The Grove School
Sunday May 9th /15
Calamities pour in form every side! We have two cases of German measles, not much in itself but the sad thing is that one of them is Miss Toller, a viginti, who does about eight or nine hours housework a day. We were short-handed anyway and now it is going to be unspeakable. John (the odd boy) has enlisted and we are unable to get anyone to replace him at once; Mrs Johnstone’s husband has strained his heart and has been invalided home and Miss Lacey has let her go of course to be with him until he is well again, which won’t be for a long time yet; Miss van Bourke is leaving this week to go back to Holland. Miss Lacey is far from well and can only by a great struggle get through about three-quarters of her work; then consider that these two people in the isolation cottage mean extra work, and you will see what a plight we are in. Oh and I forgot to mention that one of the charwomen, Mrs Lambert, has been ill and not back at all yet this term, and the other, Mrs Perkis, says that she can’t manage to come three times a day any longer, as she is completely done up by the evening. I hope Miss Lacey will be able to get someone new soon, it is almost impossible to get everything done at present.
Joyce Ashby has come back. Isn’t it dreadful? Her brother-in-law has been killed, Major Vaughan was his name. Her sister and he had only been married barely two years, poor thing, I am very sorry for her. I am very glad to see that they have not gone into proper mourning, only dark blues and greys and white blouses with black ties, that sort of thing; I think a great many people are doing the same in cases of war deaths, it is very sensible I think.
Did you notice the other day in the Casualty Lists, Friday I think, that a Lieutenant H E Sladden, Yorkshire Light Infantry, had been wounded? I wonder if he is a distant cousin. I came into the common room and Miss Lacey and Miss Fletcher were reading the paper, and Miss Lacey asked me what my brother’s name was, and was relieved when I said George, because she had thought it was he.
I want to know if it would be awful cheek for me to write to Aunt Fanny later on in the term and ask her if she would have me there for the weekend, from Saturday till Sunday night? My timetable fits in quite decently this term for getting off for a weekend. By the ABC I could get down there by lunchtime on a Saturday and could take an 8.55 back to Waterloo on Monday morning which would land me up here in time for my first class at eleven, but of course trains are all so peculiar nowadays that I should probably have to get back on Sunday night, but still it would be worth it. I calculated that it would only take about two hours and a quarter to get there, and the fare is nothing very outrageous for my pocket. I should so love to see Aunt Fanny again, I haven’t seen her for a long time, only would it not be the thing to ask her?
Dorothy Greig told me the other day that Miss Laycock was telling her all about the break-up of Kathleen’s school at Chelsea, for it appears that Miss Laycock knows the people with whom Miss Crosby had been staying very well, and of course Miss Crosby had told them all about it.
We had quite a bad thunderstorm on Thursday night, but fortunately it hasn’t affected the weather at all except to remove the closeness, which is nice.
With much love, your affectionate daughter
Juliet E Sladden