1914: Countdown to war – 4

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In mid July two telegrams from Downside reached the Grove in rapid succession: Fr Ramsay to ETA: Operation over Dick recovered from anaesthetic Fr Ramsay to ETA: Nose badly fractured recovered from anaesthetic quite comfortable hope for good night ETA … Continued

1914: Countdown to war – 3

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“The European continent was at peace on the morning of Sunday 28th June 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophia Chotek arrived at Sarajevo railway station. Thirty-seven days later it was at war.” For ETA however another death … Continued

1914: Countdown to war – 2

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ETA has decided that Dickie is to leave Downside at the end of July 1914. Dom Leander does not try to change ETA’s mind over the boy’s possible university education. He has been here twice before with ETA. Edgar was … Continued

19th December 1916

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Arthur is finally home again,  never to return to France and The Western Front  (although he doesn’t know this until he is able to look back after the war). In January 1917 he was showing signs of shell-shock and , … Continued

17th December 1916

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17th December 1916 Arthur’s last known letter to Dollie from the Western Front: it is Sunday and he has been to Mass and Communion with brother Alfred. No mail today, and in the replay of the football match, Arthur’s team … Continued

16th December 1916

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16th December 1916 In anticipation of leave, Dollie suggests Arthur and she stay at No3 for Christmas [instead of at the Noel’s]. The weather is sunny and the men’s football match ends in yet another draw – so they will … Continued

15th December 1916

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15th December 1916 Arthur is almost mad with excitement – a warning note has been handed to him indicating that his leave is likely to start on 19th : “I am feeling absolutely intoxicated, dear, with the thought that, by … Continued

14th December 1916

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14th December 1916 Arthur has been at the Brigade all day – sitting on a Court Martial. During lunch there is a spirited conversation with the Brigadier about who would go home first if peace is declared: “… Regulars, Territorials … Continued

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