1914: Countdown to War – 6

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The Pater and Mater on Brighton Beach 1914


Headmaster Ramsay has found time to give Maria Concetta an account of Dickie’s unfortunate accident. The news is not good, and makes upsetting reading:

“Dear Mrs Agius,

… I wish to tell you further news of Dick. As far as I can learn at present … not … any real disfigurement. Dick’s nose and eyes are still very swollen. It is therefore impossible to say for definite there will be no disfigurement. Everything possible has been done to prevent this and the doctor is still giving Dick special care. He is still in bed and therefore it would be out of the question for him to return home.

With regards to the examinations, I am sorry I cannot say whether he will be able to take them. The problem is he will miss Monday in any case ….if he is able to make a start on Tuesday he will stand a chance of passing.

The accident occurred during exercise in the gym. Part of the course consists of jumping from the horse to a beam, swinging under the beam and alighting on the feet. Owing to the force with which Dick took the leap, he was thrown forward after alighting on the beam and fell with his face against the front of the stage. It was most unfortunate in every way and I sincerely hope his recovery may be speedy and complete.”