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1 Somerset Terrace
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Still no pass for Trouville. Decide that we put curtains across the bed recess in my room, turn out Madam's chairs and bring in our office furniture and keep it as our office. Such lovely cupboard room and so nice and sunny that it is a pity not to make full use of it. Kirton shall stay with her cousin at Paris Plaza while I'm in Trouville. It is too risky to take leave just at present, as she might not be able to get back to [time]. Captain Elliott come to dinner and afterwards to see the Country Dancing class at the Concert Party Hotel. He was absolutely enthusiastic on the way here. Letter from Olive Underhill to say she cannot after all come to France. Men are being called from the Ministry of Food and she cannot very well leave, as they are having more and more to do.
No pass yet so decided to begin outfits for Trouville and Kirton self sewed all day. A class at the [Hugh] Taylor in the evening. Kirkby and the Butterfly and a crowd watching. Mrs Willis is trying to hurry up the pass. It's impossible to decide how to go till it does come. Major Wallace offers a lift to Paris on Friday morning, and Mrs Whittaker is driving to Rouen on the same day and would put me onto the Trouville train. Major Elias dropped in after dinner and we had music.
There are about a thousand men marched into the next village to the A.V.C they are the survivors from a troopship torpedoed coming back from Egypt. One has a little monkey with him and it does all kinds of tricks. [Solaamers] and dies and goes to sleep and kisses him. It eats tobacco. It loves ends of cigarettes and it loves putting out matches when they light their cigarettes. The soldier never stirs without it and the two are the best of friends.
No pass, so sewing all day. A talk with Mr Mc[Couanum] . He did not see Miss Kennady when at Trouville, but he met Miss [Hedbrour]. He said "I think that a visit from you is very much needed down there." He promisees if the pass comes tomorrow to send down in his car to Havre. It is a great bother being hung up and unable to keep ones dates.
Sewing all day. No sign of Pass. It is the Trouville A.P.M. Apparently they don't want outside workers in the area during the crisis. We gave a class to the girls after supper. Mrs Paine walked home with me. Captain [Tarrant] is killed. It was on the 11th and the week after I'd seen him here. [Vera] is terribly broken and they are asking for me to go down to her, I can't leave till the pass comes. She keeps saying that his death is her fault, for if she had never gone to Dunkirk he wouldn't have left his staff job and had to rejoin his unit. If my pass diesn't come first thing in the morning I will go and see Captain Watney and ask if he can do anything to hurry it up.
Sewing outfits. Mrs McCowan telegraphed Mr Mossison to find out from Trouville A.P.M. what has happened to the permit. It seems that the A.P.M. doesn't particularly like outside workers in his district and hadn't taken any steps over making out a pass. Permit still in Abbeville. Mrs McCowan looking into things and trying to arrange with A.P.M. to go down or telephone message. Doesn't look like getting away with Mr Gilray tomorrow. Sent a letter to Vera by Miss Knight, and [?] Morants little letter one, written just as he went into the line.
Out early to enquire about pass. It has come back to us now, but no one knows if there's a chance of things being fired up quickly.
Letter from Mayrie. Their work made entirely voluntary and she having great success with the Convalescents. Gym Instructors having [min] lessons as they are very busy over sports. They are struggling with Morris [Edledge] says the semaphore business is too much for him. The officers class very flourishing. Mr McCowan finds that the Pass has never been to Trouville the A.P.M. there just letting the matter side and never taking the trouble to refuse application [then] McCowan went at once to A.P.M. L of C and applied for L of C pass for me and to be put through as soon as possible. He says the Colonel roared with laughter as first and said "What , the Hun at our throats, and you apply for the extra passes in order to teach dancing!" Mrs McCowan said "Yes that's just why - nothing is better for the moral of the men than to find affairs being carried on as usual." The A.P.M then looked at my Remit and said "She appears to have moved about a fair deal" And Mrs McCowan said that's precisely why we need an L of C Pass. Then the A.P.M. read he report of the work in [Con Depots] and that it is remedial work and part of the P.T. Mrs McCowan said he then [grew] quite nice, and the Permit will be through in about five days and till then I must stay in Abbeville.
Decided to get Kirton off to the Paris Plaza tomorrow and to go to Boulogne when Permit comes and [head] straight to Trouville, being [seen] there to stay a good while. Wrote and told [Holbroid] Want to see Capt Elliot and promised to be in Boulogne in first half of the W.A.A.C. course instead of the second as at first arranged.
He'll come over and take me to the P.T. Head Quarters and introduce me. The W.A.A.C. A.C is a queer lady, but alright when you know her. He advises that one always works through Mrs Gwynne Vaughn and leaves her to make all arrangements with her area controllers. Sewing and Kirston getting ready for Paris Plaza. A nice class after supper and decided that we could show "Key Boys" at my talk about Folk Dancing tomorrow night,
6:00 am breakfast. Kirston off to Etaplis by the 6:45. Charlotte went with her to the station. Writing all morning. Vi in bed and looking very tires - her chest a little better. Went for a walk after lunch with Lind. We found a log by the Somme and gathered huge branches of marsh marigolds and [pitillaves] and cowslips. Two soldiers followed us and asked if they might help. So we spent a happy hour wandering about. They were such nice youths - one from Kennington and one from Yorkshire. As usual we talked each of one's respective counties and how once we returned we guessed it would be "good enough for me." They picked and gave us handfuls and it all seemed a little like being at home in England. Then back to tea and a walk afterwards with Binks and Salisbury. After supper I talked folk dancing - origins and history etc, and they came in and listened, the men and girls, in the little salon. Mrs McCowan deeply interested and asking all kinds of questions. Mrs Whittaker prepared a note of thanks. Heavy firing all the afternoon and very plainly heard, because of the heavy stillness in the air.
Sore throat. Took a class after supper. Mrs Whittaker and Mrs Morse came and Lind bought her tall Australian.
Sore throat. Went to tea at the Hugh Taylor. Mrs [Lennox] was out and the Major came in. Vi and self entertained him. He gave me some lozenges. Sword dance class and country dances afterwards with the men. Only six would come in and very shy, but got well warmed up. A quiet audience, who sat and smoked and watched with real enjoyment. Another class after supper. The girls and men from last night , and Miss Lind's Australian bringing another Australian with him. Mrs Arnold back from leave and pleased to find the Butterfly going. Talked to Mr Carter today about Vi Kirton. He promises to keep his eyes open for a job for her, as though she tries hard and takes an interest, still never really do for our work. We want older people who can give a more solid effect. Binks and Mrs Watt and Miss Watt walked home with me. Juliette says Madame's [lante] est arrive avec deux hommes. Refuges fro Amiens. I hope the hommes will help a little over the housework, and then perhaps the place may be kept a little cleaner.
Madame's Aunt is a very very old lady and the two hommes and about sixty with grey hair. They peel potatoes in the kitchen. It is a houseful Madame and Monsieur and all the children, Kirton and young Vi, me - Charlotte and Juliette and the the three refuges and the French officer who's billeted and Charles the Ordnance. Charles seems to live in the stable and seems to spend his life polishing boots. He is very young and clean with a pink face and fuzzy straw confused hair and moustache. He's dressed in the palest blue and looks ever so kind and gentle. He and his officer
came last week, Between now and then he and Charlotte have become fiancé and everything is very merry. Juliette sent him out today to get our
Laundry from the [Blanchiseuse] who refuses to give it up, She's had it now nearly a fortnight, and says every day it will be done tomorrow, [yet] never is. We have given up all hope of seeing it again.
Madame's Aunt has had her house burnt down and just escaped with her jewels. She is ever so old and dressed in odds and ends. It is a tragedy as they all seem to find her a huge nuisance, and the children say she frightens them. Today being the first of May we all wore rosettes at lunch even down to Sandy. We looked a pleasant sight. The cook and the maid asked to wear them also, and waited at table with enormous red and green ones on their bosoms. The cook afterwards asked Mrs Wilson for if it were and English religious ceremony. Rumours if the King being about certainly heaps of red hats , and the square with sentries all round. A conference it appears in the little house in the square behind our Head Quarters. In the evening a whole crowd lining the streets - I went round to H.Q. and saw sentries at every corner and a group of A.P.M.s Was talking to [one] of our chauffeurs when we saw a sentry present arms to a motor car. Lloyd George. Then some French Military ones. Then Sir Douglas Haig - Then some British Naval folk. The American Generals . An Italian car and only the half dozen of us in the whole street. Foch was there and the King, but they must have went the other way. Funny , we said to think of all those people in that little building, and the history they were making. Weeks said what luck it would have been for Jerry if he'd dropped a bomb just then. No classes today impossible to teach with a voice like this.
Conference still going on and more sentries than ever. Gray and self saw Lloyd George after lunch. He gave us a smile as his car turned the corner. Aeroplanes patrolling overhead all day. The Americans are very impressive and important looking and the Italians perfectly charming. After supper our Mrs Bailey, having rigged up a lantern sheet in the little salon, gave us a perfectly delightful lecture on French Cathedrals. We had beautiful slides and took us through Romanseque and Gothic, promising to give us some more another time. Mrs Gilroy suggested afterwards that we should have these little lectures form time to time and everyone most heartily approved.
Note from McCowan to go round and see him. He's had a note from Colonel Gallie DDMS L of C saying he wished to see me and was recommending me to L of C Pass to [Con] Depots in France. Went to see him. He was ever so nice. We shook hands and said he wished to tell me that the A G Gen. Birchall and the G Cs of Con Depots are all enthusiastic over the work and wish me [shown] how thoroughly it is everywhere appreciated. He said "you are doing a good piece of work for your Country". He then gave me al ist of Con Depots and wants No 10 Boulogne started next week. I'm to go straight to Colonel Thurston The DDMS and Col Gallie will write to say I'm coming. He said if I ever need anything, or have the least bother over passes I'm to trot straight to him and he'll see [to ] things.
Boulogne No 1 No 7 No 10 No 12
Rouen No 2 Bushey No 11
Treport No 3
Harve No 4 No 17 Austalian
Bayaux No 5
Etaples No 6
Trouville No 13 No 14 No 15 Marseilles is too small.
Class after supper and such a lot there. Asked Mrs Arnold to look out for a stable for us which could be made into a class room. Mrs James' salon far too small. The police very busy making people darken their windows more effectively. Great flashes in the sky. Evidently a raid or terrific firing somewhere.
Talk with Mrs McCowan about the difficulty of housekeeping at the Club. Mrs Wilson leaves early next week, and her successor is not yet due. Said Kirton would do it , I thought- and I should anyway be going to Trouville, and as she couldn't anyway get a pass for Boulogne she would be free. [We] very pleased Mrs Morrison now writes to say that APM Trouville now sees no objection to giving me a Pass! Nice class after supper. Kirton's train to arrive at 11:30, so started out to meet her. Mrs Watts insisting on coming also and Miss Wilson for lending a flash lamp. The train arrived at 1.0 am. We waited in the booking hall and made friends with the [Cherry Bobs]. The Hall crowded and very dimly lighted. Ever so many French soldiers and crowds of refugees, they all camped out on the floor - waiting - Women and children and little babies and bundles. Waiting for hours. So quiet and so weary except for now and then a talk with a soldier. Our cherry bobs very kind and worried - giving their coats for children to sit upon. This is going on every night and all night long. No attempt at help- apparently no work at all is done by the French to help the refugees in theses stations - the YMCA sometimes sends up food and hot drinks, but nothing is done by any French Organisation.
As Cherry Bob said "It couldn't happen in England - no one to see after them...." A man pulled my sleeve and said "Madame - mal a la tete" and took me to a woman sitting back against a pillar. She seems wearied to the last degree - and we'd nothing to give her, one longed for aspirin or something. The man said he saw we were English and thought we could do something.
The Cherry Bobs do unbroken duty for eight hours and have no meal during that time. A young French soldier made friends with us and talked of Paris. His father was wounded and has been a prisoner in Germany for thirteen months. At last Kirton came and we shared out her traps and left the station. We were glad of the flash lamp, so were three American Officers from the same train, trying to find the APM we showed the way and they carried our suit cases. We made tea and had a talk - and then to bed
Kirton was very pleased to undertake the housekeeping at the club. She'd made great friends with Bridgman at Etaples and liked her work very much. A lovely long talk after dinner with Mrs McMillan and the Indian Missionary. He's wonderful. This last week Mrs Mc Cowan had a message from GHQ the one of the camps of Indian labourers was on the verge of mutiny and could the YMCA put up a marquee within twenty four hours and quieten things down a little. Of course you can't do things like that out here, but they packed off Mrs McMillan in a little Ford van. She took some cinema apparatus and a semaphore and some cigarettes and a Bengali bridegroom's costume. Notice was out round the camp that a Bengali bridegroom would distribute gifts and everyone flocked round
the little van, about 500 of them. So he sat in it and gave away the cigarettes and made jokes in the vernacular. Then he turned on the gramophone with the Indian records, They all listened and were quiet and then he rigged up his sheet on the back of the van and as it was then dark enough , gave them a cinema. At the end one came to him and said he had been wicked but would be good now, and would like to give a month's pay to the YMCA - his little fifteen rupees - Mrs Macmillan took his name and afterwards when the BC heard about it he said "But that is the ring leader of all the troubles" - and the men went back to work. They only needed someone to be friendly, and make them laugh a little. Mrs Macmillan has been in India for years living among the nature aborigines. They are quite apart form the Hindoo and something of a refined African type. Agriculturalists and very very primitive - they no images and a very primitive kind of animism for religion -They were however a good type, but being very much encroached upon by the Hindoos. Their land being stolen etc. Now they are proving last and flocking to the mission schools - and are in a way a growing nation realizing itself. Intent on education and betterment in every way, Even the girls taking a large share. They are doing it partly because of unrest and a wish to hold their own against the Hindoo - and also because of a real setting free from the old primitive religion of fear. Just being freed from the terror of evil spirits and the security of a belief in a kindly god. Mr McMillan says it is almost a miracle to see [their] nation change. Amongst the Hindoos, [here's an ?] and a widespread movement amongst the outcasts classes , the very lowest caste. A movement towards freedom and education,. It comes of the centuries of oppression from the higher castes and now the realization of the equality as practised by English administration of justice - and then there's the unrest against the Brammis- because,
though the government provides schools, the teachers are Brammis an will not have a low caste boy in school and refuse to teach him - so here's the position clear. Justice for all and given, because of the English adminstration - education for all, and outcasts not allowed in the schools because of the higher caste of the teachers. So they, in need of education go to the missionary schools, under the English and are welcomed. Mr McMillan says that's where the missionary comes in - just working amongst the outcasts. You can feel over the whole of Northern India a great unrest and awakening and it is towards justice and education. He is rushing back as soon as he can leave - he says if only out there we had the men and the money and could work [unfettered] like the YMCA. He says it's as big a chance for work as the War was for the YMCA and the possibilities are as enormous.
Gunfire at night and the flashes - they are always there when things are quiet at night.
Went up to WAAC camp and gave a spur of the moment class. Fund some girls just in camp for a few hours and on the way to Harve. They very bored will be a tremendous journey. They danced with real joy and clustered round to talk, asking all kinds of questions. One regretful at not staying here as them they could
have more lessons. I told them to ask in their hut for country dance classes and to find Mrs Pilkington. They brightened up and said it made things seem quite different to think that there would be someone to look out for, so I gave them a message to her. Went on afterwards to see camp administrator. She very keen to have classes properly organised and saying that even give her a list of names she's invite in men and we would have country dances. An orchestra is being arranged and they have out door ground and could have open air dancing. Very nice class after supper
Jock came in and danced, but had to leave that old bullet over his heart gives him a stitch when he does too much moving. Letter from Mayne and not very happy. The [QC] says he is not really impressed with the dancing - he thinks bombing and bayonet practice is of more value. He is not taking and steps to help over the band, so no outdoor classes are possible. In the meantime, convalescents are coming to voluntary classes. Mayne not very happy. Asks to be sent to the new Australian Depot at Harve, but of course that's out of the question. She'll never fit in a place where we are already organized for she'd make too many changes and wouldn't be in the least bit popular. She must be in a new area where one can give here an entirely free hand. Fortunately there's a wide field and if the [?] work stops, there's plenty of room in other places. It might be possible to put her somewhere else and do [bogeue] from here, with three days a week, from either self, a local teacher when she arrives. Anyway there is no need to change it just yet. Mrs Hill gave me a bottle of Formalins and I've bought some Eau Oxygenee.Perhaps this throat will begin to shift. This is a smelly place and everything seems to be much worse these first warm days.
Out of bed early in the week. Letters from Uncle Jim to say that Terry is in camp near Rouen, so must try to look him up. Letter from Bridgman to say she must leave Etaples at the end of June. Sorry to go but the teaching spoils her singing voice. Miss Golding is just engaged to Mr Jameson, which has pleased us all immensely. Fearful raid on Wednesday night and all of us to the cellars. Our house very fortunate in this particular [raid] . One bomb caught some buildings at the back of Mr James office. Never ever seen such frightful havoc. About six houses gone to powder and bits of buildings and powered brick in streets quite a distance aways. Mr [Andrews] workshop in heap of ruin. Now begins the procession of Abbeville. They were leaving in hundreds and Thursday. Decided to go to Boulogne for two days and down to Trouville early in the week. Started at nine o clock this morning Hammond driving, Mrs Grey to leave and Mrs Radson Scott and self, such a wonderful ride and the weather simply sining. Grey and self together at the back, and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. We saw her off through the barrier and then came up to the Hotel. Boulogne awfully well run. The meet every boat and they see off every boat a very kind business like worker helping everyone coming through. The Hostel said I could sleep and also telephoned to Mr Jackman at Head Quarters. I could just see him before he went in to Abbeville. Went round after lunch, after a wait he was out, had an interview. Explained our work in [leon] Depots, and how major Carter of No7 has already started Miss Girdlestone, who's at present attached to the BRC. This area terribly handicapped for
Women workers as the permits are so restricted but one falls free in a month and she can be put on that. Talked over everything and then set out for No7 to see Major Carter and Miss Girdleston. Then in the mess and long talk with Major Carter. After ten days teaching there is to be a little demonstration on Sunday afternoon. The men are liking the dances ever so much. Miss G takes classes every morning and the band is learning the tunes. The gym staff is very small and cannot be spared, but [some] more are coming in later and then there will be more time for them. G is to take smallish classes herself, with an instructor helping. She also has a special class for half hour every day and these form Demonstration Team and also come into classes to help over the teaching, Talked about the suggestion as to the VAAC being asked in to one evening a week country dancing out of doors with the band. The girls to be taught first. Major Carter frightfully pleased with the notion. He then took me to see Pidgy and we found her in a little room behind the concert hall. Frightfully pleased to see each other. We talked on everything and she will [transfer] . Of course will have to make arrangements for her to live near the camp as she begins work at nine every morning. She'd been trying to teach Peascods as a first dance and had of course found it frightfully difficult. Told her of our standard six and her several ideas about simplifying instructions. Then Major Carter took us over to Camp 1 to see Colonel Campbell. He wanting also to begin and having already had a few lessons from Pidgy in his camp. We all put our heads together and decided she should make No 7 her headquarters but work also for No 1. Alternate mornings in each camp.
Colonel Campbell very please at the idea of one evening a week invitation to WAAC for an out door dance and thinking it a splendid scheme. P. to teach one of the camps once a week. So that girls coming would know something about it. Colonel Campbell then took us round the Depot and introduced me to the YM ever such nice workers. Then goodbye to P arranging to call for lunch tomorrow and to go and see Mr Jackman.
Super and bed sharing very nice big room with Mrs Robson Scott.
Round to see Mr Jackman to report, he quite pleased. To take P. to be introduced at 2 o clock. Applied for a car for the afternoon as we want to [go and] see WAAC camps and the YWCA workers. While I was in the office a girl came in, i knew her vaguely but couldn't place her. She greeted me and was of course Effie Ryle. Years since we'd met in Oxford. She just going back from
the YWCA to lecture for adult schools. Then to see Mrs Parker the AC WAAC. She very pleased and welcoming, having known of the work in Harve. Very pleased indeed to have her first taught especially with a view of the Con depot dances. Suggested that rather than P teaching once a week and just casual classes she should take the next PT course beginning next Monday. We
decided that a class every other day would be possible and she'd help over P to the camp. We'd then be teaching the [new] women and they would hand it on and everyone would be reached in the District. We could afterwards arrange to carry on with a weekly class arranged to bring around P and introduce her before lunch and talk over times. Then to see the DDMS Colonel Thurston He rather difficult and very haughty. He began by saying nothing could be done without him and he knew nothing
about the work and so after I'd printed out that I'd come to him and tell him about it and to ask for his sanction, he began to melt a little. An enormous,very military person. Was careful not to say we'd already began and made all our own plans, but reported results at Trouville and Etapes - asked to be allowed to start our teacher at No 7 and No 1. He said he thought it would
be a good plan and he would encourage it. Then told him of the scheme for the VAAC to come once a week and dance with the men. He absolutely against such a thing. His point of view is that the line is such a terrible place and if you make the Con Depot too much of a contrast it's like going from Heaven to Hell - they can't stand the contrast. He'd like them to have the interest
and amusement but we are plainly to understand that any kind of social evening will be absolutely barred by him. He knew of Mrs Gwynne Vaughn's scheme, before he gives and sanction there'd have to be a conference, as he is so personally against anything of the kind. But P may go ahead with the men, and he'll come up on Sunday and see the show, as he wants to see exactly what kind of stuff it is. He then said he'd like it put into No 12 and No 10. but I said we can't do that till we get more teachers, they must wait. He showed me the places on the map and they are so isolated that we have to have a resident teacher in each. Besides the strength of each is 6000. He was very nice indeed at the end and smiled and shook hands. But I'll have to warn P to be very very careful to him. Very sad about the WAAC scheme and so will Major Carter, Colonel Campbell and Mrs Gwynne Vaughn be when I tell them. However we will carry on with the girls and get them well taught and
perhas things will alter later on. Will be ready in case things do. P came to the Hostel where then reported to Miss Palmer to introduce P. Told Miss Palmer of Colonel Thurston's views about the WAAC coming to Country Dances in the camps. We decided that it wouldn't of course interfere with our teaching them to dance. Arrange that P should take the afternoon classes at the PT course beginning next Monday if she could get permission form the BRC to work for the WAAC before she is transferred to us. If permission cannot be given. the whole matter must stand over till she finally begins as our worker. Lunch together at a nice little place and then with her to our HQ to introduce her to Mr Jackman. He was not in so we went over some dances in
the waiting room and I gave her tips as to teaching and various other little things. Then we saw Mr Jackman. He ever so nice. She is to finish her fortnight under the BRC - then take her leave and during that will be transferred to us. She to find billets near the Depots, and Mr Jackman will arrange about her rations. He will put up a little [bit] for an office and store room for her in No 7. Very pleased to do anything to help. Equipment etc can be discussed when she finally begins work under us. Everything very satisfactory. We asked for a car to run us up to No 4 WAAC to see Olive Butler. Then to BRC to hand in her resignation. They extremely nice. It appears they had wanted her to do the work under them, but had made enquiries and when they
found that we are doing it for France were very willing for her to transfer. The head had heard of it in Trouville and wants her workers taught. We then discussed the question of classes for the WAAC this next fortnight, but they had to veto that, as it would be against the Geneva Convention BRC workers are allowed to work for no one but sick and wounded and Con Depots.
Sorry but can't be helped. Then we found the car and went up to the 'Wendy" Hut. Olive Butler very pleased to see us. She just the same as in the old days, except for being a little fatter. We saw over the hut and she gave us tea. She wanted cleaners in her hut and we had to explain that P's work in Con Depots , and that the WAAC work would be teaching their more women and
gym instructors so they could teach the girls themselves. We'd welcome any YWCA workers at the course and had permission from the AC to invite them and we hoped that the YWCA would then teach in their huts. Then P went back to camp. I ran into Miss Hindley, head of the YWCA. She was upset when I told her we were going to teach the WAAC through their own organisation. She had wanted so to teach through the YWCA and keep the whole thing in their hands. As P can only give one night a week after doing a short course, it's of course impossible for her to do the personal work amongst the WAAC.
Then to the YM Hostel. Found Mr Wilson of Etaples on his way home to England. So nice to see him again. . [so] Mrs Connelly is going to Calais and she to share my room. She very glad to hear of me going to Trouville and asked me to look out for her nephew who is there and give him news of his mother direct from her. The father died very suddenly and the son is anxious
about his mother.
Comfortably in bed, when the alert sounded. We dressed in case of a raid as we would be more use helping to look after the Wounded Relatives as the hostel was pretty full. After about an hour, the all clear sounded some went to bed again. After a while when all was comfortable again, the alert went again, so again we dressed in the dark. At last the all clear went and we
settled in finally this time- about one o clock.
Directly after breakfast wrote to the AC telling her that P mustn't take the WAAC course because of Geneva Convention, and offering when P is transferred to run a special course for WAAC if it is not too much bother to Miss Parkes to organise. Then up to camp. Final discussion with P and helped her to rub up on some of her dances, she having forgotten various little points.
Then to the parade ground for rehearsal for the afternoon. The GC there and the RSM and a gym sergeant and the demonstration class of sixty four. We chose our position and had the band in the middle. Grouped the men round the band - eight sets of Goddesses, and they went though it. Dancing a bit cramped and band not very good. Hadn't got the 'hang' of
the stuff. So I harangued the bandmaster and he was very nice and 'twigged' So we had it again, P asking me to [polish] the men. Ran round to each set. They only needed to 'let out' their step. It came form having learned in a cramped space. Everyone most pleased and the heys very good. Then 'Jamaica' and took the precaution of talking to the band before we began. Four large sets doing
both figures. Here again they were very cramped, but soon became alright. [Odly] effect, all dancing round the band. Then we sent away the band and had the single sets to piano fiddle and cello. Hunsdon House, [moya], Old Mole, If all the world were Paper, Peascods. Dancing very good indeed, except for 'siding' and that a little rocky. I demanded a flute to be added to the music and the G.C orders. Then a wonderfully good Hamborough. We broke it to the the men that the DDMS would be coming. Major Carter asked me to lunch. I told him how Colonel Thurston is against any form of shared entertainment shared by the WAAC and also warned him the Col. Thurston was a little difficult at first and I'd said the work up to the present had been purely unofficial and experimental. Then the Major handed me over to the Padre and we sat in the garden. Jolly beds of yellow wall flowers. Nice simple lunch, and nice folks in mess - the mess President a little worried in case I'd be shy amongst them all and very relieved to find that I wasn't. Then back to P. to say goodbye and then back to the Hostel. No message at all from Abbeville and Mr Willis had said he'd made arrangements for me to go by car. Wrote letters and rested. No car turned up so we got Miss Maxwell to give me an early supper and went for the 8:20 train. She came to the station and said goodbye. One French officer and one English Flying Lieut in my carriage. Very slow stopping train. The French officer went to sleep. English boy talked of all kinds of things. He was just back from Leave. He says flying ceases to be exciting after a while as when you are up high you have no sense of speed or movement. It is like sitting still with nothing to see and just letting the thing work by the instruments. At last we reached Etaples and looked out. All so still and peaceful under the moon. The great bother about
night raids is that you can't see another plane unless he is directly above you and that gives no chance [in a ]fight. We can stop their daylight raids and we could fight them at night if we could only see them. We discussed [plans]. I said we wanted to be able to illuminate the sky right up. He said you can't [point] a searchlight on a plane because their beginning makes a fixed point and gives away your position. Then we said it wants something that will burst and float above giving a light - then I said light shells shot from anti air craft guns to make a barrage of light above the enemy machines. He said he thought it was a bright idea. Then we both cheered up and talked about it. Then the train stopped [and] were ordered to draw blinds. The guns began all around us and the shells shrieked overhead. I had the bright plan of writing to [Dr] Baker about our plans, so we put our heads together and made up the letter and put [it] in my suitcase under the seat. Then the shells stopped for a bit so we went on. There was a [pink] light in the sky. A big fire somewhere but we couldn't judge direction. The [outgoing] man's name was Leiut. McConvill 101 Squadron Royal Air Force. He says he wishes to goodness we'd teach them Country dancing. There they are camped in a field having a dull life with nothing to do. they go out at night and bomb Jerry - all day they kick their heels and read novels and put on the gramophone til they could cry with the boredom. They'd love some Country Dancing
lessons. We reached Abbeville at 1:10 am. Everything pitch black in the station. A few guns
still firing. I said I'd start for home and if the shelling got worse and shrapnel began to fall I'd drop in at Head Quarters. He said he'd go to the officers club. So we started out. It wasn't very nice but it's odd how one doesn't feel really afraid. Decided to go right on home. Outside [our] door just as things were getting worse a Military Policeman said," There's a cellar her if you'd like to take shelter. So I said "Yes I know I live here." So we all laughed, the young man went on. There'd evidently been a bad raid [over ] Friday, because in the moonlight one could see the houses a lie knocked about and heaps of rubbish all up the street. I made a dive for the cellar and found Juliette and Charlotte and two [?] and the Kirstons and a Sergeant down there. There'd been a fearful raid on Friday night they said, and ever so many places had got it. Our windows broken. Madame and the family are sleeping in the Country. The guns left off eventually and we got to bed about 2:30. Jolly tired the next morning.
Wrote letters and saw to things in the morning. At lunch Mr McCowan said the base commandant has given orders that all out ladies are to be out of the train by 9:30. The men are putting up tents in a village a little way out Vauxchelles- and a lorry will leave at just before 9:30. They can't promise much comfort for tonight but will get things better by the end of the week. We heard in the afternoon that there was a fearful raid last night at Etaples. A bomb set the Canadian hospital on fire and forty men were burned to death. That was the light we saw in the sky. Another one caught our Head Quarters and there's not a room left except Mrs Scotts office. There were five people in the building. and they were all in that room and none hurt.The Germans say they will go for Etaples every night till they get the bridge. There was also a raid at Abancourt and two of our men were killed and another lost his eyes. And at Etaples a bomb fell on a Red X train. Kirton himself packed our winter clothes in parcels and sent them home. The less possessions one has here, the better. Then I packed up all my things and put them down the cellar and Kirton did the same. All Branch music and properties and the sewing machine. Then into oldest clothes and we packed ourselves into the lorry. The men so good seeing us in and waving goodbye. Such an adventure, we said. Abbeville like a dead place, for the population had been evacuating all day. I looked down the Rue St Giles with those two houses wrecked - open and all the broken windows. A hot still night and no one to be seen but one ancient woman sitting on a chair with her back against her house. She seemed like an impersonation of the ancient town - waiting - So we swing off down the country road through the dust. Little groups of soldiers along hte road and as they saw us they cheered and wished us luck. Bless our men,
the way they make us feel how we 'belong' to them. French Civilians walking along the road away from the town and once I saw an Australian soldier carrying a bundle for an old woman. Then we stopped and were take out of the lorry by Mr McCowan - and the Base Commandant was there and some officers and some orderlies an Mrs.
Willis. The way they take care of us! There was a huge marquee and one or two little tents and a mattress and two blankets each and some beds, but not enough beds for one each. So we settled in, Mrs Mc Cowan and Mrs Willis seeing that we each had a mattress and our blankets and the Base Commandant having the orderlies carry things about. Then they said good night and went -Mrs Chapman and Mrs Hinchey sleeping in the motor lorry at the gate of our field. Our field sloping up to a little woo. We all settled in , some taking their beds outside. I went beside [Crow] we enjoyed ourselves immensely. We heard firing in the night but far away. A big raid somewhere and of course the guns at the front.
We packed into the lorry at 8 o clock and came back and had baths and dressed for the day. No chance of a car to Harve yet, and must get to Trouville. Can't go by train. [Levey] got the railway at Abarcourt and that;s the junction for Harve and Rouen. It would mean a fearful journey. Went to see Colonel Gallie to report progress at Boulogne. He very pleased. I asked him his opinion as to the Waac being invited to evening dances in the Con Depots. He said the same as Col Thurston. Absolutely against it, so must drop the whole plan, and go and tell Mrs Gwynne Vaughn. Went to see Captain Elliot. He was very please about everything and we had a nice talk. The next WAAC will be in Rouen and he'll let me know dates. Finished the letters and wrote up the [records]. Jolly tired all the afternoon. Linn and Golding in the garden on deck chairs absolutely helpless with mosquito bites up their legs. Ive never seen such a thing. Great huge yellow lumps and the heat terrific. The doctor giving orders that they were not to put their feet down till four o clock and to have hot formentations every hour. We obviously mustn't go for walks in the country. The bites are very bad indeed this year. I suppose that the place can't be healthy with that battlefield so near. Major Wallace going to Harve tonight but staying in Paris two days on the way. That's of course impossible, no one wants to go to Paris these days, and it's so expensive, too Mr Gilroy says I can go in his car on Friday, so have decided to do that. All day long the folks packing up and leaving the town, Cart piled up with household goods and people going on foot. Shops shut up and the place getting more and more empty except for the crowds of soldiers in the streets. We all saying what luck to see all this and what things we'll have to remember afterwards. The place all knocked about. Those houses crumple up like egg shells - the place is so small that a raid shows worse that in London, which is so big and so solidly built. I went on to the Cathedral and had a good look at it in case it gets hit. There wasn't a raid last night in spite of everything, but one never knows what will happen to a place. Then after supper into our lorry and out to camp, Linn and Golding quite comfortable in their beds and we all settled in under our marquee and out in the open. Then the guns began - Jerry came along. you can tell his engines by the low note and a kind of double punch- a little surge in the sound. The [?] went - Jerry hummed all through the sky and shells whizzed and the bombs dropped and Jerry [?] his machine guns-
there was a big fellow some way off putting in his ideas on the subject- someone said a naval gun. Jerry has taken our tip and flies below the range of the [?] , so the Naval friend was trying to get him. We all listened and compared [notes]. I put on my shoes - it's odd how a pair of shoes on your fee will give you a sense of security, whereas in stockings you feel entirely at their mercy. Our men ran up to our camp, ready, I think to soothe us, but we were quite happy, all in our different way. That was odd, because it was terrific. Hill sat on the tarpaulin and said she couldn't somehow feel that it was anything but fireworks and a pageant. [Browne] was absorbed trying to count the enemy machines by the sound of them. Others sat in couples and talked. Some ate biscuits. [Mrs] Chapman and our [Hindley] wandered round and round us being cheerful. Mrs Jameson sat with Lynn and Golding. Kirton as a precaution, went under her matress- which was sensible because the shells were over us. We watched the points of light in the sky and tried to count them. Someone told someone it's that every shell costs £30, so she started to count and after 225 got tired and went to sleep. Then we watched the reflection of the fires. All in one place and far away. Up would spring the glow and then die away and then it would brighten and die away again. Obviously and ammunition dump. It went on and on that fire. [Browne] said Jerry had earned the iron cross this time. After two hours things became a little quiet and then back they came again and I went to sleep and was quite happy when there was a fearful racket - a big sound with a whistle behind it and a big [?] and everything shook. I was under my mattress waiting result. Our men rushed in to see if had got us but it was further away than that. Then some way away we heard five bombs dropped quite quickly and then suddenly the engines seemed to die off and there was complete silence. It felt so odd after a noise like that for four hours. We handed round the biscuits and then turned over and went to sleep.And in the morning we packed into our lorry and went back to wash and dress and have breakfast.
Abbeville was still there but everyone seemed a little dazed. The people talking in the streets in groups. And dust everywhere and no work being done, except for the eternal bundles on the pavements and the wagons being loaded with furniture. More and more shops shutting up - more and more people leaving. After breakfast I went to see Mrs Gwynne Vaughn and to report the convalescent camp situation as concerning hte WAAC. How the [GCs] of No1 and No 7 are more than willing to welcome a large out door country dance once a week, with the girls invited. butthat both the DDMS Boulogne and DDNS Lof C absolutely veto the idea. We very sorry , but opening to abandon the idea, but to teach the WAAC and have them dancing well in case our plan should ever be approved of. Then a talk about Rouen and the possibilities there, and promise to do more work for the girls in the house. Mrs Gwynne Vaughn said that their camp No 2 was absolutely smashed up during the raid - just knocked it to splinters. Not a girl hurt as they were all in their trenches. Several little talks with soldiers in the street about the raid, we comparing our experiences. A raid makes everyone very friendly.
The fires were the ammunition dump at [Seirville] - small and heavy , so that's a nasty loss for us and a bomb by the station with houses on
both sides of the road completely wrecked. They nearly got the railway . We were all so tired at lunch and [Mr] McCowan ordered an afternoon off for rest. I went through all my things,packing carefully. Everything needed in the big suitcase which is enough for weeks and everything else and so much of our stock as possible into the basket and down the cellar so that if we evacuate while I'm away Kirton will only have one thing to see after the music. Mrs Reade saw Major Galloway about Linn. She still very bad with mosquito bites and so sick and ill. Mrs Reade said she had a better go to our Hostel at Treport. I suggested that I should take her and settle her in, and be picked up by mrs Gilroy the next day. Mrs Reade approved. All to our camp again, and a peaceful night everyone sleeping solidly and loath to get up. This kind of life seems to tire one very much.
After breakfast [requested] about Linn's pass. No one had applied for it. Took her permit to James who said he could do nothing without a doctor's certificate. Went to Major Galloway who said he'd understood we anyway had permission to go to Treport because of the raids. I reported that that after all had fallen through. He wrote a certificate and I took it to James who said they would try and get her permit before the evening. All day with Linn making her a frock. We were so interested and she quite happy sewing the straight pieces. It came out very well indeed. The pass didn't come. [Gen Camp] altered to [Trougenville] on the other side of Abbeville. It seems that Vauxchelles isn't really safer or it is in the line of fire, and also on the way back for Jerry who drops his spare bombs anywhere when he is departing. Hamilton came to tea. He says it is very cheerful in hospital during a raid and the sisters wear tin hats and look so very quaint with their [floating] head dresses underneath. Still no permit for Linn, so we went to the new camp. Morgenville quite eight miles away and a charming place. We sorted out our mattresses and blankets and eventually settled down. I'm in a nice tent with Grove and Hewlitt and two Scotch ladies who are in a hut and two form the Roman Catholic hut, They so grateful to the YM for bringing them along. We slept well in spite of the cold and wind. Packed into the lorry and back again to Abbeville. We bring the French maids with us and send them back first in a quick car to be getting breakfast ready. Then out to make enquires about Linn's pass and the car for the journey. Writing all morning and answering letters. It is maddening work arranging the teachers of different [centres] and giving the dates and writing round to them all, especially with permits held up so that no one can give a definite time for coming out. I'll get in a big muddle one of these days.
At last Linn's permit came after lunch so off in a car with Johnson to away [suitable] care and Mrs Gilroy's [??] for Linn. Mr Willis told me about our Hostel just outside Treport and wrote letter of introduction. He then asked to buy some china for the new officer's tea room at St Valeris and gave me a list. 50 cups and saucers, 12 tea pots etc. The lady doesn't want much pattern and it must not expensive and neither must it be too thin. Mr Willis gave me 205 francs. Then we fetched Linn from the hostel and packed her in and away we went at last. We sat together at the back and Johnson sang as he drove along the roads. Madame and a girl welcomed us at the
Hostel, Mr Clarke being out, so we ordered tea and were very happy. Then Mr Clarke came back and Mrs Knight with him, so I handed over Linn and then Johnson and I set out for the crockery. Mr Clark said it was no use trying in Treport, so we went to [Eiv]. No sign of a china shop and we drove all round the town looking. Then a French Lady showed us one tucked behind the Railway Station. It took us three hours to choose that crockery and to get it packed in the car. We had to match up little sets, and when that hadn't plates we had to find ones which would look decent. Madame followed us about, but we had to find the things ourselves. Didn't she say she only had ten hot water jugs with lid, and didn't I happen
on two more tucked away in the window? And at last the found we had everything even the 50 spoons and knives. Then came the bill and the paying. 665 francs and a tax of 65 as it was china above a certain price. We couldn't help that, because in France all the cheap china has been sold so you have to take the good stuff -in fact, just whatever you can manage to find. We both put all we had and then only made up 600. Monsieur said he would trust us for the rest as we were YMCA - and he would say nothing about the tax - that was between ourselves.
So we set to work with Madame and two sacks of [straw] and packed everything into the back of the car. Heaps of Americans in the town, They kept coming to know if we were beginning a YM in the town. Thy a much nicer than they used to be, the Americans. They seem [browner] and quieter and not so soft. They have a have young look in their eyes and their salute is rather nice. A quaint little polite movement rather than our smart springing to attention. Then we drove carefully back to the hostel, frightfully pleased with ourselves. We found Linn and Mr. Clarke and the Knights quite certain that we had had a bad accident. Linn was in bed and had had the doctor. He orders rest and food and a tonic. We had supper. Then a car came with Miss Humpheries and her way to Dieppe. It had broken down. She waited by the fire and Johnson helped the driver. Then they left and we went to bed. Johnson was just sleeping and would then leave early in the morning and take the china to St Valery.
Mr Clarke and Johnson left very early so Linn and I had the house to ourselves. We wrote and [bathed] and I ordered lunch and did a little [stepping]. Then came Mr Gilroy with Mr Walker in the back and Bobby driving. I took them up to see Linn and she had a reception. Then a nice lunch and into the big car and away to Harve. Treport- Dieppe- St Valerie-
Trecamp- Etratat - all shining in the sun and all the countryside between. I kept on thinking, "Seven fine churches, five damsells - Farms in the valley and sheep on the hills-" Once we saw a wedding party going two and two to church. He and She leading. He in his palest blue, she garlanded with flowers and with a white breast knot. We waved to them as we
passed and they waved back. Here a few villages given over to the Belgium Army - there an area with Americans working- then, for miles, no sign of war - So at least to Harve, and a very hearty welcome from all. I found a room at the Moderne and settles in happily. [Finally] a white bed, and a night gown and heaps of hot water and in the morning a real big bath. And everything clean and no broken windows. If a few raids and a little discomfort affects one like this, it is impossible to realize the miseries of the line, for we were above on the clean grass there were no dead round us.
Interview with Mrs [Samson] head of YMCA about course of lessons to WAAC for women and an invitation to lunch at Moderne next [day] to meet Mrs Low the AC . Talks with everyone.
Lett turned up by the boat, which gave us a great shock as we had no notice of her coming. Frightfully pleased to see her and a great stroke of luck that I was there to introduce her. Leen took her off and ofund rooms for her. Talks in the morning. Room for expansion in the Con Depot, as they are only teaching two mornings a week. Talks about everything,
met the AC at lunch and she very interested and pleased to help and have the girls taught. Best plan is to have a course at the Granary four afternoons a week for two weeks. Me to give a lecture before starting the course. Date arranged June 10 AC wished to see Monday evening class, so decided to stay over and go to Trouville Tuesday. Went to see [Uncle]
in the afternoon. Soldiers tea party at the Granary and very nice indeed. Afterwards a practice for demonstration. Dancing quite good but new people in the team and some old ones dropped out. Sgt Melville very keen to specialise in Folk Dancing and keep it as his job. We had a talk and I decided to write Capt Elliot to ask if it would be possible to put him
in a Con Depot as Folk Dance teacher. He could do excellently and could go to an area like Boulogne where we cannot have [out] enough teachers. Colonel Burston dropped in and watched the class and had a talk. Decided to make the Australian Depot No 17 Lett's special work. Arranged to take her up to meet the Colonel on Monday afternoon. He willing to help in every way and promising every help. Suggested we should borrow Red X piano for the classes. As it is near a small piece of ground we could have for dancing.
Up with Pilk: and keen to No4 in the morning and saw the MO in charge of the DAW cases. Offered classes for them and he very pleased. Would like two mornings a week for the senior cases, and arranged days. Then to the EFC canteen to watch the class. A first rate Sergeant Major helping, The class purely voluntary and the men enjoying it very much. [Army] gets our element of fun into it and keeps people very happy. Sergeant Major frightfully keen and offered to help over the two new classes. After lunch was given Helen Tucket and her car
for the afternoon so went up to Australia with Lett. Had first of all seen Mr [Bathrops] of the Red Cross and found him very ready to lend the piano for morning work. Met Colonel Burston whe sent for the Depot Sergeant Major and they took us to the Con Depot. A nice little piece of grass land behind some huts and quite secluded. Lett fearfully pleased and we arranged for classes to begin every morning at 9:15 at to go on for the morning. A musician to be sent to play for her. She could do with forty a day, she thought and was very pleased
at the thought. Goodbye to the Colonel. Lett's best paln would be to billet up the valley and do the work for Australia Camp 18 and the WAAC Colonel Burston very keen to have the girls and men dancing together. Then down to the Geelong Hut to talk to Mr Millar about Lett and need for her an invitation to join the mess there, A talk with the Chief Lady and a promise of help over finding a billet along the Monteville Rd. Then up to the AGDB to say goodbye to Colonel O'Donell who was on the
point of leaving. Found him with the new GC Colonel Davis -a big solid Australian. We went in and had a chat and a cup of tea. Padre Vine joined us and it was very pleasant. Lett perfectly charming. Then to the YWCA hut near the hospital and made friends with the two ladies and explained ourselves that Miss Lett would be taking over from Mrs Pilkington.
We were shown over the hut, which was perfectly charming as are all the YW places. A jolly patch of grass just outside were begged for outdoor classes. Then to Camp 18 and a hearty welcome form everyone and a hearty tea. Everyone making friends with Lett, Then back into town and various odd jobs of shopping. After supper went to the officer's class
taking Miss Simson and a little bunch of WAAC officers the AC included. A very jolly happy class about forty present and girls and men about equal Patters was there and various other old friends. Amy taking class very well indeed.
Early boat to Trouville. One other YM on board so made friends, a charming sweet lady going to see after wounded relatives. Now comes two weeks of real work when it was impossible to find time for keeping diaries or writing other than business letter. Such a welcome from Helbrow who'd been anxious for help and a companion to work with.
Everyone came down to the boat after breakfast to say goodbye to Mr Renny and self. The sea was not at all calm and no one liked the look of it. There was an evacuation from No 14 and the pipers played on the quayside as we left. It was ever so rough. I sat in the middle of the boat and clung to a pole. An Australian officer got cramps and turned a funny colour
and Mrs Renny had to go to the side. There was a French Lady in tight black with a floating crepe veil and black kid gloves and she was wet to the skin with the spray dashing on board. Very glad indeed to reach Harve and to find Vinn waiting. we took a [fiacre] and came to the batteries. We talked all morning She wonderful after all her trouble. We went to
lunch at The Pretty, and then to HQ found the Folk Dancers and all very happy and welcoming. Lett splendidly settled and everyone fond of her. Found a young man going to England who promised to deliver the Trouville snapshots by hand to the press dept. and so save questions form the censor about camera. In the afternoon there was a Granary tea party and
I found just a few of the old dancers and other new ones. Leech and Smith and Wilks, [?] now a fine dancer. The new ones very good and steady. The three Bakers now up the Valley and unable to get passes any longer. A nice family tea party and then a practice for Tuesday's show - Mr Renny doing drawings at a side table downstairs. We had him up to tea and he stopped his work now and again and watched us. Found Mrs Middlehurst at supper. They are making Harve the [b?] headquarters for France and he busy getting everything arranged.
Everyone hates the separate messes at [theirs]and there's much protest.
Went to workshops to see [uncle] and very glad to do so as he was sailing that afternoon for home. Walked with him to the Consulate and then to the boat to find time of sailing and then for a little walk and then said goodbye. All the afternoon wrote letters. Venn gave a tea party at the batteries and it was ever so nice. Captain Howard was there and all the drivers and the Folk Dancers and some of the Repertory Theatre. The new APM came, the one who was at Trouville. He came a little late and was leaf to Venn and me. We told him all about Folk Dancing and he was quite interested and wanted to it which was wonderful when one remembers the way he wouldn't give me a pass to Trouville. Then a class at the Granary and I gave them a good morris [?]. I found that we could just make up a scratch set, so we worked the hard and they improved wonderfully. After Supper the officer's class at The Lyric. Ever so many new ones there and Lett teaching a good class
Letters all morning and afternoon on the Demonstration at Camp 10 at night. A very good show indeed. McCullough came and talked to us and it was delightful to see him again. The fiddles are splendid as Keen always brings them along and asks if anyone in the audience can play. One man volunteered and said he had played at No 7 Boulogne and remembered me when I came up that Sunday morning. There was someone else who had learned at Trouville and some of Lett's Australians- she having a real success in the Con Depot and making every morning. I too the programme and made the little speeches. We had a solid audience. Afterwards we said we'd have a dance for everyone and ever so many stood up at once and one asked for the Galopede.
Melville shouted for us, which was a wonderful help. It's extraordinary when one thinks of our fearful struggles a year ago and how everyone would be too shy to dance. Then back again and after supper a long talk with Patters and Venn in her office, Very ill in the night with [?] complaint.
Stayed in bed very cheap indeed. [others] the same upstairs.
Sat up and sewed a bit. Everyone else has it .Little Dilly and Miss Campbell. Mrs Graham came back from leave and we went down to the garden for tea, There was a Staff Officer arrived who said him here ti see Miss Deacon. She's at Etaples and they had misunderstood the name. He was from Rouen. He came in and was very glad to have tea with us. Then the doctor came and looked at us. Medicine and a few days rest. [Plomaine] poisoning, We still all feel a little sick and it will take a while to get better. A long talk to Lett and she will be able to put some Australians into Tuesday's show.
Did some shopping with Venn. Answered letters. Had a shampoo. Taught Leech "Ladies Pleasure". A telephone message from Etaples asking date of arrival there so arranged to leave here at the end of the week and go to Etaples on July 8. Hope to be about properly tomorrow. Met Captain Millar and very pleasant
little talk, he says that McCullough is [mailed B2] and gone back to field bakeries.
Went with Venn and Mrs Campbell to Australian Dance very nice to meet so many old friends. Talked to the orchestra. Noticed a smiling face behind the flute and it was the Aussie who played for us at Bayeux. He to play for a show in Tuesday and very pleased to see me again.
Up early and made new demonstration frock and tabard for [Atters] [hers/his] so faded. In the afternoon and Aussie teaparty at the Granary. Lett having them down to run through Tuesday's programme. We had strawberries and cream. Sixteen Aussies came and filled the little office. Some of us sat on the floor. They were so nice and friendly. Afterwards we put in a good evening's work. There's a dance on Tuesday in the Red X Hut in the afternoon, so will go up to that and stay on for our show in the evening. The gym Sergeants asked if they might give us tea, so we accepted joyfully. McCullough came in and danced in the evening, we ever so pleased to have him back. After supper Vern and self round to [Belinas'] flat for music and talk. David came just as we were leaving. He's an RTO. They began to entrain the Italian leave train at 4:30, to leave at 7;30, at seven o'clock it was discovered that the French had forgotten to order the engine. It took three hours to find an engine, and get off the train.
Sewing all day on frock for Helen Tuckett and just finished it. Granary class at night for morris, so taught Leech and Melville "Ladies Pleasure" in the office while the rest did Blue Eyed Stranger downstairs. Stan Arthur says [Mort] is to fetch him form [Amers] on Friday and there will be plenty of room in the car for me to go up to. Officer's class after supper at the Lyric. Very good attendance and a nice class Lett teaching.
Sewing in the morning. After lunch to the Red X Hut and danced with the Aussies all the afternoon. Candle grease on the floor and very hot day, but they did enjoy it, they said it was like home, though not enough girls. I found one or two who knew me at Trouville so we had a talk. Then we went round the Depot to see the [glass] pictures in the Camps . Lovely things some of them, especially a whole group right round one bell tent. Then we met the Sergeants they too us to their mess. They were so pleased over having us to tea and had taken so much trouble. Ham and tomatoes and jam tarts and strawberries. Then ver to the YM Hut to change. I was walking with a dancer and a head appeared at the window and a voice bawled "Greasy!!" Sorry escort said, "That's because I'm in the cookhouse." Then to the gym for our demonstration. A very good show. The audience all round and up in both galleries, the piano and three fiddles and the flute all in a gallery and the effect charming. Colonel Berstin looking on. Afterwards we danced again with the audience and they did so enjoy it and had to be turned out soon after nine, or they would have stayed all night. Then we packed into the car and said goodbye to everyone and came back to supper, dog tired with no feet left. Atters said she'd put away the car and then we would go home. At the gate of the club she discovered she had left her khaki skirt behind with the key of the gate. A huge gate with [spikes] on top.
She would love to climb it. I said "But what about that new demonstration frock?" And she said , "I'll take it off of course." And proceeded to do so.All very quiet in the street and dark but she looked very funny climbing the gate. Then we went home to bed.
Tired. Pottered about all day and wrote letters. Colonel Burston and Colonel Davis and Mr Reynolds and Purvis came to tea in the garden, and we had music afterwards and then to the LyricPlay and Colonel Burstin and Mr Reynolds to supper.
American Independence day and flags and bands and crowds everywhere. French presented Americans with Flags outside Hotel de Ville. Sewed hard all day. Two striped frocks and helped Atters make a skirt. Very fussed over pass for [Mers] Mort away all day and so couldn't apply for pass. She came back late at night and found her instructions to be in [Mers] by Friday noon and to take passenger. No pass for either of us. Then they found her old motor pass was not expired by one day , so she could go on that, but of course I couldn't. So I had to give up thoughts of going by car, Very disgusted. Mac said I could go on the [charis] with hm to Dieppe on Saturday, so that would be something. We hear that we are moving GHQ to Dieppe and leaving [Mers]. Gordon Green back from the line and a long talk with him and Venn and Ray and Patters.
Still very disgusted at the thought of missing that car. Packed suit case for Mrs Reade to take in her car and leave me to travel light. Keen came up the garden path with [romantic] just arrived from England and very glad to find me not gone. Took her round to find a billet and got her settled. Very lucky to be here still to introduce her. Went to the garage to see Mac about the chassis and found it smashed up and he furious. Tow of the men had taken it out and had had a spill. £100 worth of damage. Mac sacked the foreman, and Dieppe is nothing doing. Put in an order to service for Etaples and shall go straight there if it takes too long to go by Mers. Two days railway journey and goodness knows how many hours waiting for connections. A long yarn with Gordon Green, on his way to England. Mrs Moore said at lunch that could after all take me up with Miss Golding and I was to get a pass and we'd start at 4 o'clock. To pick up a lady in Rouen and go straight onto Mers. What a stroke of luck. Mis Flemming telephoned to the yard and they promised to do the passes early. Vann helped pack after lunch and then an early tea with [Kien] , Lett and [bromaitre] and off in the Sunbeam. Had to go to the French office for the Blue Motor Pass and we waited a long time. Then to the cinema office for Golding where we had another tea and then away all along the Seine and through lovely country with the sun shining brighly. Chalk cliffs and woods and flat meadows and blue smooth river and cattle and wild flowers.
Then Candebec, the loveliest place imaginable. Then corn fields and oats and more wild flowers and a road looking down on the river. we [passed] a Russian Camp. Then wonderful pine woods for ever so long and a little bank of foxgloves. And then quite suddenly the whole of Rouen below us. We stopped and looked and then slid down - hill to the town. A little worried before the barrier in case they asked for passes as Golding had announced when near the [?] barrier that she had no pass
at all except our over due Ordre de Service. The Harve sentry fortunately didn't ask for anything but Moore's motor pass.
No stopping outside Rouen so she was safe. She woudn't of ocurse be abel to stay at our hotel so we went round to the Stores house to beg a room for her. We shouted outside and our Henchey leaned out of a top window and welcomed us in broad [wish]. So pleased to see each other. We handed Goulding to him and arranged a meeting at the Restaurant near the Catherderal. Moore and self then to the Hotel du Nord for rooms and found just two little top ones on the trird floor. We put away the car and we met Goulding and had a quiet dinner. Then to the Stores house and made friends. Henchey's sister as nice as himself and various others. We sat in the garden and then went upstairs and sang songs. Mr Remmy walked in from Paris and his fiancee was there. We had a friendly talk and then went back. Henchey gave us some bread for breakfast as we were in our Hotel. Rouen perfectly lovely and very gay with all the flags up after the American fete yesterday. Flags everywhere and crowds in the streets all walking in the road and as thick on the ground
as St Albans on a Saturday night. No chance of stopping to see Terry - we leave at 9 o'clock tomorrow.
Away soon after nine, and again the French at the barrier only lookes at Moore's pass and didn't ask for ours. so Golding could breathe with comfort- but decided it too risky to do again.
A good run of 1 3/4 hours to Mers. Dieppe was lovely the waters in the harbour a bright [sheen]. A welcome from everyone and in the prayers at noon which is a new idea and very nice.
The ladies house and head quarter offices on the front and my bedroom in a nice house round the corner and next to Linn. Lunch and then a rest and unpacking, and then tea - the girls had bathed and were very hungry. Mrs Jameson and Mrs Whittaker came to tea. Kirton and Abbeville till the evening. Linn says that she has given up young Vi in despair, and leaves her to go her own way. She out every night with a different officer and takes no notice at all when Kirton remonstrates. Just missed seeing Mr Scott who was here this morning. He will be in again on Monday. There's a rumour that No 6 will be moved from Etaples. Abbeville is being made an army area. Mers very nice in the summer and the sea just the other side of the road, but ewe all hoping that the Dieppe idea will come off and that we shall all be in one big building instead of so spaced about. Joyful news form Mrs Hill that Pidggy's permit is through and she will be sailing any day now.
Unpacked and looked through everything. Nothing lost and the big hamper arrived form Abberville. No raids in Abberville lately. There's a captive balloon above the town and it has something in it which does something to the current in the enemy machines and makes them unable to steer. So Kirton says. It sounds too wonderful to be true. and theres a crack lot airmen there bought over from the London defences - We all went up the cliff in the afternoon for a picnic. A terrible steep climb and then a walk along the to and then what must be one of the views of the world. We read and talked and had tea, about fourteen of us, then back to town . The girls
revel in the bathing and the sea just across the road and are very happy. Mr Willis keeps remonstrating and says ," this holiday spirit" must stop - but they've had such and awful time in Abberville with al the further raids, night after night and they can't help being jolly in a place like this. Kirton and self went to the Casino for dinner to celebrate being together again. We talked to to little [Tanks] officers at our table and they told us their adventures. They love their 'busses'. A tank is absolutely at the service of the infantry. There's a bell behind which the infantry can ring and then the tank goes exactly where they ask - nearly always to walk over the enemy machine guns. The last time the young man was in action there were sixteen tanks in for two days and they had five men wounded and none killed. The first tanks were death traps but the new ones are very different. Both the lads had risen from the ranks and were ever so nice and obviously delighted to talk away to Englishwomen.
Settled up money with Kirton and tidied clothes - astonishing how out at [heels] one becomes with a few weeks neglect! Long talk with Mr Scott of Etaples on his way back from Paris conference. He thinks it wise with Phoebe Bridgman's going to drop all Folk Dance work in the area. The raid are awful and there have been tremendous changes. All hospitals and the Convalescent Depot are to move. WAAC have to spend every third night in the dug outs which leaves them dog tired and the general feeling throughout the district is not equal to folk dancing. The Educational work is also having to be stopped. It would be wise to settle up and then begin again later amongst the men. Mis Gakden should be sent to some other centre. Also a talk about Lois Vidal. Mr Scott saying she would now like to take up folk dance and suggesting that she be asked. She is not anyway coming back to her Etaples job, and it would be wise to secure her while she is free. Miss Oakden's papers should be cancelled. A long talk then with Kirton. She not to go to Etaples, but only myself on Wednesday to say goodbye to Phoebe Bridgman and settle up all round. We decided that the next move should be Rouen as Kirton could get a pass for there when Boulogne is helpless. We could begin things and then put in Miss Oakden and Elsie Bridgeman and have Lois for Treport which would be a very nice job for her if she'll accept. That means seeing Dieppe [sec] at once to get permission and also going to Rouen and having and an interview with the sec there and sending for Kirton if we are allowed to begin work. A great relief to be able to see through things and have something to work upon. Sorry about Etaples, but it might be worse. Things are always changing anyway. Put in for pass to Etaples on Wednesday.
Interview with Mr McCowan about Kirton - she's been GHQ housekeeper for six weeks instead of three as at first suggested and there seems no prospect of the the new lady arriving. Ecplained that she can't go on indefinitely and that it is very difficult being without her. He said that Lady Beesborough is finding housekeepers at once and will [send] her immediately, [read] the letter. Explained that I want Kirton with me in Rouen early next week, but if there really is a prospect of a lady coming with have to do without her til things have settled. Went back to be
K. she very sick about it. Getting tired of this [stop gaps] work and longing to be back at her own work. Very upset and threatened to go home on leave at once....... Mr McCowan promised a lift to Etaples tomorrow and will be starting at 9 o clock. Letters in the afternoon and then tea with Mr And Mrs Knight at the club - a nice club in a Villa on the front. Took the sun for a bit. Mrs Knight a darling and he a nice gentle clergyman. Made friends with the men in the club. Mr Knight found a crab in a corner, so a Corporal and I took it back to the sea. It was in a dead faint with all it's legs out stiff. The Corporal carried it and put it in a puddle and it revived and dug itself in. The Corporal had done Country Dancing at Etaples with Bridgeman and there was another man in the club who had learned in Trouville. At tea time my second cup had strangers and there walked in to Padres and a Major who asked for tea. Nice friendly folks they were. Back again to the club at eight o clock. The men loved it. The room so small that only a dog could dance. We did The butterfly and Lady Cullen. Then we strolled along the front and saw the men playing cricket on the sand with a tennis ball and half a spar. We joined in, then we played footer and the fun was furious and the French folks came round and laughed. Sandy joined in and rushed for the ball and kept running off with it, and having four legs, beat us all. When we couldn't laugh any more and the sea was coming near we went home. Called for the pass, but it hadn't come. Now wouldn't come till tomorrow! Had to give up going in the car and now can't start till Thursday and will have to be by train -
Pam came in the evening. Went to Treport to find out time of trains 5.7 am!!!! and takes five hours. Consulted Mr Bailey and he said there will probably be a car going about tea time and it would be wise to wait on the chance.
Message at breakfast time that a wounded relatives car would be returning to Etaples in five minutes. Stuffed some necessities into satchel and jumped in. Real stroke of luck. Jolly ride, though roads very bad and arrived in Etaples by noon. After lunch went up to the Con Depot sports. Told Captain Poyser that we were stopping the work- he extremely surprised; said it had never been more flourishing in the Depot and that the depot couldn't move for at least two months and he couldn't think why we were dropping it. Talked to the hut workers and they said the same and protested. Said it was more and more appreciated. Miss MacNaughton said she would invite the GC Captain Poyser to meet for tea tomorrow and we would talk it over. Then back for a talk with Mr Cory, he anyway doesn't really care for the dancing, being 'Concert Party' through and through. Said that a few classes had been dropped and the Bridgmans were doing two nights a week Concert Party work - and he wanted Phoebe to stay on a little when the new teacher came. I explained that Mr Scott was suggesting we drop the work. Phoebe came in so went to the Gordon hut with her where she was singing and told her about everything. She fearfully upset and saying that work had my no means ceased and that classes are growing in the Con Depot and only one or two classes dropped and that because the YM has to leave early to go into the Country. Nice little concert at the Gordon hut, both Bridgmans singing. Afterwards a talk with both of them and they rather upset as no one had told them of the idea of work ceasing. Decided that it was probably because Mr Scott was hard up for permits and wanted to use theirs for something else. Decided to be firm and not give up
unless insisted upon. Back to Etaples and packed into for [Les Iris] found a bed vacant, which was great luck. Talked to Lady Cooper at supper. Mrs Scott had said nothing to her about dropping the Folk Dancing she strongly disapproved. She said it was a proved success. Decided to tell the OC and find out his opinion and ask him to tell Mrs Scott that the work is still needed. Phoebe leaves in a fortnight. I'll come and carry on and try to insist that Miss Galden still comes out. A rather difficult situation. Phoebe very pleased at an offer from Mrs Kennedy to start at Con Depot in England when she returns. Salary £260 per year. We can't make out who is paying it. Majoy Elias and Mrs Wilson dropped in to see me, having heard from Kirton that I would be there. Couldn't see much of them as the place is so crowded and it was just supper time.
Nasty wet day. Drove in after breakfast and wrote letters and did some mending at the [Dacquet]. Cleared up so took the tram to Paris Plaza. Lady [Lagger] ever so nice and kind and the two girls friendly. Stayed to lunch. Back again and up to the Con Depot. GC couldn't come but had a long talk with Sergeant Major in charge of PT and also the depot Sergeant Major. They saying the work is proving most valuable and they have to limit the numbers for the volunteer classes because of the size of the room. Back into the town with Elsie Bridgman and then supper and out again to Les Iris.
To Con Depot with the Bridgmans for the early morning classes. Phoebe a very good teacher indeed. Classes very successful. [Bray] of Trouville was there very pleased at being amongst dancers. Several men had seen me either at Harve or Trouville and came up and talked.
Then an interview with the OC and he said that he now has heard that the depot cannot move for six months or so. He would like all the Folk Dance classes to be kept up, and would also like ordinary dances arranged by our teacher between the WAAC the convalescents, and rather thought it would be use to have our teacher attached to the Con Depot. Folk Dancing is the only exercise the MO has for some of the DAW cases and it has been found to be invaluable for them. A talk of the St Pol dances which had been founded on the dancers but which bring in more movements and physical drills. Afterwards a talk with Miss McPhersons who would like the Folk Dance people and be directly attached to the YM in camps and live with the hut ladies. Lunch at the hut and then back to the town. Saw Mr Scott and told him of the work still going well and that there is no suggestion of the Depot moving. Thereupon decided to carry on and have Miss Galder out
soon as possible. The Mr Hay came in wanting to go to Mers and see Mrs McCowan and as I had to put back too we thought we'd ask for a car. Then a young flying officer came in on the Boulogne car to go to Treport to see his brother in hospital. That decided the car journey. I went out to Les Iris for my kit and back again in the Boulogne car. Just as we were about to start Hammond drove up form Mers with a Chinese missionary. So we transferred to his car. and he drove us back, which was a great stroke of luck. The flying officer was very surprised at being a "wounded relative". He had thought that he would have to find his own way. He was Canadian. He had of course been met at Boulogne and [been]
sent along in our cars. He said to me "Dad is a big subscriber to the YMCA, and I shall write to tell him that some of it has come back to me." We did the run in under two hours. Some of the harvest is being gathered. I have never seen such crops. Nothing but every kind of crops for miles all the way form Etaples ti Treport. No waste ground at all so [clean] and flourishing. Found Kirton on the sofa with a strained tendon from running on the beach before bathing
Letters nearly all day and managed at last to have everything to date. Called on Mrs Knight and offered to take charge of the Club any time tomorrow to set her free to rest as she is single handed with her husband down with influenza. She very grateful she says the class the other night was much appreciated and the ladies at the Tank camp would very much like some classes there. Said I'd go and see them.
Saw Mr Willis in the morning and he promised to get a motor pass at once which will be a great blessing and put an end to the eternal waiting for passes every time one moves. He asked questions about the new army [drill] , so explained it to him and how it started - he rather interested. Every Australian who has been gassed must remain in this climate for two years afterwards. Every one who has been invalided home to Australia has died as the air is too strong, or at any rate not right. It is a terribly long exile - to be so ill and unable to go home like the others are marked unfit. In the afternoon to the club to take the [class]. We have no licence yet so give away the tea, There's a little library. Mrs Knight very pleased to be relieved. Poured out tea and gossiped to everyone and they so pleased to have a chat. One boy from Suffolk made himself helper and stayed for about two hours , He collected mugs and we dubbed him Mary Anne. Off his head with excitement at the thought of leave next week. Nearly all the men had been bathing and were frightfully pleased to find the could use the boxes now we had taken them over and there's nothing to pay. Then they came in and drank hot tea - though one man couldn't have any because he had swallowed so much sea. There were Australians, but no Americans though one sees them about the town. Back to supper and Patters just arrived form Harve. He called in afterwards and we went for a walk- lovely to have him back again.
Letter from Mrs Kennedy, fifteen of our teachers are to take short holiday courses in the English YMCA in the camps. Very interesting when one remembers that the YMCA at Oxford wouldn't let me hire St George's Hall for the undergraduate classes because they "disapproved of dancing" Up to the Tanks Camp in the morning. Fearfully hot and oppressive along the road, but saw a motor lorry and shouted so got a lift. The YM ladies very pleased to have a class and we arranged
tomorrow night - then came back and had the good luck to find another lorry. The driver only too pleased to give us a lift - he said you never get a chance to talk with an Englishwoman. He was water transport and down from the line to build the new camp and very glad of the change. To HQ and saw Mr
and got promise of lift into Dieppe this afternoon to see Mrs Alcock the YM secretary. Great stroke of luck. Kirton very willing to take the counter at the club in case I'm not back in time. Will be able to but a wedding present for Bridgman. Reported at HQ 2:30 but JD hadn't yet come back from Abbeville with the car. Waited about. He returned at four o clock, so we had tea and started. A lovely run to Dieppe. The harvest being cut and gathered and the crops looking splendid. At Dieppe had to sit and wait at head quarters till Mr Alcock came in. Couldn't look over town as he might arrive at any minute. Discovered Mr McCowan in the accounts office so had a little talk about old times. A wonderful balcony at the back of the house and one fine view of the city. Could hear the guns now from the line very plainly. Had supper with JD and Mrs McCullum and at last Alcock came in. Told him about Folk Dancing he very pleased to have it started in
Treport. Gave permission to engage a teacher and pianist. Gave me and introduction to the YMCA leader at the Con Depot. Very nice a friendly and pleased to have the work started in the area.Then sat in the car with JD and waited and waited for Mr Bailey. He was arranging the new education scheme. The way one has to wait about is very difficult at first because it makes one fret over doing nothing. - but after a while one can do it without getting fussed. JD said it used to drive him mad at first, waiting around. At last we started back and arrived in Mers something past ten o'clock.
Went up to the Tanks camps in the evening with Kirton . The men wouldn't dance at first as they were far too shy to begin - although I found men from Harve, Trouville, Bayeaux and Etaples who all knew me and clustered round for a talk. At last there appeared a PT sergeant so made friends with him and he fetched another one. Then we persuaded the men to stand up and had a fine class. The Butterfly and Galopede and Peascods, and dozens of men watching. Afterwards the PT Sergeant said they would like to take it up properly and the others came around and asked when the next lesson could be. So we arranged another one. The Sergeants said they would like to have a [crack] team so promised to lick demonstration team into shape and there we could give a show and also one at the Con Depot, though goodness knows how we shall find the girls. However something must be arranged.
The country dance books at last arrived form Novello. Very useful to have, though one sees that the music and notation have been put on opposite sides so that one had to turn over, which seems rather foolish. Nice letter form Mrs Scholdes, they are going ahead with the Folk Dance teachers for holiday work in England. Motor Pass at last arrived so am now able to travel without such bothers and in the past. Heard that Mrs Mayne is loving working at the St Valery rest camp, so there'll be a bother over looking into matters. She does very little Folk dance work. Dr Francis was over but couldn't see him and had to decide that it was impossible and would go over to Sy Valery and look into matters. Took a walk up the cliff with Patters to the hollow and had a long talk a lovely view and a lovely day.
Kirton to Abbeville. Mrs Knight wanted to go away for the day with Mr Knight so I promised to take charge of the club. How days ago the place
was quite changed by hundreds of troops suddenly coming over - a good many Australians. The new rest camp on the hill . and the men down from the line for ten days. They came to Mers and found the bathing boxes and enjoyed the sea ever so much and then rushed to the club for drink and [smiles]. The club still has no licence to sell so all we can do is give away lemonade and tea and we have to say we have no cigarettes. A good many came in during the morning - and then in the afternoon for three hours there was a continual stream of folks past the counter - I poured out lemonade and made more and then made still more. Just time for a word now and again, and over and over again a man would stop and say how wonderful it seemed to hear a girl speaking English - These men have been in the line for months and never away, like the wounded people and they live up there and never see a base and never speak to an Englishwoman. An Australian left all his money with me to take care of for the afternoon - another man saw what a rush was happening so made himself orderly and all the afternoon collected mugs and fetched water and helped me with fresh [cans] of lemonade. At four o'clock the Knights came back and made the tea and there was another rush for the hot drink and the [peat] urn was empty in no time then Mr Knight took charge and I went back to find Kirton returned. She had come back by St Valery and had seen Mayne who likes the Rest Camp but does want to do more of her own work specially where it would be so welcomed. Kirton had played for one class, in a tent and the music a little [?] After supper we went back to the club, with White and Binks and had a very joyful class. Some of the ones from the last class and some Australians form the rest camp and a large audience packed round the walls and very cheery. We hand a grand time- and did three dances.
Very hoy in the room and fearfully noisy, but no one seemed to mind. The men at the rest camp very upset to find that the Tanks Camp had declared itself out of bounds, and so the rest camp cannot go to the YMCA or the EF Canteen and buy things, so therefore they are unable to get cigarettes etc. Some of the rest camp's people said they thought they would raid the Tanks Camp and get the cigarettes. Kirton had had tea at the rest camp and hears that we are putting up seven tents and sending pianos etc and games equipment, so things will be much better.
Then a walk down the front with Kirton and Binks - we decided to go down to the sea as the waves were so jolly. Two officers followed us and stood near us and at last spoke to Kirton. They were from the Rest Camp and had heard us speaking English and had so wanted to talk to us, They were nice. Both of them Australians and quietly friendly. We all [threw] stones and chased the waves. They were Captain Fraser and Captain Coates and would like to go for a walk tomorrow - so we invited them to tea instead.
Writing letter all the morning and then sewed bells on the braids for Boulogne. A wire from [Paddy] to say our papers are through and she is crossing at last. In the afternoon a rosette party, as the weather was very wet. Grey and Caswell and Kirton and self. Captain Fraser and Captain Coates came over and were very nice, friendly. Captain Coates made a rosette and very well to, very handy with his needle. Mr Freedman came to tea and he and the other two [?] their war experiences and we listened and [retired] . Then they said
goodbye. such a [?] to have some rosettes.
A lovely morning and up the cliff with Patters - this being Belgian Day we wore the ribbons and Patters told me Belgium history- after lunch wrote letters. Found a large tea party - A friend of Linn's over from a rest camp some miles away and with a friend of his. Someone from the Tanks, Mrs Freedman and one or two more. After tea a walk along the beach and found little crabs- nearly everywhere one bathed, but the sea was really too rough.Later on Captain Fraser and Captain Coates came in and asked if we'd go out tomorrow to Ault. Kirton and self could go, but Grey would probably be in the office- They had a friend with them, a nice man. I suggested that we should picnic on the cliffs and each bring some food then we could pool supplies. They said they would be down for us at 10 o'clock.
Cut Sandwiches, ration beef tough so made it into potted meat. Kirton discovered a neglected corner in ration room so we had a row with Philomene and was much delayed. Gray couldn't come as the Doctor was back and needed her - so it resolved itself into just Kirton and self. Then Captain Fraser and Captain Coates turned up with the other man and started, but the other man went when he found there were only two girls. I bought a melon. such a lovely day for a walk along the cliffs. The sea sparkling and glittering in the sun. We came [onto] a little group of signallers who let us look through their telescope and turn it on one or two little boats. Then we watched mine sweepers and saw one working the heliograph-but too quickly for Captain Coates to read. Thne on again to a high plateau right at the edge of the cliff and here we settled down in the [grass]. The Australian scouts came up with the picnic- tea in a big kettle and crockery ands sandwiches and a huge jam tart. They had been told to start from the camp at such a time and walk to the cliff and scout till they found us. Big woodsmen two of them and the other little quiet one and Captain Coates batman. They spread the meal we fell to It was a happy peaceful time. Captain Fraser nice and quiet. Scotch and Captain Coates nice and quiet and Australian and the three men hovering around. Kirton so excited because she saw a Perigine Falcon and then another. We wiggled to the edge of the cliff and looked over and found the nest and two young birds and a little dead mouse. After a long rest on again along the cliff and then to a hollow where there was a cave cut out of the chalk. Captain Coates said a gun used to be in there for coastal defence. A big cave with places for ammunition and window for look out. All inside hundreds and hundreds of names written on the wall. Captain Coates cut a little place and put our names as well. Captain Fraser's initial being A for Andy. Then a scramble down to the beach, where we walked over the big boulders, jumping and hopping. Taking flying leaps and stopping to watch the little crabs running around by the dozen. We were very hot indeed. Suddenly we saw a little stream of water running towards the sea. We followed it up and saw water butting up through the sand by a big boulder. It was clear spring water. We drank and bathed our faces and sat awhile and then walked up into Ault, a quaint little place. Here we bought postcards and went to an inn for tea. They gave us piles of lovely new bread and fresh butter and strawberry jam.
hen along the road homebound and a short cut through a wood and through the corn fields- picking scallions and cornflowers as we went. At last to the road by the rest camp where we said goodbye to our two Captains. Then to the tanks camp a little late and a big roomful of men all cheering as we went in. Kirton to the piano and self teaching and we had a riotous class for an hour and a half. The men stood up and just filled the room, with crowds watching by the counter. Two PT Sergeants just as keen and jolly. We finished up with a waltz for them. Then we went home along the road and it was raining so we were glad of our Burberrys and thankful that we had carried them all day, or rather, that our Captains had done so for us. Streams of men along the road going back to the camps and we said good evening till it became almost a chant as we went along. On the hillside, two a little drunk sporting with some French girls - they said "Bon soir" to us , so again we said good evening as we passed. Then they stood in the road and called to us, they begged us to talk to them just because they wanted to hear the English from us. We went back. They certainly were drunk and one had a little bottle of wine. He took me firmly by the hand and said "I'm drunk and I know it but we get none in the line and then two glasses is too much. I have not heard an English lady speak for months. Will you talk a little?". Kirton's man said the same so we talked about England and they pulled themselves together and stood without rocking and talked just friendily and eagerly. Then we said goodbye and they turned and went along the road to the camp. Kirton's man had asked her if she could kiss him and when she said no, he said Ah! I understand- you are married. Then the rest of the way into Mers and we certainly were extremely tired and it certainly was difficult to walk at all. A late supper and to bed.
Can't remember this day- oh yes- worked hard all morning. Sat on steps of GHQ and caught Mr Dunning and borrowed Mr Kimber and the car. Went to St Valery to see Mayne. We took [S]andy and it poured with rain. The rest camp all canvas and very dismal in the rain with the [chalk] mud everywhere. Mayne working hard over counter and cooking etc and having about two half days per week for spare time and had done a little sword dancing in this spare time. They had given her hardly any notice about leaving Bayuex. Just had said a car would call the next morning to take her to St Valery
to do counter work. She concluded I knew. She had been there three weeks. She loved the counter work but of course wanted to do her own job. Talked it well over. Such a splendid chance to do work in the rest camp- the men ready and grateful for everything. We found Dr Francis and talked to him and explained that it is a waste to have a real expert doing counter work when her own work would be so valuable and if the folk dancing is not needed we could put her somewhere else and he must of course have a proper hut lady. He was very nice. She had been sent to him as hut worker and not folk dancer but he would be glad of the dancing as the little she had done has had such good results. A long talk about the question and the decision. That she should quite gradually do less and less hut work and
have facilities to develop her own job. There are 200 of the Bayeux boys in a camp near for the Americans to practice on and they also keep coming round and asking for lessons. Dr Francis very nice and friendly and understanding. Said I would go back again in three weeks and see how things were going. Back again in the rain with Mr Hunter and much too late for lunch so Kirton gave us a meal to ourselves. Got into dry clothes and did some sewing. Our Captains to tea and then woth them to Treport for dinner. Such a nice hotel and such a nice dinner and they so nice and us so nice. Afterwards a walk round the pier to see the waves. The wind so strong it was difficult not to get blown away. Back to the girls mess to find the piano arrived so Kirton sang and Mrs Hutton sang and so did we all and the we rolled up the mat and did a scotch reel and the Lancers only I did it differently because I had learned from the Sergeants at Trouville and the others had been to ordinary dancing classes. An invitation to the sports at the rest camp the next day.
Walking all the morning. After lunch Kirton self [Brown] Cassie and Mrs Watts and Mr Hutton and Mr [Munne] up to the rest camp such a lovely day. Found our Captains and a nice [lieutenant] named Bell and had tea in the men's tent. Then watched the sports. Every kind of troop in the camp, There was a wonderful [race] sticking and box of water from a wheelbarrow and then the box tipped up - they got so wet. There were two clowns, one with a little piece of sacking round him and the rest of him Cherry Blossom boot blacking. He acted the whole time and was a priceless nature. There was a tug of war. Aussies v RGA and we all went round. They pulled in the midst of a close line of spectators who only just gave them room. We stood on a [?] and yelle. The tug of war and the spectators swayed about the ground. The Aussies won than goodness. Then various other races and er judged the two clowns - the black man won, I gave the prizes. Two 10 franc notes and I had to push them under his handkerchief as his hands were too dirty to touch things. Then we had another tea in the men's tent and after that watched the Belgium cavalry doing jumping in the next field. Then we were going to go but our captains told us we were all going to walk to Ault. Cassie was in pretty shoes with heels, but said she'd come so we started off round the fields and through the wood. Captain Coates being the leader and we all following and the to our cave and the rest carved their names and then a walk along the beach and over the boulders and through the crabs. Very frightened as we couldn't find our well, but at last we did find it and all drank the lovely water. Cassie gave up and took off the shoes and sat with her feet in Mr Hutton's cap. Then to Ault and we all had a very long slow dinner at the inn. Ten of us round the table and very nice indeed. Cassie had bought.
a pair of rope soled shoes and so was more comfortable. There we started back to walk across the cliffs home and in the dark. Capt Coates leading and all in our couples and Mr Minnie taking care of everyone and rounding up the stragglers. He's the nicest Belgium there is. Such a cool warm night and such a view and moon and a lovely quiet sea. Twice we rested becasue it was miles and miles and then again to Notre Dame Les Falaises. We gave a curtsey and said "Merci" - then down the steps home to find poor Grey terrified because she thought someone was drowned or something
as it was 11:30. We all drank lemonade and dispersed.
Very tired indeed but cheerful. No car for Boulogne so wrote letters and mended and talked to Kirton. There was to be a farewell party at night to our Captains and Grey's rest camp people who had taken a room at the casino for a little dance. Mr Bell came to supper and Mr Minne and Mr Hutton but not out captains as they were fearfully busy over signing things for the evacuation tomorrow. They would love to come later. A nice little dance. Kirton and self and Mrs Watts took turn and turn about to stay at our house in case the captains came but they didn't/ There was a young man who did tangos and looked such a fool. He dances at Murrays in London. He did our Scotch reel and he was jack in middle. I danced beautifully withMr Bell but he was too tall to reach properly. Then we said good byes to them and the clustered round and said we had made their leave a different thing, letting them come around and play a little. they never thought they would have had the luck to meet some English girls.
No car for Boulogne so sewed and wrote and chopped. In the afternoon to the Tanks with Kirton and met Capt Buck Burroghs and he put us inside a tank and we rode along. Such a grand thing. Five men at work inside and so pleased to see us. He put me on one of the driver's seat. We went over the field and there were about ten more tanks all walking about we went through two ponds and down a big bank and then turned round and went up it. A wonderful uncanny machine. Then back to the row at the top of the camp and were manoeuvred into line with all the other. Left very sick with the smell of warm oil - not form the motion of the tank for there [went any] except when it dips to go down a bank and that is slow and steady rather like a very slow swinging boat. Good byes to Capt Buck Burroughs and back to tea. Everyone very [?] about our expedition. We had a fire after supper because it was so dismal. Went for a walk along
the beach and then to bed.
At last a car for Boulogne and five minutes to get ready so Kirton helped me stuff some things into the little suit case and we sprinted round to HQ
A nice car and not a very nice day. No one else in the car and a very pleasant driver. We drove along the roads and once or twice the wind and rain were so strong that one couldn't sit upright. But one doesn't get wet in a tarpaulin hat and an ordnance overcoat. A nice man the driver, named Gushing and very interesting to talk to. We saw a train from the line at Noyelles, evidently the stopping place for the St Valery rest camp. And we saw heaps of churches looking very picturesque. Later we stopped at a little low white washed cottage for coffee - a lovely big kitchen and most wonderfully warm. Brass and china on the walls and blue tiles and a very old woman in a white cap and a pleasant daughter. A really old white cat on a chair by the stove - seven years old the old lady said. A primus stove boiling water. There was a little room where we sat down and talked to a red x sergeant who was writing letters. The coffee was very good. Afterwards showed me the garden at the back all in exquisite order and with every kind of vegetable flourishing. [?I'm no gardener? down the borders and sweet williams. The two women worked it [entirely] and keep the cottage whitewashed. Our wounded relatives cars call there often for coffee and cocoa. And the old lady and her daughter always are most kind and friendly and will get up in a winter's night to make hot drinks if the travellers are cold in a blizzard. The old lady gave us a little bunch of flowers and the two waved goodbye as we went off. And then to Boulogne by 1:30. We were stopped for passes in Montroy and told we couldn't go through the town. There's a new order that none but military
cars can enter it being GHQ. We went to see the APM and he said we must skirt the town in future. The order had been out for two months and this is the first time a car of ours has been stopped and wounded relatives car goes through every day - However it wasn't our fault as no one notified the bosses or the [AC]. The APM was very pleasant and asked for a lift to the end of the town
Lunch at the Wounded Relatives Hostel and a chat with the workers and then to the new women's hostel as we now have a separate house, Rang the bell and the door opened upon sergeant knocking nails in the stair carpet!! He was surprised to see me and we had a good laugh over it. Great stroke of luck to find a friend - he introduced me to Miss Blackwell and she was ever so nice. Lost fountain pen. Round to HQ and a welcome from Mrs Fowler. Asked for a car and was driven up to No 7. Found Pidgy and she so pleased to see me. Then to see Colonel Carter and a talk with him and he gave me a detailed report of what they have been doing and their future plans. Country dances done on two parades every morning and then the special class after that. Two classes per week to [?] officers everyone to do the same dances and so be able to dance at sports etc to.
be arranged for Sunday afternoon. Just missed Major Knight he busy over the St. Pol classed which are a most barefaced theft from us only with PT work introduced. They do the Long Moor which is Kenny's dance and they do the Black Nag only have altered it. We don't mind their using our work in the least, but to do it badly and then call it their own invention is a bit too much. I'll walk into Major Knight next time I catch him , the little pig. Then a long walk with P about everything. She has a little room built onto the concert hut and is blissfully happy living quite by herself amongst the men who keep her room clean and love her. She billets on a cottage just outside camp. She draws her rations and is a full private. I went with her to draw them it was so funny. The sergeant gives her just what she likes - the rations are of course far too much of one kind of thing and not enough of another - so she chooses what she happens to want. He said he'd got a tin of honey put by for her. Then to see her billet and a country walk and a long talk about plans and outfit and everything and then back to Boulogne and supper. A nice party of workers, one man a missionary form China come over to work amongst the Chinks. Chinamen don't have pigtails anymore since the revolution in 1911. Pigtails were a Manchu invention and really a badge of servitude and after the revolution people had either to cut off their pigtails or be executed.That was when the Manchu were put down. And having always shaved their head their hair when it grows - grows straight on end like a gollywog is very awkward. And os they go about with heads shaved all over. It had never struck me before that Chinamen shaved their heads and just left the pigtails. I had taken it for granted that ist was natural and the Chinese race to have their hair grow like that. It gave me quite a shock after supper there was a fearful sound of cats in the courtyard and we couldn't stand it, so Sergeant and Mrs Blackwell decided to try the new fire hose. He pumped and she directed the flow. The noise ceased. Mrs Arnold helped with his flash lamp. They saw something white moving round the yard so sent a good stream of water at it then the flash lamp shone on it and it was the little French boy from down stairs!! They were so upset and collapsed in the salon and the little little French boy's Aunt and Uncle and Grandmother all came out and talked in the courtyard. We all went to bed at once very quietly. Put everything in order in case of a raid in the night, but there wasn't one.
Had the luck to get a car and was at No 7 by 9:15. Gave P a real good rubbing up in Sword Dances. Five sergeants came in so I taught them all together and we worked like blacks. Of course it was much to swift for them to remember but was only for them to get all the points. We did Kirkby Rapper and were all exhausted at the end of two hours. Said goodbye to P and back to HQ they would send the Etaples car round when it came. It came after lunch, so goodbye to the hostel and away again. I wonder what it would be like to have a quiet home life and a family to belong to. Found Mrs Grey and a few other
people at Etaples. Phoebe's young man had sudden leave so she went on Wed[nesday] and is to be married tomorrow. Elsie and [Scull] had been carrying on. No sign of Elsie, so after tea walked out to Les Isis - Mr Cory promising to bring out my kit. A lovely walk through the pine woods - but very long. It seems much shorter in a car than on your own two feet. Was frightened at some cows but a corporal rushed up and said "You're alright" and stood in front of me - then smiled and said "You don't remember darning my red jersey do you?" and of course it was him, so we had a little talk and then I went on. And along the road there was a faire and Lady Langer and Margery in it and some French folks. So they stopped and we had a chat and I'm to go to lunch and tea on Wednesday. At last to Les Iris and no one in but the French maid so couldn't get a room till the housekeeper comes back at dinner time. Walked through the grounds, all lovely pine trees and found a wonderful real dug out beside the house - so explored it. Sat on the floor under a tree and wrote up this book. Found fountain pen. What a stroke of luck! Had supper and was then given the second bed in Miss Harris' room. Pitched her things off it and got in. She came in late. Explained my presence and we made friends. A darling [?] girl. Heard a
fearful raid in the night but a long way off - it sounded like Boulogne.
Back to the town by nine o'clock and up to the Con Depot. Was given two [parole] classes and then one voluntary class. Everyone very friendly. Fearfully hot day. The gym ad great sight. Me at one end with the lancers. boxing at the other end and the concert party and the [canpeter] on the platform. Worked for two hours and then Sister Bridgman and self back to lunch. This mile and a half each way is the last straw in the bright sun and the dust. Wrote and rested all afternoon and then we managed to wangle a car up to the Con Depot after tea. Here a huge class with about two hundred watching. Orchestra on the stage on the stage. Made friends with everyone and had a very happy time. We walked back again, and after a wait was put into a car and back to Les Iris. Life here very [mixed]. The poor little town in potential ruin. Great holes every where and gaping cottages and knots of people watching them at the street corners. Tiles off in every direction and the heaps of dust and broken glass everywhere, and the patrols on duty everywhere to prevent looting. We carry on and feel quite cheerful. The civilians have mostly evacuated. At night we put everything away go out to Les Iris. There's our great hospital for wounded relatives, it was summer house belonging to a rich American and is luxurious and full of art treasures. How the YMCA got hold of it one doesn't know probably it's a loan. And we go there every night and pack ourselves in - sleeping in every corner on little camp beds and fighting for the bathroom. A funny life and very difficult to keep your clothes in order to look fresh and not demented. No raid at all last night again though one heard tow terrific explosions ever so far away and we wondered if they were mines at the front.
Trip to the Con Depot and the the two parade classes but then stopped as fire drill was sounded. Back again afterwards. It is wonderful the way the men remember a person. Last night walking along the road
I was stopped eight times by different people who had danced with me or watched in some other place. They love to have a little talk by the roadside. And this morning in the canteen a man said "Out of bounds aren't you?" So I asked what he meant and he said he'd often seen me in Tourville. Mended a red jersey after lunch for one of my Sergeants. They are all in ladders poor things. They whiten my shoes and I darn their holes and all is very friendly all round. To tea with Elsie Bridgman with Miss Pryce. She is helping on the educational work. We found her in a high walled garden with the high walled garden with old fashioned flowers in the sun and all kinds of vegetables flourishing. There are the classrooms - which were a row of artist's studios. High and light -whitewashed and with lovely blue tiles round the sunk in fireplaces. bowls of flowers everywhere and school tables and chairs. There the men can come for classes in languages and mechanics etc. Miss Pryde says they love the gardens the whole peace of the place. We borrow one of the schoolrooms twice a week for a little CountryDance class. We had a lovely peaceful tea in the garden and then I left Elsie to take the class there and went up to the depot to help Miss Scull over the ordinary dance in the Red X Hut. Miss Scull began by teaching Waltz steps and one or two of us went into learn. About a dozen men and three rather shy WAAC and of course the usual crowd watching. Then the orchestra arrived the dances began. Very little waltzing and some very odd dances one a Canadian Barn Dance, Lancers of course - We danced for two hours and everyone enjoyed it enormously.
About 10 WAAC, [Peter] Seul and Self and a Red X girl, I taught one of my Sergeants to reverse and the Canadian [broker] tried to make my steps a little better, but it's a very nasty dance - dull if you do it badly and not quite 'nice' if you do well.
Back into town and then to Les Iris. One wants two pairs of feet. One pair for dancing and the other pair in reserve for walking back afterwards. Rushed to the bathroom and had a bath and then discovered it was Miss Lodges turn. Was very glad I'd taken it and said so to her. She didn't mind in the least she said- a really nice girl. No raid in the night. Whatever can they be thinking of not to come these clear still nights!!
Con Depot in the morning and two splendid classes and then a voluntary one. Two hours exactly and without as break. Poor Elsie nearly went a raving lunatic at the piano playing the same little tunes and mostly Pop goes the weasel. Then talks to people and back to lunch, Freshened up afterwards and went to Paris Plage to see Lady Langye. Had a lovely tea party in the garden and later on Miss MacGuaghin from the YM and the two Red Cross Hut Ladies at the Depot came in with some officer friends. We had a jolly little party and then I walked back to Les Iris. Found no one in the bathroom. My goodness, what a stroke of luck! Tried to get letter up to date but found it a hopeless task - must work tomorrow.
Raid in the night. Short and sharp. We sat in the salon in the dark against the wall. The ground shook and every brick rattled in the wall. Then back to bed and to sleep. Very interesting to drive in in the morning and to wonder what would be wrecked - no casualties but two more [little] houses just a heap of rubbish. The day blazing hot and very tiring. Classes
all the morning. Sewing and writing all the afternoon and in the evening a little
Demonstration class at the Central School - this going excellently well and everyone very friendly and cheerful. Then out to Les Iris and supper and bed - putting, of course everything in readiness for a raid. Jerry came over at lunchtime as well and we had a fine view from the Depot as we were having our meal outside in the tent. He was only photographing, but the shrapnel was lovely in the sunlight.
Raid again the night. One is sleeping peacefully and suddenly [describes a curve] and lands in the middle of the room. That's the signal acting one's subconsciousness!! Then into requisite garments in the dark and a wait at the window listening for him as he comes up and watching searchinlingly. Then as it gets really near downstairs to sit all together on the floor till goes home again. Maddening not being able to watch - even from the window for the curtains are drawn to gaurd against the broken glass. This time we had a magnificent barrage he couldn't get through. The balloons were a help as well.
An enormous class in the Depot in the morning - as the rain was too heavy for outside work and everyone trooped in to dance. Stayed in the Depot for lunch an tea- going about amongst the men and talking to old friends. The carpenter remembering the early days at Trouville - he said it seemed just like old times to me teaching on the floor and him doing his work on the stage -
Darned some more jerseys and sat in the gym in the afternoon and watched the [?] and the PT instructors working up fancy tableaus for the sports next Thursday. Tried to get a little to datewith correspondence.
Very worried at having a wire from Mrs Collins that she cannot after all come out. That leaves Trouville with no teacher when Holbrow leaves and one must have a really good one to take charge. Long talk with Elsie Bridgman. I can go down and carry on for a bit but not of course indefinitely. Best plan would be to send Oakden there from end of Sep: to send Morgan here with Elsie and back he up an let Skelton go to Truoville as assistant and do no work in Treport area till we can find another teacher. What a life. That means no leave for me till after October. Very good classes in the Con Depot. Two Parades - a huge voluntary class. All beginners and as much as one could manage. Letters all afternoon. No WAAC can dance at Monday's show as half are being inoculated and the other half doing double duty in consequence. Machonachie for lunch. The carbolic flavoured bird, but better that the paraffin sort.
Four years of war today and it seems now to be the ordinary life, so much has everyone got into the routine of it and Peace is like a Dream one dwells upon. To lunch with Lady Jangys and to the memorial service in the French Cemetery. English & French military personages, and English and French Priests and Padres and French and English people.
We walked around and though at the rows of little graves and there were prayers and speeches in French and the English Band played Chepsin's Funeral March and the Marseillaise and God Save the King. It should have been heart breaking, but it wasn't and that was rather terrible, Everything was so French that it was like a play, somehow for a memorial one seems to need a church and not a French cemetery, that seems so unreal and so different. We
were all sorry we had been, except the Major who had been very afraid it was going to be emotional and make him feel uncomfortable. Back again to tea. We hardly dare mention the War news, it is so good. Soissons taken and five miles beyond, and jerry running, so the reports come down. And Albert retaken as well. We can't believe it, it is so splendid. Perhaps there's now a chance of things ending next year.
A walk back alone through the Pine Woods. Letter in the evening, they are never finished.
Con Depot all morning Miss Ryde came with us to watch and was very interested and amused. On the way down went to see the AC WAAC and told her of the Boulogne work, of which she had already heard.
Offered classes amongst the girls here and suggested three lessons per week for two weeks in the afternoon and the next two weeks at night so as to reach all the shifts. She very pleased, and will begin experimentally and find out the keen ones before beginning our courses. Walked round the camp. The floor of the sports hall too weak after the raids, so decided to work out of doors as much as possible. Will begin on Thursday at three o'clock. Tea party at the Dacquet. Peter Scull and her young man. Someone named Bobby who'd just been given another pip. Self, Elsie Bridgeman and Miss Gould. Then into blue stripes and up again to Con Depot, We thought we should have to abandon the show as none of the WAAC dancers could come and forgot to bring a demonstration frock for Peter. However we decided to carry on, as our six men were so keen and we made the little Aussie come in to make up. Mrs Feesey turned up and we had a little talk. The show really went very well and the audience was easy to keep happy. They danced and we danced and I talked to them and we had a very good night. Afterwards tea in [Muys] on the platform with the concert party and the PT instructors and we watched the two 'funny men' working out a rough and tumble for the revue next week. Frightfully clever. We all imitated them - back to town. We were exhausted but happy.
Must try to get to Mers for some more supplies and to look into matters. Fearful nuisance that Margaret Oakden hasn't yet arrived. The only way is to go to Boulogne tomorrow and see if there's a relative's car going to Treport. Must return on Thursday for the WAAC class. Lady Cooper asking for a show at the Walton Hut, so trying to arrange is perhaps we can get Pidgy over from Boulogne for a night to make up the women. Con Depot in the morning and classes better than ever. Tow sets of Newcastle to begin with and then the first class asked if the might do a double lot and join in with the second people. Met the little man form No 13 who's wife was so ill, He had been home to see her. This was because [Gabriel] had told Captain Gooch all about it. The little man everlastingly grateful. Met a PT Instructor on the road who used to dance a Trouville. Horrid wet day and very muddy. Took the demonstration class in the evening and played as well so that Elsie could dance. Very good class indeed they didn't want to leave after
Con Depot and also arranging things at for the show at The Walton next Monday. Elsie enquired of the WAAC dancers and found three able to come along so all will be well, and Wilson promises to play. Directly after lunch went to Boulogue and called at Head Quarters putting in a request for a lift if any wounded relatives car were going to Treport. Only one relative was expected and they wouldn't know where for till the boat came in. Mrs Jackman said last weeks raid was awful. Eighty bombs dropped and everyone told one on the ammunition dump and one on Base Head Quarters leaving it completely wrecked. Crowds at the street corners and a rumour that the King was to go through. Looked at the shops and at last found some very nice blue stuff for tabards and not too [dear for a wonder] and also strapping for the Boulogne outfits. Stocked up and to WG for the money and found the accountant ever such a nice man. Then tea at the hostel and a talk to Mrs Blackwell and then to the other [Hostel] and a wait for the relative off the boat. The relative was for Treport and [Gushing] was to drive. What a wonderful stroke of luck. We had a good run with one puncture and helped [Gusthing] change the wheel. He had a very nice jack and let me undo it afterwards. Arrived in Mers about 9:30. Everyone so happy in the little sitting room and music going. Mr[s] Perkins there and Bobby and JD a nice welcome and Kirton gave me supper and talked about things. They'd been to a picnic at the Tanks camp. A large mail for me. Two letters from Captain Coates and from the red triangle a cheque for two guineas thanks for the [arteli] !! Dear me I never expected them to pay anything! Ever so pleased and surprised. A long talk with Kirton. If they haven't found a housekeeper we will offer her to Head Quarters and I must have another secretary. Can't go on alone with so much to see to all over outfits etc.
Packed up braid and dress material and round to HQ with Kirton and had a talk to Mr Willis. Explained the situation to him and asked him to talk to Mr McCowan. Must have something settled as soon as possible. Can't hang on like this indefinitely. Could have Elsie Bridgman for secretary if Kirton can't be freed. Sat on the stairs and answered letter. Saw Sir Henry Hadow andhad a chat and chat to Mrs [Murchy]. Willis said that Mr Holmes was about to go to Etaples so tracked down Mr Holmes and asked for a lift. He very willing - so got into car. Hammond Driving and Mr Homes in front and and American PT man behind with me doing games all through the American Army. Frightfully interesting. They drop all PT work the nearer they get to line and play games as much as possible and on every occasion especially just before going over the top. A lovely sunny ride. Mr Holmes and Hammond with a map taking [bye] roads as the Boulogue road
is so rough and so dull. It was a wonderful ride. We stopped to look at the Church Front at Rue. Just in time for lunch. Up to the WAAC camps in the afternoon and took the first class. A few girls and two nice officer girls. We had a good class and left them ever so keen to learn more and we arranged two lessons a week in the camp. After tea Elsie to sing at a concert and self to the Central School and took the Demonstration team. A really good class and good work done. Invitation to tea tomorrow to Miss [Bryce] to meet the
Educational Director Mr Hume [Ken]. A letter to say that Miss Oakden sails tomorrow - so that's a great comfort.
Splendid class in the morning. Both classes joining. We can now have the whole gym to ourselves and the rest of the depot was away to the beach Trouville fashion. Too far for the DAN cases who are left behind in the depot. Lovely quiet class. Back to cut out frocks and sewing outfits all afternoon. Boulogne having to be fitted up for the big show on Aug 25. Tea with Miss Pryde and Mr Hume here in the garden - very quiet and pleasant. Captain Crews dropped in in the afternoon just back from leave and with news of Phoebe Bridgman. They are to be married on his next leave. A nice young man he is ever so pleasant. Up to Con Depot to help at the dance in the Red X hut. Very lively and happy with a piper to play the Highland Schottishe. How does one spell it! Back again in the Ambulance and glad of the lift. Letters. No sign of Margaret Oakden
Con Depot in the morning and a lovely class with the gym all to ourselves. Captain Poyser back from leave. Came back to find Miss Oakden arrived by the early train. A very efficient young woman and nice. Quite unperturbed and a once began to help over the rosettes, we having as much as we can do to get all the sewing finished. Cut out her frock and fitted her,
round to the sewing lady getting the promise of two new frocks for Monday Evening. Then in a car to the station for her luggage and out to Les Iris to her settled in a room. Approached the stores for 30 buns for tea party on Monday and got a promise of two pots of jam from Mrs Stewart Moore, so not aa bad start. We sewed rosettes in the pine woods after tea. We could hear a lively raid somewhere, it sounded like Boulogne - and presently our guns went and we could hear Jerry above us. So we gathered our things and ran for the house, [leaving] shrapnel. But it was over so we finished our rosettes and made up twelve baldricks for Boulogne and had a bath.
Raid in the night and we all downstairs. Mr Scott came round and Mr Hume Kerr in tin hats and voted for the dug out so we went to it. Rather interesting. Elsie Bridgman and one or two officers stayed in their beds. The barrage was terrific. The dug out ever so deep and very narrow and twisty. we went along to the far end where I found Mr Smith,
and he said we could certainly have the thirty buns and I asked if we might make the tea a Good Hope to save carrying it so far. The Wounded Relative was inclined to be hysterical but Mr Smith gave her brandy and she sat on the floor and leaned against me. Margaret Oakden not nervous but couldn't help shaking a bit with the excitement afraid never heard a barrage and the French 75 was going it. And a Bosh plane came over ever so low so she could hear the difference in his engines. About
an hour and a half and then it finished. Very comfortable in the dugout. Warm and dry on the sand floor and yet well ventilated. It took twelve men a fortnight to make. I heard in the dark "How does one keep one's stockings up ?" A Voice " One doesn't." Margaret Oakden and self walked through the woods to Paris Plaza in the morning , a most beautiful day of bright sunshine. She's ever so nice and her grey dress is all new and not faded into mauve streaks. There was a pretty lively barrage and we kept under the trees as we could hear Jerry coming over again probably to photograph last night's damage. We watched the shrapnel and then went on when it was quieter. Back for lunch with just Elsie Bridgman and our two selves. Miss Lodge came in and we thought she looked a little thoughtful. She too out of her pocket a particularly curly piece of shrapnel and said it had just gone past her head. She was in the street when the barrage began this morning. She also found a tiny piece in her shoe and couldn't make out how it got there. Not hurt at all, but a man was killed at the end of the street. Last night one man was killer a French civilian. And Miss Pryde has lost library and the piano in our class room at the Central School is through the floor into the cellar. So that leaves us with no place for the little classes. And the nice garden is ruined.
Rested in the afternoon. Captain Crews came to tea. Made Miss Oakden's tabard and some rosettes, she helping and a fine needlewoman. We like her ever so much. Mended a jersey.
Con depot in the morning with Oakden, leaving Miss Bridgman to collect the food and mugs and all for the picnic, and also the outfits for the show at night. Very good classes. but the nasty news that passes couldn't be given to the men to come down for the picnic as E company was on screen drill. Nasty for all of us. Found Capt Poyzer and he said passes couldn't
be given. After a discussion he said we could have the picnic in the woods by the camps and just say nothing about it. Saw Miss McPherson and she promised to lend us crockery and have the tea made. She saw the Sergeant Major and he promised to send a man to meet us at the bridge and help carry up the food. Saw the WAAC on the way down and asked if they could come to the picnic, but they couldn't only to the show and would meet us there. Back to the [Dacquet] and reported change of plans to Elsie who despaired at first but cheered up and rushed round to dressmaker fir the dresses as we'd have to have them earlier, She bought back one for us to finish and the other was promised for 2:30 . We sewed hard and finished the the dress and then lunch. Elsie would have to wait down for Wilson as we couldn't send him a message. We started out with the food. Oakden carrying the bread and 30 buns and me with the other things and the [two] pots of jam. Bought a
melon on the way up. Five francs, but worth it when you think of all a melon stands for. Very glad to find the man at the bridge who carried everything quite easily and could have taken another two parcels. Saw a soldier carrying two suitcases. He joined us along the road. He was for Blighty tomorrow and would be given his discharge. He had been out there three years and got a divorce. He said , " I think it's about time I went out and got married again." He was so pleased and happy he had to talk to someone. We found our china ready packed and the cook made us a small urn of tea and the guests turned up and we walked to the woods and found an ice place and settled down. We put the urn on a little tree stump. Nine men all so happy and all wreathed in smiles. Then we saw Miss Spearing going for a walk so made her join us - and at last Elsie found us, but without Wilson who hadn't turned up. So we had tea. We buttered the buns and jammed them and ate the hard boiled eggs and had the melon, handed round cigarettes and produced a lot of chocolates which had come in a parcel yesterday from America. The big Aussie smiled the whole time. Then we worked out our programme and partners and collected everything and went back to the camp, and then down to the Walton Hut and changed for the show. We were all ready to begin but Wilson hadn't turned up or sent a message. Fearful bother as we only had five girls and we would have to play for ourselves. We altered the programme and decided to do our best. Nice audience and very ready to be pleased and were pleased and didn't notice our troubles. fortunately, They joined in at the end with we We won't go home till morning. We danced about and hour and a half. Fearfully hot. Peter Scull recited and Elsie sand a song. Then we changed and collected the mens' kits and then we all had large mugs of tea and said goodbye to each other, and we walked back to Etaples. Looked at the central school a big hole in the garden, Our room quite wrecked. The poor
little place. But a notice up that classes would be on as usual so Miss Pryde had been carrying on amongst the ruins of the other two rooms. Just in time to find a car. Very tired all of us. A letter from Mis Pryde to take our classes as usual tomorrow in one of the other rooms. They don't look safe for dancing after all the shaking up, and the piano is in the cellar,
but we can dance in what's left of the garden and will have the comb and paper or a tin whistle.
Fourth army has taken 20,000 prisoners since Aug 8 and the Australians are deep in it. Hope Capt Coats is all right. Con Depot in the morning and found Bombardier Wells in the gym taking boxing. A little talk. Found E company waiting outside and nowhere for our class. Rushed about and fixed up things and took it in the canteen. A very good class indeed.
Said goodbye to our nice Demonstration People who will be moved out tonight as their time is no finished. Very sorry to say goodbye. Came down to the Dacquet and cut out tabards sewed and wrote. A message from the Murray Hut that a Sgt Major had come to teach the the [St Pd] dancers and would we go up. Message arrived so late that it was out of the question trying to get to the camp in time. Sewed for Boulogne all the afternoon and then round to the Central School for the Demonstration Class. Found the Madame would let us use her piano we could dance in what was left of the garden. The building being a hopeless ruin. A talk to Miss Pryde who was till taking classes and full of plans for moving into the relatives hostel and beginning all over again. Our class didn't turn up as they'd evidently heard of the school being knocked down. We walked out dances to help Elsie. Found a big mail and spent the evening answering letters. Comfortably in bed when the guns began. Us to the dugout and listened to a fearful raid some way away. Not near us, so after awhile went back to bed. Settled in and the guns began again so back to the dugout. Very disgusting. Raids in the distance. Decided not to leave bed another night till the near guns began. Awake for about three hours.
Con Depot in morning. Found Wells taking boxing so worked in the canteen and had a very good lesson. PT Instructors offered to put us through the St Pol Dances at 1:30. So decided to stay in camp. Mis McPherson gave us bully and buns and jam and a sergeant gave us a lettuce and we got a pot of tea from the cook and went into the woods. Nice little lunch together. Then to the gym and learned St Pol two step and another dance with body bending. The [Long Moor Kenny's] dance and really good. Wells joined in. The dances are first rate training, but we are told we are to keep the DAH cases as it is far too strenuous for them. Into the woods for rest as we always feel so "vacant' the afternoon after a raid. Tea at the BRC with Mrs Napier Ford and then to see the Depot revue. Very good indeed and great fun to see the concert party performing. A lift in the Red X ambulance back to town. Interview with Mr Scott reporting progress and a talk about future plans. If no Harve teacher can be found Oakden will have to be transferred and Elsie will take charge with a friend to help. She's quite capable of it and would do excellently well. Mr Scott very willing to have Kirton while Elsie is on leave to help Margaret Oakden. Found Mr Bailey so had a talk - willing to give me a lift back.
Up to the depot by 9:30 as we'd had a note to say that CSM MacCraig would like to give us a lesson in the St Pol Dances. He a splendid person, shiningly clean and with a captivating
accent. A born teacher too. We did four dances Kenny's Long Moor to the tune of British Grenadier and the Butterfly [?] own time "because they couldn't think of a better one" Here they hold up outside hands Scotch fashion and do a half pousette instead of swing and change and then any odd steps to fill up the music. Then the St Pol two step. Very good fun but [stuff] PT trunk backwards bend and knee raising and all the rest - other the Bogey man Dance - this trunk sideways bend and knee raising. Both excellent stuff but hard work we enjoyed it immensely. Then the Sgt Major stayed to watch our class. Very good morning - with three [?] Fine companion doing very good work. Mr Scott brought in Sir Henry Hadow and they watched for some time. The Educational Depot looking very kindly on Folk Dancing and will be a great help and stand by when one needs class rooms etc. The other two down in the [bun cart] , but self too tired so took chair on the lawn and stayed in camp for lunch as we to do more St Pol afterwards. Saw Capt Poyser and had a talk. The parade to arrive a little more promptly to time and also asked for stragglers to be kept out of the hall. Another class after lunch and had the concert party pianist to play. In a little room and with a harmonium.
Wells came and enjoyed ourselves ever so much. Compared notes as to experiences in different depots. I said goodbye to everyone all round the depot and then went down to town with Oakden. Found Mr Murchie who would give us a lift in about an hour. We settled all details. Finished packing everything. Tea at Head Quarters- Sir Henry deep in musical talk with Professor Terry. A little talk with Mrs Hume Kerr and then off with Mr Murchiie and Whitty driving and Mr Rogers in front with him. Lovely weather and twice Whitty got her up to 50.
Abbeville in pitiable condition and the wreckage round the station very bad indeed. Managed to see Mr James. He doesn't want young Vi back as he now has a lady for her vacancy. I explained that she has definitely left my staff and after a discussion promised to tell the whole situation to Mr Dunning for him to decide. Mayne very satisfactory at St Valery
and Mr James glad that still develops Country Dances. A little gossip with Mr James. We can't trace the swords sent to Bayeux and he thinks they must be blown up. I'll have to claim from Government if I can trace as far a Abbeville. As Mr James said everything else was blown up and they were probably there as well. Then on to Mers by eight o'clock. Mr Murchie so kind and friendly all the way. Said I'd better tell Mrs Willis about young Vi. Asked me the the senior mess and I said I would love to come and had decided to [catch always for lunch on]
Sundays just to keep up position as a head. Saw Mr Willis. He said he would see about young Vi there's no job he knows of and her time is up - A nice dinner Mr McCowan and Mr Willis and Mr Holmes and Mr Murchie and Mr Drumming.
Had a talk with the chief and he asked questions about Etaples. Afterwards had a minute with Mr Drumming and then to our house and a long talk with Kirton. She deteremined to come back to our depot and said if they refused to release her she would just go on leave and get out of it that way. Capt Coates has a post as instructor at the fourth army school near [Eiu]. He came back from the line one day last week and walked in to see us. A six months post.He is coming over as soon as he can get a Sunday free. Very glad to get into a room by myself and to have no raid warnings during the night.
Went through clothes. Everything quite shabby and in a fearful out at heels condition. Washed odds and ends and then started the sewing for Boulogne. Will have to work very hard to get everything finished. Sewed all day. Saw Mr McCowan about Kirton and after a talk he said I may have her by Sept 7. So that's settled at last. Mr Esse came in after tea and I showed him the little country dance book and gave him one. We talked physical training American and English. A nice young man. After supper Mr Murchie came and sang little old fashioned to Miss Birks and me and then we went up the cliffs. A wonderful clear night. We watched two raids in the distance presumably at Abbeville and Etaples. The guns flashed and once we heard the planes.
Sewing all day finished four tabards. A corporal came down from the tanks to ask Kirton if she would go for a ride tomorrow morning. He had permission to take her from Capt Buckbarrows. Capt B and two friends to dinner , he said I could go with Kirton tomorrow.
Up early and away to the camp. We had an hour and a half in our tank and the crew so nice and kind. We went right down the hillside, a most astonishing drive and wonderful with such and expert driver. And we went over all the rough ground, up tilted on one side and then up the terraces to the top. They showed us how to drive, but directly I pulled the things the engine gave a horrid noise and stopped. The Corporal said "There you've broke her now!" So they set to work on the engine to put it right. Learned how to start and how to go backwards. Kirton had a lesson. Afterwards we named her as she only had a number "The Old Mole" and wrote it on the front with a piece of chalk. Capt Buckbarrow waiting for up and walked back with us. Sewing and writing all the rest of the day.
Cutting out Boulogne frocks. managed to get six out of the rest of the material. Kirton at last discovered a sewing lady and she'll
come in at two o'clock. So that's settled. Sewing all afternoon and evening.
Sewing French girl awfully good and quick and now a chance of getting the dress finished by Thursday. Captain Buckbarrow's last night so he came down to tea with Capt Jones and took Kirton and me to the casino to dinner. We had such a happy little evening. Capt Cockell came up and introduced another of the Tank's Capt Oke who turned out to be in charge of the PT in the camp. So we had a talk. He'd heard of country dances and awfully wanted to see some. Arranged to go up the next light if he'd get the PT instructors together . He to come in and let me know.
Sewing on the frocks. Getting on very wee. Capt Buckbarrow capt Ike to tea and then we went up to the Tanks Camp. Fearfully hot walk and there was never a motor lorry we could jump. Watched the tug of war contests on the parade ground and then had a lively class in the YM Hut. Heaps danced and everyone very happy and keen. The two PT Sgt Majors and Capt Ike very enthusiastic. Walked back to Mers.
Finished Boulogne frocks and packed and them off. Just in time for Pidgy's big show. Kirton and self trying to find a [?] to go up to the rest camps for lunch as the GC promised us a lift to St Valery to see Mayne. The day almost too hot to be bearable. Glaring sun and a sea like brass. No [?] to be found but just caught JD back from somewhere and the Chief said
we might borrow the Vauxhall, so we went up in state. The GC awfully kind to us and the doctor and all the others. We made friends with an Australian Colonel, a friend of Colonel Davis, and we had a long talk. Arranged with the GC to give a class on the grass by moonlight after the lecture. Then the ambulance came and the Doc sat inside and we went by the driver.
A wonderful day, heavy and hot and all the roadside flowers smelling so sweet in the sun. We found Mayne had not yet come to camp. So made friends with the other ladies. Everyone very pleased with country danced and everything going with a swing. Mayne doing well and all reports excellent. Just as we were leaving she rode up and was very cheerful. So we said goodbye and took Dr. Francis three New Zealand officers back to the Rest Camp. Then we had tea and rested on the grass. They have an Australian band and it played so well and everyone sat round listening. Made arrangements for the class. After Dinner we went to the YM tent. Kirton and self told the GC that we wanted to sit back amongst the men and talk to them. So he let us go. Dr Francis gave us a wonderful lecture about Russia and everyone listened spellbound. Afterwards they called for me on the platform and I talked about English villages and told the Australians about old customs and then we lifted the piano outside and everyone made a huge ring round a flat piece of ground and about fifty men volunteered to learn. The moon was like a large round plate and the air quite still. It was a wonderful sight to see them dancing and the hear them laugh and to feel the fun all round. The Sgt Major lent me his whistle and the officers made a little set of their own and danced the Butterfly between the two sets of men. Then we said goodnight and they went to their little tents and the GC found
a motor lorry and came back with us and said good night. Went to see Mr McCowan and he said he would take me down to Harve tomorrow starting at 9:45. Found Dr Eddy there with him and had a little talk. Hadn't seen him since last year.
Everyone was preparing for a moonlight bathe after work, but I had to go and get packed.
Birthday. Up early and finished packing. An awful lot to do as everything had to be stowed away ready for the move to Dieppe. Kirton came and helped. Very fussed as the laundry hadn't returned in spite of Madame's promises, But Julia went and got it away from her still damp and we packed it on top of things. Found SD just finishing the car, so packed in and then the Chief and Dr Eddy came and another American in the front. Saw Dr Irvine on the pavement, so had a talk and Stan Arthur and Mr Holmes were on the balcony and the girls came out and Mr Denning and Sr John Reade. Everyone waved goodbye. Such a lovely day. Saw Mr Alcock in the street in Dieppe, and Miss George, so had a talk while Mr McCowan went to the APM. She said she wanted to work for the Americans fir a little so I introduced her to Dr Eddy and he took down particulars. Had a talk with Mr Alcock and told him my plan of working Treport area in [?] rather than putting in a teacher. Reported work in the Rest Camps and at the tanks. Then away again and a lovely ride to Rouen through the miles of harvest. Wonderful to listen to the Chief to Dr Eddy. We were to leave our Americans at Rouen and then push on to Harve. Rouen so lovely we went slowly through the streets. The Chief said he'd bring out Mr Callan and introduce me - but later came to the car and said Mr Callan invited us all to lunch which was great fun and JD and me very pleased about it.
A jolly lunch all round a little table in the nice hotel by the cathedral. So interesting to hear those men men talking - America and England - and they so nice - and they drank my health because it was my birthday. Arranged with Mr Callan to work Rouen as soon as possible but explained difficulty over the shortage of teachers. He's a Miss Casswell in the YMCA already but din't know her qualifications and would like me to see her. We talked it over and he said he could send her to me at Trouville for a few days if Mr Morrison would agree, so I said I would ask him to write to Mr Callan and arrange for her to come over for a long weekend and see the Trouville work and for me to get to know her. Very good scheme. Then we said goodbye and away we went. Mrs McCowan and self behind and JD driving all through that lovely country - and in Harve by tea time. Found Dunning and Lett and Cromartir and had a nice tea with them and heard their reports. Work going well, but desperately sorry to be without Keen. She left last night. Then Venn came in and the girls went into the valley and Venn and self to the [Catterias] . Such a welcome from Madame. She took and the damp laundry from my case and promised to iron it properly and get it well aired. A long talk with Venn all about everything and everyone and Keen's report from [Remy].
And then we two to dinner at the Normandie and there was welcomed by captain Tuftnell at the next table and had a talk, and saw Mac just alongside at another table and so told him about driving the tank, and Mr Simpson was also there with his Belgian Fiancee. Back to HQ to write up things and for talks with friends and then round with Venn to the Batteries and to bed in the little bed in her room.
Up to Australian camp by early car with Dunning and Venn to the gym and found Lett just beginning her men's morris class and all the PT sergeants working at pyramids. They very pleased to see me and asked for a [guide] on swords, so took them through Kirkby and Rapper and worked them hard. The were going to do Kirkby at their Drill Display in the cinema that evening and had Moore to play so I offered to stay up in the Camp and see them through. Then to the AGBD with Venn and lunch with Col Davis and had a talk to Purvis and one or two of the other old friends. Then to see Colonel Burston and hear about out work in the Depot. He very pleased with things and we had a nice visit and then he took us round to see Judd who'd had a bad fall from the bars and just missed a broken neck. He was sitting up but unable to move and looked very ill. Very pleased to see us and glad of company. We stayed to tea and McKenzie came in and the Padre and Mrs Manning from the YMCA. Judd and self talked shop for a little. After that we went over to AGBD and saw Capt Hutchins, he just back to the line tomorrow. then to the hospital and sat on their beds and talked to them and they very glad to have visitors. Then to the YM and cleaned up a little and over ot the Cinema for the performance. Found the PT
sergeants very upset as one had not been able to turn up and the sword dance would have to be dropped. They very sorry, so I offered to take the sword and make up with them. We tried the effect of me in a blue jersey and it was quite decent. Rushed over to YM to borrow some more hairpins from Miss Murray Pryor. Sword dance went very well, in spite of being so cramped on the stage. An enormous audience. The rest of the show was delightful. [Ward] drill and a Russian Dance and Pyramids and the band played in between. Was stopped by someone in camp and it was our little young Aussie we used to know months ago. He'd been upto the line wounded and in hospital. Now in Depot waiting to go back again. Invited him to Granary tea party. He know quite grown up instead of the boy he looked a year ago. Also saw Moore, the nice one from the Etaples demonstration team.
Back with Venn in the tram and very hungry for supper. Talk with Mr McCowan and also Major Wallace just landed from England. Talk with [Patters] and Miss Taylor and Miss Simpson. she just about to go home again.
Met [?] at 10 o'clock and had a nice long talk. Saw Mrs Shirley and Miss Young just landed and going to Rouen as concert party. Dr Irvine was at lunch on his way to Trouville. All the afternoon with Venn and Miss Taylor the the hospitals. We took baskets of cigarettes and note paper and handkerchiefs and went round the wards. We did the Palais and the Casino. The men so pleased to see people. They wanted handkerchiefs. one buried his nose in
the one I gave him and said "I haven't had a handkerchief for months." And they wanted toothbrushes. When they come in from the line they've generally lost everything and then have to wait till the Red X comes round with toothbrushes and little things like that. There were several who had seen me dance in different places. A few Americans just off the boat but mostly Australians down from the Push. Then round to the Granary very late for tea and found the Sunday party in full swing. None of the original men there, but sever so many of the new demonstration people and Atters was there.
Afterwards we danced downstairs and I taught Parson's Farewell and Argeers. Smith most wonderfully improved and a beautiful dancer. He taught Pop goes the Weasel and it was delightful to hear his Gloucestershire accent. Then they tried to get Hunsdon House smooth enough. The new Australian said he considered Hunsdon House and Heartsease the two best dances. Trunks there and so different from what he used to be. Polished and upright and with such a grip on himself and he used to be our despair, so sloppy in his movements and his braces tied up wit string. Then to supper and a general gathering afterwards in the chauffeurs' room. Capt Herdman and Major McClellan and Col Burston and Capt Kirton came in, He in Harve so he came in to see me and to hear news of Kirton. Very interested in out job and also rather amused. Tired after the last African Campaign and sick of the war. A nice man. Had an interview with Mr Reade. There's
a chance that Keen can get out of her teaching engagement and return to Harve. Her permit is made out for leave and she promised to let us know as soon as possible. Very good news indeed. Mr Reade more than sorry the Dunning has to go home and she has been so first rate form every point of view. Stan Arthur was down so told him about Miss Pryde at Etaples and how she wants to work in Paris and he took all particulars.
round and about all morning went to see Mrs Wishart and had a little chat. Met Brown jsut back again form the line. Talked to [Uncle] and went out shopping with Venn and round to the Granary and a talk with Dunning and Cromartie about various matters. Lunch. Packing and letters all the afternoon. Atter and Venn and Little Dilly to tea in the garden and then Little Dilly drove us to the boat and left us. Discovered that no boat was sailing because of the wind being so rough, so we took a [fiacre] and returned with the luggage to the batteries. Boat might possibly sail at 7:45 tomorrow morning. With Venn to the Lyric to see the big dance. Ordinary dancing and run by the WAAC and the army with a strong committee. The girls have so many tickets to a hostel and invite the men. A most wonderful sight, hundreds dancing and Sergeant [Movatte] from the valley in command. Then Miss Low came in so had a talk to her. A little bunch of WAAC came up to me remembering me from a little class in Abbeville once as they were passing through on their way out to Harve. They said they'd like to learn folk dancing to the winter evenings coming on. They were so nice and friendly. Then supper and back again to the Lyric class. A good attendance. Several officers I hadn't met before , and Colonel Burston
his adjutant and quartermaster. We did Hunsdon House, The Mary an Dorothy and Sellinger's Round, but the floor was so fearfully slippery after the WAAC dance that I gave up in despair and said we would have to turn the evening into an ordinary dance, so we did so. Talked to Patters and Miss Lett over the impossibility of continuing Monday nights with an impossible floor and arranged ways and means and decided to change the night. Captain Millar turned up and he'd heard I would be there. We finished up with a nice little tea party in the kitchen, just the one of us left and Mrs Murphy found some fancy biscuits. Then round to Headquarters and found Mrs Graham still at her desk' She is always there till past midnight getting a little peace and quiet after everyone else has gone away. Put in a request for a car to catch the early boat tomorrow morning