Frank, Ursula & Juliana are here, also a friend of Franks Mr Bonnet, a medical student at St Thomas.
Last Saturday there was a fearful air raid in London. 30 enemy aeroplanes came over & dropped bombs on the city, Mary saw it all from her office.
Yesterday the Bishop came here to visit the church, he was going around in the deanery. He told the Newmans that he thought the war would end in September as it could not last financially any longer.
We had a letter from Mr Bateman saying that his brother had been told by some men that Bob was killed in that attack at Beaumont Hamel, but this again is only hearsay from the men, & we cannot take it as conclusive.
The boy John Barnaby who used to be in the house has been killed.
Russia has at last began an offensive in Galicia and is going forward, this is not at all what Germany expected, & we all hope now that Austria will collapse, or try to concede a piece.
Evening is now in France with the YMCA at Le Transloy.
Letter included from Mary Kelly
My dear Margaret,
This very moment I have been in an air raid, one minute we looked out of the window and saw some people looking up and pointing and in another second we saw swarm of aeroplanes like gnats high up away over the Duke of York’s steps direction.
In the middle of the swarm were puffs of smoke continually bursting and they all appeared to be making directly for us, which was an unpleasant feeling I can assure you for our buildings are fragile and one felt a bomb would crash through. But as we saw them they turned and went away south-east pursued by hours, and Mr McNeil who was outside the window said he saw them fighting in the air and one came down. We all jumped out of the window then and saw them going off. Since then various people have rung up from the city, and we hear that there is a fire in St Paul’s churchyard, and that Holborn has also suffered. We know no more as yet, Ursula has heard from Frank, I suppose I was afraid they went in that direction. I couldn’t get onto him when I tried but it is hard to get onto anyone on these occasions. The firing and bombs sounded horrifically near we fancied one must have been in Whitehall, it was all over in a quarter of an hour.
As to your silk stockings I don’t think I have them but will look.
You take a somewhat different view of Mr Bateman’s letter, I’m afraid it appears conclusive to me & father seems to take the same view. How much he must feel the want of your mother in a time like this, and it seems hard he should have all this pain to bear at the same time.