16 February 1920

St Hilda’s Hall,



                My dear Mother,

Many thanks for your letter, the note, and the parcel.  The shortbread was greeted with loud grunts of approval!  I have packed a large parcel to send home tomorrow.  I shall want back one pair of pyjamas, and all the combs, blouses and stockings in due course.

I am sorry to hear about Max’s shoulder.  However, I can’t say I was surprised!  It seems to be the usual thing to do in Rugger.  Daddie and Billy Stanton did just the same.  I’m glad it wasn’t a bad fracture.  It’s really a shame the way Max’s footer has been messed up for him this year.  Please give the boy my love and thank him for his letter, which arrived this morning.

Isn’t it good about Ethel’s baby?  They both wanted a boy.  Edgar wrote to me almost immediately.  Edgar Maurice was born on Saturday and I heard on Monday – born on Edgar’s birthday!  Edgar was very noble in writing this news, for Gwen heard about the same time.  By the way, what does one give boy babies?  I hope they are going to call him Maurice.

I am sorry the dress was such a blow!  It is very pretty and arrived just at the right time, for the S.C.M. dance is on Tuesday.  By the way have you a vest such as Doris lent me before?  It is quite diaphanous above the waiste, though with sleeves!  If you have anything suitable, it must be low and with very thin should straps – please send it along!  Otherwise I will have to resort to Doris again!

Joyce and I went shooting last Tuesday – on a 25 yds miniature range.  It was great fun.  We each scored a bull’s eye.  Mine was a better one than Joyce’s, but her total score was higher than mine.  It is a great game – something else for us to rival each other in!  A charming sergeant in the Oxon and Bucks instructs us, and seemed to take great pleasure in lying flat on his tummy and peering into Nora Inship’s face!

On Wednesday we had a glorious byke ride to Wood Eaton in search of primroses.  We found six!

On Thursday night we went to see O.U.D.S. in “the Dynasts” with Doris Coleman as chaperone.  It was an awfully good show, especially the uniforms.  The President, Colbourne of Oriel, played Nelson – superbly!  Wellington and Napoleon were also good.  We were in the back row of the circle, and so had the benefits of hearing the conversation of various members of the caste who crept in to watch in between their calls.  We heard some priceless tit-bits!  Hardy1 himself was there on the first night, but incognito!

The next day Gilbert came to tea and told us all about the caste and behind the scenes.

Please give my love to Daddie and Max,

Your loving daughter,


1Thomas Hardy wrote his epic drama between 1903 and 1908.

The next letter will be posted on 22 February 2017.