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Monday 10 to Sunday 16 June 1918


Monday 10 to Sunday 16 June 1918

The marriage of Pat Armstrong’s former paramour Blanche Somerset to the Earl of St Germans on 11 June 1918 was undoubtedly the society event of the year. The wedding was held in the beautiful Church of St Margaret on the grounds of Westminster Abbey in London, and the ceremony was performed by the Bishop of Gloucester. The church was decorated with palms, variegated maple and white flowers in simple arrangements. The bride wore a gown of a shimmering cloth of silver with a square-cut neck and long fitting sleeves, a train of old Brussels lace and likewise a veil of old Brussels lace arranged with a frill around her face and fastened with a narrow wreath and clusters of orange blossom. By her own special wish, she wore no jewellery or ornaments of any kind, nor did she carry a bouquet. She was attended by six bridesmaids in pale yellow gowns and small transparent hats of black lace, each girl carrying a bouquet of tiger lilies. Large crowds gathered outside the church to watch the arrival of the bride and the many distinguished guests, who included Princess Arthur of Connaught (granddaughter of King Edward VII), Marquess and Marchioness of Carisbrooke and numerous Earls and Countesses. After the service a small reception was held at 11 Portman Square, from whence the couple left for Walmer Castle in Deal on the Kentish coast for their honeymoon.

Monday 10 June

jess__diary_cameoHad breakfast in bed, & then went out to shop, & got a lot of things done. When we got in, we found that Ione had arrived. I finished making my hat, put a veil on Muz’s. We went out for dinner, & then telephoned & made plans for tomorrow, & bed about 10-30.

Tuesday 11 June

jess__diary_cameoBlanchie’s wedding. We had breakfast in bed, & then all went out to shop together, then had lunch, & changed for Blanchie & John’s wedding. Ione came & stood outside as she hadn’t got clothes. She had six bridesmaids, dressed in yellow, & they looked very nice. It was a very big wedding, & St Margaret’s1 was packed. We went on to the reception at 11 Portman Square, but didn’t stay very long, & met Ione at Selfridge’s corner, & went to meet Algie & Kitty at the Piccadilly, & came in for the end of the Irish Fusilier concert, & saw Algie’s sisters2 & Mrs Jewdwine, then had tea with them at Jules hotel, then met Reenie at her club at six thirty, & could only stay with her till seven, she looked awfully sick, with a bad throat & gland. Then we went on to Leila, & then got back for dinner. We were rather tired, as we had fitted so much in to the time. We packed our things as we leave tomorrow.

Page from Jess Armstrong’s album containing an invitation to Blanche Somerset’s wedding and a related press cutting

Blanchie’s wedding

Press cutting from Jess Armstrong’s album bearing a photograph of Blanche Somerset’s bridesmaids

The bridesmaids

Wednesday 12 June

jess__diary_cameoHad breakfast in bed, & then we all went out early & took Ione to Pierrette3 to get a coat & skirt made, of some very pretty grey stuff we found for her. Then took her on to Charmon4 & ordered her wedding dress, two evening dresses & going away dress, & Muz & I ordered an evening dress each! It was splendid getting so much in together. We stayed with her till late, as there was so much to settle. Had dinner & then came back & looked at papers, & Muz wrote letters. Went to bed at about 10-30. We didn’t leave today, as Maggy Proby wired to say she was coming Friday instead of Thursday.

Thursday 13 June

jess__diary_cameoWe went to Charmon about Muz’s dress for Ione’s wedding, then went to Selfridges to get things for Ione. After lunch Ione went off alone, & Muz & I went to Pierrette about my coat & skirt, then went to the Hotel, & got the luggage etc, & went to Paddington to catch the five train, & met Ione there. We didn’t get to Malvern till after nine, & had to get a taxi out, as Baker wasn’t there. Heppie & Tom had come in to meet us by another train, as the wire was wrong. Had dinner & talked, & went to bed at about twelve. All the caterpillars except three have turned into chrysalises.

Caricature of Harry Gordon Selfridge


Friday 14 June

jess__diary_cameoUnpacked & tidied things away all morning, & then picked branches etc. for the room. Lady Maggie came at about 3-30, she came from Droitwich by train, & motored out. We sat in the garden, & afterwards she & Muz sat out, & talked about the wedding etc: She is going to lend us her house for a week for the wedding. She left at about six. Then Muz, Tom & I walked up to Bakers, to leave the bike, & we sat & talked to them for a bit.

Saturday 15 June

jess__diary_cameoDid washing, tidied, did some mending. Tom went up to Bakers to get the bike, & I met her at the corner, & we rode nearly in to Malvern, to the Great Western Station, & then went to the dressmaker on the way back, & left the brown dressingown [sic] to be made. Then I went to the post, & after tea Muz & I walked to the Midland Station, to meet Heppie, as she had gone in to Malvern to shop. Wrote letters after dinner, & went to bed at about ten.

Sunday 16 June

jess__diary_cameoMuz & Tom went to church, & I read the caterpillar book, that came this morning. Then did some sewing for Ione, nightcaps & breeches, then she had no more ready. After lunch Tom went to meet Mike, & he & Ian Stuart, & another boy came for tea, & Tom went some of the way back with them on her bike, & Muz & I went for a short walk, & caught a very pretty moth. It was very cold all day. Wrote letters. Bed at 10-30. Reenie had an operation for glands & tonsils yesterday.



  1. The Church of St Margaret, Westminster Abbey, London
  2. Marguerite ‘Rita’ Leatham and Gertrude ‘Dot’ Rattray, sisters of Algie Neil
  3. Pierrette Modes Ltd., 120 New Bond Street, London
  4. Court Dressmaker Miss Nesta Charmon of 4 Manchester Street, London W; court dressmakers specialised in supplying presentation gowns, coronation robes, court dresses and bridal trousseaux

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