So many officers down with flu

Florence Vansittart Neale’s daughters saw the German submarines being surrendered.

25 November 1918

Heard from Phyllis. They watched the submarines all Friday afternoon. Boy had to go to Felixstowe. So many officers down with flue….

Feel on a holiday. No soldiers, no officers! Captain Carswell left this morning.

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

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A touch of flu

Florence Vansittart Neale caught the flu.

15 November 1918

Took to my bed & had Dr Moore. Said touch of flue to chest & right side touched. Bubbles left 9.45 so went in her room as warmer – bed very hard! Johnson also in bed. Same thing.

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

A wonderful day – full of thankfulness

The lights came on again as the armstice was celebrated at home.

Florence Vansittart Neale
11 November 1918

Armistice signed 5 a.m. Hurrah. War 4 years, 3months & a week.
A wonderful day – full of thankfulness. Fighting stopped at 11 a.m. Peace. Peace. We heard it on the golf links. I, the girls & Boy. Shaw heard the church bells, & we the sirens & guns!! London I hear a marvellous sight – crowds & all happy & orderly. Own overseas went up.


William Hallam
11th November 1918

We heard Germany had accepted the armistice about 20 past 11. We all left off work at 12 and came home. I washed and changed and after dinner we all went round the town which was soon decorated up and everybody visiting. Heard the first fireworks for 4 years. People letting them off even down at the Tram Centre. After tea along to Bath Rd reading room. Quite a crowd there waiting for evening papers to see the terms but there were not pub liked- the terms I mean. We all went down to St Paul’s to a thanksgiving service at 8. The most noticeable thing I suppose on going out was to see the street lamps lit. At the conclusion of the service we had a solemn Te Deum with incense.

CSJB
11 November 1918

The Armistice signed at 4 a.m. ‘Te Deum’.

Diaries of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9); and William Hallam (D/EX1415/25); Annals of the Community of St John Baptist, Clewer (D/EX1675/1/14/5)

German Navy flies the red flag

Germany was in even greater disarray.

8 November 1918

Delegates left Germany for Western Front. Navy revolt in Germany. Fly the red flag. Refuse to come out against our Navy.

Heard an overseas officer coming same train as Boy & Bubs [Leo and Elizabeth Paget]… B & B & Mr D[avidson]. came by 4.40 train. All seemed well. Mr D. wounded in leg.

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

Very good news

Lady Vansittart Neale visited her married daughter on the east coast.

15 August 1918

Bubs’ birthday. Boy on manoeuvres all day. We all 3 sat out on beach, then to Felixstowe for afternoon. Many battle cruisers out. F. nice cheerful town….

Very good news. Lassigny Heights taken by French.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)

German retreat going on

Florence Vansittart Neale and her daughter relaxed while studying the war news.

14 August 1918

Sat in garden & read Bubs the paper. German retreat going on.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)

Exciting place – guns going

Florence Vansittart Neale was on holiday.

8 May 1918

Went to Eastchurch 2.5. Bubs met me halfway. Had tea & went out… Most exciting place – aerodrome school – guns going. Nice little house!

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)

300,000 Germans supposedly killed

Phyllis Vansittart Neale was still nursing, while her brother in law Leo ‘Boy’ Paget was training troops ready for the front line.

2 April 1918

Heard [from] both girls – Phyllis saw Matron, asked about exchange. Boy [Paget] training men.

300,000 Germans supposed to be killed during the week.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)

Germans 6 to our 1

The news was so bad that even militant union members were holding back now.

Florence Vansittart Neale
26 March 1918

Bapaume lost. Germans 6 to our 1. Nice prayers by Archbishop. Boy & Bubs [Leo and Elizabeth Paget] left us for the White House.

William Hallam
26th March 1918

A meeting of the A.S.E. to protest against such a thing as striking in this crisis so I went to support it.

Diaries of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)
and of William Hallam (D/EX1415/25)

No raids during this moon

Florence Vansittart Neale’s husband was a senior Admiralty official – no doubt the way their married daughter might get an opportunity there.

31 December 1917

Wounded came late & had to go early for evening entertainment. Nearly all Canadians.

No raids during this moon so far.

Bubs may work at Admiralty chart room.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)

No plum pudding

It was a festive Christmas at Bisham Abbey, although the family missed daughter Phyllis and son in law Leo “Boy” Paget, respectively nursing and fighting.

25 December 1917

Had soup, turkey and bread sauce!! No plum pudding, but omnibus with dates. Drank health absent ones, Phyllis & Boy, in champagne.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)

Awful explosion in ships

The explosion of a French ship carrying munitions in Canada has been called the worst manmade explosion before the invention of nuclear weapons.

8 December 1917

Awful explosion in ships at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Town almost destroyed! Roumania [sic] having truce….

Wrote to prisoners. Mrs Pack & Mr Rich [visited]. His son died of wounds. My Bubs to start for Paris 4 pm via Southampton & Havre.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)

A brave bride

New bride Elizabeth Paget (nee Vansittart Neale) had to say goodbye as her husband’s leave was up.

2 November 1917

Bubs & E. down by 4.50. Boy [bridegroom Leo Paget] gone that morning. Our poor dear bride very good & brave but must feel it dull…

Italians still retreating.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)