So many children absent through influenza, the school is closed for a week

Influenza continued to be a problem at home.

28th October 1918
So many children absent through influenza, that the school is closed for a week by the sanction of the Dr. Patterson the school medical officer.

Bradfield
Oct. 28th

Owing to the prevalence of influenza, I have excluded my monitress, Bertha Holloway, and Robert Elliott, Margaret Gains, and Edward Percy, all suffering from cold in the head.

Aston Tirrold
28th October 1918

Today we had an attendance of 113 out of a possible 152 owing to influenza. One of the teachers, Miss Mayne, was absent for the same reason.

Goosey
28th October 1918
There are many cases of influenza which I have reported to Reading.

Log books of Eastbury National School (D/P79B/28/2); Dr Watney’s School, Bradfield (C/EL10/2); Aston Tirrold CE School (C/EL105/1); Goosey CE School (C/EL89/1)

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The Americans have saved the situation

Some resented the Americans’ domination of peace negotiations.

St Mary’s Bramber
Oct 16 1918

My own darling

The news in the evening paper is all good and I wonder what you think of Wilson? It satisfies me as quite adequate, but Dad is full of resentments! I do not think there is anything to be wondered at that he puts his own country first? They have saved the situation & in order to save it he had to become the spokesman for his very mixed country, & make clear to them why & for what they had come in. Having done this, he was then responsible for his 14 points which were not those of the Allies, and it was up to him to interpret them in the light of this present, a present he had more than any man alive brought to pass. But it does not bind us or even control any action in the field – how could it?

It cannot be altogether a matter of congratulation that the Hun thought he could make of Wilson another Lenin or Trotsky, and Wilson’s utter repudiation is a glorious vindication of the sovereign people’s right to speak. If the Hun wishes to ignore the crowned sovereign representatives in the Alliance he has found the thing itself there in that utterance & he is up against a Majesty he has failed to recognise, and which may teach the Hun People a new lesson, – illuminated him within that word now. It must be so wonderful to be with those armies as you are, to have to do with the men who are to represent this revolution when the Armistice can be signed – with the insignia the President cannot have – the crown of personal sacrifice, the anointing of the oil of a gladness only they can know who have learned what it is “to be joyful as those that march to music, sober as those who must company with Christ”. And if this is so the Coronation service is no dead letter even if it is a people being so crowned – King, Priest and Prophet, and I believe that office left out in our Kingmaking service is to be restored when a true democracy recognises the Theocracy.

Wilson’s answer comes very near to it – it is a great solemn warning – “the power not ourselves that makes for righteousness” is surely in it? Do tell me all you think. It has set me thinking, and I have to write it out to you…

I am not happy about Willie Percy. Mar: says he is so poorly the Doctor says he must come away from Jerusalem to another climate….

Lady Mary Glyn to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C2/5)

“Our hearts and prayers go out to these dear lads, confident that the day is not far away now when they will come back to us”

There was news from some of the young men from Spencers Wood.

Our Soldier Lads.

Two more of our young men have been wounded in recent engagements: Pte. Fred Norris and Pte. William Povey. Fred has been in France for two and a half years and has been wonderfully fortunate. He is now in a Bristol hospital and going on well. Pte. Povey has been twice wounded, the first time about eighteen months ago at Loos. Both lads were regular in their attendance at our little church.

Cheering letters come from Harry Wheeler, Percy and Chappie Double, who are all so far well, although Harry has suffered from trench feet. Our hearts and prayers go out to these dear lads, confident that the day is not far away now when they will come back to us. God bless them!

Spencers Wood section of Trinity Congregational Magazine, April 1917 (D/EX1237/1/12)

Highland bonnets on their way to the Tree of Life

Lady Mary Glyn wrote to her son Ralph with details of the family’s response to the death of his cousin Ivar Campbell, alongside her squabbles with a rival group of Red Cross workers.

Peter[borough] Jan. 14th

My own darling darling own son

I know how you will grieve for Aunt Syb and for the torture of that faraway uncertainty even in the certainty – 6th or 8th as date, and not having been able to see him before he left – and his not being with the Argyll & Sutherland Aunt Em thinks has added to the sore trouble, “the sore blow” as Aunt Syb calls it. She sees Aunt Far, and all his special friends – and I am sure Eustace Percy will be a comfort to her now.

I saw Aunt Syb & Joan the week before. She had been made so glad by letters on Xmas Day amd New Year’s Day. Aunt Far wrote to Aunt Eve that Mrs McDiarmuid (Tiree) had written to her, “I am thinking of the Highland bonnets on their way to where the Tree of Life grew”.

The Rest Room at the G.E. is a great success, and I have troops of helpers…. The Red X Room (Arthur Knight’s Chamber) has been most shamefully attacked by the Winfrey lot who appealed to Lord Spencer – and he has been ass enough to go in with them, and so the matter referred to Headquarters – and I keep silence knowing they are cutting their own throats.

I have had a letter from beloved old Jack asking me not to go on with the “crusade”! “That he and Lord Spencer are there.” I tell him I have made no crusade, but that registration now enforced has shown up these people as I knew it would, and their attack on me – & it must take its own course.

The answer from Headquarters is to wipe out all Peterborough organization & say only Lord Spencer & his representative can be corresponded with. So much for Winfrey & his tools – and they are in a very bad position. So I have been to see Sir George Pragnell, Chairman of Work Room Section, & told him I will do what he advises. Meantime we have a delightful brigade at work in the Knights Chamber on Tuesday evenings, registered in the name of a very clever lady doctor, and they are all splendidly keen. I knew if I did anything it would at once produce a cost, but I never dreamed that Lady Exeter would go in with Winfrey, or that committee against me! I am afraid she is quite without brains, & is making a great hash of everything she has to do with.

I keep quite cool and go quietly on, & make no reply to their attacks, and ask the workers also to keep quiet – & as many as can are encouraged to go to the Rooms they have now at last registered as a rival to mine. Supported with any amount of LSD collected in the name of the “Red X”… It is all a most disgraceful story & one day when they have me to fight no longer they will all be ashamed of themselves….

Letter from Lady Mary to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C2/3)

The best news since war began

Various letters from family members to Ralph Glyn discuss war news and life on the Home Front. Ralph’s sister Meg told him about her naval husband’s latest visit home. He was not terribly impressed by his father in law the bishop’s involvement with Missions to Seamen.

23 Wilton Place Nov. 12th
My darling Ralph

To my great joy Jim came home for breakfast again yesterday, having brought Royalist in to Newcastle to be made into a Capt D’s ship. Yesterday morning he went to the Admiralty & found that they are agitating there to give him the Constance still, so things are rather hung up at present.

Yesterday evening the parents & Maysie & John came to dinner, & we had quite an amusing evening. The parents… had just had a meeting in Peterborough for the Missions to Seamen & collected £100.

“A What?” said Jim.
“A missionary meeting” says Mammie.
“What for?” said Jim.
“To convert seamen”, says Dad.
“What into?” said Jim, & then asked if he couldn’t convert the £100 into his pocket.

Maysie ordered your cigarettes, & I went to Fortnum, & in future they are going to send you small consignments of picked things in plain boxes so I hope they’ll turn up alright, & I have countermanded that large order of mess things. Mother has asked me to get you some magazines which I am going to do today, & I’ll also send you a couple of 1/- or 7d books.

I lunched with Aunt Syb one day. The butler has enlisted, & Ivar has gone with his Division to Mesopotamia, but he couldn’t get any leave to come home first which was hard luck….

Today Asquith has promised we shall have Compulsory Service by Nov. 30th if more men don’t come forward. That’s the best news I’ve heard since war began, it would really almost be patriotic to stop men enlisting for the next fortnight if one could!…

Your very loving Meg

Ralph and Meg’s mother Lady Mary wrote:

The Palace
Peterborough

Nov. 12 1915

My own darling…
Ivar [Campbell, Lady Mary’s nephew] gone to Mesopotamia & no leave before he went but I hear he went in good spirits & preferring it to Flanders swamps….

Anne [Meg’s little girl] loved getting a letter from you. Did you hear of her reproof when Nannie told her not to waste food in wartime?
“It is not wartime, it is teatime.” …
(more…)

Balkan news causes perturbation

About to return to the Dardanelles, Ralph Glyn offered to take parcels out for various acquaintances who didn’t trust the post. Neill (later Sir Neill) Malcolm (1869-1953) was a senior officer in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders.

1 Princes Gardens
SW
Sept 30, 1915

Dear Captain Glyn

I have just heard from my sister-in-law, Jeanne, that you say you will take out some warm clothes for Neill to the Dardanelles. It is most kind of you, – & I really can’t tell you how grateful I am! I have been rather worried about the clothes question, as Neill has asked for “woollies” etc, & there seems to be no safe means of sending them out. Jeanne’s message found me in the very act of sending off a parcel – rather hopelessly! – so I am extremely grateful to you for offering to take things.

I am leaving this with two parcels; I do hope you won’t think them too big – but it is such a splendid opportunity!

If it would be more convenient to unpack the parcels, & pack up the contents among your things, or in any other way – please do.

I had a letter from Neill this morning – still very well – it will be nice for him to get you back & hear all the news.

Thank you again, ever so much,
Yours sincerely

Angela Malcolm

Dear Glyn

Very many thanks for your letter. It’s good of you to write as I know how busy you are.

If I don’t answer, or answer only shortly, it’s because I know you hear the essentials and all I can add is a little “personal colour”, and really I prefer not to express my own opinions in a letter.

Recent Balkan news has caused us much perturbation. Minister Sofia’s suggestion for sending troops to Salonica & thence (I presume) to occupy the uncontested area seems rather [illegible]. I imagine it’s purely a political move & that if it fails we shall not attempt to embark on a third line of operations but shall withdraw.

Meanwhile I fancy the withdrawal of 2 of our & 1 French division will bring us down pretty low here. That it precludes any question of an offensive va sans dire [goes without saying].

G Lloyd has had a great success over his coal in the Black Sea Campaign and is being sent home this K-M to confer in London & thence go on to Russia. It’s quite one of the most important questions here.

I have little or nothing in the way of news to give as nothing is doing. Only a few visitations by [Turks?] who are trying to do in Sykes old air ship & also drop their “shorts” on our heads. I have much enjoyed renewing an acquaintance of 20 years ago with Willie Percy. Goodbye old boy. I wonder where your next task is to be?

[Illegible signature]
30/9/15

Letters to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C31/25-26)

We ought to withdraw from the Dardanelles at once and face an enormous loss of men

Meg Meade wrote to her brother Ralph Glyn, serving in the Dardanelles. She reported mixed opinions about the ill-fated Dardanelles campaign.

Aug 23rd [1915]
Yockley House
Camberley

My darling Ralph

I wonder every day how you are getting on, & I’m sure you must be pretty done in with exhaustion and work. People here have their eyes glued on the Dardanelles, & the confidence displayed that we shall force the Straits in a week’s time makes one think they believe it to be a very much easier task than it is. Yesterday Hopie & I were talking about it, & he didn’t seem to have heard at all of all the opposition GHQ in France made to the continuation of the scheme. When I was in London … I saw Willie Percy & he told me that Allan was of the opinion that we ought frankly to withdraw our forces from the Peninsulas as soon as possible, & face the enormous loss of men it would entail! But confess our failure there as soon as possible! Hopie seemed never to have heard of the possibility of such feelings in men such as Allan etc, & to try to convince him of the truth of what I said, I told him what Henry Wilson had said about liking to shoot [“any man” crossed through] you for having a hand in the Dardanelle operations. Only I didn’t say that Wilson had said it to you, meaning you. I said that you “had been present when it was said”. But far from convincing Hopie that there can be any feelings of dislike of the Dardanelles operations on part of GHQ he politely but firmly refused to believe my statement was possible. It was very amusing, & I got him to write down what he could not swallow, & I have promised him that by return of post you will show that I am not a liar! So I will be very much obliged to you if you will return enclosed to me with “perfectly true” written at the foot as soon as you can. Now don’t forget, & I am perfectly confident you can indicate that I spoke nothing but the truth! Hopie & his regiment are under orders to go to France at the beginning of next month. His regiment is the Lothian & Border Horse, known here as the Liver & Bacon Horses! Poor Doreen is going to have an infant next month, so it’s hard luck on her…

The news from Russia is splendid as far as their naval successes go, & I think it must cheer up their retreating armies. If only they don’t get cut off by the Bosch.

Have you heard that John [their brother in law John Wynne-Finch] has been made a Captain. Maysie, of course, is in 7th Heavens! He is out of the trenches now joining up with the organisation, so there’s a respite. The parents are at Voelas [John and Maysie’s home in Wales], where I hope they stay till the end of their holiday…

I went with them to Johnnie Chesham’s wedding… Lady Airlie told me [at the wedding] she had come away from Cortachy because it was so far from all news & sometimes the Dundee Advertiser used to ring her up on the telephone & say “Has Your Ladyship heard that there has been a verra serious battle at the Front & that all the Cavalry have been cut up!”, & then they rang off, leaving poor Lady Airlie to wonder what had happened to the 10th, which is Lord Airlie’s regiment.

Your most loving
Meg

Letter from Meg Meade to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C2/2)

Stamps from the seat of war

Ralph Glyn’s mission to Serbia had been a success, and on his way home he received this letter from the War Office:

War Office
February 17 [1915]

Dear Glyn

There is just a chance of this catching you at Salonika on your return journey. Your long letter about Italy and your letter about Greece both duly received, and most interesting. You seem to have done great work in Serbia. Of course I smiled all over my face when I read all about you & your conclave with the General Staff. You will no doubt have a great deal to tell us when you get back, which cannot well be put in writing. In fact in these days one hardly likes to write anything down. Things have been humming here – Col. Thomson is going to Bucharest as MA & Tom Cunninghame is going to Athens. I wish the latter wasn’t so deaf, but he knows a good deal & is I hope likely to be of great assistance some day by being at Athens.

Give my love to Mrs Mark if you happen to come across her in Athens. How nice of you to think about the stamps for my small boy. Bring a few along with you when you come home and I will end them to him then. He will be quite popular with his schoolfellows if he can produce “Stamps from the Seat of War”.

I have sent a copy of your “Opinion on Greece” to Eustace Percy at the FO as requested – given a copy to him & one to MO5. I will also show the paper to Tom Cunninghame & CB Thomson. I am glad I was saved your unpleasant journey. I certainly should not have been well enough to write letters!

No time for more at present.

Yours ever
B E Bulkeley

Letter from B Bulkeley to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C31/2)

Not in distress owing to the war, so no help from the National Relief Fund

The Berkshire Committee of the National Relief Fund met again on 16 February 1915 to see what help they could give individuals in distress caused by the war. They had only three applications, only one of which they regarded as worthy of help:

Applications for relief were considered from
Nobes, East Hanney. A grant of 10/- per week for the four weeks beginning Feb 1st was made, on condition that if the applicant should be given an Army pension & such pension should cover the month or any part of the month of February the National Relief Grant should be regarded as a loan & be returned to the N R Committee.
Weston, Easthampstead. The applicant was not considered to be in distress owing to the war, so far as could be judged from the letters bearing upon the case laid before the Committee. Relief therefore was not granted.
Percy, Woodley. The Ass. Sec. reported that the case had no reference to the war & had therefore been handed over to the wife of the vicar of the parish.

National Relief Fund Berkshire Committee minutes (C/CL/C6/4/1)