Christmas and the Great War 1916

The end of the war is not in sight, and it must needs be with a heavy heart that that fact is faced. But I am sure we all feel that a statement like that must be immediately followed by a “but ” – but Christmas is at hand, to rally us all to listen to its Message of Hope. The Christmas bells will ring out just as confidently as ever, for they summon the followers of Christ to pay their homage to the Warrior on the White Horse Whose Name is Faithful and True. He is the “Beloved Captain” in Whose eyes we read all the tenderest love and understanding of those who follow Him in the way of sorrow, and by a path cut down deep by suffering, and fighting every inch of the way, which is His way. And as we look more steadfastly with the eyes of faith into His eyes, we see there the glorious certainty of final and complete victory. Even now there are some spoils to lay at His feet, for men and women, boys and girls, and little children, are learning to see more clearly-even if the vision is lit up by tears-the beauty of Righteousness, Truth, and Self-Sacrifice, love of what is loveable, and compassion for what is pitiful; and the volume of desire is growing in our midst to spare nothing, to stint nothing, to give everything, if only His cause may triumph. The end is not yet; our desires are still too faint, our efforts still too weak and intermittent, our faith too dim, our prayers too feeble, our trust too little trusting, and yet we know at the very bottom of our hearts that He is Faithful and True, and that He has His victorious purpose completely in hand, and so we may follow Him with brave hearts and wills made strong by the capacity given to us of making them one with His Will.

The School and the War – Christmas 1916

The fact that the same efforts are being maintained is the satisfactory thing to record, though we all know that as time goes on there is not one of us that may not have to make, and desire to make, still more efforts to help our country, and our sailors, soldiers, and airmen, and our Allies at this time. The 300 or more girls’ schools that joined together to help the home at Richmond for the totally disabled, have raised between them more than £3000. Besides contributing about £50 to this we have kept our own collections going for the Belgian soldiers, and hope to have about £7 at the end of the term. The School gave me the most delightful present on my birthday of a cheque for £4 8s. for some war fund, and it is going to help the huts on the Plain. There have, too, been special efforts helped by other friends bringing in £7 7s. 62d. for Kitchener’s Memorial, and £10 6s. 81d. for the new Women’s Hospital, which was founded by Mrs. Garrett Anderson, and £5 17s. for “Our Day,” 550 bags for the men’s small possessions, 300 writing cases, 72 splints (14 of which were for fingers), four pairs of crutches, one bed table, and the large notice board, some clothes for Belgian refugees, and some woollen socks and other woollen things will have gone from the School this term, and others are in hand.
Our Intercession list is now so long that we have to divide it into several lists, taking some names every Wednesday and Friday, and the Roll of Honour also grows, and with it the heroic courage of those who have the names of those near and dear to them on that list.

6th List of Relations & Friends on Active Service – Christmas 1916


Cecil Gregory-Jones Bernard Morley-Fletcher
Donald Constable Wilfred Hall
Fred Walker Miles Thursby
Gilbert Walker Aubrey Wallich
Geoffrey Taylor Reginald Wallich
Ernest Taylor Leonard Roseveare
Jeffrey Lowe Christopher Bushell
Ronald Johnston Clement Vines
Gerald Edwards Harry Bagot
Vivian Reynolds Vivian Whately
Jack Reynolds Eric Powell
Richard Skyrme Douglas Sutherland
Geoffrey Taylor Lionel Sommerville
Edward Taylor Henry Phear
Everard Whitting


Spencer Secretan Cyril Bulteel
Philip Mackworth


Margaret Fawcett Dorothy Bushell

Roll of Honour – Christmas 1916

BEVIS. Raymond Bevis, brother of Mildred Parnell.

NEWBOLD. Second-Lieutenant Philip Newbold, 7th Royal West Kent Regiment. Killed July 13th.

CROMBIE. Ian O. Crombie, Captain, 11th Battalion Middlesex Regiment. Killed’ in the Somme, July 28th.

HELLARD. Second-Lieutenant John Alexander, 3rd Somerset Light Infantry, brother of Molly King, killed in France, July 2nd, 1916.

SANCTUARY. Captain Charles Lloyd Sanctuary, M.C., Suffolk Regiment, died of wounds received in action on September 28th. He was the eldest son of Canon and Mrs. Sanctuary, Old Cleeve, Washford.

DU BUISSON. Second-Lieutenant Jack Du Buisson, R.F.A., died of fever on October 11th.

WOOD. Lieutenant Harold Wood, 8th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps. Died of wounds on August 25th.

LISTER,. Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Hugh Lister, M.D., C.M.G., who died on July 17th of pulmonary tuberculosis on his way home from Egypt, was the son of the late Arthur Lister, F.R.S., and nephew of the late Lord Lister, and one of the best-known medical practitioners in Aberdeen. He was born at Leytonstone in 1864, was educated at Marlborough College, Trinity College, Cambridge, and was a medical graduate of Aberdeen University. On his graduation in 1895 he began practice in Aberdeen, and took his: M.D. degree with honours in 1904. He developed a large and influential practice, specialising in tuber­culosis. He was physician to the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, and lecturer on clinical medicine at Aberdeen University since 1912, and had been at various times house physician at Middlesex Hospital, medical officer Morningfield Hospital for Incurables, medical referee Newhills Sanatorium, and hon. physician Tuberculosis Wards Aberdeen City Hospital. Since the outbreak of war he has rendered distinguished medical service with the Forces, and some time ago received the C.M.G. Dr. Lister married Sybil, daughter of the late Sir Reginald Palgrave, Clerk to the House of Commons.

Old Girls’ News – Christmas 1916

U. Barrow is living at home, and working half time as a V.A.D. nurse at the Cooden Camp Hospital, about two miles from Bexhill.

Ella Burden writes from No. 1, B.R.C. Hospital, A.P.O. 811, B.E.F., France: “I thought I would like to send you a line to tell you how very happy I am out here, and thoroughly enjoying my work. I am very fortunate in being in such a lovely hospital, and in such a nice little sea-side town, in the midst of pine-woods. We are now very busy, but so far I have been able to stand it quite all right. It is quite likely I may meet some old Godolphin girl out here, though I have not been lucky enough to do so yet. The nurses all live in a big hotel close by, and also any relations whose people are on the danger list. The hotel life reminds me of school, everyone is very kind and we are able to spend our off-duty time together.”

Doreen Caton is collecting for the War Savings Association at Beckenham in two long roads, and likes the work. She is also teaching at the House of Compassion, where all the teaching is voluntary,

Violet Christie passed the examination for the Sanitary Inspector’s Certificate in January, and the examination for the Public Health Diploma in May, and has been elected an Associate of the Royal Sanitary Institute. She has been working under the Lady Almoner at the Brompton Hospital. She journeys about all London and the suburbs and finds her work very interesting.

Constance Keane writes: “I have been working on the land from 6.30 a.m. till 7.30 p.m, every day. The work has been really rather interesting, since I was the only woman there, and the only person of a non-labouring class, so I got a good insight into farm life. Feeding fowls, pigs, and calves, milking cows, tending sheep, cleaning stables, driving and harnessing horses, threshing and harvesting, fell to my lot, so I now feel quite an expert at farming ! It was very strenuous work, and as a result I am very strong and muscular.”

Dorothy Kent tells us of her brother’s wonderful experiences in the battle of Bernafay Wood, and also in the battle in Delville Wood. She writes from Durban and says:- “A fortnight ago we had such interesting letters from my brother. He gave us very full descriptions of both fights. He really had the most marvelous escapes. In Bernafay Wood they had a very bad time, and were without food or water for several hours. When the rations came up a high explosive set them on fire, and so they got nothing. A shell fell just on the parapet of their trench but fortunately didn’t explode. In Delville Wood a shell shot away the bottom of my brother’s pocket book and split his tunic across the chest. Another shot off his gas-helmet, and finally at 8 o’clock in the evening a huge shell burst beside him and blew him several yards. It quite stunned him, and he lost control of his limbs, so he was sent to Rouen Hospital. He is still there, but I don’t think it will be long before he is back with the Regiment. Every single friend we knew in the Regiment has either been killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. The South Africans have done splendidly, but they have suffered very heavily.”

Lilian. King has got a very interesting job at the War Hospital Supply Depot in Hove : clerical work connected with the Prisoners of War Relief Fund. They are sending cases and parcels of invalid comforts to 124 Prison Camps in Germany. Turkey, and Bulgaria, as well as to numbers of individual men. She says the majority of the parcels are acknowledged by the men, which is satisfactory. “The letters are intensely interesting; we had one from Wittenburg the other day, enclosing photographs of the monument erected to the British and French who died there, and the grave-yard with all the little wooden crosses. The photos are so clear that one can read all the names on the monument. Last week we had the first letters from Bulgaria-from Philippopolis and Sofia they seem to be quite happy there. Some of the letters from Germany are cruelly censored. One man wrote: ‘We should be very grateful for–‘ and the rest was crossed out. Another said: `I regret to tell you that since you last wrote orders have been issued that-‘ and then all was scratched out.”

Dorothy Lowe is working at the War Hospital at Clopton, near Stratford-on-Avon. She tells us that her brother has come home from Australia to enlist, and has joined the London Electrical Engineers.

Margaret Fawcett says:- “I am at present in Russia, working under the Scottish Women’s Hospital, and altogether having quite a good time. The unit is divided into two parts, the hospital staff and the motor transport. Edith Faithful is in the latter. It was so nice to find that she was coming out with us when I met her in Liverpool before we started. I am in the hospital part, and my duties are many and varied, chiefly to do with the mess. I had no idea that Natasha lived at Odessa, so was pleasantly surprised when she came to the Sanatorium the first morning we were there with several other English girls to take us about. They were perfectly splendid. I’m sure it must be a very tiring job to interpret for several eager people who want to know everything, but they never seemed to get tired. Altogether we spent the most enjoyable four days of our journey at Odessa. Natasha was very keen to come with us, but of course she can’t leave her father and mother. Mrs. Harris was extremely kind, she said that if any of us get ill we are to go back to Odessa, and she will take care of us. At present we are under canvas in a very nice little camp, but have no patients in the hospital. We only arrived from our base hospital on the 11th, and the 1st Serbian Army Corps, to which we are attached, has gone into reserve, so that for the present we shall have nothing to do unless we nurse Russians. We had one fearful night at the base. About 89 wounded arrived before we were properly ready. There were one or two bad cases, and three or four died, but the majority were only slight cases and were evacuated within three or four days. Our little hospital, with its staff of 12, has left the base to be nearer the Front, and now that we are here the Serbs are not fighting, so we do not know at present what we shall be doing. The weather is excellent, and camping out is most enjoyable.”

E. Villars writes: “I have changed my address and mode of life since you heard from me last. I am a general farm labourer on this farm, and have been here for nearly a month, after training for a month at the Seale Hayne College, Newton Abbot. I work from 6 to 6, milking about six cows and doing various odd jobs, such as apple picking, mangold loading, cleaning stalls, and just occasionally driving cattle about. I like it very much, though there are minor drawbacks. I had a very good time at Newton Abbot. The College is new, and is not properly fitted up-only the servants’ quarters are opened to take 14 girls. We had very good instruction and got quite into the way of farm work there. Mr. Crumpler, my present employer, wrote to the Principal to ask for a girl, and I applied as I have some friends living about eight miles from here.”

Miss Newbold has been in France just a month and has signed on for another six months. She helps in a hut with one other nurse, as the whole of the hospital is under canvas.

Kathleen Newbold is nursing in one of the V.A.D. hospitals at Tunbridge Wells, and Dulcie Chancey is in the same hospital.

Marjorie Newbold helps a good deal in the different Canteens in the town. One of their gallant brothers has been killed, and their four other brothers are all fighting.

Iolanthe Wilson has just passed her test successfully in the Admiralty (Intelligence Department).

Muriel Dibben, in writing to us in the summer from South Australia, tells us that one of her brothers was one of the ten men picked out of his Regiment to stay to the end in Gallipoli. She says: “He never thought he would get out alive; it was marvelous how they managed to bluff the Turks.” Her other brother also enlisted.

Miss Jones’ Letter – Christmas 1916

Nelson House, November 19th, 1916.

Here I am in it once more. It really feels as if all the three years had slipped out and faded away. I am even head of Nelson House once more. It was just right that Miss Hancock should have chickenpox (though she may not have thought so), and I should step into her shoes, as she had done all my work for a month when I returned from Africa eight years ago, and went straight to bed with bronchitis. And it was very odd that Miss Steer should be away too, and give me Upper VI. and Special VI. History to teach. I even had my own old Algebra book and taught exactly the same old things, and all the children who used to be IV.b when I left and are now Lower VI., make precisely the same mistakes that the Lower VI. of that day used to make, but they make far less, and oh they are so good at Riders ! I was rather taken aback, when on my second day I was requested to correct an essay on Buddhism (that’s Miss Steer). I never knew enough to teach Buddhism, so guessing they must be doing Eastern Religions, I found a lecture of Canon Bernard’s on Confucius, and we did that.
It is sheer joy to be here, children, to be in the Hall for prayer s­how beautiful and quiet and dignified it is ; to see the portraits-such a very life-like one of Lord Nelson ; to see the Carpentry shed, and the marvelous splints and crutches, and cupboards, made by the girls, and their tools and benches, and the beautiful toy furniture bliss Pinckney has made out of an orange box. My beloved Museum seems to be a regular class room now-I wonder if; anyone ever “does” Museum. Miss Hymans de Tiel has left it so beautifully labelled too. Then the little quiet Oratory is such a beautiful addition to the School, and the libraries and studio properties all seem to have grown; and so has the number of forms. But do you all realise how marvelously blessed you are? If you did you would give thanks every day of your lives. Well, I expect you do.
I have come back from such a thirsty land, not only thirsty for rain, but for all your advantages, for your books and pictures, and old buildings, and music, and Cathedrals, for all that makes tradition, for all you so carelessly inherit, for history of ancient days and deeds of chivalry, for long rolls of saints and patriots and heroes.
It is true I have a country where the enormous possibilities and opportunities nearly make your heart burst, where your own history stretches only a hundred years behind you, and all the boundless future is before you, where the great spaces, and the light, and sun, and the far horizon and the stillness seem to have room for God to come close to the earth, and you throb with all the vastness and greatness of it, and long and ache to use every power in you to make some little bit of goodness for the future. But oh ! it is so difficult, and therefore so inspiring. We want every bit of help you can give us. We are young and strong, and tingling with life, but we want your very best to come out and help to bring traditions, and to bring all your experience and training, and your love and knowledge of beautiful works of man. The works of God there are so beautiful, oh so glorious-Rudyard Kipling’s
“great spaces washed with sun
Opal, and ash of roses, Cinnamon, amber, and dun”­
and the mountains, blue table mountains, or great and huge and rugged, as in the Hex River Pass, or covered with every variety of heath and gladiolus, and lilies, and orchids, besides the great South African flowers.
It is such an inspiring land because of the number of great things to be done. It is such a friendly land, where we are all one big family, we all write home every Thursday, and we all compare notes when mail comes in on Friday, and we all share joys and sorrows, because you are all so far away.
I have not touched on the war-it is too big and too full of horror. I daren’t say what it feels to be plunged into this atmosphere when every­one here has been in it three years. But it makes me glow with pride and gladness that Godolphin has been, in this tumult of grief and sacrifice, true to its high ideals, generous in giving all, and has shown to the country what it holds high as its motto:”Franac ha leal eto ge.”


Pageant of Empire – Christmas 1916

A Pageant at the Godolphin! That was, indeed, a new idea to most of us, and it was with feelings of eager expectancy that we thronged into the Hall on that memorable evening. Here we found many changes, for the windows were covered by three great Union Jacks, and the platform was decorated with flags of every variety, making it very gay and festive. Many hands had been at work, and before we left the Hall we realised that much thought and much energy had combined to make an impression which should not quickly fade. We felt that this could not have been brought about without the infinite pains bestowed by Miss Prosser on the designing and grouping, by Miss Atkinson and Miss Lavender on the music, by Miss Eastgate, Miss Lucy, Miss Westlake, and Miss Bagnall on the training and coaching of the girls who took part.
At the opening of the Pageant we sang “0 God, our help in ages past,” immediately followed by the National Anthem. A passage had been made down the centre of the Hall, and up this a procession now slowly made its way, and thence on to the platform.
It was Britannia who passed us first, in white robe, and mantle of imperial purple, her helmet glittering as she passed into the brilliant light. As she seated herself in the midst, the rest of the procession grouped themselves near by. England and Scotland were on the one side of her throne, Wales and Ireland on the other, whilst their respective standard-bearers took up their positions immediately behind. The Chorus, in long flowing robes of deep blue or violet over brilliant rose, formed a striking background of vivid colour.
And now came the Colonies, one by one, with appropriate and sug­gestive music, to greet Britannia and to declare their loyalty, and as each made an end of speaking one of the Chorus came forward and answered with a poem of greeting. Each Colony was followed by four little attendants bearing gifts, beautiful little figures forming a very attractive part of the Pageant.
We saw Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, in white robes and golden coronets, India and the Malay States in native dress, and South Africa, land of brilliant sunshine, in the brightness of her golden robe. . . . And so we watched them pass, imperial and stately until, last of all, came the West Indies, completing the world-wide embrace of Motherland and Colonies.
Up to this time the atmosphere had been one of peace and prosperity, with only a vague threatening of future trouble. But now we heard the Serbian National Anthem, and in a moment we were caught up into the tumult of war. Out of the gloom carne the sad figure of Serbia, who, advancing slowly, knelt before Britannia with bowed head and unsheathed sword.
Then followed broken-hearted Belgium, shrouded completely in black-fit emblem of a mourning nation. Kneeling before us, she made an impassioned appeal for help. “I cry for succor! Will you heed it not?” Then, rising, she flung back her gloomy cloak, and the red and yellow of the Belgian colours flashed suddenly upon us in all the brilliance of their glowing contrast.
Suddenly we heard the familiar battle-cry, “Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!” Whose voice could it be but that of France, echoing to-day the three-fold watchword of the First Republic?
Whilst the choir sang the most beautiful of all National Anthems, came stately Russia, full of courage. and hope. Then Italy and Japan brought up the rear, and completed the dazzling scene. It was a harmonious blending of vivid colour, pink and gold, green and purple, crimson and black, with a, background In which were mingled red and white and blue.
And while our eyes were enchanted our hearts were thrilled by words of dignity and impressive stateliness. The speeches did much to create the atmosphere of solemnity and true patriotism which characterised the Pageant throughout, and we were all very grateful to Miss Eastgate, who wrote them.
But now the Pageant was drawing to a close. We rose to sing Kipling’s Recessional, after which a procession was formed once more. Slowly, slowly, it passed down the brilliantly lighted Hall, a blaze of colour, fading gradually into the sombre shadows, and thence moved into the sunset light of the garden, where another Pageant unfolded itself, making a very beautiful and impressive ending.



National Anthem

PROLOGUE: “Pro Patria” Owen Seaman.

POEM “A Song of Canada” Robert Reid

POEM “Advance Australia” Andrew Lang

POEM Indian poem written two centuries ago Fakiri

POEM (S.A.) “South Africa” Kipling
POEM (N.Z.) “Battle of the Free” Bowen
POEM (M.S.)The Children’s Gift ” Noyes

POEM “The Flag of England” Kipling

RECITATION “Kossovo Day” (taken from the Serbian Liturgy)








Soliders’ Letter – Christmas 1916

The following is a letter from some of the soldiers who came to the Pageant :-­

November 19th, 1916.
To the Ladies of the Godolphin School.

We are writing a few lines to thank you very much for the splendid tea you gave us, also the entertainment afterwards to the pageant.
It was a very grand performance, and by the way it was carried out only shows how hard the ladies must have rehearsed. It made us feel and see what we have been and are fighting for, and may the time soon come when Britannia can open her arms to her sons, and with our great Allies shout Victory and Peace.
Once more thanking you for your kindness,
We remain, yours thankfully,

Feversham Ward.

The Soliders’ Guest House – Christmas 1916

There’s a welcome for the weary,
After marching-oh! so dreary­
Up and down:
In summer nice and airy
And in winter warm and glary;
It’s the Tipperary Tea Room in the town.
Oh! the plates of bread and butter,
Oh! the patience of the cutter:
Not a frown!
A cup of tea a penny!
No wonder there are many
Who flock to Tipperary in the town.
Instead of bombs, their plate is
Filled with sausages and taties
Done to brown:
And in place of sentry duty
There are jellies sweet and fruity
In this homely Tipperary in the town.
Yes, the dairy milk is foamy,
And they find it far more homey
Than the Crown:
So we’re busy taking money
And it really isn’t funny
That they love the Tipperary in the town.

COMMEM Saturday – Christmas 1916

I know that you and many another Old Girl were thinking of Godolphin at Commem. time this year, so you may like to know what we did to celebrate it in a quiet way.
First and foremost we had Miss Jones with us, on a visit to England, and she always seems such an essential part of Commem., in fact I suppose there has only been one without her!
We began the day with the early Celebration at St. Martin’s, then after breakfast we had our Commem. Service in the School Hall, and Miss Jones spoke to us, and told us what an extraordinary blessing it was to a country and a school to have old traditions at their backs, and that nothing brings this home to one so much as living in a country like South Africa, which is still “in the making.”
She asked for a show of hands of all those who had known her at School, and there seemed such a small minority-one does not realise how much a School changes in three years.
After the Service there was an hour’s Prep., and then the girls were left to spend the day as they pleased; some took their lunch and some their tea, and went to the Downs or Old Sarum, and any who liked assembled in the evening in the Hall, where Miss Atkinson, Miss Ward, and Miss Lavender, played delightful music to most ap­preciative listeners.
So you see Commem, for us was not without its pleasures, and as so few of the present girls know “the real thing” no comparisons could be drawn by them, but it made us old ones long more than ever for the necessary circumstances that might bring about another Commem. Anyway I have had my last Commem. as a member of the Godolphin Staff as, with much regret, I am leaving this term and take this opportunity of saying “Goodbye” to all Old Girls as a Mistress, though not as an old friend.
Yours affectionately