22 September 1914

On this day Kittie had lunch with Nina and Reginald Astley at the Royal Automobile Club and visited Nina’s son Sir Roland Corbet (Jim) in hospital at Grosvenor Gardens. He had a lot of visitors, so, as Kittie wrote George today, ‘I was not able to hear much of what he had to say.  Nina says he likes talking, doesn’t fight shy of it like some people do. […] The “boaard” have to sit upon his case before he is allowed to go home.’

A mutual acquaintance, Gerard Thorpe, was also having lunch at the ‘Automobile’, and Kittie asked him what he thought of the fact that George had had his servant withdrawn because, as Colonel Wilson apologetically explained to him, it turned out that interpreters (of whom Wilson had another eleven arriving) were not entitled to a servant and were supposed to groom their own horse.

He [Thorpe] says you had much better just pay one of the men to come and ‘do’ for you — the only point is that that [way] you have not a servant entered as yours — you might find out about that — he says that is certainly what he’d do.

As to grooming your horse I’d do that at any rate for a bit not to seem as if you minded.  I’ll tell you why.  Can you believe it, some men who went out as interpreters with the first lot were such creatures that they made objections to having to groom their horses on active service — can you believe it — (they were Members of ‘Whites’ and were sent back!!), but anything not to be mixed up with such scum.  For of course you would never mind what you did — only there on Salisbury Plain when someone else might easily do it and you might be doing something else of more important training, as G[erard] T[horpe] said, it is waste of time.  As a matter of fact you’d want to do it for a bit to get to do it well.

Post goes.  Hugs, K.

That afternoon Nina wrote to Kittie:

your magnificent courage is just as wonderful as George’s and that is saying everything.  I feel I am perfectly useless and can do nothing for him nor for you — but love you both and that I do without measure.  Your faithful Dina

This clearly referred not just to Kittie’s work with the Red Cross, but to her fortitude in the face of Calderon’s obsession with getting to the front line.

Next entry: Status

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About Patrick Miles

I am a writer who specialises in Anton Chekhov and is writing a biography of George Calderon.
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