpet is very big and cost £47, the other is exactly the same only smaller and is going in the drawing-room, it cost £14; the green carpet is Brussels and is going in my room and cost £8, the red velvet curtains cost £12.10s and the pink ones £18.
Germany has signed a renewal of the armistice in which she agrees not to fight in Poland; to keep the terms of the first armistice and we may end the armistice with three days notice. The Germans were very reluctant to sign it and sent at the last moment to ask if they couldn't have some more time to consider it but Foch sent to say that unless they signed it by 6 o'clock last Sunday the Armistice would cease at 5 o'clock last Monday morning — so they signed in haste. There has been an attempt by a Frenchman to assassinate Clemenceau; and he wounded him in the shoulder but luckily not badly. It is probable that Heligoland will be dismantled.
Friday February 21st 1919.
I went round to Cousin Tottie's flat yesterday morning and she showed me how to swiss darn the shoulders of my jumper, it makes an absolutely invisable join but you can only do it when you can have the stitches on the needles for instance you couldn't do it down the sides of a garment.
Shortie fetched me and we went on to the stores and did several things.
Aunt Vallie was in London for the night and she came to luncheon and Aunt Mable [ Mabel ] called soon after luncheon and they went away together.
Lady Treowen (who was Lady Herbert before her husband was made a peer) called in the afternoon. She is quite original and most amusing. Mummy went with her in her motor as far as Wilton Street where Mr George Russell lives.
Aunt Violet came to dinner. She, like everybody else, is knitting a jumper.
Sir Harry and Lady Emma Crighton have come back to their flat which is the one below us. Mummy went to see them after tea yesterday, Daddie after dinner and I went after breakfast this morning. They both draw and paint very well and they are doing little sketches on satin for the soldiers at Netley Hospital to work.
My jumper is sewn up and has only got to have the collar on now.
Clemenceau was rather seriously wounded by that anarchist the other day. One of the [ bullets ] entered one of his lungs.
Sunday February 23rd 1919.
Soon after luncheon on Friday Daddie and I sallied forth to call on Cousin Gerty but she wasn't at home. We were going out to tea so thought it wouldn't be worth while to go home — as a matter of fact it would have been very much worth while because we had nearly 1½ hours before tea-time and it was pouring with rain - so we went to the House of Lords to see what was going on; there was a Law suit on and some old-johnny was spouting but it was so extremely dull that having had a good look at the Lord Chancellor, F.E. Smith, about whose appointment everyone was so furious, we went away and decided to go over Westminster Abbey but there was a service on so we couldn't, then we went to the Central Hall to see if there was anything on there but it was shut; then we went over the Institute of Civil Engineers at the top of Birdcage Walk and finally we took a 'bus and went to call on Aunt Bobs, Lady Treowen was there and also Aunt Bobs' brother Jeffery who was taken prisoner by the Bulgarians From there we went on to the Haddows who are paying guests with a woman in Park Lane. We met Mummy there. There were about 16 people there altogether including us and the Haddows it was great fun.
Yesterday morning I went to have a singing lesson from that Mr Ford who lectured at Miss Wolff's the other day. He says he doesn't think I shall ever be able really to sing in tune because I never sung as a child but Miss Wolff says he is very often dismal like that and that very likely he is mistaken. From there we went on to Wolfie's where the Literature class was on. There were six girls there, the Russian Princesses, Jean Macgriegor, the Thynne girl, (I have forgotten her Christian name); Thérèse de Caraman Chimay and myself. First we had spelling at which I did not shine, then Miss Wolff told us about Blake and ask some questions. The class lasts from 11-12.30 and is only for anyone who Miss Wolff chooses to invite. The Thynne girl being appearantly a person of odd tastes is very anxious to make my acquaintance and is going to ring up and ask me to tea one day. Daddie fetched me soon after 1 and we went to luncheon with Cousin Gerty where we met Mummy. Cousin Gerty was as amusing as ever and she took us to the Grosvenor Galleries where there was a private view of an exhibition by the National Society of Portrait Painters. Some of the portraits were extremely good especially one or two of children and some were quite away but not many.