September 1st, Wednesday
This morning I had a wire from Bill proposing himself and Aim for the day. I was surprised and most delighted, accordingly they arrived at 11.30 and stayed to 6.30. Alas we had arranged a blackberry picnic but it poured with rain and so we had to stay indoors. Bill has 7 days leave, he too as Gran used to say has “much improved” and it was very interesting hearing his experiences. He gave me this sketch of one of his trenches, another curiousity. His regiment, 2nd Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, are quite near Ell’s lot and so I hope they may meet. His kilt greatly becomes him and he is looking so awfully well. I hear today that Herman is about to join the Flying Corps and Thurie (his father) is going off to Venezuela next month! (This was the last time Wynne saw Bill – he was one of her favourite cousins, and was killed on 25th September. He was 29).
My dear man sent me this today, a piece of heather picked whilst out for a walk. Its not quite like English heather I don’t think – it seems strange to think of it growing in that shell ridden spot “just as if nothing were happening”. I had a long and nice letter from my Canadian friend, F.W. Diggon, today. He writes so well. They have hard times over there and it must be awful to be so far away during this time of stress and storm. (Diggon survived the war, and continued to correspond with Wynne long after it ended. He was another Canadian who was befriended via the Victoria League).
There is much stir in Camp these days. The 21st and 22nd Divisions are on the move, presumably to France but no one knows anything. We had a very heavy evening at the Y.M.C.A. – men came pouring in by hundreds for provisions to take on the journey, and it was all we could do to keep pace with them. It is all rather tragic but they are splendid.
A busy morning of paying wages, bills and books and then to the Hut from 2.30 to 5.30 – again much stir and bustle and as I rode through the lines on my way home the barrack squares were seething with men ready to go, their kit all lying in neat rows along the ground and crowds to see them off. Our ladies are seeing to their food at the Govt. siding every night. I have not been yet but hope to go one night.
I went to early Service today up at St Mark’s. I did not go to Matins but sent the children with Maggie and after lunch I was on duty at the Hut, at 4.30 I walked back with Mr Whitehead who came to tea, a really nice boy this and one feels that perhaps one is able to make life a little easier for him by asking him out occasionally for it must be a rough existence for those of the better class.