This transcript reproduces Eileen Younghusband's writing as accurately as possible, including errors of spelling and punctuation. When personal and place names are misspelt, we have attempted to include the correct versions of the names in square brackets [ ] after the misspelling.
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Suggested citation for this volume: Diary 1, Sep-Dec 1917; Eileen Younghusband archive, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick (MSS.463/EY/J1)
Images of the original diary are available through Warwick Digital Collections.
Sep: 20th 1917.
I don't know why on earth I am starting to keep a diary because it will bore me stiff to write it and would bore anyone who chanced to read it ten times stiffer but the mania has entered my head so I have been to Boots in Bath this morning and forthwith purchased this book in which shall be set down for one week a true and particular account of my doings after which period the mania will probably have died a natural death and the entries will be few and far between.
It might be a good idea at this juncture in the proceedings to give a general outline of my summer holiday up to this point. On July 6th Peggy, Shuttie, Mrs Short and I left for Minehead by the 10.15 train from Paddington and changing at Taunton (where we had to wait an hour) we arrived at Minehead at 2.52 p.m. Minehead is a very pretty place and we enjoyed it very much. Peggy and I never quarrelled once partly due to the fact that her hatred for a friend of hers called Bobs Forbes gave us a subject for many long and charitable talks. I also carried on a highly scandelous correspondance with that young lady I can't be bothered to set down details but suffice it that I pretended to be in love with her and almost at the end of the time we wrote and told her the truth and from that day to this she has apparently been acting on the moral that "Silence is sometimes golden". We also pretended to the unsuspecting Shortie that I was in love with Bobs but now I have gently cooled down! Peggy and Shuttie stayed at Minehead for five weeks and then went to Stoneleigh. Daddie came down from Friday to Monday a fortnight later and on Saturday we had luncheon at Dunster and tea at Porlock Weir both in exactly the opposite direction! Sunday it rained all day but we went to dinner at the Hotel Metropole with the Moros, a most nerve racking performance and I drank lashions of ginger ale! Daddie went off by the 8.7 on Monday morning and we went into Bath on Friday by the 11.30; frightful crowds at Bristol where we changed and our luggage didn't arrive in Bath till the train after ours.
We went to stay with Mrs Idie at 103 Sydney Place where the furniture is stored. It was so nice to see Bath again and it hasn't altered a bit; I believe it will remain exactly the same till Doomsday.
While we were at Minehead I went to Dunster twice, Porlock twice, Porlock Weir once and Selworthy once.
I did a fair amount of sewing at Minehead making six cases for a small pillow which I sleep on at night and which rejoices in the name of my pet actress Renée Kelly. I also read a fair amount and will try and give a list of the books mostly frivolous novels I fear me!
"Happy-Go-Lucky" by Ian Hay which I liked very much but I like all his books. I did hear it was going to be dramatized under the name of "Tilly of Bloomsbury" but haven't seen anything about it.
"Michael O'Halloran" by Gene Stratton Porter about a poor orphan of a great American city and his adoption of a little cripple girl who he finds deserted. A very pretty story and just as nice as all her other books.
"The Elusive Pimpernel" by Baroness Orczy. It is certainly very exciting but I wish the Dear old Baroness wouldn't call Margurite "the cleverest woman in Europe" and then make her such a perfect ass.
"Lorna Doone" by R. Blackmore It made this much more interesting reading it almost in the Doone Country and I liked it very much.
"Barlasch of the Guard" by H. Seaton Merriman I suppose this is good but personally I didn't like it much and it was very gruesome.
"General Post" by Harold Terry, the book of the play now on in London. "The Kaiser clappes his hands and cries "General Post!" and we've all changed places" I think this will explain the book in which a tailor becomes a Brigadier General and marrys the heroine a baronets daughter.
"The Man-Trail" by H. Oyen. A story of the backwoods of Canada which I liked.
"The Prospector" by Ralph Connor A very nice story of a minister in the backwoods of Canada. A1.
"The Pilot at Swan Creek" by Ralph Connor. Short stories of Canada. Very good.
"Glengarry Days" by Ralph Connor. A story of a school in the backwoods of Canada. V. good
"A Sheaf of Bluebells" by Baroness Orczy A love story of some plotting royalists and one of Napoleon's Generals during his reign.
"The Doctors Dilemma" by Hesba Stretton About the Channell Islands and a doctor who falls in love with a girl who has run away from her husband who is a bad egg but has the tact to kick the bucket in the end and they all live happily ever after.
"The Wrong Box" by R.L. Stevenson. A mans adventures in trying to get rid of what he believes to be the body of his uncle, mostly funny and quite good.
"Action Front" by Boyd Cable short stories of the war enlarging on sentences in Official Despatches. Very vivid.
"Between the Lines" by Boyd Cable. Same as the above: they are both pretty gruesome.
"The Snow Burner" by H. Oyen. About an awful overseer in the backwoods of Canada who eventually "makes good".
"Shadows of Yesterday" by Marjorie Bowen short stories. This book was so horrid that I took it back to the library without finishing it.
"The Ghost Kings" by Rider Haggard. About some wonderful people who lived in a great forest in the heart of Africa + were able to see into the future. quite good.
There! I think thats the end of my Minehead Literature anyway I heartily hope so, it’s a great nuisance writing them down and I shall never be any the wiser.
Mrs Idie's neice is staying with her in Bath. Her name is Alice Blyth she has got a son named Charlie who is at the front and she is frightfully amusing and lively.
Mary Meade came home on Sep. 8th so I went to spend the day with her on Sunday (the next day) and saw Miss Tweed + Miss Daunt at the Home (our old house) The garden looked so pretty but half the Mulberry tree has collapsed on top of the Medlar! I also saw Miss Cockburn and Mrs Carey who is a dear.
Mary and I went to the swimming baths twice, they felt so funny and small after the sea! On Friday 14th I went to luncheon with the Tuppers who were very kind and nice. I then went to Mary + spend ½ an hour trying to print photos, then we went into tea with the Careys; they have an awfully nice niece Joan Carey staying with them; she is 17½ and she lent me "The Money Moon" of which more hereafter. Miss Carey came back from nursing after tea and was as usual A1. We stayed there till 9.30!
Now I will give a list of the books I devoured at Bath. It may be as well to mention that I joined Smith's Library at both Minehead and Bath.
"Leatherface" by Baroness Orczy. About Alva and Orange in the Netherlands and a Spanish girl who is forced to marry a Netherlander who falls wildly in love with her and she having hated him and been thoroughly rude to him does ditto. One of the best Baroness Orczy's that I have read.
"The Nest of the Sparrow-hawk" by Baroness Orczy. About a horrid guardian of a beautiful Royalist heiress in the time of Cromwell; it contains an awful murder and I didn't like it much.
"The Holy Flower" by Rider Haggard. A story of Allan Quartermain and his search with an enthusiast for a wonderful orchid which after much "little murder + sudden death" they find. Very Good.
"Grapes of Wrath" by Boyd Cable. A story of four soldiers at the front founded on "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". Much better towards the end than at the beginning.
"The Rosary" by Florence Barclay. I am not sure that this is'nt the best book I have ever read. It is a violent love story but has got lots of fun in it which is such a relief. Jane + Garth are just as nice as they can be and the Duchess is killing when asked by the clergyman at the wedding "Who givest this woman to this man?" she answers "My dear good man I have come up from the South at great inconvenience for that express purpose; now go on what do we do next?".
"Louisiana" by the author of "Little Lord Fonteroy [ Fauntleroy ] (I've forgotten her name.) about a girl + her father who is an Ameican [ American ] farmer. A very pretty story.
"Penelope's Postscripts" by Kate Douglas Wiggin. An amusing account taken from the diary of one of them of the adventures of four American girls in Europe.
"Gossamer" by G. Birmingham. About an Irishman, A great financier and a Nationalist, funny in parts but nothing like as good as some of his books.
"Minnies Bishop and other stories" by G. Birmingham. Very nice short stories some grave and some gay.
"Many Cargoes" by W.W. Jacobs. Short stories most funny. I love Jacobs books.
"The Round-About" by J.E. Buckrose. The history of a girl who is the daughter of very stiff Victorian parents; it goes right on to the time when her son goes to this war and her daughter become a Red + [ Cross ] nurse. Very good.
"The Money Moon" by Jeffery Farnol. A spiffing story of a rich American who falls in love with + eventually marries an Englishwoman who is very pretty and short of chink.
"The Red Horizon" by Patrick Maggill [ MacGill ]. A throughly gruesome account of the author's experiences at the front. Very good.
"Some Elderly People and Their Young Friends" by S. Macnaughten [ Macnaughtan ]. A very nice book, Juliet and Clemintina are the nicest people in the book and it is very amusing in places. I do wish Miss Macnaughten was alive now and that I could remember her when she stayed with us in India.
"Prejudged" by Florence Mongomary [ Montgomery ] About a girl who takes a violent dislike to a man she meets abroad. He is really very nice and she finally marries him.
Last Monday we went to a play called "The Maid of the Mountains" at the Bath Theatre; it is on at Dalys Theatre in London and José Collins is leading lady. It is about a girl who lives with Italian brigands and is in love with their chief who has the tactlessness not to be in love with her; then the girl in trying to escape because they are surrounded by soldiers is taken prisoner and taken before the Governor of Santo (a town) she is offered her freedom if she will say where Balderzare (the robber chief) is and if not she will be imprisoned on an island for life. Balderzare gets into the town by posing as the new Governor but unfortunately he falls in love with the Governors daughter and refuses to come away which makes Theresa (the Maid of the Mountains) so mad that she tells who he is and they are all taken off to the island but with a little bribery and corruption the officer in charge is persuaded to let them go and Balderzare having made the exciting discovery that he is wildly in love with Theresa they go off in a cockle shell boat in a violently stormy sea and down goes the curtain! Lovely scenery and dresses and very pretty music and songs; the lyrics were composed by Harry Graham Lady Barrington's nefew.
Sometimes when I am overcome with a really alarmingly violent fit of energy I will put down all the plays I have been to this year with their stories.
We also went to a play called "Florodora" here it is mostly about a lovely girl in an island in the Phillipines [ Philippines ] who despite the evil designs of an American marries an Englishman. I discovered from the "Mirror" a few days later that it was on in London 20 years ago!
Now I think I have written enough about the back part of the holidays so will begin on a daily thing.
Thursday Sep. 20th 1917.
I had a letter from Peggy by the first post this morning saying she wants my photo and one I did of Bobs to put in her diary Vol I of which she has nearly finished. You really could have knocked me down with a sledge hammer when I saw my letter was from her because I heard from her on Tuesday but of course she wants something which accounts for the milk in the cocoa nut! I had a try at finishing some embroidary on a camisole this morning but being of a thoroughly bad nature I got throughly bored with it + started to read "Snow Upon the Desert" by Miss Macnaughten [ Macnaughtan ] which I think I shall like. We were supposed to go home today but Mummy said we could come today or Friday so we stayed hoping Brown would be able to take us for a drive but alas! no petrol so we could not go. I took two photographs with my portrait attachment on the balcony one of Mrs Idie and one of Alice both at three feet with the focus at ten feet with my usual brilliance I swung the camera (a No 3 Kodak) around and the portrait attachment flew off and tumbled over into the area. I enjoyed a few bad moments as it was the second one I had had and paid for it! but Alice went into the area (an awful place) and fished it up and by a miracle the lens wasn't broken.
I also took one each of them standing in the garden, focus 10 feet, stop 4; speed 1/25 of a second; for some unknown reason I always use the same stop and speed. After this performance we went to the town and I closed my subscription at Smith's library and as aforesaid bought this book at Boots, and also left the film which I finished this morning to be developed + printed + sent to Wimbledon. When we got home we found that Cousin Nora from "Lonsdale" had been to ask me to go to the pictures with her that afternoon + on to tea at Fortts you bet I accepted soon enough! Well I wrote this diary every spare minute till it was time to go and I was blue in the face and had writers cramp and a stiff neck. We went to the Vaudeville in Westgate Street; the pictures were mostly American comic ones but there was supposed to be a long one but the manager came + said the film had got lost + gone on to Southampton but that anyone who liked to do a bunk then could have free tickets for the next day and of course a wild stampede for the door followed but we stayed on and saw the king holding an investiture and various other things. Then we went to Fortts and had hot buttered toast and Bath buns (which have shrunk dreadfully but are still very good) and coffee.
Mrs Short called for me at 5.30 + we went to the Lansdown Grove Hotel to see Mrs Greville and Mrs Synge who were very nice. I gave Mrs Synge a wet and sweet little girl kiss and in the process caught my hat in her hair net which was rather a collapse in more ways than one! After this proceeding we went and said "goodbye" to the Meade's + also saw Joan Carey who is a ripper I do wish I was living in Bath and could make friends with her. We had ginger pop and hot cheese on toast for supper; not so dusty!
The Fishes don't come back till tomorrow I am very sorry to miss them.
Being of a poetic nature(?) I have decided to insert choice selections in this diary but I'm afraid my poetic taste isn't as romantic as it might be. The following parody of "Now the day is over" is from the "Tatler".
Now the day is over
Leave is drawing nigh
Shadows of a bust-up
Steal across the sky.
No more weekly coalings
No more night defence
All the quids we have now
Are dwindling into pence.
Staying on board so long now
Has made us rather glum
But that will soon be worked off
With the "long-haired chum".
But duty's coming nearer
For leave is getting short
And soon we'll have a medal
For battles someone's fought.
Then a chap may ask you
"What's that honour for?"
"Wearing slacks in war time"
Ought to stop his jaw.
Silence may be golden
And swearing indiscreet
Still they don't draft angels
To the British Fleet.
Though they don't draft angels
To the British Fleet
From Admiral to Snotty
They're all - well simply sweet!
The naughty little cuss words
"Bother", "dash" and "blow"
Lead to other cuss words
And the place below.
Naughty little cuss words
"Dash" and "hang" and "blow"
Often lead to wuss words
And land you down below.
Blow the wind
Blast the rocks
Dam the river
And darn the socks.
When the War is going to End
Absolute knowledge I have none
But my aunts charwomans sisters son
Heard a policeman on his beat
Say to a housemaid in Downing Street
That he had a brother who had a friend
Who knew when the war was going to end.
Does this shop stock shot socks with spots?
Shot socks with spots give my wife shocks
So this shop should stock shot socks with spots.
The pant hunter panteth all pantless for pants
He pants for the best pants the pant market grants.
He panteth all pantless
Until he implants himself in a pair of our Plymouth rock pants.
From an American advertisement.
I can't remember any more choice poetry at present but will put it down when I do.
Bath is overflowing with soldiers; they say there are 6,000 of them and the big war hospital which is mostly composed of huts and tents holds 1500 men + there are 1300 there now.
I see Baroness Orczy has just written a new book called "Lord Tony's Wife". I suppose it is about Lord Anthony Dewhurst but I do wish she would stop writing about the Scarlet Pimpernel "enough is as good as a feast". Jeffery Farnol has also written a new book "The Definite Object" which I suppose is good because all his books apparently are.
It strikes me somewhat forciably that anyone who happens to be of average intelligence and is reading this diary might gather the fact that I am something of a book worm so I hasten to explain that at the present moment of time I am suffering from a bad dose of my periodical attacks of book mania. My favourite authors these holidays have been respectively Ian Hay, Gene Stratton Porter, Ralph Connor and Florence Barclay the last named like Johnny Walker Whiskey is "still going strong".
I did my accounts the other day and made the joyous discovery that I owe Mrs Short £1. 12s 6d and possess cash in hand 10d! I had always carefully avoided doing accounts before and this is the reward of virtue!
My great desire at present is to possess a gramophone. I must try and persuade some weak minded relative to give me one at Christmas.
Friday Sep: 21st 1917.
I had two letters this morning one from Mummy and one from Daddie.
It is a glorious day at present but will probably pour before the day is over.
I finished my 8th Renèe case (see page 3 for Renèe) on Wednesday it is linen drawn thread work and the pattern is like this -
Here is a list of the remaining eight -
1 on nainsook with 4 sprays of roses and forget-me-nots worked with white embroidery cotton in satin stitch.
1 on nainsook with those big white daisys done in shadow work in white in the four corners.
1 of nainsook with lace let in like this –
Its not quite so long and narrow as I've drawn it and it has got an E in the corner.
1 of linen with a basket done in drawn thread work and flowers in satin stitch and shadow work with a border of drawn thread work and an "E" in the corner. It is somthing like this.
1 of linen done like this –
Its got my initial in this corner
1 of linen done like this -
(not quite so waggy and uneven as I have drawn it!)
1 of linen like this -
There is also 1 purple silk and one pink silk slip Her complete troussaux will consist of 9 cases and 3 slips, the last slip will be pale blue. Renèe measures 12 x 16 inches.
I have just remembered some more books I have read these holidays.
"The Casaways" [ Castaways ] by W.W. Jacobs the story of some people who go for a long cruise on a yacht Very funny.
"Barbe of Grand Bayou" by John Oxenham An exciting story of Breton peasants. Very good.
"Come Rack! Come Rope!" by R. H. Benson. Roman Catholic priests in the time of Elizabeth v.g.
"Damaris" by Lucas Malet. I can't honestly say I have read this because I was so bored with it that having read about 50 pages I took it back to the library.
The other day when we were sitting in Sydney Gardens a train came by with the "Great Bear" on it; it is the largest engine the G.W.R. possesses and I have been wanting to see it for a long time. The train was from Penzance.
I am always having wild manias for somthing or other (at present it is books) I think the following are the most usual ones; gardening – this mania was very violent and lasted a long time books I continually suffer from severe attacks of this mania, Photography a somewhat expensive mania which I get fairly often – My camera is a No 3 Kodak which takes ¼ plate pictures, has stops from 4 to 116, exposures - 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, bulb and time, a rising and sliding front and focus 100, 25, 10+6 feet. They usually cost £3.15s.6d but I bought mine second-hand although it was just as good as new for £2.15s.0d in the spring of 1916 at a shop in Victoria Street. Another hobby of mine is collecting post-cards but this mania though it was very bad while it lasted has not reoccured for sometime. I also collect stamps and have got a lovely album called "The Ideal" which Aunt Kathleen and the boys gave me last Christmas, it holds nearly 30,00 stamps and has got a space for every stamp there is and 5,000 pictures of stamps. I have got just on 1500 stamps which is'nt bad as I only started collecting in the spring of 1916 I collect autographs too but not with any violence. I also occasionally have very mild manias for sewing which reminds me that I must see about making Christmas presents soon.
Major Dunlop asked us to come and stay with him at the Glen on Sep: 19th but it is so far we couldn't go. The Glen is a very pretty cottage in perfectly lovely country on the borders of Dartmoor at a village called Leusden 5 miles from Ashburton. "Pompey" (as we call Major Dunlop) is A1; he always calls me "The Duchess" because he said he was going to marry me and Mummy said certainly not I was to marry a Duke (I don't think!).
I have got a dog called Joffie (General Joffre) who is a dachshund and a perfect angel but a dreadful coward! poor darling he gets very much insulted when we take him out people call him "German" and "German sausage" and "spy" and "Fritzy" and the soldiers shout "where's the the Vaterland?" but really he is naturalized because he was born on September 20th 1914; it was his birthday yesterday and I wasn't there! I have decided that the family shall club together to buy him a new collar for a birthday present.
We have also got another dog called Chi Chi which is the Chinese for glutton; he is a pekinese and very pretty and almost more silly and hates me (small wonder) and is a month older than Joffie. We also possess a gray parrot which the brother of the Marharajah [ Maharajah ] of Kashmir gave us; we have had him nearly 8 years and he talks very well. I wonder why I am putting all these things down? I am not likely to forget them in any very great hurry and they wouldn't interest anyone else; I suppose it is just sheer cussedness.
Mrs. Idie has just made an awful discovery; she took some pearls of Mummy's which had gone black to a little jeweller here to see if he could do anything and he soaked them but couldn't get the black off so we have had them back and have discovered that they are just those ordinary glass opal beads covered with a sort of thin skin which is peeling off. We always knew they were false but they cost £14 at Whitlock's. Isn't it an awful swiz?
While I was at Minehead I bought a lovely enamel pendant at a Red + [ Cross ] sale there. It is various shades of blue with characters on it. I think the shape is something like this. I don't know what nationality it is some say Egyptian, some Persian + others say Indian. It cost 10s. 6d.
I think now as I can't think of anything else to write I will give a general outline of my long and arduous existence up to this point.
I was born on New Years Day 1902 in London and went to India when I was three months old and stayed till I was two years during Daddie's mission to Tibet. Then we lived at 27 Gilbert Street, London till I was four then we went out to Kashmir where Daddie was resident. I had a glorious time there and had three ponies and we used to ride every day. When I was just on eight we came home in "The City of Glasgow" an Ellerman liner (we went out in the "Egypt" a P+O liner) then we wandered about like the Wandering Jew for some time and finally bought two houses 7 and 8 Lansdown Crescent, Bath. We did these up and made them into one and we also had (and have still) a flat at 3 Buckingham Gate, London, S.W 1. Then in the spring of 1915 we sold our Bath house to Lady Strathcona to be a converlesent home for wounded officers. We then took a house at Wimbledon called the Mill Cottage; it is next door to the Windmill. We have been there since Nov: 1915 and have got it till next May it is furnished very nicely. For the last five years (since the spring term 1912) I have been going to Miss Wolff, 35 South Audley Street, London, S.W 1. for lessons they are classes and there are about forty girls and we have a lovely time, lessons last from 9.30 to 12.30. I go every day when I am in London and on Mondays and Wednesdays from Wimbledon. Mrs Short and I usually go to the sea for about two months every summer we used to go to Westgate-on-Sea but now it is'nt safe because of the raids so we went to Weston-Super-Mare in 1915 no sea in 1916 and Minehead 1917. My greatest friend used to be Joyce Ansthuther and is now Peggy Leigh who I have known for about six years. I think thats all its necessary to put down.
We had a very good journey - Wimbledon leaving Bath at 12.37 and we were supposed to arrive at 3.20 but were about ¼ of an hour late. To my great joy the engine was the "Great Bear" (No 111). The train got very full at Swindon and Reading but we both had corner seats. We passed a huge sort of village all made of huts painted to look like trees (mighty odd ones too!) from the air; in the first part they were making areoplanes and various things in the second half; there were a great many women workers including some in trousers! Daddie met us at Paddington but couldn't come down with us because he had to rush off to the India Office and a Fight for Right meeting so we came down by underground and 'bus from Putney leaving the luggage to follow by Carter Paterson. Mummy met us at the 'bus with Joffie & Chi Chi. Joffie sporting a large blue bow which he had made many vain efforts to get rid of! he nearly went wild with joy when he saw us, tearing round howling and frightfully jealous if we took any notice of Chi Chi. On the way across the common we met two friends of Mummy's who had come to call - a Miss de Roebeck and Miss Lawless so they came back and had tea. Then when they had gone we went over the house.
Mummy has bought a whole lot of things at Great Aunt Aimèe's sale at Hebden here - the sale was last Monday. There a good many arm-chairs which will be very useful as this house is not overburdened with the wherewithal to sit on!
Saturday Sep: 22nd 1917.
Such a nice surprise! Nina Meade is coming to stay with me on Tuesday. We asked her to come to Minehead but she couldn't but I think it will be nicer having her here. The garden is still looking quite nice though the roses are almost over there are a lovely lot of Michaelmas Daisys and those small yellow sunflowers out and the vegetable garden (the two back lawns which we had dug up in the spring) looks like a forest; there are a good many runner beans still and heaps of cabbages and cauliflowers and Brussels sprouts coming on. There is a most frightful amount of weeding waiting to be done and I must get to work! "It" (a rock garden on a stand which Aunt Bobs gave me in the spring of 1916) is looking very well but a forget-me-not which I put in has run over everything it has'nt got any intention that we should forget it! Daddie has gone to see Colonel Gurden (an Indian friend) this morning; he is ill and has been put in an awful hospital in the east end of London by the docks. I forgot to say that while I was at Minehead I read a French book which "Funny Little Person" my Begian [ Belgian ] who teaches me French three times a week gave me to read; it was called "Les Petites Filles Modeles" by La Comtesse de Sigur [ Ségur ] and anything more model I never read! it was about two very good little girls who had two rather bad little girls living with them I think they would have driven me mad if I had lived with them. I call Mademoiselle Pirronay "Funny Little Person" because she is even shorter than Mrs Short which is saying a good deal! She is a Belgian refugee. I had a very nice letter from Pompey yesterday thanking me for my photo which I had sent him. Polly is sitting on a table in the garden and is murmuring in sweet and dulcit tones "naughty cook", "naughty co-co-co-co-cook", "naughty Polly cook!" Mummy and Mrs Short have gone to the flat to see about a glass which Mummy bought at "Hebden" being hung. I am dividing my time between writing in this, weeding the garden, reading "Snow Upon the Desert", writing letters and rummaging and eating excessively "sleepy" pears. There has been a good deal of firing this morning but I suppose it is only practicing; there have also been some areoplanes flying over they are quite a novelty again I only saw four the whole eleven weeks we were away. I have only been in one air raid, that was the first daylight one, it was on a Wednesday but I forget the date. I was at Miss Wolff at the time listening to a lecture on "Science and the War" but I was so busy talking to Peggy that I heard nothing at all of it. All the mothers got very excited and came tearing round for their children although people were told not to go in the streets. There were awful rumours in the afternoon, we heard that the mint and the G.P.O. and the Tower had been burnt down; it is quite true that a bomb dropped on the Tower but it fell in the moat and did no harm; I know this because Uncle George is keeper of the Crown Jewels and he told me. In the raid of Saturday July 7th the German areoplanes passed right over this house but we had gone to Minehead the day before so we missed all the fun!
Sunday Sep: 23rd 1917.
Sir Eric and Lady Barrington and a Mr and Mrs Bellough who are staying with them came to tea yesterday. I did a bunk after tea to finish "Snow Upon the Desert" which put Mrs Short in a great fuss. I have now finished "Snow Upon the Desert" it is so nice but I wish Jack Antrobus had died instead of Mrs Antrobus and that she had lived to marry Major Eden.
We went to church this morning and the Vicar preached very well. I am now reading "The Mistress of Shenstone" oh! dear it is so good it is the sequel to "The Rosary" and is the story of how Lady Ingleby marries again. I really must shame the old Gentleman and buy "The Rosary" for my own, the one I read belonged to Mrs Idie and Aunt Venetia gave it to her. I wonder if all Florance [ Florence ] Barclay's books are as good as these two. I am going to The Times Book Club soon to see if I can't rummage any more of hers out of the library. I bought "The Mistress of Shenstone" at Smith's in Bath. I don't think theres anything more to put down now and I am longing to get back to my book. I have finished my book it is just spiffing and very exciting.
A nice gentleman named Mr Josephs has been to tea; he has been in India a great deal and he and his brothers are coming to live in Putney.
I wrote to Peggy yesterday and have written to Mrs Idie today. Mummy has got me two such nice sports coats one is silk blue shot black and the other is wool port wine colour.
Daddie says the Italians are getting very short of coal and that they asked us to let them have 750,00 tons a month, or a week, or a day (he didn't know which) but we could only let them have 100,000 tons so they can't make much munitions. I think it might be interesting to put down an account of the murder of Rasputin as I heard it told by a Russian who was in Petrograd when it took place. It was necessary to get rid of him so he was invited to a great dinner at which among others was the Grand Duke Nicholas. All the Doors were locked and about the middle of dinner the Duke handed Rasputin a revolver and told him to shoot himself instead of which Rasputin shot at the Duke on which the English attaché who was sitting on his other side shot Rasputin and that is the reason why his murderer can't be had up because he shot in defence of the Duke but I think I have got it a bit wrong and that he shot before Rasputin shot at the Duke. Afterwards they took his body and threw it in the Neva. It was believed that Rasputin was the only person who could keep the Czarauich [ Tsarevich ] in good health because he used to go away and then get one of his spies to drug the child so that he became ill and then of course back came Rasputin! Once Rasputin said that the Czarauich mustn't go to a certain palace where he was usually sent in the summer because if he did on a certain day a great evil would befall him and on the certain day all the chanderleirs in the great palace fell down (the Czauich had not gone there) but the reason why they fell down was that all the screws had been loosened! One of the things that made the Emperor so unpopular was the fact that he insisted on helping to carry Rasputin's coffin at his funeral and made the children throw ikons into the grave.
Monday Sep: 24th 1917.
I finished that camisole I was embroidering this morning thank goodness it is done! it was very dull work. We went into Wimbledon on this afternoon and I bought a printing frame and dish and a lb of [illegible] and tried to join Boots Library but you can only join for 3 months, six months or a year so I said (mentally) not for Joseph and walked out we then went and hunted for another lending library and found a perfectly lovely, good egg one at a shop called Marsden. They have got books by almost every author that is including all Florence Barclay's. I had out "The Settler" by Ralph Connor and "The Upas Tree" by Florence Barclay. You pay 2/6 a month deposit and 1d a volume and you can have as many books as you like at once. Some people named Weigall called this afternoon while I was out.
Tuesday Sep: 25th 1917
Such excitment last night! we had an air raid at about nine o'clock. We had come out of the dining-room and were sitting in the drawing room when we heard thump! thump! thump! we didn't take much notice of it for some time and then Mrs Short came in and called out Mummy and of course we guessed it was a raid. I rushed to the drawing room windows and looked out but there was nothing to be seen though above the thud of the guns we could hear the whirr of areoplane engines but I expect they were our own as one had come down on the Common in the afternoon as we now hear to be ready for the raid which they were expecting. I thought the guns were bombs at first and was much disappointed to find they were only our guns. Daddie says he doe'sent think we heard any bombs at all. We soon went to the front door to see if we could see anything there and just as we got there they began to send up rockets which lit up the whole sky and the milkman told us this morning that an enemy areoplane was flying over here at the time (I certainly did hear the sound of an areoplanes engines not quite like our areoplanes at the time) he also told us that they dropped bombs on Victoria and Brompton Road and Daddie thinks they probably sent up the rockets when they were there as it would only take them three minutes to get here from there. While we were at the front someone came and said that they could see the guns firing from the back which looks towards London so we went to the back door but didn't see very much - then I came upstairs to the little window at the top of the back stairs and saw all the sharpnel bursting over London in spouts of fire; at first the firing was almost straight over London then it moved round to the right in the directing of Clapham and Wandsworth so I called up Daddie and we went to the spare bedroom window and watched it from there; it slowly moved round further towards the country and I suppose about level with Southfield but further away; then we went to the little window in Mummy's room and the firing was still moving in the direction of Wimbledon when we lost sight of it. The flares were all alight on the Common (bright lights to show our airmen where to come down) and of course all the searchlights were going low but the moon was up and it was quite light out. Altogether the firing lasted from half to three quarters of an hour absolutely incessantly at first and judging by the firing it must have been a pretty bad raid. Daddie says there was just as much firing as in the July 7th one. In the papers this morning it says that there was a raid on Kent and Essex last night and that some of the areoplanes came on up the Thames to London; the causalties so far reported are 6 killed and 29 injured. There was also a Zepp raid on the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire coast last night. It was my first raid that I heard or saw anything and I am ashamed to say I enjoyed it thoroughly. We had seats in the first row of the dress circle and though I should like to be in the stalls I have no desire to be on the stage. Mrs Short and Mrs Simpson and Rose went out long before we did; they didn't know what it was at first but soon realized it was a raid and they watched the firing for sometime before Mrs Short came and told us. Rose coming home from the post after tea had heard a soldier say they were expecting a raid.
Sep: 26th 1917.
Nina arrived about 5.p.m yesterday. We were going up to meet her and to Miss Clarke's (the dress maker) but she didn't telephone till too late because she hadn't got Mrs Short's post-card so we didn't go up. Aunt Venetia brought Nina down and just saw Mummy at the 'bus (Mummy had been to luncheon with the Gilbertsons). There was another air-raid last night we heard the firing for about a quarter of an hour but couldn't see anything and in the paper this morning it says that only one areoplane got to London and that was driven off but there were 20 casualties. In yesterdays air raid they dropped a bomb just by St Margaret's Westminster which fortunately didn't go off, another on the band-stand in Green Park, another by Glouscester [ Gloucester ] Road Station which didn't go off and one by Russells Square. I had a letter from Marlie Raphael yesterday and a killing one in Cockney (?) from Helen St Maur this morning. Lettice has got measles and Daddie was going down there this week-end but now of course he can't. "The Upas Tree" was awfully nice; it is Ronald West's love story and it is frightfully exciting. "The Settler" is about Russian settlers in Canada and very nice but not as nice as some of his other books. Bye the bye I have descovered that Ralph Connor's real name is Charles Gordon. We went into Wimbledon this morning and I went to the library and got "The Following of the Star" by Florence Barclay and "Pip" by Ian Hay. It really is a perfectly heavenly library they have got all the very latest books. Mummy has gone to spend the day in London with Aunt Venetia who goes back to Croxton tonight.
Tuesday Sep: 27th 1917
This morning Nina and I had great fun going down the hills in the woods in a toy motor which was left behind in this house We tried to pass two girls who were walking down the path and I steered too much to one side and we were going so fast that the least little thing would upset us and over we went! and the cart behind came to peices and Nina still happily stuck to the seat of it! but I being less brilliant managed to get the motor on top of me and we both got in a most frightful mess! in the interval of trying to commit susancide we read and eat apples. This afternoon two wounded soldiers came over from Roehampton Hospital; one was blind and had only one leg but he was very cheerful and brought a string bag he had been making for Mummy; he said he was so badly wounded that his nose was the only thing his wife could identify him by and he was unconscious for eleven weeks. They are expecting another air raid tonight and a big one tomorrow night. "Pompey" came to tea and was very amusing and dug up a bit of Martagon Lily which he was very taken with here in the spring; he was going to dinner with the Ackmans, some Scotch friends of his who live across the common. I read "The Following of the Star" yesterday which as it was over 400 pages I consider rather brilliant of me. It is such a nice book almost as nice as "The Rosary" but quite different. I liked David and Diana very much. I am now reading "Pip" which is very good.
Friday Sep: 28th 1917.
We went out in the toy motor again this morning and a wheel came off the cart! So we put it on again with much difficulty because the spokes were very hard to fit in. We went for a walk by moonlight in the woods last night; most ro-mantic! Joffie chased rabbits and I gracefully subsided into a rabbit hole and we all landed in a bog! There was no raid last night because our airmen bombed their areoplanes which were waiting to start. We went to tea with Rosamund Luling across the common this afternoon and played golf croquet. She is 18 and hasn't got her hair up and she goes to a play once a week usually. Mummy has been across to Hebden to see Great Aunt Aimée this afternoon and she also went to see the Tyrrel Gileses.
Sunday Sep: 30th 1917.
The Germans tried to get here on Friday night but didn't succeed; we heard the firing but couldn't see anything. I have finished "Pip" it is the life story of a very nice boy and I liked it so much. Daddie and Nina and I started about 9.30 a m yesterday and went to Kew; we took our luncheon with us and eat it by the river.
There were some absolutely lovely blue water lilies in one house. Daddie went and had a good old gaze at all the museums where they have anything connected with forestry. We got home in time for tea and found that Mummy had gone off to Ashtead to see Uncle Claude and Aunt Di and Mrs Short had gone to her home at Streatham. After tea Nina and I strummed on the piano and I tried to learn "The Rosary" by heart. When Mummy came back she said there had been a raid on but she had heard someone say the all clear signals were out. About 9.0 pm we heard distant firing so we rushed upstairs to see if we could see anything at first there was nothing but gradually we begun to see firing in the direction of Southfields and it became louder and louder and we could hear the whirring of areoplane engines almost overhead though of course we don't know if they were German or English. We were leaning out of an upstairs window and Shortie was down below and got very much annoyed because we treated the whole proceeding with a spirit of undue levity; she seems to think that the only fit and proper conduct in a raid is to faint, have hysterics or sit down and weep! Just about this time we heard a bomb dropped and Daddie says that was the only bomb we did hear but Ah here me dotes! then all of a sudden the Roehampton gun opened fire and the gun on Combe Hill and all the others near joined in and my word they did make a din! Things really were becoming hot and the Powers That Be being of a tactless nature decided that as far as we were conserned "descretion was the better part of valour" and we (Nina, Mrs Short and I) were hustled down into the cellars of the London Scottish Golf Club next door. Nina says she thinks she saw an areoplane as we went down the garden. When we got to the golf club we found no one but Miss Miln and the maid at home; they seemed rather relieved to see us and we all solemnly trooped down into the cellars; poor Miss Miln was absolutely terrified (she had had a nervous break-down a little while ago) these noises must be awful when one is frightened of them When we got down in the cellars the firing seemed to cease a bit but soon it began again thump, thump, thud and even though they are very deep cellars it seemed as if it was almost by us and we thought all the thuds were bombs because the guns close sound quite different to what the far away ones do and we thought we heard areoplane engines but it turned out to be the kitten (which the maid was hugging affectionately) purring! Miss Miln became most harrowing and said there would be nothing left of poor London if this went on and that the common would be like a battlefield tomorrow! soon the gunfire lessened till it almost stopped and then suddenly it came on far worse than ever and it sounded as if the shells were dropping right by us. At this juncture Shortie informed us in a highly dramatic voice that the gardener had told her that while he was working in a garden a piece of shrapnel had fallen out of a tree onto his hat ("stop your tickleing Jock") this sent Nina and I into fits of laughter and we were repreamanded severely for being flippant and heartless! about 10.15 the firing grew less and finally ceased altogether and soon after we came out of the cellars and came home. Mummy and Daddie and Simpson and Rose and the dogs had stayed in the Cottage all this time; the noise there must have been terrific it was loud enough in the cellar. We had some buns and went to bed "and the subsequent proceedings interested us no more". This morning we met Mr Sutton (Sutton's Seeds) and he said that a shell had fallen in Fulham and made a large hole in the road and Fenn says Waterloo has been damaged and a bomb or shell fell in a house on Parkside here but didn't go off and that Putney has been somewhat damaged. Of course it is impossible to say if this is true and most of the damage is done by our own anti-aircraft guns. Apparently last night our guns made a solid hedge of fire to prevent the Germans getting through. We have been looking for bits of shrapnel all the way to and from Church this morning but never an atom some battlefield! the Sergent Major said shrapnel was falling all round them when they were looking after the flares last night. An areoplane came down on the common yesterday or the day before and it was going up yesterday when crash! it came on its nose in the ditch, apparently some hot water from the engines had spurted up in the airmans face so that he couldn't see where he was going. It is a small areoplane for one but I don't think it can be a very new type because the propeller is in front so the gun has to fire through it. There is a sentry on guard and no one is allowed to look at it very near or for long. Uncle Vernon telephoned to say he was coming to luncheon and would be here at 1.30 and he appeared quite happily at 2.15! A Captain Giles who is in the Grenadiers and lives here came to tea. he is awfully nice. Cousin Winifred (Cousin Meredith's widow) came soon after tea and when Captain Giles went he motored her to Wimbledon station. It turns out that the only damage that was done to Waterloo Station was that a bit of shrapnel hit a signal box! but thirteen people were killed in a house at Finsbury according to a man who lives there and who Mrs Short met today. I have finished "The Right Stuff" by Ian Hay (whose real name is John Beith) it is mainly about a Scotch secretary written by the man who he is secretary to and is very good egg.
Monday Oct: 1st 1917.
Another air raid last night! at 7.30 the Kingston fire engine went dashing along wildly ringing its bell as a warning to take cover. Soon after the firing started and it was near enough for us to see the shells bursting and it was going hard when the gong went for dinner; it continued more or less loudly all through dinner and afterwards we came up to see if there was anything to be seen but the firing had ceased for the moment however just as we were going downstairs again it recommenced we rushed to a side window and saw three or four peices of somthing dull red with smoke at the end falling slowly a long way off at first we thought it was some kind of bomb but I told Daddie and he said it was probably a German areoplane being brought down but alack! and alas! he has just come home this evening and he had heard that one of our areoplanes was brought down by our own guns so that was probably it of course it won't be in the papers.
I am afraid poor Peggy must be seriously ill I have had two letters from her today! But she hadn't written for well over a week. I wrote to her the Saturday before last and she never got it till Thursday. I wrote to her this morning and to Mrs Idie and Marlie Raphael yesterday. There was a very funny thing in the "Chronicle" in connection with the Saturday air raid this morning; it describes in flowing language the awful experiences of some poor people in the East end and the shrapnel is falling all round and on the house and making an awful noise and the mother tells her children to sing "Hark My Soul it is the Lord"! apparently the paper doe'sent the least see how funny this is.
We had luncheon at 12.0 today and then went to London. First we went to Miss Clarke (the dressmaker) to see about a jumper blouse being made for me also a serge coat to go with my skirt and a long velvet coat to be lined with some fur Mummy has got. Then we went and left a note for Cousin Florence Younghusband at 15, Onslow Gardens; then we got into 30 'bus and went to Oxford Street. Mrs Short went to Butt the vet to get some powders for Chi Chi and Nina and I went through Selfridge to The Times Book Club where I got "The Wall of Partition" by Florence Barclay for myself and "A Student in Arms" 2nd Series by Donald Hankey for Mummy then I tried to buy "The Rosary" which they hadn't got; then we went to the Maison Lyons and got ½ lb of mixed fudge which is A.1. meanwhile Shortie had never appeared and we thought she must have lost us so I went to the Times Book Club to look for her but she wasn't there so I went back to Nina at Lyons and then on to Bumpus to try and get "The Rosary" which they hadn't got then I went back to Nina and soon Mrs Short who had been kept at Butt's came along and we sallied forth down Oxford Street and went into Selfridge and bought some more Maple fudge and went to the book department to try and get "The Rosary" which needless to relate they hadn't got; it is being reprinted. then we proceeded to emerge from Selfridge and lost Mrs Short twice in the process which not unaturally made her somewhat irate. Having accomplished this feat we fetched the powders from Butts and got onto 'bus 15 and went to Praed Street where we got the underground to Putney Bridge changing at High Street; then we got on 78 'bus and came home. We were in rather a hurry as the Weigalls had been asked to tea but they never turned up. I played the piano for about 1½ hours this evening and succeeded in strumming out by the one-finger-note-a-minute process "If You Were The Only Girl in the World" (a song from a revue called "The Bing Boys") "Keep the Home Fires Burning", "Kathleen Mauverneen [ Mavourneen ]", "Two Gray Eyes" (or somthing to that effect) and "Murmuring Waters". The was firing fairly near for about ½ an hour this evening and we went to watch it. I think the areoplanes must have been firing a good deal because there were a great many flashes without any noise and there were some rockets being sent up too. Everything is quiet now.
Tuesday Oct: 2nd 1917
The firing recommenced again later last night and in the papers this morning it says that 4 groups of raiders attacked London and that a few succeeded in dropping bombs on London. It also says that a great many people saw that red thing falling on Sunday night and wondered what it was and that they thought it was a German areoplane being brought down and there was great cheering but there has been no official announcement that a German was brought down so I am afraid it must have been one of ours. "The Chronicle" rather lamely suggests that it was a star shell. We have been playing the piano and reading and Nina has been knitting and writing and I have been sewing this morning. I descovered a letter from "Funny Little Person" which had come for me well over a month ago yesterday; it was in answer to one I wrote her from Minehead and I have got to answer it which prospect doe'sent please me one atom as my French is far from fluent or understandable! We have just been weeding the garden and when I have done writing in this we are going to play the piano. I have finished "The Wall of Partition" it is so good but I didn't like the hero as much as most of her heros but to make up the heroine was A.1. she was Billy Cathcart's sister (he comes in "The Rosary") and her name was Madge; her hero's name was Ronald Steele. Shortie went up to London to the stores just before luncheon and she telephoned about an hour ago to say there had been a raid scare and she had been in the cellars of Llyods [ Lloyds ] Bank for an hour. We heard the guns quite close but thought they were only practicing.
Wednesday Oct: 3rd 1917
Nothing much to report today. I strummed on the piano this morning and Nina wrote out "The Long, Long Trail" for me to play; it is the song which the soldiers are mad on at present. We went into Wimbledon before luncheon and I tried at almost every bookshop to get "The Rosary" but without success; I also went to the library and got "The Broken Halo" by Florence Barclay, "Through the Postern Gate" also by Florence Barclay and "The Girl Phillippa" [ Philippa ] by Robert Chambers. We also bought some sweets and we came home on the 'bus alone because Mrs Short had to go to Streatham. This afternoon we have been reading on the roof. Mummy and Daddie have just gone to call on the Weigalls and we have been gardening.
Thursday Oct: 4th 1917.
I have been through the fearful and dreadful ordeal of being sketched this morning; the perpetrator of the crime was Mr Weigall and he did it in charcoal. We arrived there at 11.15 and had to wait nearly ¾ of an hour for Mrs Short who had been up to the stores to get a canvas and some charcoal. The sketch took about an hour to do and everyone says it is very good; it is sort of half side face and looking up. The ever unromantic Daddie says I look as if I was two hundred which statement is true in a modified form. It is just like a picture I once saw of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. But it is wonderful considering Mr Weigall is 88. Daddie has been immortalized this afternoon but we havn't seen it yet. I have finished "The Girl Philippa" it is about an English officer on secret service, an American artist and Philippa who turns to be the daughter of a king and queen of Bulgaria who were murdered before they were publicly declared king and queen. It begins in July 1914 and tells about the beginning of the invasion of France.
Mrs Idie sent up a large wooden box of pears from the Bath garden this morning; also two bunches of grapes which had nearly ripened in the open. I have been composing a letter to "Funny Little Person" with Nina's help this evening; it took us nearly an hour and I'm sure was very odd. I have been playing the piano this evening.
Friday Oct: 5th 1917.
Mummy has read "The Wall of Partition" and according to Shortie the results thereof are dire because there is a woman in it who falls on the fire (which she couldn't help) and takes drugs to sleep and tells her very nice husband a few home truthes. Of course Mummy alighted on the worst of Florence Barclay's books and really I don't see what harm there is in it. It doe'sent follow that I shall behave like that to my husband (if I ever have one). We have been into Wimbledon this morning to fetch Daddie's sketch from the Weigall's. I think it is very good although the mustache is wrong but Mummy doe'ent like it at all. We also took "The Girl Philippa" back to the library and I got "The Simkins Plot" by George Birmingham. We have just telephoned to the Playhouse for seats for "The Yellow Ticket" matinée next Thursday; we have got the second row of the upper circle as they had only got the fourth row of the dress circle. I believe it is a very good play; it is about a Jewess in Russia and Gladys Cooper Allan Aynesworth and Arthur Wotner are in it. We bought a "Sketch" with some pictures of it in it this morning. I have just been writing to Peggy. Daddie isn't going to get back till 8.0 p.m tonight. Mummy has gone out to luncheon but we don't know where. There was a huge great fire in the direction of Kingston Vale this morning We won a great victory in Flanders yesterday and advanced a long way on an eight mile front and we have already taken 3,000 German prisoners. The Thyes [ Tighes ] (cousins) have asked Mummy to find a house for them here and there is one to let near us but I hope to goodness they won't take it because I am not at all attached to the girls.
Saturday Oct: 6th 1917.
We had a go at doing some much needed weeding in the garden this morning. The Gibertsons came to luncheon and tea; he is a Minor Canon of St Paul's and they are both very nice. In the middle of luncheon Mrs Short came out to say that Peggy would like to speak to me on the telephone I was muchy surprised because I hadn't any idea she was in London but any way off I tore and we had a long jaw which was put a somewhat hasty stop to by Mummy coming and requesting me to return to luncheon; after luncheon I rung her up and we talked both loud and long in fact so loud that Shortie says she heard every word we said and that they probably heard in the drawing room too (which from the bottom of my heart I hope they didn't) I proceeded to pelt Peggy with exceedingly private questions which as her fond family was hovering around in full force she couldn't answer. When we had talked for about ½ an hour the proceedings terminated rather suddenly with a forciable request from Mrs Leigh to Peggy to ring off. She was only up in London for the day and is awfully mad because she has got to go and stay with Lady Lugard for 10 days.
We went for a walk in the woods and took Joffie this aftenoon. I have as usual being making the echoes ring on the piano today.
We have got our first fire today. How frightfully soon the winter begins! I think I will put down the music of "If You Were the Only Girl in the World" in case I lose it.
Of course this is only the chorus. Nina wrote it out for me from memory. I have come to the conclusion that writing music in a diary is by no means enjoyable amusement!
Sunday Oct: 7th 1917.
It was pouring cats and dogs this morning so we couldn't go to Church. Nina read and wrote letters. I finished "Through the Postern Gate" which is A.1.; it is a story of seven days in which the hero makes love to the heroine who thinks she ought to marry a professor who she believes is in love with her but too nervous to say so but it turns out he isn't really and everything comes right in the end although you have some bad moments when Christobel dreams that she marrys the professor and sees Guy being brought in dead from an areoplane accident as it doe'sent say till the next chapter that it is all a dream. I have now read all Florence Barclay's books except two small ones called "The Wheels of Time" and "In Hoc Vince" ("in this conquer") I like "The Rosary", "The Following of the Star", "Through the Postern Gate" and "The Mistress of Shenstone" best. The only thing I don't like about her books are the names of the people Garth, Jane, Myra, Jim, Georgina, Deryck and Christobel for instance but I like Diana, David, Helen, Madge and Guy. I think Myra, Diana, Helen, Madge and Christobel are the same person likewise Garth and Guy. And Roddie and Bobby and that Janet Ross is what Jane might have been if she'd gone bad. I like her heroines because they really truely are heroines with no beating about the bush and they make you see what an utter little horror you are. Garth and Guy are her nicest heros. Having for the present finished pulling poor Mrs Barclay and all her works inside out I will go on with the happenings of the day. I wrote to Alice Blyth, Mary Meade and Peggy and tickled on the piano and we all nearly froze Mummy and Daddie went to enquire after Sir Eric Barrington who is ill and I played hymn tunes with one finger nearly the whole afternoon, I found a hymn book with music and went right through it playing all the hymns I know and some I don't; it is great fun being able to make tunes you know come out your own self (I have no idea of tune so I can't get them by the ordinary process of raising ones voice in melody.) We went to Church this evening - a very nice service they have got a jolly good choir - it was pitch dark when we came out and Shortie insisted in brandishing a torch the whole way home. In "The Sunday Times" this morning it says that "The Willow Tree" is coming on at the Globe Theatre on Oct: 22nd with Renèe Kelly as leading lady.
Monday Oct: 8th 1917.
We thought Miss Wolff was coming down this afternoon but she wrote to say she couldn't come.
Tuesday Oct: 9th 1917.
I didn't have time to write any more last night so must do yesterday today. We went up with Daddie at 9.0 yesterday and he took us to the Imperial Institute to see some Indian things and a sort of cotton-silk called Kapok which he is very much interested in. After this we went to the Royal Geographical Society and looked at some maps and some photographs of India and also some very old maps of London which was the most killing little place about two inches square with the City of Westminster a little way away from it! And in one map dated 1616 there was a picture of St Paul's before it was burnt down and it said that "the tower waf 564 feet high and had been three times vifited by fire from heaven" but as Daddie remarks the fire was much more likely from the earth! Then we went and got a 'bus for Picaddily [ Piccadilly ] Circus and in it we met Mrs Haddow who we used to in India. When we got out of the 'bus we went to the India Office and on the way we met Mrs Short on the way to meet us there. She had been to Paddington to see Mrs Sheffield - an Indian friend - off to India (she is going round by the Cape in "the Norman" a Union Castle liner); when we got to the India Office we found that Colonel O'Connor (who went to Tibet with Daddie) had called to see him. Daddie took us to see some of the rooms in the India Office and showed us what is supposed to be the finest chair in England; it is mahogany and most beautifully carved. Then we went to the big Lyons by Charing Cross and had a jolly good luncheon with ices and ginger pop - then Daddie left us and we walked down the Strand as far as the Law Courts looking at the shops and I tried every book shop we passed for "The Rosary" but without success. It now began to pour and as we had one umbrella between us (a fact for which Nina and I were truely thankful) Shortie began to think we had better do a bunk but we inveigeled her into going up Kingsway and when we got to Holborn we got a 'bus for The Times Book Club; it was full up inside so we had to go on top which didn't please Shortie but we enjoyed it thoroughly. Mummy hadn't said what books she wanted from the library so I had an awful time nosing around for books; they hadn't got anything I wanted so I finally got "Much-Ado-About Peter" by Jean Webster, "Men, Women and Guns" by "Sapper" and The Expensive Miss Du Cane" by Miss Macnaughtan. Then we went to Lyons and purchased 1½ lbs of A.1 sweets. After this we went to call on Miss Wolff who seemed very pleased to see us. I don't know whether I stated the fact but I have got to have French Elocution with the juniors this term mercifully the person won't be able to come for at least five weeks after the term starts because she has got to have an operation (I don't mean to be hard hearted but it was such an awful relief when Wolfie told me!). When we left Wolfie we went by underground to Pompey who we hoped would give us tea (Mummy had telephoned to him in the morning but had not been able to get an answer) he was at home but had just come up from Uxbridge for an hour and couldn't give us tea but he gave us some lovely apples and then we got into a 'bus (also on top!) and came to Putney; when we got there we thought we had better get into 70 at the station where it starts so we went and got into one which soon filled up but four others went before it and we had to sit in the wretched thing ½ an hour before it started so we didn't get home till past 6.30. Captain Giles came to dinner; he has been in India and Mesapotamia [ Mesopotamia ] and was nearly torpedoed on his way home. Nina can stay till Friday which is good egg. I have been playing hymn tunes for about an hour this morning.
Wednesday Oct: 10th 1917.
Lady Barrington called yesterday evening and Sir Eric is a little better. Classes started today so we went up with Daddie this morning. On the way up we went to Harrods and tore wildly all over the shop looking for things made of Kapok and Daddie got a sort of glorified chest-protector arrangement made of it; by this time it was 10.20 so we had to rush off to Wolfie's with great speed and haste. I had persuaded Nina to come too and she thought it would be an awful ordeal but ended up by rather enjoying it perhaps due to the fact that we talked nearly all the time! We are doing the British Isles in geography this term and we did Middlesex, Surrey and Kent this time. The war lecture was on Russia and was a bit more interesting than usual. Wolfie wants me to come up on Tuesdays for science and economics which I should like (anything to get up to London!) Poor Wolfie is beginning to have fits about my fearful lack of education; I said that Mummy said I was to have drawing, French and music this term but Wolfie said "all accomplishments" and I was squashed! Really the most alarming thing is my utter lack of knowledge of arithmatic. There were nearly a dozen new girls and a great many of the old ones are staying away till the beginning of next month because of the raids but by that time the moon will be just right for them again!
When we left Wolfie we walked down Oxford Street to Regents Street and made an appointment for my hair to be washed on Monday at 3.0. We then went to Evans and got some corsets for me on approval and also some knickers for the winter (I suppose I ought to gracefully write "underclothes" and pass on but I am a terrible person for accuracy). Then we went to Selfridge and got two peices of black hair ribbon and a hair slide there was an awful crowd there and on the way out we lost Shortie; we hunted for her for some time without success and then Nina had the brilliant inspiration that I should go along to Lyons (where we were to meet Miss Wolff who was going to give us tea there at 3.45) and see if she was there; I soon meet her and we having satisfied her righteous wrath and persuaded her that it wasn't our fault – went off to Lyons where we found Wolfie and had tea. They have got the somewhat brainy dodge there of giving you little fruit jellies and coloured blancmanges and things like that to save bread. Wolfie left us after tea and gave us each a shilling.
I must explain here that when ever we passed a book shop I bounced wildly in to enquire if they had "The Rosary" and invariably issued forth with slow and mournful step but at a Boots I boned a second-hand book list and elicitated therefrom that they were overcome with a burning desire to supply all and sundry with "The Rosary" (6/- edition) for one and three pence but that they have only got a very limited number so I wrote off tonight with all haste and speed and requested them to send me a copy likewise a copy of "The Chronicles of the Imp" by Jeffery Farnol for the noble sum of one bob. We came home tonight by Praed Street underground. Mummy and Daddie went to tea with the Lulings today to meet Dr de Fillipe (who stayed with us in Kashmir). I have got the photographs I took at Kew; they are a jolly good lot there is:- Nina in the toy motor in the woods, Me ditto, ditto, Daddie and Nina sitting on the grass eating sandwiches at Kew, Daddie with his mouth wide open! Daddie in the rock garden at Kew, Nina by a border at Kew and the lake at Kew. We are going to luncheon with Pompey tomorrow which is one of those somewhat numerous cases of "good egg". The tickets have come for "The Yellow Ticket" which is likewise a case of good egg. I was only able to have a very short go at hymn tunes this evening and I haven't read any novels at all today! I had a scrawl from Peggy this morning.
Thursday Oct: 11th 1917.
This morning I played the piano and took two photographs of Nina one with the portrait attachment and she also took one of me with the portrait attachment. We left here about 11.15 and went to Miss Clarke (the dressmaker) but as she had made an appointment for 1.0 she wasn't at home so we walk slowly down to Park Mansions (where Pompey lives). He took us out to luncheon at a restraunt; we tried Hachett's in Picaddily [ Piccadily ] first but it was full so we went to a place called the Florence in a street off Coventry Street; we had a jolly good blow out and both drank lashions of ginger ale and weren't any the worst for it. Then Pompey took us in a taxi to the Playhouse and just as we got out Aunt Gereldine [ Geraldine ] and Cynthia came along; they were up in London for the day and were going to "Seven Days Leave" at the Lyceum under the innocent supposition that it was funny when really it is rather tradgic melodrama! Daddie met us at the theatre and we got in just in time for the beginning; the theatre was crowded and there were a good many people standing.
Friday Oct: 12th 1917.
We got home about 6.15 last night. When we came out of the theatre we went to the stage door and saw most of the actors come out. I finished my last Renèe case last night; that is the 9th and I have been simply ages doing it. The pattern is like this - in drawn thread work.
I am going to (when possible) stick photos of the people I write about in my diary and here followeth one of Pompey.
This morning we have been out in the toy motor in the woods; unfortunately the cart behind came to pieces with Nina in it about the first go we had so after that we had to come down separately. Half a dozen of the Mill children were watching us and as we were coming home I had the brilliant inspiration of lending it to them; they each had one ride in turn and they really steered very well on the whole Soon after we had lent it to them the minor detail that they were in quarantine for measles occured to Nina for which reason we don't intend to say anything to the Powers that Be about giving them joy rides. Uncle Dick has just telephoned to say that he is coming down at 2.30 for Nina but they don't go till the 6 something train which is rather a bore in a way because we shan't be able to go to Liverpool St to see them off. I am very sorry Nina is going; we have had great fun and she is piles nicer than she used to be. Helen and Lettice St Maur have both got measles. Uncle Dick came down about 1.30. Mummy had gone to London and wasn't back till just after 3.0. Nina and Uncle Dick went off at 4.45 we would have gone as far as Wimbledon with them but it was pouring with rain. I have finished "Much-Ado-About Peter"; it is a very amusing American story of a groom. Now I must proceed to tell the story of "The Yellow Ticket". Mary Seaton and her father who are English are staying in a hotel in Petrograd and Mary Seaton has a Russian girl Marya Varenka (Gladys Cooper) to teach her Russian; there is also a journalist friend of theirs staying there whose name is Julian Rolfe (Arthur Wontner) and he has fallen in love with Marya and asks her to marry him but she says that for reasons which she can't explain she can't; she is also very alarmed because someone has been following her. Baron Andreyoff (Allan Aynesworth) who is the chief of the Okhrana (Secret Police) and his nefew Count Nikolai Rostov who is engaged to Mary Seaton are coming to tea; when they arrive there is no one but Marya in and while she goes to find Mary Seaton the Baron telephones for a police man to come and question Marya but not to say he was told to come by the Baron so he appears and questions Marya asking to see her references from the princess Stick-in-the-Mud but she hasn't got them with her so he asks for her passport which she produces then he asks didn't the princess have two governesses and what was the name of the other? She hesitates a long time and then says she's forgotten and the policeman (Paul Paviac) says that the other governess died in Marya's rooms and that her name was Marya Varenka and that her (Marya's) real name is Anna Mirrel and that she is a Jewess all of which Marya (I will go on calling her that) admits is true; then Paul says she must go off with him to go to Siberia but she after much rummaging in her dress produces a yellow ticket which is a free pass to go anywhere in Russia and may be obtained by agreeing to do something awful though I can't make out what but should think spying or absolutely anything else she is asked to do. The policeman then being baffled does a hasty bunk and howls of execration rise against the unfortunate girl from everyone except Margery Seaton and Julian Rolfe who take her part. She then explains why she has got the yellow ticket; she lived in Kief [ Kiev ] and her father had to come England on business for a few months, then she gets a wire from Petrograd saying he has had a bad accident and can only live a few hours; her friends tell her that she won't be able to get to him because Jews below a certain standing aren't allowed outside certain areas but she won't believe them and goes to the police bureau where they tell her she can have a pass port to go anywhere she likes; she is overjoyed and wants to sign it at once but they say perhaps they had better read it to her first which they do but she doe'sent understand one word (the word is "prostitution" but I don't know what it means either). they laugh and are very rude to her and tell her what it means but even after that she signs the tickets and gets to her father in time. When she has finished her story Mr Seaton says he is very sorry for her but he can't keep her which makes Julian Rolfe so angry that he goes away. Then they go in to tea but the Baron stays behind to tell Marya that if she is worried by the police she is to come to him; then he goes in to tea and Marya goes out and the 'curtain' falls.
In the next act the scene is in the Barons palace and he has had Mr and Miss Seaton and his nefew to dinner; they talk a bit and then go out and Marya who has been waiting to see him for a long time comes in and says that Paul has been to see her in her lodging and been very rude but she has got rid of him at last by threatening to report him to the Baron (who of course had really sent him to her); then she locks the door and someone else comes and knocks very loudly for a long time and finally goes away having shoved a note under the door which when she dares to read some time after she finds it to be from Julian Rolfe. Soon after this she comes to the Barons house. While she is talking a servant brings a card in and the Baron puts her in the dining room saying he must see the man who turns out to be Julian Rolfe; he asks the Baron if he has seen or heard any more of Marya; he says he hasn't but will do all he can to help Rolfe who soon goes away. He then proceeds to force his affections upon Marya who having found all the doors locked and that she is therefore unable to escape stabs him with one of her hat pins which strange to say kills him; before he dies he manages to get hold of the telephone but can't say anything; when he is dead the telephone bell rings and she has to answer it; it is the servant so she tells him that the Baron says she is to be driven home at once, then she gets the key of the door of the Barons pocket and goes out. The next scene is in the office of the Okhrana. The new Chief of Police Monsieur Zoubatoff is seated at a big table questioning Paul who says that Marya has been wandering about for hours. Just then a man comes in to say that she wants to speak to him; she comes in and says she has come to confess that she murdered the baron so she is put in prison after much questioning. Then Julian Rolfe comes in and demands to know where Marya is; after some time they admit that she is there and bring her out. Meanwhile Count Rostov has had it published that the baron died under an operation. Monsieur Zoubatoff then accuses Julian Rolfe of the murder because he has said that they can't send Marya to Siberia without making a scandel by the trial but Zoubatoff says there will be no trial then when Rolfe says he will publish the facts of this case everywhere unless they give up Marya he says that Rolfe shall be sent to Siberia without a trial too; but just at that moment the British Ambassador rings up and wants to know if Rolfe is there as he has an appointment with him at four. Rolfe had taken the precaution to ask the Ambassador to ring up before he came there; once more he asks them whether they will give Marya her freedom or whether he shall publish the story of the murder; they decided for the former and give them both pass-ports to England. Marya and Julian fall into each others arms and that[‘]s the end!
Saturday Oct: 13th 1917.
I had a letter from Peggy this morning enclosing one from Bobs in answer to one from Peggy I wrote to Peggy and advised her to drop Bobs altogether because I know there will be a jolly old bust up on the part of Peggy. Having proformed which task I played the piano and read and weeded. Mr George Russell a great friend of Mummy's came to luncheon. The Haddows - Mr, Mrs and Cecily, (their daughter) Miss Waller and Mr Luling and Rosamund came to tea. Miss Waller has been nursing at Salonika and she lost all her luggage on the way home; she says that the English and the French out there hate each other and that the Italians hate the French; she brought me an awfully pretty necklace of Roman pearls and the Haddows brought me some lovely chocolates Rosamund has got her hair up and she looks much prettier with it up; she says that those areoplanes that we heard in the Sep 29th raid were Germans; that two bombs fell on Putney; that the children were digging up shrapnel all round Wimbledon; that they have got an anti-aircraft gun in the camp so we shall be well and truely shaken when it fires and that there is going to be a big raid on the 20th; most of which information we will take leave to doubt. Aunt Venetia telegraphed to Daddie today to say she had heard from the War Office that Gilbert (her son who was in Mesapotamia) [ Mesopotamia ] had been dangerously wounded; we had heard before that he was slightly wounded in the shoulder and had been sent to Basra. I am so sorry; he is such a nice boy and I am afraid Aunt Venetia will be very upset. Mummy has telegraphed and offered to go down to her. Daddie has had a huge pile of letters from India in answer to his applications for land in various parts to grow things on. He and Uncle Oswald are going to form a company to cultivate millions of acres of land in India and Uncle Claude is going to make some patent fertilizer which the company which he has got something to do with now makes in Sweden; as far as I can make out the company is going to make it in India instead of Sweden. I hope there will be some chink forthcoming from all this! A bowl of what appeared to be Devonshire cream made its appearance on the table tonight; it turned out to be a substitute for butter which is becoming very scarce; its tastes exactly like Devonshire cream and is Devonshire cream - only its made at Wimbledon but as it is 1/6 a pint which Shortie says equals ½ a lb I don't think it is much saving! Mummy is very pleased because she has found a Belgian bakery at Southfields which has decent white bread. The bread of the Carlton Bakery is a most frightfully dark colour.
Sunday Oct: 14th 1917.
Mrs Short and I went to church this morning; it was their Harvest Festival and the church was very prettily decorated. I thought I heard guns during the sermon but it was probably bombing in the field near here. A Mrs George Forbes who is a great Aunt of Bobs' came to luncheon and was very nice. Uncle Vernon telephoned at 4.0 and wanted to come down but Mummy thought it would be too late for him. I wrote a letter in Cockney (?) to Helen this afternoon. Mummy and Daddie went to enquire after Sir Eric Barrington this morning and he is better. I have finished "The Expensive Miss Du Cane" and don't like it nearly as much as some of her other books; for one thing it ends up badly which I don't like and I don't really like any of the people except Lady Clitheroe and Miss Du Cane. Gilbert was wounded in the victory in Mesapotamia [ Mesopotamia ] on Sep: 29th
Monday Oct: 15th 1917.
We have heard very bad news this morning. Poor Gilbert has died of his wounds. I am afraid his family will be very upset; it does seem so sad; he was such a nice boy much nicer than most. Daddie knew on Saturday when he went to the War Office to enquire they had just had a telegram to say he had died though Daddie only told Mummy he was dangerously wounded I had a sort of feeling he knew Gilbert was dead. I only knew this morning and I don't know when Mummy knew. Aunt Venetia is going to Brighton to break it to Patsy. Daddie had to be at the Imperial Institute at 10.0 this morning so he left me at the bottom of South Audley Street and I walked from there to Wolfie's alone; I have never been so far alone in London before. I got to Wolfie's at 9.45 with the joyful result that I had to do long division of money for nearly an hour; we are going to do ancient Greek history this term and from William III to George I in English. Wolfie had suddenly developed a wild mania to get a gas stove because of the shortage of coal so I went off to Selfridge with her and we found some after much hunting then we went back to her house and found Shortie waiting. Then we went off to get my hair washed which horrid process took an hour and has got to be repeated next Monday Miss Hammond who did it is American and very amusing. We went and had a cup of chocolate and a Bath(?) bun at Lyons; then we went to the Times Book Club and I got "The Definite Object" by Jeffery Farnol and also a book about Wimbledon Common for Mummy. I have never seen the underground so full as it was tonight; there really was scarcly room to stand. Mummy met us at the gate in a great state of agitation and says I can't go up to London any more because we are so late home.
Mr Ahmed (an Indian gentleman) has sent me some lovely orchids which Daddie brought down and a huge basket of grapes and another of peaches which are reposing at the India Office and which we are going to fetch tomorrow. Daddie had luncheon today with a Mr Millar who is a brother-in-law of Gerald Du Maurier the actor and he gave Daddie a book called "Peter Ibbetson" by George Du Maurier which Daddie has given me. "Funny Little Person" sent back my letter this morning with the edifying remark that she is très contente with my progress which is perhaps due to the fact that Nina composed most of the letter. I also had a letter from Peggy wanting me to go to luncheon on Saturday to meet Bobs which I am pretty dead certain I sha'nt be able to do. I wrote to Pompey this evening to thank him for the A.1. time he gave us on Thursday.
Tuesday Oct: 16th 1917.
Mummy went to London today to see poor Aunt Venetia on her way to Brighton. I have played the piano for four hours today — mostly hymn tunes —. We had luncheon early and then went up to London. First we went to Miss Clarke & she did some trying on; then we went to the Stores and Mrs Short managed to get four lbs of sugar and one lb of tea which is getting most frightfully scarce, most people can only get two ozs at a time and a great many people can't get sugar at all but I believe the Stores gives more than anyone else. We went to the India Office and met Daddie and got the fruit Mr Ahmed had left for me; then we came home getting back about 5.0 and Mummy got back soon after. Mr Ahmed has sent me a perfectly lovely tall, fancy basket ornimented with a large yellow bow and chrysanthmums and containing two huge bunches of grapes one black and one white and peaches, figs, plums, walnuts, oranges, apples, pears and a tropical fruit called Lechai [ lychee ] which looks like a plum and tastes like a grape. There is also a basket of huge peaches. I have been doing prep: and reading this evening. Cousin V. Thye [ Tighe ] telegraphed to say she was coming to say she was coming to stay here tomorrow; Mummy doe'sent like to decide about taking a house for them till Cousin V has seen it so she is coming for that.
Wednesday Oct: 17th 1917.
I went up to Wolfie's this morning and got in for some deadly form of arithmatic connected with the width of carpets and the amount thereof required for rooms of varied measurements. Peggy was at Wolfie's likewise Marlie and I sat between them and divided my time between pleasantly conversing with Marlie and playing naughts and crosses with Peggy and ocassionally when the idea entered my head paying some slight attention to a lecture on Russia which was going on; which as it was exactly the same as the one last Wednesday, except that he made us tell him what he had said and was (if possible) more pessimestic than usual, didn't excite me much. I went to luncheon with Peggy who is furious because I can't go to luncheon on Saturday so she will have the joy of Bobs alone. Really Peggy's energy is alarming she has copied out the whole of her diary (about 100 pages) because she had left a few things out! After luncheon we went and had ice creams at Gunter's and purchased sweets and various other things and then came back and found Shortie waiting so having thoughtfully(?) given her time to have a talk with Shuttie we proceeded to come home and strange to say Daddie got into the same train as us at Earls Court. Mummy has sent "The Definite Object" - which I am in the middle of reading - back to the Times Book Club so I shall have to go and get it out again. I played the piano a bit this evening. We heard some firing this evening but it was a long way away and nothing has happened so I suppose it was only practicing. I read my diary over a few days ago and discovered how deadly dull it is but it requires such a frightful expansion of energy to make it the least interesting but perhaps I will try one day when the troubles and trials of this wicked world cease to oppress me quite as much as they do at present — in other words when I have a flash of literary genius.
Boots Cash Chemists were graciously pleased to sent me a post-card this morning stating that they were sold out of both "The Rosary" and "The Chronicles of the Imp" (which fact I had with my usual genius guessed already) but that they were "tabulating" the titles and would let me know when they had any copies second-hand which fact doe'sent interest me the least as I shall probably be in the Land of the Leal by the time they have. Needless to say I have again begun to hunt for "The Rosary" and equally needless to say I have had no success There are a good many advertisements for "The Willow Tree" kicking about; all the same and all deadly dull.
Thursday Oct: 18th 1917.
I telephoned to Peggy last night to find out when her music teacher Miss Medd-Hall who teaches Rosamund comes to Wimbledon and she comes on Mondays and Thursdays; so she appeared this morning and gave me a lesson; she is a funny little thing but quite nice. We were going into Putney this morning but there wasn't time after my lesson so Shortie went into Wimbledon this afternoon. I also did prep: this morning. Miss Wolff came down for tea. Mummy had said I wasn't to go up to London at all for lessons or anything because of getting back late but as she hasn't said anything to Miss Wolff I suppose it will be all right, any way I hope so, it would be awful not to go up to London. I wrote a long letter to poor Nina today but not a letter of condolence I haven't the vaguest idea how to write letters of condolence except of course the very ordinaryest platitudes and I think unless one really knows what to say it is safer to leave it alone but of course I said how awfully sorry I was that Gibert [ Gilbert ] had been killed.
It is a month today since I started writing this diary and the intelligent and sagacious reader (myself) will be able to see by a little exercise of mental arithmatic that I have written on an average 20½ pages a week and just on 3 a day for which heartrending wastage of paper in war-time I deserve some fierce and awful punishment.
Mrs Leigh told me a most amusing story yesterday of a Zep raid in Scotland; it took place during the service in a Church and the clergyman turned to the congregation and said "there is a raid in progress but there is no necessity for anyone to leave the church and we will now sing hymn No — "They come those Messengers of Love"! Mummy was going to Hampstead today to see Mr Asquith (brother of the late Prime Minister) but there wasn't time before Wolfie came. Aunt Venetia goes back to Croxton tomorrow but Patsy says she would rather be left at school.
Friday Oct: 19th 1917.
Aunt Venetia isn't going home till Monday so Mummy didn't have to go up to London today. I played the piano and did prep: this morning and this afternoon we went to Putney where I tried to get a pair of house shoes but they were all so deadly dull that I didn't get them. We also went to a Belgian Bakery at Wandsworth which the gardener had told us about and got some very nice buns and biscuits. Of course I tried at all the book shops we passed for "The Rosary" but without any success. This evening I have been playing the piano and doing prep:. I think Mummy has taken "Winkfield Lodge" (the Sutton's house near here) for the Tiges [ Tighes ]. A most extraordinary thing happened yesterday; while I was sitting in the garden, somthing large and dark flew almost in my face and made me jump horribly; it turned out to be a Red Admiral butterfly which came and settled right on the front of my blouse and proceeded to sun itself. There was also a Tortoiseshell butterfly in the bath-room last night which flatly refused to turned out. I was thinking the other day what awful crackers I might tell about the war and things in general in this diary and then when I am old and in my dotage my grandchildren would rummage this diary gracefully falling to peices and with the writting yellow and faded out of some old and frousty and insecty trunk and marvel that anyone so prim and proper and dull as grandma should have had such exciting things happen to her; but I foresee that neither my grandchildren nor any other youthful relatives of my aged self must ever see this diary for if they did my reputation would be gone for ever as an elderly and musty relative.
Saturday Oct: 20th 1917.
The jolly old Germans seem to have thought they have treated us rather coldly lately so they paid us a very warm visit last night; in Zepps too. They dropped bombs on the North-West coast and also succeeded in getting to London; it was rather a dark night and the artful old dodgers turned off their engines and just glided over London; they dropped bombs at Blackheath and Heither [ Hither ] Green and smashed up Swan + Edgars at the corner of Picadilly [ Piccadilly ] Circus where four people were killed. The casualties so far reported are 27 killed and 53 injured in all areas. All our windows rattled violently between 9.0 and 10.0 last night and that was caused by the bombs which must have been very big ones. The raid continued nearly all night but unfortunately I went to sleep early so heard nothing but the windows rattleing; however I don't think there was much else to hear as it was very far away but Shortie says she heard a loud explosion soon after she got into bed. We are expecting another raid tonight.
I have mostly played the piano and done prep today and we went into Wimbledon this morning. A letter came for me from Mr Ahmed today in which he says he is coming down here (wild joy on the part of the family!) and that he is sending me some Devonshire Cream (he is at Exeter). We had a milk-pudding made with Nestlés condensed milk for luncheon and I tasted some "neat" after; it is the most heavenly stuff much nicer than ordinary milk. I have started making my Christmas presents today in the form of a drawn thread work handkerchief sachet for Miss Wolff but so far I have only done three quarters of a hem!
Sunday Oct: 21st 1917.
No raid last night but the French brought down four and they think maybe five of the Zepps that came on Friday night which is jolly good. We went to Church this morning and I have been for a long walk with Daddie this afternoon; we went along past the Y.M.C.A hut and then down a footpath towards Combe [ Coombe ]. Sir Thomas Jackson — a famed architect who lives at Eagle House here — came to tea. I have just finished "Men, Women and Guns" it is short stories of the war and very gruesome too and some are horribly sad but they are all jolly good. Mrs Short has gone over to Streatham to see her nefew who goes back to France tomorrow morning. Patsy has just rung up from Brighton to say that Aunt Venetia is arriving at Victoria at 1.25 tomorrow. I haven't played the piano much today. Shortie was horribly shocked because I played "The Long Trail" on the Sabbeth! It has been a simply glorious day and quite hot.
Wolfie is very anxious to have my photograph taken with Chi Chi and as Chi Chi has got to be taken up tomorrow to the vet I have written and told her that we could have it done tomorrow. But Chi Chi will never be taken with me I'm sure because he is very nervous and he hates me and will scarcely let me touch him so how they will get him to pose on my lap with a sweet and intelligent smirk on his face I don't know. A lady came over from Roehampton this afternoon to ask me to her girls birthday party. I have never seen them or even heard of them to my knowledge though the lady is a friend of Mummy's and I be blowed if I'm going; parties always alarm me horribly and as for one where I know no one well—! I think I said some way back that when overcome with a violent fit of energy I would put down the plays I have been to this year and as I have got nothing else to do at present I will do it now. "The Aristocrat" at St James' Theatre a story of the French Revolution most weepy but very good. Sir George Alexander, Dennis Neilson-Terry, Genevieve Ward, Joyce Carey and Mary Glynne were in it. "Charley's Aunt", we saw this at Wimbledon and it was quite one of the funniest things I have ever seen. "London Pride" at Wyndhams Theatre very amusing; about a Cockney who goes to the war. Gerald Du Maurier and Mabel Russell (who is the best actress I have ever seen) were in it. "General Post" at the Haymarket Theatre about a tailor who becomes a Brigadier General and marrys a baronet's daughter (see page 4) Madge Titheridge, Lilian Braithwaite, George Tully and Norman Mackinnel were in it. "Daddy Long Legs" at the Duke of Yorks Theatre the play of the book by Jean Webster about an orphan who is taken out of an orphanage by a nice millionaire who she marrys in the end; the scene is laid in America. Renèe Kelly Fay Davis and Aubrey Smith were in it. "Chu Chin Chow" at His Majesty's Theatre a sort of glorified story of "Ali Baba and The Forty Thieves". Wonderful scenery and dresses and very pretty music and songs; "The Robber March" is one of the prettiest things I have ever heard. Oscar Asche, Lily Brayton, Violet Essex and Aileen D'Orme (who is a friend of Cousin Nora Robertson) were in it. "Intolerance" at Drury Lane. A wonderful cinematograph which showed the siege of Babylon by Cyrus King of Persia; they had a great city built just like ancient Babylon must have been (not that I have any personal acquaintance with it) and it showed battering rams being hurled against the wall and the whole city on fire; then there was the massacre of St Bartholomew and the marriage feast at Cana and the Crucifixion and also a modern story in America in which you saw a man nearly hung.
Belshazzar at a great feast in Babylon after the defeat of Cyrus.
The siege of Babylon.
The great feast in Babylon after the defeat of Cyrus' first attack on the city and just before his surprise attack when he took it.
Catherine De Medici trying to persuade Charles IX to sign the order for the massacre of St Bartholomew.
Catherine De Medici hearing of the massacre of Roman Catholics by Protestants.
On the road to Calvary.
These pictures are from advertisements for "Intolerance" and give quite a fair idea of it. Unfortunately there isn't one of the actual massacre of St Bartholomew which was one of the best things; also there was a lovely view of Babylon burning.
Charles IX leaving Paris before the Massacre of St. Bartholomew
We also went to a thing called "All-of-a-sudden Peggy" at Minehead; it was quite good but I forget the story. I have written accounts of "Floradora", "The Maid of the Mountains" and "The Yellow Ticket" farther back in this diary.
Monday Oct: 22nd 1917.
I went up to Wolfie's this morning + had to do long division of money. Peggy was there and she lent me two pieces of music selections from "Bric-à-Brac" and "Vanity Fair" both revues. Mrs Short brought Chi Chi up to London today and Miss Wolff had me photographed with him by a man called Stuartt in Brompton Road. Then we went to Miss Hammond and I had my hair washed which proformance took over an hour. Then we went to meet Daddie to see about a Kapok lined coat for Mummy and a lining for a coat of mine. Now I must go to bed but will try and put the rest down tomorrow.
Tuesday Oct: 23rd 1917.
When we left the Kapok place we went to Picadilly [ Piccadilly ] Circus to see the damage done by a bomb that fell there. Nearly all the shop windows were smashed and there was a huge hole about six feet deep in the road. There were huge crowds of people and all traffic is stopped that way. When we got home I found a long letter from Nina waiting for me; she had a most exciting time in that Friday night raid; the Zepps came right over their house and dropped bombs all round them and some fell only two fields away; Nina went out bomb hunting the next morning and she sent me a bit; she also sent me some A.1 stamps. That childs genius for getting in raids is quite extraordinary, she had a good many at Croxton at various times, she came up to London the very afternoon that all those raids started here and she gets back home in time for a jolly swanky one there.
I also had a letter from Mary Meade yesterday. I have been advantageously(?) employing most of my spare time today in extracting the song part from a peice of music known as "Naughty, Naughty One Gerard" from the revue "Bric-à-Brac" and have now commited that most edifing tune to memory and will some time commit it to paper in this book.
Colonel Gurden is coming down to spend the night.
Cousin Eddie Tighe is bring a cob here for the girls to ride and he says I can ride it too which is good egg.
Wednesday Oct: 24th 1917.
I went up to Wolfies today and managed to avoid the current events lecture by doing arithmetic; it is a very good dodge that and I must remember to do it always, you just tell Wolfie that you aren't quite as brilliant as you might be over a certain sum and you are put with some others who are in a like predicament and then you have a happy time doing nothing. Peggy 'phoned at 9.0 last night to say she had got a bad cold so couldn't have me to luncheon today and as there was no time to make any arrangements to go any where Daddie took me out to luncheon at the big Lyons in the Strand and Sir David Prain came too; it was full to overflowing but we had a jolly good luncheon Afterwards we went a little way up Charing Cross Road to try and find a book shop which we didn't find and we passed lots of theatres with people streaming in, it annoys me horribly to see other people going into theatres and I tried to persuade Mrs Short that we might go to one as Mummy had for no apparent rhyme or reason presented me with a ten bob note in the morning but unfortunately Shortie refused to be persuaded; so we went to the stores and I purchased a very swanky blue collar and blue whip lead for Joffie; it is his birthday present and his birthday was on Sep: 20th! They cost 6 bob and five of the family are going to contribute and we have been having hefty arguments about how much each person must give and have at last decided that four people must contribute 1/2½ and one person 1/2. After the stores we went to Miss Clarke and got away a serge coat of mine which she has made. Then we came home; I have quite needless to say been strumming on the piano this evening. Daddie wasn't home till 8.15 because he went to a debate in the House of Lords. Our maid Rose Patching left today she went because her father wanted her to be nearer home.
I wrote Nina a long letter last night and sent back some of her stamps that I have got and also the music of "Naughty, Naughty One Gerrard", she is going to send me some songs. She says that seven bombs fell round them in that Friday raid and that the nearest was 600 yards away. The French brought down six and they think perhaps seven of those old Zepps and they have won a great victory and taken nearly 10,000 prisoners. Sir David Prain said an officer who was there told him that we had a very severe check the other day and that his regiment (a Canadian one) went in 900 strong and only 50 answered the roll call next day. Sir David also said that they were staying at Robin Hoods Bay near Scarborough this summer and that two German officers who had landed from a submarine and said they wanted food were taken prisoner there; that all that coast is guarded by a company of soldiers every two miles and no one can walk on the beach at night because they are liable to be shot at and that a good deal of shrapnel and two shell cases and a shell nose fell in Kew Gardens during the Saturday Sep: 29th raid. There are still large crowds looking at the hole in Picadilly [ Piccadilly ] and I see some windows are smashed at the beginning of Regents Street.
Thursday Oct: 25th 1917.
I had a music lesson from Miss Med Hall [ Medd-Hall ] this morning; she wished to know if I had ever done any singing exercises so I said I hadn't and she then prceeded to try and make me hum notes so I proceeded to make noises like a pig in convulsions and she did ditto. She has brought me piles of music including a book of "Little Peices" I do hate little peices and these have got silly little rhymes which a two year old would turn its nose up at at the top of them. It would be so much nicer to play sensible vulgar songs while one was about it. Mercifully she says she isn't going to give me scales but she is giving me chords which I have never done before and which are much more fun.
Mummy went up to London today to see Uncle Oswald on business. Mrs Martin who is some relation of Wards (Great Aunt Aimèes maid) and who is coming here to work for us till we get a maid turned up today. Mrs Shorts nefew has just been over; he has got extra leave and he hopes to get 10 days more but if he doe'sent he will have to go back to France on Saturday morning. I hope he will get some more leave too because if he does Shortie is going to take him to a play (and incidentally me!). I have been doing prep: and playing the piano today which isn't very exciting.
It is a lovely night for a raid but there isn't any sign of one yet (7.15).
I have just been inditing an epistle to Mrs Idie and have asked her to try and get me "The Rosary" at Bath; she sent me up two very pretty caps that she had made for me to wear on windy days, yesterday; one is saxe blue and the other is dark blue velvet.
There was a frightful gale last night and half of Daddie's window was blown out and has now disappeared! The Leigh's cook has got shell shock or raid shock or some other kind of shock so the whole household has got to do a bunk to the country for a week. I think they are going to East Haddon. Marlie Raphael has also got raid shock and had to go to the country.
Daddie took Frank Younghusband out to luncheon today; he is in the Navy and his ship was torpedoed about a month ago but it took an hour to sink and he was only in the water an hour before a destroyer picked him up.
Friday Oct: 26th 1917.
We went into Wimbledon this morning and I bought a song called "Any Times Kissing Time" from "Chu Chin Chow" and also went to the library where the person said she had just got in a new book by Florence Barclay called "The White Ladies of Worcester" so I had that out; it is only just published and seems very good. Mummy went up to London to a memorial service today.
I went into the Milnes this afternoon and borrowed some songs from them; they have got simply piles and I took "Toy Town" from "Bric-à-Brac", "The Long Trail", "Till the Boys Come Home" and two books of various songs which among other things contain — "Mary from Tipperary", "When We've Wound up the Watch on the Rhine" and "The Goose Step" all from the revue "Business as Usual" also "If You were the Only Girl in the World", "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag" and "A Little Bit of Heaven". I am copying them out into a manuscript music book in which I have already collected quite a number of choice songs. Miss Wolff sent the proofs of the photos of me this morning; they aren't bad but Mummy doe'sent like them because she says my hair is dragged back. I asked Mrs Simpson to see if she could get me any songs in Wimbledon this afternoon and she has brought me a frightfully complicated peice of music called "Trafalgar" with no song at all about it.
Daddie is going to luncheon with Uncle George at the Tower tomorrow and he is going to take me too. The poor old Italians have had a bad defeat and the Germans claim to have taken 30,00 prisoners of whom 700 are officers.
"Funny Little Person" is coming tomorrow; Mummy had asked her to come today but she couldn't which I wasn't sorry for. Mrs Ahmed wrote to Mummy this morning and said she hoped I liked the Devonshire Cream she sent me but no cream has appeared and I don't know what can have become of it.
Saturday Oct: 27th 1917.
I did practicing and played vulgar songs this morning and "Funny Little Person" came and gave me a lesson; she was so overcome at seeing me again that she embraced me! but I'm afraid she was equally overcome at the rustyness of my French. Daddie and I went to luncheon with Uncle George and had a very nice time; he lives in St Thomas' Tower which is over Traitors Gate and right on the river. They had five bombs dropped round them in the daylight raids. After luncheon Uncle George took me to see the crown jewels and I also saw the new order of the British Empire which women can get too; they are rather pretty but nothing like so nice as Daddies K.C.S.I which he got this Christmas. We also went and saw St Peters Chapel which Aunt Madeleine had been helping to decorate for the Harvest Festival. Uncle George is writing a book on the Tower and he seems very learned about it.
Sunday Oct: 28th 1917.
I played the piano a bit this morning and we went to Church. This afternoon Mummy and Daddie went to enquire after Sir Eric who is much the same. We went for a walk in the woods and took Joffie. We hadn't been in long when the Joseph's appeared and as Mummy and Daddie hadn't come in I had to go and murmur sweet nothings to them, which I had no sooner begun to do than the Ahmeds appeared but mercifully Mummy and Daddie soon came in. Mr Ahmed had brought me some of those white china orniments with arms on them from Cambridge and I told him about the Devonshire Cream not arriving and he says they ordered two lots neither of which have arrived.
I have escaped on pretext of writing a letter which I have done; it is to Mrs Synge to ask if she can have me to luncheon next Wednesday as she asked me to go to luncheon with her one day when I was in London when I saw her at Bath. Mrs Idie wrote yesterday and is going to try and get "The Rosary" in Bath.
I have finished "The White Ladies of Worcester", it is a twelfth century story of a nun who has entered a convent because she believes her lover to have been faithless to her and married another woman; while he while fighting in Palestine has heard that she has married another man but on coming back to England he learns the truth and manages to get into the convent and trys to persuade her to come away with him but she says she can't break her vows. Hugh (the knight) then says that he will be in the crypt of the Cathedral at Worcester for five days during Vespers and that if she changes her mind she can slip away from the other sisters and go with him. Symon Bishop of Worcester is a great friend of both of them and he sends to Rome and gets a mandate from the Pope absolving Mora (the Prioress) from her vows and a copy of this he shows to her but she tears it up and says she will not marry Hugh (although she is in love with him) unless Our Lady sends a sign that she is to do so. Then an old sister — Mary Antony — who loves her very much and has unintentionally found out about the Knight and been told by the bishop that Mora won't marry him unless she has a sign pretends to have a vision in which Our Lady gives Mora to the Knight so Mora slips away from the other sisters in the cathedral and goes away with the Knight and is married to him by the bishop. When the bishop is alone after the marriage he suddenly recollects having told Hugh that Mary Antony knew he had been in the convent and he sees that if Mora tells Hugh about the vision he will probably say about Mary Antony and she will guess that the vision was all made up (the bishop didn't know till some time after that it wasn't real) and will therefore think she ought to go back to the Priory; so he at once sends a letter to Hugh warning him not to mention what Mary Antony knew but the messenger is robbed and the letter lost so he has to send a second letter. Meanwhile Mora tells Hugh of the vision and he can't remember what was told him about Mary Antony so nothing dreadful happens. Then next morning the bishops second letter arrives and the Knight goes off to see the Bishop and although the Bishop trys to persuade him not to he says he must tell Mora that the vision wasn't true even though she is sure to return to the Priory. Meanwhile a man has delivered to Mora the first letter which was stolen and she thinking it is probably very urgent opens it and reads it so learning that the vision wasn't real but she is more conserned as to whether or not Hugh will tell her than as to whether or not she ought to return to the Priory. When Hugh comes back he does tell her which is a great relief as she had expected him not to. Then she is given four days to decides as to whether she will return to the Priory but almost at once she sees that she is not meant for that life and that she will be much more use in the world and that as although she didn't know it Hugh was faithful to her when her vows were made they cannot be binding so she goes to him and they live happily ever after. This is the first book not about modern people that Florence Barclay has written and I don't like it nearly as much as some of her others but it is very nice and Mora is a very good heroine and Hugh a very nice hero. It is written in the same style as all her other books and you feel somehow that the people are modern people.
Uncle George told us that people in India have got the most extraordinary ideas about our food supplies and they seem to think we are starving. One lady keeps sending her son cakes and she said in one of her letters that she would send him some apple jam but she was sure it would be taken by the food authorities and distributed!
Pompey sent us a sack of potatoes the other day which will be very useful as our ones in the garden are coming to an end. Our cauliflowers are beginning to show some signs of life at last and we had some for luncheon today. It is great fun growing one[']s own vegetables.
Monday Oct: 29th 1917.
I went up to Miss Wolff's this morning; she has got a most frightful cold. Afterwards we went to the Times Book Club and got "The Hidden Hand", "The Hothams" and "Sea Jenny and Spindrift" or something like that by "Taffrail", from the library for Mummy I purchased a pair of gloves and then we we went to the Civil Service Cooperative Society in the Haymarket to try and get butter and tea neither of which they had. We have been trying all over the place for butter today and can't get any. Then we walked down the Haymarket and I tryed several book shops for "The Rosary" without any success and we came home via Charing Cross underground. Mummy has been in London today and she met Daddie at St James Park underground and came home with. I have had a letter from Mrs Synge this evening saying she will be delighted to have me to luncheon on Wednesday. I have scarcely been able to play the piano at all today but have copied out a song and a half.
Those poor Italians are having an awful time; the Germans now claim 100,000 prisoners and 700 guns. Miss Wolff says she hears that the Italian plans were betrayed to the Austrians by the Vatican.
I have seen several reviews of "The Willow Tree" all fairly favourable and all except that nasty old "Sunday Times" which never seems to have a good word for anyone praising Renèe Kelly very much. As far as I can make out there is very pretty music and scenery. I saw in a paper the other day that "Tilly of Bloomsbury" which is the dramatic version of Ian Hay's book "Happy-Go-Lucky" is coming on soon. Daddie had a letter from Aunt Kathleen this evening and she has got Ian home on leave and is at Aberdeen. She has taken a flat in Marylebone Road. I hope Laurie will be able to come and stay here in the Christmas holidays.
Tuesday Oct: 30th 1917.
I have mostly played the piano and done prep: today and this afternoon we took a note for Mummy to Mrs Guest at The Cottage Roehampton - a most dismal looking place. Daddie has got Sir Harcourt Butler (who has just come back from India) coming to dinner with him at the Travellers tonight so he won't be home till somewhere around the direction of midnight. Miss Medd-Hall sent me a ticket for a recital she is giving tomorrow afternoon but as luncheon isn't till 1.45 and it begins at 3. I can't go which fact doe'sent disturb me much.
It is a most glorious bright moonlight night tonight but I don't expect there will be a raid because it was very cloudy all day. The jolly old Huns tried a raid on the South-East coast last night but didn't succeed in getting through our first defence.
I see that a Wolffites - Margaret Coates' - brother is going to marry Lady Amy Gordon-Lennox. Margaret's father is Coates [ Coats ] cotton and Margaret is 16 and not bad, we used to be rather friends at one time. Having ransacked my poor overworked (?) brain and found nothing therein to inscribe herein and it now being nearly 9.30 I will retire to sleep the sleep of the just.
Wednesday Oct: 31st 1917.
I went up to Miss Wolff's this morning and Marlie Raphael has come back having been staying in the New Forest and having a jolly good time, I think I shall get shell-shock! Shortie fetched me and we went and met Mummy at the Ladies Athenaeum Club to decide about a birthday present for Joan Magniac who will be two tomorrow. Then Mrs Short left me at Mrs Synge's. Mrs Synge was very nice and gave me some stamps; I also saw Mr Synge who is quite a nice old bird and who told me some very bad stories. Mrs Short didn't fetch me till four instead of three. Then we went to leave a message for Mr Ward-Cook who Shortie said lived in Chester Street but having found Chester Street with much difficulty we found he lived in Chester Terrace which is just by Chester Square where we had come from; having left the message we made for Sloane Square passing South Eaton Place - where a bomb was dropped in one of those raids and where a good many houses had their windows broken on the way; at Sloane Square we took a 'bus to Knightsbridge and left some matches for Pompey who has great difficulty in getting any. Then we went to Harrods and tried without any success to get some butter; we haven't been able to get any today. From there we went to the Lord Roberts Memorial Workshops and got a very nice wood Red + [ Cross ] ambulence for Joan; they have got most beautiful toys and furniture etc. all made by disabled soldiers. We were going to Miss Clarke but it was so late we couldn't so we purchased some rock cakes and sponge fingers and came home on top of 30 'bus and then in 70 'bus; there was a darling baby in 70 and its nurse held it up to the window and when the 'bus started it gave a frightful lurch and the poor babys head came a most awful crack! against the glass and actually broke it although it was thick glass; it was a most sporting baby it scarcely cried at all and was laughing a few minutes after and sucking a gentlemans umbrella handle which can't have improved either the baby or the handle!
I am feeling very joyful because I have at last succeeded in getting "The Rosary"; I found it at a shop in a street of Lower Grosvenor Place called Scotter or somthing like that into which I marched fully expecting to be told it was re-printing or some other piffle of that sort however the man said he had got it which statement I'm afraid I didn't believe having become used to bookshops and their ways, but when he actually produced it I could scarcely believe my eyes however having parted with 3 bob I marched off in triumph and went to a post office to send a post-card to Mrs Idie to prevent her getting it at Bath.
Thursday Nov: 1st 1917.
There was an air-raid last night. The guns woke me up at 1.0 this morning and I went and routed Mrs Short out of bed; we went to the window and listened to the firing which was pretty near; then came swissh, thud! and then a flash of light this went on for about five minutes and turned out to be shells from the Kingston gun landing on the Common. Soon after all the firing stopped so I took off my coat and got back to bed where I had only been about two minutes when they began again so of course I got up in case there was anything to be seen and presently Mrs Simpson in her dress over her nightgown and with what looked suspiciously like a red night cap on her head appeared in the garden and proceeded to go and talk to one of the common keepers at the gate; then as she said she could see the lights in the sky over towards Southfields Shortie and I went to a side window but although we could hear the guns quite loudly we couldn't see anything when suddenly with a hisss-swiss a rocket went up from the camp and nearly made Shortie jump out of her skin; they sent up a good many of these and one fell in our garden while a good many landed round the Mill. We heard areoplane engines very near for about a quarter of an hour but are almost sure they were English ones. When the raid started it was very cloudy but in about half an hour the moon came out quite brightly; all the same we only saw very little firing though the guns were just as loud as in the other raids except the Saturday night one. The firing grew very distant and nearly died down so I desended the stairs like a burglar and went and got some biscuits and was just partaking of the last one when the firing grew loud again so hastily cramming the biscuit into my mouth I tore off to the side window but couldn't see much firing and soon after it died down for good so it then being 2.a.m. I got back to bed and was soon in the land of dreams. But Mrs Simpson who didn't get to sleep so soon said they didn't call the soldiers in to the camp till 3; whenever there is an air raid all the soldiers have to leave the camp and go and scatter in the woods. Mummy, Mrs Short and Mrs Martin got up and prowled about but Daddie remained in bed the whole time which if it wasn't for the glory of the thing we might all have done but I personally don't intend to loose any opportunities of seeing anything there is to see. We have heard that they dropped bombs on Fleet Street, Enfield, Mitcham and Tooting Bec and the post woman who lives at Tooting told Mrs Short that ten people have been killed in one house there. Miss Medd-Hall came this morning and gave me a music lesson and she says they heard the German areoplanes and that the "all clear" signal didn't go till 3. The Rev. Falkner Bailey vicar of St Paul's Inner Park Road (the Church we go to) called this afternoon; he is awfully nice and knows lots of people we know and has travelled a good deal and was at Darjeeling in India at the same time that we were fiveteen years ago. He says that shrapnel dropped by the Church door and that a little girl who lives opposite got a shell case off the road.
It has been too wet to go out today so I have been doing prep: and playing the piano and to tell the truth sleeping too because I was very sleepy last night and then those horrid old huns cheated me out of an hours sleep and although the family wished me to have breakfast in bed I declined the offer with thanks.
Friday Nov: 2nd 1917.
I played the piano and did prep: this morning. Funny Little Person sent a post-card to say she couldn't come. I also had a letter from Mrs Idie enclosing 1/2 towards Joffie's birthday present; Mrs Simpson is also giving something towards it.
Mummy went up to London today to see Cousin Ruth Whitbread - who isn't cousin at all but who I always call cousin. We went into Wimbledon this afternoon and took Joffie. Mrs Simpson brought me two books from the library "Sargent Michael Cassidy" and "The Lieutenant and Others" both by "Sapper"; the first one I have read. Mummy also brought me a book by Norris from the Times Book Club. We heard in Wimbledon this afternoon that they sent up those rockets in the raid to show the areoplane whose engines we heard where to come down at Roehampton. The casualties so far reported are - 8 killed and 21 injured. Mrs Synge told me that in the Zepp raid that Friday night we tapped their wireless and they kept saying to each other "where are we?", "are we over London?". If one gun had fired in that raid they would have known they were over London and then the bombs would have come! Cousin V Tighe is coming on Wednesday to stay for a couple of nights. The poor Italians have had a dreadful knock and the Austrians claim 180,000 prisoners and 1,500 guns.
Saturday Nov: 3rd 1917.
I played the piano this morning and Funny Little Person came and gave me a French lesson. We were expecting a Mrs Denham Parker to luncheon but she never appeared. Mummy sang the first verse of "The Rosary" in English and German this afternoon; it is the song from which the book takes its title; I am reading the book over again by very slow degrees and like it as much as ever. It was so horrid today that we didn't go out so I did prep: played the piano and read.
Pompey has sent us another sack of potatoes which is very good egg of him and he is also going to give us some apples and pears which in my humble estimation is still better egg. He is in the country shooting with Colonel O'Connor at present and I think Uncle Vernon is there too.
The first of six "Fight for Right" lectures at the Aeolian Hall takes place tomorrow so we are going up for it and I think Mr Asquith is coming to tea with us at Mummy's club after.
I don't expect there will be a raid tonight because it is rather dark and there is a mist. Miss Frost at the book-shop in Wimbledon told us yesterday that the soldiers in the woods had a jolly bad time with the shrapnel from the Coombe gun on Wednesday night. Its no good I can't keep off the subject of raids I think I write something about them in this diary every day!
Sunday Nov: 4th 2017.
We went to Church this morning and this afternoon we went up to London to the meeting at the Aeolian Hall; the Master of Balliol (a Mr Smith) was to have spoken but he never appeared so Lord Sumner who was in the chair gave off a long spout all on the spin of the moment and it was a jolly good spout too. We took Mr Asquith to tea at Mummys club after; he says that he has a very lively time in the raids because there are two batteries near him at Hampstead and he says that one gun near him fired in that Friday Zepp raid so that rather disproves Mrs Synge's story about our being done for if a single London gun had fired.
We got home about 6.30; it is a beautiful starlight nights and a fair amount of searchlights were going as we came across the common. I have never seen so many searchlights together as there were on Wednesday evening, I counted thirty and there were a good many more than that.
When we got home we found that Lady Barrington had called and had left some stamps for me; they are very nice ones mostly U.S.A. Mrs Short has been to Streatham and she says they had a bomb only seven minutes walk away and that four Hun areoplanes went over their house. Mr Asquith said that near his sister (I've forgotten where she lives) two houses were quite knocked down and I forgot to put down that Aunt Madeleine said two streets had been absolutely done for at Cricklewood in the Zepp raid; she had seen them and said it was a most extraordinary sight that the rooms were quite open to the road and that you could see the pictures hanging on the walls and the furniture (what was left) I don't mean that the furniture was hanging on the walls!
I have written to Mary Meade this evening as it is getting on for a month since she wrote to me I thought it was high time I did.
Monday Nov: 5th 1917.
I went up to Wolfies this morning and did multiplication of money and I regret to say that though I did the same sum about a dozen ways not one single one agreed with any of the others. I went and had my hair washed this afternoon which process took an hour and a half and Miss Hammond has cut about three inches off my hair which annoys me muchly. Afterwards we went and presented to the London Glove Company a glove which we purchased from there last Monday (there were of course a brace) and which elected to split the first time my lily 'and was placed within it; they are going to mend it and send it back. Then much against Shorties will (who thinks "theres no place like Home") we bounced off to Pompey's to whom I had sent a post card to say we would if convenient call for the apples and pears today It was jolly lucky we did go because he was expecting us to tea and was very amusing and took off Uncle Vernon and Mr Ackman (who is Scotch) beautifully. He is filled with merriment and glee because I have been allowed to go to what he describes as the most immoral play in London (that is a slight exaggeration) — "The Yellow Ticket"; he hasn't seen it himself but someone told him about it and he with great glee told Uncle Vernon who will probably with almost equal glee tell Aunt Violet who will faint away on the spot and when she has recovered tell Mummy who will faint and not recover in other words I shan't be allowed to choose any more plays to go to. Of course Pompey being a real sport is only genuinely amused and realises that I had no idea how bad it was or I wouldn't have gone but other people probably won't be such sports (I don't mean Mummy). He gave us some very nice apples and some beautiful pears "Pitmaston Duchess" and "Doyenne Du Comice" and what pleased Shortie most – a large phid of butter from Devonshire. We had a very quick journey home but the trains were crammed. Mummy got home just before us but Daddie won't be home till about 10.30 because he is going to a meeting.
Tuesday Nov: 6th 1917.
I had a letter from Rosamund this morning asking me to go to a bazaar at which she is selling on Thursday but I have written to say in polite language "not for Joseph". Mummy went to luncheon with Mr Ward Cook today and Mr George Russell, Cousin Ruth and a Captain Douglas were there. I have mostly played the piano and done prep: today with some novel reading thrown in. We took Joffie for a walk in the woods this afternoon and went to enquire after Mr Milne who isn't at all well. I am sorry to say poor Uncle Claude isn't well either, he has got influenza and bronchitis.
I have again started to play hymn tunes and must say that they mostly knock my vulgar song tunes into cocked hats; but there is a thing in "Youth and Music (the monthly music paper that I have started to take in) which says that most hymn tunes are excessively bad when stripped of their harmonies; apparently one of the best ones is "The Son of God goes forth to War". In my humble opinion "Come Ye Faithful" and "Lord of Glory" take some beating but I know nothing about music and am probably quite wrong. Mummy had a letter from Nina this morning to say that the servent Aunt Venetia was trying to get for us can't come I am excessively annoyed with Nina, it is a fortnight today since I wrote to her and she has never answered yet. I had a letter from Mary yesterday.
Wednesday Nov: 7th 1917.
I went up to Wolfie's this morning and got for some more or less deadly form of arithmatic connected with papering walls but had a perfectly heavenly time the last hour because I went and practiced arithmatic with some of the others and Wolfie went and left us alone so we did just what we liked. Peggy was there and I went to luncheon with her; she was overcome with a wild desire to ring up Bobs and murmur sweet(?) nothings to her but I nobly restrained her. She is going to Winchester for the day tomorrow to see Rowland. We met Daddie at Putney Bridge and got home at 5. Mummy had been to see Wolfie and didn't get back till about half an hour later. Peggy says she has heard that "The Willow Tree" is very pretty and ditto Renèe but that it isn't particularly thrilling.
Cousin V appeared soon after 7. Apparently the inventry of Winkfield Lodge is going to take a week to make so the family won't appear just yet which fact does not occasion any undue shedding of tears on my part.
I tortured the piano a little this evening. I am going to ask Miss Medd-Hall if I can't play vulgar revue music instead of the usual deadly "little peices". Peggy played one of my "little peices" to an accomanyment of wailing bow-wows and it really went beautifully although the music was connected with a horrid little poem about gilding in a boat on a smooth and silvery lake, sort of idea.
Thursday Nov: 8th 1917.
Mummy and Cousin V went off to take over Winkfield Lodge this morning and I went over to see it later; it is very nice inside and very good rooms but some of the furniture is pretty fairly gruesome.
Miss Medd-Hall came this morning and brought me a much nicer book of peices and I have calculated that at the present rate of progress I shall have polished off those beastly little peices in four more lessons so I am feeling 'appy once more. I again had to make wierd noises in my throat and have now got to the point of squeaking doh, me, soh.
The rest of the Tighe family arrived in driblets throughout the day and Cousin V brought Una back with her this evening; she is seventeen and looks fourteen or fiveteen and is the same hight as me and is going to have her hair up very soon.
I finished "A Batchlors Blunder by W.E. Norris yesterday. It is the same general idea as "A Safety Match" by Ian Hay, the story of a man and woman who agree to marry without being in love but all the time the man is wildly in love with his wife and too shy to show it. Hope is much nicer than Daphene of "The Safety Match" and descovers that she is in love with him (her husband) ages before she descovers that he is in love with her.
We were going to Ashtead to see Uncle Claude and Aunt Di tomorrow but Mummy has got to go to London to see Uncle Oswald. Daddie is going to take me to Cousin Con Parker's son Trevor's wedding on Saturday; I forget who he is going to marry but she has got a German name.
There has been another revolution in Russia and the jolly old Soviet is going to try and make peace with Germany.
Friday Nov: 9th 1917.
Cousin V departed for her 'appy 'ome over the way this morning. Funny Little Person came and gave me a French lesson. Mummy went up to London to see Uncle Oswald and she telephoned about an hour ago from Holland Park Avenue to say she would be back at 8.15 but it is now 8.30 and no sign of her.
We went into Wimbledon this afternoon and I bought "Selections from Chu, Chin, Chow" and a penny peice of music five national anthems with words. I have played the piano a good deal today and have become quite proficient at playing the top line of the treble of "The Robbers March" from "Chu Chin Chow" I think that is the prettiest peice of music I know and I am going to try to learn to play the whole thing.
Uncle Oswald has just sent a telephone message to ask us down to Grove Place for the week-end but we can't go. Daddie saw Ian today and he (Daddie) is going to take him out to luncheon tomorrow and he is going to take me too. "The Observer" has written to Daddie to ask him to review Reginald Farrow's new book "on the Eaves of the World" and he is going to do it.
I finished "The Lieutenant and others" by "Sapper" last night. It is short stories of the war mostly very gruesome especially some descriptions of men who have been gassed. I didn't like it as much as "Men, Women and Guns". I see Ian Hay has written a sequel to "The First Hundred, Thousand" which I must get from the library. "The First Hundred, Thousand" was spiffing and the chapter on "Crime" was enough to give one hysterics.
There is one new advertisment for "The Willow Tree" up; it is a rather pretty picture of a Japanese lady dressed in red and gold and sitting Japanese fashion and is by Edmund Dulac the wonderful Belgian artist.
Great Aunt Aimèe is going to stay with the Tighes all the time they are here. Cousin V has been descovering that her servents treat her dreadfully badly and almost starve her so she is frightfully indignant.
Saturday Nov: 10th 1917.
We put off Funny Little Person this morning because I should only have had time to have half an hour lesson. Mummy took me up and we called at Miss Clarke's on the way to get my black velvet coat then we went to the Coventry Resteraunt in Rupert Street where Daddie and Aunt Kathleen and Ian met us. Ian who is a sub-lieutentant in the Navy has been at Dunkirk for some time and was in forty raids there. Poor Laurie was knocked down while playing football and a boy kicked his head thinking it was the ball with the result that Laurence George had concussion and was laid up for a fortnight. It is very tragic but I can't help laughing it is such a poor compliament to have ones head mistaken for a football! After luncheon we tore off to St Peter's Eaton Square where the wedding was; we arrived at the same moment as the bride and proceeded to try and creep in unnoticed by a side door but Cousin Gwynne (the bridegrooms sister) saw us and put us in the front pew while Mummy who had been virtuous and got there in good time was about half a dozen pews behind. The bride (a Miss Kleine-Wort) looked very pretty and according to everyone is awfully nice; she said "I will" before the clergyman had got to the end of the list of things she had got to do and he thereupon started making poor Cousin Trevor repeat his "I wills all over again. Afterwards we went to the brides people's house at 45 Belgrade Square; it is a lovely house. The family of Parker is jolly good egg and there is a very nice boy called Hubert who is at Rugby. The bridegroom is in the Navy and his best man a Captain Floys (or something like that) was on a ship which struck a mine about a week ago in a frightful gale and for fourteen hours they didn't know whether they would be able to keep the ship from sinking. One of the brides sisters was engaged to a German and four days before the marriage was to have taken place war broke out; but they are still engaged and she hears from him sometimes. We had tea there and got home about 5.30. When I got back I found a parcel from Mrs Idie waiting for me which contained an awfully pretty gray velveteen cap which I had asked her to make. The King and Queen passed right by Sydney Place when they were in Bath on Thursday. Frank has got another ship and is at Dover and Ian is going to Portsmouth on Monday.
Sunday Nov: 11th 1917.
We went to Church this morning and there were piles of boy scouts there and the vicar spoke to them after. We went up to London to the meeting at the Aeolian Hall; Lord Leverhulme (Sunlight Soap) spoke very well and there were some workmen at the back who kept shouting loud remarks and asked questions at the end and added to the gaiety of nations generally. Afterwards we went to a restaurant and got some tea then we came home and Mummy went to see Cousin Eddie Tighe.
This is a notice of the wedding taken from "The Sunday Times".
We had "Onward Christian Soldiers" in Church today and the scouts nearly brought the roof off the Church. I am very much annoyed because the nice tune with the weight to it isn't in the book of hymn tunes.
Lord Leverhulme is a very nice old gentleman frightfully rich thought I believe he started as a boy in a grocers shop. He gets up at 4 a.m. or some dreadful hour like that and does physical exercises for an hour and a half and he sleeps on the roof.
Lady Barrington called this afternoon and brought back the copy of "Youth and Music" containing an article about Padreverski [ Paderewski ] which I had lent her; she knows him very well and is going to write and tell him about this article.
Uncle Claude is better and is up. I have got to go and be photographed with Chi Chi again tomorrow. I don't know which hates it most Chi Chi or me!
I haven't been able to play the piano much today but have had a little go at "Chu Chin Chow".
Monday Nov: 12th 1917.
I went up to Wolfies this morning; Peggy was there and the little wretch is hatching some deep and dark conspiracy to yank Mrs Leigh, Bobs' aunt, Bobs and herself down here next Saturday for tea. I have very little desire apart from my natural inclination to cussedness to see Bobs again but I don't think there is much chance that they will come because for one thing we probably shan't be able to have them. Shortie appeared at Wolfies with Chi Chi about 2. Wolfie and I went off to the photographer with Chi Chi and Shortie went to the Times Book Club and then came on and joined us. I was taken twice with my gray velvet cap on with Chi Chi on my lap and once with my hair loose (beastly affected rot) without Chi Chi who manifested no very wild desire for my company.
Afterwards Miss Wolff gave us tea at Harvey Nichol then we went to Harrods with her then we left her and went to Miss Clarke where I did various tryings on and got away a dark blue jumper blouse. And then we returned with all speed and hast to our 'appy 'ome where on placing my ear to the keyhole of the dining room door I descovered that the aforesaid dining room contained a visitor in the person as it subsequently transpired of Sir Archibald Edmonston [ Edmonstone ] (whoever he may be) so I took to my heels and fled "where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest" — namely my bedroom. I caused the piano acute agony for about an hour this evening and also did prep:. Daddie has collected rather a nice story about Lord Curzon here it is - Lord Curzon was driven in one of the war office motors with a lady driver to a certain place and when he got there he said to the driver "please return for me at such and such a time" she said "very well" and off went Lord Curzon then he turned and came back and said "I think I ought to tell you that it is usual to address me as 'your lordship'" "and" replied the lady "I think I ought to tell you that it is usual to address me as 'your ladyship'" and she was Lady somthing or other; rather a smack for "his lordship"! I have had two letters today one from Aunt Bobs thanking me for the present we sent Joan and a killing long one from Nina in which she gives a lengthy account of a fight between their retriever Docke and another dog, apparently Nina's share in the proceeding was to kick and stone the dogs and to hit them on their noses which not unnaturally didn't stop them the least. She also sent me the choruses of two songs "When Irish Eyes are Smiling" and "Isabelle" the last named consists almost wholly of the magic name of "Isabelle" played on different notes which do not result in any very awe-inspiring amount of tune.
Tuesday Nov: 13th 1917.
I have played the piano and done prep: and read one or two stories in "His Last Bow" which is Conon [ Conan ] Doyle's latest detective book. Lady Barrington called this afternoon and just as she was going a telephone message came from the Tighes to say that Cousin Eddie had had an accident so Mummy tore over there and it turns out he has had a very bad fall on his head apparently this morning and has been unconscious for some hours but is now able to reconize people although he does not speak; they have got a nurse for him already. Daddie has been there nearly all the evening and he is going to sleep there. It is dreadful for poor Cousin V because she is a Christian Scientist.
I have played "When Irish Eyes are Smiling" today; it is a most awfully pretty tune and very pretty words too.
Everyone is very indignant today about a speech Mr Lloyd George has made in Paris in which apparently he says in polite language what awful blunders everyone has been making and if they'd let him have his own way everything would have been all right. Which is a very easy thing to say when other people have blundered. The Italians are still retreating and the Huns claim fourteen hundred more prisoners. Lady Barrington told us that an Italian friend told her that they knew all the time that they must lose what they have lost.
I have just overheard (through being in the bath-room) a most exciting telephone conversation between Mummy and Uncle Oswald about Cousin Eddie; he was found insensible at 7.30 this morning and they think he must have been attacked and probably that the house was broken into but it is all a great mystery and the house was full of detectives when Mummy went there; I suppose Daddie is going there for the night in case the house is broken into again but I have no desire that he should be knocked insensible. Mummy has only told Uncle Oswald and Uncle Vesey about this and I don't think Mrs Short knows and I'm quite sure I'm not meant to know because they probably think it would frighten me but I couldn't help hearing what Mummy said and although I have got a most awful horror of burglars I'm not quacking in my shoes. Now it being past 10, and I being clad in nothing but a nightgown and dressing gown I will retire to bed.
Wednesday Nov: 14th 1917.
Mummy and Mrs Short went prowling round barring and bolting and locking doors wherever they could and Mrs Short seems to have imagined all night that she could hear people tapping and me calling her. Daddie slept next door to Cousin Eddie last night but apparently no one but the doctors and nurses have seen him, and he is in just the same state. Enquiries have been coming in here all day as there is somthing about it in the papers but we have only got "The Morning Post" here and one sheet is missing so I don't know what but perhaps it will be in the papers tomorrow. I am wondering if someone tried to murder him. I do wish someone would tell me the truth it is such a mistake keeping things that must come out from children.
I went up Wolfie's this morning and back to luncheon with Peggy who lucky pig is going to "Bubbly!" on Friday and a play on Saturday. Her nefarious schemes for bring Bobs down here are'nt going to come off just yet but I am beginning to look on them with more favour as Bobs evidently means to have it out with Peggy so I want to have a part in the fun too. Shortie called for me about three and we all went off to a music shop because Peggy had got to get somthing for Miss Medd-Hall and I took advantage thereof to purchase "A Batchelor Gay" a very pretty song from "The Maid of the Mountains". Then we went to Selfridges and bought sweets and then Peggy and Shuttie went to the park and we went to the Times Book Club and from there to a servants regeristry office in Baker Street and from there home. Mummy has been up to London to see Uncle Oswald and didn't get home till 8.0. Daddie has gone to Birmingham for the night because he is going to speak to some work-men.
Only a little over five weeks to Christmas and I haven't got a single present done yet. Wolfie's handkerchief sachet hasn't got further than the two hems!
Mummy has just told me that "someone started an absurd theory that Cousin Eddy got up to look at a burglar but she thinks he only felt faint", rather an alarming faint that has kept him almost unconscious for nearly two days and which requires a surgeon and an operation!
Thursday Nov: 15th 1917.
There was a paragraph about Cousin Eddy in "The Daily Chronicle" in which it says among other things that a bloodstained poker was found beside him and that the maid said she heard groans. Daddie slept in her room on Tuesday night and he said he could hear every sound in the other room.
Miss Medd-Hall came and gave me a lesson this morning. She has given me "Chu Chin Chow's Entrance Song" for sight reading; it is jolly pretty if properly played but is horrible to play because it is all octaves in the bass
Mrs Guest from Roehampton called this morning to enquire about Cousin Eddy. She had seen in a paper that a window was wide open and that the room was in great disorder. We went into Wimbledon this afternoon taking Joffie. I bought "The Tatler" which has got several pictures of Renèe in "The Willow Tree" one is very nice but in the other two in which she is in Japanese dress she has got a wig on and as her hair is almost the best part of her it rather spoils her. We met Lady Barrington on the way home and she is very full of a thing called honey sugar which she says does as a substitute for sugar.
Daddie has been over to see Cousin V this evening (Mummy went in the morning but didn't see her) Cousin Eddy is concious again and able to take nourishment. He is very badly injured and it is not yet certain that he will live; his head had be sewn up. It would be dreadful if his brain was affected.
Friday Nov: 16th 1917.
The milkman told Shortie this morning that it was quite likely that one of the soldiers at the camp had got into Winkfield Lodge thinking the Sutton's were still there, to have a go at Mr Sutton who has somthing to do with the Y.M.C.A hut at the camp and is much disliked by the men but we heard later that all the soldiers were searched and cross-questioned on Tuesday so that theory goes phut apparently.
I played piano this morning and "Funny Little Person" gave me a French lesson. Mummy went up to London about 12.0 and we went up after luncheon; first we went to Miss Clarke and then to meet Mummy and Cousin Ruth at the Victoria and Albert Museum, from there Mrs Short went home and we wandered around looking at old furniture. Except going over cathedrals there is nothing quite so tiring as a museum but some of the furniture was very beautiful. We had tea at a nice little place called "The Wayside Cafè" in Brompton Road and then we went to Harrods and bought a spiffing bead girdle for a serge dress that is being made for me; it cost twenty five and nine but it is jolly pretty — all different coloured beads with two big red bobbles on the ends. After this we went to Harvey Nichols to get me an everyday hat we got an awfully nice navy blue velour one price twenty nine and six and Mummy got herself a black one same price. Harvey has got a lovely selections of hats and not at all dear. Cousin Ruth now went off to see Miss Buxton who is her great friend and we came home.
I bought "Punch's Almanack" which is jolly good this year but not so fat as usual. We used to take in "Punch" but when they doubled the price and nearly halved the seize we gave it up!
Daddie went to see Cousin V and Cousin Eddy is better which we were very glad to hear as the maid had told Mrs Short that he was in a critical state.
Saturday Nov: 17th 1917.
We are all feeling very sad today because Cousin Eddy died at eight-thirty this morning, it was a great shock because he was much better last night, the nurse told Mummy this evening that he did not die from the wounds in his head but from his being unable to breathe — he suffered from asthma which made it worse. I expect the person who did it will feel pretty bad when he see it if he is a common burglar and finds he's committed murder but now they are beginning to think that the person meant murder. Mummy went over to Vine Lodge this morning to break it to Aunt Aimèe; Daddie got back in time for luncheon and was at Winkfield nearly all the afternoon and evening, Mummy went over later in the afternoon. We may have to have one of the children to stay here because now Catherine (the eldest girl) has come they are very short of room. Our telephone has been going all day with enquiries and Lady Barrington came over this afternoon to enquire. Mummy said I was not to be told about it so everyone was warned not to mention it to me and Mummy told me that Cousin Eddy had had a very bad night and didn't seem quite to know what else to say so I told Mrs Short that I knew already and she told Mummy that she thought I knew so then Mummy told me. I knew because I happened to be at the top of the stairs when Mrs Short answered the telephone and stayed to hear who it was. Daddie is going to sleep over there tonight.
Funny Little Person never appeared this morning. I don't know what can have happened to her
One of the captive balloons that are always up over Roehampton got loose today, I saw it go up at a great pace and then it drifted away very fast and was soon lost in the clouds. We hear that all the soldiers at present in the camp are going away and a battalion all of the same regiment is coming in their place; the present lot is a mixture of all sorts.
We have nearly taken Jaffa and are only twenty miles from Jerusalem. The jolly old Organ Grinders are making a stand at last. In Russia apparently there is civil war and they are fighting for the possession of the Tsarskoe Sloe [ Selo ]. Revolutions in Russia seem to be about as common as air-raids here! On the Western front we are steadily advancing and giving the Huns a bad time so on the whole "Every prospect pleases And only Russia's vile"
A long discussion takes place every evening between Mummy and Shortie (mostly in whispers) as to what doors have or have not got lock or bolts and there invariably turns out to be about one doors which does lock I hope the burglars won't come here, I am quite sure I shall get under the bed-clothes in double quick time if one does appear!
My new hat came today and is a great success it is navy blue trimmed with ditto ribbon and turns up behind and it will stick on beautifully which is a great thing
I have made the joyful descovery that I possess fiveteen photographs of Renèe but some are duplicates which have appeared in different papers. I have also descovered that her husband — A. Hylton Allan was Jimmy Macbride in "Daddy Long Legs".
Sunday Nov: 18th 1917.
The Tighes' governess who slept next door to Cousin Eddy and said she heard nothing though there is a door connecting the two rooms, suddenly announced on the day after the accident that she must go home as her father was ill; they didn't like her at all and were going to get rid of her but now they are wondering whether she had anything to do with it. Mummy was very much annoyed because I read a paragraph about it in "The Sunday Pictorial" apparently she thought I didn't know that it was not an accident and she wasn't going to tell me till I grow up but it would have been absolutely impossible to prevent my knowing and I don't think there would be any point in it, one must know dreadful things sometimes.
Shortie and I went to Church this morning and Uncle Claude and Aunt Di came to luncheon and were as usual A1. Aunt Di has written down a list of novels which she thinks I might read so I hope they will be all right. She also measured me on the door and I am 5 feet 6 inches with my shoes on. She is furious because Uncle Oswald has got all the pictures that belong to the whole family and won't give them up.
Mummy and I didn't go up to the meeting to-day but poor Daddie had to go because he was taking the chair for a Mr A.E. Zimmerman who sounds most uncommonly like a German Jew. He was going to tea with Cousin Maud and Great Uncle George and it is now nearly eight and he hasn't come back yet but he may have gone to Cousin V. Mummy went over to Winkfield Lodge this afternoon but she didn't see Cousin V.
I have finished "A Man's Man" by Ian Hay today. It is just A1 and frightfully amusing, in one place he is describing a lady's dress and he says "she was dressed in a garment of some patent stuff which was one of the many crimes perpetrated in the name of Liberty".
I indited a long epistle — which I am sure she won't be able to read — to Nina & sent her the music of "Toy Town" and "A Batchelor Gay". She is a girl guide and is very proud because she has just got a badge.
Neil Primrose, Lord Rosebery's son has been killed.
Monday Nov: 19th 1917.
I went up to Wolfies this morning and she kept three other girls to luncheon with me — Babette Lyon, Marlie Raphael and Joan Laking. Joan has got a wild mania for Mary Pickford - the cinematograph actress and she would rather go to a cinema than a theatre which seems very extraordinary to me. I had an appointment with Miss Hammond to have my hair washed at 3. and we didn't leave Miss Wolff's till 3.15 so I was rather late having it washed and the consequence was that we had no time to go to the Times Book Club but had to come straight home; we took simply ages getting home and weren't back till six. Una and Moira Tighe came over this evening; they are quite nice especially Una, poor children it is dreadfully sad for them. Daddie is over at Winkfield Lodge and has never come back for dinner.
Miss Wolff says the photographs of Chi Chi and I which were done last Monday have come out beautifully; she sent the proofs back immediately because otherwise they mightn't be done before Christmas.
I have only been able to play "Chu Chin Chow" a tiny bit this evening. Joan's people know Freddie Norton who composed the music and they also know Gladys Cooper, Lilian Braithwaite and Sir George Alexander.
Daddie had luncheon with Sir Harcourt Butler at the Carlton to-day.
I had a letter from Anne to-day written by herself to thank me for Joan's present because Joan is too small to write herself. Peggy, lucky pig, went to "Bubbly!" on Friday and "Arlette" on Saturday.
I bought "The Sketch" today which had nine pictures of Renèe in it which made me very rejoiceful. I have now got twenty four photos of her not counting a "Play Pictorial" of "Daddy Long Legs".
Tuesday Nov: 20th 1917.
I am going to try and write this diary with my right hand because I am left handed and have got to learn to write with my right hand for which purpose my fond family has got me a copy book in which I have got to copy the writing at the top like a child just beginning to write but if anyone imagines that I am going to write in the copy books hand-writing they are much mistaken. I shall mostly write the same as I used to in my left hand till I altered it in the spring. Now I'm going back to left hand for a bit because I haven't got time to use my right hand all the time besides which its deadly dull.
Mummy went up to London to see Daddie about somthing. Just after she went Uncle Claude rang up and asked to speak to me, I was in deadly terror because I can never hear a word he says, however I heard mildly well and rang off at the earliest opportunity. I have practiced, done prep. and sewed today and we went into Wimbledon this morning to see Hampton about sub-letting "Winkfield Lodge" he says there will be no difficulty which seems very extraordinary and he is going to try and take it off Cousin V's hands altogether. Cousin V having said she would go to Bournmouth [ Bournemouth ] has now decided to remain here but is of course going to take another house
While we were out Pompey rang up and invited himself to tea which caused much rejoicing on the part of my sweet self. Mrs Ackman and a cousin of hers called this afternoon and while they were here Pompey appeared he is a real sport, he went round to Uncle Vernon and squared them both about saying anything about "The Yellow Ticket". He is coming down here for the week-end in about a fortnight and he had got the vocal score of "Chu Chin Chow which he is going to lend me.
Daddie went over to Winkfield Lodge on his way home and again about seven, it will be a good thing when this is over because it is very tiring for him.
I wrote to Anne today and sent her and and Joan post cards; they are going to Littlehampton for the winter. I also sent Mrs Idie a vulgar post card in answer to one she sent me a day or two ago.
Wednesday Nov: 21st 1917.
I went up to Wolfie's this morning and Peggy was not there which caused me some quarms because I thought I should'nt get any luncheon however a note was brought to me from Shuttie saying Peggy had got a chill but that she (Shuttie) would fetch me back to luncheon at 12.30; about a quarter of an hour later another note appeared this time from Mrs Leigh to say that Peggy had got a bilious attack (there's nothing like variety!) but ditto, ditto, ditto about Shuttie. So I was cheered as luncheon once more loomed large upon the horizon and took heart and applyed myself with great vigour to adding up bills all wrong. Poor old Peggy hadn't eaten anything since Monday (which is a sign of almost fatal illness with her) and was looking a delicate shade of pea green not unmixed with yellow; she greeted my arrival with a premtory order to go away as she was going to be ill however she was so cheered when I departed hastily that she refrained. She attributes her indisposition to the fact that Bobs came to tea on Sunday which is not unlikely seeing that Bobs was attired in a yellow blouse, an orange woolie, a green skirt and a picture hat! We amused ourselves by one describing a person who we both knew and the other trying to guess who it was which gave us an opportunity to insult each others friends of which we were not slow to avail ourselves!
Shuttie is leaving Peggy at the end of January and she is going to have a French governess; a very nice one who is at present with the Duke of Manchester's girl called today and she will probably have her. She is leaving her present place on Dec: 1st and so I think she will come to me daily after my birthday and maybe I shall have French lessons with Peggy next term.
Shortie went to the Times Book Club today and got amongst other books "Carrying on the First Hundred Thousand", which I hailed with joy and read when possible all the way home.
Peggy in a fit of wild generosity lent me the music of "She'd a Hole in Her Stocking" a song from the revue "Bubbly!" so I have been playing it this evening and I'm afraid it's the only music I have played at all today which fact would not rejoice the heart of Miss Emmeline Medd-Hall!
I had a very long and amusing letter in what purports to be Cockney from Helen this morning. Having got rid of German measles she seems to have thought life was rather dull so she has now developed swollen glands
We have had a great victory in France and advanced five miles on a long front (the papers say 35 mile front but Daddie says that is an exaggeration). We advanced without any artillery firing before hand and in one division only one man was killed. There was great cheering in the camp over the news.
The police were in Winkfield Lodge from twelve till three today and the inquest is on Saturday at 2.30. There is going to be a memorial service at St Peter's Eaton Square on Tuesday.
I finished Wolfie's handkerchief sachet today except for her initials; it is a deadly dull looking thing and of course I don't expect her to use it, one never does expect the poor people whom one afflicts with presents of ones own manufacture to use them.
I spoke to the Waldegrave girls who go to Wolfie's today; they are very nice and Betty was born in Srinagar but can't remember it because she came home when she was a baby. Their father Mr Montague Waldegrave stayed with us in Kashmir.
Nov: 22nd 1917.
Miss Medd-Hall came today and she can give me a lesson in London at 3.30 on Monday which is good egg. She has given me "The Cobblers Song" and "Javenese [ Javanese ] Dance" both from "Chu Chin Chow" for sight reading and I am doing a "Mineut in G" by Thomas Dunhill properly.
Mummy went to see Cousin V this morning and Sir Eric Barrington this afternoon. We went into Wimbledon and took the dogs who were considerabley more trouble than they are worth. Shortie bought £5 worth of National War Bonds and I went into Miss Frost's (the newspaper shop) and had a look at the "The Tatler" and "The Sketch, there were no pictures of Renèe in either of them. We also went to Hampton to see about letting Winkfield Lodge and some one has already appeared who is thinking of taking it, personally I can't imagine anyone wishing to take it so soon after. We met the Tighe children in Wimbledon. Daddie didn't get home till nearly 8 tonight
I wrote to Peggy today with my right hand (which I suppose utterly obviates any chance of her being able to read it) to request her to bring my gamp which I left at her house back to Wolfies on Monday.
The Tanks were mainly responsible for that victory in France and we have taken 8,000 prisoners and the cavalary has been in action and they are thinking of ringing the joy bells in London, and we are only five miles from Jerusalem and the Italians are making a stand at last and Russia is muddling along in the same old way and coal is £24 a ton in Italy.
Mummy has descovered a place in Ireland which can supply us with chickens and butter which is very joyful news.
I have done excessively little prep: today but have played the piano a good deal and read quite a good amount of "The Rosary" at various intervals not that that is the least virtuous of me rather the contrary I suppose!
Joffie has been indisposed (to put it in mild and genteel language) at intervals throughout the day from 6.30 a.m onwards; in consequence of which his strong-minded Great Aunt Short has administered large doses of castor oil.
Friday Nov: 23rd 1917.
Funny Little Person came and gave me a lesson this morning; she is going to give some French children a course of singing in French and wants me to join the class which nothing on earth will induce me to do.
Mummy went to see Cousin V this morning and nearly had a fit because as she was crossing over the road Daddie appeared out of a bus. Cousin V had telephoned for him and he had come down from London. He came and had luncheon with us and then went back to London.
I have tinkled on the piano a good deal today and have done prep: We went over to Lady Barrington's with a note from Mummy to enquire if she knew where we could get a motor to take Cousin V to the inquest tomorrow, she hadn't answered by the time Daddie came in so he went over to see her and she does know of one. No one is allowed to use a car driven by petrol now but this is on government service. Nearly all the motors in London are driven by gas and have got huge sort of balloons on top and smell awful.
I have finished reading "The Rosary" again today and am nearly as wild on it as I was when I first read it. Jane and Garth are two of the nicest heros and heroines I have ever read about
There is still no clue about Cousin Eddy but I read in "The Chronicle" the other day that it probably wasn't a burglar because the first blow must have knocked him unconscious and there were a great many blows. The boy's mackintosh has disappeared and the police are very eager to find it because they think it would be a valuable clue as probably the man took it to hide his own clothing which must have had some mark on it. Cousin Eddy is going to be buried at Woodstock their place in County Kilkenny. A "Daily Chronicle" reporter came here today, Mummy saw him but says she didn't tell him anything so I don't know how much they will put in the paper.
I asked Mrs Simpson to get me a gramaphone catalogue in Wimbledon and I have been studying it hard nearly all the afternoon. I am simply longing to have a gramaphone and I think there is quite a sporting chance of Uncle Holly giving me one if my fond family give him gentle hints to that effect. The worst of it is records are so beastly dear, you can't get any under half a crown and they are mostly four bob.
Saturday Nov: 24th 1917.
"Funny Little Person" came and gave me a French lesson this morning and informed me with great gusto that she was going to descover on Friday next whether I have a voice or not so I must make even more appalling noises than I usually do!
Mummy went with Lady Barrington to see the furniture of North House on Putney Hill which belongs to Lord Dufferin which is going to be sold by auction on Monday.
I have been studying my gramophone record lists hard again today and have made out a list of sixteen records that I want (some are double sided); they cost two pounds seventeen shillings and six pence so I hope I may get them! All the lists I have got are "His Masters Voice" but I am going to try and get some "Columbia" catalogues on Monday also a list of gramaphones; I decide in a lordly way what records I am going to get long before I know that I am going to have a gramophone!
Daddie went to the inquest today and apparently nothing much happened and the hearing has been adjourned. In the paper this morning it says the police hope to capture the assailant and they think it can't have been murder because the man would have had some weapons of his own.
We went for a walk on the common this afternoon and took both dogs. The soldiers have been digging trenches in a huges cresent over by the flag staff; they are most frightfully shallow — only about 4 feet deep including the parapit and they go like this all the way:—
I have played the piano and done prep: as usual today.
The Lucases are coming to luncheon. I don't bear any of them any love but they seem to manage to exist quite happily all the same! He is something or other in the India Office and she is one of those frightfully highly educated women who to my humble mind never turn out quite right.
Mummy has been playing a lovely collection of songs tonight and I hope she is going to write out the music of "Cerfusalem" [ Kafoozalum ] a song of a Turkish barber in Jerusalem — very appropriate at the present time!
Sir Stanley Maude was killed a few days ago; he was one of our best generals and was very successful in Mesapotamia [ Mesopotamia ]. His wife is the twin sister of Cousin V's brother's wife.
Sunday Nov: 25th 1917.
Shortie and I went to Church this morning and they had "Come Ye Faithful" which caused me to rejoice muchly as it is the only hymn tune I know by heart, I fondly imagined I knew the words too so I attempted to sing it without the book with the result that I composed an entirely new hymn!
The Lucases duly appeared for luncheon and weren't bad, I think Mrs Lucas is quite nice.
We went up to the Aeolian Hall meeting this afternoon and Miss Lena Ashwell (the actress) spoke quite beautifully on "Women's work before and after the War", she is very much in favour of people going to theatres a great deal (for sensible plays of course) and for having free theatres supported by the state like we have museums and picture galleries to show people somthing of what other peoples lives are like and to take their thoughts off their own worrys. Daddie (who was on the platform) and I exchanged broad grins when she said this and I clapped both loud and long. Some men at the back started asking questions at the end of Miss Evelyn Underhill (the chairwoman) and Sir Frederick Pollock jumped up and down like two frenzied Jack in the Boxes requesting them not all to speak at once and not to be so lengthy and at last Sir Frederick bounced up like a rubber ball in convulsions, shot his arm out as thought he were hitting someone and shouted "order! Man sit down!" which gave the whole audience a violent fit of giggles! We tore home after because the Lucases were coming back to tea; they left about six and Daddie went out to pay a visit in Wimbledon on a Mrs Hart.
I have been busily engaged today whenever I had the opportunity in strumming out "Kerfoozelum" [ Kafoozalum ] on the piano; I think Mummy must have left out some notes in some places anyway the effect is most weird in parts!
We are now only four miles from Jerusalem and are going very well in France. It has been glorious moon-light the last two nights but it has been blowing such a gale the old Huns will have no chance of getting here.
I have done no right hand writing today but I am so sleepy I want to get finished quick and go to bed.
We are going to be very grand and motor up to London tommorrow because there are some things of Cousin V's which have got to go up.
I have finished reading "The Mistress of Shenstone" again and like it quite as much as the first time; it is a violent love story but the real nice kind and I don't see that it can do anyone any harm to read that kind rather it ought to do them good and prevent them from marrying for anything else but Love. I like Jim Airth quite as much if not better than Garth Delmaine (though he was just A1) but I think I like Jane better than Myra but one could never judge truely unless one knew the people in real life because a person who was quite delightful in a novel might be dreadful in reality though I'm quite sure neither Jane nor Myra would. I think Lena Ashwell is a wee bit like Jane only of course not so nice!
Monday Nov: 26th 1917.
We went up in the motor today, it had been got to take up the wreathes. It was heavenly getting away from those old buses and trains. First we went to the bank to leave some silver, then we went to the Guards Club to pick up Cousin Randell, then they dropped me at Miss Wolfe's and Daddie has told me that when they got into Grosvenor Square they ran into a taxi but beyond the drivers glaring at each other nothing happened, why do I always miss all the excitments?
The dates of the exams have been fixed to-day and I'm feeling very faint because English History is today week, Geography the only other one than that interests me is on Friday week. We aren't going to have a Greek History exam this term. Wolfie and I went to Goodes this afternoon to buy a dolls tea set for a little girl. I expected Mrs Short to come and fetch me to go to Murdoch to get some music and to get my gamp from Peggy instead of which she appeared just before 4.0 and Miss Medd-Hall appeared five minutes later but she had been with Mummy at the flat; while I had my lesson she went to Murdoch and they hadn't got any of the music I wanted which wasn't very surprising as it isn't published (I asked for vocal scores) but what did annoy me was the fact that they don't keep gramophone records and therefore havn't got any lists. She also fetched my gamp away from Peggy's. Wolfie gave us a very nice tea after my lesson and then we started off home, everything was simply crowded and we didn't get back till a quarter to seven and it was pouring cats and dogs and blowing a gale. I may as well mention that my temper is not so bad as anyone reading the preceeding two pages might imagine!
I had an absolutely illegiable letter from Peggy today; poor old thing! she has been awfully bad and had to have a nurse but if she is well enough she is coming down here next week-end which not doubt will cause her to have a violent relapse! I have also had a still more absolutely illegiable letter from Nina enclosing an awfully nice song with considerably more sense in it than most "vulgar" songs called "I want to go to Bye Bye" from the musical comedy "The Boy" now on at the Adelphi. They have had a letter from Gilbert sent on by a doctor in which he seemed very cheerful but said he was very badly wounded and would probably be an invalid for life. They think he must have got pneumonia and thats what killed him; it is very sad but perhaps it is better as it is than that he should have been an invalid always. I also had a letter and vulgar post-card from Alice Blyth and an awfully pretty collar which she had crocheted for me which is very nice of her.
Shortie is very excited because she has had a photo of Elizabeth Pamela Hamilton aged 3 months who is the daughter of Majorie [ Marjory ] Hamilton who Mrs Short was with from the time she (Majorie) was three weeks old till she was thirteen and a half. It is a most angelic looking baby; they are not particularly pretty usually especially when they are having their photos taken!
Tuesday Nov: 27th 1917.
I had a letter from Wolfie this morning asking for particulars about the colour of Daddie's skin, moustache and hair, it sounds very weird but the reason is that she is having a minature of him done for me, she knows a lady who does them most awfully well and she had me done for Mummy last Christmas and Mummy for me at Easter. They are done from photographs.
Mummy and Mrs Short went up in a motor with Great Aunt Aimée to the service for Cousin Eddy. Aunt Di, Uncle Claude, Uncle Vernon, Uncle Oswald, Aunt Bobs, Uncle Vesey, Cousin Maude, Cousin Randell and Cousin Jeffery were there. Una and Moira went of course; the little ones havn't been told yet that Cousin Eddy is dead and they think he has gone to Winchester and keep asking when he will come back and poor Cousin V said "it will break my heart if they ask again". Great Aunt was very excited because I didn't go but Mummy didn't want me to go and Cousin Maude said she was quite determined that Margaret should'nt go. Mummy went with Great Aunt to see her after the service and came home in the motor with Great Aunt.
I have been doing English History hard today and think I have got a very mild idea of the general events in the three reigns the exam is on — William III, Anne and George I. what takes the time is looking out and learning lives of all the old statesmen and generals and people and all the bloomin' foreign policys and events in Scotland and Ireland during the various reigns "contrast them with one another and show the effect on the political atmosphere of Khamchatka [ Kamchatka ] or Timbuctoo" [ Timbuktu ] sort of idea.
Mrs Short went over to Balham this afternoon to see about a girl who we had heard of there who wants a place but she wants to go near Clapham so thats no go. We are beginning to despair of ever getting a girl. it seems almost impossible even to hear of one much less get one.
All the boys at Desmond Flower's (he is Eileen Flower's brother) school have had black measles and it is supposed that they bought German chocolate which was filled with germs.
Wednesday Nov: 28th 1917.
I went up to Wolfie's this morning and Mrs Leigh fetched me to go to Upper Berkley Street because Shuttie's family had come up to London, and they had gone off to "The Boy". Peggy is much better and was up and came down to luncheon; she has been quite bad and had to have a nurse. Shortie fetched about me four; she had been very angelic and gone and got me some "Columbia" record lists which I have been studying hard and made the joyful descovery that I can get some songs sung by Clara Butt at half what they cost in "His Masters Voice". After we left Upper Berkley Street we went to Murdoch's and I got the vocal score of "Arlette" a comic opera now on at the Shaftesbury Theatre. It really is appaling the amount of vocal scores that aren't published; it is possible to get "The Boy" but it costs 6 bob and so does "The Maid of the Mountains". They are not at all bad songs in "Arlette" and there are simply piles of them so it will keep Miss Medd-Hall going for some time, I get these selections for her for sight reading but am bound to say I should get them just the same even if I didn't want them for that. I heard the gramophone at Peggy's today and it has made me want one more than ever; it is quite extraordinary how different things sound on an orchestra to what they do on the piano.
It looks very much as if the Huns weren't going to visit us this full-moon; we were rather surprised that they didn't come last night; Daddie thinks they want all their areoplanes for the war and can't spare any. Mrs Leigh says the Americans sunk five submarines in five days last week. We saw some very weird looking soldiers in Park Lane today; they had on blue-gray uniforms rather like the Huns and they were dark and bore a mild resemblance to "heathen Chinees". Daddie thinks they must have been Portugeuse [ Portuguese ].
Thursday Nov: 29th 1917.
Miss Medd-Hall came this morning and we used "Arlette" for sight reading and of course I managed to hit on an absolutely devilish thing to play thinking it looked easy; it is called "Love Bells" and is jolly pretty but there is one tune for the voice another for the treble and another for the bass which rather tends to complicate matters but I am going to try and get some sort of a mild idea of it because it really is spiffing, it sounds just like bells ringing. I have got to hum the voice part too getting the notes exactly right (I don't think!) There is one perfectly spiffing song in "Arlette", it is called "Love in my heart is ringing" and the words are frightfully pretty and the tune isn't half bad. otherwise the songs don't appear to be of a very high order of brilliance. I am going to get at the earliest possible opportunity from the Penny Bazaar "Glory, Glory Hallejuh" in other words "Old John Brown" which it is possible to play "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" — "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord" to. I am perfectly certain the organ played it when we were coming out of Church last Sunday but Shortie was dreadfully shocked at the idea & stoutly denied it.
We were going to ask Sheila and Brian Tighe to tea today or tomorrow but the note got delayed and Mummy met them while she was out this afternoon and brought them back here; they couldn't stop to tea but are coming soon. Brian looks a nice little boy and Sheila looks and from all accounts is a dreadful rogue.
I have been doing that old English History hard again today; my activities have taken the form of compiling with the help of a large piles of history books of varying shades of dryness lives of the various important and mostly throughly bad old Johnnies which aforesaid lives I scribble illegiablely in my note book and will proceed to commit to memory tomorrow and promptly forget the next day.
Emmeline (Miss Medd-Hall) can't give me a music lesson in London on Monday but she could give me one here from six to seven, however Mummy and I agree that that is too late so I shan't get another lesson till Thursday.
I have written to Pompey today and invited myself to tea with him on Monday next or tomorrow week. Aunt Kathleen went to see Daddie at the India Office today and Ian has got a new ship, I think it is a patrol boat, and Aunt Kathleen may be coming down here next Saturday, I hope she will because she is very good egg.
Cousin V is going to get a policeman and his wife to go and sleep at Winkfield Lodge and act as caretaker when they get another house. I don't think they have decided yet whether they will stay on in Wimbledon, Cousin V would like to remain where she is but the servants are all so terrified of that house they all sleep huddled up in the same room at night.
Friday Nov: 30th 1917.
"Funny Little Person" came this morning and made me make weird noises with the aid of the piano and her voice which is excessively loud and strong; the united result was truely lovely and can be better imagined than described. Miss Medd-Hall has never made me do more than hum except doh, me, soh from middle C to G but Funny Little Person made me sing O's and I's (I suppose it was because she called it "E") from below middle C to D an octave higher and two notes at one gasp and by the time I had finished I was nearly at my last gasp and was short of breath for three hours after.
I seem to have written this page exceedingly untidilly; one of the great disadvantages of writing with my right hand is that I leave every other word out which strange thought it may seem doe'sent tend to tidyness.
Mummy took Cousin V out for a walk this morning and Sheila and Brian came to tea this afternoon and we hid things for them and played "hunt the thimble; then after tea there were still two more things to give them so I hid them behind my back and made them guess which hand they were in and when they had got them and they were undone amid much "oh! I wonder whats inside" etc, etc, etc on the part of the grown-ups they turned out to be the same things we had given them before tea which did not add to the glory of the show. I with even more than usual brilliance had got hold of the wrong parcels, however we soon got the right ones and they went off quite happily.
Soon after they had gone Pompey rang up and we are going to partake of tea with him on Monday. He has been shooting with Colonel O'Connor and the latter is sending us some pheasants which is truely tactful and thoughtful and nice and good egg of him.
Mrs Simpson got me "Glory, Glory Hallejuh" and "Killernay" [ Killarney ] at the penny bazaar today and I have managed to make "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" go to the former. It is only the Chorus part that it goes to and I can't say I like it very much; it is not at all the sort of tune for a thing like that.
My poor old cocoanut is a most glorious jumble of lives of illustrious old Johnnies which I have been trying to bump into it without much success nearly all day.
Saturday Dec: 1st 1917.
I thumped the piano a bit this morning and did a very little prep. Peggy arrived about 11.0 and we have been gassing ever since and have planned to ring up Bobs tomorrow and ask her to come down here on Saturday and have a good old fight because we are quite sure she wants to fight and we want to be together when she does so Peggy and Mrs Leigh could bring her down. Of course we have'nt said anything to the Powers That Be about it and we don't know that we can have them or that they can come but that is one of those utterly minor details which we never consider. It sounds rather weird to invite a person to ones house to bust up with one but we are getting so dreadfully bored with her eternal pose of forgiving angel towards us two little devils because we know that it is all put on and that she must be acheing to be revenged on us so we want to all tell each other want we think of each other and then shake hands on it and agree to differ and part comfortabley and cordially disliking each other instead of hanging on in this beastly indefinite way. If she can't come on Saturday I am going to tell her that Peggy will give her every facility for fighting on Friday on which day much to Peggy's annoyance she is going to luncheon and tea and a charity matinèe with her, but I hope she will be able to come here because I don't wish to miss the fun.
Sunday Dec: 2nd 1917.
We have had a most exciting time about Bobs today; I will put it all down soon
Monday Dec: 3rd 1917.
I went up to Wolfie's this morning and Shortie brought Peggy up later. The English History Exam was today; it wasn't bad, here are the questions:—
"(1) Give a genelogical table showing who William and Mary were.
(2) What was the Declaration of Rights? When did it become law and under what name?
(3) Write short accounts of the revolutions in Ireland and Scotland during the reign of William and Mary.
(4) Write a very short account of the Nine Years War, stating what gave rise to it.
(5) What was the War of the Spanish Succession? name the various cliamnants to the Spanish throne.
(6). Write a short life of Marlborough giving special prominence to his military campaigns.
(7). What do you know of the Treaty of Utrecht; the Septennial Act; the Act of Settlement; the Grand Alliance; the '15; the South Sea Bubble; the Darien Scheme?
(8). Who was George I? what was his character as a king? what political party was in ascendancy during his reign?
(9) What do you know of Walpole; Bolingbroke; Harley; Mrs Masham?"
I answered all the questions and wrote eight pages; we had three hours to do it in.
Shortie fetched me about 2.15 and I went wildly bouncing into various music shops around the Aeolian Hall but had no success as we were in a great hurry to get off to Miss Hammond to get my hair washed. Peggy was there too and we carried on a long coversation about Bobs while balancing in weird attitudes and having our wigs scrubbed by lovely creatures.
It said in yesterdays "Sunday Times" that this months "Play Pictorial" was "The Willow Tree" which of course excited me muchly and we tried hard all over the place to get it today and at last succeeded at Earls Court underground book-stall. It is quite good but not wildly wonderful; nothing like as good as the one of "Daddy Long Legs"; there is no really good one of Renèe in it.
We went to tea with Pompey and arrived a good three quarters of an hour late and found Mummy already there. Pompey once more shows a wild desire to take me to "The Boy" which is A1 of him and I jolly well hope he will because it is supposed to be one of the best things on at present. Pompey also lent me the vocal score of "Chu Chin Chow"; so I have got the words of my beloved "Robbers March" precious poor ones they are too but the tune is just A.1. I wish to goodness I had got the vocal score instead of selections there are heaps of things in it that I haven't even got the music of. We didn't get home till a quarter to eight.
I had a letter from Mary today.
There isn't time today to put down all our devilishness about Bobs but I will try and do it tomorrow.
There is frightful fighting going on on the western front and we have evacuated a village and the Huns claim 6,000 prisoners and 60 guns. But we have killed large numbers of Huns.
Tuesday Dec: 4th 1917.
Mummy went up to London to General Maude's memorial service today. We went into Wimbledon this afternoon. Mummy is going to Bath tomorrow because Daddie has got to go to Clifton for a meeting of the College council; she is only going for a few days.
I rang up the box office of the Globe Theatre today to see what seats they had got for next Friday they said and then rang off without waiting to hear any more which in some ways is a good thing because I havn't yet got my fond parents permission to go. I want to see Renèe awful badly and I hope to manage it either Friday or Monday; as there are matinèes every day it ought to be quite easy to get good seats also I don't think quite between you and me and the lamp post that the dear old "Willow Tree" is a wild success though of course Renèe is!
Now I must try and put down the Bobsonian history of last Sunday. Well we arranged before we rang up that if she couldn't come down here on Saturday I was to endevour to make it clear to her over the telephone that I never had been in love with her or even liked her but that I being of an obliging nature had pretended to be because she apparently wanted me to and also it had amused me considerably hoaxing her and other people (bye the bye - this is all true). We also decided to ask her to come down here that afternoon. So at 2.0 we rang her up took ages to get the number and were then told she was out and as Lady Barrington and Shortie came in at that moment I rang off without asking her to ring up. About 2.30 we again rang up and found she was out to luncheon so we asked to be rung up when she came in. At about a quarter to six she rang up and I had first shie at her, she said she couldn't come down on Saturday but could I go to tea with her one Monday? at this juncture I prevaricated and said someone was calling me in order to consult with Peggy as to whether one could mutter home truths down the telephone for no apparent reason to someone who was showing a wild desire to feed one, we decided it was possible (though not probable thank goodness!) so I said in a very firm voice that I must make it perfectly clear to her that I helped to compose and well and truely meant our last letter to her (in which we told her a good many home truthes which ought to have done her a great deal of good as she is desperately conceited) she required long explanations as to what letter (she always does that, even when she knows a thing perfectly well); then I said what awful fun it had been pretending to be in love with her last term and Bobs (who by this time was most frightfully sulky) said in a very stuffy voice that nothing was farther from her thoughts than that I should fall in love with her, when lots of people noticed that she was working for that purpose too. Then a squashingly sacastic voice said "I don't suppose you ever thought I was in love with you" as such a thought had never entered my head I nearly fell over with surprise. I next asked her why she had broke her promise to Peggy (she had promised not to tell somthing very private and then told me in the most startling way she could but I must say I asked her to though Peggy had told me it already) she said that Peggy had often done the same to her (this was not true). In one of her letters to me she had said she would break it because she considered "that after the way Peggy had behaved no promise she had ever made to her was binding" (as if anything was an excuse for breaking ones word) so now she has invented a new excuse. I had long ago broken it to her that we wished to fight her and to our enormous relief she was perfectly willing but I was finding it uphill work fighting down the telephone with a person who is a past-master in the art of squashing people so I gracefully relenquished the reciever to Peggy who told Bobs that she would clear the ground for them to have a bust-up on Friday; she then enquired if Bobs intended to be sensible and have a good fight and not try to see or be friends with her any more to which Bobs replied with great ardour that she hadn't got the very least desire to see Peggy and simply hated it but couldn't help it; Peggy then enquired in the voice of one who has suddenly realised perfect bliss why on earth Bobs didn't refuse to come and see her to which the little hypocrite replied in smug tones that she was very fond of Mrs Leigh and wished to go on being friends with her but as we know that she isn't particularly fond of Mrs Leigh that statement was not recieved with the enthusiasm which it deserved. Peggy then implored her almost on bended knee (I am growing quite romantic in my old age) not to come on Friday to the play and said it was absolutely damnable that she was coming and that she (Peggy) had never for a moment supposed that she would be able to accept; to which hearty speech Bobs replied that she quite agreed but it was impossible for her to say she couldn't go besides she had got to go any way because one of her bloomin' old Aunts was acting in it (it is a charity matinèe). She knows perfectly well that Peggy simply hates having her (she could'nt very well help knowing) and would like to take me, therefore she considers it a great triumph and is quite determained to go. We parted with strong expressions of good will on both sides because we were so enormously relieved to find that she is going to use plain language instead of being sarcastically polite. We thought I shouldn't be able to take part in the Friday fight but as I am going to be in London for an exam I am going to luncheon with Peggy and shall therefore come in for the excitment and have the joy of hearing dear Bobs say what she really thinks about us two whom she must throughtly dislike. I dislike Bobs but I don't hate her; I don't think she is the least bit a nice character, is absolutely untrustworthy and to the best of my knowledge doe'sent possess one spark of decent feeling but is full of sloppy sentimentality which is all put on and dirty tricks which unfortunately for all conserned are not put on but appear to be part of her vital system.
Aunt Kathleen came to tea on Saturday; she says Laurie had grown a frightful toff and now has a study at Clifton. She is going to give me some gramaphone records for a Christmas present.
Daddie had a leter today from Uncle Leslie who is in Mesapotamia [ Mesopotamia ] and hopes to get leave in the spring. He also had one from Captain Hugh Childers who is jolly good egg and who was Mummy's secretary in India and who I used to call Mr Mischief (he used to tease me like billy oh but I was very fond of him) he has been invalided home from Mesapotamia [ Mesopotamia ] and is on his way home to England where he hasn't been for ten years and he will arrive at the end of the month
I must explained that Bobs had tried to make out that I had nothing to do with our last letter by pretending that she hadn't heard from me since the last time I wrote to her telling her nonsense but I had no intention of being got rid of or excused like that. Sometime I will try and explain what all the quarrell with Bobs is about but it is very long and involved.
Wednesday Dec: 5th 1917.
I went up to Wolfies this morning and afterwards she gave me the photographs of me which had just come; the one with my cap on is quite nice but the other is truely dreadful. Peggy and Shuttie fetched me back to luncheon and in the afternoon we went to Libery's [ Liberty's ] after Christmas cards; they had some very pretty ones but dreadfully dear, Peggy bought a few and then we went to Boots and Peggy and I each got a dozen for the noble sum of 10½d. We persuaded Shortie to let me stay to tea with Peggy in process of which meal Emmeline arrived to give her a music lesson so we bunked. Peggy is quite wild with excitement over Friday and we have been trying to arrange what we are going to say. She has got some gramaphone records which she wished to get rid of, so I had three, "Roaming in the Gloaming" and "Bonny Leezy Linsay [ Leezie Lindsay ]" both sung by Harry Lauder and "The March Past of the Cameron and Gorden [ Gordon ] Highlanders" played on the bagpipes by, I think the Scots Guards.
Mummy went to Bath by the 11.5 train.
I havn't yet broached the subject of going to "The Willow Tree" to Daddie but intend to do it at breakfast tomorrow morning which I think ought to be a tactful moment. Poor Daddie has got to have Chi Chi to sleep with him tonight so he has been sucking up to him all the evening! this fact is the only thing which makes me wonder if it wouldn't have been better to have gently murmured sweet nothings about "The Willow Tree" this evening.
Moira came down in the same 'bus as us this morning; she had a large school bag and she got out just by some schools on Putney Hill so I suppose she is going to school here.
I played the piano a bit this evening but only all the friskiest songs I could think of. I am feeling most desperately lively and full of spirits and bounce and go at present, and if I don't get a gramaphone soon I'll bust! one of the sausage balloons that are tied up near here, got loose on Saturday and went floating upwards at an immense pace and then burst and crumpled up and came falling down. I didn't see all this but Daddie did.
I don't think that there is any very exciting war news, except that America shows a wild desire to declare war on Austria; and a few days ago Lord Lansdowne wrote a very silly letter to the papers in which he said we ought to trust the Germans (as if we could!) and make peace. Which letter has excited everyone very much.
Thursday Dec: 6th 1917.
There was a most exciting raid last night. The guns woke me up at about ten to five and I was just getting out of bed with much profane language when Shortie appeared in a high state of agitation clad in a most weird and wonderful assortment of garments. I put on my overcoat and we went to the window. They were sending up rockets and the shells were coming just by us and swishing into the woods; they were from the Kingston and Coombe guns but soon the most awful loud reports began which was probably the gun in the camp but it must have been firing in the opposite direction to us because we didn't hear the swish of the shells. In about ten minutes the firing except for a few far-away rumbles stopped but there were a whole lot of thumps like a person who had just started to be sick and thought better of it or like a very sudden short, sharp rush of wind and our windows shook once or twice when they came nearer; Daddie thinks they may have been bombs but there were so many of them that it is rather unlikely. Shortie went down to see how poor Mrs Simpson was and found she was quite terrified which wasn't very suprising; just about this time Fenn (one of the Common keepers) came in and said that the time when the rockets went up and the shells came so near there was a German areoplane over here so of course we all started to imagine we had heard engines but to tell the honest truth we had done nothing of the sort and I very much doubt if the Hun did come over here though it may have been quite near. I having munched large quantities of excessively stale biscuits (raids always give me a huge appetite as you may have noticed) now retired to bed, where I got about five minutes peace then the things that may have been bombs started again but we took no notice of them (Shortie had gone back to bed too) however the firing soon began again and in a minute or two became almost as violent as the beginning so out we hopped and I put a shawl round my top and a large eiderdown round my middle and Shortie put on nearly every garment she possessed and nearly froze. The jolly old searchlight near here, I think it is at Kingston, became wildly agitated and we could see the mouth of the gun beside it and a great flash of flame every time they fired off a shell and then the shell bursting in the sky about a second later. Suddenly almost in a moment the firing ceased altogether; it is wonderful how they can stop them all at once. Almost as suddenly it came on as bad as ever but in a short time it ceased and in about five more minutes we went back to bed and I being desperately sleepy and even more cold went to sleep almost at once. But I don't think either Shortie or Mrs Simpson got any more sleep that night. It is a perfectly beastly hour to come that because it means to all intents and purposes that you are up from five a.m. We were only up for an hour but the all-clear signals in London didn't go till 7.30. The soldiers who guard the flares were told at 2. a.m that a raid was expected which must have been just about the time that the wretches started. Daddie came in to see how we were getting on at the beginning of the raid but after that he went back to bed and snoozled comfortably
I rang up Peggy this morning to see if she was still alive because this is her first raid. She simply loved the guns which quite privately so do I only I daren't say so though why it is wicked I don't know because I naturally don't want them to kill or hurt anyone. They heard areoplanes but they were our own and Emmeline too says that they didn't hear the Germans. Emmeline told us most lurid tales of the raids; she was in those first Zepp- raids and she says the sound of big bombs falling on houses is absolutely sickening and that she could hear a bomb bursting at the back of her head every night for weeks after because the first bomb she heard was very near them and after the raid they went out but couldn't get any distance because of the mountains of broken glass everywhere and people were running down the streets shouting out and being sick from sheer fright and there were ambulances dashing about everywhere with dead and wounded people in them and they took someone who absolutely collapsed and couldn't do anything into their house and gave her tea and asperine till she was better and a gas main got hit and all the gas went shooting into the air in a great sheet of flame. After this kind of experience I don't wonder at a person who I shouldn't think is naturally very brave being frightened and I am quite sure I should be too if I had seen all that.
We have heard that a bomb fell on Shoredith [ Shoreditch ] and Daddie says one fell on Smiths Square (jolly near Westminster Abbey!) but it wasn't a very bad raid and we have brought down two Hunoplanes which is a jolly good job. I think the firing here was worse than it has ever been, at least it was nearer.
Mrs Simpson went to "The Aristocrat" (see page 87) which is on at Wimbledon theatre this afternoon; she liked it very much and says the theatre was packed. I gentley broached the subject of "The Willow Tree to Daddie this morning and he is going to take me on Monday which is A.1. of him. When I rang up Peggy this morning she said it said in the paper that Renèe was selling War Saving Certificates at the Globe Theatre next week and that you got seats if you bought them which needless to say excited me wildly but when our papers came there was nothing about it in them however I asked Shortie to get me "The Telegraph" in Wimbledon and in that it said that Renèe and one of the actors in "The Willow Tree" were going to sell 15/6 certificates at the theatre on Monday and that they would enable anyone to get two stalls or a box available any day in the week; of course that wasn't very clear so this afternoon we rang up the box office of the Globe Theatre and asked them about it and it turns out that everyone will be given a number and there will be two lucky numbers and the two people who get them will be given two stalls or a box and Renèe is selling from 11.0 till 1.0 on Monday. We got two seats in the front row of the upper circle and of course I am going to buy a War Saving Certificate from my Renèe but of course I shan't get the lucky number but wouldn't it be lovely if I did? think of seeing Renèe twice in a week! I am getting quite a mania for Renèe and have'nt been thinking about much else but Monday all day which as I have got to do a geography exam which I don't know one bit tomorrow is to say the least of it excessively tactless of me oh dear! what awful fun tomorrow is going to be after twelve thirty when I have made a perfectly hideous mess of that beastly paper. I am just longing to hear what Bobs has got to say to us and am wondering how throughly we are going to be squashed or if (glorious thought!) we are going to squash her.
I feel so bouncy and wriggly today I don't know what to do, I know I ought to be doing prep and I can't give my mind to it and then I shall be suprised [ surprised ] if I can't do the exam and oh dear! I can't think of anything but Renèe and Bobs and how on earth am I to exist till Monday?
I must get a new diary tomorrow and let us all devoutly hope that Vol II may be a little more thrilling and grammitical and readable than Vol I has been.
Sometime I am going to stick photos of all the people I have mentioned often in this diary, on the beginning and end pages because I think it will make it so much more interesting to see what the people look like.
And now oh! most patient reader farewell!