1939-42 ANNE HENDERSON – EXTRACTS FROM HER DIARY

Thursday 18/1/40 – Went back to school. I have moved above Jill, Mary and Alison in house order.

Friday 19/1/40 – Then instead of games we went for the stale old seven minutes radius walk . . . In the evening we played Monopoly.

Saturday 20/1/40 – In the afternoon the others went down to look over the Cathedral … We listened to Garrison Theatre on the wireless.

Thursday 25/1/40 – I had a temperature so had to stay in bed. About 10.30 I moved up into the spare room where I had the wireless to listen to.

Friday 26/1/40 – My temperature was normal so I got up in the morning at about eleven o’clock and had Ovaltine and three chocolate biscuits.

Sunday 28/1/40 – After lunch we had letter writing and Miss Manning told us about Lent.

Monday 29/1/40 – After supper Miss Manning read out the things people dislike and like.

Thursday 1/2/40 – It was Jill Langley’s birthday, she was 14 years old. She had a lovely coffee birthday cake which was very good indeed.

Sunday 4/2/40 – After letter writing I helped Miss Manning cut out Mission garments.

Friday 9/2/40 – For the first time this term a few people played games. We went for a walk up towards Old Sarum.

Monday 12/2/40 – We are reading a jolly good detective story for Darning.

Tuesday 13/2/40 – We had the first of our house dance practises in the second half of games time today, we have got some quite nice songs.

Wednesday 14/2/40 – It was very cold. As the coke was running out, we all had to get our baths in, in free time. At lunch Miss Manning gave us a lecture on calling staff by their Christian names, she had heard Pamela Tozer calling her Eva.

Friday 16/2/40 – As I had glands I had a late breakfast in Miss Manning’s room (with others). Dr. Armitage came and found we had all got German Measles. So we packed ourselves off to the San.

Monday 19/2/40 – After tea Miss Manning came and fetched us (from the San).

Friday 23/2/40 – Anne Harvey and Jill Langley went to the San. After prayers we listened to a talk on a place called “The Settlement” in London where poor people meet.

Sunday 25/2/40 – We played “Pooh sticks” under the bridge at the bottom of school hill.

Thursday 29/2/40 – We did Acrobats in Big Sit after supper.

Friday 1/3/40 – Jill Langley came back from the San.

Thursday 7/3/40 – Jill Langley has got German Measles.

Friday 8/3/40 – After supper Dr. Thornton gave a lecture on X-rays. He brought an X-ray set with him. It was a marvelous lecture.

Sunday 10/3/40 – Went to St. Martin’s 10.30 a.m. service. Miss Manning took nearly the whole school as she was about the only well mistress in the whole school . . . We gardened in the afternoon.

Monday 11/3/40 – After supper Miss Manning gave us a confirmation class about how to pray. Friday 23/3/40 – We went to part of the three hour service in the Cathedral, it was very boring.

Saturday 24/3/40 – At 6.30 p.m. in the Hulse Room the eggs which we had painted as Easter eggs were judged. Jill Langley got third prize.

Thursday 26/3/40 – All confirmation candidates had a late breakfast. We came out of lessons at eleven. At twelve the Dean came and talked for about ten minutes. We then went to the Cathedral and were confirmed by the Bishop of Salisbury.

Thursday 28/3/40 – Jill Langley and Ruth Garrett got their girdles this term.

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1942-45 ANGELA COLLIN NÉE YOUNG

Miss Eva Manning, much respected, and seemed to have a great deal to cope with, considering her apparent great age, which was probably only about 60ish, she seemed all of 80! I was asked to help with her few brown hens who were probably doing their `bit’ towards the war effort by laying eggs, there were only about 9 or 10 or them. I remember she had some eggs due to hatch off from a broody but there was much disappointment when they didn’t and turned out to be all bad. It never occurred to her that a cockerel was vital to produce chickens – I couldn’t believe her `forgetfulness’. There was a very fine ginger cat called Marmalade who she was very fond of and so was I. Miss M. retired soon after I arrived.

Darling Polly – she was the best and in my opinion the most outstanding Housemistress one could ever ask for – I owe her a great deal toward the development of my character – I often remember her even now.

I was an only child of an Army family – looked after by my Grandmother whilst my parents were abroad during the war. I was also dyslexic, which in those days was backward. In spite of this I was very happy at Godolphin especially being in Fawcett. I lived in Yorkshire and felt it was Godolphin’s war effort to take in this backward child from Yorkshire!! We each had in our cubicles, up in the dormitories, a china washbowl and jug of cold water, which froze in the winter. We collected warm water in enamel jugs from the bathroom to wash in the mornings. The fire escape was a good site for midnight feasts usually held about 10.30 if we could keep awake that long. We used to have to share bath water, it was bad luck to have second bath; it was pretty grubby. I well remember singing at the top of my rather fruity voice, not at all melodious “As Time Goes By” – “. ..and when two lovers woo, they still say `I love you.” etc: in comes Polly, with “That will do Angela.” End of song!

Polly used to take House Prayers beautifully, we needed prayers, away from home. The war at full pelt, it was a serious time. Polly developed my power of prayer enormously, she was very forgiving. I used to get into some hairy scrapes, and she was always very balanced and good at pointing out the folly of my headstrong opinions and actions. In these days, when women become ordained, I often think of Polly.

On Sunday evenings Polly read to us for one glorious hour – Dorothy Sayers was my favourite. She read most beautifully and we all had a pash on Lord Peter Wimsey, thought him simply divine, purely through her reading, leaving out the risqué bits no doubt. Her reading was magic to listen to.

We went down to the (A338) main road to watch and cheer and wave to the soldiers, British and American, in every sort of vehicle going to a mass on Old Sarum Airfield ready for the Big Push on D-Day. It was very moving and an emotional occasion. We probably were not supposed to do this but we did and I shall never forget that sight. Living in Fawcett down the Snicket was a 10 minute walk to school which made you make sure you had all you needed in your sack for the morning and work. You had a long haul back if you forgot anything. Each House in Godolphin had a definite character. You could tell a School House girl from a Methuen girl, and a Hamilton girl from a St. Margaret’s and so on; needless to say Fawcett was very special.

Polly always kept in touch with us right up until her death. She made a point of knowing our husbands and showed interest in whatever we did, enjoyed seeing our children; they enjoyed seeing her in return. Dear dear Polly, how very fortunate we have been to be brought up by her whilst at school. You asked “what was it that we were given which enabled us to survive” – apart from what I have written I say, probably, Horlick Tablets after lunch, when the sweet ration had gone.