While Europe was holding its breath as the wheels of war began their inevitable turn, the beautiful summer weather continued in England to the delight of brides and holiday makers. No fewer than two of Jess Armstrong’s Folkestone friends, Ruth Leney and Eleanor Hare, tied the knot. The highlight of the week was the annual cricket match between Eton College and Harrow School at Lord’s Cricket Ground in St John’s Wood, London. During its two days, the match, an important society event, was attended by over 38,000 spectators. Pat travelled from Netheravon to join the family for the occasion. Also in attendance were the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort from Badminton House, whom Pat had befriended through a fellow 10th Hussar, Maurice de Tuyll, the Duchess’s son from an earlier marriage. Pat’s attempts to interest his mother in the Kedington property were bearing some fruit as Mrs Armstrong had made up her mind to contact the auctioneer. However, she may have done so just to humour her son, for no more is heard of the house.
Monday 6 July
Did the flowers, & then did some washing & mending. After lunch, Muz & Ione went out in the car, to try a new chauffeur. I went down the town, to get some stuff for my hat, & then worked at the tulle hat, & nearly finished it. I read for a little while before dinner, & then went to bed at about ten.
Tuesday 7 July
A wedding at Saltwood
Did the flowers, then did some sewing, & then went down the town with Muz & paid some bills. After lunch Muz went out in the car, & had another lesson. I finished making the black tulle hat, to wear at the wedding tomorrow. Capt Welch came in, & had dinner at seven, & went back to Hythe at about eight. After dinner we got a wire from Dot, to say that Mrs Pak is going to have the operation on Thursday.
Wednesday 8 July It rained nearly all morning. Muz & I went down the town, then went round, to the car. Then we went off to Ruth Leney & Captain Grubb’s wedding, over at Saltwood. It cleared up in the afternoon, & was lovely & warm. The Bridesmaids had yellow & blue bouquets, & white dresses. We looked at the presents & then came home. Then Muz went round to see Mrs Lucas, & I wrote letters. Ione packed, as she is going away tomorrow.
Thursday 9 July
Ione went away by the 9-15, she & Pat are dancing with the Adamsons in London tonight. I went down the town & spent the morning going up & down, selling tickets for the Cricket Ball. I sold a lot. After lunch Muz & I went round to see the Hares. She showed us her wedding dress, & some of her trousseau. Then we went to see Miss Carson, but she was away. We went down the town. Then we packed, & went to bed at about 11-30.
Friday 10 July
Eton & Harrow. Muz & I went up to London by the 9-15 train. The taxi didn’t come for us, so we very nearly missed it. We met Pat, Ione & Harry at Lords. It was a roastingly hot day. Ione & Pat went & lunched with Colonel Tempest-Hicks, & Ione had tea with the Romes, & Pat with the Beauforts. Then we four went to the theatre “The Belle of Bond Street” it was very funny. Then we went on to supper, at the Savoy, it was great fun, we didn’t get back till after one.
A day of entertainment
Saturday 11 July
The Duchess of Beaufort and her children at Badminton House
Eton & Harrow. Harry came round to the Hotel, & then we all went off to Lords. Muz & I sat on the Hicks’ coach some of the time, & Pat & Ione lunched with them, Muz & I lunched with the Guards with Acelyn [?] Percival, & had tea with the Hickses. It was very hot, but we didn’t walk about as much. Pat introduced us to Beauforts. Ione went down to Camberley by the five train, to stay with Aileen Luker. Pat goes down too, to stay with the Montgomeries. We came down by the 7-15. Captain Welch came & saw us off at the station. Major Tufton & Harry came down in the same train, but not in our carriage. They are going to Hothfield. When we got back we went out to see the battle ships all lit up. Then we came back & changed, & went up to the dance! There were a huge crowd of people there. I hardly danced at all, we just talked & watched the people, it was far more amusing! Evelyn was there, she is just back from her honeymoon, they brought us back in their car. Miss Hare was married today, to Mr Twist. Eton won the match today, it was very close.
Sunday 12 July
Did not go to church, as we got up rather late, & then I had to wash & mend some of my things. Muz, Tom & I went out & sat on the front. It was awfully hot. After lunch I wrote letters, & then went out to the band. Roger & Mr O’Donivan sat with us, & then Mr Wright & Mr Davison came out. When we got back Major & Mrs Pierce, & Mr & Miss Alexander were here they had motored over from Dover. Roger & Mr O’Donivan went before tea, & when the Pierces went, Mr Davison took us up to the Barracks to see the polo. They played eight men on four ponies, bare backed! It was awfully funny. Two of the Warwicks were playing too. Roger introduced us to Captain Carbery, & he showed us the ante room. Mr Penrose, Mr Wright, Mr O’Donivan, Mr Davison, Mr Massey-Westrop, & two Warwicks were playing, Mr Davison came back & had supper with us, & we just talked. He went at eleven, but we didn’t go to bed till after twelve.