Item 132 - Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu

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MONT II/A/1/132

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Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu

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  • 11-13 June 1915 (Creation)

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[The British Hospital, Wimereux.]—(12th.) Is having an uneventful half-day off work, but will see Oliver and Anthony later. Discusses the progress of her injuries. Has dined with Major Hunter. Has received Montagu’s letter. Discusses her decision to remain in Wimereux, and refers to Bluey’s sadness at losing his position. Asks when Diana is coming to France, and about Margot’s attitude towards herself.—(Later.) Describes her evening with Noll and Anthony, and reflects on her moodiness.—(13th.) Feels better.

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TRANSCRIPT:

June 11th 1915.
I only wrote that amount of my letter to you last night. I’ll try & manage it to day June 12th)

My darling I feel strongly uninspired to day, I can hardly form the requisite numbers of strokes for each word, do you notice? I’ve got a half day and nothing to do in it till 6. when I shall meet Oliver & Anthony. I’ve managed to spend an hour on dressing so its now 3.30 & I shall write to you here out on a rather crowded beach & read a little till its time to go into Boulogne. I’m so stiff to day I can hardly move, but otherwise I’m rather disappointed in my bruises.

I dined out last night with a rather dreary man, Kath’s friend, a man called Major Hunter. I shant do it again I’d rather feed at home particularly as it meant bicycling into Boulogne and back which entails two very long hills.

I got your Wednesday’s letter last night, I am rather alarmed that you should have made at all certain that I was coming back on the 24th, I’d again forgotten that I had thought of it. Dont be disappointed or angry with me, I’d come home if I could, but I should never forgive myself if I were to leave France & then something very exciting were to happen & I’d missed it all! Just imagine my horror? But if it goes on being as boring as this for much longer I promise I’ll abandon hope of any fresh sensation. I shall hear all your news from the boys, perhaps you may have sent a letter by them. I dont quite know if I want it or not. If you have it will mean tomor-row is a blank day & I shall need supporting far more then than ever. Darling I do hope you realise how hugely I love getting your letters. I simply couldnt support life without them.

I heard from Bluey last night, I’m afraid he is sad at being out, tho very good about it. Poor little fellow, why didnt the P.M take him as his Private Sec. instead of Niel, it would have given him a little fun.

I am disgustingly sunburnt, I dont know what you’ll say about it, or perhaps with your peculiar ideas about cosmetics you think sun-burn looks healthy & natural. I’m painted up to the eyes to-day in deference to Anthony who likes it. If only you were coming with them.

I am glad you are economising. So am I, how rich we shall be, but you must spend a fortune on provisions for me. You know you feed about 16 women on all the most prized luxuries like truffles and pine apples. I dont know what they’ll do when I leave.

Have you heard when Diana is coming out here, I’m longing for her advent, it will make all the difference.

Kath tells me that Margot has become most mellow about me. Is it true? How I long to see you all, you dont know what a halo even 3 weeks absence has made round you. Think of beloved Mr Birrell, Kath, Ray and a thousand others, it seems too good that one should know and have fun with them all. I get quite enthusiastic over all that lies in front of us.

I write you wretched letters now, dont think about them harshly (Winston).

Goodbye

Yours with love
Venetia

10 P.M. I forgot to post this before I went out so I may as well add a line now. I am so sorry my darling you didnt get my Tuesday letter. It was posted at the usual time, written in bed.

I’ve had a nice time with Noll & Anthony tho’ both would have been better alone. Theyve just left me & I feel rather forlorn. Oliver told me about Aunt Blanche isnt it amusing? She likes me very much. He (O) tells me that he told you I wasnt coming home just yet. I love you very much this evening, but feel sad, my glorious burst of yesterday has left me. What will happen to us if we both have a gloomy bout at the same time? We shall both commit suicide, never mind before that happens we’ll have huge fun. Atn. has given me a divine little opal drop. I hope it wont give me a fever like the lovely black one I wore at Hoe farm {1}.

I want some work to revive me. Dont pay any attention to my moods they change so quickly, the only thing that doesnt change is that I love you. I’ll write you a delicious letter tomorrow.

Your ever loving
Venetia

Sunday 7. A.M I feel better!

—————

Written at the British Hospital, Wimereux.

{1} A house at Hascombe, near Godalming, leased by Winston Churchill and his brother Jack this summer as a retreat after the disastrous Dardanelles campaign.

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