24th November 1918: A day of departures at the Grove – Alfred back to base and ETA begins his journey to Gibraltar. All the children at Downside crescent are in bed with colds – so not much of an anniversary celebration for Maggie & Joe. An interesting set of people gather for tea at the Grove – including Col. Achilles Samut (Maggie’s father, recently torpedoed in the Bay of Biscay) and Nella Samut. Maggie’s cousin Nella is to marry Philip Leicester – the Leicester family are great friends of Elgar in Malvern. The visitor ‘Charlie’ is most likely to be Charles Asphar, who always signed his letters ‘Charlie’, was near Douai on Armistice Day and knew the Samut and Agius families very well.
58 Howitt Road
Sunday 24th November 1918
… I’ve just come back from No3. We were a small party tonight: Mater, Joe & myself. The Pater went off at 3 and Alfred about 6. I went to church with Mater this morning & then round to Maggie’s. All the kids are in bed with colds. Then Alfred and I went for a long walk over the Heath & had a very long discussion about children. I laughed when I got home to myself. It must have been very funny if anybody had heard us. Some things we agreed on and some we didn’t.
I’m going to work tomorrow – 7.30 in the morning to get up. That is the worst part now its so very cold.
Now I’ll tell you who was there for tea. Charlie somebody – not the one who was at Southbourne & strange to say he has just come from Douai and stayed there for three nights. Maggie, Joe, Nella & her future mother in law & her son. Alfred; Mary – you know who I mean; Maggie’s father, who informed me I was a very fine girl & blessed me. I’m getting quite flattered. That’s all I think…
I’m sending you a birthday present tomorrow, right from the shop & you’re not to lose it!! Edgar 30! I can’t give you a big kiss on the 1st but you know I’d like to, don’t you darling? I hope I shall be able to next year…