Candles and flour in case of strikes

Phyllis Vansittart Neale recovered from the flu and lived another 40 years. Meanwhile industrial unrest was increasing.

4 February 1919

I off by 9.3 to London. Walked to Hyde Park Corner across park. Found P[hyllis] looking white, but temp. down. Had walked across room. All other patients have “flu” – return of the complaint. Took my lunch & sat with her till ¼ to 2, then bus to EVN….

Still tube strike & others!! Londoners getting in candles against electricians’ strike. Told to have flour if bakers strike!!

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)


Really better

Phyllis was gradually recovering.

28 January 1919

I off by 9.3 to London…

Found Phyllis looking really better. More herself, her eyes very blue. Seymour turned up, & masseuse. Sisters had lifted her on sofa a little while last night. Hopes Dr will let her lie there soon for a change. Tube still in, rather hurting. Less discharge.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

Blowing bubbles

The Vansittart Neales hovered over Phllis in London.

4 January 1919

H ∓ I off early to hospital as he off to Bisham 11.20 to meet Mr Lawrence about sale next Wednesday. I sat with P till lunch. The wound hurting. Dr to dress it. Lunch at lawn & back there till 5 when Shaw came for me…

Phyllis to have vaccine inoculation & to blow bubbles.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

Down early to the hospital

31 December 1918

Went down to hospital early as Henry went to Bisham by 11.20. I spent day there & lunched at the Lawn. Met little Colonel Tizard – wished P’s temp: would get more steady. I drove him home & picked up Ag & spent night with her.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

Great decorations and interest in American President

President Woodrow Wilson’s visit to France and London was the first official trip to Europe by a US President.

26 December 1918

Temperature still keeping down. Breathing bad. Saw her very little that day. So exhausted.

Took Henry to Paddington to spend night at Bisham. Went 11.20, then saw A & E & back for lunch.

President Wilson arriving – great decorations & interest. Well received. K & Q there too.

Only saw her one moment. Ag here to dine & keep me company.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

Still the same

Phyllis Vansittart Neale was still very ill with influenza.

23 December 1918

Still the same. No rally at present & temperature still about 102 or more.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

Awfully ill

Complications from influenza meant an operation for Phyllis Vansittart Neale.

20 December 1918

Night nurse came 6 a.m. – said she was no better but had slept a little. Did not go in till 10.30. Looked awfully ill. Newton there. Henry & Johnson motored up from Bisham – arrived about 11. Dr said must pierce lung because of pus. Found there was, so arranged for operation soon as possible. Done 6 o’clock. They said successful. Mr Edmunds the surgeon [will?] look after her “as his own daughter”.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

“This mysterious illness has been rife”

The influenza epidemic puzzled many people. Phyllis Vansittart Neale’s case, which we have been following in detail, was worse, and now her mother was ill with the stress.

The Influenza

This mysterious illness has been rife in the parish, though not so bad as in the towns. All our three schools, and the Infant School, have been closed at one time or another, and, as can be seen by the unusually long list of burials, there have been a sad number of deaths.

19 December 1918

Phyllis very ill.

I kept in bed all day by Dr Belfrage – nearly fainted. Edith went down to hospital for me. Ag went in afternoon and did not get back till 6.30. Felt dreadfully nervous. Said I must go to Hospital, sleep there. P. too ill for me to be away. Got up & dressed, went in officers’ taxi to Victoria, then tram. P. not to know. Kind Matron & night nurse.

Burghfield parish magazine, December 1918 (D/EX725/4); Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

Bright and well

Both her parents visited the recovering Phyllis Vansittart Neale.

17 December 1918

Henry & I went up to London by 9.45 to see Phyllis. He quite pleased she seemed bright & well. He left soon to home later. I stayed on most of the day. She tired I thought. I slept at E[dith]’s flat.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

A talky set of soldiers

Now the crisis was over, Florence Vansittart Neale welcomed soldiers back to Bisham Abbey.

16 December 1918

Heard good account of P[hyllis].

Soldiers came late but stayed till 7.30. Very talky set.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

Election day

It was the first chance many people had to vote – women and poorer men.

14 December 1918

Election day. 1st time all on same day. Not known result till 28th.

Packed up bag & took champagne to Hospital. P[hyllis] decidedly more cheerful. Felt better. Tells me the crisis is past! Difficulty opening champagne. Oor Sister had regular volts. I came home 2.5.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

No champagne in the shops

Things were improving, so Florence Vansittart Neale made a short detour.

13 December 1918

Heard fair night. Cough bad. Went by way of Stone’s for champagne – could get none, then to A&N – none there. On to Hospital via Westminster. Saw submarines.

Found her rather drowsy – slept a good deal all day, but Dr [March?] more satisfied. We again alone most of afternoon & had tea. I left after 5.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

Holding her own

12 December 1918

Went up to London 9.5. Arranged to sleep at flat & on to Hospital. Found P[hyllis] fairly bright. Spent day with her. Red aloud a bit. She & I alone all afternoon & had tea together. Dr said she very ill but holding her own.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

Very sad at leaving my Pussycat

Phyllis Vansittart Neale was still suffering.

10 December 1918

Up to London 9.45. Straight to Hospital. Saw P[hyllis] was feverish. Has pleuro patch in middle of lung. Cough bad but coughs up something now. Read to her in afternoon & left at 4 when motor came. Down with it. Felt very sad at leaving my Pussycat.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

A sandwich lunch

With her daughter on the mend, Florence Vansittart neale headed home.

7 December 1918

Went straight to Hospital from O. St and much relieved to find Phyllis really seemed better. No headache & temp. had touched normal after a week’s fever. Stayed with her till nearly 1. Then took bus to Paddington & caught 2.5 train, having sandwich lunch in waiting room.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)