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.
The language and opinions found in the diaries reflect the ideas, attitudes and events of the period. Some of the terminology and language used at that time may cause offence today but the content has been made available unedited. We hope that the context of the material will be taken into account and apologise for any offence caused.
Links in the text highlight images, publications, biographical information and other contextual material, including primary sources held by other archives, museums and libraries.
Suggested citation for this volume: Diary 4, May-Sep 1918; Eileen Younghusband archive, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick (MSS.463/EY/J4)
Images of the original diaryLink opens in a new window are available through Warwick Digital Collections.
Empire Day 1918.
I rang up Peggy on Wednesday evening and she asked me to luncheon yesterday so Daddie took me up with him in the morning and we spent ages at the R.G.S. and the Royal Institution looking for lantern slides, then he left me at Peggys at about 12.30 and went off to luncheon with Uncle Leslie. Peggy told me all about having tea with TeddieLink opens in a new window who of course she is madder than ever on. She has seen Bobs once or twice and she took her to see Teddie at the Coliseum the other day which is what I call a very dangerous proceeding. When I left she was in the middle of concocting a scheme to get Maggie the house-maid to take her round to the stage door of the ColiseumLink opens in a new window to see Teddie; I don't know whether it came off.
Mummy fetched me and took me to a lecture of Daddie's at the Royal InstitutionLink opens in a new window on the Himalayas. It was very good and he had some jolly good lantern slides. He is giving three altogether, the others will be on the next two Thursdays. Cousin V was there and she met a friend of hers, Miss Ellen WillmottLink opens in a new window who is a very famous gardener. Daddie had ordered tea at Coxs' Hotel in Jermyn Street and Miss Willmott came too. She is coming down here on Sunday and we are going to a choir-practise of hers next Thursday and I am going out with her with a botanical club into the country on Saturday fortnight June 8th. Uncle Leslie and Aunt Kathleen also came to tea. Ian is now 6 feet 3 inches, he grew 2 inches while he was in bed at the time of his operation! he is having a three weeks course in gunnery at Portsmouth just now Laurie came up for last week-end to see Uncle Leslie who he hadn't seen for over five years.
After tea we went to see a place where a bomb fell near St Jameses Palace. There was a perfectly terrible crowd in the underground and quite a good many people were left behind at some stations. I agree with Bamsey the keeper at Leusdon who when relating his thrilling adventures the only time he ever went to London - to see his soldier son in hospital - said "us don't 'old with them undergrounds and 'buses, us walks"! not that I should like the walking part.
Uncle Vesey has sent me an envelope from a letter which was sent from the Sudan and sunk by Huns on the way. Daddie has been speaking to school children at a place called Ashford today. Mummy went up to the enquiry bureau about 12.
Shortie and I had luncheon early and then went up to London. First we went to see her nephew Fred who is in a hospital at 184 Queens GateLink opens in a new window Then we took a 'bus from Kensington Road to Trafalgar Square. There were large crowds at the Albert Hall and Special Constables and soldiers both Cavalry and infantry and sailors and the King and Queen were expected at 3 o' clock. I suppose there was going to be some big function for Empire DayLink opens in a new window. By a most extraordinary coincidence we met Mummy at Trafalgar Square and she said she had arranged with Speaight to take my photograph again at 4.15. Then Shortie and I went to the Stores and I bought this diary; the reason that I used the other one up to the very last gasp like I did was because I wrote to Shortie to send me one to the Glen and she sent a sieze too big so I waited to get the right sieze. Shortie struggled with butter and Sugar Cards and then we went to Speaights and he did two more of me. I hope for goodness they will turn out a success this time I hate being taken. Mummy took us to tea at her Club and then we came home.
The Sunday night raid seems to have been very bad everywhere. Allan and HanburysLink opens in a new window factory has been burnt down and 44 people were killed altogether but we brought down seven Hun areoplanes.
There was a most terrific thunder storm on Wednesday night, it started at 9 o'clock and went on intermittantly till 10 o'clock the next morning. The weather is rather cold and rather nasty at present.
Saturday May 25th 1918.
We have all done nothing-in-particular nearly all day; as far as I was conserned it consisted in gardening, reading and playing the piano. Great Aunt and Ward her maid came to tea.
I have been reading "The Laughing Cavalier"Link opens in a new window by Baroness Orczy. It is the story of the man in the picture called "the laughing Cavalier"Link opens in a new window by Frans Hals and he is supposed to be an ancestor of the "Scarlet Pimpernel" who was the hero of a very famous novel about the French Revolution by Baroness Orczy. I liked this one very much but all her stories are rather alike.
The Germans have been trying to raise a rebellion in Ireland.Link opens in a new window
I am not going to Wolfies this term of which fact I am heartily glad. I am going to a drawing - class of Miss de Lisle's in Wimbledon on Wednesdays and Thursdays and I hope I shall be able to have Emmeline and singing lessons.
My watch has suddenly started to go again for no apparent rhyme or reason. I suppose it didn't like leaving Wimbledon when it elected to stop.
Sunday May 26th 1918.
We went to Church this morning. It was rather heavenly to get back to a real good choir once more.
Miss Willmott came to luncheon and tea. She is very nice and interesting and amusing and knows a great many people who we know.
Pompey telephoned at luncheon time to say he was coming to tea which occasioned much rejoicing on my part. He arrived about 4 o'clock and has borrowed two books from me, one about gardening and the other about butterflies. We are going to tea with him tomorrow.
Peggy and Mrs Leigh also came to tea. I had asked Peggy if they could come when I was there on Thursday but as she hadn't telephoned I had concluded they weren't coming. Peggy is in rather a fix because Denise has guessed about Peggy going to "Cheep!" when she pretended to take Maggy to the Coliseum; also she thinks Denise has got a strong suspection that she has seen Teddie to talk to; so Peggy is now going to pretend to fall out of love with Teddie by gradual degrees.
I have written to Wolfie asking her to come to Daddie's next lecture.
There has been a big review of Special Constables out on the Common this afternoon.
I still miss Devonshire very much. I did have the most glorious time there, I roamed about where ever I liked alone, I fished alone, I rode alone, I drank black coffee at night, I was never in bed till past 11 and what nearly gives poor Shortie a fit, I never changed if I got wet. The people down there all talk broad Devonshire but I am sorry to say some of them are great pacifists. A friend of Pompeys asked one old women if she didn't think she ought to send her son to fight and help finish the war She said 'no - Kayser – old varmint - he started un, let 'e finish un"! Another time Pompey was trying to incite a farmer to go and fight and all he got was, "us be mighty shy down 'ere, us don't want to fight, what us says is let 'em fight as wants to fight". Very few of them have ever been to London and they have never had an areoplane over there and they scarcely ever see a soldier except when a son of one of them comes home on leave. I hope that beautiful country will never be spoilt by houses and railways and motor 'buses and unappreciative tourists and all the other horrors of civilization. Except for Kashmir I have never seen such lovely country on such a beautiful river as the Dart. One of the most beautiful bits is when you stand on New Bridge and look down towards the mouth of the Webburn; there is a long flat bit of ground in front of you with the road winding along it; on the right is the Dart rushing along in great graceful curves and now and then suddenly sinking to rest to form a deep, dark salmon pool in which you long to fish for trout but would probably catch nothing if you did because of their depth and clearness; on the far side of the river and where it disappears from sight at the Webburn's mouth are hills covered with woods. On the left hand-side just by the road there is a steep hill covered with great grey granite rocks which is known as Leigh tor, it is really a very small and insignificant tor but one of the many lovely things in that lovely view. Of course this description doesn't give the slightest idea of this view but I will put in a photograph or two of the Dart when I get them back from the photographer. Unfortunately I havn't got one looking from New Bridge but there is one looking towards it.
Monday May 27th 1918.
I had a post-card from Emmeline this morning. She can't give me a music lesson till Monday-week which is a great bore, however she is arranging about singing lessons for me.
Nothing happened this morning I drew and played the piano most of the time. We had luncheon early and then went to London. Shortie and I went to the bureau where we remained till 3.50 when we went to the Stores and purchased some drawing paper and changed the big diary which Shortie had got for me for two of this seize so I am well provided now! After this we got a 'bus and went to Pompey to tea. One of his sisters was there and she was very nice. They were sorting out things to send to his brother who is a prisoner in Turkey; they haven't been allowed to have anything for a long time but now a good many prisoners have been exchanged and those that havn't are going to be allowed to have parcels.
We came home from Knightsbridge and we had to see four trains go out before we could get into one because they were so full but after that we got on quite well.
Daddie is going to a Geographical dinner and taking Uncle Leslie so he won't be home till about 11 o'clock.
I am feeling very doleful and in a vile bad temper about nothing at all which is a nice pleasant state of affairs.
The number after next of the "Play Pictorial" is going to be "Nothing but the Truth" and I hope to goodness it will have Renée in it. I suppose Renée has gone off for another holiday lasting nearly six months like she did last year. I wish she wouldn't, it is most annoying of her when I want to see her again so much.
Mrs Idie made me a ripping blouse while she was at Leusdon, it is white crêpe-de-chine trimmed with filet laceLink opens in a new window.
The new German offensive has begun but there is very little news yet.
Tuesday May 28th 1918.
Cousin V came to luncheon and tea and Great Aunt came at tea-time but didn't come in; she has got a very bad eye and had been up to London to see an oculist.
Cousin V apparently is thinking of buying a house somewhere about here. She had been to see one at Robin Hood Gate this morning and had got an order to view one called "Stone Wall" (or Stone Something) in West Hill Wandsworth so Daddie and I went there with her after tea. The gentleman it belongs to took us over. His name was Benson and he was a Jew and a banker and kept race horses and was evidently enormously rich and was quite determined to impress us with his richness. The house really was beautiful inside but Cousin V didn't quite think it would do for them.
Emmeline has arranged for singing lessons for me. A Miss Butler is going to give me lessons and she is coming at 10 o'clock on Friday.
I had a very nice letter from Miss Willmott this evening.
A week today since we left lovely, lovely Devonshire! I hope the photographs I took at the Glen will come tomorrow. The people in the shop said tomorrow at the earliest but you always have to tack a week onto whatever they tell you in a photograph shop. I am longing to see those photos, 2 1/2 dozen of them.
The Germans have crossed the AisneLink opens in a new window on a 20 mile front.
Wednesday May 29th 1918.
Mummy and Daddie both went to London today. Mummy said she would be home at 6 o'clock and at 8 she telephoned to say she was just starting back!
I have been reading a book called "Peter Ibbertson"Link opens in a new window by George du Maurier. It is a very weird book.
My photographs have come so I am afraid I libelled the photograph people in my remarks yesterday! Quite honestly I am disappointed in the photographs; the light has been getting into my camera and they are not half as clean and "sharp" as they ought to be and five are failures. However there are about 1/2 a dozen good ones.
I went to a drawing classLink opens in a new window, which Miss de Lisle teaches belonging to Wimbledon High School, this afternoon. It was great fun, there were about 20 girls, a good many with their hair up and we had a model - a poor unfortunate boy who was perched up on a high stool. The class lasts for 1 1/2 hours and is on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I can't go tomorrow but am going on Friday. It is the first class outside Wolfies I have ever been to! Thank goodness I wasn't as terrified as I was on the first day at Wolfie's over six years ago!
Uncle Oswald telephoned to Mummy this morning and he told her that Blandford (the butler) was singing a song very deep down in his boots to Joan and when he had done Joan said "feel better?"!
The weather is very good on the whole at present and not too hot.
There is very little more news of the German offensive but they claim 15,000 prisoners already. The Italians have taken over 1,000 prisoners in the last few days.
Thursday May 30th 1918.
Shortie and I went up to London this morning. First we went to Derry and TomsLink opens in a new window where Shortie invegield me into having a pair of gloves of a most terrifying hue of brown and with three buttons on each glove woe is me! After this we went to see her nephew in hospital in Queens Gate and took him some flowers and eggs and oranges. Then we went to Park Mansions and I left my new photographs for Pompey to see. And then Shortie took me to Upper Berkeley Street. Peggy hadn't been doing anything exciting. After luncheon they took me to Claridges to meet Mrs Leigh who went with me to Daddie's lecture at the Royal Institution. It was on the inhabitants of the Himalayas and very good and he had some ripping lantern slides. We had tea at Coxs' Hotel and Mrs Leigh, Miss Willmott, Mrs Luling and Mr and Mrs Ahmed came to tea. Afterwards Miss Willmott took me to a rehersal at Westminster Hall of a Bach Choir of which she is a member. There were over a hundred singers both ladies and gentleman and the conductor, a Dr AllanLink opens in a new window, was most amusing; he pitched into them sixteen-to-the-dozen and told them that for educated people they did manage to be more vulgar than anyone he had ever seen.
We got home at 8.15. Pompey rang up after dinner He thinks my photographs of the Webburn are very good.
The Germans have taken SoissonsLink opens in a new window and claim 25,000 prisoners and altogether things look pretty black. They have also torpedoed a transport ship and nearly 100 lives have been lost.
Friday May 31st 1918.
Nearly midnight. Am going to bed now diary tomorrow.
Saturday June 1st 1918.
Miss Butler came yesterday at 10 o'clock and gave me my first singing lesson which as I had got a bad cold wasn't a very brilliant effort on my part. She is coming again on Tuesday.
I called Miss Medd-Hall Emmeline to Shortie in front of her which was truly terrible.
I went to the drawing class in the afternoon. It was in a lovely big airy room in a big tin erection and consisted of quite small children but there was one other girl about the same age as me and she and I drew columbines together Shortie and I tore home and had tea and I changed and then we tore off to Putney to meet Mummy and then the latter and I went to Kew where we were going to have dinner with Sir David and Lady Prain (Sir DavidLink opens in a new window is the Curator of Kew GardensLink opens in a new window). Daddie arrived soon after us and we went off to see the rhododendren and azalea gardens which were perfectly lovely. After dinner (a jolly good one too) we went to see the alpine garden which was looking very pretty. There were also several very fine wisterias out. We had to wait an enormous long time for a train at Kew and for a 'bus (the last one) at Putney so we didn't get home till just on midnight. It was Daddie's birthday yesterday and we went to dinner with the Prains on his birthday last year.
I wrote to Mary this morning. Nothing has been happening with great firmness and determination all day.
I snoozled and read a book called "The Hand of Allah" by William le Quex [ Queux ] this afternoon. It was a very exciting mystery book.
The handle of the gramophone suddenly ceased to wind the other day so I unscrewed the top of the gramophone and got at the engine but I can't find out what is wrong and no more can I get the engine into the right position for screwing the top down again. The only thing I did succeed in doing was getting covered with very black and oily oil.
I got a dividend for £1.5s on my £50 War Loan this morning. I am going to add six bob to it and buy two more War Savings Certificates with it. £50,000,000 has been payed by the Government in War Loan dividends today and everyone is asked to re-invest their interest in War BondsLink opens in a new window or War Savings CertificatesLink opens in a new window.
The Huns have now reached the Marne. The brutes! The Greeks have taken over 1,000 prisoners both Bulgars and Huns.
Sunday June 2nd 1918.
We went to Church this morning. Mummy went to see Great Aunt this afternoon. Oonah was there having been sent over all the way from Harrow.
I have read a book called "The Way of an Eagle"Link opens in a new window by Ethel Dell this afternoon and evening. The heroine was rather a rotter (she wasn't meant to be) but on the whole I liked it very much.
Mummy brought back three wounded soldiers from RoehamptonLink opens in a new window who she found outside to tea. They had all lost a leg and were all very nice and cheerful.
I have written to Wolfie asking her to come to Daddie's next lecture. She said she was coming last Thursday but she never appeared. The penny postage for letters ceases at midnight tonight having been going since 1840. After tonight letters will be 1 1/2 d and post-cards a 1d while parcels will start at 6d.
The War news is good. The French are holding the Germans. The laundry boy says the French have mined the Huns and are going to blow them up - I only hope he won't tell the Kaiser!
Monday June 3rd 1918.
I had a letter from Pompey this morning and he sent me some photographs which he had taken at the Glen. They are quite good. He went back to the Glen today.
Emmeline came at about 1 o'clock and brought me a book of Scottish reels and things which I had asked her to try and get for me. It is a most ripping book and has got piles of things in it including the Reel Row and "Kerfusalem". Of course I tortured Paderewski's Minuet as usual Emmeline says I haven't forgotten anything and that my time is much better. I am now going to learn one of Mendelsohnns [ Mendelsohn's ] "Songs Without Words".
We tore off to London as soon as we possibly could after my lesson because Shortie wanted to cash a cheque at Lloyds bank in St. Jameses Street before it closed. As a matter of fact we got there twenty minutes before it closed. I cashed my War Loan dividend there. Mummy meet us soon after 3 o'clock and took us to Christies to see the jewels which have been given by various people to be sold by auction to help a fund for looking after childrenLink opens in a new window. There were some lovely things and a good many German Jew dealers looking at them. We saw Lily ElsieLink opens in a new window the actress there. When we left Mummy went to her bureau and we went to Miss Hammond and I had my hair washed and they waved it to try and make it sit up a bit more; it certainly did look much better waved.
When this painful proceeding was over we went to Evans to try and get some summer frocks for me but they had such excessively bad ones that we came away and went to Knightsbridge on a 'bus and called for two books of mine and my Devonshire photographs at Pompeys flats. We had some cake and coffee in Lyons and then made noble efforts for nearly 1/2 an hour to come home on a 'bus but it was impossible to get into one so we resigned ourselves to our fate and made for the underground and got home quite easily and quickly that way.
The French are still holding the Huns who apparently aren't attacking our line much.
Tuesday June 4th 1918
Miss Butler came and gave me a singing lesson at 11 o'clock this morning. I got on much better this time because my cold is nearly well. She is coming at 9.30 on Friday because we are going to spend the day with Miss Willmott and so shall have to leave early.
Daddie went to London but got back for tea.
I have been playing the piano hard all day.
A Sargent [ Sergeant ] Mapson who is Canadian and who helps at the enquiry bureau came to tea and brought his wife who is English and who he has just married. They are both very nice.
Two sailors from the "Daffodil"Link opens in a new window which helped to stop up Zeebrugge moleLink opens in a new window were in the bureau yesterday and they told Mummy that they were cruising about for three weeks waiting for a fog to come up so that they could creep up to Zeebrugge without the Germans seeing them and when it did come it was so dense (it was partly artificial) that when they got there they found they were right bang alongside the Mole and the Germans hadn't seen them. We are still holding the Germans.
Wednesday June 5th 1918.
Mummy and Daddie both went to London today.
I went to the drawing class this afternoon; it was very nice. We had the same boy for a model After the lesson we went down to Maxwell the music shop to get some music but it was shut so we came home defeated.
I have been printing photographs today. There were several of the Glen lot which the photograph people hadn't printed but which were quite good.
The photographs of me have come from Speaight. One is very good but in the other I look rather die-away.
I have been doing bead-work for the last two or three days. I am making a bracelet; it is purple, blue and silver and very pretty.
The Germans attack is slackening but another big offensive is expected soon. They are only 40 miles from Paris.
Thursday June 6th 1918.
Shortie and I started for London at 11 o'clock this morning. I called at the Putney Boots on my way to see about my camera, the young man there said the bellows are in very bad condition and he is going to send it to their photographic place to be seen to. The film which had been in my old camera since Minehead was done and they have come out very well which is surprising. There are some lovely ones of Shuttie, Peggy and I slipping about on the rocks on Porlock beach.
We went to Harvey Nichols to see about some summer frocks for me. They had got awfully pretty ones and quite inexpensive. I chose four which I will describe when they come. After this Shortie left me at Peggy's. Peggy was rather in the dumps I think she is up to some devilment which she is feeling quaky about. She saw Bobs a few days ago and Bobs is making up to Peggy again and she made a slip and let out that she had made up the story of Peggy's rudeness to her.
Shortie fetched me and took me to Daddie's lecture which was very good. Wolfie was there but she couldn't come to tea. We had tea at Cox's Hotel and Miss Willmott, Mr Asquith (brother of the late Prime Minister) and a Major and Mrs Hamilton who we had known in India came to tea. After they had gone we went into Mummy's club (the Ladies Athenaeum) and looked at the papers then we came home and eat once more.
There are several German submarines off the coast of America and they have sunk 12 ships but not big ones.
Friday June 7th 1918.
We have been spending the day with Miss Willmott at her lovely place at Warley in Essex and we have had a glorious time but it is 10.30 now so I will put down all about it if I can tomorrow. I am going out on a botany expedition with her all day tomorrow.
Saturday June 8th 1918.
I have been out with a botany field club all day and am too tired to write more now but will put down details of yesterday and today tomorrow if I have the requisite energy.
Sunday June 9th 1918.
Now we will have a good old bust up of diary. To begin at the beginning (a most wise proceeding) Miss Butler came and gave me a singing lesson at 9.30 on Friday morning; directly she had gone Daddie and I tore up to Liverpool Street (Mummy had already started because she wanted to do something else on the way) to catch a train at 11.38 for Brentwood; we got into the last carriage of the train 15 seconds before it started. There were four people standing but I with great presence of mind lurched heavily when the train started and a nice gentleman forthwith gave me his seat. We met Mummy at Brentwood luckily she had got into the train and not waited to find us.
We took a taxi to Warley PlaceLink opens in a new window where Miss Willmott lives. It is a beautiful old house and the most glorious gardens you can imagine. There is an alpine garden with little valleys and hills and ponds and streams and four other gardens and simply piles of irises and roses and lots of other things and everything looks so natural and unstiff. There are 30,000 different kinds of plants in the gardens. But best of all we are going to live with Miss Willmott doesn't it sound extraordinary? We have only known her a little over a fortnight and she told me the scheme when we had known her a week but I wasn't to tell anybody. The reason she wants us to go and live with her is that sooner or later her house would be commandeered if there was only her living there because they would say it is too big for only one person so as we had no place to go she thought of asking us and of course we are delighted. We shall go there about the end of August. We got home quite easily at about 9.45.
Yesterday Daddie took me up to meet Miss Willmott at Oxford Circus to go out with the Essex Field ClubLink opens in a new window on a botanising expedition. We left here at 8.45 and met Miss Willmott at about 10.15. Daddie then left me and went to see Major Hamilton. We went by Bakerloo railway to a place called Pinner where we met the rest of the party and we started off over hill and down dale collecting flowers and grasses. They were frightfully excited over everything and simply bombarded each other with Latin names. They were all grown up except me and there were 22 of us altogether. We took our luncheons with us and eat them under some trees in a beautiful field. Our destination was the village of Ruislip and when we were not very far from there another girl and I lost the rest of the party because we went on ahead and didn't see them turn into a wood so we reached Ruislip by the road 3/4 of an hour before they did and didn't know what on earth had happened to them however we consoled ourselves with very sweet and fizzy lemonade and I bought picture post-cards and eventually they turned up; we were then taken to see the Church and the Rector and another gentleman told us its history. Then Miss Willmott and the two young ladies who were with her and I went and had tea and left by an earlier train than the rest because Miss Willmott had got to catch a train at 7.30 at Paddington for Oxford. Mrs Short met us at Paddington and we went and sat in the train with Miss Willmott till it was nearly time for it to go then we came home.
I had breakfast in bed this morning We went to Church and saw Mr Bailey afterwards. The Lulings and Sir Thomas HoldernessLink opens in a new window who is Under Secretary of State for India came to tea and Lady Barrington came after and was very amusing.
The government are going to commandeer all the strawberriesLink opens in a new window tomorrow and we hadn't had any till yesterday so we shan't taste many strawberries this year.
Cousin Nelly came here yesterday
The Germans have just started another big effort to reach Paris.
Monday June 10th 1918.
Mummy and Daddie both went to London this morning and Daddie won't be back till 11 p.m because he has got an R.G.S dinner.
Emmeline came about 1 o'clock and had a go at singing to see how I am getting on and she says I have improved We also did the minuet, which she played perfectly beautifully and the new thing and a little valse which she produced for me to torture.
After tea Mummy and I went to see Lady Barrington but she had gone to Wimbledon so we walked as far as the Ridgeway to see if we could see her but as we didn't we came home.
I have been at the eternal job of rearranging photographs for a large part of the day. I took three photographs with my small camera when we were on that botanising expedition.
Peggy telephoned to say she can't come for the night tomorrow (I had written to ask her) because Rowland is coming up from Winchester for the day on Wednesday but Mrs Leigh and she are coming down for tea on Sunday.
I have been re-reading "A Man's Man"Link opens in a new window by Ian Hay. It is extraordinarily amusing like all his books.
The Germans have made some slight gains but on the whole they are being held.
Tuesday June 11th 1918.
Miss Butler came at 11 o'clock and gave me a singing lesson. I was going up to London do Miss Hammond and various other things but Mummy had got people coming to luncheon and tea so I couldn't.
Mr George Russell came to luncheon and tea. He told us that his father remembered seeing a man who had been out with Prince Charlie in the '45. Aunt Aimée and Ward also came to tea. They are going to Torquay on Thursday. Aunt Aimée has given me a sort of large pocket handkerchief on very fine linen and most beautifully worked with little people and trees and houses.
The Huns have taken several villages at great loss to themselves and they claim 8,000 prisoners.
Wednesday June 12th 1918.
Daddie has gone down to Bristol today for a meeting of Clifton College Council and he is staying the night at Bath.
Mrs Walters (who helps at the Y.M.C.A enquiry bureau) and her daughter came to luncheon and tea.
I went to the drawing-class in the afternoon and didn't take my paint box because we usually have a model and draw him in pencil on Wednesdays but he wasn't there today so I had to draw and shade violas which isn't half as easy as painting them.
The Rev. Bailey came to tea. He is very nice.
I have been seized with one of my periodical attacks of photographic mania which is most tiresome because it is a very expensive amusement.
The French have taken back a good deal of land from the Germans in a counter-attack and we have also taken some land from them and over 230 prisoners.
Uncle Leslie has got to go back to India on the 23rd. He will have only been in England a month.
Thursday June 13th 1918.
Shortie and I went to London early this morning. I had my hair washed while Shortie went to the Stores and then we went to Swan & Edgar and I got two skeins of beads then we came home and had luncheon and started off directly after for the drawing class, we had a girl as model this afternoon.
Daddie got back from Bath in time for tea. Mrs Idie sent some ripping ginger-bread which she had made.
Wolfie was coming down today but she telephoned this morning to say she couldn't.
I have descovered two very nice new post-cards of Renée both taken at "The Willow Tree" period; one in English dress and one in Japanese.
Mummy has been to see Uncle Vernon who hasn't been at all well, however I think he is better now.
I re-read "The Thirty Nine Steps"Link opens in a new window yesterday. It is a most thrilling spy story by John Buchan.
My gramophone has gone to be mended; apparently I have bust the spring and a few more things which is cheerful.
The Germans are advancing and are only five miles from Compeigne [ Compiegne ].
Friday June 14th 1918.
Mummy and Daddie both went to London today and Mummy didn't get back till 8.30.
Miss Butler came at 10 o'clock and gave me a singing lesson. Just as we were going to start for the drawing class I got a post-card from Miss de Lisle saying it was the half-term holiday so there would be no drawing.
We went into Wimbledon because I wanted to get some beads of a particular colour for my bead-work, needless to say they hadn't got any. I got a book of various well known songs which I skimmed both before and after tea.
Daddie and I went to see Lady Barrington this evening. It was pouring with rain and extremely wet across the Common.
I have been reading a good deal today but the piano didn't escape. Emmeline has given me a valse to play which sounds more like a rather lively funeral dirge than anything else.
I had a letter from Pompey this morning; he says the garden is looking very pretty and they picked 12 lbs of strawberries for jam the other day, they may be thankful they didn't have me to help them!
The German attack is slackening according to the evening paper.
Saturday June 15th 1918.
The Haddoes and Sir David and Lady Praine and a Miss Hout who they brought with them came to tea. The Haddoes are going back to India, I think viâ America, in the autumn.
I have been reading hard to-day. It really is appaling the amount of reading I do.
A new starLink opens in a new window has made its appearence and caused great excitement.
The German offensive in France has slackened.
I can't think of any more to put down. "Good night".
Sunday June 16th 1918.
Shortie and I went to Church in the morning.
Mrs Leigh and Peggy came to tea also a Mr and Mrs Seaton, he is in the India Office.
10.45 no more news must put out the light.
Monday June 17th 1918.
Mummy and Daddie both went to London today. I drew and played the piano and read most of the morning Emmeline came at 1 o'clock and gave me my lesson. We took the dogs on the Common for a bit before tea.
Mummy didn't get home till late. There has been a great row at her enquiry bureau because they have taken away all the men helpers. She went to Speaight the photographer to see about the copies she wants of the photographs of me and they said the one in which I look as if I seen a ghost and intended to commit suicide at the earliest opportunity is one of the best photographs they have ever done and they want to publish it. Daddie says they get five quid for publishing it and says it would be more to the point if we gave them a five not to, anyway I wish they'd choosen the decent one. Mummy wants it to be in "the Ladies Field" and "The Sphere" but I want "The Tatler or the "Sketch".
I have re-read within the last few days Michael O'Hallaron"Link opens in a new window and "The Harvester"Link opens in a new window both by Gene Stretton Porter both about America and both jolly good. I like "The Harvester" best. "A Safety Match"Link opens in a new window by Ian Hay very good and amusing and I am now re-reading "Greenmantle"Link opens in a new window by John Buchan it is the sequel to "The Thirty Nine Steps" and is about three men who are sent by our Secret Service to find out about some means which Germany has got of engineering a rising of all Islam against us. Of course it is written since the war. It is a most thrilling book, almost better I think than "The Thirty Nine Steps".
The Austrians have begun a great offensive against the Italians but so far it hasn't been a success and I heartily hope it will be a still worse one.
Tuesday June 18th 1918.
Miss Butler came this morning. She says I am getting much better and have got a voice and she thinks I am going to be a Contralto.
Mr and Mrs Milne came to tea and were very nice.
Mummy is giving a luncheon for Uncle Leslie at the Carlton tomorrow and I am going; at first I refused to chuck my Drawing lesson but finally my greed got the better of me so I am going. It will be great fun, I have never been to the Carlton before. Uncle Claude is coming too. I was going to tea with Peggy today but have put it off till tomorrow.
The Austrians are still attacking without much success. The Italians and British have taken over four thousand prisoners and the Austrians claim 16,000.
Wednesday June 19th 1918.
We started for London at 12 o'clock today. I called in at the Putney Boots for the photographs from my little camera, they have all come out fairly well. We got out at Harrods and went in there because today is Queen Alexandria's Rose DayLink opens in a new window (artificial wild roses are sold and the proceeds are divided among several hospitals) and some actresses were selling there. We bought ours from Phyllis BedellsLink opens in a new window. We also saw Joyce CareyLink opens in a new window (Lilian Braithwaite's daughter) and Mabel SealbyLink opens in a new window. They had a board with their name on at each stall so thats how we knew them. Then we went to Head and I got a skein of beads for my bead-work. Then we went to Lloyds Bank in St Jameses Street and then Shortie left me at the Carlton. We were seven altogether Uncle Leslie, Aunt Kathleen, Ian, Uncle Claude, Mummy, Daddie and me. We had a ripping luncheon and I drunk lots of wine, it wasn't bad for wine but I dislike wine. The dining room was crowded, it is rather a nice room; white and pink and gilding. We met Lord LeighLink opens in a new window there; he had just come up from Newmarket with Mr Leigh. The guests departed at 3 o'clock and Shortie called for me not long after and she and I and Mummy went to Harvey Nichols. After this Mummy went to her enquiry bureau and we went to Harrods to get some ribbon. Then we went to a Lyons and Shortie had some tea and cake and I had some lemonade being somewhat thirsty after nothing but wine and coffee. Then we went to tea with Peggy. Shortie gulped down some tea and then went to see her nephew in hospital at Queens Gate. Peggy is in just about the jolliest mess that she has even been in. When she got back from here on Sunday Denise was in a more than usually vile temper and on Tuesday she got perfectly furious at lessons said that Peggy thought of nothing else but theatres and actresses that she would go to Mrs Leigh and tell her everything if things went on much longer like that and that she had absolute proof about somthing. Peggy thinks she must have got hold of the key of her (Peggy's) private drawer unlocked it and read and copied out portions of her diary or else a letter which Peggy had written to Shuttie with a great deal about the Teddie tea-party in it. Or else she might have copied the letter from the blotting-paper which apparently is a game she indulges in a good deal. It is hard to think of anyone with so little sense of honour as to do things like that. Of course Peggy doesn't know exactly how much she knows (the fact that Peggy went to tea with Teddie and took Rowland is the worst thing) and that she has got to find out by hook or by crook. Meanwhile the question is whether Peggy shall go to Mrs Leigh and tell her about Teddie and Madge and how badly Denise has behaved and get her to send her away or wait and hope that Denise won't do anything? The prospect looks pretty bad every way. I always did dislike Denise though I hadn't mentioned the fact before.
The Austrians have had some slight gains and now claim 30,000 prisoners and 120 guns. The Italians and British have now 6,000 prisoners.
Thursday June 20th 1918.
Daddie went down to Warley (where Miss Willmott lives) for the day today.
I went to the drawing-class this afternoon and drew some orange-coloured lilies (I think they were Tiger Lilies). There is one girl there who draws perfectly beautifully and she was drawing from memory today; a small girl was posed for her for a few minutes and then she drew her from memory; it is called snap-shot drawing.
Mrs Field who we knew in Kashmir came to tea. Mummy and Daddie are dining with Dean IngeLink opens in a new window of St Paul's (known as "the gloomy dean"). Uncle Claude took Daddie to dinner with some Russian Association at the Picadilly [ Piccadilly ] Hotel last night.
I telephoned to Peggy this evening and asked her down for the night on Tuesday.
The Germans have made a violent effort to take Rheims and failed utterly. The prisoners on the Italian front taken by the Allies now number 9,000, I forget what the Austrians are doing but they are much the same as usual I think.
Friday June 21st 1918.
I had a letter from Uncle Leslie this morning and he sent me a quid which was jolly nice of him. He is the first Uncle who has had the sense to tip me for ages and ages. Daddie went to see him today and he went off this afternoon. Aunt Kathleen and Ian went down to Southampton with him.
Miss Butler came this morning. I went to the drawing class this afternoon and drew delphinums in brush-work which as I had never before done anything without drawing the outline in pencil first wasn't as easy as it sounds and the result left much to be desired.
Mummy has been in London all day. She was playing the piano this evening and she composed a new setting for "O, Paradise! O, Paradise!", it came pat all of a sudden.
I have been doing bead-work and fatally impaired my temper in the process.
The war-news is better. The Austrians are getting in a jolly fix with their old offensive on the Italian front which isn't coming off as they hoped it would by any means.
Saturday June 22nd 1918.
I did bead-work and read bits of "The Rosary" and "The Mistress of Shenstone" most of the morning and afternoon.
The gramophone has come back from being mended, it cost 7/6. The spring wasn't broken but the works had got all muddled up.
Uncle Vernon, Miss Hillier and another lady, Mr Freddie Wallouph, Sarghit and Mr Mabson and two other ladies whose names I have forgotten came to tea. Uncle Vernon brought me some beautiful wild orchids which he had found in the country. Mr Wallouph (it isn't really spelt like that I don't think) was as cheerfully dismal as usual and as usual walked here and back from London.
The Austrians are getting on excessively badly and the Italians have taken another 1,000 prisoners.
Sunday June 23rd 1918.
We went to Church this morning. It was Hospital SundayLink opens in a new window and the Vicar of Stoke Newington preached a very fine sermon.
Uncle Vernon came to tea. They have got a cocker spaniel puppy called Susan and Uncle Vernon says he is sure it will kill them both, it eat one of his socks this morning!
I have re-read "The Rosary"Link opens in a new window for about the fiftieth time. I think I like that book more than any other book I ever read and Jane Champion (afterwards Dalmaine) the heroine is one of the nicest heroines who ever was. I was in love with her for a couple of months in the Autumn – just at the time when I began writing a diary in fact it was because of her that I started to keep a diary because she kept one and one always wants to do the same thing as the person one is in love with. But greatest good of all that she did me she gave me my love of music of which she was passionately fond besides having a glorious voice; and then of course I had the luck to be taught by Emmeline who makes it so interesting so my sudden wild, and to the family unaccountable, love of music has continued.
I hope the book "The Rosary" will continue and become a classic and not die and be forgotten because it is a very beautiful story of two very fine characters and no one could help feeling better and that the world is after all rather a glorious place after reading it. I have talked of Jane Dalmaine as if she were a real person who I knew but I am sure she does exist. I suppose all young people at sometime or other go wild over one person - I have done it over several but never before over someone in a book, it is much best to go mad over someone in a book really because there is no chance of their destroying ones illusions and nobody need ever know one has been gone on them whereas if the person is living and someone whom one knows both she and other people are pretty sure to find out I'm not quite sure whether I am in love with Jane at present (bye- the bye I wish her name wasn't Jane it reminds me of a Duch [ Dutch ] Doll) but I know I feel in a much more cheerful frame of mind for having read "The Rosary" again. I have got a most tiresome knack of whenever I like a hero or heroine in a book temporally becoming that person and doing things as I think they would do them, this is all fairly harmless but the nuisance is instead of trying to humbly imitate their good qualities I imagine I am them and of course I fully realise what a wonderful and mis-judged person I am and the usual result is to put me in an excessively bad temper but mercifully these fits mostly last only about 24 hours and I usually realise the humour of the situation and go into fits of laughter over it in private, but it must be very trying for the poor family!
The Austrians have made some slight advances but the Italians have now taken 12,000 prisoners altogether; the Austrians claim 40,000.
Monday June 24th 1918.
Mummy has been in London all day and didn't get back till after 8 o'clock. Daddie went up in the afternoon to see the dentist.
Emmeline came and gave me my last lesson from her for two months alas! She says I am getting on well with the singing and that I can read music as well as Peggy but my time and playing aren't as good as hers. She wants me to become a student of Trinity College of Music next term, it sounds very alarming but I need only have music lessons from Emmeline and it solves the difficulty of the piano when I am in London; the awful part is that I might have to play somthing in front of the head I sure he would go off his head if I did! (how Laurie would pitch into me for making bad puns!).
I had a letter from Wolfie this morning and she is going to give me two tickets for a cricket match at Lords next Saturday. It is England versus the Dominions and has been got up by Captain WarnerLink opens in a new window a great cricketer whose daughter goes to Miss Wolffs, in aid of the Lord Roberts Memorial Workshops. I have never been to Lords and am looking forward to it very much.
Tomorrow is the day of the annual Theatrical Garden PartyLink opens in a new window in Regents Park and Peggy and I are going. We both have our hair washed at Miss Hammonds at the same time tomorrow, then Shortie takes us on to the garden party and then Peggy comes back with us for the night. The great thing is that Denise shouldn't know we go because she would probably kick up an awful shindy if she did. I know its very wicked going off to a thing like that on the sly but we shall probably be found out which will be awful.
75,000 Austrians are retreating hilter skilter across the Piave and the Italians have taken 4,000 prisoners and much booty.
Tuesday June 25th 1918.
Theatrical Garden Party glorious fun saw Renée to talk to and got a signed photograph of her.
Italians have taken 45,000 prisoners.
Wednesday June 26th 1918.
Miss Butler came yesterday morning. Shortie and I went up to London about 12.30 and I went to Miss Hammonds and had my hair washed. Peggy met me there and when Shortie fetched us we went on to the Theatrical Garden Party We saw Princess Mary quite close up twice and we saw lots of TeddieLink opens in a new window but not to speak to but Peggy saw MadgeLink opens in a new window to speak to (she was selling things) and I saw RenéeLink opens in a new window to speak to and bought a very nice signed photograph of herself from her and got her to sign my programme. There was simply thousands of signed photographs of everyone kicking round. We saw Lily ElsieLink opens in a new window, Lilian BraithwaiteLink opens in a new window, Peggy KurtonLink opens in a new window, Dorethy [ Dorothy ] Lane, Sir Johnston Forbes-RobertsonLink opens in a new window, Gerald du MaurierLink opens in a new window, and heaps of others. There were crowds of people there and I should think they made a good deal for the fund. We left at six. It was great fun but I hope to goodness Denise won't find out we went. Peggy spent the night here and Denise came down and fetched her this morning.
Denise has copied Peggy's letter to Shuttie from the blotting paper and now whenever Peggy does or shows any signs of doing anything Denise doesn't want her to do Denise threatens to show the letter to Mrs Leigh which of course Peggy can't let her do because it would get Shuttie into such a bad position too. Denise is going to use a ruler at lessons and rap Peggy's fingers with it. Peggy is seventeen too, isn't it too awful? She took good care she didn't try that game till she had good hold over Peggy. Shuttie has written a destracted letter to Peggy and wants her to go and tell Mrs Leigh how Denise is behaving which is very noble of her but Shuttie never would think of herself in a thing like this. She is coming up to spend the week-end with Peggy on the 9th and the latter is going to have a happy time to keep her and Denise from fighting because each heartily dislikes the other though they have never seen each other. I told Shortie part of all this this afternoon and Shorties indignation knew no bounds. Denise was awfully nice to Peggy when she first came (except for occasional tempers during lessons) and egged her on to tell her all about Teddie and everything and now having got Peggy absolutely under her thumb she proceeds to be perfectly beastly to her. She lectured her for three hours the other day on her wickedness and the wickedness of liking Teddie or in fact liking anybody (except young men). Oh! how I do dislike that woman! and what a 'appy time we're going to have with her at Minehead and the awful part is we have got to be sugary sweet to her and do just what she wants us to do but thank goodness she isn't going to give me lessons.
Miss Butler came this morning and gave me an extra lesson because we thought the piano would be going away tomorrow but now it isn't going till Monday so I shall be able to have my Friday singing lesson.
I went to the drawing class this afternoon. We had a darling little boy of about five to draw he didn't sit still a minute and kept laughing all the time but he was very nice. Afterwards we went down to the Wimbledon public library and had a look at the paper.
A Miss Boodle who lives here came to tea. She was very nice.
The Italians are still doing well.
Thursday June 27th 1918.
KerenskyLink opens in a new window the Russian revolutionary leader created great excitement by appearing to speak at a labour meeting yesterday. Today Daddie went up to London to see a Mr Curtis. Mr Waldorf AstorLink opens in a new window was with him and Mrs Astor came there and asked Daddie to luncheon, while they were at luncheon a telephone message came saying there were two platform tickets to a labour meeting this afternoon at which Kerensky was going to speak and Mrs Astor took Daddie. He says the meeting was very unruly and before Kerensky came they said they didn't want to hear him however they agreed to keep quiet and hear him when he came. He spoke in Russian and although they had been against hearing him and they couldn't understand what he said the people cheered while he was speaking; afterwards his speech was read in English and Daddie says it was a wonderful speech, he told what Russia had done to help us and said she wouldn't accept the German peace but still wanted to go on fighting with us and he said he had come over to tell us about Russia and to get our sympathy. He was smuggled out of Russia by way of Arkangel and had to come hidden in a piano part of the way. Daddie shook hands with him. He has been in London in secret for a week but no one knew till he appeared yesterday and created quite a sensation.
I went to the drawing-class this afternoon. They were expecting a model but he never appeared so the three who were to have done him (I was one) were allowed to draw the other girls while they worked which was rather fun except that they kept moving all the time.
There is no very special war news.
Friday June 28th 1918.
There was a terrible agitation this morning because Carter PatersonLink opens in a new window came for the luggage before it was ready so we all tore wildly about getting it done up and it got off alright. Mummy and Daddie both went to London.
Daddie and I were going down to Bath by the 11 o'clock train on Monday but Daddie may have an engagement in London on Monday in which case we go down by the 4.15 or the engagement may be on Tuesday and if it is Daddie will have to come up from Bath on Tuesday and then he will go straight down to Minehead on Wednesday
I went to my drawing-class for the last time this afternoon. Another girl and I had a model. Afterwards we went into Wimbledon and I got a piece of music which Emmeline told me to get called "Indian Scenes" by Pierre Lescaut; they are very pretty. I also bought Carroll's "Sea Idylls" the other day which are also very pretty.
There are long accounts of Kerensky's speech in all the papers and the "Star" has a most amusing account of an English Socialist's dismal when Kerensky kissed him. There has been a rumour about for the last week that the Czar has been murdered and now it has been confirmed. It is very sad because as far as we know he was very nice and always behaved very well and was on our side. There is another rumour that the Grand Duke NicholasLink opens in a new window has been proclaimed Czar, but one can't believe any news from Russia at present.
There has been an air raid on Paris and the Americans have taken nearly 300 prisoners in a minor operation, otherwise there is no very special news.
Saturday June 29th 1918.
We started for Lords at 9.45 this morning. The match began at 11.30; there was an interval for luncheon at 1.15 but we couldn't get into the luncheon place however we managed to get some very good ham sandwiches and ginger pop. The Dominions won easily they made 166 against 98 by England. KellewayLink opens in a new window made the most runs on the Dominion side (30) and Captain Warner on the English (35 not out). Six of the English XI went out with no runs and only one of the Dominion. The match was over at 5.45. There were crowds of people there. We had some tea at St Johns Wood Station on the way home. At Baker Street Station we met Mr Ahmed who said he had telephoned to Wimbledon to find out if we should be at home this afternoon and had been told we were at the cricket match so he went off there to try and find us and was there four hours; it was rather brainy of him to find us at Baker Street. He insisted on our going with him to his flat in Gloucester Road and they both pressed us very hard to stay to dinner but we thought we had better come home. We didn't get home till 8.30 and then we ate a most enormous dinner though the Ahmeds had given us tea. Mummy has been in London for a tamarcha at her hut.
I forgot to say that Miss Butler gave me my last singing lesson this term yesterday.
Mr Bailey called this afternoon when we were all out.
We have taken over 400 prisoners and advanced our line a mile in certain places in a successful minor operation. The French have taken over 1,000 prisoners and advanced their line a good deal in places.
Our last day at Wimbledon Sunday June 30th 1918
It is now 10.30 so there is no time for diary tonight but will try and write it at Bath tomorrow evening.
Bath Monday July 1st 1918.
Monsieur de Leval and Roger suddenly appeared at 10 o'clock yesterday morning; they were out bicycling.
We went to Church and saw Mr Bailey afterwards and asked him to dinner.
I read "The Right Stuff"Link opens in a new window most of the afternoon it is a most amusing book by Ian Hay.
Aunt Mabel and Cousin Eric Liddell, Miss Bessie Mostyn and Sir Thomas JacksonLink opens in a new window came in the afternoon. Miss Mostyn is running an infant welfare centre. Aunt Mabel says Aunt Vallie is five miles behind the firing-line at Belfort nursing wounded French soldiers and teaching them English.
I went into say "good bye" to Mr and Mrs Milne in the evening. They are going to take care of Polly for us.
Mr Bailey came to dinner and we walked back across the Common with him afterwards. I like him very much indeed.
I had a letter from Shuttie this morning and she wants my candid opinion on the subject of Denise. I'm afraid my candid opinion is excessively candid and not very flattering!
We started off for Paddington in full war paint with both dogs at about 9.30. I had the joy of lugging Joffie up and down the 'bus steps. He is a most terrible animal to carry because when you have got the front part of him the back part is tumbling down behind. Shortie put Chi Chi in his travelling basket at Paddington and he went in with the luggage while Joffie went in with the guard. The train was terribly crowded and there were heaps of people standing but we managed to get corner seats because we got there as the train came in. There were a good many soldiers and sailors in the train and 50 of the Womens Land ArmyLink opens in a new window, there were some standing in the corridor and they sang songs and smoked all the time and they all had their hair bobbed and some had it cut quite short and brushed back like men.
Tuesday July 2nd 1918.
Joffie nearly went wild with joy when we rescued him from a nice porter on Bath Station platform. Chi Chi squalled a great deal in his basket and was so excited when he was let out that he couldn't eat or drink anything but Joffie nearly drunk Bath water main dry.
I snoozled all the afternoon and in the evening we took the dogs to Tonan the vet where they are to stay till Mrs Idie comes back from Minehead. I purchased a bright pink sunbonnet and we made unsuccessful efforts to get a butterfly net.
We have just finished breakfast and Mrs Idie is rushing wildly around packing. We leave Bath at 9.58, arrive at Taunton at 12.40 and get a train for Minehead at 1.30 which arrives at 2.42 at Minehead. Daddie has got to go up to London by the 10.4 arriving at 12.40. He may go down to Minehead tomorrow or he may not be able to go till Sunday.
The Italians have had another victory and taken 800 prisoners. They only took 20,000 prisoners in the Austrian offensive and 6,000 in the retreat instead of 45,000 as they said; they are terrible exaggeraters. We and the Americans and French have taken a good many prisoners in local fighting on the Western front. Those beastly Huns have torpedoed a hospital ship and 243 people are missing.
Our train from Bath was very full and for parts of the journey there was scarcely standing room in the corridors but we managed to get corner seats. The train came through Weston-Super-Mare and stopped at as many stations and as long as it possibly could. We didn't have to wait very long for the Minehead train at Taunton. It is an awfully pretty journey from Taunton to Minehead.
We had tea about 3 o'clock and then unpacked and went out to see about emergency food-cards but we dawdled so that the food office was just shutting up as we got there, however it doesn't make the least difference whether we do it today or tomorrow.
There was someone reading "The Rosary" in the train coming down I hope she will enjoy it as much as I did.
Minehead is almost exactly the same, though there is a new shop here and there and the field in front of our windows has been turned into allotments.
Daddie hopes to come down tomorrow.
Wednesday July 3rd 1918.
We went to the town this morning and bought several things and this afternoon, oh joy! I went bathing; the sea was rather rough and not very nice for swimming in but it was lovely to be in it again. The bathing machine people remembered me and greeted me most cordially.
There has been no word from Daddie so I suppose he is coming on Friday.
The first post doesn't arrive till 12.30 now and papers at the same time.
I have written to Peggy and Pompey.
It has been the most gloriously lovely day and quite hot.
We are staying in Blenheim RoadLink opens in a new window - No: 23 - it is not on the sea front but very near it. There are some tennis-courts in front and we are going to play there when Peggy comes.
I don't know what the war-news is because our paper never came this morning.
Independance Day 1918.
We went into the town (which is about 1 minutes walk) and bought various provisions this morning.
I had a letter from Daddie this morning saying he would be here by the 6 o'clock train this evening and poor Mummy has had Spanish influenzaLink opens in a new window which is a new desease which started in Spain a few months ago and is spreading terribly all over Europe.
I went bathing this afternoon. It was nicer today because the sea wasn't so choppy as yesterday and swimming was easier
Daddie came by the six train and brought me a butterfly net.
I have been reading "Under Two Flags"Link opens in a new window by Ouida. Some parts I liked very much and others I didn't like at all.
There have been great celebrations all over England for American Independance dayLink opens in a new window and the Stars and Stripes has been flown with the Union Jack on the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, Minehead went a terrible bust and stretched a line of pennants across the main street with the Stars and Stripes in the middle.
I have written my candid opinion of Denise to Shuttie.
The war news is much the same. The Italians have taken some more prisoners, the Americans have now shipped over 1,000,000 men to France and there have been sixty seven deaths in London this week from Spanish 'flue.
We are going out to explore now.
Friday June 5th 1918.
Daddie and I started gaily off armed with the butterfly-net this morning to go on camp hill. I took him along a lane by the Church which I thought would get us there quickly but it went on endlessly just turnip fields and was full of flies and didn't show any signs of getting onto the top. After some time we came to a hill like the side of a house where there appeared to be some kind of path so we scrambled up it with great difficulty and heat only to find that there was no way out at the top and that we should have to scramble down again. Some other people promptly proceeded to climb up after us evidently thinking we knew the way; it turned out they were trying to walk to Selworthy over the tops of the hills but we met them some time later having evidently given up all thoughts of Selworthy happily seated in a patch of whortleberries! We ultimately found a path through a pine wood which took us up onto the moors. There is a most glorious view of the country for miles round and over the sea to Wales. The whortleberries are just ripe and we passed several pickers. We got home by a different way half-an-hour late for luncheon. We got about half a dozen butterflies - nothing very exciting - we saw two Red Admirals and missed them both.
Captain Luttrell who owns all the country about here called this afternoon. Mummy knows him and had written to ask him to call on us. He has got to go to several places on Monday and he is going to take us with him. We are going to Dunster and Cleeve Abbey and going to have tea with him at his house at Quatockshead [ Quantoxhead ]. His family has been here since William the Conqueror.
I went bathing after tea. The sea was rather rough and rather cold but it was lovely.
Daddie saw Mr MontagueLink opens in a new window the Secretary of State for India twice this week while he was in London. Once alone and once with a deputation.
I had a letter from Peggy today. Denise has got Spanish flue rather badly poor thing.
The Allies have taken over 2,000 prisoners on the Western front.
Saturday July 6th 1918.
Daddie and I went up on Camp Hill again this morning and I ate large quantities of whortleberries. We only got two new butterflies.
We stayed indoors all the afternoon and I went bathing after tea. It was a lovely sea, the kind when you can float with without the waves going over you instead of which they lift you right up and you have a lovely slide down the backs of them.
There is no very special war-news.
Lord Rhonnda [ Rhondda ]Link opens in a new window the Food Controller died the other day. He had been ill for some time.
Mr Montague's report on Idia [ India ] has just been published. He gave Daddie a copy before it was published and asked Daddie to tell him his opinion of it. It is advocating home rule for India.
Sunday July 7th 1918.
We sat on the front most of the morning and Mrs Idie and I stayed indoors all the afternoon but Daddie went for a walk.
I wrote to Mummy and to Mrs Short to ask her to send me some films for my camera. None of the shops here have got the seize and it is getting very difficult to get films anywhere now.
Mrs Idie and I went to Church at the Little Church in the town this evening. There is a new curate and he preached very well.
I have read "Saints in Society"Link opens in a new window by Margaret Baille-Saunders [ Baillie-Saunders ] today. It is very nice and is about a man who was very poor and who lived in the slums and who started out to reform them; he became an M.P. and very rich and famous and then went bad while his wife who had been a vulgar, silly little thing at first became very good and beautiful and did a very great deal to help the people in the slums.
Monday July 8th 1918.
Captain Luttrell called for us at 11.30 in his motor and took us straight to Dunster Castle which he took us over. It is the most wonderful place dating from the 12th century and was besieged and taken both by the Royalists and Cromwell in the Civil Wars. There is a most beautiful carved oak and elm staircase of the time of Charles II and a secret cupboard where Prince Charlie hid and hundreds of old deeds relating to the Luttrells and a lemon tree out in the open with ripe fruit on it. Captain Luttrell's two sisters are living there now. We had a jolly good luncheon of cheese and jam sandwiches and cake, which Captain Luttrell had brought with him, in the garden.
After luncheon we motored to Cleeve AbbeyLink opens in a new window which Daddie and I went over while he went to a meeting in Williton. Cleeve Abbey is one of the most perfect remains of a monastry in England although it was used as farm building for a long time. There are practically no remains of the Church but the other part is quite intact. The Refractory [ Refectory ] is the finest room and has got a beautiful carved ceiling.
We went on to Williton at 3.30 and at 4 o'clock Captain Luttrell came out of his meeting and then we motored to East QuantocksheadLink opens in a new window where he is living. It is a lovely old Tudor manor and is practically untouched, there is still the place where they used to sit above the salt and the old oak doors and a little open court right in the middle of the house where they used to have cock-fights and a staircase onto the roof (where we went and got a glorious view) with the steps made of solid oak beams and the floors are bare slippery shiny oak. There has been a house there ever since the 12th century or earlier and it has belonged to the Luttrells longer than Dunster Castle. After tea we walked to the top of some bracken covered hills behind where there was a splendid view we could see Cardiff and Barry harbour and the Glamorgan hills and Steep HolmLink opens in a new window and Flat Holm and Weston-Super-Mare and the hills by Bristol and the Mendips and Burnham. Luckily Daddie had brought a pair of field glasses with him which added considerably to the glory of the whole. There were German spies on Steep Holm till a year after war broke out. They pretended they were invalids suffering from lung trouble and wouldn't let anyone land on the island. I remember hearing that there were invalids there and that no one was allowed to land when we were at Weston in 1913. Captain Luttrell had us motored to Williton Station where we caught the 7 o'clock train for Minehead. Altogether we had a most lovely time and Captain Luttrell is most awfully nice and kind. We are going to tea at Dunster Castle on Thursday and for a long walk with him afterwards.
I had a letter from Peggy today. She has been to "Tails Up!"Link opens in a new window (Teddie's new thing).
We gave up the Mill Cottage last Saturday and Mummy is staying at the Ladies Athenaeum Club while Shortie is at her home at Streatham.
Two Russians have murdered the German AmbassadorLink opens in a new window in Moscow.
Tuesday July 9th 1918.
I went bathing directly after breakfast. The water was icy cold. Afterwards we went to the town and got emergency sugar cards from the post office and stuff to make me a couple of camisoles. While we were in the town a pony in a governess-cart suddenly bolted throwing his driver out, several people (Daddie included) went to stop it and it rushed into the Porlock motor 'bus which had seen it coming and stopped; it plunged a bit but was soon quieted down and neither it nor the cart nor the driver were hurt. Minehead seems to be very fond of run-away horses; the other day Daddie was walking down the main street of the town and he heard people shouting "horse loose", "horse loose" so he looked and there was an old cart-horse walking quietly along!
We haven't been out this afternoon but we are going to a cinematograph this evening.
I have had a letter from Pompey today. He has cut both his hands on a sythe and says he had to wash and dress with his little finger and advizes me to try it! He enclosed two photographs of me on Buttons which would have been awfully good if they had been a bit clearer also two of me fishing, one side-view one very good - I always come out best side or back view!
I have been reading a book called "The Happy Valley"Link opens in a new window by B.M. Croker; it is about salmon-fishing in Norway and very nice.
Mummy seems very busy in London.
We are going to Porlock for the day tomorrow if it is fine – it has been raining a good deal this evening but it is badly wanted.
Wednesday July 10th 1918.
The film of "Rasputin" which we went to last night was very exciting and as far as is known mostly true except the thing which lead to his murder and the way he was murdered. He started as a low-down scoundrel in the slums with no money but he made money by dressing up as a priest and getting money out of the peasants, then he proclaimed himself a phrophet and finally got into the palace and got enormous influence over the Czar and Czarina because he was the only person who could keep the Czarevitch in health (as his spies drugged the Czarevitch when he was away). After he was killed his murderers took his body onto the Neva made a big hole in the ice and let him through thinking he would be carried right down to the sea but his body was washed up. The scene on the Neva was very pretty on the cinematograph.
It was very showery this morning but we thought we would try and go to Porlock however it looked so bad when we got to the station, where the 'bus starts from, that we decided to go by train to Dunster instead. I went into a shop to try and get a film for my camera and they had actually got some so I was awfully pleased and got two but subsequently discovered that they had got "develop before July 1st 1918" on them so now I don't feel quite so elated. It now began to pelt so we retired to the nice man's door-way and eat our luncheon after which as the rain showed no sign of abating we went and saw the Church where we stayed for some time then we walked down to the station and sat there till the train came. It was most annoying of it to rain nearly all the time because we couldn't see things properly and I couldn't take photographs. Dunster is a beautiful old village (they call it a town about here!) with a place called the Yarn MarketLink opens in a new window in the middle of the main street, it is where they used to sell their yarns; there is a hole in one of the rafters which was made by a cannon ball when the Castle was being besieged in the Civil War. There is a wonderful carved screen in the Church (15th century) which is supposed to be one of the finest in England and has scarcely been repaired at all. There is a very fine one here but it has been repaired a good deal. Dunster Church is two Churchs in one - the old Priory Church and the Parish Church. There are beautiful old white-washed and thatched cottages in all the villages about here - even in Minehead itself round by the quay and the Church.
I had a letter from Mummy today she is having dinner with Uncle Vernon and Aunt Violet this evening.
Daddie and I went for a walk before supper. It is the most lovely evening and very clear.
I have finished a linen sailor collar I have been making for a dress of mine made of real Maderia [ Madeira ] workLink opens in a new window. The collar is hemstitched all round and with white embroidary in the corners.
The French have advanced a mile on a 2 1/2 mile front and taken 530 prisoners. The Italians are advancing in Albania.
Thursday July 11th 1918.
We went to the town this morning.
Daddie and I went to tea at Dunster Castle. We went by the 4.10 train and they sent a pony cart to meet us which was very nice of them. Mr and Miss Luttrell were there and after tea he took us for a walk in some lovely pine woods and then as he had to catch the 6.30 train back we walked down to the station with him and waited there till our train came in just before 7.30. He has given us permission to go wherever we like and me permission to fish in a trout stream at Cleeve Abbey and at Dunster. I am sorry to say I didn't bring my rod with me but I am going to write to Shortie and see if it is get-at-able. It has been very rainy all day but it cleared up and was lovely in the evening which was lucky as I was able to take five photographs at Dunster.
I have just read two books; one called "The Cottage by the Shore" [ "The Cottage on the Shore" ] about very poor Welsh people and "Eagle and Dove"Link opens in a new window which was about the Franco-Prussian War.
Mrs Idie has made me an awfully pretty camisole; it is spotted muslin with pink ribbons in the sleeves and neck and round the middle.
I have written to Wolfie and Mr Bailey (to send him a photograph I took of him at Wimbledon) and a post-card to Peggy.
Miss Luttrell says the pickers are getting two bob a quart for whortleberries (they used to get 9d) and that one woman made twelve bob in a day the other day. I am going out to pick whortleberries!
There were 219 deaths in London from Spanish flue last week.
Mr ClynesLink opens in a new window has been appointed Food Controller.
Friday July 12th 1918.
We (Daddie and I) had the most glorious day! we went by coach (it was really a brake but it calls itself a coach) to Lynton; it was due to start at 9.15 so we got to the station at 9 and as there was only one other person waiting we congratulated ourselves on having the break to ourselves and went up to the driver when it arrived and asked if we could sit beside him, he said he didn't know that the stationmaster sold the tickets and gave people their seats so Daddie went off to get the tickets and found that people often booked their seats a week beforehand and that there were only two seats left so we had to take a back seat in more ways than one. The first stage of the journey consists of the drive to Porlock which is six miles from here and is a lovely little village on the edge of Exmoor. The coach stopped at the Ship InnLink opens in a new window and we all had to get out and walk up Porlock Hill which is two miles long and the worst hill in England - the gradient in the steepest places is 1 in 3. At the top the coach caught us up with an extra horse harnessed on in front and a very small boy acting as postillion. We were now on open moorland with glorious views back to Minehead Bay and to Dunkery on one side and Wales on the other. After several steep hills the small boy, who had visibly swelled by putting on two large mackintoshes as it was raining rather fast, went off back to Porlock with his horse. We were extraordinarily lucky about weather as several large storms came up but we only got the tail of them. After several miles we came to a stable on the moors where we changed horses. Not long afterwards we saw Doone Valley and the village of OareLink opens in a new window with its tiny Church away down on our left while on our right in a beautiful steep glen going right down to the sea is GlenthorneLink opens in a new window and a little farther on we passed through the County gate which separates Somerset from Devonshire. The view along here is wonderful, mile upon mile of purple moorland and the blue sea with Wales in the distance on the other. The sea which is a muddy brown at Minehead is real blue from Porlock. Soon we saw a beautiful wooded valley with a river at the bottom, very like the valley of the Webburn, and the village of Brendon. Soon we passed Countisbury Foreland and went down the long Countisbury Hill into Lynmouth to the Lyndale HotelLink opens in a new window where the coach stopped. It was now 12.30 and we were given till 3 o'clock to explore so we set off towards the sea front and sat down on a bench to eat the sandwiches which we had brought with us; we had barely started when a bell went which meant that a car on the cliff railway was going up to Lynton, so we bundled our things together and bundled onto it and were taken up the face of a hill like the side of a house to Lynton. We subsequently discovered that they run every five minutes so we needn't have been in such a hurry. Sad to say it now started to pour for all it was worth and showed no signs of clearing so we went and looked at the Church which though quite modern is a very nice one; then with the help of a guide book which we had previously purchased we discovered that near us was a place called Hollerday House that the grounds thereof included Hollerday Hill 800 feet above sea level and finally and more important that there was a road through these aforesaid grounds which was open to the public so to this road we partook ourselves and having finally reached the top did have a most lovely view, behind was Lynton and Lynmouth with high wooded hills on three sides; to the right was the sea (blue sea too please remember) with Wales at the other side and the end of Wales and then the Atlantic with nothing between us and America but to come back nearer home, at our feet lay the wonderful Valley of the Rocks - a white road winding along with smooth grass on either side and then great rugged rocks rising up all round rather resembling Cheddar Cliffs but with the added beauty of the sea.
Further along the rocky coast we could see a headland which must have been Barnstaple and then a dim gray thing jutting far into the sea which we think was Lundy Island. Unfortunately it was pouring cats and dogs and the clouds were drifting very low so the view wasn't as clear as it might have been; having duly admired it we sat down on some very hard stones, against an equally hard wall and with nettles all round us and a few astonished sheep staring at us and finished our luncheon after which damp proceeding we walked down into Lynmouth and went into a refreshment shop and drunk tea and ginger pop (there is no need to say which had which). And now oh, joy of joys! the sun came out! I bounced off to take photographs (of course I had brought the inevitable camera) and had just done a ripper when I was accosted by a benevolent looking old gentleman who requested to know whether I had got permission to take photographs as (adding several inches to his not very imposing height) he was a Coastwatcher; I put on a terrified expression (really I felt like braining the B.O.G) and said I had come over from Minehead and knew nothing about not being allowed to take photographs (really I knew perfectly well that you are not allowed to take photographs within five miles of the coast) but that I had only taken one at this he lept sky high and enquired what, then he made me show him the exact spot and exactly what I had taken and then, the old sport, said "well you hadn't better tell me anything about it because if you do I ought to take your camera" and so we parted the best of friends and I went and collected Daddie and took more photographs but keeping a bright look-out for benevolent old gentlemen who were also Coast Watchers. There is a stream called the Lyn and which is almost as pretty as the Webburn running right through the middle of Lynmouth and into the sea, I took several photographs of this. The houses aren't particularly pretty but there is one very pretty old white-washed and thatched cottage called the Rising Sun InnLink opens in a new window. There are ripping big gray, very rocky cliffs along the coast but the sea-shore seems mostly pebbles. There is a darling little harbour with fishing smacks in it and an old gray stone sort of lighthouse. There are very steep and high hills on all three sides of the land, the highest being over 1,000 feet. It is quite the prettiest sea-side town I have ever seen and I very much hope we shall be able to go and stay there for a bit next year. The break started back at 3 o'clock; we had to walk up the first bit of Countisbury Hill and after that had a glorious drive back to Minehead (with 10 minutes for tea at Porlock) which we reached at 6.15 the weather having been lovely all the way and the views even more so. There was an awfully nice gentleman who went too and who lifted me down each time we got down and feed me with chocolate which he popped right into my mouth much to Daddies amusment.
This is one of the loveliest drives I have ever been (it is supposed to be the finest coach drive in England) and we both enjoyed it enormously and throughly, Mummy has sent me simply piles of awfully nice blouses from Evans which is very good egg but very extravagent of her.
Saturday July 13th 1918.
We went shopping this morning and I took two films to be developed and in the Chemists shop to my joy was one of the nice men who I used to worry the life out of last year. He says he can't get any more films and that the Kodak people aren't making them.
I went bathing in the morning, the sea was rather cold but quite nice.
Daddie and I went on to Camp Hill this afternoon taking our tea with us and I picked Whortleberries to make a pudding for luncheon tomorrow.
I have written to Mummy and Pompey today. Pompey said he had written to Mummy to ask if we could go on to the Glen from here but I don't expect we shall be able to because we have got to be at Warley by September 1st.
The King and Queen of the BelgiansLink opens in a new window have been in London for about a week. They flew over by seaplane and went back the same way each journey only taking 15 minutes.
I have been reading a book of rather gruesome short stories called "The Veiled Man"Link opens in a new window by William le Quex [ Queux ]. They are some adventures of an Arab brigand told by himself.
I wonder how Joffie and Chi Chi are enjoying being at the vet!
Shortie wrote to me the other day, she seems to tear about London as much as ever. She said she was the last to leave the Mill Cottage rather as the captain of a sinking ship might say he was the last to leave!
Sunday July 14th 1918.
We went out twice this morning and this afternoon Daddie went to see a Colonel Grant who Mr Luttrell had asked to call on us; his sonLink opens in a new window was with Daddie in Tibet and got the V.C. there. While Daddie was gone Colonel Grant called here so we kept him till Daddie came back. He is a nice little gentleman.
Mrs Idie and I went to the little Church this evening and the curate preached a very nice sermon.
Daddie has only been out seven times today!
Peggy and Denise come tomorrow but I don't know by what train.
There is no very important war news.
Mummy is still staying in London but we thought she was going to stay with Uncle Claude for a bit.
Monday July 15th 1918.
We didn't do much this morning besides going shopping.
Captain Luttrell called this afternoon with two liscences for me to fish at Dunster and Washford which was very kind of him.
I had a letter from Mummy this morning. She is going to stay with Uncle Claude on Friday and Shortie is coming down here on Saturday.
Peggy and Denise came down by the 2.42 train. Peggy has been having a sort of orgy of Teddie and Bobs. Denise is being sweet at present.
I got some of my photographs back today but have not been able to print them yet as the light has been very bad. The Lynmouth ones have come out beautifully.
We have been all round the town trying to find a piano that we can go and practise on but there doesn't seem to be one anywhere. Minehead people are wiser that I thought.
The second of Captain Warner's cricket matches at Lords was a draw as there wasn't time to finish it but England nearly won.
The English and French have taken nearly 1,000 prisoners.
Wednesday July 17th 1918.
Yesterday we went for a walk on North Hill and went to a cinema in the evening; there was a thing on called "It is for England"Link opens in a new window which was supposed to be highly melodramatic but owing to the extreme badness of the Caste was excruciatingly funny and we were all in fits of giggles the whole time.
This afternoon Peggy, Denise and I reclined on Denises bed and read.
We went to Dunster by the 4.10 train and came back by the 7.24. It rained most of the time but we had a beautiful walk and saw large quantities of trout in the stream which of course caused me to have a violent attack of fishing mania.
I have been printing today. The Lynmouth ones have come out perfectly beautifully but the paper on which I printed them has gone brilliant orange which doesn't by any means add to the beauty of the whole.
The weather has been somewhat wet the last few days and it invariably clears up at bed-time.
I have been reading "Corleone"Link opens in a new window by Marion Crawford (who is a man). It is about brigands in Sicily and full of murders and very nice. I had read it before but practically forgotten it.
The Germans have started a new offensive and have crossed the Marne but are not getting on at all well.
Thursday July 18th 1918.
Mrs Idie and I went on a cheese hunt this morning, but we didn't succeed in getting any.
Peggy and I wandered about the town this afternoon and in the evening we walked up Camp Hill and it poured and we got soaked but we ate large quantities of Whortleberries and had a very good time.
I have had two letters today - One from Shortie saying she is coming down by the 1 o'clock train on Monday and that she can't bring my fishing rod so I have written to say I really must have it if it is at all get-at-able. The other letter was from Mr Bailey thanking me for a photograph of him which I took at Wimbledon.
I have been reading a book called "Mamma" by Rhoda Broughton. It was quite nice.
We havn't yet found a piano which we can go and practise on.
The Germans aren't getting on well. Hip! hip! hip! hurrah.
Friday July 19th 1918.
Daddie and I went up to see the Church this morning and in the Church-yard I found a poor little swallow which had tumbled out of its nest. I brought it home and we wrapped it in cotton wool and fed it with invalid Port which made it slightly intoxicated but it is much better.
Colonel Grant has just called and asked Daddie and I to tea on Sunday. We were going to take our tea on the moors this afternoon but it is almost tea-time now and Peggy and Denise havn't come back from bathing yet so I don't know whether we shall be able to go.
I wrote to Mummy this morning she goes to Ashstead to stay with Uncle Claude and Aunt Di today.
We went on the pier this morning, there were several people fishing with lines and we saw one man catch a plaice so we are going to go and fish there too.
The weather is much better today. It is cloudy but warm and fine.
We are going to the second instalment of "It is for England" at the cinema this evening.
There war news is very good. The French and Americans have advanced eight miles in seven hours in places on a twenty seven mile front and have taken over 4,000 prisoners and are in such a position that they can bombard Soissons.
Saturday July 20th 1918.
Peggy and Denise had calmly forgotten about the picnic yesterday so we couldn't go but after tea Denise and I went and bought fishing lines and then went out to dig for sand worms with a rusty spade we got two worms and made ourselves very wet and dirty and then we went and fished from the quay we caught nothing but had great fun.
In the evening we all went to the cinema. "It is for England" was much better in part II and quite thrilling in places.
Denise and I went fishing this morning and afternoon from the pier but we caught nothing.
The poor little swallow died last night.
We bathed this afternoon the sea was just heavenly but there was a thunder storm while we were in the water and we got drenched coming home.
The French and Americans have taken 16,000 prisoners and 100 guns in their big counter offensive.
Sunday July 21st 1918.
This morning Denise went to Church and Peggy and I went for a walk along the front.
In the afternoon we all (Mrs Idie excepted) walked through the woods to Greenaleigh Farm and then Daddie and I went to tea with Colonel and Mrs Grant; young Mr Luttrell was there and he is going to lend me his fishing rod if Shortie doesn't bring mine. They turned me loose in a bed of gooseberrys and I eat piles.
We went to Church at the little Church this evening.
I have been reading a book called "The Brown Brethren"Link opens in a new window by Patrick Macgill which I got from a circulating library there. It is about the war and though somewhat lurid was quite nice.
The Germans are retreating across the MarneLink opens in a new window and we have taken 18,800 prisoners, 360 guns and 1,000 machine guns. Everybody is very excited about it here and I expect they are much more so in London and Paris & USA
Monday July 22nd 1918.
This morning we went for a walk in the woods. We read most of the afternoon and bathed in the evening. The sea was absolutely and perfectly glorious – huge great breakers that knocked you right over and awfully easy to swim in and the raft perfectly huge fun.
Shortie came by the 6 o'clock train and brought my fishing rod and a "Sketch" with two pictures of Renée in it and also our food cards which is good as we have been without any for a week.
Mummy is staying at Ashstead for 10 days.
We shall be a jolly crowd in my bed room tonight! Mrs Idie and Mrs Short are going to sleep in my bed and I am going to sleep in the little bed.
Mrs Idie goes back to Bath tomorrow.
The French are still advancing and have taken Chateau Theirry [ Thierry ]Link opens in a new window
Tuesday July 23rd 1918.
Mrs Idie went off to Bath this morning and afterwards Shortie and I went into the town and actually managed to get half a pound of cheese.
This afternoon we went for a long walk in the woods and Peggy and I got on the moors and lost Shortie and Denise however they came home all right.
After tea we went bathing and had a glorious time with a rough sea and the raft.
I have just stolen a cigarette with great difficulty but as the cigarette came in half in my pocket and I sucked it well before I succeeded in lighting it and then the tobacco gently slide down my throat I am not at present feeling greatly enamoured of the gentle art of smoking.
I had a letter from Pompey this morning.
The allies are still advancing.
Wednesday July 24th 1918.
We bathed directly after breakfast; the sea was to put it mildly beastly. Daddie went with young Mr Luttrell to the latters fruit farm directly after breakfast and when he got back Mr Luttrell had just called and they came and fetched me from the town and we went for a lovely long walk on Grabbist. We went up by Hopcott and up to the top then along the top a long way and down by Derriton Combe where I found a dear little camanula known as the ivy leaved campanula. There was a heavenly view from the top of the moors - right over Minehead out to sea and far beyond Dunster and to Dunkery and the hills by it and then to the sea again at Porlock with Exmoor in the distance and straight in front from North Hill to Hurlstone Point.
Peggy and Denise went to Selworthy this afternoon and didn't get home till nearly 7 o'clock. I slept most of the afternoon and in the evening we went and sat on the front.
I have been reading a most amusing book called "Forked Lightening" by Keble Howard.
Mrs Idie arrived at Bath quite safely and has fetched Joffie and Chi Chi from the Vet today.
The weather has been lovely the last two days and shows every sign of continuing so, if it does I am going trout fishing at Dunster tomorrow.
The allies continue to advance. The French have advanced two miles on a 4 mile front.
Friday July 26th 1918.
Yesterday we bathed in the morning and afterwards went and practised on a piano which we had hired at a boys school for that purpose. All I can say for it is that it is a good rival to the one at Leusdon.
The weather was too unsettled to go trout fishing yesterday and also today.
Peggy had a letter from Mrs Leigh yesterday saying that Stoneleigh is going to be practically shut up in September and therefore Peggy and Denise are to go there on August 13th which means that they leave a fortnight earlier and that Rowland doesn't come here at all. Such is life. Mrs Leigh wants me to go and stay with them in London some time in September which I should simply love.
We pottered about and sat on the front and read and sewed yesterday afternoon and in the evening we went to a concert at the Queens Hall; it was in aid of St Dunstans HostelLink opens in a new window for soldiers blinded in the war and was all done by blind musicians and was very good.
This morning we bathed and had a lovely time and then we practised. After luncheon Peggy and I went to the town and bought ½ a pound of black cherries which we ate all through the street with a result to our lips and hands which can be better imagined that described. Then we went and sat on the wall on the front and it begun to pour with rain so we both got under the same mackintosh and it poured harder and harder and the rain all came through the mackintosh and we were soaked.
I had a long letter from Aunt Di this evening. She says Mummy is having a good rest.
We went to Alcombe Combe this evening. It is a jolly pretty little valley at the foot of the moors.
The allies still advance. Some beastly munition workers have gone on strikeLink opens in a new window when muntions are wanted so badly. 12,000 men are out at Coventry but the Woolwich people have stuck on and told the rest in very plain language what they think of them.
Saturday July 27th 1918.
We went bathing this morning. I have been trout fishing at Dunster all day. Daddie, Shortie and I went out by the 11.25 train, Daddie came back by the 2.39 and Peggy and Denise came out by the 4.10. By an absolute fluke I caught one fair seized fish. We had tea in the village and then, as it was too late to try and catch the 6 o'clock train we walked home.
Denise has just been telling our fortunes by cards. She predicts that I shall have a lot of money and that something nice will happen to Peggy and I next week.
Mrs Idie has sent me a large box of eatables including a big cake. Mummy is going to Bath on Wednesday.
The "Justicia"Link opens in a new window a White Star liner of over 32,000 tons was torpedoed the other day. Mercifully there were no passengers on board and only 11 people were drowned.
Sunday July 28th 1918.
Peggy and Denise went down to bathe this morning. I went with them and sat on the wall and read while they bathed.
I read and wrote and slept this afternoon. My correspondance was with Mrs Idie and Miss Wolff.
Daddie went to call on Colonel Grant this afternoon and then to a Mr Plowden who Colonel Grant told him about. They asked him to stay to tea and for me to go too so Daddie came and fetched me. They were nice people and there was a nice little girl of about 11 who drove me home in a goveness cartLink opens in a new window.
We went to Church at St Michael and all Angels this evening.
I have been reading a book called "The Magic of Love" by Annie Swan. It wasn't anything like what the title sounds like but I didn't like it much for one thing the hero was killed which always annoys me.
The weather is improving greatly it hasn't rained at all today.
The French are still advancing.
Tuesday July 30th 1918.
Yesterday morning we practised the piano and bathed and Peggy did lessons and we had luncheon early and then took our tea onto Grabbist, the moors behind here which are perfectly lovely. I took five photographs and we picked whortleberries.
In the evening we went to a variety entertainment at the Queens Hall. KarinaLink opens in a new window a famous dancer was dancing and there was ventroliqusm and conjuring and singing and altogether it was quite good.
This morning also we practised and bathed. There are terrible crowds at the bathing place now and it is very difficult to get a cabin but we are lucky because the people know us.
In the afternoon we took our tea onto Camp Hill and had a lovely time. We have decided that we want to go and sleep on the moors one night. I am sure it would be ripping.
The weather has been utterly and absolutely perfect the last two days.
I wrote to Aunt Di this afternoon.
There is no wild and thrilling news; life just goes on being uniformily heavenly like it always does when we are at the sea. They say happiness has no history.
Mummy slept the night in London last night (at her club) and was going down to Bath today.
The advance continues and the munition factory strike is practically over.
Wednesday July 31st 1918.
I practised this morning and then Shortie and I sat on the front. We bathed about 12.30 having had to wait ages for a cabin but the sea quite made up for that.
Daddie went for a long walk with Colonel Plowden this morning and for a still longer one with Mr Luttrell this afternoon. In the evening we went for a walk in the woods.
Peggy and I have not been in exactly sweet tempers with each other today. I sulked this morning and Peggy ducked me and bounced me into all sorts of undignified positions in the bathing, then I got in a much worse temper in the afternoon and in the evening we had a good old fight on a very steep bank of heather in the woods. Peggy nearly tickled me to death and I bit and scratched and thumped her and Denise and I tried to kiss her (she hates being kissed). The worst of our bad tempers is (I must say it was me who was in a bad temper) we can never help laughing at the most unseemly moments.
I had a parcel from Mrs Idie today. She sent me a new blue cotton dress which she has made and an old one which she has dyed and a striped pink one which she has altered.
What on earth can have become of Renée?
I had a letter from Wolfie today saying she would like to come down here very much if she can (I had written to ask her to come down to occupy the room which Peggy and Denise will leave because having taken it till the end of August they would have to pay for it and it would be empty.
The news is still good though I don't know exactly what it is.
Thursday August 1st 1918.
We practised and bathed this morning. We do it every morning in fact so need I repeat the fact again?
It poured with rain this afternoon and Peggy and I all over the town hunting for the "Tatler" and "Sketch" and chocolate all three of which we found with our accustomed brilliance. We also bought a 3d shocker like kitchen maids read called "The Soul Buyer" and we came back and laid on my bed and read it and laughed well over it.
I got my photographs back today and have been printing them. There are some quite good ones of us on Grabbist.
Shortie has gone to see Miss Harrison (our other land lady last year).
I have embroidered another camisole.
Daddie has decided not to go to Scotland but to stay with us here and then go with us to Warley.
I had a letter from Mummy this morning and I wrote to her and Mrs Idie.
It is now certain that the Czar has been shot. A German General has been assassinated in Russia.
Friday August 2nd 1918.
No, don't get excited I am not going to begin the same way. I did pratise this morning but we bathed this afternoon!
It poured all morning and we did nothing in particular except use bad language at the weather all the morning.
Peggy and I finished "The Soul Buyer" on the quay this evening. It was just the sort of thing kitchen maids are credited with reading; there was a full blown fascinating deviless and a sweet innocent girl and a romantic lover.
We are going to listen to the orchestra in the hotel this evening.
The allies have advanced two miles at certain points and taken over 34,000 prisoners in 16 days.
Saturday August 3rd 1918.
I practised this morning but cheer up you won't be greeted by that well known sentence again for some little time because some boys are coming to that school on Monday so I shan't be able to use the piano.
Daddie went by the 11.25 to Dunster where he met Mr Luttrell and went for a very long walk with him.
We sat on the beach and bathed all the afternoon (I don't mean we bathed all the afternoon - worse luck!).
Peggy and I wandered about the town after tea and went and looked at the view from the Church and then went and sat on the front.
We are both sitting in my bedroom writing our diaries at present.
It has been an absolutely perfect day as far as weather goes.
Shortie says I talked in my sleep last night and about what do you think? - cheese. I do simply adore cheese and it is very difficult to get but I didn't know I was mad enough about it to talk about it in my sleep especially as I have never to my knowledge talked in my sleep before.
The war news is jolly good, the French have entered SoissonsLink opens in a new window.
Sunday August 4th 1918.
Peggy and Shortie went to Holy Communion before breakfast. Shortie went to 11 o'clock service and Daddie and I went to Greenaleigh Farm to see some barley there as Mr Luttrell had told Daddie that barley grew better there than anywhere else in England. Having tramped through several very nettley fields we discovered that there was no barley so we retired home defeated.
Today is the fourth anniversery of the outbreak of war and there was a service of intercession at the Queens Hall to which we all went. The Vicar and the Wesleyan, Baptist and Congregational ministers all took part and the hall was packed.
Some Bristol volunteers have come to camp on Camp Hill and they arrived today with two of the noisiest bands I have ever heard.
Peggy went bathing after tea and then we went to Church at the Parish Church.
I wrote to Pompey this afternoon.
We are now allowed to buy bacon and ham without coupons which is a great comfort!
I have just finished a book called "The Price of Love"Link opens in a new window by Arnold Bennett. It was nice but not wildly thrilling.
The French have advanced beyond Soissons.
Bank Holiday Monday August 5th 1918.
Daddie went over to Watchet to a vegetable and baby show but he found it so dull that he came back by the first train.
We sat on the front and sewed and read most of the morning.
This afternoon we took our tea and went to the sands by the golf course.
We paddled and got throughly wet then it rained and we got wetter then we ate our tea and then went and bathed, the sea was really lovely but if you know of a more uncomfortable performance than putting on wet, sandy clothes after a salt bath I don't.
Denise has started her tricks again and she fairly has done it this time. She told Peggy at lessons this morning and she knew that Peggy and Rowland had been to tea with Teddie and that Peggy had taken Bobs to "Tails Up!". She says she isn't going to write to Mrs Leigh about it but that she will tell her when she gets to Stoneleigh. Of course the really awful thing is her knowing that Rowland went to tea with Teddie. She says written evidence was sent to her on Saturday, the only person who was likely to send her information was Bobs and she doesn't know about their going to tea with Teddie; the only really plausable explanation is that she got hold of Peggy's diary and read it. It is hard to think what her motive can be in doing all these things especially as she proffesses to be fond of Peggy.
The allies have crossed the Vesle river and advanced 21 miles.
Tuesday August 6th 1918.
We went to see Colonel Grant this morning and I ate and brought home large quantities of gooseberries.
In the afternoon we walked to Burgundy Cove a lovely place some way beyond Greenaleigh Farm.
After tea Peggy and I bathed. The sea was glorious and frightfully rough, we swallowed half the Bristol Channel.
I have been reading a perfectly delightful book called "The Cowboy Countess" by C.N. and A.M. Williamson.
Peggy asked Denise last night where she got her information from; she refused to tell her definitely but from what she said it is pretty evident that she hasn't read Peggy's diary and putting two and two together we think Bobs must have written and told her all she (Bobs) knows. Peggy hasn't told her about going to tea with Teddie but she could have found out that at Teddie's house or where Peggy buys flowers for Teddie. Denise has been sucking up to me all day so Peggy and I have decided that I am to pretend to fall in love with her and try and wriggle things out of her which is the same game which I played with Bobs but oh! Bobs was childs play compared with her. I got hold of her alone this evening and started off by saying how cross Peggy seemed (quite untrue) Denise said maybe she'd got something to make her cross, I said "oh, what?" and Denise answered "I expect you know much better than I" which rather stumped me however I answered "you mean that silly "Tails Up!" business?" Denise "yes, and far worse than that what I know would get both Peggy and Rowland into the most terrible row with their parents" this of course was tea with Teddie about which I am supposed to be in ignorance as far as Denise goes. She was laughing over Peggy's efforts to fool her but she said there was someone else helping her.
Wednesday August 7th 1918.
She didn't trust me one bit and said "it is very difficult to fool Denise I warn you not to try" and in the evening I had her alone in their bed-room and she said "you are much cleverer than your friend" and another time "you do amuse me you poor little girl ('bute') you are a very true friend and I admire you for that" I asked who I was a true friend to and she answered "Peggy" I said I wasn't at all so sure about that and thought it was very probable we shouldn't go on being friends much longer, she literally jumped for joy at that and said "what, what do you mean?" I said I was sick of the way Peggy never told me anything and of her eternal sulkiness (one as untrue as the other). We went on in the same strain for several more minutes and she gloated over the way she had ground Peggy to mincemeat as she expressed it and she roared with laughter (in which I had to join) over it. Oh! that woman is bad, bad, bad. She says she doesn't want to know what she does know but her conscience makes her do it that it is her duty to Mrs Leigh to find out these things and tell her, but she forgets how upset Mrs Leigh would be and apparently her conscience doesn't trouble her about the means she uses to find out.
We went bathing this morning and then we all went to Dunster by the 11.25 train. I fished all day and though I had several rises I caught nothing. Daddie walked back after our picnic luncheon and we had tea in the village and came back by the 6 o'clock train which was 3/4 of an hour late.
I have had a letter from Wolfie saying she doesn't know if she will be able to come and stay here which is tiresome.
The Huns have torpedoed an ambulance transport and 123 lives have been lost - oh! What brutes they are! A British force has landed at ArchangelLink opens in a new window.
Thursday August 8th 1918.
We went bathing this morning; the sea was cold and choppy.
This afternoon we went to Porlock by bus; the 'bus was an hour late starting which was cheerful. Porlock is a lovely little village at the foot of Exmoor and about 10 minutes walk from the sea. We had tea in a nice little shop where we went last year and where there is a pretty red-haired girl. The 'bus coming home was packed as full as it would possibly hold.
Denise and Peggy have had another cheerful conversation. Peggy once told Emmeline she wanted to go on the stage just to shock Emmeline but the tiresome female has passed it on to the Forbes family and Bobs has apparently passed it on to Denise. Denise said I was acting to her the other night and wanted to know if Peggy had put me up to it or whether I did it on my own. She also said she knew I disliked her. Bye the bye the letter to Shuttie which Denise copied from the blotting paper about six weeks ago contained nothing about the Teddie tea party only Peggy said she would take Shuttie to "Tails Up!" and "Pigeon Post" when the latter came to London.
The British have started a new attack in France and a British force has landed at Vladivostock [ Vladivostok ]Link opens in a new window.
I had a letter from Pompey this morning; he didn't say anything very particular except that he lost a huge trout the other day which he was landing it.
Friday August 9th 1918.
We bathed soon after breakfast. The sea was rough and very nice.
At last I have got the "Play Pictorial" of "Nothing but the Truth" but it is a very dull one with scarcely any pictures of Renée.
I joined Smiths library this morning mainly for an excuse to go in and look at the "Tatler" and "Sketch".
Peggy had a letter from Rowland this morning in which he says his doctor has just told him that he has got to have treatment for his knees and he won't be able to go back to Winchester till January and he will probably have to have an operation. There is one good thing about it and that is that Denise can't with any decency tell Mrs Leigh all the things she has found out while the latter has all this trouble.
We took tea to Burgundy Cove this afternoon. Peggy and I went for a scramble on the hill-side and I slide down very frequently.
It has been the most absolutely perfect day.
The British and French have advanced east of Amiens.
Saturday August 10th 1918.
Peggy and Denise bathed this morning.
Daddie had gone to Bath to be with Mummy on the 21st anniversary of their wedding day (tomorrow). I have sent my darling Joffie some bones.
I have been reading an awfully nice book called "The Sub" by "Taffrail". It is an account of the life of a boy from the time he is a cadet at Osbourne till he becomes a Sub Lieutenant on a destroyer; there are very good descriptions of the battles of Heligoland Bight and Dogger Bank.
We went out in a rowing boat this evening and the boatman let us row which we enjoyed very much though I don't think we made much progress when we were going against the current.
The weather continues to be perfect.
The allies have advanced 10 miles in places and taken 17,000 prisoners and 200-300 guns. The news has been very good lately.
Sunday August 11th 1918.
Denise and Peggy bathed this morning and I walked down with them and sat on the beach and read. Shortie went to Church.
Peggy packed and washed her hair in the afternoon.
We went to Church this evening.
Tuesday August 13th 1918.
Peggy and Denise bathed yesterday morning and I went to the town with Shortie and then joined them at the bathing place. Peggy and I dawdled about in the afternoon and after tea we sat on the front and then went to meet Daddie who came back from Bath by the 6 o'clock train. He says Mummy and Mrs Idie are fairly well and the dogs very well but poor, dear Joffie rather subdued. Mrs Idie sent us a ripping cake and Mummy some equally ripping chocolates and also three of those photographs of me which Speaight did. We all went out in a rowing boat for an hour before supper. Peggy and I went in the woods after supper and had a long talk about a great many things and we didn't get back till 10. Then she did some packing and we both went to bed.
I had a letter from Wolfie yesterday in which she says she will try and come here on Friday or Saturday.
Alas! and alack! Peggy and Denise went away but the 11.25 train this morning; they had to change at Taunton and Didcot and it was going to take them 8 ½ hours to get to Leamington which is the station to Stoneleigh.
I went to see about the piano again this morning and it is free again so I went and practised directly after luncheon.
We took tea to Burgundy Cove this afternoon and Daddie and I went and explored along some excessively steep and slippery pathes.
I wrote to Mummy this evening.
Things are looking up very much for Peggy as far as her grand muddle goes. She and Denise had a long conversation last night and again this morning and she (Denise) said she would swear by anything that it wasn't Bobs who had told her so we were wrong there but she practically told Peggy who it was; there is a very famous dancing mistress staying here and Denise knows her and Lord Leigh has lessons from her so it is extremely likely that one of the officers who were at tea at Teddie's that day told her that they had met a nephew and neice of Lord Leigh's at tea at Teddie Gerard's and that she remembered it when she was talking to Denise. Also Denise has done a most awfully sporting thing, she says she doesn't at all want to tell Mrs Leigh so she has offered to give notice about the middle of October and go without telling Mrs Leigh. There is a great deal of good in her in fact she is ripping at times.
I have been reading a book called "Tiger's Cub" taken from the play in which Madge acted the heroine. It is a most blood and thunder story of miners in Alaska.
I miss my Peggyskins very much but not nearly as much as last year thank goodness, then it was really awful because we were together almost solidly all day all the time and it left a terrible gap when she went. This year we havn't been together so much because of lessons and Denise and we havn't refrained from quarrelling so much either because she had a great many worries and my temper I am sorry to say wasn't always of the sweetest and I am equally sorry to own that it made me jealous to see her sucking up to Denise even though I knew she had to do it But yesterday I had the real nice old Peggyskins solidly all day and "when she is nice shes very very nice and when shes nasty shes horrid".
The war is going very well; we are still advancing and taking prisoners and guns.
Wednesday August 14th 1918.
I practised this morning and then bathed; the sea was ripping and there were crowds of people bathing.
Daddie sat on the pier all the morning, I re-printed some of those Lynmouth photographs this afternoon. This morning I made the maddening discovery that a chemist here has got some films and if only I had known I should have been able to do some more of Peggy and Denise. It is almost impossible to get films now but I managed to get two from a man at Dunster who I wrote to but they only arrived yesterday.
We went to Dunster by the 4.10 train. We went to Mr Luttrell's game-keeper and got 12 lbs of venison from him, they are allowed to give a lb for one meat coupon and it is only one and threepence a pound. Then we went right up through the woods onto the moors where the heather was in full bloom and knee deep. We got quite a fair amount of blackberries and what we fondly imagined to be mushrooms but which turned out to be toadstools after which performance we came home by the 7.20 train which we did our level best to miss. It is most ripping Country all round Dunster.
Today is a flag day for the National Lifeboat InstituteLink opens in a new window and Minehead's tame lifeboat went careering about in full war paint.
I miss Peggy very much at times.
The allies are still advancing and up to date have taken 40,000 prisoners and several hundred guns in this battle.
Thursday August 15th 1918.
Directly after breakfast this morning we went to see the nursery of Webber the fruiterer. He used to be Mr Luttrell's head gardener and then he started on his own and has made a jolly good thing of it. He has got several grape houses and the vines were simply laden, my mouth is watering still! Afterwards I went and did my practising and Daddie went down to the pier and then Shortie and I went to the bathing. There were some quite decent seized waves but a frightfully strong current dragging one out.
Shortie had a letter from Denise this morning and she enclosed one for me. She is very sorry to have left here.
I snoozled most of the afternoon. We had tea early and went to Blue Anchor by the 4.10 train. It is a dull little place with about two houses in it but the beach is nice and there are ripping grey and red cliffs full of alabaster. We saw a motor reaper at work. We came back by the 7 something train.
I read yesterday a book by Keble Howard called "The Gay Life"Link opens in a new window; it is story of the career of an actress who starts in a touring company on 27/6 a week and ends up as a music hall star with $1000 a week, it is very amusing and shows that the stage is not such a bad place as people make out. I have also read "The Man Who Stayed at Home"Link opens in a new window the story of the play, a most exciting German spy story.
Wolfie is coming down on Monday but she thinks she will only be able to stay till Friday.
Did I mention that I go able with my hair up here? I really do it on account of the heat but I like it much better than having it down. This is me
Of course this lovely young creature doesn't bear the least resemblance to me.
The allies are still advancing.
Friday August 16th 1918.
I practised this morning and then went bathing. Daddie as usual went on the pier.
We did nothing-in-particular all the afternoon and in the evening Daddie and I went for a walk. This evening we have been playing Coon CanLink opens in a new window.
Miss Tan has managed to get us a pot of - guess what? - JAM! it is almost impossible to get here and we miss it most terribly. This is a lb pot of real live strawberry jam.
The allies have taken over 70,000 prisoners and 1,700 guns in a month. A British force has marched from Baghdad to the Caspian Sea.
Saturday August 17th 1918.
It rained hard most of the morning. I did my practising and toddled about the town with Shortie.
At last I have heard from Peggy. She says Denise ran down Shuttie a great deal the other night and then said she would give Mrs Leigh notice in a week without giving any reasons why she was leaving and if Mrs Leigh asked for reasons she would tell her everything. Peggy went to Mrs Leigh and told her Denise was giving notice in a week and asked her not to ask any questions but told her she would explain everything later on and Mrs Leigh agreed to this so with any luck that is the end of this muddle. Rowland has got his remove and a very good report and he hasn't got to have an operation.
I bathed after luncheon. It was raining when I went into the sea but the water was most gloriously warm and there were quite decent waves.
A large parcel came from Mummy today containing two hats for me, one an oilskin one and the other white straw trimmed with a very pretty scarlet and white scarf, also several hunks of plain chocolate and some ginger cake.
I have been reading a book called "The Vermilion Box"Link opens in a new window by E.V. Lucas; it is the letters of a family written during the war.
Wolfie can't come till the train which arrives here at 6 o'clock on Monday.
The bathing people told us that the Lynmouth life boat has been called out so I suppose a ship has either been wrecked or torpedoed. Some wreckage was found on the beach here the other day and later two bodies were found in the channel.
We had some of the venison today; it was excessively tough but quite good.
I answered Peggy's letter today with my usual nobility.
The allies are still advancing.
Sunday August 18th 1918.
Shortie went to Church early this morning and again at 11 o'clock.
Daddie and I went for a short walk before luncheon and after luncheon we went to call on Mrs Bosanquet an aunt of Mr Luttrell's but she wasn't at home.
Shortie and I went to Church at the little Church this evening.
I have written to Mummy, Mrs Idie and Denise today.
We have just been onto the front to see the view but the view having become somewhat misty we came in.
I have been reading a book called "The Crystal Stopper"Link opens in a new window by Maurice Leblanc; it is about a French thief Arséne Lupin who is almost as famous in fiction as Sherlock Holmes and is wildly thrilling.
Daddie had a letter from Major Otley the other day; he is home on leave from Palestine.
There are two very musical young ladies next door; one plays the piano perfectly beautifully and she plays Paderewski's Minuet so that it makes me wild to imitate her. The other has got a very pretty voice. Denise made friends with them and used to go in there to sing and we have made friends with them through their little neice who is about 4 years old, half French and a perfect angel.
Daddie went to see Colonel Grant this evening and went for a walk with him.
Our advance still continues.
Monday August 19th 1918.
As usual I practised this morning and then came home and sewed and read.
There is an auction of cattle and sheep here once a month and it took place today so Daddie and I went and had a look at it this afternoon, it was most amusing. Afterwards we went for a walk up Alcombe Combe.
Mr Luttrell called after tea and he says I may fish at Dunster again of which fact I am very glad. He told us a most gruesome story about a sailing ship full of sheep which was crossing to Wales and the sheep stamped so much on the bottom of the ship that the whole bottom fell out and all the sheep were drowned.
I bathed this evening; it was quite nice.
Mrs Avery our landlady has sent a most terrible long list of damages done at the Mill Cottage most of which she seems to have invented.
I am beginning to think I have got second sight! this morning I said to Mrs Short "I bet you there'll be either a letter or telegram from Wolfie to say she can't come today" and sure enough at luncheon-time a telegram came from poor Wolfie saying she had got a bad headache and would come by the 10.15 tomorrow.
The young ladies next door have been playing and singing to us this evening.
We have advanced a mile on a four mile front near Ypres.
Tuesday August 20th 1918.
I practised on the piano at the school this morning and the ladies next door said I might practise on their piano and the landlady said so too so I went there after the other one; it is the most ripping brand new Broardwood [ Broadwood ]Link opens in a new window.
Daddie went on the pier and we sat on the quay for a bit.
Miss Wolff came at 2.42. She had a very good journey and got a through carriage from Taunton. She brought her little perkinese [ pekinese ] "Madcap" with her.
I bathed this evening; the sea was lovely.
Mrs Idie sent us some little cakes and figs today.
It has been a most lovely day and quite hot.
Miss Wolff has brought us a fine assortment of home-made jam and some awfully nice biscuits.
The allies are still advancing.
Wednesday August 21st 1918.
We hired an awfully nice little four wheeled dog cartLink opens in a new window this morning and drove to Selworthy which is a perfectly lovely little village on a hill-side at the foot of some big woods and with a glorious view towards Exmoor. There is a green with lovely little old thatched armshouses all round and on it.
I drove the pony most of the way and did my best to upset the whole show once or twice but it was huge fun and a nice pony who went very well.
This afternoon we went to an open air fête in aid of the hospital; there were several stalls and houpla's and swing boats but nothing much and crowds of people so we came away in about an hour.
I bathed this evening; the sea was like glass and quite ripping.
It has been boiling hot today – I think the hottest day we have had.
The allies are still advancing.
Friday August 23rd 1918.
We went to Dunster by the 11.25 train yesterday. I fished all day and caught nothing as usual but I managed not to loose any flies. Those fish are the most artful I ever saw, they won't let you get within 10 miles of them and when I did find a place where I could get at some big fish without their seeing me they wouldn't rise. Miss Wolff and Mrs Short picked a fine lot of blackberries. We had tea in the town and came home by the 6 o'clock train. Daddie walked there and back by the sands.
After dinner Daddie and I went to a lecture at the Queens Hall on "Baghdad" by a Canon ParfittLink opens in a new window; it was very interesting, he had lived 24 years in Mesapotamia [ Mesopotamia ] and he told us a great deal about German intrigues there. His lantern slides were very good and he showed us one of the site of the Garden of Eden which looked more like a desert than anything else, he told us about a British soldier who was in camp there and who said that he didn't know who Adam and Eve got on with the bloomin' mosquitos but it wouldn't have taken no flaming sword to drive him out! Another soldier describing the heat in Mespot said it was so hot that the natives fed their chickens on ice cream to prevent their laying hard-boiled eggs!
I bathed this morning. The sea was quite nice but rather cold. Afterwards I practised on the piano next door.
We were going to sit on the pier all the afternoon and have our tea there but it was rather dull and I have a bad cold so we had tea here and went on the pier after tea. The sea was very calm and quite lovely. Daddie thinks this bit of sea looks very like the Bay of Naples.
The news is still very good. We have advanced some miles and re-taken AlbertLink opens in a new window.
Saturday August 24th 1918.
I practised on the piano next door this morning.
We went to Washford by the 11.25 train and then walked to Cleeve Abbey. Daddie, Shortie and Miss Wolff went over the Abbey which I laid in the garden and read. We had luncheon there and then I started off fishing, the stream goes along by the road and there are some quite good fish in it but it is terribly overgrown. I caught one huge chap which must have weighed nearly a lb and as I was landing him I lost him, oh! I was hopping mad! There was one perfectly ripping pool opposite a public house simply full of fish (the pool not the pub), there was one fish there who kept coming and looking at my fly but never going for it but at last after tea he had a good go and I caught him. He is very small - about 6 inches long – but fat. We had tea at Cleeve Abbey a wonderful pre-war tea with real raspberry jam! Daddie went back by the 5.45 train and walked home from Dunster. He walked from Minehead to Blue Anchor in the morning. We came back by the 7.10 train which arrives here at 7.28.
Shortie and Miss Wolff blackberried all the afternoon and evening and got 12 blackberries!
Mrs Idie has sent me another box of cakes. Shortie had a letter from Denise today and she enclosed a note for me.
We have taken several thousand more German prisoners and advanced two miles in places.
Sunday August 25th 1918.
It has rained most of the day.
The Miss MacLarens (the ladies next door) came to tea and we showed them photographs of India.
Daddie went to see Colonel Plowden this afternoon and Mrs Bousanquet (Mr Luttrell's Aunt) after tea; he says she is a very nice old lady! She told him that her Aunts used to drive up to London once a year and used to stop at Bath to buy fine clothes on the way.
I have written to Mummy, Mrs Idie, Pompey and Peggy today.
Mrs Short went to Church this morning and evening, I didn't go because of my cold. I havn't been out today except to go to the pillar-box this evening.
I have been reading a book called "The One Way Trail"Link opens in a new window by Ridgwell Cullum; it is about ranchers in the "Wild West" and most thrilling.
We have advanced and taken Bray and 14,000. Since July 18th the allies have taken 10,000 prisoners.
Monday August 26th 1918.
Nothing very special has happened today. I will write more fully tomorrow, it is too late now.
Tuesday August 27th 1918.
I bathed yesterday morning; when I go into the sea it was high tide and very rough and the sea was right up on the stones; it wasn't safe to swim very far out and you got washed down onto the stones if you tried to stand so I came in after a few minutes, it was jolly difficult to get in too, dressed and bathed again about an an hour later when the sea had got down to the sand and was calmer.
Daddie walked to Dunster by the sands yesterday morning and again this morning. He is most awfully taken with that walk.
We went and sat on the pier yesterday afternoon and had tea there it is quite a nice place.
Wolfie went back to London by the 11.25 train this morning. I think she enjoyed her time here very much and it has done her good.
I bathed after we had seen Miss Wolff off. The sea was calm and very nice. It is terrible to think that I have only got three more bathes.
We did various little things in the town this afternoon. We had entended to go up on Grabbist and hunt for white heather but it rained nearly all day.
I had a letter from Peggy yesterday. She seems to have been having a very gay time.
A terrible fate is hanging over us! Daddie met a Lady Trollope at Mrs Bosanquet's on Sunday and her girl Sylvia used to be a Wolfite and they have asked us to tea on Thursday. Nothing alarms me more than girls of Sylvia's age (19) though Sylvia is quite nice. We are also going to supper with the Plowdens on Thursday
I wrote to Denise today.
Mrs Idie sent Daddie some figs out of the Bath garden; they are quite nice. I used to dislike figs throughly but now I like them very much. Mummy is very fond of them.
I am doing rather a pretty kind of embroidery that Peggy showed me. You have a straight peice of thin stuff like this – you fold it so
as to find the middle then about say an inch from the edge you make a cut half way towards the middle like this - you fold it like this fold it over like this
do the same on the opposite side and hem them down. The finished result ought to be like this -
but if you try and follow these instructions it will be luncacy. The shaded part is the folded stuff.
We are still advancing and have got beyond the 1917 battle line, we have advanced further in 4 days in this offensive than we did in four months in the 1917 one but our casualties for those four days have been over 23,000 men. We have taken 116 miles in this offensive as against 44 in the 1917 one. Our prisoners in four day total 20,000. The four days are August 21st-25th.
Wednesday August 28th 1918.
Daddie walked over to Dunster again this morning. I practised and bathed the sea was very rougher - I think the roughest we have had – and perfectly ripping.
We had tea early and went up on the moors (Grabbist) after tea, it was quite lovely up there masses and masses of purple heather mixed with yellow gorse and the most beautiful views all round. We really went up to look for white heather as Mr Luttrell had told us where we might find some; after a great deal of hunting I found two clumps of real white heather and I am going to put a peice in this diary "for luck". We took a small basket in case we should find any blackberries and Daddie and Shortie got it full and I got my tammy nearly full (a tammy is a jolly good thing to pick blackberries in, it holds a great many and is much easier to carry and less likely to upset than a basket) altogether we picked nearly two quarts. There were streams and streams of peopleLink opens in a new window coming down from the moors with big baskets cram full of blackberries and one child who we spoke to said she had been out since 10 o'clock and had picked eleven quarts.
I wrote to Peggy today.
Only two more bathes.
We are still advancing and have taken several villages and the French have taken Roye.
Friday August 30th 1918.
Daddie walked over to Dunster yesterday morning and came back by the train. In the train he met Mr Luttrell who took him for a long walk over Camp Hill and down to his son's market garden.
I practised and then bathed, Miss MacLaren bathed at the same time and we had great fun.
Wolfie has sent me simply piles of lovely presents - a book on botany, some ripping Irish linen handkerchiefs with coloured borders, some glorious big chocolates and today a patent kind of fruit cake. She says she didn't get home till 6 o'clock on Tuesday but she had a comfortable journey.
I took the bathing women's children's photographs yesterday afternoon.
We went to tea with Lady Trollope, it was quite good fun and Sylvia was very nice. We discussed minutely all Wolfites past and present.
We had dinner with the Plowdens, a perfectly ripping dinner (I know this sounds horribly greedy) with chicken which I had almost forgotten the taste of as they cost anything up to a £1 now-a-days. The Plowdens are very nice and we didn't get home till nearly 10.30. Mrs Plowden told me that once in India she rode 80 miles alone in one day through a very wild part and a bear crossed the road in one place and she had nothing but a few biscuits to eat from 5 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon because the ayahLink opens in a new window who had gone on ahead had ordered the food for the wrong day.
I practised this morning and then bathed - my last bathe this time alas! the sea was rather rough and ripping. I stayed in for ages.
We took our tea onto the moors this afternoon. We found a place where there were millions of blackberries and we got a nice basket full. There were a great many people picking.
I found a very big clump of white heather so I ought to have good luck for some time to come in fact Daddie says I have got enough luck to last a whole year. It is quite lovely up on those moors, I am beginning to think I love moors more than woods.
We have just been round to see Mary Smith the poor invalid who lives with Miss Harrison whose lodgings we stayed in last year.
It is very sad to think that this has been our last day here but although I am very, very fond of Minehead I want to see what Warley is like.
Bath. Saturday August 31st 1918.
Daddie walked over to Dunster and came back by the train this morning.
I took a film to the chemist to be developed yesterday morning and it was done this morning which was lucky as it saved having it sent; it is the one of Selworthy and the bathing woman's children. Selworthy hasn't come out very well but the ones of the children are very good.
Miss McLaren played the Minuet for me before she went off to work on the land this morning and the other one came to the station to see us off. Wasn't it nice of them.
There were two trains out from Minehead at about the same time today, one a relief train and the other the ordinary Taunton train with some London coaches on it. We had a carriage to ourselves all the way to Taunton where we were shunted about a great deal and waited a long; we thought we were going to be put onto another train but after we had sat in Taunton for some time a large crowd of people made for us, we had an express engine stuck onto us and went off to Bristol without stopping in just an hour. They told us at Taunton that the train might be going on to Bath but they never knew till the train got to Bristol (because we were a special train); when we got to Bristol there was a huge crowd on the platform and porters shouting "all change" so out we bundled and joined the crowd on the platform and at about 2.15 the London train came in and there was a wild rush for it; we had 10 small packetages so you can imagine what a happy time we had getting in. Daddie and Shortie got seats and I could have had one but I preferred standing in the corridor. We stayed ages in Brisol [ Bristol ] and there was scarcely standing room in the train by the time we left; having got out of the station the train promptly stopped again and sat there so long that we didn't get to Bath till 3 o'clock.
Mummy met us at the station with the dogs. Joffie went wild with joy over all of us and Chi Chi over Mrs Short. Mummy and Daddie walked from the station and Shortie and I came in a taxi and the driver having supressed a wild desire to drive us all round Bath in his efforts to find Sydney Place we arrived quite happily.
War news still good.
Sunday September 1st 1918.
After tea yesterday I rummaged in a great pile of music of Mummy's and chose a lot of things to take to Warley.
Two most agitating letters came from Miss Willmott this morning, one for me and one for Mummy, she says there are no coal, oil or provisions in the house and she wants Shortie to go down there for the day sometime this week and us not to go till the end of the week, but Shortie and Simpson are going down tomorrow and we are going on Tuesday. It seems rather funny that Miss Willmott couldn't have got coal, oil and provisions in and it was settled long ago that we were to go September 2nd.
We went to Church at the Abbey today and sat in the Choir, it is a most beautiful Church.
After tea we went to see Miss Sartois a great friend of Mummy's who lives in 31 St Jameses Square. Mr Frederic HarrisonLink opens in a new window was there and a cousin of hers and Lady Tupper came in.
Mummy has given me a ripping big green leather writing case which belonged to her. It has got almost every possible thing for a writing-case.
Did I ever say that I read "The Talisman"Link opens in a new window at Minehead? I liked it best of the Scott novels I have read. I also read this afternoon a nice but very doleful book by Miss Macnaughton called "Selah Harrison"Link opens in a new window.
Poor dear Joffie has had eczema.
Shortie went off to London yesterday evening by the 6.23 arriving 8.50. She is sleeping at Wolfie's.
We are still advancing.
Monday September 2nd 1918.
Daddie and I went to the town this morning.
There has been another letter from Miss Willmott today asking for Mrs Short to come down and "make arrangements". Daddie has telegraphed to her to say he and I are coming tomorrow and Shortie and Simpson today (they probably got there before the telegram).
Dr Curd (our doctor here) called today to see Mummy, Daddie and I. He said that Daddie was quite well but must have plenty of fresh air, Mummy's varicose veins were bad and he was going to put on a French bandage, I was well in every way (except my cold which he gave me a prescription for); last year when he saw me he said that one thigh was growing lower than the other but that it is quite right now.
Mummy and Daddie went to see the Museum over the road this afternoon.
I have written to Wolfie and the Miss McLarens.
Mummy, Daddie and I leave by the 10.4 tomorrow and Mummy gets out at Reading and goes to stay with Cousin Nell Farmer who has taken a house at Finchampstead.
I have been cleaning silver most of the evening. I simply love cleaning silver.
We are going to have a truely lurid journey tomorrow. Long and involved railway journeys are one of the joys of my life. I got two cinders from the engine in my right eye when we were coming here on Saturday, one between Minehead and Taunton, through leaning out of the window and one between Bristol and here through standing near an open window while the train was going through a tunnel. The first one was tiresome but when it got to two in the same eye the matter really was past a joke; with great difficulty I managed to get the biggest one out with a paint brush but the smaller is firmly lodged in the blue of my eye and has quite ceased to hurt, it will probably remain there permenantly and will be a very useful identity disc.
Joffie was assailed by "curious pains in his underneath" all night due I think to eating a most obnoxious old bone in the street yesterday.
I was weighed just before I left Minehead and to my extreme suprise only weighed 8 stones 8 lbs. I thought I weighed 10 stone at the least.
Daddie had a letter from Uncle Leslie the other day. He is safe back in Persia. He said that in the Meditrannian [ Mediterranean ] they passed a French transport which had just been torpedoed and there were bodies floating about on the water. The allies are still advancing and are very near Perrone.
Tuesday September 3rd 1918.
We left for the station with about a hundred packages at 9.16 this morning. The train went at 10.4. We were able to have both dogs in the carriage which was lucky and they seemed to enjoy the journey. Mummy got out at Reading. We arrived in London soon after 12.40 but had great difficulty in getting a taxi so we didn't get away till well after 1. No sooner had we got to Liverpool Street than Chi Chi escaped out of his basket and proceeded to head for the street, everybody started to chase him and finally a soldier caught him. We discovered that there was a train at 1.42 for Brentwood which we had just missed and the next train didn't go till 3.25 so we sat on the platform for nearly two hours. The train - which was quite a good one - was very full but we managed to have the dogs in with us. At Brentwood we were lucky enough to get a small motor but it had to make two journeys because of the amount of luggage we had got; nobody is supposed to carry more than 100 lbs of luggage for each person but we had much more than that; they asked awkward questions about it here but Daddie said there were two other ladies who had gone on ahead (Shortie and Simpson) which was quite true but none of the luggage was theirs!
It is lovely here; I will write more fully tomorrow.
We have taken Perrone and peirced the Hindenburg lineLink opens in a new window which was supposed to be invunerable.
Wednesday September 4th 1918.
This is a most ripping place, the house is Georgian, middle seized and very pretty inside with lovely furniture. I have got a big room with a huge four poster bed and a dressing table against the opposite wall with a looking-glass which nearly reaches to the ceiling. There is also a big mahogany wardrobe, a washstand, a writing table, a tall book case the top drawer of which forms a writing table, a revolving book-case and a few dozen chairs. There are three servants, a butler, a housmaid and a kitchen maid; the kitchen maid has given notice, and the housemaid is away for a holiday to see her husband who has got leave and intends to give notice when she gets back. A nice cheerful prospect isn't it?
The things came down from the pantechnicon yesterday so I was able to play my beloved gramophone today.
Miss Willmott has let Warley Lea, the Farm and the garden which contains all the vegetables to the Ministry of Pensions to be a place for teaching disabled soldiers horticulture. It is a great nuisance the vegetable garden being let because we expected to get all our vegetables from the garden.
We see very little of Miss Willmott as she works in the garden all day long. She has worked 18 hours today.
I was going blackberrying this morning with a nice little boy and girl who live here but it rained so we couldn't go, however we are going to try and go tomorrow.
We took Shortie over two of the gardens this afternoon, she thought they were lovely. After tea she and Simpson and I went to the farm to see about milk etc.
There is a music room here with every sort of musical instrument in it including a perfectly angelic little Broadwood baby grand which unfortunately is absolutely out of tune and some of the notes don't sound which really is very tiresome because I can't practise properly on it; there is another piano in the Chapel but the butler says none of the pianos have been tuned for years. The music room is absolutely glorious for singing-in.
Shortie and I both had a letter from Denise yesterday. She left Peggy on Monday and is thinking of taking a room in London and giving private lessons. I have ceased to feel any animosity (a good word which I can't spell) for her at present.
I have written to Mummy and Mrs Idie today.
There are several big volumes of "Punch" in my room which I am devouring with much relish.
We have captured 10,000 prisoners with the Queant Switch of the Hindenburg Line and are still advancing.
We can hear guns at Woolwich firing nearly all day and they shake the house.
Thursday September 5th 1918.
Shortie and I went into Brentwood this morning to register for meat and sugar. There is a very nice little grocers shop where they didn't turn a hair when we asked for cheese and matches. The best shops are the other side of the railway station and some way up a hill so we didn't have time to get there.
Daddie and I explored about in the gardens this aternoon.
Mummy came by the 3.25 train. She has had a very nice time at Cousin Nell's.
It has been very wet today but was lovely for a little bit in the afternoon.
Miss Willmott is away for the day.
I have written to Emmeline to ask her when she starts at Trinity College because I want to begin having lessons again as soon as I can.
Joffie has been exploring everywhere and won't be happy till he knows every square inch. Yesterday he was exploring full tilt in the alpine garden and he fell plump! into a pond which was covered with weeds and things and looked like dry land, poor Joffie he does hate water so much I'm afraid his ardour was very much damped! Daddie says he thinks the damage that these dogs do will more than make up for the rent!
We are getting near to Cambrai.
Friday September 6th 1918.
Daddie and I explored all round by the lake after breakfast; it is terribly wild and overgrown there now but must have been lovely when it was properly kept up. There is a boat house made like a Swiss Châtlet.
We have been weeding this morning and afternoon.
After tea I went out blackberrying with that little boy and girl (Harry and Molly). We didn't get many blackberries but we got plenty of nuts and we explored through the wild garden (which is also in parts a vegetable and fruit garden) on the other side of the road and found quite a fair amount of apples.
I found a most angelic little bugle in the Music Room today I am going to get away a long way from everyone (people don't seem to appreciate it somehow) and practise on it.
We are all revelling in the glorious books in this house; there are simply millions on every sort of subject.
I have been printing photographs this afternoon; the Selworthy ones have come out very well.
Only a week since we were on the moors at Minehead!
Saturday September 7th 1918.
Daddie and I explored the wild garden this morning and found apples and nuts and figs (not ripe) and ripe strawberries. After luncheon Mummy, Shortie and I went there and stayed all the afternoon.
We have been weeding this evening.
When we came up from Bath on Tuesday we saw an ambulance trainLink opens in a new window full of wounded at Reading.
We are getting near St Quentin.
Sunday September 8th 1918.
I had two very nice letters from the Miss McLarens this morning.
We went to Church at the little Church which was built by Mr Hazeltine a gentleman who had a big place here. It is a pretty Church but built in a funny style - lots of green and black marble and brass and copper and mother-'o-pearl let into things. There is a very good choir with four ladies in it and a good preacher.
Miss Willmott showed us her book "The Genus Rosa"Link opens in a new window this afternoon, it is the standerd book on roses.
Harry and Molly and their Mother and Father came to tea.
There is a gale blowing at present and the weather is very unsettled, one moment the sun is shining and the next moment it is pouring with rain.
We are still advancing.
Monday September 9th 1918.
Daddie went into Brentwood this morning to get a map of this district. He says all the shops are pretty bad. I suppose they are very like Wimbledon.
I have been very lazy today, in fact I have looked at the lovely books in my bedroom most of the day but I did a fair amount of practising and have been reading most of the evening.
Poor Miss Willmott is having great trouble with the woman who the Pensions people have put into the farm; she took Miss Willmott's workmen to do work for her so the corn has been left lying cut out in the fields for three weeks and two haystacks have been left unthatched so that the rain has gone half way through them.
I have been reading a book called "Clementina"Link opens in a new window by A.E. Mason. I thought it was going to end up right but it didn't so it made me extremely doleful.
Poor Mummy has got bad earache.
The Germans are beginning to resist our attacks harder now but we are still advancing.
Tuesday September 10th 1918.
There is nothing much to say today. We have just come in from a little walk. I have been rummaging in books most of the day and also playing the piano. At last I have discovered the name of that Scotch air in my harmony book, it is "A Highland Lad My Love was Born"Link opens in a new window and is by Burns, I found it in a book of Scotch songs belonging to Miss Willmott.
Mummy has decided to have our piano down from London because it would take so long to get this one in tune.
No very special War news.
Wednesday September 11th 1918.
Too dark for diary tonight.
Thursday September 12th 1918.
To tell the truth I was really too lazy to write my diary last night, partly because I had got hold of a lovely book of pictures which I looked at till bed-time and partly because there is only one oil lamp and that doesn't throw enough light on the writing table to write at it.
I played the piano a good deal yesterday morning and looked at books and weeded a bit in the frames.
In the afternoon Miss Willmott showed me the bit of garden she is giving me to do; it is four raised beds in the garden on the other side of the drive. There are little narrow paths between them and their edges are made of rocks; they are planted with rare bulbs and alpine plants but have been absolutely overrun by strong growing plants and weeds. I have had to clear almost everything off the first bed because the bulbs and small things like sedums have no chance at all; it seems a terrible waste of plant but it has to be done. Harry and Molly were working in that garden (which they call "the fruit garden", apparently because there are practically no fruit trees in it) and we went and sheltered in the stables when a violent but short thunder storm came on, in the stables we found a pair of stilts and we took it in turns trying to walk on them for the rest of the afternoon. After tea I did a bit more weeding and then we tried walking on the stilts again.
I did piano and gardening this morning and this afternoon Mummy came and read a book in my garden while I grubbed I have done one side of one bed and bits of another. I couldn't really get on today because Miss Willmott wasn't there to tell me what to pull up and what to leave.
Poor Mrs Short fell down stone steps in a passage and hurt her foot.
I wrote to Wolfie yesterday and had a post-card from her this morning and I wrote to Mrs Idie today. She has got Miss Clarke staying with her.
Friday September 13th 1918.
I have been weeding in my garden most of the morning and afternoon.
We are going down to the vegetable garden now to try and find some strawberries.
I had a letter yesterday from Peggy. She hadn't written for over a fortnight so it was about time. She accused me of being "cold and frozen" in my last letter quite an invention on her part. She says they had a terrible time with Denise before she left.
I also had a very long letter from Wolfie this morning. She is going to try and come down here one day next week.
Daddie walked to Upminster this morning and says it is a very nice little tour.
Poor Miss Willmott is having great trouble with Lady Angela ForbesLink opens in a new window (who is going to run the disabled soldiers place here).
The Americans have taken 8,000 prisoners in a day and advanced 5 miles in places. We have carried out several successful local operations and so have the French.
Saturday September 14th 1918.
I had a letter from Miss Medd-Hall this morning saying Trinity College term begins on September 25th so I hope I shall be able to have a lesson from her on that day. I am longing to start again.
It is a horrid day rainy and windy so I havn't been able to garden but am going to try and do some after tea.
The Americans have advanced 12 miles, taken a salient and over 13,000 prisoners.
Sunday September 15th 1918.
We went to Church this morning. It is a very nice service and such good singing.
Mummy sat in my room and read this afternoon and I read and took forty winks every now and then, the tragic part of indulging in forty winks is that it always leaves one in such a horrid bad temper for the rest of the day.
Daddie has been exploring the country just round here. The country is very pretty round about here, one always imagines that Essex is flat and uninteresting for some unknown reason.
I had a letter from Wolfie yesterday and poor Wolfie has had a most terrible agitation, a fire broke out in the shop underneath her house late at night and spread to her basement but fortunately the firemen were able to put it out before it did any damage in her house.
Shortie has gone to Church again this evening.
I have been reading "The Princess Pricella's [ Priscilla's ] Fortnight"Link opens in a new window by the author of "Elizabeth and her German Garden". It is about a Princess who runs away to lead the simple life (which turned out to be very complicated).
We are all going to London for the day on Wednesday. I have written to Wolfie and asked if she can give me luncheon; to Emmeline and asked if she can give me a music lesson and to Miss Hammond to know if she can wash my hair.
Monday September 16th 1918.
I gardened all the morning, nearly all the afternoon and nearly all the evening. I have got 2 1/2 out of my four beds done.
Miss Willmott went to London this morning but was back by the afternoon.
I had a post-card from Uncle Vernon this evening. He is in Wales.
The Allies have nearly reached the German frontier in one place and the guns of Metz have been turned on the Americans. The Austrians want to make peace.
Tuesday September 17th 1918.
I gardened all the morning and afternoon and have at last succeeded in getting my garden clear of all the worst weeds.
Miss Willmott has gone to Wales for a week to visit several friends.
Emmeline can give me a lesson at Wolfie's at 12 o'clock tomorrow which is very lucky. I had a line from poor Wolfie who has been in bed with a chill for two days as a result of the fire. She can give me luncheon tomorrow.
The housemaid came back from her holiday on Saturday which is a comfort.
We have attacked the Bulgarians and taken several positions and villages and 800 prisoners from them.
Well, here is the end of Volume IV of my diary which seems to have taken longer to write than any of the others!