Arrived London rain and fog – reported War Office and India Office. We are all to go out in the Moldavia and I am to command the Jhelum Brigade. There is trouble in India. Susanna comes with us, but it is hard luck I can’t see more of my two dear sons.
Beautiful warm clear night and very smooth crossing leaving 12 midnight with all lights out to avoid sub-marines which are very active round Havre and have sunk a good many ships.
No boat sails to-day so I must stay over till to-morrow which gives Daisie time to pack.
So I am not to get an English Brigade after all – a very great disappointment, but I have so much in life to thank God for and He knows that, I am as happy as ever.
The War Office offered me a Brigade, then they had to write to the India Office. Then the India Office woke up. And when people wake up they always say “No” – so did the India Office. So I am to go to India, what as, I do not know. The weather is splendid now but cold. On Thursday I had a trip on the river steamer with Germaine, violets, primroses and daffodils out. On Wednesday Mass for the Allies at the Cathedral. Mass was beautiful though pagan – might have been an old Roman ceremony in the days of Julius Caesar. But the sermon – oh the sermon – an hour of poor political twaddle from a Cardinal and not a word of religion or of anything spiritual just “Down with the Germans”. “They must be exterminated – they began the War!” and so on and so on ad nauseam for 1 hour! Ye gods! Never again, thank you.
Goodbye to Germaine and Madame Delaporte and goodbye to Rouen. I left by the evening express and left my Barnes behind lamenting – he was a good fellow. Arrived Havre and stayed with Daisie.
The weather keeps fine and yesterday was sun all day. Things go well at the front though we lose heavily, our advance to North of the La Bassée is very important and helps us to get Lille which we want badly. A family walk in the country round St. Aigran at the rate of 1 mile an hour, very tiring. Mother Delaporte, her son and his wife and their 3 children and 2 nurses and Germaine and myself – such a row of us, we quite obliterated the landscape. Dollie has now gone to work with Daisie in No. 12 French hospital under Mrs. Gardner at Havre.
We seem to have done very well at the front at Neuve Chapelle N. of La Bassée, a very important move which almost turns the impregnable La Bassée and tends to release Lille which we want very much. [pencilled note in margin: “Failure”] I went over to Sotteville to see some of the trains of German prisoners going through – they seem well fed well clothed and delighted to be prisoners – getting quite warm and springlike, walked with Fernie, strawberries and Veronica out.
Presented Mlle. Germaine with a watch which delighted her. It is hard to be a school-mistress without a watch. Daisie writes they have fresh wounded in the hospital. War news good to-day, an advance by La Bassée and 1000 prisoners, and 1 Submarine sunk, at sea. I am rather worried at getting no news from the War Office. A long walk with Mlle Germaine, through the Forêt Verte to Houpville and back through Maromme by tram, about 15 kilometres.