The Grove School
Sunday Oct 17th /15
My dear Mother
Thanks for your letter which I got last night.
I thought you would be rather surprised to hear that we saw and heard a Zeppelin. At least the annoying part is I didn’t see it. Since it was to be seen and all I very much wish I had; some people did. It was on Wednesday night, and I had just turned off bed-wards at 20 to 10, and was standing in Wilks’ room talking, when suddenly I heard a bang – not very loud – but still the thought of Zeppelins did stray across my mind, but not seriously so I didn’t say anything. Then about a minute after came a loud report of a gun going off quite near – opinions are divided as to whether it really was “our gun”, it hardly seemed quite loud enough. Then there were bangs and rattles of other guns, and one or two flashes of bombs dropping a few miles away. Wilks and I both looked at each other and said “Zepps”, and I said we ought to blow out the candle, and did so, and wend our way downstairs. On the stairs we collided with Miss Fletcher and Miss Lacey, just come up to fetch people down into the common-room. By the time we all got there Miss Lacey said there was no danger, as it was going right away from us, but she wouldn’t let us go to the windows to see if we could see anything. So there we all sat for about ten minutes, while she and Miss Fletcher went up on to the roof, and when they had made sure it had quite gone they sent us all back to bed again. The whole proceeding only lasted 20 minutes! What annoyed me though was this. At 11.15 and at 12 I heard guns again, but so distant that I knew we shouldn’t be roused again unless they came nearer. Miss Jorgensen and Miss Jupp and Miss Lacey were walking about, but I didn’t hear any of the other prefects, so it didn’t strike me to get out of bed and see what was to be seen. But next morning I discovered that Joyce and Sylvia had been up on the roof with Miss Lacey and the others, watching the bombs dropping over Woolwich and Croydon. I do so wish I had gone up there too.
I feel very disappointed to think that I shan’t see my niece yet. Is she really like me? Or was it only “imagination”?
Oh, we’ve had such a week of it. Very good fun, but I am awfully glad to think that it is nearly all over. There are about eight or ten OGs staying the weekend, but they will go tomorrow I expect. Then there is one more performance of the play on Wednesday, but that won’t be anything like so strenuous as yesterday and Friday. I shall have a little more time after that, thank goodness. You seem to be pretty much on the go, too, as per usual.
I had a pc from Cyril the day he was off for the front again. How funny that he should have run across Lintott.
No, I don’t have to do Miss Lacey’s room. Miss Desmet, one of the vigintis, does it. Miss Grierson is up here for the weekend. I have been so awfully busy though that I’ve hardly spoken to her.
We have had it very much milder lately, and it has been rather foggy in the evenings, which upsets any Zeppelin’s plan of action.
I had a narrow escape this morning! I had just gone down the stairs into the kitchen, when a large lump of ceiling fell down behind me! Three seconds before and it would have been landed on my head which wouldn’t have been very nice.
I wonder what Mary will do if she is not going up to London after all. Is she coming to Badsey for Xmas I wonder?
Has anything more been heard about Cecil Crane? And how are the three poor scarlet-fever victims?
I hope you will get a good sum on the flag day.
With much love, your affectionate daughter
Juliet E Sladden