“A good few expected peace when the first notes were exchanged & are accordingly depressed”

Ralph Glyn’s sister and mother wrote to him. Meg’s circle of acquaintances in London included many army officers, and she reported some disappointment that talks of peace had not yet come to anything. Lady Mary was engaging in a private battle with the vicar of Bamber, where she and the Bishop were living, who thought the National Anthem inappropriately jingoistic for church.

Hardwicke House
Ham Common
Richmond
Surrey

27.10.18

My darling Ralph

Thank you so much for you letter & I am so sorry to hear you have got this beastly flu, it is sickening for you but by the time this letter reaches you I hope you will be quite fit again. No – flying doesn’t sound the best cure certainly, but I suppose you had to do it.

I was much interested to see the photographs you enclosed. They are copies of negatives taken by Addie of Royalist up with the Grand Fleet. If you have got the negatives it would be good of you to send them here to me, tho I cannot imagine how they got among your negatives, as I keep those ship photographs most carefully. But do send me all 3 negatives if you have them.

Jim & I stayed last night at Belgrave Square & dined with the Connaughts, a small dinner which was great fun. The Arthur Connaughts were there, she is a stick; Mr Spring Rice who was in Washington with Eustace & Ivar, & Mrs Ward who was Muriel Wilson. An A1 dinner too! The old Duke was in great form & full of funny stories of soldiers’ remarks in Palestine:

One soldier asked another, “Which is the way to the Mount of Olives?” & the other replied, “If that’s a public house I’ve never heard of it.” An Arab writing to the Governor concluded his letter with, “I write in the name of J. Christ, esq, who is well known to you & who your Excellency so much resembles”. An Australian wantonly killed a Jew & was remonstrated with, “Why did you do it?” “Well”, he said, “they are the people who killed Christ”. “Yes, but a long time ago”. “Well”, said the Australian, “I only heard of it yesterday”….

John went off to GHQ on Wednesday, & on Friday Maysie & I went over 2 houses she had the offer of in London. The larger one (both being tiny) was in Regents Park, & had lovely Chinese furniture, & nicely done up, the second in Hill Street, Knightsbridge, & very nicely done, but tiny. I strongly advised her to plump on the 2nd & she’s got it for 6 months, & I think it will do for her very wel indeed. Billy is home on leave & I saw him yesterday too. He looks v. fit, a Majr, & 2nd in command of his battalion!

A good few expected peace when the first notes were exchanged & are accordingly depressed, but everyone feels thankful & the end must be in sight. But there’s some sickness with the Americans not getting on, it would have been splendid to cut the Huns off in that retreat, but you always said they have no staff to handle the men, and it does seem 10,000 pities that thro sheer silly pride they won’t brigade their men with ours & the French, doesn’t it….

Meg

Oct 27, 1918
St Mary’s, Bramber

My own darling

Your letter of the 21st Trafalgar reached me on the 25th, & Dad’s of the 22nd got here yesterday, so we are quite rich this week, but Scraps? Why were you in bed? Are you sure you have not been concealing from me anything besides flights with playful pilots and too much neighbourliness with Hun lines?…

A very odd couple [came to see the house]. The man … called himself a Corporal with a nice wife. Johnson [the agent] thinks they mean business and that money is no difficulty with them. Silver, and Mrs Wallace supposes munitions people – he wants a garage for motors, & lawn tennis, and Silver was so smitten with the place he wants to buy it…

I think you will be satisfied with Wilson’s last note? I keep in mind the things which brought him in? The team he has to drive – or lead, and the fact that without USA we could not have prevailed to bring the Hun to the present pass – that every day a people not in the Alliance has an opportunity no other “Court” could have.

That in the great scales of the Eternal Righteousness the Hun has found a great weight of a democracy not in their pay, and that Lenin & Trotzky [sic] & Bolshevism are by this judged, and the world is made to understand the sovereignty approved by the Judge of all the earth. It is a dramatic happening? that Wilson should have been as the old people would have said, “raised up” – the one outstanding personality that expresses the sovereignty of the people, the make weight against those others, – beside a Lenin & a Trotzky who have bartered and sold that sovereignty for such a mess of such a pottage.

And now in that Righteousness of the Eternal Justice it is Foche [sic] the greatest military leader of a democracy, and Clemenceau the statesman of a democracy and Lloyd George a born republican who have the decision – while among them the knight sans peur et sans reproche, a medieval feudal king and Sir Galahad rides a king indeed, a soldier Belgian, to make this democracy aware that it is personality that is crowned and stands anointed for everyone, and approved….

It was lovely this morning getting my way at last. We sang the National Anthem, & the people sang it “with heart and voice”, and 2 khaki men stood to attention, & Jenner, the old sailor, led the choir in it, and we had “Confound their politics & frustrate their knavish tricks” quite unbowdlerized. The vicar does not deem it fit to be sung in church…

The little curate is in bed with the flu…

Mrs Walter is coming with the Gay Philippe, he helped her & brought many friends where she & Lloyd George were selling for the Red X in front of the Ship Hotel yesterday, so she is kinder to his flap ears. I hear Arthur Broderick is on his way home for leave, which I hear Frank prognosticated would be for good. And so do you? I think by your letters?

I hope much we may be able to avenge & not cling too hard to revenge – that would be a waste of life needed for the new world avenged and cleansed of the Boche, and angry as people are with Milner there is point in his warning as to the Bolshevist rising there and I believe in every country that now loses, for any cause, the control of a great soul force over this fleshly bestial possession…

Own Mur

Letters to Ralph Glyn from Meg Meade to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C2/5) and Lady Mary Glyn (D/EGL/C2/5)

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