August 1st, Sunday
Herbert and I went to Early Service and I was depressed as I couldn’t help remembering that this will be the last time we shall go to this dear little makeshift of a church and that for the last time too I will have done the flowers for them. We all went to Parade Service, a large party, and found a big crowd there.
Mother and Win left in the morning and we spent the day in the garden. It is looking so very gay now with masses of rosy and white larkspur, correopsis and the everlasting viola besides crowds of annuals. Oh to think it may all go to waste after we leave simply breaks my heart.
August 4th, Monday
All morning was spent packing, it helps to keep one from thinking. We had a delightful but at times almost trying afternoon. We attended the Brigade sports. There were a lot of people and the heat was oppressive. At about 6.30 when all was over I gave away the prizes for the last time. The Sergt. Major then got up and made us a most touching and charming speech which Herbert answered for us and then the men gave 3 cheers and in answer H proposed another 3 for Presbury (the Sergt Major). I find all this dreadfully upsetting.
I rushed into Salisbury to get the children’s photographs, and directly I got home I set to and packed violently. This night we gave our farewell dinner to the boys of the Brigade: Mr Bell, Knyvett, Agnew, Blake and Crocker came, whilst Major White T made up our 8th. We all played Bridge in solemn melancholy. I decorated the table with ribbon in RA colours, our big shell and four fuses and cases and flowers of proper colours and it really looked lovely.
Aug 6th, Friday
The order of every day now is packing, sorting clothes and throwing away tons of rubbish. I extricated myself from dust and ashes for an hour and with clean kit went up to the 19th Sports just to see the last of some of them but didn’t stay long. I don’t ever remember having felt so utterly desolate as I did upon this my last evening in this dear place. I sat eating cold garbage in a dismantled dining room surrounded by packing cases and bare walls. I eat with a kitchen knife and fork and drank from my tooth glass. After this cheerful feast I betook myself to the garden where I drank my coffee and listened to the night sounds of a camp. At last, hearing from our Mess “for he’s a jolly good fellow” and cheers I went to my bed thoroughly depressed. (Herbert was attending his farewell dinner at the Mess).
Aug 7th, Saturday
The last day has come. H was today “gazetted out” and Major Fox promoted in his place. At 9 this morning there stood at our doorway an enormous traction engine and 3 large trucks which had come to remove our furniture. There also stood about groups of officers who had come to see us off and two waggons for our luggage. The Sergt. Major said goodbye with tears in his eyes and a break in his voice, also dear old Young. We drove away to find a great group of the men collected at the corner of the Square who gave 3 cheers as we passed by, this was the last straw and I was thankful to be out of sight of it all and glad to find at the station only Norah Hinton. Before I came away I was much touched at receiving from the mothers of the 33rd Brigade a most charming inkstand, silver inscribed “To Mrs H.K.Jackson from Mothers 33 Brigade”.
We had a long and tedious journey down to Lee, starting at 9.55 and not reaching the house until nearly 6. The train was crowded and the heat awful. It was a blessing to get here, rest and wash.
(A final photo of the Hut and the garden they were leaving behind)