December 14th 1914

It has been a long term and the holidays are upon us.

With all those staff of military age enlisting, we have taken on a number of new people this term. As it was obvious that my staff was no place for ‘fit’ young men, and I did not want unfit ones, I took steps to fill their places as far as possible with ladies. Miss Violet Field and Miss Dorothy Pinhey have come into the House, and very soon established themselves in the respect and affection of the boys, by entering into their lives in the most devoted way. I am sure this term will be remembered in the Boarding House for their delightful stories and readings on the dark evenings. Miss Pinhey has taken all the singing and piano teaching, Mrs Molyneux has taught the violin and Mrs Sturt has most kindly undertaken the drawing and painting, whilst Miss Field has started and taught knitting.

Dragons – I have some advice that I would like you boys to consider for the holidays:

Keep fit – don’t stop in bed late and don’t go to bed late. Take a cold bath every morning, don’t frowse over the fire, take a good walk or have a game out of doors every day.

Be kind and amiable to those at home, including servants. Remember the description of the boy (not a Dragon) who whines “I don’t know what to do!” who bags the best chairs, who won’t play with younger brothers and sisters, who is rude and says “I shan’t,” “I don’t want to,” who says “Oh bother” when asked to do anything, who ‘bags’ the best things for himself, who at a party gets excited and ‘barges’ about and plays the fool generally, often ending up by stodging to such an extent that he is ill in the night. For heaven’s sake, be all of you as far from and as different from this sort of ass as you possibly can. You can make the holidays very happy ones if you try your best to do so. And I hope you will all have very happy ones.

Next term begins on Wednesday 13th January 1915

   *  *  *  *  *  *

As the term draws to a close, I must freely recant certain views I have held, views held I believe by a great many Englishmen whose ideas of peace and brotherhood have been rudely shattered.

I believed that the peoples of the civilised world were too sensible to put their differences to the rude arbitrament of war, that the principles of Christianity, or at all events of moral ethics, were too strongly established to allow it. I was wrong. The enemy has thrown down the glove to challenge civilisation and freedom, and all that is dear to the peace lover, and perforce we had to take it up and to fight our best for civilisation, freedom and peace.

And it cannot be said that those connected with the OPS have failed to respond to the call. The lives of some of our best have been given freely; many others have spent untold hours of privation, anxiety, and brave determination; and all are animated by the feeling that no sacrifice is too great for our noble cause.

*  *  *  *  *  *

No official news has yet been received of 2nd Lieut. Percy Campbell (2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regt., who was reported to be missing, but is believed to have lost his life in Flanders, on Saturday October 24th, while attempting to bring in a wounded brother-officer.

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