3 February 1918

St Hilda’s Hall,



                My dear Mother,

Very many thanks for your extremely lively letter, and also for the parcel.  It is so nice to see a carraway [sic] seed cake again.  Where did you get it?  It came in very useful for entertaining the S.S and the Fire Captain to a polite cocoa last night.  Both Gwen and Susan coach with Grant Bobs, so we swapped anecdotes concerning him.  He appears to have renewed his stock of jokes, for the things he says to us are quite different from those he told them.  He really is a priceless man.  He was acting Gustavus Adolphus last Saturday, and he kept alluding to “my beery relative in Brandenburg” – “my sister (his wife) doesn’t seem able to teach him sense, so I must do it myself” .  Then he personated the “beery brother-in-law“ – “Why can’t they leave me in peace to drink beer and meditate on theology”.

Muriel’s brother is up this week-end, on his way out to Belgium.  He is an officer in the R.N.R. -is 23, and looks about 17.  However, brothers of that size apparently have their uses, for he brought her a cake, a box of chocolates, and  Yoshio Markino’s1 book on Oxford.  I mean he illustrated, not wrote, it.  We also have an S.C.M. travelling secretary in Hall, an awfully nice girl.  We first years entertained her in two instalments, one to cocoa last night, and the other to tea today.  This afternoon we gave her a very frivolous time, for which I daresay she was grateful.

I have been altering the arrangement of my furniture, with great success.  My cushions are a beautiful casement cloth, and match the pink in the curtains.  My table is simply invaluable.  It is just the right size for cocoa, and I now use it for writing, as it is steadier than my desk.  My china is much admired.  The blue boy has not yet arrived, and I have not had time to look him up.  Oxford shop people always require stirring up.

Take care of our two men.  I hope the kid won’t get dip2.  I am sure the rest will do him good.  All my  other news is in Daddie’s letter.  Much love to the kid.

Your loving daughter,


St Hilda’s Hall,



My dear Daddie,

I enclose Miss Burrows’ receipt for the fees.  It turned out that the £1 rise in the residence fee, and the £2 rise next term are only voluntary, but the term after, beginning in October 1918, the residence fee will be £27 compulsorily, instead of £25.  This being the case, I informed Miss Burrows that I would rather not pay the voluntary rise for this term, so I hold £1 to the good from your cheque.  I propose to keep this for my next month’s allowance, so you must demand the equivalent from Mother.  Also being rather out of pocket, I beg to present a bill for stationery, as follows –


s. d.
Note book  1/- 1. 0
Block of writing paper for essays 1.10
Refill for loose leaf note book 1. 0







As this is nearly equal to a week’s allowance I shall be very obliged for it, as polite cocoas are proving expensive.

So much for finance.  I have had a very strenuous time this week.  That wretched Rags has being leading me such a dance!  Owing to the absence of the hockey captain, Muriel, the vice, is running the hockey show altogether.  I had not played at all till Thursday, and I wanted to go boating that afternoon, but she absolutely bullied me into playing.  I fought hard, and was very refractory, but had to give in in the end.  I played goal behind the first eleven forwards, and as some of these were missing, the other forwards  got a chance, and I had quite a lively time.  The shooting was pretty plentiful, but feeble, and I rather knocked it about.  The result was Marjorie and Gerry were very complimentary, and after dinner Rags broke it to me gently that she wanted me to play goal on Saturday in the match against New College boys’ school.  I nearly died on the spot, and spent an awful two days in anticipation.  The match was a perfect nightmare!  The wretched little boys were so quick and all over the place – you never knew where you were.  But worse followed after half time.  Then I changed places with Georgie Lloyd, the proper goal, who was playing back.  My last state was considerably worse than the first, for not being able to run, I couldn’t do anything against those demons of small boys.  I was never so thankful in my life as when the whistle went for time, for I simply hadn’t an ounce more energy or breath.  Never again, thank you!

Today Bronwen and I had a nice walk through North Oxford and up the Woodstock Road for a little way, and then across the river, or rather rivers, for these were several.  We happened upon a large areodrome, and while we sat on a wall and eat our lunch, several areoplanes performed for our benefit.  We saw one bus come to earth, and it did bump as it  touched the ground.  I had never actually seen one land before.

I have no time for any more, as the supper gong will go in a minute, and that’s the end of Sunday, as far as spare time is concerned,

Your loving daughter,



1Yoshio Markino’s book on Oxford, ‘Oxford from Within’ with his illustrations and text by Hugh de Selincourt

2‘dip’ – diphtheria.

Next letter to be posted on12 February 2014


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