The Grove School
Oct 4th 1914
My dear Father
I hope Mother got my postcard all right this morning; I ought to have written before I know, but I hadn’t got a pencil and Miss Fletcher was always so busy I never liked to bother her by asking her to fetch things for me. It was very dull until Eileen came and joined me then it was much more cheerful. I had the usual cold on the chest, I think it was a touch of bronchitis as I felt rather “wheezy”! Diary of the proceedings: Monday evening went to bed early, Tuesday in bed all day, read one book; Wednesday in bed all day, read two books; Thursday in bed, got up for an hour and sat by the fire, read two books (total, five in three days!!!!); Friday, Eileen joined me after lunch, we sat up for two hours and had tea up; Saturday we got up at two and had tea up again; Eileen’s father came to see her, lucky beggar, and he had tea with us. We had meant to stay up till 7 or 8, but Miss Fletcher gave us meat for lunch and it gave me indigestion so I went to bed about 5.30 and Eileen soon followed me. We did think it was rotten not being up for Officers’ Dinner, especially since we could hear the dancing and the singing and cheering and everything so well from my room. Poor Miss Fletcher she was busy yesterday, we said it would be a wonder if we got any of our meals! However she remembered them all and did everything for us as usual, except that we made our beds and when I had indigestion she hadn’t a second to spare, but sent Miss Grierson instead with oil of peppermint etc. We thought we wouldn’t be done out of all the fun so we made up a glorious fire and talked till twelve! Eileen was fearfully proud of herself because she had some of the dinner while I only had Benger’s & Plasmon biscuits and a few grapes, in fact she was so high and mighty over it that we nearly squabbled! Today we got up at ten and came downstairs and we’ve been out in the garden for ten minutes in the sun so are very pleased with ourselves. Eileen is going home tomorrow the lucky wretch, so I retaliate and say I am going to work tomorrow, I do hope I shall though. Miss Fletcher has some funny stuff for coughs; it is called I think antphlegistine (don’t know how to spell it, I’m sure) and it is a sort of pink paste with a smell like toothpaste, and she spreads it all over your chest with a knife and then [?] hard to it and it won’t even wash off, but it all disappears in a day or two; it is very good stuff for all chest trouble; Miss Fletcher said it saved her little brother’s life when he had pleurisy, Eileen and I certainly found it good. I would advise Mother to try it if she dares be so naughty as to get a cold this winter. We also inhale carbolic and you should just see how funny we look with blankets over our heads puffing away at our old jugs; you really would laugh.
Thank you so much for the chocolate, we enjoyed it awfully.
I had no idea Miss Pollard was coming to stay with you, you never said anything about it. I expect you will enjoy having her. Please give her my love.
How exciting having Belgian refugees at Evesham. Miss Lacey came in at lunch and told us that there were some wounded soldiers come to the Great Northern Hospital and she was going to send them some bottles of wine left over from last night and would anyone like to take them. Of course nearly all the room got up and wanted to go, but in the end I think Doreen and Dorothy took them.
Tell Ethel, please don’t send the umbrella because I made an awful hash about all those dear umbrellas and Kath and I had to make out a scheme. You know I took up Ethel’s by mistake for Kath’s to begin with? Well as Kath did not come to meet me at Paddington, she told me to bring it along that weekend. Well like an ass I forgot! So we decided that I shall keep Ethel’s (I only use one once in a blue moon, Det, so cheer up, I’ll bring it back safe and sound at Christmas). Kath intended buying a cheap one anyway so she will use that till Christmas, and Det can be a swell and use mine for pottering and Kath’s on swell occasions. Have you fathomed it?
Miss Lacey believes in the Russians I think. Lot of people here believe it and everyone seems to have got some story about them. I believe it still quite firmly and you know George does, don’t you? He had heard it through his Brigade Office.
Miss Jorgensen came back from Denmark nearly a fortnight ago; I think it was jolly brave of her to come across the North Sea, I shouldn’t like to; Ethel Chubb also came back about the same time. Miss Osterby (pronounced Oosterbu), a new viginti, was in France when war broke out; she settled to go home to Denmark and then heard through someone of The Grove, changed her plans suddenly and came her after all. The ship she had booked to go back home in was blown up in the North Sea! Wasn’t it an escape?
I had a Field Service Postcard from Arthur the other day. You can imagine I showed it round with pride!
Love to all from your affectionate daughter
Juliet E Sladden
PS – This letter is very soppy but that is the result of living on Benger’s and soup and hot milk for days, ugh!!!