Item 137 - Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu

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MONT II/A/1/137


Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu


  • 17 June 1915 (Creation)

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[The British Hospital, Wimereux.]—Has received his letter. Praises the [Prime Minister’s] speech in The Times and refers to his letter to Montagu. The hospital is full as a result of the Ypres attack. Has been walking with Hunter. Diana has the measles, and will not come to France. Reflects on what she will do when they are married.

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Thursday June 17th 1915. 9.45.

My darlingest. I cant make out why my letters are so irregular. I’ve written every day and posted them at the same sort of time. Its very tiresome, but please dont not write to me because of that. Your letters are so wonderful, you tell me all that I want to know. I loved yours this evening, I had read the speech in the Times and thought it marvellous. I wish I’d heard it, you are right I expect when you say London is more exciting that Boulogne. His letter to you gave me real deep pleasure. His love for you I value tremendously, I was afraid, at one time, that I might have interfered with it, but I should have known that his real affection for you and his own bigness would make that quite impossible. Darling I think you sound happier to-day, I hope that means you are better. I do also often long to be at home to hear all you are doing, do you think I shall ever make as good a wife as Pamela? I’m afraid you dont, & I think you are right, but I shant make you as ridiculous as she often makes her Reggie.

I’ve been very busy all to-day, we are nearly full up again from the Ypres attack, none very bad so far, but I expect we shall clear a lot of them out tomorrow for the worst cases who always come down later.

It is wonderful having something to do at last, everyones spirits are over the clouds. I got out about 6.30 for an hour which I spent not very amusingly with Hunter who came out to take me for a walk! He’s very kind to think of it, & tho’ a fearful bore is a slight change from the hospital staff. I feel like a nursery maid “walking out”.1

He told me that poor Diana had measles, I am disappointed I’d so longed for her in the neighbourhood, tho’ now nothing matters much, I shouldnt have time to go and see her.

What an angel you are to me. It still fills me sometimes with astonishment, but tho’ I get used to it, I dont get to value it less, I think I want it more & more. Dearest there is nothing more either material or spiritual that you can do for me, you do so much in every way.

I cant “Bongie” you! I’ve not got sufficient interests and irons in the fire, like Violet, that have to be tended whilst I’m away. You see I never “do” anything, I’ve no Liberal federations or Clubs or anything. Shall I grow some. I’ll be very good in Cambridge tho’ as long as you dont want me to speak, or if you do write all my speeches for me. Its odd I cant speak at all, I know I cant, & yet people of my calibre of brains can & do quite adequately. But its never much use is it, & I’ll be marvellously civil & emollient. I cant remember if you think my manners bad or good. I personally think them good, except at home. I dont mean with my family only but at their parties.

I hear ambulances rolling up to the door

I shall have to get up early tomorrow.

Good night my darling

Your very loving


Written at the British Hospital, Wimereux, in pencil.

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