The School and the War – Summer 1915

There is not very much that is fresh to tell the readers of the School Magazine about what the School is doing in order to try and bear in mind the great present crisis in European affairs, and also to render a little help where we may at a time when every effort, however small, is of value. We are now in the very heart of the struggle, and the geography and history lessons and the newspapers, and, above all, the masterly survey of events by Mr. Belloc’s speeches and writings, all have helped us to understand something of the progress of the war from day to day. It is greatly to be hoped that even when the thrilling- despatches from the front are published, weeks and sometimes months after the events recorded in them, they will be read with as keen an interest as the state of affairs at the moment, It would be a very sad thing to miss the participation in the details of any news of such importance and recounting such glorious deeds.

With regard to any work that the School has done, we have to record the work parties on Saturday evenings, in spite of its being the Summer Term, at which several hundreds of bags have been made for Lady Smith-Dorrien’s collection. She has already despatched 80,000, and desires to send speedily 100,000 more. the hears that the men find these little bays for their personal possessions a great comfort, and if they are invalided home many of them brim, them back for use in the hospital, and if they fall in battle they serve to collect their little possessions, which are so infinitely precious to their relations when they receive them. In the carpenter’s shop a great many ease boards have been made by the younger children under Miss Powell’s direction, and others have made cakes to send off every week to a few of the prisoners. The Mistresses continue their many activities in their spare tune in connection with the Soldiers’ Guest Noose and the Red Cross Hospital, which is just about to be enlarged. Miss Mitchell has been one of the foremost in helping to brighten up the evenings of the girls of the Speedwell Club by being with them in our pony’s field in the evenings, and it is very pleasant to hear their happy voices, and several other girls from the town, with their helper, have found their way to our little field, and the School grounds have been open on some Wednesdays in June and July to any of the families living round us who care to come. Last week one poor woman walking round looking so sad, and she told me that her youngest son (I think) had just started for the Dardanelles and that others where at the Front, and that she felt so sad in her house that she had to come out, and one felt so glad if the peaceful Godolphin garden was ally comfort to her. As you will see in another place, two or three of the leading farmers were very glad of Godolphin “hands” to help to get in the hay, and you may be sure that willing hearts and cheerful spirits went to the performance of this little service. Mrs. Harding and Mrs. Warren provided the haymakers with most acceptable refreshment, and were most kind to us. With regard to the very best thing that any of us can do at this time, I mean our prayers for those brave sailors and soldiers and all who are trying to help them, and for our statesmen and leaders, we have now rather a longer intercession service – about 20 minutes – on – Mondays at 12.20, and on the other days 10 minutes before “break.” On Wednesdays we read the names of those in the Navy, the chaplains, the doctors, the nurses, and other helpers who belong to us, and on Friday we read the names of those in the Army, and very long lists they are. We love to hear from Old Girls asking us to remember their dear ones, who are “in positions of honour and of danger on land and on sea.”

M.A. Douglas.