This transcript reproduces Eileen Younghusband's writing as accurately as possible, including errors of spelling and punctuation. When personal and place names are misspelt, we have attempted to include the correct versions of the names in square brackets [ ] after the misspelling.
The language and opinions found in the diaries reflect the ideas, attitudes and events of the period. Some of the terminology and language used at that time may cause offence today but the content has been made available unedited. We hope that the context of the material will be taken into account and apologise for any offence caused.
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Suggested citation for this volume: Diary 3, Mar-May 1918; Eileen Younghusband archive, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick (MSS.463/EY/J3)
Images of the original diary are available through Warwick Digital Collections.
Saturday March 2nd 1918.
I am now beginning Vol. III of my diary and may it contain many good things.
Someone telephoned from Wolfie's this morning to say she has got a sore throat so couldn't come down which was a great nuisance.
We went for a walk this morning taking the dogs.
I have done prep nearly all day and am sick of the name of "prep".
Mummy had a letter from Daddie today. He was at Sheffield from Monday till Wednesday Buxton from Wednesday till today when he went to Hull where he stays till he comes home on Tuesday. He seems to be enjoying himself very much and says he "has taken the procurtion to eat like a horse at other peoples expense while he has been away"!
Those beastly Huns have air-raided Venice very badly and done a good deal of damage.
Mummy has written to Mrs Childers to ask them to come down here for the night tomorrow. I rang up Pompey to try and get him for tonight or to come down tomorrow but I couldn't get any answer so I suppose he was out.
I rang up Helen last night to know if she had done anything about going to "The Bing Boys on Broadway" today week; needless to say she hadn't so I have arranged with her to go to "Pamela" today fortnight.
The tanks are coming to London on Monday: there will be six altogether and they are going to bounce all over the place for I think a fortnight. We are quite determined to see them this time because we missed them before. I wish to goodness Renée would take it into her head to sell War savings certificates like she did last time the tanks were here; my exchequer is reduced to 14/6 but that is quite a detail.
Sunday March 3rd 1918
We went to church this morning.
I wrote to Mary this afternoon and ought to have written several other letters but I was too deeply absorbed in reading a book by Flora Annie Steele called "On the Face of the Waters"; it is about the Indian Mutiny and extraordinarily interesting.
Mummy went over to Moulsford Lodge after tea.
I played hymn tunes this evening striking the wrong notes with considerable more frequency than the right ones which somewhat marred the beauty of the whole.
The Childers showed no sign of life about coming down here today so I suppose they haven't got Mummy's letter.
There really doesn't seem any more to put down at present so I will return to "On the Face of the Waters" till Shortie comes to yank me off to bed with great determination, which she will do soon.
Monday March 4th 1918.
Shortie took me up to Miss Wolff's this morning. Joan Laking stayed to luncheon because she comes for the science class which is held every other Monday. Apparently there was a great row on Friday because some of the seniors had gone upstairs to the junior cloak room and put all their clothes into a bath which is in there. It also transpired though that some time ago the juniors had been down to the senior cloak room and muddled up all the seniors' clothes. I do recollect on a certain day a few weeks ago taking at least half an hour to find my coat. Shortie came to see Miss Wolff at about two o'clock and as Peggy and Denise hadn't called for me at 2.30 she took me round to Upper Berkeley Street where of course we found that they had just started to fetch me. I went upstairs and read "Daddy Long Legs" till they came in when we had our French lesson. I told Peggy Shortie had bucked about "Cheep". She quite agrees that it would not be fair to Shortie to run the risk and she is going to try and get Maggie the housemaid to take her on Saturday because Mrs Leigh will be away for the week-end and Denise is going to a matinée of 'La Boheme". After tea Peggy went off to her choral class and I went upstairs and read some more of "Daddy Long Legs", it is a most fascinating book and Judy the heroine is extraordinarily like Renée. When Shortie fetched me we went in 30 'bus to South Kensington where I paid a visit to Mr Hoppé Esq Photographer in the hope that he would have some photographs of Renée; I hit the right nail on the head when I decided to raid jolly old Hoppé, he had heaps of photographs of her and one perfectly ripping one which I have ordered, it has got to be mounted and will be ready next Monday (or so they say) it cost five bob and sixpence. I also asked to see some of Teddie, they had got some very nice ones which will please Peggy. After this little excitement we came home. Mummy got back just before us. I am most awfully pleased about the picture of Renée, it is one I have never seen before and a jolly good one too, I must make all haste and speed when I get it to make it complete by getting Renée to sign it.
I took my own meat up for luncheon at Miss Wolff's today but she wouldn't let me use it or keep it herself which was very naughty of her. She has given me a lovely big tin of wheatmeal biscuits.
Mrs Short went to enquire about Ian today, he is getting on well.
Daddie is lecturing to fiveteen hundred people at Hull - this evening.
Tuesday March 5th 1918.
I have done prep hard nearly all day and also of course practised the piano. The exam days have been fixed so life till they are over will be one long vista of prep. Geography is on Friday the 15th English History on Monday the 18th and Greek History on Friday the 22nd. These are the only exams which interest me personally but they are also having French Grammar and Literature and of course essay writing.
Daddie got back at about 5 o'clock and seems to have had a most lovely time. At Sheffield he had been taken all over Vicars [ Vickers ] gun factory by Vicars [ Vickers ] himself and over a huge munition factory where 87% of the worker are women and he saw 2000 of them at breakfast and at a big luncheon which they gave for him he was given an awfully nice silver pen knife which surprising to say he has lost. He spoke to some students and afterwards they sang a new National Anthem to the setting of the old one. He came up from Hull today, where he says they gave him a very good time and he says he had ripping food everywhere and that he eat heaps!
Captain Salisbury came to tea. Apparently he goes about inspecting aeroplanes and he had just been over a big factory at Kingston where they turn out forty machines a week.
Yesterday the tanks in London took £4,540,109 and in Liverpool £4,750,000 but the Liverpool total includes investments through banks and the London doesn't. This is "business mans week" in which every town according to its seize is going to try and collect the money to buy some instrument of war, for instance Hull is going to raise the price of two cruisers - £800,000. Bristol had to raise £80,000 and yesterday alone it collected £100,000! London in its fortnight of tanks has got to collect £100,000,000. Last time the tanks were here she only gave 3½ millions and since they have been touring the provinces there are about seven other large towns well ahead of her. Glasgow heads all cities with well over £14,000,000 and I think Birmingham comes next with over £11,000,000. The Australians have carried out several successful raids into the enemies trenches.
Anything more like a paragraph in a newspaper then the preceeding page I have seldom read - or written!
Wednesday March 6th 1918.
Shortie took me up to Miss Wolff's this morning. French elocution was very amusing. I went back to luncheon with Peggy. She is in the throes of a deep and deadly plot to get to 'Cheep!" and I think she will succeed this time. She has told Denise there is someone on at the Coliseum who she wishes to see, she has told Maggie the housemaid that she would like to take her to the Coliseum, she has told Mrs Leigh the same thing and Mrs Leigh has given her consent. Now the whole point is that she gets tickets for "Cheep!" and takes Maggie there instead of to the Coliseum. Also I think she is making frantic efforts to arrange to see Teddie in her dressing-room, she didn't actually tell me so but hinted at it strongly and we discussed it in a vague sort of way. All this is to happen on Saturday which is also the day of Marjorie Forbes' wedding, she is going to be married in the morning.
Just as we started our French lesson Christian Guthrie who was in London for the day rang up to ask Peggy to tea but she was going out to tea somewhere else so Mrs Leigh took us round to see her and we walked back alone and only got back in time for a quarter of an hour of French lesson; after which performance Shortie having called for me, we walked with Peggy and Denise to the Wigmore Hall where Peggy goes for singing and we then went on to Miss Hammond where I had my hair brushed for nearly an hour. After which we made noble efforts to get onto a 'bus which comes to Wimbledon but having waited years for it there was no chance of getting on when it came so we tried to get a 'bus to go to Praed Street but although there were plenty it was quite impossible to get on them so we walked from Oxford Circus to Picadilly Circus and got a Putney bus there by great good luck and so got home which process took two hours. Mummy got home just after us. Daddie didn't go to London today.
Wolfie gave me some cheese today. Shortie waited for nearly three hours at the stores to try and get some butter and than didn't get any; we are wishing heartily that we had registered with our dairy here.
Altogether London collected over £11,000,000 on Monday and well over £7,000,000 yesterday; the total comes to over £19,000,00 but the total must be £50,000,000 by this evening because the weeks will be half over and she has got to make £100,000,000 in the week.
I was 2nd in the blank map of South America. Violet Paine was 1st because she wrote more tidily than me but I put in more places and should have been 1st if I had written tidily.
I read "On the Face of the Waters when I home this evening instead of doing prep.
Thursday March 7th 1918.
Daddie went up to London this morning. I practised and did prep and we took the dogs for a walk in the woods.
Emmeline came at two o'clock and she gave me quite a good deal of singing. I have started Paderewski's minuet. She has got rather a brilliant idea with my Rondo, she plays a little bit – say two or three bars and then makes me imitate her which is really a very good idea because you hear the tune properly and what it really ought to sound like and you imitate it automatically.
Cousin V called this afternoon. She asked if I liked "the book" I thinking of "King Arthur's Knights" which Moyra had given me said yes awfully and I was so fond of those stories. Cousin V looked rather puzzled and said she mean the one Oonah had brought for me. I said I had never had it, but suddenly Mummy recollected a parcel which had been left here apparently with no name on and which we concluded was for Daddie. I went and fetched it and it is the most lovely book called "Jesus of Nazareth" and it is eighty beautiful coloured pictures of the life of Our Lord; they were painted in Palestine and give a much better impression of the country and people than any other pictures I have seen, they are extraordinarily like scenes in India.
Daddie didn't get back till past seven o'clock. He has been to see Ian and saw Ian himself.
I have been doing accounts today and managed to make out that Mummy owed me £13.4s.0d and she has paid me £14 which is a case of bon oeuf. I am going to buy two £5 War Bonds and three War Savings Certificates price £2.6s.6d. Mummy also wants to invest some money in the tanks but she can't make up her mind whether she wants to buy War Savings Certificates or War Bonds, however I hope we shall be able to go and visit the tank Egbert in Trafalgar Square tomorrow. Egbert bye the bye is coming to Wimbledon today week. It doesn't look as if London will make her £100,000,000 by Saturday, they haven't got much over £20,000,000 yet. It will be dreadful if she doesn't make it.
Mr John Redmond has died - he was a great Irish leader.
I feel so proud possessing £14, I have never had so much money before!
Friday March 8th 1918.
Daddie took me up to Peggy's this morning. After French we went and had luncheon at Maison Lyons in Oxford Street because Mrs Leigh had got Sir James Dunlop-Smith and a lady coming to luncheon. We had poached egg with potatoe on toast, fried potatos and potatoe salad and ginger beer by which time we were so full that we hadn't got room for any pudding. Afterwards we went to a shop in Jermyn Street and then came back to Upper Berkeley Street and Peggy and I had to go into the dining room and murmur sweet nothings to Sir James who stayed with us in India and who we know well. Shortie called for me about 2.30 and we went off to the Times Book Club, when we got half way there I suddenly recollected that I had left behind at the Leighs a book which Daddie had asked me to take to Ian who I was going to see in the afternoon, however we decided that we would go back for it later. I got an awfully nice little edition of "The Fables of La Fontaine" at the Times Book Club.
As we were walking down Oxford Street a huge airship suddenly appeared sailing very low down and it proceeded to throw out shoals of papers about War Bonds, they fluttered down very slowly and of course there was a wild scramble for them and people ran out into the road without taking the least notice of the traffic. There was one paper which obstinately refused to come down when all the rest had been caught and there was a sort of free fight for it when it did coming within catching distance. We took a 'bus to Mummy's bureau and saw another and larger airship several times as we were going along.
We stayed at the bureau till just on four o'clock then Mummy, Shortie and I went off to Trafalgar Square where there were frightful crowds and lovely creatures singing from the foot of Nelsons Column and a large Italian biplane (not singing) and the gondola of an airship and a model fleet in the fountain basins and an Italian Red X [ Cross ] motor kitchen and a cinematograph which wasn't working until dark and three tents where you bought (or attempted to buy) War Savings Certificates, Bank of England Bonds and Post Office Bonds, we took our places in a queue for the latter for me to buy my £10 worth of War Bonds. I had to fill in a form and was then given a War Bond Book, then we had to go out of the other end of the tent and go and stand in an enormous long queue to get to Egbert to have it stamped, after a good quarter of an hour we reached Egbert and a lovely creature inside stamped it with a stamp something like this –
There were also boy scouts distributing flags with a picture of a tank and the words "I have helped" on them. Egbert is exactly like the pictures of the tanks; he is mud colour and has been frightfully knocked about, I suppose he has been at the front.
It was a quarter to five by the time we had done and Mummy said it was much too late for me to go to see Ian so we came home.
We telephoned to Colonel O'Connor this morning to see if he could have us to tea this afternoon but he couldn't.
There was a very bad air raid last night and I slept all through it and heard nothing. I am perfectly furious with Shortie for not waking me. It started at 11.30 p.m. and the "all clear" went at 2.30 a.m. Shortie says the firing was pretty loud but our near guns didn't go; they heard a bomb once. The gardener says a bomb was dropped on Wandsworth and two houses were wrecked, he saw them. Peggy says it was very bad there. Lots of bits of shrapnel hit the roof and all the guns were going like mad and they heard a very loud explosion which they think must have been a shell falling quite near them and they heard a bomb fall which shook the whole house and they heard fighting in the air and fire engines and altogether they seem to have had a most exciting time. There was a bomb or bombs at Maida Vale which isn't so awfully far away from them. There was no moon last night but the stars were very bright and according to "The Star" the Aurora Borealis made a great red light in the sky. I think we were taken unawares because three or four Hun areoplanes managed to get through the London defences. The casualties so far reported are 11 killed and 46 injured in London only.
The tanks collected £14,1000,000 in London yesterday.
Saturday March 9th 1918.
I read fivety pages of English History this morning out of one book and looked up things in other books.
This afternoon we took the dogs for a little run in the woods and not long after we got back Mr Bailey called with a niece of his who is at school here. She is fourteen and very nice and they are coming to tea here next Saturday.
We went to tea at Moulsford Lodge. I rang up Major Dunlop this morning to ask him to come down here tomorrow and he said he was just going to ring me up to say he was coming tomorrow, so he is coming for tea. Miss Buxton is also coming for tea.
Daddie rang up Colonel O'Connor this morning and he is going to dinner and to a lecture at the Royal Geographical Society with Daddie on Monday and we are going to tea with him next Wednesday.
Yesterdays tank total in London was £10,000,000. this is the last day and the total result for the week will be announced on Tuesday. I forgot to say yesterday that there was an old sausage ballon tied up over London with "buy War Bonds" painted in huge white letters on its side. Written right across the main road in large chalk figures outside Moulsford Lodge is "Save your money - Egbert is coming!" and Shortie says they have got the same on the pavements in Wimbledon.
It has been a beautiful day today and we have sat in the garden a good deal.
Daddie had a letter this morning asking him to speak at Plymouth next month; he spoke there before and the people there have asked for him to come again.
Some naughty boys set fire to a patch of furze this morning and two fire engines came to put it out.
Sunday March 10th 1918.
We went to church this morning. Uncle Vesey came to luncheon and tea. Major Dunlop came about four o'clock and Miss Buxton soon after and Sir Thomas Jackson soon after that. Daddie went over to Moulsford Lodge to see a gentleman Great Aunt had raked up and wanted him to see, he brought him back here and then he and Uncle Vesey and the gentleman who rejoices in the name of Walker went for a walk. Major Dunlop is not sure when he can lend us the Glen anyway not till after May 1st so we are in rather a fix about what to do when we leave here.
I have finished "On the Face of the Water" it is a ripping book about the Indian Mutiny, mostly about the seige of Delhi. I have now started "The Gladiators" which I have read before some time ago but am reading again because I like it so much.
The tanks in London made over £24,0000,000 on Friday and I forget how much yesterday. London's total for the week so far announced is over £71,000,000 and for the whole country £112,000,000 but this total is not complete.
Major Dunlop has got a sister who lives in Maida Vale and in the last raid she had two bombs right outside her house and all the windows were blown out of the houses within a radius of half a mile of where the bomb fell and all her furniture was smashed but no one was hurt. Two other houses in the same place were demolished and several people killed.
Uncle Douglas has just got a C. B and Aunt Aimée some time ago got the Order of the British Empire and is now Dame Aimée Dawson!
Monday March 11th 1918.
We didn't hear from Mrs Otley before we left this morning so we telephoned wildly to all sorts of places where we thought she might be without any success so we left a message with her club to say we would be there at 1.15.
Daddie took me up to Miss Wolff's. I have managed to get out of the Greek History exam and am feeling very elated in consequence I asked Wolfie if I must do it and she said "no of course you won't have time".
Shortie fetched me at 12.30 and we went to see Ian and took him the book which I had left behind at Upper Berkeley Street on Friday. He seems very cheerful but says he is "fed up to the back teeth" with bed! he gets up on Thursday and leaves the home next Monday. Mrs Otley had telephoned to say she expected us to luncheon so we went on to the Empress Club from John Street. Mrs Otley was at the Club when we got there and Daddie appeared about a quarter of an hour after; then we had luncheon and then we went to the Grafton Galleries where there is a wonderful exhibition of huge war photographs most wonderfully coloured. They are far the best coloured photographs I have ever seen. there were two of General Allenby's entry into Jerusalem which looked as if they really must be real. From there we went on to the New Gallery Cinematograph where Daddie left us, we sat in there for nearly three hours and saw a most romantic thing called "The Undying Flame" or something equally weird, it was about an Egyptian Princess in 3000 B.C. who is in love with a shepherd and whose father wants her to marry someone else; the shepherd is buried alive and the princess says "may Isis turn me to stone before I marry the architect" and she does turn to stone; then the next scene which is laid in the present day is the British garrison at Wady Halfa [ Wadi Haifa ] and there is a Captain Paget there who is the shepherd again and the General's daughter is the princess and after various adventures they marry.
This is supposed to be the answer to the princess who prayed that sometime their two spirits might be united. The next thing was called "The Amazons" and was about three girls who were brought up as boys and behave in a most unladylike way and finally get married. There was also a topical gazette which showed British troops marching through Bethlehem, the Prince of Wales at the Clyde and the tanks etc: etc:. When we came out we went and had tea in a very nice place attached to the cinema. Then we went back to the Club and having told Mrs Short to be there at five we got back at 6.30! then Shortie and I came home with all haste and speed and of course there was no time to go and get my photograph of Renée.
Daddie is at a dinner and lecture at the Royal Geographical Society tonight so he won't be home till about midnight I suppose.
I have lent Esther and Betty two books.
It is very starlight tonight and there are heaps of searchlights going and the flares are lighted so I shouldn't be very surprised if there was a raid.
Tuesday March 12th 1918.
It has been a perfectly lovely day and quite hot. We have sat in the garden a good deal.
Four areoplanes came over this morning and had a sham fight.
Daddie went up to London after luncheon and got back at 7.15. He didn't get home till a quarter to twelve last night. The lecture was about Eastern Thibet [ Tibet ] by Reginald Farrar [ Farrer ] who went there to collect plants and he showed some wonderful lantern slides of flowers.
Mummy and I have been discussing plans again today and as far as we have settled at present Daddie, Mrs Idie and I go to Chagford or Oakhampton [ Okehampton ] on or about April the 20th and to the Glen as soon as Major Dunlop can have us which will be about the first or second week in May. Mummy goes to stay with Uncle Claude and Aunt Di for a few days and Mrs Short goes to her sister at Streatham. Then probably Mummy and Shortie go to Bath where we join them some time at the beginning of June. Daddie becomes the question at this point but he may go and do P.G somewhere. At the beginning of July Daddie, Shortie and I go to Minehead where I presume Peggy and Denise soon join us there we remain for indifinite periods and then I suppose return to another house here sometime in August.
Won't it be glorious to be in Devonshire five weeks tomorrow??
I have done much prep today and am not at all sure that I am much wiser or more learned than when I commenced.
No raid here last night but there was a very bad one by sixty areoplanes on Paris; one areoplane was brought down. There was also a raid on Naples.
The total made during "Business Man's Week" in London was £95,000,000 of which £55,000,000 was raised in the city.
There are two or three daffodils and hycinths out in the garden and the rose bushes are covered in leaves.
Wednesday March 13th 1918.
Shortie took me up to Miss Wolff's this morning and having struggled with geography and French elocution I went back to luncheon with Peggy who poor old girl! has been having an awful time with Denise who has been indulging in frightful bad tempers with great frequency.
We thought she was going to do it in French today but she was quite sweet though it was an obvious effort. Peggy had to go off to her singing before Shortie called for me so I went upstairs and read "Daddy Long Legs" till she came when we went off to Miss Hammond arriving a quarter of an hour late and she had forgotten to put down my appointment so I had to wait ages with the result that I didn't get to Colonel O'Connor for tea till five thirty instead of five.
Mummy had brought Captain and Mrs Childers to tea there too. Colonel O'Connor has got an awfully nice flat at 56, Buckingham Gate. He has been appointed Resident in Nepaul [ Nepal ] and he is going there by way of Japan so he may be leaving in about a week. Nepaul is suppose to be a very good billet because all you have to do is to sit there and do nothing but you aren't allowed to travel about the country and there are no Europeans there and none are allowed to go there without permission which is very difficult to get. He gave me some ripping Fortnum and Mason chocolates.
Mummy and I didn't get home till 9.30.
Daddie is lecturing at the big War Hospital at Epsom this evening and staying the night with Uncle Claude and Aunt Di.
I forgot to say that Peggy got to "Cheep!" on Saturday.
The result of the "Business Man's Week" for the whole of England is £138,000,000.
That was a very bad raid on Paris the other night - 100 people were killed and 90 injured. 66 people were killed in a panic in a tube. Four areoplanes were brought down. This is the worst raid there has been except one on England a long time ago in which 108 people were killed. There was a raid by three or four Zepps on Yorkshire last night. They dropped one bomb on Hull and one person died of shock then they wandered aimlessly about dropping bombs on open Country and finally returned home. An old lady at Miss Hammond's had got a lurid story that two million windows were broken in the last raid.
Thursday March 14th 1918.
I had a letter from Helen this morning saying she was very sorry but she couldn't go to a play on Saturday because she has got to go and work at a depot. I have written to her and told her that I couldn't have gone either and asked her to come down here on Friday week.
Rosamund Luling telephoned at luncheon time to say that Emmeline had been very upset by the last raid which was very near her and she was feeling very worn out and was afraid she wouldn't be able to come to me this afternoon. I suppose she was at the Luling's when Rosamund telephoned. I wasn't altogether sorry that she couldn't come because I had a great deal of prep to do and to tell the truth I haven't been practising as much as I ought to have lately.
Great Aunt called this afternoon and stayed to tea.
Daddie got home about 6.30. He had had a very nice time with Uncle Claude and Aunt Di and Aunt Lil was there too.
I have been preparing Geography and English History hard today. The Geography exam which is on India is tomorrow and I know I don't know it a bit and it would be so terrible to fail in an exam on India. One can do either India or South America and most of us have chosen South America because we have had much more lessons on it.
I forgot to mention yesterday that Shortie, like an angel, went to Hoppé for me yesterday and got my photograph of Renée. It is mounted on an excessively large sort of pale brown mount the photograph being the same colour and it is awfully nice. It was taken at the "Daddy Long Legs" period because she is wearing the pink dress which she wore in that. While Great Aunt was here this afternoon I wrote a letter to Renée; I do hope she won't think me quite mad and I know I'll be terrified if she lets me go and see her. This is what I said -
Dear Miss Kelly
I bought a photograph of you the other day and am wondering if you would be so kind as to sign it for me? might I bring it round to you one Wednesday or Friday afternoon? as I live at Wimbledon I am only in London three days a week and am afraid those are my only free afternoons.
I don’t suppose you would remember me but I bought War Savings Certificates from you when you were selling them at the Globe Theatre.
Please forgive my writing to you It would be so very kind of you if you would let me bring you the photograph to sign.
Egbert the tank went along Parkside into Wimbledon at 9.30 last night and they say made a great noise and left his tooth marks on the road; he weighs thirty eight tons! Wimbledon's object was to collect £100,000 but by luncheon time they had got £80,000. Mrs Simpson went into Wimbledon this afternoon so Mrs Short and I asked her to buy us each a War Savings Certificate but there were such crowds that she couldn't get anywhere near the tank.
There was a Zepp raid on Hartlepool last night by one Zepp. Five people were killed three of which were children, one being a baby and nine people were injured.
The Huns made an unsuccessful attempt to sink a hospital ship in the Bristol Channel the other day.
The nasty brutes have entered Odessa.
Saturday March 16th 1918.
I have been having a most exciting time since I last wrote my diary, but I will put it all down in order. Shortie took me up to Wolfies yesterday morning and I did the exam paper which was very nasty, I will put it in tomorrow. Peggy called for me at 12.30 in great excitement because they were going to have dinner with Uncle Duddy (Lord Leigh) at the Ritz that night and she was going off to the Ritz to see him then when we got there we found message to say he had gone to the Grafton Galleries and we were to follow him so we went there and found Mrs Leigh and him. Denise went home from there and we went over the Galleries so I have seen them twice but they are well worth it (the pictures). We hadn't been in there five minutes when Uncle Duddy asked me if I would go to dinner with him too, Mrs Leigh awfully kindly said Peggy could lend me a dress etc. and that they could put me up for the night, of course I jumped hilariously at the preposition and when we got back to Upper Berkeley Street I telephoned to Mummy and she said I might go so altogether I felt thoroughly pleased with life. Then we did French (I don't mean this as a reflection on my last sentence!). Mrs Nichol came to tea, I hadn't seen her for some time, she is ripping. After tea Mrs Leigh took Peggy to have her hair waved and I bought a tooth-brush. When we got back we found Shortie there, she had been to buy me a brush and comb and a pair of long gloves. Then we proceeded to dress which was a very lengthy job. Peggy lent me a ripping soft net dress trimmed with pale blue ribbons and rose buds and Mrs Leigh lent me a pair of grey silk stockings and awfully pretty grey suede shoes and Peggy lent me numerous underclothes. Mrs Leigh did my hair with a huge blue bow on top.
I did look a bit more h'elegant than this
the wriggly lines in the proximity of my cocoanut are hair not my wedding vail.
We had a most dreadful job to get a taxi but we succeeded in the end. There was another gentleman to dinner Mr Cis Clarke, he was very amusing.
The prog was jolly good, first we had oyesters which are just about the nastiest things I ever tasted, then we had pea soup, then we had ripping sort of omelette arrangement, then we had salmon with mushrooms etc; then we had cauliflower au gratin, then we had some very good pancakes with sort of lemon jammy, jelly stuff in them then all but the rest had black coffee but I thought I shouldn't get any sugar so I declined but it turned out that Uncle Duddy had some saccarine. Having eaten we went and listened to the band and Uncle Duddy ordered iced lemonade and I drank so much that I nearly burst. The band played a very pretty Norwegian Danse by Grieg and some music from "La Boheme".
There were delegates from the allied countries staying at the Ritz for a War Conference in London but they had all gone out to dinner, but there was an old gentleman who walked up and down talking in French to two French officers and we think he was M. Clemenceau the French Prime Minister. There was a good many French officers at dinner.
We got home just before 10.30. Peggy and I slept together and talked hard till somewhere around the direct of 2 a.m. when we mutually fell asleep.
Shortie called for me at 11.30 and we came straight home.
Mrs Otley came to luncheon and tea and Uncle Vernon and Aunt Violet and the Rev. Bailey and his neice and Madame de Leval came to tea. Madame de Leval brought Mummy some lovely roses and carnations.
Renée really is a perfect ripper! I have had the most A1 letter from her this evening. Hasn't she answered quickly? isn't she the nicest actress that ever was? this is her letter -
"Dear Miss Younghusband
I will gladly sign the card for you any afternoon. I am here during the next two weeks - I leave the cast at Easter.
With best wishes
She gives no address so I suppose "here" is the Savoy Theatre.
Sunday March 17th 1918.
We went to Church this morning and afterwards we went to see Mr Bailey because he had promised to show me his cammelia, it is in his greenhouse and the longest bush I have ever seen, it is against a wall and must be twenty five feet high and the same broad and is covered with great white flowers. He gave me three lovely ones.
Mrs Hudson and Violet were coming to tea but telephoned to say they couldn't come.
Daddie went over to see them this afternoon but could get no answer at the door.
Great Aunt and Ward came about three o'clock and stayed to tea.
Brian came over to see Daddie this morning while the others went to Church. He told Mrs Idie that the cook and the house-maid had a squabble at 7 o’clock one morning and Cousin V had to go and console them! I expect he had made it all up.
Mrs Paget who is one of Mummy's hut helpers came to tea this afternoon. She was one of the most appaling pessimests I ever met and awfully amusing.
I have written to Uncle Oswald to wish him many happy returns of the day (his birthday was today), to Mrs Leigh to thank her for having me for the night and to Shuttie for no particular reason. I have also read "The Gladiators".
The prospect of that English History exam tomorrow is not at all a cheerful one. I made feeble efforts at prep yesterday but I don't know it a bit.
This is the geography exam paper:-
- Give the boundaries of India. What is its size as compared with the British Isles?
- How may India be divided? How are the British Possessions and the Tributary States governed?
- Describe the surface of the country and its climate.
- Name the different mountain ranges. Give their positions and principal peaks.
- Trace the courses of India's three greatest rivers.
- What are the chief productions? With what countries is commerce chiefly carried on? Name the most important ports.
- What do you know of Delhi, Cawnpore, Calcutta, Colombo, Singapore, Bangkok, Mandalay?
- Name any islands situated in the adjacent seas. State any facts you know concerning them.
- To what religions do the native peoples principally belong? Which is the sacred capitol of Hindustan (India)?
- What are the French possessions in Hindustan (India)?
By inventing fluently I managed to answer all the questions and wrote six pages. We had only had two or three lessons on India this term and none on further India which he kindly included.
I hadn't got the vaguest idea what the sacred capital was so I decided to put down Delhi or Agra but couldn't make up my mind which so I got another girl to put piece of paper behind her back and I drew and drew Delhi. I asked Daddie and Mrs Bailey about it and they both say there is no sacred capital but the sacred city of the Hindus is Benares. We had great fun drawing the rivers more fun than the poor examiner will have trying to make them out! only about four other people chose India.
Monday March 18th 1918.
Daddie took me up to Wolfie's this morning and I did the English History exam. It was quite a nice paper, here it is -
George II, George III - Close of American War.
- Relate what you know of the War of the Austrian Succession.
- Give a short account of the English conquest of Canada.
- Write an account of the careers of Lord Clive and Warren Hastings, at the same time tracing the rise to supremacy of British authority in India.
- Describe briefly the state of the country at the time of George II's death.
5.What do you know of:
(1). John Wilkes and the Peace of Paris?
(2). The Gordon Riots;
(3). Jenkin's Ear?
6.Write a short account of the American War of Independence, relating briefly the causes which led up to it.
- State any facts you know concerning:
(1). Lord Chatham.
(2.) General Wolfe;
(3). The two Pelhams;
(4) The Wesleys;
(5). John Howard;
(6). Admiral Byng.
- Compare the characters of George II and George III.
Only seven questions to be attempted.
I did all the questions but the last one and wrote thirteen pages but it was small paper.
Miss Wolff gave me luncheon and there was a science class at 2-30 so I joined that and watched gases and things being made which was very amusing. Peggy and Denise called for me a little after three and we went back to Upper Berkeley Street and did French.
Shortie came for tea and then we came home on 30 'bus, dropping Peggy out at Brompton oratory to go to her choral class which is close by.
This evening I have been trying to embroider a butterfly on a camisole and as I drew the butterfly it was all out of proportion and consequently I got in a throughly bad temper.
I am going to see Renée on Wednesday after the matinée is over. I hope to goodness I shall be able to get to her. Isn't the prospect of seeing her to speak to again a joyful one? Peggy is awfully jealous of my good luck. It will be most horribly alarming grappling with the people at the stage door.
Daddie went to see Ian today. He has been out and leaves the home on Tuesday and is going to the country on Friday.
I had a letter from Mary this morning. They are going to Seaton for the holidays.
Tuesday March 19th 1918.
None of us went to London today which was a very unusual occurance. I did some French prep and played the piano a good deal.
We went to Wimbledon this afternoon and I ordered last month's "Nash's" magazine which Peggy said had some photographs of Renée in it.
Cousin V came this afternoon and brought a Mrs and Mrs Pheleps [ Phelips ] who were cousins of Cousin Eddy's and who Montecute which Lord Curzon has got at present belongs to. They were very nice and stayed to tea.
I had a long letter from Uncle Oswald this morning thanking me for my letter and a photograph of me which I sent to him. He says he is going out to France in a few days as the guest of G.H.Q's and is going to see all the interesting things he can and won't be back till about the second week in April.
Uncle Vernon told us he was going out with Lord Devonport.
We had some home-made potatoe scones for tea today; they tasted as if they had cheese in them and were ripping, much nicer than the ordinary ones.
It is Shortie's birthday today but I am sorry to say I had no present for her. It is so difficult to get one without her knowing because she is nearly always with me. I am going to try and get her some eau de Cologne tomorrow.
We have now decided that we will go to Dawlish on April 23rd and we go to Pompey's on May
1st. We have decided on Dawlish because it is comparatively easy to get from there to the Glen, while Oakhampton [ Okehampton ] is some way away and it is a very round about journey. We go to Newton Abbot and moter from there.
Hurrah! for seeing Renée tomorrow! the first time I saw Renée was on a Wednesday; it was Wednesday May 2nd 1917, Mrs Wilton took Laurie and I to "Daddy Long Legs" and Major Dunlop came too and we all got rather excited about Renée and I bought the post-card which she signed for me and Laurie bought one like it which I have got now (he gave it to me). I haven't got the faintest doubt that I have written down all this dozens of times before. Bye the bye Renée was in a charity concert on Sunday. I wonder what she did because as far as I know she doesn't either sing or recite.
I mean to do a good deal of sewing in the holidays. I made the same noble resolution last holidays and I don't think I did one stitch. Talking of sewing reminds me it is Renée’s favourite recreation.
Helen can't come here on Friday. I had a card from her this evening.
Wednesday March 20th 1918.
Shortie took me up this morning. I didn’t get there till 11.30 because they were having a special literature lesson. French elocution was no more deadly than usual. I went back to luncheon with Peggy who had been to dinner at the Ritz with "Uncle Duddy" again last night and on to "Samson and Delilah". She is coming here for the night on Sunday. Shortie fetched me soon after 3.30 and we dropped Peggy at the Wigmore Studios and then took a 'bus to the Strand where we went and had some coffee and buttered toast in a Lyons and toddled about the Strand for a bit then about 5 o'clock we went to the stage door of the Savoy and I asked the nice old chap in the office if Renée was there and if so if she would see me; he toddled off to see and after ages came back to say "Miss Kelly was seeing no-one" and did I want a photograph signed I said "yes" and gave it to him and off he went and after more ages brought it back signed. We saw A.E. Matthews who is the leading actor go out while we were there also one of the actresses and a wounded officer came in and got a note - I think from Renée - and seemed very disappointed about it and asked if there was no other message. After this we came home. Of course I am most excessively annoyed at not seeing Renée but probably she is too tired after a performance to see anybody and the comforting thought is that I shouldn't have been able to get it done at all on Friday, because there is a special matinée of "Nothing but the Truth" at the Palace for some charity and she would have been no more likely to see me next Wednesday then this and she goes out of this play at Easter. The annoying part is that as far as I can see this altogether destroys my chance of ever seeing Renée to talk to again. Anyhow I have got the photograph signed.
While we were walking through Portman Square today we heard two or three great crashes like guns going off quite near us, we thought it was an air raid and everybody came tearing out of their houses but nothing more happened and we think it must have been some workmen who were mending the road turning stones out of a cart very quickly.
Daddie has been to Bristol for the day for a meeting of Clifton College Comittee. He didn’t get back till 8.15.
I had a post-card from Emmeline saying she is coming on Saturday instead of tomorrow and she left a bloomin' book of duets for me at Peggy's.
March 21st 1918.
Daddie went up to London today and saw Ian who is much better and is going to the country tomorrow.
It has been a perfectly lovely day and we have been in the garden nearly all the time. I have devoured "The Gladiators" with great avidity and done a little French prep whenever I could tear myself away from it.
A very nice Sargent Banks came to tea this afternoon; he is Canadian and Mummy got to know him through his coming into the bureau; he was very amusing and did nothing but say oh my! all the time and he had a lovely accent.
I practised today and made noble efforts to play a horrid duet which Emmeline fondly imagines Peggy and I are going to play together.
It was six months yesterday since I started to keep a diary, during which period I have written 453 pages.
There has been a naval fight off Dunkirk but apparently not a very bad one.
A new order has been issued by which there is to be no lighting of shop windows no meals to be served in any public eating places after 9.30 p.m. and all theatre proformances to be finished by 10.30. The object is to save fuel and lighting.
We brake up a week today but lessons are practically over now.
It is very funny that there have been no raids lately. We have been raiding German towns a great deal and the Huns want to make an agreement with us to have no more raids.
Friday March 22nd 1918.
Shortie took me up to Peggy's for French this morning. After French we went for a walk in the Park and then came back for luncheon. Shortie called for me about 2.30 and Peggy and Denise were going to the City so we went with them and we all went and had tea at a Lyons; then we all went back to Oxford Street on a 'bus and Shortie and I got off at Evan's and went and bought several things; then we got onto 32 'bus which goes to Wimbledon station by Clapham and Tooting and Balham and came all the way to Wimbledon on it which took an hour and ten minutes. We have been meaning to come home on this 'bus for a long time but never had time before.
Peggy is going to dinner at Claridges and to a play with Mary Egerton tonight. She went to Winchester to see Rowland yesterday. There was great excitement because Mummy wanted Peggy and us to go to Minehead in June and Shortie told Mrs Leigh this today and Mrs Leigh was overjoyed at the idea which was more than Peggy and I were because Peggy wants to stay in London till July and I want to go to Bath for June so we decided that we would both object to this plan; however when we got home this evening Mrs Leigh had telephoned to say that it would be better if Peggy went to Minehead at the beginning of July because then Rowland could come for part of August. I suggested to Peggy that she should do the noble little sister who wanted to go later so as her brother should go too and apparently it has worked. I don't know whether we shall have to go in June but I hope not.
Mrs Otley had just telephoned and she is bring her two boys down here tomorrow.
The great German offensive has begun but so far they haven't gained much. We have been expecting this offensive for the last two months.
Poor Ellen had a telegram this evening to say that her mother has died: of course poor thing she is very much upset and is going off home by an early train tomorrow. We hope she will be able to come back to us. It is a very odd thing but twice I have dreamt that one of her people was ill and that she had to go home; I told Mummy both times and she laughed and said I always took the most doleful view of things.
An airship came over here this morning.
Saturday March 23rd 1918.
It has been a perfectly lovely day and very hot and we have been in the garden practically all day.
Someone telephoned for Wolfie to say she had got a bad head ache but would come down after luncheon but after luncheon they telephoned to say she was so bad that she had had to go to bed. We were very sorry she couldn't come.
Shortie went up to Kings Cross with poor Ellen this morning.
Emmeline came at 12 o'clock and gave me an hour an a half lesson, of which a whole hour was taken up with Paderewski's Minuet. I also read four pages of a horrid dull duet and dd some singing. Emmeline won’t be able to come again till Thursday week and anyhow I couldn't have her next Thursday because that is the day we break up.
Mrs Otley, Shibley and Jack came about 4 o'clock. Shibley is thirteen and is at a military cadet college at Windsor and Jack is five; they are both quite nice. Madame de Leval also came to tea.
I have been trying to work a butterfly in beads today, it is a most weird looking insect and the awful part is that having done one wing I haven't got enough beads of those colours to do the other wing.
It is a month today since I last saw Renée.
The Hun offensive is still going strong and we have killed masses of them and held them at most places but in some places they have broken though and they claim 16,000 prisoners which is probably an exaggeration. The battle front is 50 miles long.
Sunday March 24th 1918.
We went to church this morning and the Childers, Mrs Leigh and Peggy Great Aunt and the French's came this afternoon. Peggy is worrying me to stop writing so I can't write any more now and it would be very dull if I did.
Monday March 25th 1918.
Daddie took us up this morning. Peggy went home and I went to Wolfie's where we had all sorts of weird questions on every possible subject for an hour an a half which was a very strenious performance. I stayed to luncheon with Wolfie and Shortie fetched me about 2.30 and we went to the Regina Agency in Baker Street to see about getting a temporary house parlour maid; then we went on to Peggy's and I had my last French lesson this term because they go away on Wednesday. Shortie came to tea and we took Peggy with us on 30 'bus and dropped her at Brompton oratory near which she goes for the choral class and there we said a long farewell to each other because I don't see my darling Peggy again for nearly three months when if all plans goe as they are arranged at present we meet again in the middle of July at Minehead where I hope we shall have as glorious a time as we did last year.
Wolfie gave me two pots of lemon and orange marmalade; one of orange jelly and a tin of crême de menthe Turkish Delight. While we were walking down Orchard Street I suddenly turned my foot and sat down flop! in the middle of a side street which we were crossing but luckily broke none of the pots; then we were running for 90 'bus in Putney Bridge Station and I sprawled full length on the road and succeeded in breaking one of the pots of marmalade. I don’t know why I carried on in this tipsy fashion, both times I wristed my ankle and took a header.
Yesterday I took two photographs of the Childers' and one of Peggy.
The Childers' think Peggy awfully pretty in fact almost beautiful, I think she is very pretty sometimes, she has got a very good skin and big brown eyes (they are really green and yellow) and a very American mouth. I am feeling rather gone on Peggy at present - I always do when I know I shan't see her for some time which isn't much of a compliament! probably if I was going to go on seeing her as much as I have been lately I should be feeling in a through bad temper with her in fact I am sure of it!
In yesterday's papers it said that the Huns had bombarded Paris, 60 miles away and they have done it again 70 miles away. Apparently they got some wonderful new gun which carrys all that way. The great battle is still rageing; this morning the news was very bad, we had been beaten back across the Somme and the Germans claimed 30,000 prisoners and 600 guns, but this evening Sir Douglas Haig's Dispatch says we have got across the Somme again. They say all leave has been stopped and that the British troops are to be brought back from Italy. There are 97 German divisions engaged in this battle.
Tuesday March 26th 1918.
Mummy had to go up early to the bureau because somebody else had failed.
Shortie and I went into Wimbledon this afternoon and I bought a War Savings Certificate and a ten inch double-sided zonophone record with Stop Yer Ticklin' Jock" on one side and "Sound Advice" on the other both sung by Harry Lauder. Mummy wanted "Stop Yer Ticklin' Jock" because someone used to sing it in India and it is so vulgar. We met Great Aunt and Ward on the way home. Mr and Mrs Joseph came while we were out and a Mrs Mummery came to tea and brought us two pounds of marmalade and plum jam and a pound of dripping. A Mrs Bertrand Mitford came to tea too and also Cousin V and Moyra came to fetch her.
I had a post card from Mary this morning. They are at Seaton for a fortnight. The Tighes have taken a house at Harrow and Moyra is going to school at Newton Abbott on April 23rd - at least that is the latest idea but they will probably have settled something quite different by next week.
Shortie had a letter from Shuttie today enclosing a cutting about Majorie [ Marjorie ] Forbes wedding which says "the bride was attended by her pretty young sisters"!!! Poor Shuttie has had septic poisoning. She is going to stay in Leamington soon so she will see her beloved Peggy. I wish to goodness she was still with Peggy and that she was going to be at Minehead.
The news was very bad again this morning we were still retreating and the Huns had taken Baupaume and claimed 45,000 prisoners.
Daddie has heard that in this evening's paper it says the Huns have stopped their offensive at present. The gun with which they bombarded Paris is a 9.2 one and the shell goes straight up into the air for 38½ miles after it is fired from the gun and it takes six minutes to reach Paris.
I have finished my bead orniment it isn't bad but might be better, the beads were too big.
With great brilliance I managed yesterday to get out of going up to Wolfie's tomorrow; the second hour there is either an arithmetic competition in the seniors or French elocution in the juniors, the third hour is a lecture on etching which I expect will be rather nice, anyway I said I didn't think it was worth my going up because Wolfie wasn’t sure whether the French lady could come the second hour so Wolfie said all right she would put her off altogether as there would be so few juniors there. I have got to go up to Miss Hammond's in the afternoon.
Wednesday March 27th 1918.
Mummy and Daddie both went up to London this morning. I played the piano nearly the whole morning. We had luncheon early and then went to London. First we went to the Army and Navy and got our sugar ration then we went on to the enquiry bureau where there were three very nice wounded scotch soldiers who had been prisoners in Germany the one I talked to had been there for three years and in Switzerland for nearly three months. He said the civil population of Germany is very short of food and only gets 200 grammes of bread a day - prisoners get 300 grammes - but the soldiers have plenty to eat - and the prisoners get the parcels of food sent from home if they are in camps but if they are out working on the land they have a very slender chance of getting them because the people take them. He had been working in Poland and had been sent to the front to help dig trenches and things like that. He also said that the Serbian prisoners have the worst time because no one sends them anything. When we left the bureau we went to Miss Hammond's and I had my hair washed, then we came home. Mummy didn’t get home till 8 o'clock.
The news was very bad again this morning; the Huns claimed 993 guns and 100 tanks and we had had to retreat again. This evening the news is better because although we have had to retreat in some places we have for the most part held them.
There is a village called Albert which it is most important they should not take because it holds large supplies of ammunition etc: this evening one paper's headlines says they have taken it but there is nothing about it in the column below. They took Peronne about two days ago and are getting very near Amiens and Arras. All this fighting is going on over the battlefields of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Our line was nearly at Cambrai when the Hun offensive began. Some loyal Russian troops have retaken Odessa which is a very good thing.
Wolfie's Russians went in the same 'bus as us today; they are Grand Duchess George's children and Wolfie goes to give them lessons once or twice a week and they used to come to the war lecture.
Aunt Kathleen is very happy because she has had a cable from Uncle Leslie to say he is on his way home having sailed on the 19th. He has been in the Persia [ Persian ] Gulf for a very long time and is a Major General and was mentioned in dispatches the other day. Ian and Laurie haven't seen him for five years.
Thursday March 28th 1918.
Shortie took me up to Wolfie's for the breaking-up this morning and Mummy came up later too. I was seventh in English History with 80 marks and the remark was "a good paper. four people got 80 marks and the winner got 83. In geography I was fourth with 65 marks the winner getting 70 and the remark was "not without merit". We had the usual speech reading which was as dull as usual and we got home a little after 1.30. Wolfie didn’t come down because it was such a bad day but she is coming on Saturday if it is fine and she is well.
I had a letter from Shuttie today.
Mummy went to Church this evening.
I have read and practised today and have started to make a dark blue velveteen handbag embroidered in steel beads in a pattern of roses and forget-me-nots; it is the most desperate job because I have to pin the paper transfer onto the velveteen and work over it. I should be excessively surprised if I got it done by the Day of Judgement.
When completed it is intended to look something like this -
Miss Cordelia Leigh (Peggy's Aunt Cords) is in London for Easter and she is coming here for luncheon on Saturday.
The news was better again this morning. The Germans have taken Albert but we are holding them. It is calculated that they must have lost 300,000 men in these seven days. It is feared that with the prisoners released from Russia the Germans will try to invade India through Afghanistan.
Good Friday March 29th 1918.
The news was finally good this morning and although the Germans have taken one or two villages we have been able to hold out against them in most places.
I finished "Ben Hur" this morning. This is the second time I have read it and I like it very much.
Shortie went to Church for the whole of the three hours service and Mummy and I went for the second half. The Vicar of Limehouse (I have forgotten his name) took the service.
Mr Freddie Wallouph (I am sure his name isn't spelt like that) came down for tea. He is a most enormous walker and always walks here from London. he has also got the largest collection of doleful stories about everyone and everybody that I know of, all the same he is very nice and entertaining.
Mummy and Daddie went over to Moulsford Lodge after tea.
I did bead-work this afternoon and evening.
Saturday March 30th 1918.
Wolfie telephoned this morning to say she was all ready to come down here but did Mummy think the weather was too bad? as it was pouring with an ardour worthy of a better cause and showed no signs of stopping Mummy said "yes", so once again Wolfie has failed to get here. She has been coming three times in one week and each time something has happened to prevent her.
Aunt Cords came to luncheon and was very amusing and cheerful. She always comes up to London every year for Easter and she came to luncheon here on this day last year.
I have practised a bit and done bead-work with great ardour and have finished the design for my bag so it has only got to have an edging of beads and to be made up now. The design bears a very mild resemblance to this which has somehow got rather out of proportion
The news was fairly good this morning and better still this evening. The Germans are making unsuccessful efforts to take Arras. At one time about a week ago they nearly broke through our line and we were outnumbered by four to one. The horrid brutes have been bombarding Paris with their long range gun again and yesterday a shell hit a Church while a service was going on and seventy five people were killed and ninety injured. General Foch has been made a Generalissimo; he is French.
Easter Sunday March 31st 1918.
We went to Church this morning. The Church was most beautifully decorated with lilies, camillas azaleas, cyclamen and daffodils.
This afternoon I wrote to Mary, Miss Wolff and Peggy and read "Hypatia".
Sir Evan James and Mrs Bright and a cousin came to tea
Miss Wolff sent me a lot of soap eggs for Easter. They are awfully nice.
The news is much the same today.
I can't think of anything more to say and I want to go on reading "Hypatia" and to go to bed so I will stop for tonight.
Bank Holiday & April Fools Day 1918.
The family exhibited great ardour in trying to make each other April fools. Daddie brought me a bulky letter with my name written on it in printed letters - I thinking there was probably nothing in it but blank paper refused to open it till after 12 o'clock but when I did open it I found inside a scribbling block and half a crown, so I suppose I was made an April fool by refusing to open the letter!
I went to Miss de Lisle this morning for my first drawing lesson with her. I had to draw a sprig of japonica. She is awfully nice and paints beautifully in oils and water colours. I am sorry to say she can't give me another lesson till next Monday.
We were expecting the Macmillans to tea this afternoon but they didn't come, however Uncle Vernon and Miss Tyrrel [ Tyrrell ] Giles appeared for tea Miss Tyrrel Giles is very nice and amusing and exactly like a short, fair edition of Mrs Fish and I always sort of feel she is Mrs Fish and that I know her well. It is a most odd sensation. I have never known anybody very like somebody else I know better before except that one of the girls at Miss Hammond's is very like Cousin Winifrid Magniac.
I have finished reading "Hypatia" - which I had already read before - and like it enormously except for the murder of Hypatia. I like Raphael best of all the people in it.
There was a fair amount of people on the Common today being Bank Holiday but nothing like last Easter Bank Holiday when there was scarcely a square inch to stand on.
We had most lurid experiences on that day. Mr Wilton was staying with us for the week-end and it being a glorious day we decided to go over to Ashstead [ Ashtead ] to see Uncle Claude and Aunt Di, well, we got there easily enough and decided to come home by a train which left Ashstead about 8; the train was quite empty when we got in at Ashstead but when we got to Epsom there were masses and masses of people and there really was a free fight to get into the train and there were twenty four people in our carriage! and we didn't get home till nearly midnight.
The news was better this morning and we have re-captured a village.
Three weeks today we shall be in Devonshire with luck.
Tuesday April 2nd 1918.
It was Mrs Idie's birthday today. I gave her "Leatherface" by Baroness Orczy.
Mummy and Daddie went to luncheon with Mr Anthony Wingfield at the Carlton. There were fourteen people altogether and they seem to have had a jolly good luncheon but of course no meat.
I was sorting some old papers of mine this morning and I came across an exam essay of mine written I think in 1914 - the title being "A Detailed Story of a Simple Nursery Rhyme", one line ran "Margaret gazed on the view which she knew so well but which to her was always lovely", I shall make a novelist yet! This essay because it amused the audience was first by the votes except for one vote and the annoying part was that I voted for the girl who won so she really won by my vote, however in the autumn 1915 I was first by the votes with an essay on "Christmas Shopping in Wartime". The examiner never appreciated my truly lovely style and always put me fiveth or sixth except once when I wrote an essay which was considerably duller (I was first going to write dryer) than ditch water on "1815 the Year of Waterloo" when he had the decency (at least I think he did it may have been the voters) to make me second with the remark that I must have taken great pains to learn up that date; poor man! if he had but known it I got the whole thing with slight variations of my own adding out of a history book.
My great brain has been occupied on bead work for a large part of today which ended in becoming rather detremental to the retention of my temper.
I have just been talking to Helen down the telephone. I could slay that child with great cheerfulness she seems to have been to a play a day for ages past and to be going to a play a day for years to come (I didn't mean to make a parody). They are coming down here on Monday or Tuesday and Daddie is going to luncheon there tomorrow and Helen and I hope to go to "The Beauty Spot" together sometime.
I had a letter from Peggy this morning. She is going to spend the night with Shuttie tomorrow, I suppose at the latters home. I also had a War Bond dividend this morning. I thought it was for £1.5s but it turned out to be 1/5 which was very sad, anyhow I get my £1.5s dividend in May.
Wolfie has asked me to go to luncheon with her at Maison Lyons in Oxford Street tomorrow and to go shopping with her afterwards.
The news is much the same today but the Huns are preparing for another great attack, their object being to take Amiens. They claim 70,000 prisoners now.
Wednesday April 3rd 1918.
I had a killing letter from Shibley Otley this morning
We started for London about 11.30 and went to Miss Wolff's. She took us both to luncheon at Maison Lyons but it was so full that having had to wait half an hour to get served with some fish we decided to go to John Lewis for pudding so we left Mrs Short who had got some other shopping to do and went to Lewis and had pudding and coffee. Then I got some little flower embroidery to put round the top of my bag. then we went to a bead shop to get a loom for making bead necklaces, they hadn't got any and said they didn't think we should get one anywhere else in London but we decided to try Head's in Sloane Street so off we went in a 'bus but when we got to Hyde Park Corner Wolfie suddenly remembered a book which she had promised to leave out for someone who was going to call for it so back we went to South Audley Street and put it out then as we couldn't get a 'bus in Park Lane we took a taxi to Head, where they had got heaps of looms so Wolfie gave me a loom, a book of instructions, four skeins of mauve beads, four of greenish grey ones, a packet of needles and some twist wasn't it good of her? Then we went to Miss Hammond were Wolfie left me and we got home at 6.15.
I have been trying to use the loom this evening but can't quite find out how it works. I am going to make a chain to wear my watch on.
We have taken back a village from the Huns and the news is quite good altogether.
Thursday April 4th 1918.
Wolfie came down about 12 o'clock. It was a horrid day and we didn't think she would come. Mrs Mummery came soon after Wolfie and brought us a pot of strawberry jam, a tin of syrup, and a tin of muscatals. They both went away together at 6.30.
Emmeline came at 2 o'clock and gave me a lesson which consisted mainly of Paderewski's Minuet, of which I am beging to get heartily tired, a little singing and one duet. She is coming again at 12 o'clock on Monday.
Laurie is coming down for the day tomorrow.
I went and got my photographs from Boots yesterday. They are quite a good lot: there is a very good one of Nina's head (I had had that film in ever since September) a mildly good one of the whole of Nina, one of my head in which I have got the most lovely curly hair by a most extraordinary fluke, one of Captain and Mrs Childers and Mummy talking, I took it when they weren't looking so all you see of Mrs Childers is a boot and half a hat (which strictly speaking isn't Mrs Childers either) and only the back of Captain Childers, but it is very good of Mummy; and there is a full length one of Peggy which is the first one which has been done of her since she had her hair up; it might have been better if she hadn't had a violent fit of giggles just as I took it.
Daddie is going down to Norfolk from Tuesday till Friday next week. He is going to see Aunt Ethel and to lecture to wounded soldiers at two hospitals.
I have been trying to find out how my bead loom works but I can't quite make it out, however Miss Wolff will be seeing someone who uses one a great deal tomorrow and she is going to ask her and let me know. I have finished my bag all except the cord to draw it up with which I have got to buy. I am really feeling very pleased with myself, it is very pretty and would have cost about thirty bob in a shop because they are very fashionable and very dear.
There is no very particular War news. A semi-official report has been issued that one of the Hun long range guns blew up and killed all the people who were attending to it, which we hope is true.
Friday April 5th 1918.
Laurie arrived soon after 11.30 and was very full of spirits and mischief. He has of course got a whole new set of expressions chief among which is "live it down", whenever anybody makes a joke Laurie says in a pitying voice but without much hope "live it down" another great expression when someone makes a joke is "kamerad". Laurie puts up his hands and says "kamerad" in a voice of utter disgust. It is suppose to be what the Huns say when we attack them. We went to a cinematograph after luncheon it was quite good and amongst other things there was a long thing called "Flames" which is the story of how a man with an evil soul drove the good soul out of another man and went into his body, but in the end the good soul gets back its body. Owen Nares was the man with the good soul; he is most awfully hansome. We had tea at a shop in Putney, then I went to the music shop to try and get "I Love a Lassie" sung by Harry Lauder on an His Master's Voice" record, they hadn't got that but they had another sung by him called "The Lads Who Fought and Won" and as it was very good I had that. It is a twelve inch single sided record price five bob and sixpence. Then we took Laurie to the station and came home. Mrs Idie went with us too.
They expect Ian home on Wednesday and Uncle Leslie about the beginning of May.
I had a letter from Mary yesterday and one from Peggy this evening. She has had a very narrow escape of a terrible row; Rowland wrote asking for the key of her writing table draw in London as he is bring a friend up with him for the day when he comes from Winchester and he wants to show him Peggy's photographs of Teddie. Well instead of addressing his letter to Peggy he addressed it to Mrs Leigh by mistake of course and of course Mrs Leigh wished to know what it meant, Peggy glibly said she hadn't the fainest idea but she might when she saw the letter so when she went to say "good night" to Mrs Leigh she said "I think Rowland must have wanted to show his friend, who I believe is interested in it, the "Play Pictorial" of "Bubbly!" Mrs Leigh was quite satisfied with this explanation so I suppose my dear little friend continues to draw her breath once more.
I have been trying that bead work with bigger beads and it is quite successful so I am going to make a bracelet of squares of steel and gold beads.
The Huns have started their offensive again and they are only nine and a half miles from Amiens which they are trying to take. One of our airmen brought down six enemy areoplanes in one day a short time ago.
Saturday April 6th 1918.
I wrote a letter reams long to Peggy this morning and sent her some cutting about Madge, some old letters of hers to me written from Newt when she was in love with Bobs; and the photograph of her and the one of my head.
Shortie went up to the stores to get our bacon ration.
Cousin V came over after tea and Mummy and Daddie went back to Moulsford Lodge with her to see a Lady Beatrice Clarke. They are both coming to tea on Tuesday.
Mrs Idie asked me in front of Mummy this afternoon to put on the record of "Naughty, Naughty One Gerrard" for Mummy to hear I had never played it to her before because I thought she might think it vulgar. Of course I couldn't refuse when she said she would like to hear it so I put it on in great doubt as to the result and will you believe it Mummy has promptly taken a wild liking for it and thinks it is awfully clever the way Teddie sings it and also thinks Teddie's rythm is very good. She keeps asking all about Teddie (who she calls "Billie") and I am afraid of letting on how much I know about her, it would be so awkward if Mummy got under the illusion that Teddie is my pet actress.
Helen rang up during luncheon and she and Lady Percy and Daddie and I are going to "Pamela" today week. We were going to "The Beauty Spot" but Lily Elsie is coming back to "Pamela" on Monday so we are going to that.
I have been doing bead work hard 'most all day and have finished my bracelet and it looks very nice although I says it as shouldn't.
The war news is much the same. The Huns are attacking us in great masses but they are not making much progress. They are coming on so thickly that it is estimated there is a regiment of them to every sixty yards.
A little boy has been born to Viscount Jellicoe. A special provision had been made that Lucy should succeed if there was no boy.
Sunday April 7th 1918.
We went to Church this morning.
Great Aunt, Captain Tyrrell Giles, Mr Tyrrell Giles, Mrs Tyrrell Giles and a Mr Durrant who is in the India Office and a friend of the Tyrrell Giles' came to tea. As soon as they had done eating and drinking I doubled up and made a bee line for the door and managed to escape for which of course I was duly upbraided afterwards. Mummy made me play "Naughty, Naughty One Gerrard" on the gramophone to Great Aunt who rather enjoyed it and saw it was clever, but just fancy Mummy liking a vulgar revue song and wanting me to play it to Great Aunt on a Sunday too! Mummy is getting more frisky than I am!
I wrote to Wolfie and Shuttie and Shibley Otley today and feel oh so virtuous in consequence.
Helen has just rung up. They can't come down tomorrow but I may go to luncheon there on Friday and bring her down here; and she can't get seats for "Pamela" at the theatre but is going to try a theatre ticket agency.
I am re-reading "Dear Enemy" which is the sequel to "Daddy Long Legs". Some people say it is dull but I like it very much.
No exciting war news today.
The Huns are still attacking hard.
I have a terrible feeling that I have eaten my week's meat ration today.
"One crowded hour of glorious life
Is worth an age without a name".
Monday April 8th 1918.
I had a post-card from Aunt Kathleen this morning asking me to go to the Zoo with them on Wednesday and back to tea there.
I went to Miss de Lisle for my drawing lesson at 10 o'clock. I had to draw her dog's head and as he didn't remain in the same position for two seconds at a time it was rather difficult. We got back just before Emmeline came. She gave me nearly an hour and a half of Minuet and singing.
Mummy didn't get home till nearly 8 o'clock.
I had a letter from Peggy. She must be feeling violently ill because she didn't get my letter yesterday and she wrote to me on Thursday and yet she wrote again yesterday.
We are going to take Ian and Laurie to "By Pigeon Post" on Wednesday week, at least I have taken seats in the second row of the dress circle but I haven't asked them if they can come yet.
The great advantage of taking seats over the telephone is that till you pay for them you can always counter order them.
I have started to make Mummy a chain in steel and gold beads to hang her little dimond watch on.
Miss de Lisle asked me to draw Joffie for her. I had a terrible time this afternoon trying to make him pose; finally after vain attempts in various positions I drew him full face. The result is emphatically not a striking likeness.
The Germans are preparing for another great effort to take Amiens and are bombarding our line very heavily with gas shells.
Tuesday April 9th 1918.
Daddie started off for Norwich at 8.30 this morning. His train left Liverpool Street at 10 o’clock.
I had a letter from Wolfie this morning in which she said she had arranged with Head for me to have a lesson in loom bead work at 2.30 tomorrow and she was telephoning this morning to know if I could go; so when she telephoned of course I had to say I couldn't go because of going to the Zoo with Laurie and I am not going to have a lesson either because I have found out through the book of instructions (which is a very bad one) how to do it.
I went to Miss de Lisle for my drawing lesson at 10 o'clock this morning and she gave me a two hours lesson. I drew a Bruges pottery jug.
Cousin V and a Lady Beatrice Clarke who is staying with her and who is a dark edition of Renée came to tea.
I wrote a long letter to Peggy in pencil this afternoon and sent her some old letters which have come to light which she wrote me when she was in love with Bobs. They were very full of Bobs.
Rowland goes to Stoneleigh tomorrow.
Helen telephoned to say she has got seats in the second row of the dress circle for "Pamela" next Saturday and we are going to luncheon there first. Helen can't come here on Friday and she goes away Wednesday week so we shall have seen each other twice the whole time she has been in London.
Aunt Kathleen also rung up this evening to put me off for tomorrow because someone has asked Laurie to go to “The Boy” tomorrow. Laurie can come to “By Pigeon Post” on Wednesday week but Ian can’t because he comes up on Thursday and if his medical board gives him any more leave he will go back to the country. We shall probably take Mrs Idie in his place.
No different war news.
Wednesday April 10th 1918.
Weather unintermittantly horrible all day.
We went up to the dentist this morning – a very nice man but he always finds a tooth which requires stopping – he found one today. All the time he did it he discoursed on various prophecies which show that the end of the world is near. I wished it had come while he was stopping my unoffending tooth.
When we turned the corner of Old Burlington Street by the Academy who should greet my astonished eye (or eyes?) but Teddie? She lives in Sackville Street so I supposed she was on her way home. We walked down Bond Street into Oxford Street where we had poached eggs and bad rhubarb tart at a small Lyons. Then we went to Evans and bought several small things; next to the Times Book Club with a long interval during which we “stood up” because it was pouring (I had the process of standing up, it is an abominal waste of time and one invariably balances on the pet corns of people far wetter than oneself and the rain never stops anyway). At the Times Book Club I succeeded with great brilliance in finding a copy of “Daddy Long Legs with Renée on the cover. They were on sale at the theatre when the play was on but there are very few kicking around now and that was the last one at the T.B.C. From there we went to pay a bill at Batt the vet then we took a bus to Oxford Circus and walked down Regents Street to Picadilly [ Piccadilly ] Circus where we took another ‘bus – or to be strictly accurate the ‘bus took us – to the enquiry bureau where we found Mummy and Mrs Lucas. Shortie went on to the Stores to get bacon and sugar. She seems to have had a fight with them because they said they had no bacon but she got some! then she came back for me and we came home – scarcly room to stand in the train. I went to bed before dinner and succeeded in reading the whole of the life and letters of Judy Abbott alias Renée Kelly – in other words “Daddy Long Legs” I meant to keep it to read at the Glen which I quite forgot till I had finished it; but I have read it three times nearly and maybe I shall be able to manage a fourth.
We have lost and retaken a place called Givenchy taking 750 prisoners in the process.
I am writing in bed – very uncomfortable – and there is no more ink in my pen so good night.
Thursday April 11th 1918
Miss de Lisle gave me a drawing lesson this morning. I drew an earthenware pot; my drawing showed great originality when compared with the original pot.
After this lesson we tore home for Emmeline who was coming at 12 o’clock. She got in the same ‘bus as us at the post office. My lesson needless to say consisted of Minuet and singing.
Mummy asked Emmeline to stay to luncheon which she did. She is coming again tomorrow at 9.30.
Cousin Amy Brazier-Cray came down for tea.
Mummy went to see Lady Barrington this evening.
Shortie got me two books at the library in Wimbledon this morning. There are "The Wheat Princess" and "The Four Pools Mystery" both by Jean Webster. I have read bits of both of them; the latter is a murder mystery. I always firmly make up my mind not to read detective stories at night because they give me the creeps and I always do.
I had a letter from the Post Office yesterday which contained a letter which Nina had written to Gilbert when she was here. It had been out to Mesapotamia [ Mesopotamia ] and come back. This address was on it and there was some reference to me so they sent it to me. I don’t know whether to send it to her or not, she might like to have it.
No very special war news but our line has been forced back in one or two places.
Friday April 12th 1918.
Emmeline came at 9.30 and as usual gave me a minuet and singing lesson. She says I can sing in tune now but that it is very wobbly. I am quite convinced of the latter statement but am not quite so sure of the former!
I went to Miss de Lisle when Emmeline had gone and again drew a piece of pottery.
Mummy was away at her enquiry bureau nearly all day.
This afternoon I sat in the garden and read “The Wheat Princess” and succeeded in finishing it. I thought I wasn’t going to like it at first but it got quite nice at the end. It is about Americans in Italy. I have also finished “The Four Pool Mystery” which as I think I said before is a murder mystery.
Daddie got back soon after five and seems to have enjoyed himself very much. Stuart Macnaughtan a boy who stayed with us for a long time in Kashmir was staying in the house Daddie stayed in last night. Robin, Aunt Ethel’s boy, is head boy of Hailibury [ Haileybury ] and very dull according to Daddie.
I have been trying to draw Renée from my big signed photograph of her and just when I had got it spread out on the bed and I got one of the jump of my life but I managed to get to bundle it away before she saw it. Renée has gone out of “Nothing but the Truth” and the person who has taken her place is Emily Brooke who was the heroine of “The Saving Grace” and jolly good and will I should think do very well in this part which was not by any means worthy of Renée. Any body less like Renée than Emily Brooke it would be quite difficult to imagine. She is tall and large and heavy and what is known as “a good sort”, while Renée is exactly (or so I imagine) like Judy Abbott the heroine of “Daddy Long Legs”; I believe a long time ago when trying to describe Renée I said if I ever found anyone like her in a novel I would put down the description, well if anyone is sufficiently interested in her let them read “Daddy Long Legs”, or even if they do not want to make Renée’s acquaintance let them read the book if ever they come across it.
Two songs sung by Teddie Gerard in “Cheep!” have just been issued on a Columbia gramophone record – at least there are leaflets advertising them but the records havn’t reached the shops yet. I tried the Aeolian Hall on Wednesday and they hadn’t got it so I tried a shop in Regents Street which likewise hadn’t got it yesterday Mrs Short tried in Wimbledon and they said they would try and get it from the warehouse but the warehouse hadn’t got it in stock, however they are going to go on trying to get it. We rung up Harrods this afternoon but they hadn’t got it. However I think all the shops will have it by the beginning of next week. I am making such a fuss about getting it because we shall only have the gramophone for such a short time longer before we go away that I want to make it worth while getting it.
“Pamela” tomorrow, hurrah! I shan’t have been to a play for seven weeks tomorrow.
Wolfie says she is coming down on Monday.
The war news is bad. We are retreating and have evacuated Armentieres which got filled with gas. One of those infernal long range guns of the Huns hit a childrens hospital in Paris.
Saturday April 13th 1918.
“Pamela” was ripping, one of the best plays I have ever seen and I think quite the best musical comedy. The story is about a young man who is hard up and hearing about a rich girl who is stopping at a place on the Riviera he goes off to try and marry her for her money. When he gets there a girl friend of his who is with Pamela introduces her by another name for a joke and they promptly fall head over heels in love with one another (Pamela and the young man, whose name is Guy). Then another girl tells Pamela Guy is marrying her for her money and Guy thinking she is someone else doesn’t deny that he came out to marry Pamela Durham for her money and is awfully taken aback when he finds she is Pamela Durham instead of Pamela “Somerset”
Of course Pamela won’t have anything more to do with him but she is so unhappy that she takes to gambling wildly and loses nearly all her money. Meanwhile an uncle of Guy’s makes him rich and he proposes to Pamela again and this time as her money can’t be the cause of it she accepts and they presumably live happily ever after. Lily Elsie was Pamela, she is very pretty, sings well and dances beautifully. Owen Nares was Guy, he is most awfully hansome, acts well, has no voice at all and makes love jolly well and altogether I have elected him to the high position of my favourite actor but of course I shan’t collect pictures of him or anything like that. Uncle Claude and Aunt Di know him very well. There was also a very funny man whose name is G.P. Huntley.
The scenery in the second and third acts was very pretty, so were Lily Elsie’s dresses and so was the music which is by the man who wrote the “Chu Chin Chow” music (Frederick Norton).
We went to luncheon with Lady Percy and Helen. They both enjoyed the play very much and Helen who has been to twelve plays in two weeks says it is the best she has seen. It was at the Palace Theatre and begun at 2.30 and was over by 5.10. Helen has taken to powdering her nose which amused me very much.
Wolfie telephoned today and is not coming down on Monday as Mummy won’t be here but I am going to have luncheon with her at Maison Lyons on Tuesday.
The latest arrangement is that Mrs Idie goes down to Bath soon and we (Daddie & I) join her there on Tuesday week, where we stay till we go to Pompey’s on May 1st.
The war news looked very black this morning as the Germans were still advancing and had taken a place called Merville, however the communiqué in the evening paper says we are holding them. There was a Zepp raid on England last night by four Zepps and another on Paris in which they killed 26 people and injured 63. It is believed that 370,000 Germans have been killed in this great battle.
Sunday April 14th 1918
We went to Church this morning.
This afternoon I wrote to Mary and read.
We had a fine bun scramble this afternoon – 13 of us altogether there was Mr Lucas, Mrs Lucas, Una Lucas, Diana Lucas, Mrs Hudson, Violet Hudson, Aunt Kathleen, Laurie, Kathleen Tighe and Mr Wellsford. Laurie had been to “Cheep!” yesterday and was very full of it. He was very full of mischief and we succeeded in breaking a chair because Shortie was sitting in it and we both sat her lap and it was more than the chair had bargained for so the back gave way.
Aunt Kathleen has asked me to go to a play with them next Saturday; it is to be “The Beauty Spot” if they can get seats. Ian has got another months leave and gone back to the country.
I have just written a letter of condolence to Aunt Bobs about her perkinese [ Pekinese ] “Sennie” who was run over by a motor lorry in Littlehampton the other day. Fortunately he was killed instantly.
Daddie went over to see Cousin V this evening.
I received a dividend a few days ago for the noble sum of 7d! it is just the odd bit on my £10 bond which I bought on March 8th and apparently all these dividends are paid on April 1st, though I didn’t get this till some time after that.
There is a jolly old hurricane blowing tonight. I love the wind.
I have re-read "The Sky Pilot" by Ralph Connor today. It is about a young missionary among ranchmen in Canada and is very, very nice.
The news is better again today. We are holding the Germans well and have got back one or two positions by counter-attacks. The Germans are 40 miles from Calais.
The Milnes next door have heard that their youngest son is a prisoner. They didn’t hear from him for a long time then they heard he was missing. Poor boy! I hope the Germans won’t treat him like they have treated some of our prisoners.
Monday April 15th 1918.
I went to Miss de Lisle for my drawing lesson this morning. Her eldest nephew and another very nice girl were there. We were expecting Emmeline at 12 o’clock and we didn’t leave Miss De Lisle’s till that time but mercifully Emmeline was late too and she came in the same ‘bus as us. She gave me a bit of lesson before luncheon then she came and had luncheon with me and we finished after. Of course the lesson consisted of singing and minuet. I am beginning to like the minuet quite a good deal now I can play it a bit and Emmeline doesn’t make me play each little piece over and over till I could shriek.
Mummy and Daddie were both in London all day.
I have started to read "Laddie" by Gene Stratton Porter over again. It is a very nice book about country people in America on farms.
Poor Mrs Idie has got to have a bad eye and we had to have the doctor to see it today.
Uncle Claude and Aunt Di have asked Daddie and I to go and stay there for a week before we go to the Glen. I would have loved to have gone but we think it better to stick to our plan about going to Bath.
The news was very good this morning but it is not quite so good this evening. There is a village called Neuve Eglise which the Germans captured from us which we took back from them and which they have taken again; otherwise we are holding them for the most part.
Tuesday April 16th 1918.
It was snowing so hard this morning that the Powers That Be decided that I couldn’t go up early to go to luncheon with Miss Wolff at Maison Lyons and soon after breakfast she telephoned to ask if I was coming so I arranged to go with her next Tuesday.
I had a letter from Captain Childers asking us to tea today (I had written to ask if they would be at home) so we decided that Shortie and I should go up and do some shopping and then go to tea there.
This morning my energies were chiefly engaged in polishing the gramophone with "Ronuk" and “Shino” which did not conduce to the cleanliness of my hands or clothes.
We started directly after luncheon and went first to Harrods where I made an unsuccessful effort to get that record from "Cheep!"; they told me that very likely the record wouldn't be made, what on earth is the good of issueing a list with a think in it that you don't intend to make?? echo answers "what?". Then I went to a neighbouring Keith Prowse and made a ditto effort. then we went to Heads and I changed the beads I had got with Wolfie for some larger ones. Then we took a 'bus or buses to the Army and Navy Stores where Shortie struggled for bacon, margarine, butter, sugar etc. The we went to Cheniston Gardens High Street Kensington at No 1 of which Cousin Aimée Brazier Creagh has got a maisonette which Mummy is thinking of taking for a month when we leave here. She said she would be there this afternoon but we rapped and thumped on the door and rang the bell (which didn’t ring) for 10 minutes after which we came away.
I spotted a gramophone shop and darted in, for results see other two shops. Then we went to tea with the Childers’. Daddie told me to ask them to go to By Pigeon Post” tomorrow but unfortunately they can’t as they are going to a play with someone else. They are going to Osburne [ Osbourne ] on Saturday. Captain Childers told me that when that bomb was dropped on Chelsea in one of the raids they caught a spy signalling to the Germans We got home about 7 o’clock.
Hampton rang up at luncheon time to say that if we like we can have this cottage on till the middle of July. Rather late to offer it us now when we asked for it a year ago!
Emmeline is coming at 2 o’-clock on Thursday and she can give me a lesson on Friday at 9.30.
I had a letter from Peggy this morning. They had a terrible shock at Stoneleigh in the middle of the night on Friday in the form of an air-raid. It must have been a great surprise because I don’t think they even thought of raids in connecting with Stoneleigh and they always go there to escape them. They had to get things on and tear downstairs in the dark and they heard bombs falling which sounded very near while they were dressing. The next day they went to see the bomb holes; one was 20 feet deep by 50 wide and there were two dead cows just by it. The nearest bomb was two miles away. They heard engines (I suppose they were Zepps as there was a Zepp raid that night but the nearest guns were at Birmingham which is 20 miles away. Peggy says it isn’t much fun all bombs and no guns and altogether they don’t seem to have enjoyed it at all.
The war news is very bad. The Germans have taken an important town called Bailleul and we shall probably have to give up Ypres.
Wednesday April 17th 1918.
Daddie and I had luncheon at 12 o’clock today and went up directly after. First we went to the India Office where Daddie had “to look up some things then we went to the theatre (the Garrick) Mummy had very kindly been and paid for the seats as they said they couldn’t keep them after 2 o’clock. They gave us very good seats in the first row of the dress circle. Laurie appeared at the last moment. The play was perfectly ripping and awfully exciting. The scene is laid in an old château 25 kilometres from the German lines and in the morning - room of the château is a large sliding panel behind which is an aivoury containing carrier pigeons who carry messages between the château and a spy behind the German lines. There is a major at the château who is at the head but the man who really manages everything is a captain whose name I have forgotton, except his christian name which is Paul (Arthur Wontnor) so we will call him that. There are also an orderly and various other soldiers and a lady doctor who is attending Paul who hasn’t been well. Her name is Marie Latour (Madge). The major is in love with her but she is not with him, however she and Paul are mutually in love with each other and they start making love in the first act. Meanwhile there is great excitement on the part of the Powers that Be, who consist of a Colonel and General who continually buzz in and out, because no message has come through for a long time and they say that the spy at the other end must be false to them and that the pigeon service is no use so it must be shut down in three days if neither of the two pigeons which they are expecting return. Paul is awfully cut up about this especially as he knows there is only one pigeon to come and not two. Now the orderly and the major are both German spies, the orderly being over the major and while they are talking together one of the pigeons comes home and automatically rings a bell as it flies into its nest. The spies hastily take the message from its foot and hide the pigeon and when a few minutes later Paul comes tearing wildly in asking for the pigeon which he has seen fly in the major denies all knowledge of it and says his nerves must be overstrung the Colonel who has popped up again agrees to this and says the pigeon post must be stopped at once as there is no means of communicating with Paul’s friend behind the lines: Paul then says he himself will go disguised and try and get behind and get the plans which they are expecting from his friend. They agree to this in the end and he says he will take the orderly part of the way with him. Before he starts the orderly manages to send a description of him and his disguise through to the Germans by wireless. This is the end of Act I. At the beginning of Act II the Colonel is buzzing around in frightful anxiety because there is no news of Paul, however soon a wireless comes to say that the orderly is bringing him back wounded. When he comes in he is not wounded at all but is suffering from shell-shock and he is quite childish though perfectly sane and he has utterly lost his memory. The orderly says he rescued him with great difficulty and produces a letter from the base hospital saying he has shell shock. Of course Marie is terribly cut up when he doesn’t know her and when he and she are left alone she does everything she can to bring back his memory without any effect, then she happens to touch the back of his head and she looks and she descovers a mark as of a blow there and immediately suspects foul play. She telephones to the base hospital and they tell her that they have never had Paul there so then she guesses that the orderly is a spy and she also descovers that the major is one. She then sees that Paul's life is in immediate danger so she telephones for the General but he has just gone off however they say she will catch him if she runs across the fields so she tells Paul that when she has gone he is to lock the door and hide in the pigeon place, this he does and soon the spies come in and talk and they decide to send a pigeon message to the other spy because they want to find out his name; of course when the orderly opens the sliding panel he finds Paul in the pigeon cage and he immediately expects him of not having shock at all but Paul behaves in such an idiotic way that he is soon convinced and he makes Paul call the pigeon he wants because he (Paul) is the only person who the pigeons know, then he makes Paul send the message. Then the orderly tries to get out of the door and finds it locked and he and Paul fight and Paul wins and pushes him into another room. Meanwhile Marie has returned and is thumping on the door and the major has come down from the tower which communicates with this room. Paul unlocks the door and then goes away and Marie who is terrified for his safety (Pauls) makes love to the major to try and keep him away from Paul but while they are hugging Paul creeps in and springs on the major; they roll about on the floor fighting hard and at last the General and some soldiers arrive and take the major prisoner. It turns out that Paul hadn't lost his memory at all but ever since he had been knocked on the head and had his plan stolen he has been shamming because that is the only way of getting than plan back. He finds it on the major. In the next act, which was really quite unnecessary, the spies are tried and the major succeeds in committing suicide from the tower and there is great difficulty about finding the real plan which is hidden in a useless one.
The war news this morning was very bad but is slightly better this evening.
More about Madge and our other doings today in our next grand instalment. Don't miss it!
Thursday April 18th 1918.
Yesterday after the play Daddie had to go to a lecture at the Royal Society of Arts on Agricultural Machinery and of course I went too. I emphatically liked the play best!
I have never heard an audience clap so much as they clapped that play yesterday. They clapped Madge every time she went off (it doesn't sound much of a compliment like that!) and they clapped and clapped and clapped at the end of each act. It was awfully funny, once the people went on clapping at the end of an act so the curtain started to go up but when it got up there was no one on the stage ! however Madge and Arthur Wontnor soon came hurrying on. It is almost exactly a year since I first saw Madge, that was when she was in 'General Post'. I like her better in this though she certainly is an extraordinarily good actress.
This morning I had a letter from Aunt Bobs thanking me for writing about Sennie and saying they were getting Grove Place ready for the summer and hoped I should be able to go there this year I wonder oh! I wonder!
I went to Miss de Lisle's this morning. There were two other girls there and Miss de Lisle's nephew. We had a model this morning, an old lady with a bright scarlet scarf round her head and a big blue apron. She is coming again tomorrow.
Emmeline came this afternoon and made me play the minuet till I could have screamed. She is coming at 3.30 tomorrow.
Mrs Otley and Shibley came to tea. Shibley is quite a nice boy.
Mummy and Daddie both went to London.
Shortie went to Maxwell's this morning to see about the record and wonder of wonders! they had got it! I was quite overcome with joy. It is jolly good - a Columbia double-sided 12 inch record with "You're the Catch of the Season Teddie" on one side and "A Very Little Kiss" on the other. It is ripping. I have played it getting on for twelve times today!
The war news is very uncertain. The Germans took a village with an unpronounceable name which begins with W yesterday morning, we took it back in the afternoon and they have taken it back again this morning and have advanced in one or two other places.
Friday April 19th 1918.
I went to Miss de Lisle's this morning. We had the old lady again and I had to paint her this time but I took such a long time drawing her outline that I only had time to paint her head. I am sorry to say this is my last lesson, Miss de Lisle can't give any more private lessons because some of her schools begin next week.
Daddie was in London all day.
I wrote to Peggy this afternoon.
Emmeline having said she would come at 3.30 appeared at 2.30. Mercifully I managed to get off with only about a quarter of an hour of minuet the rest of the time being taken up with singing.
The weather has alternated at regular intervals of ten minutes between sunshine and snow.
We have been having great agitations about this cottage. When Hampton said we could have it till the middle of July Daddie showed a strong desire to have it but then it turned out Mrs Avery wanted £8.8s a week instead of £5.5s. Then we decided to ask for it till October at the present rent. Yesterday Mrs Avery said we could have it on for another year from May 1st but mercifully we have refused that offer and asked for it till Nov. 15th of this year. We have had no answer about that yet I am living in hope that she won't let us have it on because if she does I shall be here for two months of the summer term and besides which I think we have all had enough of this place and tearing up and down to London.
We have asked for a fortnight's extension till May 15th if we can't have it till November. In that case Daddie and I are to go to Bath on the 29th and to the Glen on May 1st. Mrs Idie goes to Bath on Monday.
I am going to "The Beauty Spot" with Aunt Kathleen and Laurie tomorrow.
At last I have stuck some photographs in my diaries. I have been busily engaged in doing it this afternoon. Don't you like Peggy, Teddie and Bobs in Vol: II? I think Peggy's grin of delight at Teddie and defiance at Bobs and Bobs' scowl at them both and Teddie's supreme indifference are too lovely. Unfortunately Bobs' mouth went groggy in the cutting out.
The news is slightly better today. We are holding the Germans all along the line.
There is great excitement because Lord Derby has been appointed Ambassador to Paris in succession to Lord Bertie and no one wants him to go.
Saturday April 20th 1918.
We were going up to see a exhibition of drawings which Miss de Lisle told us about this morning and then on to the Gaiety Theatre but we decided to do it on Monday. We had a most lurid time getting up to the theatre because the performance started at 2.15 and we started late and it was quite impossible to get a 'bus to Putney because they were all absolutely full of soldiers from the camp, so we had to walk very nearly into Putney but about half way down Putney hill we got a taxi to the underground station and we soon got a train. Laurie had gone in when we got there but Aunt Kathleen was waiting for me; it had only just started. It was a jolly good play; "The Beauty Spot" is the name of a book which an old chap is supposed to have written about Baluchistan and which he has got piles of money from, but it was really written by a friend of his who is dead; the nephew of the dead man comes to him dressed up as a native of Baluchistan and gives him an awful times and gets large sums of money out of him. There were two dances by Regine Flory a wonderful French dancer. The last one was the best I have never seen anything like it, it was perfectly wonderful, in one part her dancing partner lifted her up by her ankles and in another part he took her up in his arms and threw her from him and she rolled over and over on the floor. It is supposed to be a dream and her partner is a sort of demon who comes to her in her dream. The music and songs were very good and the tunes were unusually good; it was also very funny. Maisie Gay, Peggy Kurton and Jean Caddell were in it and Rowland's favourite actress Moya Mannering used to be but she has gone out of it and is coming on at the St Jameses' Theatre soon in "Peg o' My Heart" which is the play she made her name in.
After the play we got onto a 'bus to got back to Aunt Kathleen's flat for tea and when we got to Charing Cross an endless stream of W.A.A.C's (Womens Army Auxilary Corps known as "Wacks") appeared with two military bands one being the Scots Guards. I read in the "Globe" this evening that there were 1,200 of them and that they were marching from Wellington Barracks to St Pauls.
Shortie came to tea at Aunt Kathleen's and we stayed so long that we didn't get home till 8 o'clock. Laurie has bought a gramophone but he hasn't got it yet.
Daddie went to tea with Mrs Hudson. All the Tighe family and Great Aunt were there.
The war news is better still. We are holding the Huns and have got back some positions in counter-attacks.
Sunday April 21st 1918.
It has snowed and simply poured with rain all day so we couldn't go to Church.
I have read two detective books, which Laurie lent me, in the course of the day. One was called "The Exploits of Arséne [ Arséne ] Lupin" and the other "Arséne [ Arséne ] Lupin"; they are translated from the French and are about a very clever French thief who is a gentleman and only robs rich people and doesn't commit murder and ends by falling in love with a girl and giving up theiving to marry her.
They are having some acting over at Moulsford Lodge this afternoon. Daddie went but it was pouring so hard that Mummy and I didn't go, however we went over after tea. Uncle Vesey was there also the Hudsons and Terence who is about 13 and a cousin and another cousin who is 18 and in the O.T.C and whose name is Daniel Tighe. They all sung while Cousin V played the piano and we played various games.
Oonah and Moyra and Daniel Tighe and Terence are coming to tea tomorrow.
The latest arrangement (they change hourly) is that Mrs Idie goes to Bath on Tuesday and Daddie and I on Saturday. Mrs Avery won't let us have this cottage till November (at least she doesn't think she will) but we can have it for an extra fortnight from May 1st to get all our packing done.
General Robert White Lady Percy St Maur's brother came to tea yesterday and Daddie was going for a walk with him today (he lives somewhere near Robin Hood Gate) but it was so wet that they decided not to go.
The war news is still good.
Monday April 22nd 1918.
Emmeline never appeared this morning but I got a telegram from her to say she couldn't come today but will come at 9.30 tomorrow morning.
After luncheon Daddie, Mrs Short and I went up to the Guildhall to the exibition of drawing which Miss de Lisle told us about. There were drawings and water-colour paintings from schools all over England and some from the colonies; they were quite extraordinarily good. Daddie left us there and went on to the Royal Geographical Society and when we had done looking at the drawings we walked down Cheapside to Newgate Street where we got a 'bus to Putney and then 70 'bus home. Which we were going up Putney High Street in 70 Queen Alexandria [ Alexandra ] drove past in an open motor but we didn't see her.
Oonah and Moyra and Daniel and Terence came to tea at 5.30. Daddie and Dan walked up and down the garden and talked and Oonah and I did ditto and Moyra and Terence went into the woods and harried a poor couple who were making love.
Mummy went to the bureau today and Princess Patricia is coming to look over the bureau on Friday and they have got to give her tea and there will be thirty people there and Mummy wants us to go and help with the tea.
It has been a beautiful day today.
I have finished my bead chain. It is very nice.
Mummy has bought a huge silver jug at Christie's Red + [ Cross ] Sale. It looks like an enormous milk jug and it weighs 48 ozs. It cost £12. 12s.
The war news is quite good today but the Huns aren't very active at present.
Tuesday April 23rd 1918.
Mrs Idie went off to Bath by the 11 o'clock train this morning and Mrs Short went up to see her off.
Emmeline came soon after 9.30 and gave me nearly a two hours lesson. Poor thing she got neuralgia so badly yesterday that she couldn't do anything and thats why she didn't come to me. She came down to Wimbledon specially to give me a lesson this morning which was very good of her.
Daddie as usual went to London.
I did bead work and played the piano and gramophone most of the day.
Peggy hasn't written to me for over a week. I am very annoyed with her.
The rates of postage are going to be raised. Post-cards are to be a penny and letters a penny halfpenny.
The war news is much the same at present.
Wednesday April 24th 1918.
Mummy and Daddie both went to London today.
I have permenantly ruined my heitherto angelic temper by doing bead-work all day.
We took the dogs for a walk in the woods this afternoon.
Wolfie has written to ask me to go to luncheon with her on Saturday. She thinks I come back on Monday. Of course I can't go.
We have carried out a successful naval raid on Zeebrugge a place where the Germans make submarines, areoplanes etc: We sunk five obslete cruisers filled with concrete at the mouth of the Bruges Canal and landed and put a good many guns out of action and blew up part of the harbour. We also successfully raided Ostend.
I can't think of anything more to say at present so I will stop and do something else.
Thursday April 25th 1918.
Emmeline came at 11.30 and we bade each other an affectionate farewell when she went.
The only thing I am really sorry about going away for is that I shan't be able to have Emmeline. She wants me to have singing lessons when I come back.
Mummy went up this morning and Shortie and I went up directly after luncheon. We went to the Enquiry bureau to meet Mummy. They are very busy there decorating for Princess Pat tomorrow and there was terrible controversy going on about how to hang some very large flags, everybody wanted them hung different and nobody could explain how they wanted them hung.
Mummy, Shortie and I went in a taxi to a photographer called Laillie Charles in Curzon Street to see if she could do me. We made an appointment for three o'clock but found that she charges £7.7s a dozen so we are going to ring up tomorrow and say we have got an important engagement at 3 o'clock. Then we went to another photographer in New Bond Street called Speaight and he only charges £4.4s a dozen so I am going to be done there at 11 o'clock tomorrow.
Next we went and had tea at the Blenheim Café in Oxford Street. Then we went in a taxi to Cozens a big stores in Edgeware Road where Mummy bought several things for the enquiry bureau. We then came home. Daddie was home and Cousin V was here. She is very agitated because she finds she has got Moulsford Lodge till the 8th instead of the 1st and she has taken that house at Harrow from the 1st.
I have finished a bead necklace I was making. It is a little (a very little) like this but the square thing at the bottom isn't nearly so big.
It was the most devilish job I have ever undertaken Cousin V has asked me to make one for her.
I have written to Peggy today to enquire if she has departed this life.
Those horrid Huns are attacking again and have taken a village.
Friday April 26th 1918.
Mummy and I went straight up to Speaight this morning. Daddie meet us there and I had my head taken in about five different positions. I hate being photographed.
After this Mummy and I went to her club and looked at picture papers. Then we went in a taxi to Frazer and Haws a jeweller in Regents Street and picked up a big silver tea pot of hers which she wanted for the function at the bureau this afternoon.
Then we went on to the bureau where we found Shortie and everybody bouncing round in a terrible state trying to get ready for the princesses who were expected at a quarter to five. The gardener who comes here once a week had stripped the garden of nearly every flower this morning and brought them up to the bureau but when they got there we found there were practically no vases to put them in so Shortie and I dashed off to the stores and hunted wildly around but found none cheap enough but we managed to get a small oil stove not to hold flowers but to boil the kettle on! finally they borrowed some vases from Westminster Hospital.
After helping arrange flowers and get ready generally Mummy, Shortie and I went and had luncheon at a very good place in Victoria Street. Meanwhile I had made an appointment with Miss Hammond to wash my hair at 2.30, put it off until 3 o'clock and I finally got there at 3.20. It had been decided that Shortie and were not to be there when the Princesses came because they wanted as few people as possible but everyone wanted me to go so we said we would go back to the hut just as soon as we had done our shopping and if they were still there well and good. After Miss Hammond I went to a bead shop to get some more beads but as they wished to charge me half a crown for what I can get for one and nine at Head's so I hastily walked out and in to Evans where I got a few hanks (three to be accurate) but they were dearer than Heads there too. I also got a petticoat at Evans; it is very swank - navy blue glacé silk shot green or purple I forget which probably neither. Shortie wished me to have a moirette one because they wear well. I hate moirette and should be excessively annoyed if it wore well. After all this we when back to the bureau where we found that Princess Pat and Princess Helen Victoria had arrived twenty minutes before they were expected and had of course been gone some time. They seem to have been very nice. Mummy has been given a huge moiré ribbon with "Y.M.C.A" worked on it, she has to wear it round her middle or across her shoulder or somewhere like that. All heads of huts have it. She is also going to be presented with the order of the Red Triangle which is a Y.M.C.A order. After staying at the bureau for a few hours we all three came home more dead than alive. Today has truely been a day of rushing and tearing but it is my last tear for some time. This may be the last night I shall ever spend in this house and the last time I shall ever write my diary here, on the other hand it may not.
We have taken back the village called Villers-Brettoneux [ Villers-Bretonneux ] (or something like that) which the Germans took yesterday and we have also taken 600 prisoners in the process.
Those horrid Germans have taken Kemmel hill which is a very important position.
Lord Rhonnda [ Rhondda ] the Food Controller has resigned.
Saturday April 27th 1918.
Sydney Place Bath.
Arrived at Bath quite safely. No time for more tonight - 10.30.
Sunday April 28th 1918.
I played the piano and gramophone as much as I could yesterday morning because I shan't have either of them again for a long time.
Mummy had a letter from Hampton to say that that tiresome Mrs Avery won't let us have the cottage longer than the 14th of May because she wants to come there with her children in the summer holidays. We are going to offer to let her have it for the summer holidays and go back ourselves till November when they are over.
We (Daddie, Shortie and I) left for Wimbledon Station at 1.45 and Daddie hopped onto the underground train in such a hurry that poor Shortie who was putting Mummy's luggage in the cloak room was left behind and didn't even know we had gone, however she put two and two together and followed us to Paddington. We got to Paddington at 2.15 and our train didn't go till 4 o'clock and there was no sign of it so we wandered about the platform and got in the way of the luggage barrows, milk cans etc. and I haunted the book-stalls and in the course of seruppticiously (it's not spelt the least like that really ) looking at some magazines I found a ripping article on Renée in the "Woman at Home" which I speedily bought. It is an awfully nice article with three or four pictures of René which I haven't got. It is an interview with her and it says lots and lots of nice things about her and tells a great deal about her some of which I will write some other time. Our train came in at 3.30 and we got nice corner seats. Mrs Short went back to Wimbledon as soon as our luggage was in because she was going to see off Mummy who was going to Ashstead [ Ashtead ] from Wimbledon Station to stay with Uncle Claude and Aunt Di for about a week.
Our train was terribly full. All the trains are the same now though people are asked not to travel. We passed three large munitions factories on our way down, all made of long, low iron buildings rather like huts and camouflaged so as to be invisable from the sky. There were a great many primroses and cowslips by the railway; it was the first time I had seen primroses growing wild for three years. We only stopped one - at Chippenham - and arrived at Bath at 6 o'clock. Mrs Idie was very smiling and very triumpthant because she had got quite a large piece of meat and some very nice butter and wonder of wonders! Some cheese! The Bath people were only allowed five penny worth of meat last week and one person requested the butcher to put the meat under the door when he called!
Mrs Idie said "them Royal Flying Corps are very rowdy" (there are a great many of them in Bath) Daddie asked her where they were so Mrs Idie said oh! they're hanging out all down Pulteney Street"! She meant to say "they hang out in Pulteney Street". Daddie and I roared with laughter and Mrs Idie didn't know what on earth we were laughing at.
I wrote to Pompey in the train yesterday about our food cards and what train we are going by etc:
Daddie started to rummage in old books and all boxes containing anything of his, almost as soon as he got into the house. He has unearthed some old family albums, the dresses are too lovely, there are also a great many very good sketches done by my grannie in India and other places, they are in an album made by her of the time when she and my grandfather were in India and it begins at the time of the Mutiny. There are also several volumes of my grannie diary written in the most beautiful, neat handwriting and very prim because it was all corrected by a very strict French governess they had when they were children. It is a great pity she saw the diaries because they would probably have been much more interesting if she hadn't. I wonder if my grandchildren nearly 90 years hence will read and laugh over, as something terribly old fashioned, my diary? alas! they won't be able to admire the beauty and neatness of my handwriting or the exactness of my style 'cos I ain't got none! and how they will laugh at the dresses in the photographs I have stuck in my diaries!
I have read a bad novel nearly all day. I didn't like it much.
This evening Daddie and I went for a walk; we went along the Frome road and then turned off into a woods and went on up and up and up till we came to Sham Castle, then we came down home again. We found some wood anemones, dog violets, bluebells, cuckoo flowers, primroses and cowslips.
"The Boy" is on at the Bath theatre so we are going to take Mrs Idie to it tomorrow night
The War news was very bad yesterday. The Germans had taken Kemmel and were very near ypres [ Ypres ] however the news was better this morning. We have taken back a village and have also taken 900 prisoners but the Germans are only 3½ miles from Ypres.
There was an attempt at an air raid on Friday night. Several of the household heard distant guns but there was nothing in the papers about it so I suppose nothing happened.
Monday April 29th 1918.
Daddie and I wandered around the town this morning. Bath hasn't altered the least, it never does. I got a very nice pair of house shoes price twenty four bob and we got the seats for "The Boy".
I have been reading a book called "The Beloved Vagabond" by William J. Locke. It is very nice but didn't end up altogether right. This evening I have been drawing.
Daddie went and called on Cousin Arthur Robertson at Lonsdale this afternoon and we are going to take Pat (his little boy) out to tea at Fortts tomorrow.
Mrs Idie and I are just going to start off for the theatre. Daddie isn't coming.
The war news is quite good today. We have taken back a village (I think it is the same village we had taken back yesterday) and we are holding the Germans.
Tuesday April 30th 1918.
The play last night was great fun. There were between 300 and 400 R.F.C Cadets there and they clapped and shouted and sung songs in the intervals and one drew a cork when the lovers were kissing! The actresses were quite good but the men were very bad except the one who did Mr Meebles the magistrate. It is very difficult to get men actors at all now. We got out at 10.25 only five minutes before the regulation time for "lights out".
Daddie has been doing a great deal of rummaging this morning and he has found some Bundi stamps which he had lost for years. There are 80 one rupee ones and they are worth two bob each and there are 70 four anna ones and 67 ½ anna. They were given to him by the Prime Minister of Bundi and he has given them to me. He has also given me a lovely book about Egypt, several novels, a great many autographs, some rare coins, some butterflies from Sikkim and a lovely loose-leaf stamp album which he had bought for news paper cuttings. I seem to have come well out of his rummaging!
I had a letter from Peggy this morning. Rowland has been getting into hot water again she doesn't say what for
I wrote to her this morning.
Daddie heard from Mummy and she seems to be having a very good time at Ashstead [ Ashtead ].
I drew and did bead work this afternoon.
Patsy came at 4.15 and we took him out to tea at Fortts. He is a most amusing little boy - five years old and not the least shy with a very decided opinion of what he wants. He covered himself with honey at tea and then had some very bilious looking blancmange and jelly cakes. Then we bought him some chocolates and a clockwork engine and brought him home. Cousin Norah was at home and Cousin Arthur came in soon after.
Cousin Norah collects stamps and she gave me some very nice ones including some old English and Indian ones.
The war news is better we are holding the Germans in all attacks.
The Glen, Leusden Near Ashburton
May 1st 1918.
We have arrived here quite safely having had a very good railway journey. When we got to Bath Station the porter said we couldn't go by the 12.55 unless we got permission from the station-master because that train only sets down passengers doesn't pick them up, then the station master was lost and was only found as the train came in, however he gave permission and we got off all right.
7.50 a.m. May 2nd 1918.
We only stopped twice - at Bristol and Exeter and we got to Newton Abbot at 3.30 and found a motor waiting for us and having taken ages to collect all our luggage we went off to the local food control office to get emergency cards. It is a very easy process, they give you a form which you and your householder fill up and then give it to the butcher who sells you meat with your own cards. After this we went to Moyra's school to see how she was getting on; it is a very nice school about a mile out of Newton Abbot and she seemed very happy. Then we motored out here via Ashburton. It is a perfectly lovely drive from Ashburton, the lane is excessively narrow and like a switchback railway, but all the hedges are full of primroses and violets and we came over Holne Bridge which is a very old bridge over the Dart and quite beautiful; there is a little house not far from it where Daddie spent his summer holidays with some old ladies when he was about eleven.
This is an absolutely glorious place, it is a tiny cottage right bang on the side of a very steep hill; there is a valley covered with woods and with a little river called the Webburn running through it in front and Dartmoor behind. Mrs Idie had tea here and then unpacked for me and went to her lodgings in the village. Major Dunlop took us for a long walk through the woods by the Webburn after tea. I have never seen such huge primroses as there are in these woods; we saw millions and millions of then and cowslips by the railway on the way here.
After dinner we played a card game called Cooncan of course Major Dunlop won, he always does win that game.
A gentleman called Mr Struben who owns this cottage and a great deal of land about here has lent a pony for me to ride. It will be ripping to ride again. I haven't been on a horses back at all for six years.
We are going trout fishing this morning. I feel quite sure we shan't catch anything.
I mistook the time this morning and got up at 7.20 thinking it was 8.20, so I am sitting in my room writing my diary and feeling desperately sleepy having been awake since six because I had made a noble resolution the night before to wake early and write my diary before breakfast. The moral is - don't make noble resolutions.
I took Cousin Norah some stamps yesterday morning. She was very pleased with them.
It is a year ago today since I first saw Renée which as I have said about a dozen times before was when Mr Wilton took me to "Daddy Long Legs".
Just to think that only a week ago today I was at Wimbledon having a music lesson!
We are still holding the Germans and there has been no special news just lately.
When we were coming along from Newton Abbot in the motor yesterday we saw three Hun prisoners riding along on great cart horses and no-body with them. I suppose they were being used to work on the land. I had only seen German prisoners once before, that was at Southampton we saw between fifty and a hundred wounded prisoners being marched through the streets to a prison camp there. They looked awful men.
I am going to explore now.
May 3rd 1918.
I had a letter from Shortie yesterday morning. Chi Chi is ill and at the vet and Joffie very unhappy because we are away.
The weather is very dull at present and inclined to rain which unfortunately inclines me to use "the naughty little cuss words 'bother', 'dash' and 'blow'".
I walked down to the Dart through the woods yesterday morning. In the afternoon Major Dunlop took me out fishing. I fished with worms and he fished with flies. He caught four trout and I caught one baby salmon - I forget what they are called - they were all so small that they had to be put back. Worms are horrid things to fish with, they are continually getting caught in the bottom and refusing to budge and tumbling off and getting lost. I am going to try fly fishing next time.
Daddie went to see Mrs Idie in the afternoon and she came down here after tea to see about food-cards. She seems very comfortable in her lodgings and there is a piano which I am going to try and strum on some time.
I had a bath in a saucer-bath this morning. Awful things!
Saturday May 4th 1918.
I walked through the woods yesterday morning and we went to see Mrs Idie at the lodgings.
Daddie and Major Dunlop went on to see Mr Struben at the big house here and I stayed with Mrs Idie and she walked back with me at luncheon time
They are very nice lodgings that she is in and there is a piano by the sitting-room ooh my word! some piano! they had bought it cheap at a sale a year ago and none of them can play it so it has never been opened since, the result is it is absolutely out of tune and makes a terrible noise inside when you play it, all the ivory has come off the keys and sometimes they don't make any noise when you strike them. I made a most appalling din on it.
Daddie and I walked down to the Dart yesterday afternoon. I went without a hat on and it started to pour with rain so I go nicely drenched.
After tea Major Dunlop took me fly fishing, one fish rose but I didn't catch it, however I caught several trees and lost the fly.
After dinner we made a jigsaw puzzle and I didn’t get into bed till 11 o'clock.
It is a perfectly beautiful day today and I am sitting in an excessively damp and uncomfortable position in the woods to write this.
Sunday May 5th 1918.
I read by the river most of yesterday morning and afternoon I have been reading "Unto Caesar" by Baroness Orczy, it is about Rome in the time of Caligula and the Praefect of Rome who is a Christian and it is based on "render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things which are God's". I had read it before but wanted to read it again.
Yesterday was a lovely day for taking photographs and I took three, two of the river and one of the house.
I went fishing yesterday evening but caught nothing - only had several rises and I succeeded in nearly tumbling in the river and breaking the end of my rod. Major Dunlop caught two trout and we had them for breakfast this morning. They were very good.
I had a letter from Nina on Friday the little wretch hadn't written to me since the beginning of last term and she makes the excuse that they got no time at school when she has been at home having holidays for a month. She seems to like school very much and she kept a white mouse in her desk all last term! I also had a long letter from Peggy on Friday mainly about Bobs who, mean little wretch that she is, has been spreading all sorts of stories about Peggys unkindness to her. Peggy was staying with the Guthries and they told her that someone had told them that one day in the Autumn term Aunt Angel (an aunt of Bobs') took her to tea at Upper Berkeley Street she remained in the drawing room and Bobs went up to the school room where Peggy enquired why she had come to the house and told her to bunk, however Bobs stayed in the school-room till Aunt Angel was ready to go and on the way home she burst into flood of tears, said she had never been so insulted before and she liked Peggy and couldn't think what she could have done to make her behave like that. Now the truth is this, Bobs went up to the school room and Peggy scarcely spoke to her, Shuttie and Bobs carried on the whole conversation. Of course this story has probably grown from the original which Bobs told Aunt Angel but she must have told a good many untruths anyway. Another story which she circulated and which Shuttie heard was that Shuttie was so unkind to her and wouldn't let her practise. The truth of that is that Mr Leigh said he couldn't bear it if she practised after 8 at night and Shuttie had to tell her she couldn't practise after 8 o'clock. I wonder how many more stories she has started. I expect there will be some nice ones about me going round soon! Peggy always said she would hit back behind our backs. We never did anything mean and low like that we always went straight for her.
Monday May 6th 1918.
Yesterday morning Daddie and Major Dunlop went to see a house about a mile and a half from here and I went to fetch Mrs Idie and we went to Church It is a terribly steep hill to the Church and I thought Mrs Idie would never get up it but she did manage it though she panted like a steam engine. It is a nice little Church but quite modern - it was built in 1863 the year Daddie was born in. There was a womens choir I had never heard one before; they sang very well much better than the choirs you find in most villages. After Church I went back with Mrs Idie to her house and tried to play hymns on the piano there, oh my aunt! that surely is some piano!
After luncheon I took unto myself a macintosh, a cap and a book and proceeded to ascend Black Adder Tor which is behind this house. It is a pretty steep climb up and before I was half way there it started to pour, however having got so far I couldn't be bothered to turn back so I got to the top and read for some time and then thinking it was tea time I came home. Oh my! but I was wet. I had on a bright scarlet petticoat (not of my own choosing) and the dye got loose and dyed everything white a good startling scarlet and the dye of my mac ran into my camisole so it is now shot purply blue.
We did a large, fat jig-saw puzzle after tea and I read "Laddie" after dinner and I must confess that when I got into bed I read till 11.30. If my family knew some of my goings on here they would faint.
I had reams and reams and reams from Peggy this morning. She is nearly bursting with joy because she and Rowland went to tea with Teddie on Friday. They went on Thursday morning and took her some flowers and asked if they could see her. She was just going to have a bath then but she asked them to tea next day.
Peggy is wild with enthusiasm over Teddie and all her works. She does sound very attractive.
It shows every sign of going to be a fine day and I am going out for a ride this afternoon.
I seem to have forgotten just lately that there is a war on (it is very difficult to remember here) but there isn't very much news except that we are holding the Germans well.
Lord French has been appointed Viceroy of Ireland.
Tuesday May 7th 1918.
We went up to Spitchwick Manor yesterday morning and ordered the pony and in the afternoon I went riding. It was lovely to ride again. The pony is large and fat and brown and obstinate and his name is Buttons and he is very friendly but quite determined to have his own way and he doesn't approve of trotting at all.
After tea we went fishing but caught nothing.
The war news is good today. We have advanced 500 yards on a 1 1/4 mile front.
Wednesday May 8th 1918.
Yesterday morning I went to see Mrs Idie and we walked up to Spitchwick and ordered Buttons for 2.30. Daddie and I went up in the afternoon and Daddie sat on a log in the avenue while I went off on Buttons. Every few yards Buttons stands still and absolutely refuses to budge till he feels inclined to. I managed with great difficulty to get him to Poundsgate and bought half a pound of candied orange peel at the shop for Mrs Idie. When we got a little farther along the road we came to a place where a very steep rough path went down off the road and Buttons backed down this and absolutely refused to budge any further along the road so I thinking descretion the better part of valour let him have his own way and he condescended to trot quite decently for a bit going back but when we got to the avenue I wanted to go down it to find Daddie but Buttons refused flatly to move in any direction except that of his stables so when we had sat there for nearly 10 minutes I got off and led him down which made him awfully cross. He is a very nice and affectionate pony but terribly lazy and obstinate.
I wrote to Peggy yesterday and a long letter to Nina.
Mrs Idie and I picked primroses this morning and we have sent them to Mummy.
In the afternoon Pompey and I went fishing. He caught four quite decent seized trout. I caught nothing but he says I cast much better now.
After tea the sun having come out a wild mania for photography seized us both. I took a photograph of Daddie and Pompey and one of a bit of the garden. I went up to take Mrs Idie but she had gone to Poundsgate so she had a merciful escape.
I tried to do some sketching which wasn't a wild success.
Mr and Mrs Struben called yesterday evening and we are going to luncheon with them on Sunday. He owns a great deal of land in South Africa.
I have been re-reading "Laddie" by Gene Stratton-Porter and having started it quite a month ago at Wimbledon managed to finish it this morning. It is about country life in the U.S.A and very nice.
Daddie had a box of chocolates the other day from New York and no signs of who they came from. You bet we eat them up fast enough for all that!
The war news is quite good.
Thursday May 9th 1918.
I had a very long letter from Mummy this morning. Uncle Vernon has been very ill and Mummy was up seeing him one day and didn't get home till 11.40 p.m. She went to the private view of the Royal Academy with tickets which Sir Thomas Jackson sent us; he sent us tickets last year too and Daddie and I went. I also had a letter from Shortie. I have written to Mummy.
Daddie and I went down to the Dart this morning. It was a perfectly beautiful day and I took my camera and took seven photographs of the river which I hope will come out well. I also fished but all I caught was a trout about two inches longer, which of course I put back; it was the first fish I had ever caught with a fly. I went wandering off up to the Dart and paddled and fished and took photographs and when I got home I found it was half an hour past luncheon time and Daddie and Major Dunlop had finished! of course my watch had elected to refuse to go when it would be so useful down here.
After luncheon Daddie and I went off to Spitchwick to get Buttons and on our way we went to see Mrs Idie and I just caught the postman there and gave him my film to take to the chemist in Ashburton.
The postman goes to the corner of every group of houses and blows a whistle and then people go and get their letters and give him those they want posted. Buttons behaved better on the whole this afternoon. I rode him down the drive (which is most beautiful) and then round by the Dart as far as the mouth of the Webburn. At one period in the drive he stuck for a very long time but after a long period one of the stablemen appeared with a cart and forcibly persuaded him to go on.
It is after dinner and I am sitting writing in the garden. Daddie and Pompey are walking up and down talking India.
Friday May 10th 1918.
I had a parcel from Shortie this morning containing our sugar ration, some tea for Mrs Idie, handkerchiefs, stockings etc: and also a letter she had had from Peggy about the rooms at Minehead in which she says Bobs and John had been to tea there and John seems rather gone on Teddie (John is Bobs' brother)
This morning I went exploring in the direction of Buckader Tor which is a jolly pretty bit of moor with huge grey rocks all over the place and the view from it is lovely.
Daddie and Pompey went to see some people called Hankey who live at Leusdon Lodge (which is a very ugly house) and who are coming to tea on Sunday.
Saturday May 11th 1918.
Yesterday afternoon I went for a ride on Buttons and he behaved much better and I actually managed to get him as far as New Bridge, a beautiful old bridge across the Dart.
After tea I went fishing and caught three trout all huge enough to keep and all out of the same pool. I felt terribly proud!
Daddie heard from Aunt Kathleen this morning and Uncle Leslie was in Paris on Thursday so he is probably in London by now.
I went a terribly long way up the Webburn this morning past where the South and West Webburns join, but although I had a good many rises I only caught one fish and he was too small to keep. I didn't get back till 1.45, they had done luncheon and Pompey had gone off fishing in the Dart where we are to meet him and have tea.
Daddie went up to the post office at Poundsgate to send a telegram to Uncle Leslie and he also counter-ordered Buttons who I had ordered for this afternoon.
I have been reading a book called "A Weaver of Dreams" by Myrtle Reed. It was about a young man who is engaged to a girl who he is very much in love with but he meets another girl who he falls still more in love with and No: 1 having seen him kissing No: 2 wisely breaks off the engagement and he finally marrys No 2. I didn't like it awfully; it was terribly sentimental in places.
The war news continues to be good. We have succeeded in blocking the entrance to Ostend harbour with an old cruiser filled with concrete and then sunk at the mouth of the harbour; we tried to do it at the same time as Zeebrugge but it wasn't a success.
Sunday May 12th 1918.
Mrs Idie and I went to Church this morning and went back to Mrs Cleeve's afterwards where Daddie and Pompey picked me up to go to luncheon with the Strubens. They were very nice and we had a ripping luncheon and she showed me some beautiful South African butterflies.
Mrs Hankey, her little boy and her sister a Miss Lucy came to tea. We have been living in wild whirl of social engagements all day!
Pompey and I were casually strolling around the garden after tea looking at the goose-gog bushes when we suddenly discovered that they are all being eating by catter pillars so we spent the rest of the evening throwing caterpillars into a large pail full of water. We have got hundreds and there are still piles left.
We are going for a picnic to a tor called Corndon Tor (or words to that effect) with some people called Cave Penny tomorrow. I am going to ride there on Buttons which will be fun.
It has been a most lovely day on the whole the weather is being very good.
Monday May 13th 1918.
Nothing much to say. It rained and we couldn't go for our picnic. We fished and caught nothing large enough to keep but did much execution among the caterpillars.
10.34 p.m am going to bed now.
Tuesday May 14th 1918.
I had a huge post this morning - three parcels and two letters and a "Sunday Times". One letter was from Wolfie and the other from Peggy, the latter's effusion was mainly occupied with Teddie.
It has been a horrid day, low misty clouds and a continues drizzle.
I made an effort to fish but nothing happened except that I lost my fly so I came home and read.
Daddie went to see a Mrs Dawson who is an excessively distant cousin of ours and who lives at the Cot Holne and owns Holne Park and Holne Chase. We are going to tea there on Sunday.
I went for a ride on Buttons this afternoon and actually managed to get up to New Bridge and some way up a road on the right though Buttons did not at all approve of going out on a day like this.
Mummy has sent three proofs of the photographs of me which were done at Speaight. They are quite good.
There is no special war news.
Alas! we have only got one more week here. It will be dreadful leaving and going back to Wimbledon and lessons after this glorious country and roaming about at my own sweet will.
Wednesday May 15th 1918.
It was a very dull day today and looked like raining hard but we decided to go and see the Cave Pennys who live right on the moor and who are the people we were going to have the picnic with on Monday.
I went and saw Mrs Idie and ordered Buttons in the morning and at 2.30 we sallied forth for "Rogues Roost" the name of the house where they live. It was a lovely ride about four miles across the moor with beautiful views and tors all over the place. Major Dunlop's knee got rather bad so he had Buttons for a bit. The Cave Pennys were all very nice. They have got 18 horses and 8 perkineses [ Pekingese ]; they had 14 of the latter when we went over last time we were here. The eldest girl drove Pompey and I up the long hill when we left and Daddie rode Buttons. I proceeded to mount Buttons at the top of the hill. Buttons moved on and I bit the dust, or to be more accurate the mud, but it is not far to fall from Buttons. He trotted quite well on the way home.
I had a letter from Mummy this morning.
Uncle Leslie has arrived back in England and has been down to Wimbledon.
May 16th 1918.
We went to see Mrs Hankey's rock-garden this morning then I went to see Mrs Idie and she and I walked down Spitchwick avenue - to the Dart and along to the mouth of the Webburn. I took six photographs.
After luncheon we started up the Webburn fishing and took our tea with us. Our object was to reach a pool a good way up called the Trinadad [ Trinidad ] pool and this we succeeded in doing some time after tea. There was one large trout which went for my fly quite six times but I never managed to get him on; however I am going to have another go tomorrow if it is fine. Pompey caught three fish altogether and I caught none. It has been the most gorgeous day and the glass is still going up so I hope it will be good tomorrow.
I wrote to Shortie this afternoon.
It now being 10.30 I must go to bed.
Friday May 17th 1918.
Daddie and I went down to the Trinadad Pool this morning and stayed there the whole morning. I had a great many rises (including one or two from the very large trout) but I caught nothing.
After luncheon I went out on Buttons. I got some way past Mel Tor.
Saturday May 18th 1918.
On the way home I heard a whirring noise behind me which I guessed was a motor, so I backed into the ditch but when the motor got near Buttons began to plunge and rear all over the place and it suddenly struck me that he had probably never seen a motor before, so I yelled to the people in the motor not to try and pass and turned Buttons down the road and my word! Buttons trotted as he's never trotted before with the motor coming on behind him. Mercifully we soon came to a turning which I went up and the motor passed. Buttons has trotted beautifully ever since! he is very nice to ride when he trots well. We went fishing in the Dart yesterday evening and Pompey caught a trout measuring 12 inches and weighing 8 1/5 oz which is something very wonderful for here and apparently the biggest he has ever caught here. I caught two in the Webburn but they were both too small to keep.
It is 11.15 p.m. so I must get into bed.
Sunday May 19th 1918.
We went down to the Trinidad Pool again yesterday morning and I caught nothing. We did nothing in particular in the afternoon and went to the Trinidad Pool again in the evening and again caught nothing.
Wolfie has sent me a ripping book about autograph collecting with very good reproductions of autographs and a price list at the end, which is interesting.
Daddie went to Poundsgate post office to see the war telegram this morning however there was no news. Pompey and I went fishing in the Webburn; he caught one fairly small fish and I caught nothing except an oak-tree during which process I lost my fly. This afternoon we went to tea with the Dawsons, who live at Holne Cot. There is a most beautiful drive going though the woods by the edge of the Dart up to the house which is very pretty and then there is the most glorious view both up and down the Dart and of woods and moor from the house.
Our last day Monday May 20th 1918.
Daddie and I went to say "good bye" to the Strubens this morning and this afternoon we all went down to the Dart taking our tea with us and fished both the Dart and the Webburn all the afternoon and evening and caught nothing keepable. Daddie had a letter from Mummy this morning saying that Kathleen Tighe is going to be married to Mr Wellsford at Harrow at 11.30 on Wednesday so Daddie and I will have to bounce up from Bath by an early train; go and see Uncle Leslie and then go to Harrow for the tail-end of the show. Why will people get married?? especially at 11.30 a.m. oh! I shall hate, hate, hate leaving here and going back to the sham country of Wimbledon. It was terrible putting up my rod and I shan't be able to use it till I come here again I don't expect.
Tuesday May 21st 1918.
103 Sydney Place, Bath.
We left the Glen by motor at 10 o'clock; our train left Newton at 11.30 and arrived at Bath at 2.30.
I miss the Glen and Devonshire and Pompey and everything dreadfully.
Bath is very hot.
There was a bad raid on London on Sunday night. 37 people were killed and 155 injured. Four enemy machines were brought down.
Wednesday May 22nd 1918.
We left Bath as 10.4 and were supposed to arrive at Paddington at 12.40 but the train was 9 minutes late. Uncle Leslie met us at the station also Shortie; the latter very heated and agitated
We went off to Baker Street Station and having missed two trains by rushing about in the wrong directions finally at 1.30 got a train for Harrow. Of course Kathleen & Dick had been married by the time we got there but they hadn't gone so we saw them all right. Kathleen looked very pretty and Oonah has got her hair up and looks much better with it up. She and Moyra and Sheila were bridesmaids. They went to "Sunny Close" Cousin Rodrick MacKenzie's house near Marlow for their honeymoon. Great Aunt was there. She and Mummy had gone in a motor and she motored us all back in it which was fun. On the way we saw a large motor lorry chock full of German prisoners and also an airship.
The garden is looking very nice and it was ripping to get at a civilised piano again after the one at the Cleeves!
Mrs Simpson is away on a holiday at Brighton and won't be back till Friday.
I took 1 1/2 dozen negatives to be developed and printed and a dozen to be printed in Bath and they rooked us 9/11 for them and they won't be done for a week.
Uncle Leslie who is a general and who has been in Mesapotamia [ Mesopotamia ] met us at Paddington.
Thursday May 23rd 1918.
We have been bouncing about London all day.