Brittain, Vera, Diary, 25-26 April 1915

Diary of Vera Brittain


Case Study: 
From Youth to Experience: Vera Brittain’s Work for Peace in Two World Wars
Brittain, Vera
25-26 April 1915

Brittain, Vera

McMaster University Libraries
Vera Brittain estate; McMaster University has a non-exclusive licence to publish this document.


all terribly serious & said to be the most important conflict of the war so far. I was made rather anxious because the paper says that as long as the Germans hold [Menin?] they can pour as many troops as they like between Ypres & Armentieres & thus extend the battle-front.
We had prayers at Oriel to-night & afterwards Miss Penrose spoke to us very finely of the relinquishment of Somerville as our opportunity of helping in this dreadful war, & said she knew we would none of us grudge any discomfort in such a cause. She told us how kind the Oriel authorities had been in lightening the burden of removing & how bravely they acted [?] in thus breaking through all criticism. There had been criticism passed upon the action of Somerville & Oriel, & people were only too ready to seize upon any indiscretion on our part as an excuse to give a bad name to Somerville. Therefore it was the part of every individual member of Somerville to be careful to avoid conspicuousness & to exercise self-constraint. She said she had no doubt that both past & future Somervillians would envy the present students their share in this picturesque & historic episode in the college's career.
We all felt very moved & lifted up by her speech, & capable of putting up with anything. Of course it was splendid of Oriel, & what is more it shows immense progress in the way in which women students are regarded.
After we got back to Micklem Hall I showed Miss Barber how to work my typewriter. I let her do most of it -- my heart was heavy with anxiety for Roland, he who is both my greatest sorrow & my greatest joy.
Monday April 26th
I saw mother off this morning from her boarding-house; I had not time to go to the station. I shopped then till 11.0 when we had a lecture by a Mr. Simpson on Lyly -- the first of a course on Elizabethan Dramatists, the predecessors of Shakespeare. He is elderly & gentle in manner; the lecture was quiet & notes not easy to take ....