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.”


The Great War – Spring Term 1915

We feel so sure that all the readers of the Magazine will desire most of all at this time to have news of one another, and to hear what the past and present members of the School and those who belong to them are doing as they take their part in sharing the responsibilities of this most anxious and momentous time. This number of the Magazine will therefore chiefly concern itself with making some kind of record of the news which reaches us of the various activities in which Godolphinites and their relations are engaged. This record will not only be of very great interest now, but it will surely be of intense interest in after years.

News of Mistresses and Old Girls in War Time – Spring 1915

Spring Term 1915

There is so much interesting news from you all at this time it is hard to know where to begin, and there must, alas, be very many of you doing hard work who are too busy to write, but you shall have just as much space in the Magazine this time as we can possibly manage.

Theophila Yeatman has joined Alice Workman in running a Soldiers’ Club in Rouen. The address is Soldiers’ Club, 2, Base Post Office, Rouen, British Expeditionary Force. Postage 1d. She badly wants illustrated papers, lots of them, and begs for good English nibs and good English blotting paper; also for “a little money”, if anyone can spare it, to buy flowers for the rooms. She says the English Tommies love the Club, they say it is like being at home, and I think it must be with Alice and Theophila to welcome them.

Barbara Thatcher, writing from Clocolan, says: “We still have no means of transport, and all through the rebellion our horses were safely lodged in Basutoland, like most other folks’ from in-country.” Her brother, Harold Stokes, an old K.G. Godolphinite, is with the Natal Carbineers in G.S.W. at Ludentzbukh. May Wheeler’s brother is there too.

Gwen Mullings writes from her School at Rustenburg, Rondebosch, that they have all been knitting hard since the war broke out, and have collected well over £100 in the School. They were busy making Christmas puddings for the soldiers.

Bea Barron (Foster Pegg) writes from India that now her husband was fighting she and her baby would be coming home to England.

Kitty Bennett (Huyshe), also in India, hoped to be coming, as her husband’s Regiment had been ordered to the Plains, but she could not get transport.

Marjorie Wolley Dod has come back from Canada with her married sister, who wants to be near her husband whilst he is training.

Maisrie Drummond’s brother, Peter in in Egypt with the 1st Australian Contingent.

Marjory Winter Crowfoot writes a most interesting account of war work at Lincoln. She says: “In the foundries where we live they are working day and night on Government contracts – mines, aeroplanes, shells, &c. The 4th General Hospital of 1000 beds is on the new Grammar School grounds and buildings; my husband is very busy there most days. We have a big Red Cross Hospital as well, run by St. John Ambulance Volunteer nurses. The gun which our Regiment captured from the Germans was processed round the town, chiefly in hopes of attracting recruits.”

Vwera and May Douie write from Oxford. Their brother was wounded early in the war, but hopes to get back to the Front. He gained a Military Cross.

Margery Bush (Scott) and her husband have fitted their home as a hospital to be used under the War Office; it has 100 beds, 75 of which were in use before Christmas. Their brother, Frank, has joined the R.A.M.C., and the younger one has a commission in the Royal Munsters, and is in training in Ireland.

Miss Powles’ husband, Mr. Allen, has enlisted in the R.A.M.C., so Mrs. Allen and the baby are in Cambridge.

Lillian Southwood is nursing in the Red Cross Hospital in Exeter.

Vera Baker is working at “the Queen’s Work for Women.” She says it really is interesting being at one of the big funds, though the work is chiefly typing receipts for donations or writing letters to people who forgot to sign their cheques or even to enclose them. She was busy over the 1s. appeal, and the response was splendid.

Mary Huyshe had a most successful entertainment. Her infants recited and sang and played the “Pied Piper”. The Mission Room was so full that many could not get in at all. The proceeds went to the Belgian Fund.

Prissie Cory (Bannatyne) has taken a house in South Wales to be near husband who is in training.

Ursula Barrow nurses on two or three days a week in a Red Cross Hospital near Bexhill.

Kitty Kenyon has been helping to run a Club for soldiers at Farnborough, and also looking after soldiers’ wives and visiting wounded soldiers.

Winifred is head cook (chef coq as the Belgians call her) at a V.A.D. Hospital in Tonbridge, and has 15 kitchenmaids under her; happily they only come in relays. Peggie has helped to nurse a lot of wounded soldiers at Baschurch Surgical Home. She is still there, and is busy with crippled children pending another installment of wounded.

Winifred Blackett is working as a kitchenmaid at Guildford Red Cross Hospital.

Mollie Edmondson has been staying at Oakhurst. She hopes to be employed at the Upton Red Cross Convalescent Hospital when it is opened.

Vera Morrison (Sawyer) is back in England. Her husband was recalled from Gibraltar, and has gone to the Front. He is on the Headquarter Staff, so Vera hopes not actually in the firing line.

Rosalind Bowker is nursing in the Red Cross 2nd Western General Hospital, Manchester.

Ruth Strange is theatre staff nurse at Sturminister, Wimborne, Red Cross Hospital. Her brother Louis, of the Royal Flying Corps, has been mentioned in General French’s dispatch.

Majory and Nora Gabain’s brother, who is a dispatch rider, and has been out since the beginning of the war, was mentioned in General French’s dispatch.

Madge Carden writes a very interesting account of the rebellion from Port Elizabeth. She says, “The rebellion in a way seems worse to us than the great war, for all English people feel so ashamed to think that this is the one Colony which has not quite come up to the scratch. We had a great scare the other night, as we heard that there was a native uprising in Pondoland; the Transkei men were sent away from here at once, but all seem quiet again now.”

Iris Lang is still busy with recreation rooms for the soldiers at Church Crockham, and she says that her mother started the fashion of offering baths to the men, and since then everybody in the place has followed suit. One of her uncles is head of the Ordnance of the Expeditionary Force. He got a C.M.G. in the South African War and now has his C.B.

Philippa Kitchener tells us that her brother, Hal, is a R.E. stationed at Chatham, and is trying for the Flying Corps. He hopes to get to the Front about May.

Mawer is pantrymaid at a Red Cross Hospital. Her father has been guarding German prisoners.

Essex has been doing Red Cross work.

Bucham Brown’s brother is Gunnery-Lieutenant on the battle cruiser H.M.S. “Indefatigable.”

Maton was teaching bandaging in the village.

Wright, writing from Heilbron, O.F.S., sends a very graphic and interesting account of the rebellion. She says, “Heilbron was the first town to face the rebels, and a rough time we had of it. They pulled down and trampled on the Union Jack and took over all our horses, arms and ammunition. However, we were well off compared to other places, where they simply looted everything, and did the most wanton destruction. They even thrashed some of the loyalists, and kicked and struck the Mayor of Winbury. Heilbron has been relieved now, and hundreds of troops are patrolling the district, and have had skirmishes with the rebels and taken a good many prisoners. For a month we were absolutely cut off from outside; trains stopped, telephone and telegraph wires cut. We were practically in a state of siege, and only heard vague rumours of what was happening outside.”

In Salisbury many Old Girls and Mistresses have been helping with the Red Cross under Lady Pembroke, Lady Radnor, Miss Stephenson and the other members of the Red Cross Committee. Patients have been nursed by Red Cross probationers at the Salisbury Infirmary, the Red Cross Hospital, and the Isolation Hospital. Some of the patients have been wounded, but the greater number have been cases from the Camps round Salisbury, including some of the Canadians.

Part of Longford Castle has been converted into a Hospital for wounded Belgian Officers, who are nursed by the Red Cross probationers.

Miss Wyld is Commandant of VIII. V.A.D., Wilts. Susie Wordsworth has charge of the pack store, and has had a very busy time ever since the war broke out.

Miss Pinckney has organized the transport, which takes the nurses and a large part of the food out to the Red Cross Hospital.

Miss Fairclough and Miss Ashford have been head cooks.

Mrs. Pope has had charge of the house-keeping accounts, which has been a very big job.

The Misses Mixer have given invaluable help by offering free hospitality whenever required by the Red Cross, and the entire use of their telephone for Red Cross work.

The Mistresses and Old Girls who have acted as Red Cross probationers have been the following: Miss Fussell, Miss Ashford, Ethel and Beatrice Wilson, Lexie Hammick, Kittie Prothero, Ella Burden, Frances Clark, Kathleen Hulbert, Irene Wordsworth, Mary Weigall, Rosa Pepper, and Esther and Janet Morrice.

The cooks and kitchenmaids have been Dolly Prothero, Jessie Arnold, May Abbott, Gwen and Barbara Pinniger, Beatrix and Maud Gummer, Joan Fison, Dorothy Traske, Jessie Pearce, Winifred Holland Young, Madge Jackson, Esther Brown, Kathleen Humphrys, Joan Aldworth, Ruth Strange, Ena de Jersey, Dorothy and Muriel Vicary, Emma Burt, Bice Moggridge, Agatha Lumby, Mary Buchanan Smith, Marjorie Hardy, Violet Parson, Miss Westlake, Miss Powell, and Miss Mixer.

The charwomen have been Miss Hill, Miss Powell, Miss Derriman, Miss Winn, and Clara Ashford.

Miss Nelly Harding and her Orchestra gave a Christmas Concert at the Red Cross Hospital.

The cooks in the various School Houses made all the Christmas puddings for the Red Cross Hospital, and most of those for the Salisbury Infirmary.

Last term some of the V.A.D. gave bandaging lessons to a few of the senior girls.

Some of the laundry work, such as washing of towels and dishcloths, has been done by the girls under the superintendence of Miss Furneaux, and after she went to India Miss Fairclough took her place.

Mildred Parnell (Bevir) is in her old home at Hendon whilst her husband is patrolling part of coast of Scotland with his eight destroyers. Her brother, Reymond, has got his commission in his own Battalion, 10th Royal Fusiliers. She thinks he was rather loth to leave the ranks. Oliver, her sailor brother, is still in the Defence; he has had the bad luck to missed three engagements by just a few days.

Juliet and Cecily Parnell’s brother has come over from India with his Regiment, and has been in the trenches at La Bassée twice.

Phyllis Steedman tells us that her brother, John, is in command of the Osprey, T.B.D., and is stationed up at the North of Scotland.

Olivia Wyndham says: “My half-brother, Geoffrey Brooke, is with the 16th Lancers, and has been in the trenches, but is home again with frost-bite. Walter Brooke is on General Keir’s Staff and in the K.O.Y.L.I. John Fowler, a brother-in-law, is head of the Signaling Department and in the R.E.’s. My brother, George Wyndham has gone out with the Devons.”

Ella Jefferson says: “I have got one brother abroad; he is a temporary Major and Commandant of the Intelligence Corps. My other brother Wilfred, is going out any time now; most of his lot who were at Falmouth have left already.”

Dorothy Smith says: “Tom is still serving in the St. Vincent as a Sub-Lieutenant; they have not ‘come to grips’ with the Germans yet; he has had no leave for a long time. My Uncle, who is in the R.E., was mentioned in dispatches, and nearly all my first cousins are in training.”

Gertrude and Conny Boyle have both been very busy nursing in their Red Cross Hospital at Reading.

Rita and Kathleen Douglas are both nursing, one as a probationer in the big Stoke Infirmary and the other in a red Cross Hospital.

Muriel Jairett (Powell Jones) says that her brother had a good deal of fighting in South Africa during the rebellion, and had a wonderful escape, as a bullet went through his left sleeve, just grazing his arm; his horse also was hit. She writes from Fifeshire, where she is staying, to be near her husband, who is doing coast defence. She says they are all very tired of the work, and longing to be off to the Front. Their men, 5th Highland Light Infantry, are in splendid form and ready for anything; they do 20 to 30 miles’ march and come back as fresh as possible and singing lustily. They are excellently fed and looked after. She says: “This is a very interesting place to be in, because the war vessels pass constantly. One day we had a great excitement; one of our destroyers came right into the bay and circled round, firing 40 shots at something! We heard afterwards they were ‘firing at Fritz’, the Navy’s pet name for a German submarine which haunts these waters, but we never heard the result.”

Horne writes to tell us about her three brothers. One is with the Foreign Service Battalion in France in the transport section and drives the wagon, another is in the Artists’ Rifles with the Home Battalion, and the third is going to try for Woolwich in June, and hopes to get out to the Front before the war ends.

Mary Campbell Allen (Fuller) tells us that her husband is a Lieutenant on H.M.S. “London.” She is staying Weymouth.

Majorie Banks’ father is helping as a doctor to bring relief to the Serbian soldiers under the greatest difficulties. Her brother is a middy on the “Agamemnon” in the Dardanelles. So will have a very interesting time. She also has a brother who is a surgeon to the British Red Cross in Serbia.

Katherine Garnons-Williams is a probationer in St. Bartholomew’s Hospital.

Barbara Ganons-Williams sends us a list of her relations at the Front – Captain Pearce, K.R.R. Coprs; Major Bircham, K.R.R. Corps; Private Aylmer Garnons-Williams and Private Thomas Garnons-Williams, both Canadians; an uncle, Staff-Surgeon Garnons-Williams, H.M.S. “Amphitrite”; cousins Sub-Lieutenant A. Garnons-Williams, H.M.S. “Vanguard”; and Sub-Lieutenant L. Ricardo, H.M.S. “Lapwing.”

Ruth Tufnell says that her brother is in the Essex Yeomanry, and that they are at the Front now. They were in the trenches; that the 10th Lancers were in just before it was mined, and luckily were out just in time. She also has an uncle and several cousins at the Front.

Maud Forsdyke says that both her father and her uncle, Colonel and Mayor Forsdyke, are one war service.

Ming Glanville writes that they have a Work Party which is known as “Mrs. Glanville’s Flannel Fund.” They try to send off two or three 11-lb. parcels every week, and Ming herself is responsible for packing and sending the things off, and Mrs. Glanville says that she and Marjory are a great help to those Work Parties, and that all the people who come are so keen an get through so much work.

Catherine Capel’s brother, Jack, is in the Somerset Light Infantry, and Observer to the Royal Flying Corps.

Louie Delacombe tells us of her relations at ten Front – Harry Delacombe, R.N., Flight-Lieutenant, Colonel E, Evelegh, R.M. Light Infantry, and Second-Lieutenant Darell Evelegh, R.F.A.

Amy Pothecary (Aylward) says that her husband is a Corporal in the London Rifle Brigade, and has been in Flanders since November 20th in and out of the trenches. Her eldest brother, Dick, is with the Lahore Division, 21st Company of Sappers and Miners. He came with the first Indian Expeditionary Force from Bombay to Marseilles; he is a Corporal. Her younger brother, Jack, is a Second-Lieutenant in the 19th Yorks Regiment at Rawal Rindi.

Marion King’s only brother is in the A.S.C., and has come home on leave.

Rutledge writes to tell us about her brother, Geoffrey. She says: “He is a Captain in the 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers, and about a year ago passed some examination, which has given him a good Staff appointment. He is Assistant Provost Marshal, and went out at the beginning of the war.” She also has a cousin who is a Lieutenant on the “Goliath” and another cousin who is in the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Ruby Donnelly (Davis) tells us that her husband has been out at the Front since September; he is in the Garrison Artillery to a Divisional Ammunition Column, and got his Captaincy in November, and is now with the 8th Siege Battery. He has been mostly at Bethune and near La Bassée.

Alice Aylen has a brother in the R.N. and also three cousins.

Jeanie Raven (Robertson) has a young brother-in-law Assistant-Surgeon in H.M.S. “Birmingham,” and was in the Naval engagement, but as he also acts as Censor on his ship they get no startling details from him.

Violet Webb tells us that her brother, Allen, went out to France with his Regiment in August, and after doing various jobs, such as guarding railways, convoying rifles, &c., they were sent in October to the trenches. Since then he has been invalided home with arthritis and frost-bite. Her brother, Rupert, has joined the Artists’ Rifles, and is at present stationed at Roehampton.

Joan Elwes says that her cousin, Captain Somerville, of the Rifle Brigade, has come home wounded, but hopes to get out again later. Two other cousins, Captain Elwes, on General La Mothe’s Staff, and Private Elwes, in the Guards, are hoping to be at the Front soon.

Helen Blamey says that they are still busy at the U.G.S.S. with soldiers’ and sailors’ aid, &c.

Eileen Cole-Baker’s brother is still a prisoner at Magdeburg. She says they hear fairly regularly from him, and are thankful to know he is well. They are allowed to play chess and read a few English books which they send him, and he keeps cheerful, though smoking has been stopped.

Ruth Petro tells us that they have lost two cousins at the Front, and of their remaining twelve first cousins on her father’s side, three are at the Front, one a Sub-Lieutenant in the North Sea, one with the R.A.M.C., and all the rest, except a boy still at school, are at Sandhurst or in Egypt or at the Front. A girl cousin is running a Red Cross restaurant at Boulogne, and an uncle has just come back from the Front, where he has had the temporary rank of Captain with the A.S.C. Two other cousins on her mother’s side are in the Army, and will probably go to the Front this week. Another cousin is a lady doctor, and is out still, and was all through the siege of Antwerp. Her brother, Francis, is second-in-command of a submarine, and Raymond (being too young to do more) is in the O.T.C.

Mary Partridge paid a flying visit to St. Margaret’s to catch a sight of a brother from Canada before he left for France. He had been out in Canada for three years, and it seemed very sad that he had no time to go to his home in Norfolk to see his father and mother.

Jessie Lynn’s brother, Captain G. R. Lynn, I.M.S., 130th Indian Field Ambulance, Meerut Division, is serving in France.

Ruth Squire has two brothers at the Front – David, who is Second-Lieutenant, 6th Leicesters, and Charles, Lieutenant, Rifle Brigade. Her sister, Edith, is a nurse at the Front.

Gibbs says: “My brother, C. B. Gibbs, is Second Lieutenant in the 6th Wilts, and expects to go to the Front soon. He is an old Kindergarten boy.”

Mary Carver (née Malden) is Secretary to the Indian Convalescent Hospital at Ramleh, Alexandria.

Jean Alexander’s brother-in-law, Mr. Lister, has joined the A.M.S, and is Ophthalmic Surgeon to the Forces with the rank of Colonel. Their little Hospital at Aubrey House for wounded Belgians still goes on, and is wonderfully ideal opening out into the big garden.

Stephanie and Ruth Strange are very busy with their Hospital at Blandford. They are nursing a third batch of wounded, and some of the first men they had have already rejoined their Regiments at the Front. Their brother was mentioned in Sir John French’s dispatch, and has justly been promoted from Lieutenant to Flight-Commander and temporary Captain. Their other brother is on H.M.S. “Ocean” now in the Dardanelles.

Dorothy Tull says: “Alas, I am not at the Front! I only wish I were, and would give a great deal to be there if I could reconcile myself to leaving my father and mother alone. I am on the Committee of the Soldiers’ Recreation Room here, and spend most of my spare evenings down there trying to make things as pleaseant and amusing as possible for the Tommies before they go out to risk their live for us. We had 5000 troops in Woking on Thursday night on their way through Folkestone. My brother is in the Royal Fusiliers (Public School Brigade), but does not know when he will go out. I have cousin in the Canadian Contingent, who has just gone to France from Salisbury Plain; he is doing signaling and outpost duty, but hopes to be in the firing line soon.”

Clare Walker says: “I’m in the grand stand on Epson Downs, and have a ward of fifteen wounded soldiers; it is good to be able to do a little.”

Miss May Wlyd offered her services to the Aldwych Belgian Refugee Headquarters, and worked for them from September to December, as she heard that a lady who could bring and drive a car was badly wanted. For two weeks she literally drove for them from 9.00am to 10pm., or even up 12pm., her work consisting of meeting Belgian wounded soldiers and refugees and taking them to Hospitals and Depots. Her services were so much appreciated that she was asked to join the Transport Committee, consisting of 25 business men, all working at top speed every day in the week. They had to arrange to meet all the thousands of refugees we read about in the papers. One night at 11pm., just when she and the last men were packing up to go, a telephone message came saying 1700 refugees must be met at 3am that morning – they were the poor things from the wrecked Ganteame. They were met and dispatched to Alexandra Palace by early morning by means of motor bus and special trains, all of which had to be arranged for that night. The next week they sent for and brought back to England a seven weeks’ old baby and brought it safely to its mother at Hull. Nothing is too small for this Department to undertake, and they were as proud of this feat as of anything they carried through.

Lieutenant-Commander H. Wyld says he would like to write something about his work for the School Magazine, but as he is convoying troops across he dare not say anything, especially as the submarine danger has increased the difficulty and need for care.

Miss Fairclough has had a letter from her brother, in which he says: “The night before last I went to see the men in the trenches. It was very weird going out and hearing the bullets zipping all round you before you get to the trenches. The mud, of course, is almost predominant, but not quite so. The trenches in one place are only 40 yards apart, so that it does not take long for a bullet to travel a short distance… While I was there the Germans shelled the village, and it is aa awe-inspiring sight to see a house suddenly jump outwards all round, and the roof smash up, and the lot crumple to a pile of timber and bricks and a column of dust. Some shells fall in fields, make a hole 20ft. diameter, round in shape, and about 10ft, deep.”

Norah Chapman sends us the following extracts from the letters of a young officer on the Cape Station, which are very interesting as showing the work the squadron are doing:-

“We first heard rumours of war at Mauritius, and pushed on to Madagascar and then Zanzibar. On July 30th – a day out of Madagascar – I was peacefully keeping watch when the Engineer-Lieutenant told me war was imminent. We prepared for war and got everything ready for action; the ship was hurriedly smeared over with grey. The next day we had one thrill, probably our one and only, and I really thought the balloon was going up at last; the “Konigsberg,” the only German ship out here, and whom we were on the look out for, is much the same type as this ship, only faster. At 8pm. They suddenly sounded ‘action,’ and increased to full speed. The ‘Konigsberg’ had just hove in sight in the dusk. We got all our guns turned towards her ready to fire; we were neither of us showing any lights, and passed at about 3000 or 4000 yards. The slightest thing would have started an action then, as neither ship knew definitely that the other had heard that war had started, and were afraid of being surprised. It was about as near being at war as one could be, and was our one change. I am afraid we shan’t see her again, and shall have to confine our attentions to merchantmen.”

The block of the “Konigsberg” in German East Africa is described as follows: –

“The ships who were on the spot sent a boat expedition up the river to block the passage out, and had quite an exciting time, being fired at by quick-firers from the banks, where the Germans had landed and entrenched themselves. The expedition lost two killed and eleven wounded, but have bottled up the “Konigsberg” all right. She is fixed six miles up the river, and left to herself. Most of the crew doubtless die of fever, and she can’t get any stores. Our men were bitterly disappointed when they first heard of it; they were so keen ‘to give her one for the Peggy’ (‘Pegasus’) as they put it.”

“The interval following the declaration of the war was employed by most of the junior officers in getting married. These events caused much amusement in the ship, and anyone going ashore in a new monkey jacket was regarded with grave suspicion. I was closely questioned after a short foray into Simonstown – to buy a toothbrush and some safety blades – but was able to prove an alibi.”

“September 1st. We have steamed 8000 or 9000 miles since the war started. From Zanzibar we proceeded to Cape Town to pick up a convoy we are now bring home. The ‘Asteral’ is also in company, and we are in charge of six Castle liners, with the whole of the South African garrison on board. The convoy looks very stately and imposing steaming majestically along. We go on indefinitely until we are relived, and then for our sins return to the Cape… On our way back we put in at Cape Verde Islands, where there were eight or nine German merchantmen taking cover in a neutral port. Most of them are in a very bad way; no credit or money to coal to go to sea, get food, or even pay their harbor dues.”

“December 19th. We have been collecting a squadron here since November 20th with a view to laying low the German squadron which is now decorating the ocean bed somewhere near the Falkland Islands. The last ship arrived at the end of the month, and after that we were all ready to leave at a moment’s notice. The squadron consisted of six ships of various sorts and descriptions. Each of the new ships had done something, and it was very interesting getting news from literally all over the world, whence they had been gathered in. The Admiral hoisted his flag, and we sailed on December 7th. He had news from the authorities that the Germans were leaving the Pacific for German South-West Africa, and we set off to wait for them at their port, arriving on the 10th. Another of our largest cruisers joined us en route. The very day we arrived we got the news of our success in the Pacific. Everyone was bitterly disappointed in a way, but we were very glad it was us and the Japanese that sunk them. We are now back at Simonstown. Our work consists in keeping the trade routes open, and we vary our beat from time to time, speaking to various ships almost every day without discovering any of the enemy’s vessels.”

Mr. Hilaire Belloc’s Lecture on the War

Spring Term 1915

On March 11th Mr. Belloc was good enough to come to the School and to give us a most interesting lecture on the war. He spent some time describing what he called the “preliminaries,” that we might have a clear understanding how the war arose.

First, the war broke out at the will of the Government at Berlin, which chose its own hour for it and its own way of making it. It is the North German States, especially Prussia, that dominate Germany, and the North German has learnt to organize his life more thoroughly than anyone else in the world; above all things, he declares a well organized State, and by such a State we understand one that eliminates all things that are not calculable, and makes certitude the basis of value. It does not want creative power, genius, but rather strict order and discipline. For example, German architecture is atrocious, but the houses are warm; meals punctual, but the cooking bad.

We must try to realize this German love of order and fear of the creative spirit in order to grasp one of the motives that induced Germany to make war – terror of Russia. Russia stands for all those things which are disliked by the North German – there is no order, but great creativity, passionate religious zeal, and among the Russian soldiers a devoted but ill-calculated courage. Russia is increasing rapidly in population and wealth, and the German holds Russia in mingled fear and contempt; he looks on Russia as something half-barbaric, and dreads being overwhelmed by her. Now the Balkan States are the battlefield of German and Russian. To understand this we should turn to Ireland, where the Ulsterman says to the Irish; “It is true that you are of a different race and religion from me, but everything will go to pieces unless we manage.” This is, in effect, what the German feels about the Slavs in the Balkan States. The Slavs are spiritually apart of the Russian Empire, and the Germans feel that they are, therefore, in great peril from Russia in the Balkans, and must resist Russian influence there to the utmost. This, then, is one of the motives that led Germany to make war – terror of Russia.

We find a second cause in their misapprehension of the French spirit. They thought the French were decadent, and they had gained this idea from books. The Germans are apt to get their ideas largely from books, and so are unable to give due weight to what their own experience might teach them. Now when the moment for fighting Russia came, Germany had to count with France as well, because of an old alliance between the two countries dating some twenty years back.

France had entered into this alliance in the hope that some day it might help her win back Alsace-Lorraine. After the Franco-Prussian War Germany had annexed these two provinces; they were German-speaking districts, with the exception of Metz and a strip of land round it their villages were arranged on the German system, and Germany ought to have been able to absorb them into herself. Unfortunately the German pays for this gift of organization by a lack of sympathy; he cannot govern others, and so Alsace-Lorraine have not been absorbed by Germany. In spite of this, if Metz had not been taken from France, it is probable that in time the French would have learnt to acquiesce in the loss of these two provinces; but the German possession of Metz must remain an open sore that the French could not forget. For the sake of Alsace-Lorraine the French entered into their alliance with Russia; the Germans could have kept them out of their quarrel with the Russians if they had made various concessions to Alsace-Lorraine; they had an opportunity for reconciliation in the Dreyfus case ten years ago, but they did not take it. They thought France was decadent, that in case of war she would collapse after a brief struggle, and they did not trouble to try to keep her out of the war.

When in July, 1914, Austria, as the price of the murder of her Crown Prince by men of Serbian blood, demanded what was practically a surrender of Serbian independence, Russia was bound to interfere on Serbia’s behalf.

When in July, 1940, Austria, as the price of the murder of her Crown Prince by men of Serbian blood, demanding what was practically the surrender of Serbian independence, Russia was bound to interfere on Serbia’s behalf. Serbia it is more close ally to Russia than any of our Colonies are to us. On July 30, Thursday, Austria realised Russia meant war if she continued as she had been doing, and sent a note that she was willing to reopen negotiations. The government of Berlin heard of that note the same evening, next day, Friday, Berlin not Vienna sent an ultimatum to Russia; and not content with that sent another one to Paris. Even at this last hour Germany might have kept France out of the war, though it would have been difficult, but, conceiving that she was decadent, she wantonly drew her into the quarrel.

At this stage England was not coming into the war. France urged that if England would make a definite pronouncement on her side, Germany would be afraid, and peace might yet be maintained. England refused.

Then on August 4th Sir Edward Grey announced that if Belgian neutrality were violated, England would fight. What was the reason for the sudden change of attitude? England, whether she will or not, must keep her Naval supremacy in order that she may not be starved out by a rival Power. It is not to her advantage that the Channel coast is dominated by one great power; she cannot allow the North Sea to be dominated by another as would be the case if Germany ruled unchecked in Belgium. Germany proceeded to invade France through Belgium in the proportion 16 -10 and England sent her ultimatum to Germany.

Thus we entered the war. At first only a very small force could be sent across to France, but this force was one of professional soldiers, while the French army was one of conscripts, many of them on the reserve and drawn from civilian life. The army was, therefore, of value out of proportion to it’s size, and was placed in the position of the greatest strain. The method of meeting the first German invasion was this: one quarter of the whole Allied Force was to stand against the whole assault of the German attack, and then to retreat as rapidly as possible, drawing the enemy after it; the remaining three quarters would then come in to play and will endeavour to pin the enemy down. Seven and a-half Army Corps were stationed between the Sambre and the Meuse, therefore, to bear the brunt of attack; one and a-half of these are British, and they were placed on the left, General Smith-Dorrien being in command of the extreme left. This was where the greatest strain would be, as a German mode of attack has always been to try to envelope the opposing force – it was the British force that was to prevent this. These Army Corps stood against the German attack and then retreated rapidly for 10 days; the object of the retreat was to reach the line of the Marne, and this they effected with the loss of some 12 per cent of men, guns, and so forth. The whole Allied line had turned on pivot as it where, and it stretched from Paris to Verdun; those in front of Verdun had not retreated at all; those on the extreme left had fallen back some 120 miles.

Meanwhile the reserves had been coming up from all quarters; the battles of the Marne and the Aisne ensued, and the Germans were forced back. The importance of this was that the 10 men have been able to hold the 16.

From October to March there has been little change in the lines; the Germans have extended their position till it touch Switzerland on the one side and the sea on the other. The position is that one may see in wrestling – A lighter wrestler, by some trick, has thrown a heavier man, but now the struggle is to keep him down. The 10 men must keep the 16 pinned; in doing so they have three facts to encourage them:

  1. The 10 men will be reinforced; already more contingents have been sent from Great Britain, and the Expeditionary Force now numbers a quarter of a million.
  2. The Russians will increase their strength on their frontier, and when they do that the Germans must withdraw troops to meet the danger there. At Present the Russians have put less than three million men in the field they are backward in equipment, and until either Vladivostock is free from ice or the Dardanelles open she cannot arm more.
  3. The wastage of the Germans and here we must remember that all through history the Germans have not been able to face odds. At the beginning of the war Germany had some nine million men fit for active service; five million placed in the field at once, and of these the wastage has already been at least 2 1/2 million; two million are required at home to carry on the work of transport, manufacture, and so forth. This only leaves two million in reserve, the greater part of these are already in the field. It is estimated that at the most Germany cannot put more than one more million in the field.

Thus while 10 men are increased to 11, 12, and even 13, the 16 will decrease, and the day will come when the opposing forces may be equal.

Now as to subsequent events since the Allies first pinned the Germans their line of trenches.

  1. There were six weeks in which the 16 men trying to break out, between La Bassee and the sea; the first attempt was made at Dixmunde; the second we call the battle of Ypres. This phase lasted till November 15th, the Germans lost very heavily.
  2. On the Russian front, since November 15th, the Germans have made a desperate effort to arrive at a decision in order to free their troops there and bring them back to the western field. In order to do this Warsaw must be taken, because it is the centre of the railway system of that district.

 This attempt has also had two phases from November 15th to February 8th, when a direct attack was made in Warsaw we call this the “Second Battle of Warsaw” second, from February 8th to the present, when an attempt has been made to surround Warsaw from the North, cutting the Warsaw-Petrograd Railway. This railway is screen by the line of the Niemen and Narew; the three main there this line was attacked are Grodno, Osowiec, and Przenysz; the Germans had been partially successful at the first two places, but defeated at the last.

And now the time they have to take Warsaw is growing short. By the end of May that your Vladivostock will be free from ice, and we hope that our new armies will be in the field; the Dardanelles, too, maybe open; the snow will have gone from the roads over the Carpathians and the Hungarian plain will again be menaced. The Germans, therefore, have only eight weeks left in which to achieve a decision in the East; if they can bring matters to a victorious conclusion there before the end of May, they will probably succeed for good. They will be able to bring back troops to reinforce the men in the West. These next eight weeks then are of the most critical importance; if the German defeat begins it will probably be rapid. The question is, shall we be able to get a numerical superiority in time in order to ensure this defeat?

School News – Autumn Term 1914

November 19th.-The School went to the beautiful Service in the Cathedral in memory of Lord Roberts.

December 7th.-We had a Patriotic Concert, to which doctors, nurses and others doing Red Cross work were invited. A Belgian officer played two marches.


(a) National Anthems of Allies-French, Belgian, Russian and British

(b) March   ” Tommy’s Welcome ” The Orchestra –   Murray

(c) Songs – Litany – Shubert

Old Sacred Lullaby – Corner

Barcaroll – Goring Thomas

Sailor’s Song – Haydn

Special Class

  • Piano Solo
  • Coronation March – The Orchestra – Edward German


  • March – ” Fame and Glory” – The Orchestra – Malt
  • Songs – (a) ” Ye Mariners of England ” – Pierson

(b) “You’ll Get There” – Parry

Junior Class.

Songs – (a) “A Ballad of the Ranks” – Stanford

              (b)Britons Strike Home” – Purcell

Senior Class.

” High Germany” (Folk Song) Combined Choir – Baring Gould and Sharp

  • Air de Ballet – “Liselotte” – Leon Adam
  • Choruses –   (a) “Soldiers of the King” – Leslie Stuart
  • Tipperary”
  • Cadet March – The Orchestra – Sousa
  • Songs ——– (a) ” Motherland “Lionel Moncton

                                    (b) “Land of Hope and Glory” – Elgar

(c) ” Rule Britannia ” – Dr. Hine

December 19th – Governors’ Meeting. Lord Methuen presided and made a stirring speech. Miss Fawcett, who has been a Governor of the School for so many years, and always the kindest of friends, has resigned. Miss Douglas spoke of all she has been to the School and all that she and the School owe to her.

December 12th – Mrs. Lees kindly played her gramophone and we danced for 15 minutes before beginning our Mission Work.

December 17th – Mark Reading. Miss Douglas first gave the red girdles, which were won by N. Chalk, H. Livesey, M. Holmes, F. Burnett, M. Sinclair, M. Southwood, J. Hinxman, E. Kinder, S. Wotton,M. Howes and C. Mackworth. She next read the results of the various Form Competitions. The Cloak Room Picture was won by Special VB., who had lost no marks. Upper V., Special VA. and Upper IVs. all lost no form room marks. Upper VI. were top in finished books, with 81.25 per cent.

Miss Douglas reminded us of the important duty of keeping our ideas in due perspective and remembering that our School concerns are very small compared with the great international events going on. At the same time, we must not neglect our daily duty. Miss Douglas wished us all a very happy Christmas. She reminded us that the worldly note in Christmas doings would be hushed this year, but this should only make the real meaning of Christmas felt more strongly. We must get our share of Christmas joy and peace by helping in the great privilege of mitigating the sufferings of those in sorrow.

Those leaving were: Joyce Guillemard, Up. VI., Prefect of St. Margaret’s; Kathleen Pearce, Up. VI., Prefect of Nelson; Lynton Crabtree, Sp. VI., Prefect of Fawcett; Troath Swinburne, Sp. VI. and School House; Olivia Wyndham, Sp. VI, and New Forest; Ethel Wheeler, Sp. VI. and Nelson; Madge Rothera, Low. VI. and Fawcett’; Lena Burden, Sp. VA., Sarum; Margaret Housley, Low. V., Nelson.

Spring Term, 1915

January 19th – Boarders came back.

January 20th – Miss Douglas read the rules, and spoke of the arrangements made for doing work for the war, which where the same as those for last Term. Miss Douglas warned us that it would be more difficult this Term, when the newness had worn off, to do our part bravely in order that those who are fighting for us at the front may suffer less. There are to be no competitions or outside matches, and we are to have Our Intercession Service as before. Miss Douglas gave us as a motive for the coming Term, “Grant us Thy peace all the days of our life.”

January 30th – There was a Concert in the Hall, organised by Miss Paget.

February 1st – Miss Douglas spoke to us about our Service of Inter-cession, and told us some helpful things about Prayer.

February 17th – Ash Wednesday. School Service at 9.5 a.m. Miss Douglas spoke of Lent as a Spring Time, and as a time for Repentance.

February 23rd – Archdeacon Bodington took the first of the School Services which we have on Tuesday afternoons.

February 24th – £4 15s. collected at Prayers on Fridays, also a parcel of clothes made by Miss Wheeler’s class, were sent to the Belgian Relief Funds. A parcel was also sent to Miss Pearks for soldiers on the Plain.

March 2nd – The second of the Tuesday Lent Services was taken by the Rev. C. T. Wheat, Vicar of Winterslow.

Letter From Miss Jones

Spring Term 1915

Spray Cottage, St. James’, Cape Colony, January 21st, 1915.


This is a Godolphin Tea Party, and we all send you our love and best wishes for the New Year, to yourself and the old School. We shall sign our names first – and show who we are – and the letter can come afterwards. We are, your loving Ethel Jones, Morley Ralph, Thirza Pearce, Doris Lenton, Dorothy Woodhead, May Robb, Agnes Robb, Pera Robb, Doris Syfret, Dorothy Wright, Audrey Currey, Joyce Guillemard.

Miss Ralph has just come for a few days before going to her new work at St. Cyprian, Cape Town. Thyrza is teaching music at Paarl, a place on the glorious Hex River Valley. Doris Lenton’s time in Cordwalles, Natal, is nearly up, and she is due home next October. Doris Syfret is staying in Simonstown, where they have martial law. Gladys Syfret could not manage to come to-day. Audrey Currey is wearing her red tie and Old Girls’ badge.

Joyce Guillemard arrived from England this morning; isn’t it sporting of her to come ? We all seize upon her for the latest news. Molly and Dot Jenkins could not manage to come. We are so sorry. We all send you our love and best wishes for the term and the year 1915.


Spring Term 1915

LACROSSE – February 20th – Sarum beat Nelson by 4 goals to 3.

Sarum’s defence was very good, especially H. Williams. Nelson did not combine very well; the intention was there, but the capacity seemed to be lacking. The teams were well matched, but Sarum played a better game.

St. Margaret’s beat School House by 9 goals to 4. At full strength St. Margaret’s is the better team, but School House in this match were considerably weakened by substitutes. A. Foljambe was particularly good.

February 27th – Sarum beat New Forest by 7 goals to 2. New Forest played most pluckily with many substitutes. O. Batchelor was good in defence and M. Godley in attack. D. Wilson is a great support in Sarum’s defence.

St. Margaret’s beat Fawcett by 5 goals to 2. This was a good game. Fawcett played well together and continually pressed, but failed in shooting. St. Margaret’s combination was weakened by substitutes. H. Elworthy was good for St. Margaret’s, and Fawcett’s attack and defence wings were good.

March 6th – St. Margaret’s, beat Sarum in the Finals by 7 goals to 2. It was a hard-fought game, but the better team won. Sarum was weak in attack, chiefly owing to substitutes. G. Rigden was the best. St. Margaret’s played well together, but their strength is in their attack. The defences depend too much on crowding.

On the whole the matches were good, and the Houses at full strength would have been fairly even.


Spring Term 1915

We played two outside matches last Summer Term; one against St. Paul’s on 4th July, which we won 8 matches to 1, and one against Winchester on 11th July, which we lost 13 to 5.

It was the first year St. Paul’s had used the Doherty grip, so, of course, they found it difficult to change their style of play; consequently we beat them fairly easily.

On 11th July we played Winchester and were badly beaten. They used their heads very much more than we did in playing, and invariably placed the ball where their opponents could not get it. We hope that this year everyone will play tennis with great keenness, and that we may have better results than we have had hitherto.


First six Second six
R. Squire Y. Leys
A. Chambers M. Suffield
J. Guillemard H. Harrison
H. Elam J. Adams
M. Smart D. Collier
M. Wood H. Capel



Senior: R. Squire Junior: E. Hudson


The Great War – Autumn Term 1914

Miss Mary Alice Douglas: Headmistress 1890 - 1920

Miss Mary Alice Douglas: Headmistress 1890 – 1920

Never before in the history of our nation has there been such a terrible war. The magnitude of the struggle, the multiplicity of human interests concerned, the complexity and difficulty of the many problems involved, the anguish of anxiety and suffering, and the glory of the countless deeds of heroism, altogether make a bewildering atmosphere in which the great tragedy is being enacted. It is therefore of paramount importance that we should one and all try to see certain points quite clearly, and try to disentangle the simple straight issues from the general mass of actions and events that are piled up from day to day.

We ought to be very grateful for all the help that has been given to us towards doing this since the first day of the war. Great sermons have been preached; great success have been made by statesmen; great messages hae been framed by the King, and by Commanders at home and in the battle line or afloat; simple words have come to us from the front; hymns and verses have been written, all helping to clear our vision and make us see points of light and threads of gold through the darkness.

Will you let me try to set down some of the thoughts which have been given to us at this time?

  1. In the words of the great Christian hero who is being laid to rest in St. Paul’s today, “We are at War – to hold our promise, to help our friends, and to keep the flag of liberty flying not only over our own Empire, but over the whole world.”
  2. The spirit of patriotism is aflame and burning to make any sacrifice for the Motherland.
  3. The countless deeds of heroism done every hour by sailors, soldiers, chaplains, doctors and nurses shine with a light which will never be quenched.
  4. The brave love and splendid fortitude of those whose dear ones have given their lives for the country are amongst the most beautiful things on earth, and we have examples of these daily before our eyes.
  5. Thousands of men and women, boys and girls, and little children all over the Empire are helping with their sympathy, their works and their prayers to hold up those who are in posts of honour and of danger on land or afloat, and to mitigate the sorrows of homeless Refugees.
  6. The most selfish soul alive is faced with a priceless opportunity for forgetting self.
  7. The greatness of the present moment consists largely in the hope that the soul of England will be cleansed through the suffering and ennobled by the sacrifice of her sons, and will live again in all simplicity and Christian faith and humble obedience to God’s will.
  8. What we humbly hope for England we may hope for Europe, and through the vitalising of Christian nations we may hope for the spread of God’s Kingdom of Truth and Love through-out the world.

These are some of the thoughts which may help to keep our hearts brave and our wills strong and our prayers fervent through all these sad days. For sad days they are, and we may pray God that there may never be such sad days again. As the Bishop of Salisbury said in his sermon in the Cathedral, there is much in war that must be hateful in God’s sight. We are probably all feeling that modern methods of warfare are hateful. The cleverness of man is surely misdirected by making larger and larger engines for the wholesale destruction of human life, and the hidden hand that strikes in the dark by mines cannot surely be counted an honourable weapon. May there be a world-wide consensus of opinion ranged against such methods as these when this most awful war is over. But besides these things, which must be hateful to God, there are all the faults and failings of individuals which have helped to make the sum total of that which is displeasing to Him. So whilst we take courage, we must seek out the weak places in our characters, and must pray for penitence, real personal penitence, which will result, with God’s blessing, in real personal renewing,  for again, the renewing of the world is the sum total of the renewing of individuals. This war can leave none of us as it found us. God grant that we may all so learn its lessons that the world may be prepared to serve Him not slothfully through the peaceful days to come.

M. A. Douglas
Old School Crest