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Monday 5 to Sunday 11 April 1915

Monday 5 to Sunday 11 April 1915


Monday 5 to Sunday 11 April 1915

An important aspect of war work on the home front was fundraising. In addition to national campaigns such as the National Relief Fund or the Red Cross, local committees and individuals across the country organised fundraising events to collect money for hospitals, soldiers’ convalescent homes, sick and wounded horses and other good causes. Fundraising efforts took myriad forms: concerts, theatrical matinees, bazaars and dances, collection boxes on restaurant tables, sales of flags and patriotic postcards, or simple door-to-door collections, often done by young children. In Folkestone, some of the more unusual causes for which funds were collected included card and board games for soldiers in the trenches, spices and sweetmeats for the Indian soldiers, and khaki-coloured handkerchiefs for soldiers at the front. At Trinity Crescent, Jess Armstrong decided to set up a fund of her own although an attack of measles put a temporary halt to her plans.

Monday 5 April

jess__diary_cameo Went down to the club. Then Muz, Ione, Mrs Kirwan & Kathleen went over to lunch with the Plumptres. I didn’t go, as I got back from the club too late. After lunch I wrote letters all afternoon. They got back for tea but the Kirwans went back to the Hotel to rest. I lay down after tea, as I was awfully tired, & had a headache [and] a tummy ache. Then the Kirwans called for us in their car, & we went up to the Grand to dine with Madame de Marotte & Mr Murray-Smith . […] The dance went on till one, & was great fun. I went over to the Metropole for a few minutes in the middle with Mr Murray-Smith. Went to bed at 2-30.

A dance at the Grand

A dance at the Grand

Tuesday 6 April

jess__diary_cameo Went down to the club, & then went down the town to try & sell some tickets for a concert tomorrow. Then I wrote two notes about them, & took them round. After lunch Muz & Heppie went round to the house, & the Kirwans came here, & stayed till about six. Kathleen helped me to write out a postcard, to start a 1/- fund to get pyjamas for the wounded at the Front.[…]

"Women Are Working Day & Night to Win the War"

“Women Are Working Day & Night to Win the War”

pat_diary_cameoLe Nieppe. Rode with Babe at 10 o’c went out with the Gen & Col Home & rode down through Wizernes & got back about 1 o’c. Rained in the afternoon. Went for a short ride on Melody then walked down to Staple in the evening.

Wednesday 7 April

jess__diary_cameo Went down to the club, then the Kirwans were here when I got back, & they started off at about twelve, to motor back to Camberley. Had a slack day, & went to bed at about 10-30.

pat_diary_cameoLe Nieppe. Rode with Babe through Staple & Zuytpeene. Left again about 10 45 & rode towards Arques to see Inniskillings but heard that they had gone to Molinghem. Had lunch with them & got back about 5 o’c. Then walked to Staple. Nice morning but rained hard in the afternoon.

Thursday 8 April

De Lisle and Hardress Lloyd

De Lisle and Hardress Lloyd

jess__diary_cameo Went down to the club. Then went down the town with Muz. After lunch went round to the house with Ione, & then went down the town. We met Mr Murray-Smith , & brought him back for tea. Muz didn’t come in, as she was having her hair brushed. We brought two of the baby bunnies in. He wants us to go to the theatre with him tomorrow night. Went to the club at 7-30, Mrs Murray & Mrs Olive were there, & Miss Hamilton came with Mrs Olive. Afterwards sat & talked to Muz till about eleven.

pat_diary_cameoLe Nieppe. Rode with Bob. Rained when we were out. Gen & Hardress settled to go home on Sat. Went for a long ride with the General in the afternoon out towards the fortifications of Dunkerque. Asked him to take me home but he wouldn’t.

Friday 9 April

jess__diary_cameo Went down to the Club, then went out with Mary. Ronald & Mr Murray-Smith came for tea, & afterwards we went up to the Tango tea, & had about two dances, & then went & sat in the “Monkey House” .1 We came back here at about six, & I gave Duskey her dinner, & then changed, & we went up to the Grand to dine with Mr Murray-Smith & then went on to the theatre. Ronald came too. “From Monte Carlo to Japan” it was very good. […]

pat_diary_cameoLe Nieppe. Rode before breakfast with Babe. Then rode over to La Belle Hotesse with the General & tried to find Philip. Heavy hail storm. We sheltered in a farm & got back about 1 o’c.

Saturday 10 April

Mary Stubbs

Mary Stubbs

jess__diary_cameoWent down the town with Muz, & brought the Stubbses some flowers, & talked to Mrs Leney & Ruth for a few minutes. Then went down to the Harbour, to meet the General & Captain Hardress Lloyd coming back on leave. Pat thought he might have been able to get back. Muz talked to Mr Romney2 about the new passes. Then went to wards on our way back. Tom is still in bed with earache, & after lunch I darned stockings in her room. Mary & an aunt & Mr Murray-Smith came for tea, but I didn’t go down, I had an awful headache, so went to bed at about seven. My temperature was 102. Ione went to the dance. I was longing to go. We had promised Mr Murray-Smith & Ronald that we would. […]

pat_diary_cameoLe Nieppe. The Gen & Hardress went home. Rode with the Babe. Rode S— into St Omer to get hair cut but shop was full so came out again. Went to Horse show at Ecke given by 1st Bde. Got back about 6 o’c & went for a walk.

Sunday 11 April

jess__diary_cameo Markie came in yesterday, & stayed with us for a little while. He has been in Hospital with glands. I stayed in bed all day, with measles, temperature 102. Muz & Ione were going in to Dover to take Markie for a run, but they punctured twice, & hadn’t another wheel, so had to come back. They went up & had tea at the Grand with Mr Murray-Smith & Ronald. Mr Taylor & Mr Mellor were there too. Ronald & Mr M.S. came to dine, & they went up to the Grand afterwards, & danced. Mr Taylor was there. There were hardly any girls. They got back at about eleven.

pat_diary_cameoLe Nieppe. Glorious day. Stayed in bed late. Then rode the Palfrey who was very troublesome. Left here about 12.30 in Percy’s car with him Cameron & Mouse. Went up to Gen Briggs’s Hd Qrs then on to Calais where we had tea then dropped Cameron at Boulogne & back here about 6.30. Clem & Tagart came to dinner.

pat-cameoLetter from Pat Armstrong to Mrs Armstrong

Sunday April 11.

My dear wee Mus.

I got a grand long letter from you to-night of the 9th. Yes! it was odd not getting letters for so many days but I think I have got them all now. I’m glad you got the assegais alright. Wicked weapons aren’t they. I got them from a funny old man at “Wipers” . I suppose he had stolen them out of some house. But I thought they would be nice to hang up in the house. They are African things. Most of the native tribes use them. Where those actual ones came from I can’t say. But they are only very ordinary ones. It’s a pity about the shells. I’m afraid they’re gone for good. But I’ll try to get you some more. I’m longing to meet Pokes’s girl. I expect she’s nice. It is quite probable that she wouldn’t have taken to the Stubbs’s. I dare say she realised that they were a bit queer. I hope you have fixed up about your pass alright. It would be an awful bore if they stopped you going to the harbour. Have you spoken to Honor yet? I think you would like her father. I don’t think much of her. She’s pretty but that’s all. She has got such an awful bad manner.

Nutmeg is quite sound again now. I had her clipped to-day but haven’t seen her yet. We’ve been away all day. I had a good Escape morning this morning. Breakfast at 9.30 & feel all the better for it. I was very weary last night. Then I scribbled you a few lines & went out for a ride on the Palfrey. He was awfully naughty & was very raffy so I had to give him an awful hiding. He reared up & came down on a prickly hedge which did him a world of good. He went away like a lamb after that. Then about 12.30 Percy, Mouse, Cameron who manages Cox Co3 in Boulogne & I started off in Percy’s car to take Cameron back to Boulogne. We first went up to Ecke to see Briggs then went to Gravelines & on to Calais missed lunch & had tea about 4 o’c in Calais & then on to Boulogne & home. Getting back about 6.30. Quite an amusing day. Glorious sun all day. It was a little bit cold coming home but nothing to worry about. We had a great dinner party to night. Gen Tagart who used to command the 15th came over from Corps to dine with Percy. Clem came & dined with me. I asked Basil but he’s in Paris so couldn’t come & the Paymaster came & dined with Mouse.

Delivered by Sandon

Delivered by Sandon

They have all just gone so I’m just scribbling to you before I turn in. It is awfully hard to write long letters these times as I never seem to sit down till after dinner & then I read the paper & when I’ve done that I’m usually pretty sleepy. I’m not nearly so sleepy as usual to-night. But I’ve had an easy day. No news from B for some time. I hope that photo book arrived alright. I sent it off about 10 days ago. That coat you got me came from Hawkes. It was one he made for me in November & now I’ve had it altered & it will do for the summer. Will you keep it for me till I write for it. Oh! You might get Ward to put a pocket in it for me. In the plot in front to carry a map in. I think you saw the pocket that Sandon4 put in my new coat. Well I want one like that. If you tell Ward that I want a pocket where one carries a bandage he ought to know, if I haven’t made it plain to you already. Then I would like a flap to go across in front where the collar is turned up [sketch] a thing like that. When that’s done keep it for me & I’ll write when I want it. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have pockets for maps on both sides. It is always useful to have extra pockets & he could also put a pocket in the belt to carry matches. That had better be on the right side. I think I’ll kill the old one first & then get that out. But when the weather gets really hot I won’t want this thick one that Sandon made me.

"She is very unpopular in Germany"

“She is very unpopular in Germany”

I can’t make out what they are playing at with parcels. I’ll ask the post office people here & find out. I don’t know much about parcels. I just give them to Ames & he posts them. Oh! Did you get a little parcel of 3 rolls of films I sent you last week. I packed them in their own little box. I hope they have arrived safely. You’ve said nothing about them. So I hope they have turned up. I am sorry to hear about poor wee Tom’s ear. I do hope it is better. I must write to her but it seems so hard to write letters these times. It was quite easy in the winter when the evenings were long. Now I’m always so sleepy at night. I’m sorry there is no more news of Roger. Personally I don’t trust these private soldiers much. They get hold of such awful yarns. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if that fellow never saw him at all. He might quite likely have seen him several days before & then got mixed up. They are an odd crowd the private soldiers. However we must hope for the best. I’m afraid that Countess Blucher won’t be able to do much for us now. Freddy tells me that she is very unpopular in Germany at the present moment. It is 11 o’c so I’m going to turn in as the sleep is on me. Best love dear wee Mus.

Your loving Pat.

Monday. P.S. Will you forward enclosed to Tony. I have asked him to buy me a couple of 4 year olds. I think it is a good investment. They will be kept free at Moyaliffe & I want to have something to ride when this show is over. I have been out riding this morning with the Babe & am now going to ride into St Omer & get my hair cut.



  1. The conservatory attached to The Grand Hotel in Folkestone gained the sobriquet ‘Monkey House’ during the Edwardian times when the press of the day likened its frequenters – mostly heavily bearded gentlemen in dark suits – to monkeys at the zoo.
  2. Probably railway station superintendent William Romney, who lived at the Station House at Folkestone Harbour
  3. Cox & Co (now Cox and Kings) was a banking, shipping and travel agency which specialised in the financial transactions of military regiments and officers
  4. Sandon & Co., Savile Row tailors in London

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