Brittain, Vera, Diary, 25 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 April 1915
McMaster University Libraries
Vera Brittain estate; McMaster University has a non-exclusive licence to publish this document.


a long letter to him between lunch & tea, telling him of our migration, of my desire to nurse, of my wish that he should tell me of the horrors he sees because "women are no longer the sheltered darlings of men's playtime, fit only for the nursery or the drawing-room," certainly no woman he was interested in would ever be just that. I also said that I was not implying a reproach when I spoke of the barrier between us -- that none could realise better than I the true value of reverence & reserve -- but that what he called sacrilege was in its right time rather the culminating point of reverence & reserve, & that my letter expressed a passionate regret, not that we might have acted differently, but that everything had to cease (I pray temporarily) in the middle with the culminating point still unreached.
Mother had E.F. & S[?] to tea with us at Buol's, & afterwards we looked round Oriel. There is a glamour about it; they are very well off there & E.F. especially has a lovely room. Then mother & I went to the service at New College Chapel. She was very impressed by the chapel & the two quads I showed her. The service & the music to-night were most beautiful. For anthem we had from the Messiah "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive - since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." They also sang a lovely Latin version of "The fight is o'er, the battle won." I sat looking at the lights, & hearing the poignantly beautiful tones of the organ; & thought of the glorious time Edward & Roland & I had meant to have together. It was too good to come true, that dream, and now my darling is under the fire of those accursed German guns. The battle in the North of Belgium still rages; the Allies have fallen back 1 1/2 miles & the Germans in their second desperate rush on Calais seem to be having it all their own way. The fumes from their asphixiating bombs are felt nearly 2 miles away. It is