Brittain, Vera, Diary, 1 January 1916

Diary of Vera Brittain


Case Study: 
From Youth to Experience: Vera Brittain’s Work for Peace in Two World Wars
Brittain, Vera
1 January 1916
McMaster University Libraries
Vera Brittain estate; McMaster University has a non-exclusive licence to publish this document.


on earth. Later on in the evening we became by force of reaction a little less serious, and she told me of her Mother's early loves of her Father's extreme susceptibility, as illustrated by his rather more than fatherly interest in me. As we drove slowly along through the wind and the rain the clouds parted a little and the pale light of a watery sun streamed across the sky. I can scarcely bear to look at it for the tears in my eyes. I felt as though I had seen the Heavens opened...
Edward & Victor had already arrived when we reached the Crescent. They both looked tall and fine and knightly, with their handsome faces grave with sorrow -- more than ever like courtiers without a king. Victor's manner was still shy and abrupt, but his eyes were full of a sincerity and steadiness almost disconcerting; they seemed to arrest your very soul and make you wonder if you had committed any secret sins to render you unworthy of his scrutiny. He had become Sir Galahad both in body & soul. I used to call Roland Sir Galahad, but the name suits Victor still better, for while both have in commen the chevalier's purity and uprightness of heart, Roland was too much of a leader for the role. Sir Galahad was like Victor, one who follows in simplicity and humility the ideal that is set before him.
When they had gone, Mrs. Leighton said she must lose no time in sending Victor on the quest of the Holy Grail! He had to leave early for a dinner his father was having, & he promised he would most certainly meet us in London. Edward accompanied him to the station & came back for a few hours more. Before they went we had the "Morning Hymn" on the gramaphone. If anyone had told me that I should ever cry openly before two Lieutenants of the British Army I should not have believed it. But as it was, not only I but they wept quite shamelessly as the music made more