Yesterday we had news of the great Naval Battle off Jutland with the Germans – a victory for us, but dearly paid for. Our losses in ships and men were very large, probably larger than the Germans, but they bolted home and left us masters of the Sea, so they can hardly claim it, but they will, as a victory. We had thorough bad luck throughout. Then we have news of the most dramatic incident in the War, the sinking of The Hampshire with Lord Kitchener and Staff on board en route for Russia – no survivors. It is sad. Kitchener is not irreplaceable, but it is a great feather in the German cap.
Keep your tails up! We lost a Battleship yesterday, mined in the Mediterranean, a submarine the day before, and to-day we get news (long expected as far as I am concerned) of Townshend surrender to the Turks at Kut el Amara with 9000 men! 9000 men doesn’t matter tuppence and very few white, but the whole thing will be greatly magnified and be a heavy blow to our prestige in the East, it may even bring the Afghans down on top of us, as they have long been hanging on the brink – however, it’s all God’s will and certainly our nation with its pre-war concentration on trade and rubbish, and utter neglect of its army, does not deserve to win this war.
Daisie left by the 5 p.m. express for Paris, where she will meet Dollie [one of Daisie’s two sisters]. There is a chance of her getting hospital work here at last with a Mrs. Gardner – on Dec. 28th. Am dining to-night with Fernie where I shall meet Mrs. G. and talk it over. It has been a rainy week. The war drags on, the only bright spot being our sinking of the small but good German squadron off the Falkland Islands. One has hardly any hopes of anything dramatic It is just a question of who fires first. There is no doubt of eventual victory for us but when? I have always said the active war would end on May 15th, we shall see.