1917 – December 7

Paton of the Y.M.C.A., who we remember at Swanwick, arrived on Tuesday night and stays with us till Sunday.

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1917 – December 4

Daisie had a tennis party on Saturday and so it poured all day, glad to have the dust laid anyway. What does one do when one retires after all this busy life – is it possible to sit still and do nothing? In addition to my Brigade Command I also Command this enormous station, then there is my beloved Soldiers’ Home, then Masonry, I belong to the Craft Lodge, the Mark and Ark, and the Chapter, then I belong to the C.E.M.S. and have to read papers and lecture, then I have the side shows for “Our Day” Dec. 12th. Mrs. Jarley’s Waxworks*, Mock Picture Gallery, Cocoanut Shies, Fortune-telling. It can only be done by decentralisation and I am A1. at that I believe.

* Mrs. Jarley was a character in Dickens’ Old Curiosity Shop, who exhibited ‘live waxworks’, that is, actors dressed to look as wax models. The novelty was that each was ‘commanded’ to come to life. This discussion here explains how the performance became quite standard in such events as “Our Day”, a charity fundraising day.

1917 – November 29

It all sounds very gay, but it is not gay. These dinner-parties are “functions”, necessary and regrettable. I was in Cherat all day yesterday, dinner party at night. To-day we dine with the Chief Commissioner. Friday we have another dinner-party, Saturday Tennis party, mean-time Daisie has endless Red X work and the Mothers’ Union and the ‘Our Day’ work. I am to be allowed at last to wear the American War Medal I got from General Chaffee in China 1900*. Terribly shocked to hear of the death of Orlando Gunning, so sad for his wife and children, and such a good fellow and fine soldier.

* awarded in the Boxer Rebellion. If anyone has any details about what type of medal this would have been likely to be, I would be delighted to hear.

1917 – November 9

I begin the 53rd year of my life and my 21st year with my sweet companion, Daisie, I should have liked a quiet wedding evening at home, but had to go to a big Durbar at Sir George Roos-Keppel‘s so the celebration was rather spoilt, but we had our bottle of champagne last night and drank to the health of the two boys at home. Miss Key arrived last night to help Daisie look after Susanna, and be also an unpaid companion to her.

1917 – November 4

The Soldiers’ Home interests me vastly, and is quite a success. It really is cold now. Everything is abnormally quiet. Finances are really looking quite cheerful with my large pay and with Insurance Policies ripening and dropping in at the rate of £225 a year. Some day we really shall be clear of debt and that will indeed be a red letter day!