Pat Armstrong surprised his family by turning up unannounced in mid-May, having been granted leave to act as best man at the wedding of his friend Vaughan ‘Pokes’ Stokes. The family made a lightning-trip to Moyaliffe where they witnessed the practice of Summer Time coming into operation for the first time. Daylight saving time had been first proposed in 1895 by New Zealand scientist George Vernon Hudson (1867-1946) to exploit sunlight after working hours. The practice, first implemented in Germany and Austria-Hungary on 30 April 1916, was strongly supported by the British Government although Lord Balfour called it ‘the most ridiculous and absurd Bill that had ever been presented to the House’. He predicted difficulties particularly to working class women whose ‘husbands and children would sit up later and require later meals.’ The only problem the Marquess of Lansdowne could envisage was ‘the innate conservatism of the national temperament, which did not like changing habits, especially under instructions.’
Monday 15 May
Mr Penrose went to play golf in the morning, & then went to lunch with the Gardiners. The two men came to work in the garden, & started making the drills & sowing the potatoes; we went out & dug frightfully hard, as they were getting ahead of us, but at about 12, Pat suddenly turned up on leave so we left the digging! While he was in his bath we started again. We were expecting the Dukes for lunch, but they never got Muz’s letter, so didn’t come. After lunch we went down the town with Pat to do some shopping. I came back earlier & gave Mr P. his tea. The whole garden is finished, dug & all. Kitty & Miss Phillips came in, & stayed on for dinner, & Miss Steele came in afterwards. Mary down at the soldiers club, comes from near where Mrs Brooke’s home is, so Mr Penrose went down to talk to her, we met Mr Arnoldi, & he wants to come up to London with us tomorrow. When we had just gone up to bed, Jimmy arrived – 12-30 – on leave, I put my dress over my nightie, & Heppie got him dinner, & I got his room ready, but he had dinner, but didn’t stay, he was up to Town to meet Zooie when she arrives in the morning.
Tuesday 16 May
At 11 we had a meeting here about the trouble at the Y.M.C.A, & Mr Penrose spoke. We had lunch at 12-30, & Miss Carleton stayed. Kitty & Miss P. stayed too but wouldn’t have lunch. Muz, Tom, Pat & Mr Penrose went by train, & Mr P. got out at Tonbridge & Mr Arnoldi came round in his wee car & motored me up. We had tea at a very pretty wee place on the way & got up at about 6-30. Then he came round & we dined at the Tree & went to “Follow the Crowd”. It was quite good, but I don’t like Ethel Levey. We saw Rachel Sturgis & Betty, & Audley Peter at the Theatre. We went to the Savoy afterwards, & Hugh met Tom there. Harry was there too, with Miss Bushby. We went to bed at about two. Ione came up from Waverley.
Wednesday 17 May
We shopped in the morning. We had lunch at the Tree. Then Ione came up from Waverley, she motored up with Mr Horton. Mary Stubbs came for dinner, & Mr Horton & we dined at the Hotel, & went to “Tonight’s the Night”. Afterwards we went to the Savoy. Hugh met Tom there. Harry & Miss Bushby were there too. We sat & talked for a bit when we got back. Ione motored back to Farnham. We went to be at about 2-30.
The cast of To-Night’s the Night
Thursday 18 May
Shopped some of the morning, then had lunch at the Tree. Ione couldn’t get up from Waverley. We went off to Woollands, & Pat gave Muz a hat, we met Lady Johnston & Daphne & Pat asked D. to dine & come to the theatre. We dined at the hotel, & then went to “Peg O My Heart”, it was awfully funny. Then Muz, Tom & I went to bed, & Pat took Daphne home then went to the Savoy with some “girls”. We had baths, & got to bed at about two. We went to see Bunty this morning, she is awfully nice very pretty.
Friday 19-Saturday 20 May
[Jess’s entry covers both Friday 19 May and Saturday 20 May although it is not clear where one day ends and the next begins.]
We shopped most of the morning. We had lunch at the Tree, then went round to see Bunty again, but she was out. Then Pat had a lot of things to do, so we rushed round, then had tea at the Carleton, then Muz & Tom went down to Folkestone by the seven train, & left the luggage at the Curzon. Then Pat & I went to see Capt & Mrs Hardress-Lloyd. They were awfully nice. Then we collected the luggage & left Euston by the 8 train. We travelled with a girl who has been nursing in France, & Pat talked to her the whole way, then we had her with us on the boat too. We met Lady Kitty Vincent & her husband, & they travelled most of the way with us, & were very amusing. When we left them we met Tony & a Mr Hedlem. Poppy met us at Thurles, with the car, we got out at about 12-30 & wandered round, the place looked lovely. After lunch we walked up to see Pat’s horses, five year olds, the mare is awfully nice. After that we sat out on the croquet ground & I started to make a pink net dress to wear at the wedding on Tuesday. I cut most of it out before lunch. After tea we sat out for a bit, after dinner Poppy put all the clocks an hour past, so as to be right in the morning. We went to bed at about 11-30
Moyaliffe Castle grounds
Sunday 21 May
Sunday. The men were all so funny about the day light saving, they want to keep to their own time! We walked about all morning, & I did a bit of sewing. After lunch I sewed again. It was drizzling a bit some of the day. Percy motored us in to the station, & we went by the five train. I finished my dress in the train going up, then read for a bit. Then Mary [—] got into to our carriage, & we talked to her the whole way, & she had dinner with us. Mrs Barry was travelling over too. We had a very smooth crossing, but I couldn’t sleep at all. We had a very smooth crossing on Friday night, but I slept the whole time. It was quite cold getting off the boat in the middle of the night! We had no trouble about passports, they let us through on Pat’s leave ticket.