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.

Milking – Christmas 1915

This term some of us have been lucky enough to have milking lessons from a Wilts County Council Milking Instructor.

Every day we go down to the farm on the way to “Peter’s Finger”, and there we don the Wilderness garb, thick boots and white sun bonnets. First of all we go and fetch the cows in from their field and drive them into their sheds and chain them up. This done, we begin milking operations. On the first day we were shown the “method of approach”, which consists of grasping the pail firmly in the right hand, the stool in the left and butting the cow with the head!

The first five minutes were most trying both for the cow and for us, as the milk wouldn’t come, but at length, after much energy, we were rewarded by the appearance of a tiny trickle!

The next day we became much quicker, and very soon most of us could milk two or three cows in forty-five minutes. Before long we all had our favourites and there was great competition to start on these first. One pretty Ayrshire cow was always avoided, we christened her the “limit” – well she was the limit!

We are all very sorry that our lessons are over, and we hope very much to be able to practise milking during the holidays.



School News – Christmas 1915


September 22nd – School re-assembled after the summer holidays. Miss Douglas said she hoped we were all refreshed by them and ready to do our work well. She did not then speak of the arrangements for doing work for the year, but told us that we should fall into line with the organised women’s work.

Miss Douglas then welcomed the New Girls and read the rules and the list of Prefects. Miss Bagnall then read the form lists, as Miss Douglas has had trouble with her eves, and has to save them as much as possible. After that Miss Douglas welcomed the New Mistresses: Miss Eastgate, who has come from St. Cyprian’s, Cape Town, where she knew many of our friends; Miss Waller, who has come to help her at Oakhurst, and Miss Clarke, who has come from St. Paul’s to help for a time. Miss Douglas then said she knew we would sympathise with her and Miss Lucy in their pleasure in having their brother, Mr. E. H. Douglas, to live in Salisbury and to help in the Mathematics of the School. Miss Douglas was sorry to have to tell us that Mr. Atkinson, who had taught the carpentry so well, had died during the holidays; she said that Miss Pinckney was kindly going to help us with it. Miss Douglas then told us of several new arrangements in the School, the most exciting being that the two Mistresses’ Houses are to be next door to each other in Elm Grove Road, that the Kindergarten is now to be at Holmwood, and the whole of Rose Villa is to be used for School purposes. Also at Holmwood there are beautiful rooms for handwork.

Miss Douglas then gave us a motto for the term, “0 God my heart is ready.” She asked us to be ready, ready to give and ready to receive in everything we did; to receive all the good we could from our surroundings, and to give all we could, however little, to our generation.

The New Girls this term are School House: Cynthia Fletcher, Upper V.; Nora Maude and Marjorie Trayes, Lower V.; Rosemary Taylor, Lower IV.

St. Margaret’s: Hermione Felton. Joan de Coetlogon, and Katharine Pollock, Lower VB.

Nelson: Gertrude Taylor, Upper V.; Florrie Fagge, Lower VB; Annie Figgis, Upper IV.

Fawcett: Helen Poynton, V. Extra; Nancy Preece, Lower V.

New Forest: Florrie Cleland, Upper V.; Joan Abbott, Special VA; Katharine Hurst, Frances Wethered, and Hilda Wethered, Lower V.; Lettice Jenkins and Marjorie Thursby, Lower VB.; May Ashford and Marjorie Bennett, Upper IV.

Sarum: Esther Taunton, Upper V.; Molly Collins, Lower V.; Veronica Luard, Lower VB; Margaret Skey, Upper IV.; Grace May and Shirley Gurner, Lower IV.; Marie Claire van der Meersch, Patricia Collins, and Frances Banyard, III.; Nora Collins, Kathleen Neal, May Robinson, Barbara Waters, and Enid Skey, II.; Irene Arnold, Daphne Leys, and Nancy Metcalfe, I, from Kindergarten.

October 2nd – This would in ordinary years have been our Commemoration Saturday. We kept it by going, as we should have done, to the Celebration at St. Martin’s at 7.45, and there was a School Service at 9.45. In the afternoon we entertained a party of soldiers to tea at four, followed by a concert at five. (See special notice.)

October 6th – Gladys Crombie has taken her L.R.A.M. diploma for pianoforte playing.

October 8th – French Flag Day. Our collection at prayers went to the French wounded.

October 22nd – The collection at prayers was for the Red Cross Fund.

October 27th – At 8 o’clock in the School Hall Miss Fairclough and Miss Fraser gave lectures on economy. Miss Fairclough spoke of household economy and Miss Fraser of national finance and the need for national economy.

October 28th – Schools’ Service in the Cathedral at 8 p.m. The Dean of St. Paul’s preached.

October 29th – At School prayers we had special hymns, “Abide with me” and “The Saints of God,” and the 23rd Psalm in memory of the heroic life and death of Nurse Cavell. Our collection went to the fund for erecting a memorial to her.

October 30th – The second party for wounded soldiers was held. Mr. and Mrs. Chester gave a delightful entertainment. (See special notice.)

November 1st – All Saints’ Day. The whole School went to Evensong at 4 o’clock in the Cathedral.

November 2nd – Miss Douglas told us that arrangements had been made for a certain number of girls to learn milking. Captain Bathurst, the Member for South Wilts, has offered £10 to be given in prizes to the best milkers among those who have learnt before and those who are beginning for the first time. (See special notice.)

Eileen Cole-Baker has won first prize of £5 for German, second prize of £2 for English in the Entrance Examination of Dublin University.

November 21st – The School joined in the procession round St. Edmund’s parish, and went afterwards to the Special Mission Service in connection with the Bishop’s Campaign for bringing home the ” Call of the War.”

November 22nd – Mr. Isaacs, the Missioner at St. Martin’s, came and addressed the School on Prayer at 12.30.

November 23rd – Miss Douglas gave an address on “The Virtue of Dissatisfaction” at 12.5. (See special notice.)


July 5th – Miss Douglas read the result of Miss Fanny Davies’ inspection, which was as follows :-

Prize: J. Dennison, pupil of Miss Ward; K. Connah, pupil of Fraulein Fehmer.

Award of Merit: D. Collier, pupil of Miss Atkinson; A. Foljambe, pupil of Miss Awdry; N. Legge, pupil of Miss Ward.

Commended: H. Rhodes, pupil of Miss Ward; H. Elworthy, pupil of Miss Ward; K. Northcroft, pupil of Miss Ward; W. Poynton, pupil of Miss Mixer; M. Du Buisson, pupil of Miss Awdry.

Commended for Czerny Study: M. Waters, pupil of Miss K. Harding.

July 5th-10th – Reading tests took place.

July 11th – Miss Goffe, who has succeeded Miss Moberly as S.P.G. Secretary for Girls’ Schools, came and spoke to us.

July 12th – Results of Reading Competition were announced. The judges asked for a pass standard for those who were not up to the standard for a badge, but yet reached a creditable level of accurate and intelligent reading. 64 Seniors entered.

July 14th – French Flag Day. The School assembled in the Hall after dinner to do honour to the day. Miss Douglas, Miss Helen Bagnall, and Miss Jeffries, carrying French flags, took their places on the platform; Miss Awdry at the piano. Miss Douglas explained why this day – the 126th anniversary of the fall of the Bastile – was chosen as the day on which to honour our noble Ally.

Miss Jeffries read two poems in French by Victor Hugo, a hymn written in 1831, and a poem written when France was feeling the humiliation of defeat at the hands of the Germans in 1871.

Miss Douglas read Laurence Binyon’s “France,” published in the Times, and Miss Helen Bagnall read a patriotic ballad by Mr. Cory exemplifying the chivalry of the French nation. We then stood while Miss Awdry played “The Marseillaise,” and then gave “three cheers for France.”

July 15th – Miss Douglas read a telegram from General Altham thanking them for the good wishes Miss Douglas sent him on behalf of the School when he left for the Dardanelles.

July 20th – The Musical Evening was held.

July 26th – Three expeditions were held: (1) The – Natural History Society went to Alderbury; (2) to Stonehenge, taken by Miss Hill; (3) to Old Sarum, taken by Miss Helen Bagnall.

July 27th – After prayers Miss Mitchell gave a very interesting lecture on the geographical aspects of the War, which made clear many points which we did not all realise before.

Miss Helen Bagnall then gave us some advice on how to read and how not to read. Miss Westlake, Miss Cranmer, Miss Steer, and Miss Derriman made us roar with laughter by giving us examples of various styles of reading to be avoided. Finally Miss Douglas read the delightfully funny poem “How the Pobble lost his toes.”

After break the March Playing Competition was judged by Miss Lucy, Miss Westlake, and Miss Hill. Finetta Bathurst was adjudged the best and Lilian King second.

At 12.30 Miss Atkinson showed her beautiful collection of seaweed; in the VI. Form.

In the afternoon those who were staying till Thursday were taken by Miss Lucy to Bemerton, where they saw Canon Warre’s beautiful garden, and had tea in a barn, and afterwards saw the Church.

July 28thMark Reading. Miss Douglas read the remaining mark lists, and then told us of the changes she proposed to make of the new forms. Matric. VI., of which Mr. Bayley was to be Form Master; Extra V., with Miss Oliver as its Form Mistress; and Lower VB, with Miss Jeffries as Form Mistress, and of the changes in form-rooms.

Miss Douglas then read two letters, one from Lady Smith-Dorrien thanking us for 250 little bags we had made for soldiers, and one from a prisoner thanking us for cakes sent him by Miss Fairclough, made in cookery classes.

Then came the results of the various Form Competitions.

Form Room Marks: Upper and Lower VI., Special VI., III., and I., no marks lost.

Cloakroom Marks: Form II, 3 marks lost.

Finished Books: Upper VI., 86.25%.

Mrs. Leys’ picture for the best garden throughout the year was divided between:

  1. Newson. M. Holmes.
  2. Medlicott. V. Hinxman.
  3. Du Buisson. M. Sim.

Cricket Colours were given to M. Holmes, D. Harvey Jones, P. Clarke, D. Alexander, E. Hudson, B. Bridge, K. Still.

The Running Cup was won by J. Adams.

Red Girdles were won by:


M. Savory K. Still K. Sargeaunt
B. Medlicott I. Usher E. Field
H. de Behr L. Kettlewell


M. Miller K. Beach B. Newson
J. Beach V. Lucas

The Junior Tennis Tournament was won by Nancy Chalk.

Miss Douglas then spoke of those leaving. We had to say good-bye to several Mistresses Miss Thicknesse, who has given so much to the School, and who is going to be head of Lady Margaret Settlement; Miss Hill, who has also done so much for us, and whom we are so sorry to lose; Miss Winn, who is going to St. Paul’s, and Miss Kenyon, who is going to be a missionary, and who has consequently our very best wishes.

Among the girls Dolly Wilson, Head of the School, must have a special clap. She has shown her love for her School in the best way and given of her very best to it. From Upper VI. Dacre Alexander, Prefect of New Forest, and Ruth Ainslie, Prefect of School House, are also leaving. From Special VI. Doris Gowenlock, Prefect of Nelson, May Smart, Prefect of Oakhurst, Olive Batchelor, Prefect of Glenside; also Avice Foljambe, from St. Margaret’s, Geraldine Preece, from Fawcett, and Dorothy Ware, from Sarum.

From Lower VI. Molly Thomas, Prefect of St. Margaret’s; Esther Field and Constance Keane, from School House; Cicely Pears, Norah Waters and Nancy Chalk from Sarum House.

From Special VA Sylvia Toms, St. Margaret’s; Auriol Chambers, Oakhurst; Margaret Bennett and Vera Penn, Sarum House.

In Upper V. Dorothy Ashford, Sarum House; Letty Kettlewell, Glenside.

In Lower V. May Waters, Sarum House, Form Prefect, and Marjorie Southwood, Nelson House.

In Upper IVA Violet Evans, Oakhurst.

Upper IVB Lorna Plummer, Sarum House.

Lower IV. Roy Ainslie, Nelson House.

Miss Douglas then spoke to us about some words of St. Paul. She said that to lay the foundations of a good character, it is necessary to love beauty and good work, and to educate our taste so that it becomes refined in the best sense. We must build something that will stand the test of fire, something worth building. We must, indeed.