Brittain, Vera, Diary, 17 April 1915

Diary of Vera Brittain


Case Study: 
From Youth to Experience: Vera Brittain’s Work for Peace in Two World Wars
Brittain, Vera
17 April 1915
McMaster University Libraries
Vera Brittain estate; McMaster University has a non-exclusive licence to publish this document.


drives me nearly desperate; I can scarcely keep it in check, much less face the thought that I may have to do without if for ever more. Thinking about that makes me feel utterly heart-sick & almost physically faint. Oh! my endurance is weak, & my courage fails! Now, as I write my head aches & my eyes are tired with the tears I shed on his account -- tears of weakness, which I should conquer, & have, until to-day. But when just a few words at the end of such a letter tell me how much he cares himself - it is even more unbearable than feeling how much I do. It is this separation that is so hard, so bitter -- I should not fear the danger for him if I could share it -- much less for myself.
Mother went to oxford to see Aunt Lillie for the day, & I went off for the morning alone on my bicycle, first to Fairfield, & then along the Derby Rd. It was not warm there to-day like it was a week or two ago, but the calm sheltered greyness of the dale & the waters gentle murmuring had a soothing effect upon my sore heart. The inward anguish was not less acute, but I felt better able to bear it.
There have been several Zepplin [sic] raids all over the country. About the worst one was at Lowestoft though there were not casualties anywhere. At Lowestoft the backs of some houses in a street in the town were blown in, & one or two horses & dogs killed. There appears to have been a good deal of excitement. It took place about 1.0 this morning. Mrs. Leighton is sure to have been up, & would get a few of her thrills without going to France for them. I wonder what Roland will think about it if his beloved mother is going to be subjected to that kind of thing. But he probably thinks nothing of Zepplin raids after such experiences as his. Other raids were at Newcastle on Tyne, Maldon & Shorncliffe, the latter only about 20 miles from Folkestone. There has been a good deal of activity in Edward's regiment in consequence; they have 80 new rifles,& it is possible that all their leave may be stopped.