• Carine Pennefather

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Stories and comments
    • PENNEFATHER, Caroline Frances (Carine) - War Work in England – Entertainment / Anzac Buffet
    • Posted by FrevFord, Monday, 2 May 2016

    Born on the 14th of April 1863 at Danbury Park, West Tamar, Tas – daughter of Edward Going PENNEFATHER (b. Tipperary) and Frances (Fanny) HARRISON – who married in Launceston on the 13/6/1861 Frances died on the 28/8/1889 at Invermay, Tas, age 55 Edward remarried in 1891 to Elizabeth CARRUTHERS – he was a churchwarden at the Penguin Anglican Church when he died on the 8/4/1911 at his residence, Penguin, Tas, aged 75 Resident Danbury Park, West Tamar, Tas 1861 – 1865 / Ringarooma 1893 / Invermay 1902 / Penguin Siblings: George Shirley b.1864; Edward b.1866; Isabel Geraldine b.1867 – marr H.R. MACKAY 24/1/1887 Tas; Mary Louisa Going b.1869 – marr G.C. CHAPMAN – d.16/5/1928; Alice Stoney b.1870; Edward Thomas Bolton b.1872 – d.9/4/1939; Charles Francis b.1873 – Boer War – WW1: 3rd LH – d.19/7/1932 RGH, Hobart Cousins: *Mary Elizabeth (Mollie) PENNEFATHER – WW1: Sister, AANS *Victor Bolton PENNEFATHER b.c1884 Tocumwal – Police Constable – WW1: 940 / Lieut, N&MEF, Rabaul; *Harold Septimus PENNEFATHER b.c1886 Tocumwal – WW1: Gnr 6564, 4th FAB – d.1933, age 47; *Stanley Edward PENNEFATHER b.c1890 Tocumwal – WW1: T/Bdr 165, 36th Heavy Arty Grp, POW – discharged UK Having embarked on the Mooltan on the 5th May 1914 for a trip to Europe, she was visiting relatives in Ireland when the war broke out. WW1: Returning to London, she made the decision to stay and from the moment the first of the Australian wounded arrived from Gallipoli, she took it upon herself to visit them in hospital. Writing to friends in Melbourne about how little she felt she was able to do for these men, she soon found regular funds coming her way, which enabled her to provide entertainment for them – including picnics, afternoon teas and the theatre. She was a regular visitor to the King George Hospital, and also helped out at the Anzac Buffet, and for the entire war and the year following, devoted all her energy to making life a little easier for Australian soldiers in London. Following the repatriation of the entire A.I.F., she too departed England on the 22/1/1920 on the Friedrichsruhe, arriving back in Melbourne 7 weeks later, before continuing on to Tasmania Resident of 1 Millers’ Homes, Park St, Bellarine, Corio in 1924 [These cottages were built in 1923 as part of the Alexander Miller bequest to supply accommodation so “that in the evening of their lives people who no longer had the power to support themselves, should be provided for.”] Died on the 8th of April 1926 at a private hospital in South Yarra, Vic, 6 days before her 63rd birthday Buried in the Box Hill Cemetery, Vic Launceston Examiner (Tas), Thur 16 Apr 1863 (p.4): BIRTHS At Danbury Park, on 14th instant, the lady of E. Pennefather, Esq, of a daughter. Punch (Melb, Vic), Thur 26 Mar 1914 (p.28): Fact and Rumour Miss Pennefather is leaving by the Mooltan on 5th May for a trip to Europe. Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 27 Jul 1916 (p.7): A Letter from London WITH THE ANZACS Miss Pennefather has written graphically to her sister, Miss Alice Pennefather, of the great happenings in London on Anzac Day (April 25), to whom we are indebted for the following extracts:– After a most strenuous Sunday – yesterday – I am spending to-day sitting down and writing the whole day. I cannot get through half the letters I should, and the days and weeks are far too short to do quarter there is to do. I was working for 12 hours on end at the Anzac yesterday, and was too tired to sleep, and had neuritis in both arms, so thought it better to stay quietly to-day and gather strength for a very full day to-morrow – Anzac Day. Am to be at the Buffet by 8, and help our superintendent (Mrs Rattigan) and our devoted storekeeper (Miss Beeman) to prepare for the 250 Australian soldiers who are to have dinner there, after the service at the Abbey. About 1500 march from the Abbey to the Cecil for dinner, and the rest of the 2000 veterans are being feted at our Buffet, and in the sergeants’ mess, in the Australian military headquarters, part of which, you know is our Anzac Buffet. Of course, the lads are disappointed at not being all dined at the Cecil, but we are giving them just as good a dinner – beer included – and Mrs Allan Macpherson has given enough asparagus for the whole crowd! Just imagine – she has only arrived from Australia a few weeks, and has practically put in the whole of that time working in some way or other for our soldiers – and “our” means either English, or Australian, or Canadian, or South African! Given a fine day, to-morrow will be a great triumph, and Australia and New Zealand for one triumphant day take possession of London. All the English papers have had notices of the event every day for a week, and this morning had the entire day’s programme, which took up nearly a column and yet before this war weeks used to pass sometimes without Australia being given a half-inch paragraph! How I wish you all in Australia could see and hear the welcome our boys will get! I will tell you all I can of the march, but shall be busy most of the time, and shall not be at the Abbey; but after the dinner we are going to lock up and leave everything, and go to His Majesty’s, in the Haymarket, where a special matinee is to be given, and all our lads are to be at. What a scene it will be! Hughes is to speak, and the Princess Louise is to be there; and, I don’t know whether I told you – I have been given a half-guinea stall seat! Isn’t it wonderful? I sha’nt realise it till I am actually in it, and hear “Coo-ee!” And I’ll tell you all about it. By the way, I am enclosing some lines on Anzac Day which were dashed down on the moment by one of our helpers at the Buffet yesterday. She was washing up in dead silence, when suddenly I saw her make a bee line for a pen and ink, and in three minutes the enclosed was the outcome of the excursion! The “Courier” might publish it, perhaps, and we are sending it to two papers in London. Would you mind making a copy for other readers of this to see, and sending it out? I hope all the “bricks” who sent me help for our soldiers will get the letter-cards with pictures of our military offices, Buffet, etc., in which I acknowledged their kind gifts. I posted them to go by an American mail, and they should arrive before this. My last letter to you was posted on the 19th, and the next day – Thursday – I went down to the great Military Hospital at Wandsworth to bring out 30 wounded soldiers in a special bus which Mrs Macpherson had hired for an entertainment at West Bolton Gardens. Miss Beeman (sister of our Miss Beeman, at the Buffet), who is organiser of Alexandra Day, had invited them to her house, and right royally were they entertained. The 30 soldiers from Wandsworth were supplemented by many more from Harefield and St Peter’s street Depot, who were brought along by Mrs Rattigan and Mrs Macpherson. The rooms, which opened into balconies, were beautifully decorated with Alexandra roses, and every man given a huge wreath and buttonhole and “A” of the blossoms, which are exquisitely made, and give employment to thousands of cripples in England, who are not sweated, either. (Again, how I wish Melbourne, Sydney, etc., would start an industry for the making of the blossom for Wattle Day, instead of every year smashing and destroying our lovely trees.) All the boys wreathed their necks and hats with the roses, and wore every-sized Easter chicken you can imagine, wherever it would stick on. The tea was sumptuous, and among the table decorations were pots of boronia in full bloom and weighed down with perfume, which the hostess gave the men to take away with them. We found several singers among the lads, and a very clever entertainer had been requisitioned, who kept the soldiers in roars of laughter. At 6.30 the motor buses came for the boys, who made a brave show in their decorations, as they swarmed up on top, and inside, and on the stairs. Before starting they gave ringing cheers for Miss Beeman. I took the Wandsworth detachment back, and they never stopped singing and coo-eeing the whole way. The streets were packed with people doing their shopping on the eve of the holidays, and every head was craned to watch the rose-bedecked, rollicking lads. There were lots of maimed and halt and half-blind among them, but – so wonderful is youth – they never seemed depressed. Do you know, it takes Miss Beeman and her helpers from August 1 till June 21 (Alexandra Day) every year to get ready for it! She told me she had ordered 25,000,000 roses to be made this year for London alone! Last year 21,000,000 were sold, and she has just despatched 2½ tons to Canada and the same to South Africa. April 26 – Where am I going to begin about the glories of yesterday? They will never have an end while the world lasts, in spite of bad news from Ireland, Zeppelins’ visits to several parts of England, and a bombardment off Lowestoft, all coming simultaneously. After a chilling, uncertain sort of Monday, the wind changed in the night to south, and Tuesday brought a glorious flood of summer sunshine, warm zephyrs, and a cloudless sky. What could have been a better omen for Australian than real Australian weather, and the very first real warmth London has known this year! I am sending out several newspapers with their different accounts of the triumph of the 25th, so will make this merely a personal description. I was up very early, and at the Buffet – by tube – at 7.30 – no buses yet running – and there found Mrs Rattigan and Miss Beeman already hard at work preparing for the hundreds of Australian soldiers to whom we were giving lunch between 1 and 2. Mrs Macpherson was also there, and with Mrs Rattigan had actually been to Covent Garden at 4 a.m. to buy flowers. The long tables looked exquisite, loaded with bulbs, forget-me-nots, and pots of boronia. We had seating accommodation for 200 at a time, and their menu was: – Tongues and ham, lettuce, cucumber, and potato salads, and asparagus ad lib – Mrs Macpherson’s gift – pastries, fruit, cheese and cake, a large bottle of beer between every two, and soft drinks, to say nothing of unlimited smokes. Of course, I had not a notion of going to the Abbey, but just before 11 Mrs Rattigan and Miss Beeman declared they would not go, as there was too much Buffet to see to, and they insisted on my going on one ticket and taking the other “for some deserving case!” Wasn’t it wonderful, when hundreds and hundreds, far more deserving than I, were unable to gain admission? From the Anzac Buffet to the Abbey in normal times is less than 10 minutes’ walk; but I fancy the papers will give you a good idea of what the crowds meant on this day. One paper says that since the coronation London has never seen anything like it! And it was just the same on all the lines of the march – Strand, Pall Mall, Wellington street, Whitehall, Charing Cross, Victoria street, Westminster, Buckingham Palace-road, St James’ Park station, the Broadway, Haymarket, Westminster Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Charles street, Chad street, George street, York road, Cockspur street, &c., &c. April 27 – I notice that all the papers this morning says that London has never known such crowds since the coronation. Isn’t it wonderful? I reached the west gate at last, which was guarded by crowds of police to keep the people from surging through. Was just about to show my ticket and pass in, when two soldiers spoke to me. I turned round, and there were Sergeant Major Uren and Sergeant Wallish, whom I have known for months. Both K.G. men. And now Mrs Rattigan’s spare ticket came in. For some inexplicable reason these men were not being let in. I suppose because they were not among the marching troops, and wasn’t it just heavenly to have the “open sesame” for them? The magic white ticket took in both, and I stood by beside them in the Abbey during the half-hour’s service. Fortunately each of them had a seat. Many of you who will read this know the Abbey well, and can best understand and picture what it looked like with its vast congregation and khaki clad heroes. Civilians were a negligible quantity, and were chiefly standing, and at the very back. At 11.15 the roar of the welcome outside announced the arrival of the King and Queen, who had specially come up from Windsor, and they presently entered by the west door, and passed up the aisle within three feet of where Uren, Wallish, and I were standing – the King in khaki, and hardly distinguishable from his soldiers, except for some decorations. The papers will tell you how the King had directed that the Australians blinded in the war and those most helpless, were to be seated beside him. He is so human in little touches like this. It is pathetic to see how the King has aged since the war started. His serious accident, too, has added years to him, and he looked a very sad man as he passed us through the naïve between the lines of his Anzac veterans. The organ was glorious, and Kipling’s recessional sung as it has never been sung before, all the boys joining in, and many, as we know, have very fine voices. April 29 – No mail out, after all, this week; so this letter will stretch on yet. To-day is the fifth absolutely perfect day – this glorious burst of summer started with Anzac Day, and has kept up ever since – and it is so heavenly never to have the dread of a howling north wind ahead of us, as we always have at home. Never have the trees done such lightning changes. The papers will tell you a lot about the reiterated welcomes General Birdwood got all day whenever and wherever he appeared; he is simply adored by the Australians. On Anzac Day he spoke to the 1100 men at the “Cecil,” and the papers said he spoke to his men only, and not for the public ear. What he said was “heart to heart,” and I’m so glad it remains sacred between himself and his boys. If I could I would send you dozens of papers illustrating all the events of this wonderful day; but you will be sure to be able to see them. How I wish my Australian friend could see how delighted the boys are with the apples. I do think it was so thoughtful and good of him to send them. The two cases I ordered to be sent to the Buffet went like hot cakes – only quicker – and the four that came here are almost gone now, I have taken a big basket of the fruit every time I went to the K.G. or the Eye Hos. “My, these are some apples!” said one youthful connoisseur from the latter. Last Saturday we had one really last dance for the season at the Buffet, and I took along a lot of the boys from the K.G. both Australians and English. We first went to the park, where I picked up some stray ones from other hospitals, and after they had had a wander along the Serpentine, and two boat loads of them a lovely row on it, we took a bus to the Buffet for tea. After that the “strays” got back to their own hospitals, and the K.G. boys stayed on till 8, and, although I had not seen the colonel to get late leave, nothing happened; but I think by now they know at the hospitals they are alright. One of the girls heard one man say to the other, “I wonder how we are staying out so late?” and the other answered, “It’ll be alright, Lady Pennefather will see to that.” Needless to say the speaker was not an Australian. I want to thank everyone who has sent me newspapers. This morning I spent hours in sorting and re-addressing and posting to the front or to boys in camp here, &c., most of the enormous bundles that arrived yesterday. The Italian artist who has a studio in this house went down to the door when the bell rang, and a few minutes afterwards knocked at my door with “Here’s a letter for you, mees!” The letters had come by an earlier mail, and when I opened my door I was confronted with Mayo staggering under about a ton of newspapers. [Miss Pennefather is a cousin of Mrs J.C.Potter, of Bairnsdale. The Buffett, we are given to understand, was originated by Miss Corney, who is a sister of Mr Corney, Stock Inspector, of Bairnsdale.] Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 31 Aug 1916 (p.8): Australian Soldiers in London Miss Pennefather, writing from London to her sister, Miss Alice Pennefather, gives some interesting information concerning the way our lads are treated in London. The writer is a cousin of Mrs J.C. Potter, of Bairnsdale. The following are extracts from the letter referred to: – Perhaps you know by cable that our boys are being sent over from France every day just now on eight days’ leave. They arrive in batches of about 200 daily, and are spread over four boat trains that arrive at Victoria within about two hours. Last Sunday began the leave, and we had some of our G.M.P.s – which, being interpreted, is garrison military police – ready waiting at Victoria to pounce on our boys from among the many hundreds of English, Irish, Scotch, etc., with whom they come over, and bring them straight to the Anzac Buffet. Most of the boys coming over now have never been in England before. They are men who fought “and came through” at Gallipoli, and were sent back to Egypt, and also men of the reinforcements more recently arrived; so you can imagine what it means to them to be met by our own men, and brought direct only five minutes walk, to our own buffet, to be cared for. I was on duty at the Anzac on Sunday, May 7, as usual, and at 6 p.m., we were rung up to say that the trains were due at Victoria between 6.30 and 8, so we all set to work at sandwiches as hard as ever we could, and were quite ready when the tramping of feet outside announced the arrival of the first lot of weary, grimy, glad Anzacs. Each man carried all his earthly possessions – on this side of the world, and way. Such a load, and oh! how gratefully did they drop them down and then sit at the flower-decked tables – (Mrs Rattigan is responsible for the supply and arrangement of the flowers; they are her own gift, and never is a dead or faded flower seen on any table) – and drink coffee and eat sandwiches, and talk – “talk!” Why, I thought they would never stop. Several old friends met that evening, and one glad voice rang out, “Hallo, old chap, I heard you were killed – even read it in the papers!” We have a Cook’s man ready at the buffet to change all their money, and who also has arranged for near-by accommodation, for the first night at all events. After that they can either stay on at these places, or make their own arrangements eight days is the length of their leave. By 8.30 the men from the four trains had all arrived – about 160 altogether – and by 9 p.m. we were clear. Every boy had departed to drop into the first real white-sheeted bed his poor, tired limbs had known for many, many months. And then came the washing and tidying up, and by 10.30 we, too, were very ready for our own beds. Most of the dear old things went off leaving their heavy kit where they had dropped it, knowing instinctively it would be carefully and jealously guarded, and I think, when I drew a bayonet from its sheath and felt its deadly point, I came nearer to realising the realities of slaughter than I ever did before – ‘twas horrible! Every man I speak to tells me the same thing – they go mad in a charge – mad – or a charge could never be possible. Every day or night our men are coming across, and it will take about a month before all have had leave. May 17 – The tides cause the arrival of the boat trains to be a little later each day, and by last Sunday, the 14th, it was 1.30 a.m. when the first of the four arrived. I was on duty again – had been at the buffet since 8 a.m., and remained all night, not leaving after all the clearing and washing up was done, till 7 a.m. on Monday. Mrs Rattigan and Miss Beeman left the buffet about 10 a.m. on Sunday, went home and had a sleep and a bath, and got back at 7 p.m. to remain all night. They are wonderful. It was a great experience, this staying up all night, and waiting on these boys in the small hours, and hearing them talk. The trains will go on getting earlier now, and by next Sunday should bring us our men during the forenoon. I had the very last of the apples Mr Brodie so kindly sent for the boys, with me on Sunday, and gave them round as far as they would go to some of the lads who were just arriving. When I said they were real Australian apples, how they did love them! One man held his up and said, “God bless it,” and then put it into his pocket. Last Saturday I had arranged to take out Charlie and Jock and gave them their choice between the parks and a theatre. They chose the latter, as the day turned out very wet. I was glad they did, and I took them to the Hippodrome matinee, a capital show, which they thoroughly enjoyed. Harry Tate was in nearly all the “turns,” and kept the packed house in roars of laughter, and we saw some capital pictures of the march of the Anzacs through London, on April 25. There had been a strike of 1500 taxis the day before our theatre party, and it was hard work getting one for the boys. When the performance was over the rain came pelting down, and try as I would I couldn’t get a taxi to take us to the Anzac for tea. People were whistling in every direction for them. At last one of these absolutely wonderful London police who was stationed at the theatre door, went off and captured one for us from somewhere – the poor boys were so tired hanging on their crutches, and waiting. I still go every week to the eye hospital, and last Monday brought a lot of boys out to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, where they just wandered about at their own sweet will and basked in the sun. Such a heavenly change for them after the East End. I took them to the Anzac for tea afterwards, and they loved it. All the English boys like going there, and our lads chat to them, and let them have a game of billiards, etc., and it all helps towards friendly relations between the home and the overseas troops; but so long as the English soldier is only getting his shilling a day and ours drawing six, there will always be a little jealousy. And it is scandalous pay! Among these eye hospital boys, on Monday was a young Canadian (Canadian born), not 23, and a sergeant – one of the sweetest natured boys I ever met. He has been cruelly wounded – one eye gone, the other of very little use, and both his legs covered with shrapnel wounds. All were nice chaps who came, but this boy is of different material altogether – refined and sensitive. He had a long talk to me when we were sitting in the park; was left an orphan at 10 years of age, and with a friend, a youth of 18, set out straight away to make his way in the great world, and was succeeding, when he “heard the drummer.” Later. – I have just come back after taking Charlie Bennett and Jock out for the afternoon. We first went to the Abbey, which neither of them had yet seen, and spent an hour there, dropping across many Australians and New Zealanders in our wanderings, men who are over on their eight days’ leave. They were all very sincerely interested in the glorious wonderful old pile, and full of admiration at the exquisite work in Henry VII Chapel. I was wishing the organ would peal out, but we had to leave without hearing it. Archdeacon Wilberforce died two days ago, and was buried this morning in the vault in the cloisters where his wife was buried a few years ago. The flowers were literally in mountainous heaps on it. He was very much loved, and I do not wonder. After leaving the Abbey, we went to the park and the boys lay on the grass and had a good rest. Then we took a taxi to the Anzac Buffet, where we had tea, and they played billiards and met lots of friends, finally getting back to hospital at 7 o’clock. The Australasian (Melb, Vic), Sat 9 Sept 1916 (p.38): AUSTRALIANS ABROAD LONDON, July 27 Much excellent work is done by individuals, and one, Miss C. Pennefather, whose family is well known in Melbourne, works steadily at the big new King George Hospital at Waterloo. She makes time to find out what each man she visits wants, and her list when she leaves each day is an interesting one. Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 19 Oct 1916 (p.11): Miss Pennefather’s Work for the Sick and Wounded Soldiers The Bairnsdale Tennis Club invite all who are interested in Miss Pennefather’s letters, which have been appearing in “Every Week” for some time, to come to their Courts on Saturday, 4th Nov., the opening day. Afternoon tea will be provided, for which a small charge will be made. The proceeds will be in aid of Miss Pennefather’s Fund. She visits the London Military Hospitals and takes convalescent soldiers for outings. The expenses are for fares, refreshments, theatres, etc. Miss Corney, who has been instrumental in raising funds in Australia, has recently gone to join Miss Pennefather. Donations of cakes, or money, will be very acceptable. Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 11 Jan 1917 (p.3): A London Letter The following is another of those interesting letters from the pen of Miss Pennefather, and published in the Launceston “Courier”: – Brilliant moonlight – and for 14 days one forgets about Zeppelins, and at the same time feels that every day makes our air defence more perfect; but that there will be more raids no one doubts. How I wish I had more time for writing. I do want to tell you about every smallest detail connected with the soldiers, who get so many pleasures through all those in Australia who read this letter; but I am sure few out there realise how full one’s day can be, and are, here, where so much is happening, and every day adds to the need for work, and for voluntary workers. Many women are wage-earning now who used to give their services to various things, and are kept more or less at one routine – and the men in hospital do not get anything like the visitors they use to, nor the outings either. The greatest wish I have at present is to be 20 years younger, but as the prescription for that has not come along I have to be satisfied with being very healthy, and to suffer from nothing but idleness. Miss Beeman and Miss Rattigan are wonders, every morning at 6 sees them at the Anzac; and they are always the last to leave at night; and the amount of work that they get through at that buffet during the day, and the personal devotion to the boys, which is never missed not matter how busy they are, can never be understood without seeing. I am hoping you have published my letter, or most of it, relating to the Anzac Buffet. The whole subject should be thoroughly understood by Australians. There are many funds that generous Australians give willingly, and abundantly, too, not as deserving as the fund, now more than ever necessary, for enabling us to keep this one little home open for our thousands of lonely boys in London, I know many appeals have been made lately, and we have had a few cheques, but the help must continue to come, to make the work possible. Poor Alex Blackett, of whom I told you in my last letter, has been moved to Chelsea Hospital. I am so sorry, for his aunt, Sister Blackett, left him in my care, and it is difficult to get right down there, with the K.G. work, too. He was so sad at going, too, as he had got to know the nurses in the ward at the K.G., and all the boys in it were so sweet and tender to him. I did what I could to have him left here, but these eye cases are all being transferred to the Chelsea Hospital. His aunt could not get an extension of leave, and had to go back to her hospital in France last Friday, but his uncle – an officer with his detachment at Salisbury Plain – came up last Saturday to see him, and I shall go down to Chelsea on Friday next. You remember the lonely young lieutenant, Cecil Chapmon, I told you of. Well, Rachel and Bernhardt Roelvink gave him a splendid time – dinner and theatres on two evenings. Van Daalan, another Dutch banker here, shepherded him on a third. The boys say he refused to take his leave for two years because of the loneliness of coming to London; not knowing anyone. But now he will take it every time. All I can do you see, when lonely boys come in my way, is to hand them over to my friends. Isn’t it fine to have such good ones! 18th – Mrs Sargood took 25 men from the K.G. to Daly’s last Tuesday week to see “The Happy Day.” She got me to go with her, and they had a great time. It was an Imperial company, not all Australians. She too them afterwards to the Victoria League, in Regent street, for tea, and gave them all cigarettes. Then two days afterwards she asked me to get six men from the K.G. for the Alhambra, and I went with her to that show, too. It was a splendid program, and it was good to see how the men enjoyed it. One poor chap, an Englishman, who had also gone to Daly’s with us, must have had a lot of pain with pleasure. Though his poor face is terribly hurt, he was convulsed with laughter, and all the boys were saying, “Look at Smith! My word, it must hurt him to laugh.” This moment the postman – or woman – has brought me a letter from the E.S. and A. Bank, telling me that Mr Hal. Sheppard has placed there to my account the sum of £70, to be used for the entertainment of our soldiers. Imagine what I felt like when I read that, and think what it will mean through this dreary winter to the boys. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to him, in the name of our men, and for honouring me by making me the medium by which they will know so many happy hours and have so many comforts in hospitals. To-day (19th) is “our day,” and is quite the bonniest day London has known for some time – brilliant sunshine, with a brisk wind, which keeps the clouds on the move, and the day clear. The thousands of helpers have been at their posts since 6 this morning, and Miss May Beeman – the organiser and sister of our Anzac. Miss Beeman – expects to make many thousands more than “our day” brought in last year. She has 15,000,000 more flags alone than there were last year. And then all these Zeppelin scraps, which already, selling privately, have realised almost £3000. You remember my telling you about my going with 10 Australian soldiers to help cut up eight miles of wire, and Miss Beeman giving me some bits to give some of our Australian men who lie in the K.G. Hospital? Well, of course, they were delighted with the bits, and I delivered all personally, except the bit for Mackenzie, who was asleep at the moment, so I wrapped the wire up in a piece of notepaper, put his name on it, and then debated whether I should put anything else. Thinking he might imagine someone was playing a joke on him, leaving him a rusty bit of wire, unless there was some explanation, I decided to label it, and wrote, “Relic of the Cuffly Zeppelin,” and my name underneath, and laid it on the boy’s locker. And would you believe that it was stolen from him. When I went the next time he had never seen or heard of it. Such meanness is a thing of very rare occurrence in the hospitals; the men have the keenest sense of honor and regard for each other’s possessions, and it was a disappointing experience. This Mackenzie is the boy I have often written about, and whose mother, Mrs Hatton, 30 Johnston street, Collingwood, I asked some kind Melbourne reader to go and see. Now I am going to ask some friends to go and see the boy himself, for he sailed by the Karoola last Tuesday. I was very fond of Mackenzie; he is such a sweet-natured cheery lad and very intelligent. Rather a remarkable little incident happened the other day when I was at the Records Office at headquarters, waiting to get some information about a soldier. A number of our boys of the [censored] came in, and were looking down the casualty sheets hanging on the wall to find out if any of their friends and relatives had been hit. Presently I heard one say, “Well, I’d give something to find out about Ralph.” This came from a remarkably good-looking young sailor, about 27, I should say. I went over, and said, “Is this Ralph a Tasmanian, by any chance?” “Yes,” he answered, looking surprised. “He doesn’t come from Westbury, surely?” I went on. “He does,” he said, now thoroughly excited and hopeful. “Well,” I said, “I think I can give you all the information you need to put you in touch with him;” and from my note-book was able to give him all the particulars of Ralph, whom I told you I came across at the Buffet about six weeks ago. I’m sure he was more pleased than if he had been given £50. He and Ralph were great mates, and he said he had quite lost sight of him. I think Ralph is still at Salisbury Plain. His initials are J.R., and he is a driver in the 3rd D.A.C. There is a very fine chap from Tasmania, named Gillam, in the K.G.; he is in the 40th, which has not been “out” yet, and has been sick. He was in the police at Mt Lyell, and had a lot to do with rescuing those men who were in that terrible mining accident there some years ago. Two brothers of his are in the police in Launceston now. Last night I called in at the Anzac, on my way back from hospital, and in chatting to some of the boys found one from Penguin, named Strodd. This boy has been in hospital, and wounded, and is now on furlough before going into camp again, preparatory to a second time in the trenches. How I do hope conscription will go through. None of the civilian Australian population on this side of the world have a vote, which seems strange, especially as it is such a large one since the outbreak of war. I have got very bold lately in the matter of taking out the soldiers from the K.G. You know, there is hardly anything they appreciate so much as to get out of hospital and feel free to wander where they want. I was very chary at first about their doing it, and only agreed to those I knew well having an hour or two of “a loose leg;” but now I never hesitate, and when we leave the hospital together – generally about 20 men and myself – we pull up round the first corner and then those who have settled what they want to do just tell me what it is and where they want to go. We arrange always to meet at the Anzac at 4 o’clock, and then they depart in two and threes, and only once has an Australian not played the game – and he was born in Scotland, and had been only quite a few years in Australia. As I found out afterwards, his little escapade was a premeditated one, for he had a pair of puttees in his pocket, which when he has on his long top coat, effectually hides all evidence of hospital garb, and in khaki, of course, a soldier can get drink, etc. He did not come back to hospital till everything was shut up and in darkness, and he couldn’t get in, so went to the nearest Y.M.C.A., where he was put up for the night, and, having told his story, was accompanied by the secretary when he reported back at hospital next morning. He was so very plausible, and the evidence of the secretary (who vouched for his sobriety, etc.) gave the whole affair such an air of respectability that he was only sent to Coventry for two days; and when I was in a ward of the K.G. last evening one of the men whom I knew came in from a drive and announced, “[censored]’s missing again?” So to-morrow I shall hear the end of this second little wander from the narrow path of rectitude! But, needless to say, I’m not going to add to my grey hairs by “taking on” Mr [censored] again. A sweet little incident happened in the Buffet last evening when I was there. Two of our boys came in together, and one went to the letter rack to see if there was anything for him. While he was looking, his mate said, “You might see if my name’s there, too – not that I expect anything.” Out came a letter for him; and his surprise at getting anything was so great that the last thing he seemed to think necessary was to open it. However, he did eventually, and found it was from the people of his greatest chum, whose address he had lost, and he could not imagine how they found him. They asked him to go to them for his furlough (14 days), which, lucky for him, had only just started. He said he would go right away that night; and as he went out of the door he turned to me and laughed. “I feel as if I owned London to-night, since I got that letter!” Our little Anzac witnesses many scenes like this, and I have often told you I never go there with soldiers but they meet their pals. I have seen many a happy reunion in that little “home.” I do not work quite all day at the Anzac now on Sundays; it was too tiring, and someone takes my place at the urns about 4. Just after going off duty last Sunday I saw a big, handsome Canadian stroll in, weighted with kit, weariness and trench mud. He had only left the train at Victoria station five minutes before, and quite by chance saw the Buffet, and sat down at one of the tables. When he had had some food, Agnes (who was helping at the Buffet that day) and I sat down and had a talk with him; and I just wish I could put down here all he said. He talked for two hours, and would have talked all night, I believe, only we had to go. He told us it was 21 months since he had seen an English-speaking woman, and he felt afraid at first to speak. We said, “How glad you’ll be to have a hot bath and a clean white bed to-night.” “No,” he said, “I don’t feel like going to bed. I want to hire a ‘bus right here, and tell the driver to keep going all night,” and I can quite understand his feeling, even though, as he told us, he had had hardly a wink of sleep for five nights. He couldn’t rest, couldn’t realise what rest or peace meant, and wouldn’t begin to do so till the poor dear’s leave of seven days was up. Germany’s resources are without end, and as far as her man-power – look at the millions of boys growing up that she possesses. Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas), Thur 18 Jan 1917 (p.7): SOCIAL NOTES (Miss C. Pennefather, writes the London correspondent to “The Australasian”), whose work among wounded soldiers has earned her the name in hospitals of “the little hen with the blue chicks,” has so extended her work that she is widely known even in London. She is out all day visiting soldiers, writing letters for them, looking up their friends, taking lonely men to tea or to some entertainment, showing them London, and generally mothering them. To use the old phrase, “she leaves off work to carry bricks,” for in her spare time she goes to the Anzac Buffet and helps with the teas and entertainments of convalescent soldiers. She has now hundreds of soldier friends, well and ill and many lads write to her from all parts of the front thanking her for her kindly care and interest. She has lately received a sum of £70 from Mr Hal Sheppard, of Melbourne and this is being used to help lonely soldiers who have no friends in England. Miss Pennefather is a sister of Nurse Pennefather, Launceston. Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 18 Jan 1917 (p.6): A LONDON LETTER Miss Pennefather, the Tasmanian lady who is doing splendid work amongst Australian soldiers in England, writes to her sister Miss Alice Pennefather, in Launceston, says “The Weekly Courier,” as follows: – Last Friday I went to No.2 General Hospital (St Mark’s), Chelsea, to see Alex Blackett, only to find, after all, that he had gone about an hour before to St Dunstan’s, in Regent Park. Agnes was with me, and we came right out at once, arriving about 4.30. Twice before I had been at St Dunstan’s, but only to see through it once, and the other time was with an entertainment party, so until Friday last I had never realised what the “atmosphere” of the home (and home is the word to describe this wonderful place, not institution) was like. To begin with, it is a glorious and enormous country house, set in beautiful grounds in this great park, but I fancy you all in Australia have read about it many times, so I will only say that the owner has lent it as a home for soldiers blinded in the war, in order to have them taught professions and trades, to give them interest, or enable them to be self-supporting. Just now there are over 200 men there, and besides Englishmen, some from every Australian state, (Alex is the only Tasmanian), South Africa, and Canada. One naturally thinks you are coming into one of the saddest of places when entering St Dunstan’s, but it doesn’t take five minutes to alter your opinion. The great halls and corridors and rooms had dozens of these afflicted boys moving up and down, singing and whistling, joking, laughing, and chatting with the nurses, typing letters, making baskets, etc. Of course, it was after school hours when we got there, so there was an utter absence of any sort of stiffness or formality (in fact, in school hours visitors are not allowed). I don’t believe there is a hard chair – except to sit at meals on – in the whole house, nothing but great lounges and luxurious chairs and strips of carpet about two feet wide run down all the halls. The boys know they are going right if their feet are on these. Visitors are asked not to stand on them. The pace the boys go at, the perfect confidence they show, are just wonderful – one might often doubt their being blind at all, did one not know, alas! All the men (except those from overseas, who do not get their discharge till they get back) are in civilian dress and one never hears war talked at all. A friendly scout whom I used to know at our headquarters, soon found Alex Blackett for me. He had only been there a couple of hours. The poor boy was so glad I had found him. He had been worrying himself as to how he could let me know where he was, and, what is inexcusable, he had never had the letter I had written him to St Mark’s, and I particularly requested – in writing on the envelope – that sister should read to him at once. Nothing of this sort will happen here. Their letters or cards are delivered and read to the lads instantly by the sweetest daintiest little nurse you ever saw. Alex had been given a watch when he came in, and already could tell the time by it. I think that alone shows how quick he is going to be at learning things. The watches are in double cases and have raised figures and hands, and each man gets one. It makes him feel independent of having constantly to ask the time. While we were sitting with Alex (on the most heavenly springy, soft, cushiony lounge you can imagine) one of the boys who had been away for a few days came back, and he laughed and stretched out his arms in pure delight at getting back, and I heard him say, “My, it is good to be home again.” Alex told us Sir Arthur Pearson came in to have a chat with him, and the nine other boys, who had only arrived that day also, and Alex said, “He is a jolly man, so breezy and bright, and such a lot of funny stories.” Sir Arthur, you know, is stone blind himself, and is keenly interested, financially and personally in this and other homes for the blind. He visits St Dunstan’s almost every day. Alex said he was telling them about a soldier who used to be there, who took up bootmaking. His father was a bootmaker also, and was always bemoaning the prospect of having to keep his son now he had lost his sight, not having the least faith in his being able to keep himself. “Now,” said Sir Arthur, “the son is making almost 30/ a week clear, and the father can’t touch anything higher than a pound.” One boy at St Dunstan’s has taken up and become an expert at typewriting, though on one hand he has but one finger, and that is his little on. Sir Arthur Pearson told the ten new arrivals he was sending them all off to Brighton the following Monday, for a week or ten days, to get the sea breezes, and then they would come back and start work. We left as the lads went off to their 6 o’clock tea and carried away with us a vision of long, snowy clad tables, surrounded by happy-faced, hungry boys, being looked after and cared for by the merriest and prettiest bevy of little nurses I ever saw together. ………………………………………………………. By this time it was nearly 1 o’clock, so we walked to the Anzac Buffet where he wanted to stay for the rest of the day, and had lunch. I told him almost every boy that came into the Anzac met a chum, and he, perhaps, hadn’t even heard of for months, and he asked me to be sure and tell him if I saw any chaps with blue over red. We had hardly more than finished lunch when one came in, and happened to really be a great chum of Alex’s – a man named Anderson – so you can just imagine the delight of the poor lad. I had to go on to the K.G. for a few hours, and had no hesitation in leaving Alex among so many good and sympathetic friends, as there always are at this dear little place, and when I got back at about 5.30 I found Anderson still there with him, and so many people had chatted to him and he had found so much to interest him, that he was in no hurry to come away. We had some tea and then left to return to St Dunstan’s, and Anderson insisted on coming with us, too. Last week I wrote to Madge Titheradge, and asked her for concessions on tickets for a party of wounded soldiers to see her in “The Best of Luck” at Drury Lane, and on Saturday arrived 28 complimentary ones. Wasn’t that nice of her? I got the men from the K.G., and was lent a ‘bus to take them to and fro. The matinee began at 2 o’clock, and at 20 minutes before that we arrived at the theatre, and were shown into beautiful seats in the grand circle, on the same level as the Royal boxes! I intended to have tea brought to them during one of the intervals, as the performance is never over till 5.45, and it would be too late for them afterwards for tea at the Anzac, so was just going along to order it when one of the attendants, in scarlet coat and knee-breeches and white silk stockings, and silk powdered hair, came after me and said a lady who was in the Royal Box had seen all the men coming in, and had sent to ask me if she might give them tea. So I went along to her box and thanked her. She asked if they might have chocolates as well, and came along with me to where one of these resplendent ushers had a great tray of magnificent boxes of delicious chocolates for the boys, and then went back to the box, and when I passed the sweets along the boys stood up and saluted her. I have no idea who she was, but the atmosphere of that box, where she and two other ladies sat, was a decidedly wealthy one. Between the last two acts, Sergt Cameron, from Clifton Hill, of whom I have often written, went along and thanked her on his and the boys’ behalf. She asked him several questions about Melbourne, etc., he told me, and seemed pleased that he went round. The men had a very good tea in one of the rooms off the foyer, on the same tier, but it was necessarily a hurried one as they did not want to miss any of the performance, and when the magic words, “The curtain’s up!” had been passed along, they gulped down the last of their tea and hurried back to their seats. Sergt Cameron is writing to Madge Titheradge, with his left hand, the other is useless, to thank her, and getting all the boys to sign their names, and I wrote to her when I got back last night. She is a dear, dainty, kind little thing. I daresay you know about this most exciting melodrama she is playing in, so I won’t attempt to describe it. Certainly you get full value for your money! Yesterday I heard that Charlie Bennett had also returned by this boat, but he had not written, nor had I seen him for a good while, and it was a surprise to me. I believe his leg was a great success; he walks without the slightest limp, even. Dec 21….I am so anxiously waiting to know if the appeals made in Australia for funds for our dear little buffet are going to bear fruit. I do not think a greater calamity could happen to our boys in London than for this little home to be obliged to close its doors; but close its doors it must, unless substantial help comes along. Personally, I think we should be helped from the war chest funds, and the Commonwealth, from neither of which source have we benefitted so far by one penny, all our funds being voluntary subscriptions from Australia – chiefly those resident in London. I went to the K.G. last Tuesday for a while, after my rustication, and it was well worth having been a bit ill to get the welcome the boys gave me. Tuesday is always the day I take out the Eye Hospital men, but Miss Hatfield went there for me this week, and took them for a good walk, winding up at the Anzac for tea, where I met them at 5 o’clock. They were full of news and excitement; had seen both the King and Queen in the motor car, and Princess Mary the minute after, close to the palace, and five minutes after, walking past Marlborough House, had seen Queen Alexandra driving out of the gates – that was a “crowded hour” for them. Yesterday I took nine of our men out from the K.G. just to let them have a wander round on their own account. I have often told you how they love doing that. We got clear of the hospital, then they departed in different directions, all except two who came with me, as they were too rocky to get about on their legs. They were dying to see the King’s stables, and as luck would have it the day was Wednesday, and we could manage it, so we took a taxi there, and I don’t think I ever was out with as appreciative a soldier as Sergt Harry Gillam, who was one of the two. His enthusiasm made everything fresh again to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed going through these old stables once more; also hearing the gramophone recitations of the Royal servants, who act as guide books, and tell you the age of every horse and the height, and who rides them, and the wonders of the coronation coach – its age and height and length and weight, etc. Afterwards we went to the Abbey, into which neither had been before. The afternoon service was just ending, and the heavenly voices of the boys were pealing forth in the music of a beautiful anthem. It is wonderfully calming and restful to turn in here for half an hour from the hurry outside, and I think many more would do so if it did not entail listening to a droning, futile sermon, too. The boys had arranged all to meet me at the Anzac buffet at 4.30. I, with the other two, got there at that hour, and all the others were there already, as usual. [Mr McDougall, of Messrs Sands and McDougall, Melbourne, will be pleased to receive contributions towards the Anzac Buffet, which is such a splendid haven for our “boys,” and is greatly in need of assistance. All money received by him will be forwarded to headquarters.] The Ballarat Courier (Vic), Thur 8 Feb 1917 (p.4): THE ANZAC BUFFET COMFORTS FOR WOUNDED SOLDIERS Miss Pennefather, who has taken an active part in the Anzac Buffet, England, sends interesting particulars relative to Australian wounded soldiers in hospital in England in the following letter to her sister, Miss A. Pennefather, Launceston: – “My last letter acknowledged the receipt of £37 sent me by Miss Corney, and I have written to each one of the kind subscribers; and last mail brought a very substantial and generous gift for the soldiers from Mr Percy Smith, Launceston, and Mr Marcell Conran, formerly of Geelong, to both of whom I have sent the grateful thanks of the boys. I hardly know what I have told you, as it is three weeks since I wrote, and hope there will not be very much repetition. The dear little buffet and club, which has been the only and nearest approach to home that our soldiers have known in London, now exists no longer in the military headquarters in Horseferry road, for we moved on Friday, 8th September to 94 Victoria street, close to Victoria station, and the boys had their last meal at the old Anzac at 3 o’clock, after which it was closed, and the general upheaval commenced. Our president (Mr O’Connor), secretary (Mr Evans), and our indefatigable superintendent (Mrs Rattigan) spent many hours scouring round Westminster to get suitable premises for the club, and these are the best that could be found at so short a notice. They are much smaller and more limited in every way; but are only about five minutes walk from headquarters, in the vicinity of which it was considered so essential to remain – and, after all, the Anzac still exists! The main facts of the case are these: – When the English Government gave over to the Commonwealth the magnificent premises of the Westminster Wesleyan Training College for their military administration, Sir George Reid set apart for the Anzac buffet (which had started in an unpretentious little basement in Victoria street) for the duration of the war the rooms which it has occupied for these many months; and everything ran smoothly, and each day gave increasing proof of the need it was filling, and the comfort and blessing it was to the Australian soldiers. No charge was made, the A.N.A. wishing to offer as nearly as was possible to the boys the hospitality they would receive in friends’ houses; but I don’t think very many boys went out without dropping a coin into the box for donations. However, the A.N.A. were determined to carry on somewhere and somehow. At 94 Victoria street we are no longer under military regulations, and the boys can come and go as they please. But we are now saddled with rent, in addition to the ordinary expenses of carrying on. All the same, since its inception the Anzac has been run by funds voluntarily subscribed by friends and sympathisers, and I don’t think those givers will fail us now, when the needs of the club are so much greater. “I would like everyone who reads this to remember the blessing that this ‘little bit of heaven’ (as an Australian soldier once said to me) has been, and continues to be, to our boys; and when they want something to give to – and Australians I do think have proved the most generous givers in the world – not to forget the Anzac Buffet.” Miss B. White of Ewins’ book store, has collected £4 from her friends to send to Miss Pennefather to assist the Buffet. Miss White will be pleased to receive further contributions. Donations may also be left at “The Courier” Office. Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 22 Mar 1917 (p.1): A Soldier’s Appreciation of Miss Pennefather As showing the esteem in which Miss Pennefather is held by the Australian Soldiers is borne out by the following letter which that lady received from Pte A.H. Bellman, and who at the time of writing was an inmate of the Harefield Hospital – “Miss Pennefather, – Dear “Colonel” – No doubt you will be surprised to hear from me, but as I promised to write and let you know how we are getting on since our departure from the King George’s Hospital, I now do so. I am now in Harefield and it is much better than I expected to find it, in fact, “Colonel,” there is very little to be said against it. I often think of the bonny trips we had under your guardianship and was only sorry when we had to “imshee” out of it, but I am hoping to be able to see you again shortly at the Anzac Buffet. I still have the splints in my mouth, and the dentist says that it will be some time before I can get my jaws in working condition. Bad luck is it not “Little O.C.” I hope you will not get cross by my calling you “Our Colonel” or “O.C.” but as you took such a great interest in us Anzac Boys that I think you were entitled to that name, so don’t get cross, will you. I have several pieces of poetry I have composed about our Anzac Boys and their landing at the Dardanelles also about the kindness of our hospital sisters and not last or least, “A dream of my Australian Home.” I was going to ask your advice on them. Before I left the K.G.H. I gave one or two of the sisters copies of them and they are all considered that they were real good, and if you are of the same opinion I will send them to the “Daily Mail.” But I am thinking it would be better to have the advice of our “Little Colonel.” Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 22 Mar 1917 (p.6): LONDON LETTER The following is another of Miss Pennefather's interesting letters, in connection with the Anzac Buffet, reprinted from “Launceston Courier.” Although the formal and abiding address is at the top of the page, I am luxuriating at Hastings. Beryl Corney, like the dear she is, is giving me this lovely trip. We came down here — a two hours' run from Charing Cross by fast train. B. had telephoned down to the Medlow Hotel to be sure of a room and we came straight here— such a cosy, clean, comfortable little place. My life for one week is that of a lap dog and a Persian cat combined, and that week will end on Tuesday next. The first three days were fine and clear, and the first one we spent on trams going in all directions, and seeing a lot of the country. The spring must be very lovely here; but then it is all over England. Last Tuesday, we visited the ruins of Hastings Castle — just a short walk from where we are staying. It covers acres of ground, and is built on a high hill right on the sea. Then we went from there to St. Clement's Caves — another walk. They are three acres, in extent, and no one has any idea really when they were first used; there is only supposition. Next day was very nice and fine, and we went by train to Roberts-bridge — a half hour's run; then walked to Bodiam (pronounce 'i' as 'j' and you will have the word) Castle, built in Richard II.'s reign. It is very beautiful — the exterior almost perfect all round, but inside nothing at all. The moat is very wide and deep, and always full of water, and has a boat on it There are six round towers, each having a spiral staircase in perfect repair, and from the one we climbed we got a magnificent view. I am putting in a spray of ivy we took as we left this fascinating spot. From the castle we walked to Bodiam Church, which was as dark as pitch inside, owing to the lighting restrictions requiring that the windows shall all have thick blinds. This is evidently a very poor parish, and cannot afford blinds inside, so thick bags are hung outside, and remain there. I had a box of matches, and struck one or two just to get an idea of the interior. 5 o'clock saw us back at Hastings and up to our cosy bedroom with a big fire and tea. Saturday — the following day — we had set out to go to Rye, but the morning was wet and miserable, so we put it in writing instead, and took a tram to Bexhill in the afternoon, as the rain cleared off, and it froze instead. Sunday was most consistently wet, so we wrote and read and knitted, and on Monday, to our joy, the weather behaved itself, and we started off at 12 by train to see Battle Abbey, built by William on the site of the Battle of Hastings, the chapel on the spot Harold fought just before he was killed, the high altar being on the exact spot on which he fell. Cromwell dismantled the abbey and gave the estate to Sir Anthony Browne, in whose family it remained for many generations, then passed to the Websters. In 1857 it was purchased by the Duke of Cleveland, and a small portion restored and made inhabitable. The dukedom is now extinct, and the abbey again in possession of the Websters, who live in Powder Mill Cottage, a mile away, and let the abbey. For the last nine years it has been rented by a rich American — M. P. Grace; but the lease ran out a few weeks ago, and it was not inhabited when we went to see it, though still furnished. The old guide, with his wife, lives in what used to be the cells of the prisoners condemned to execution, took us all over the interesting ruins, and among other things, told us that, although 72 years of age, he had never slept out of the Parish of Battle in his life. It seems such an extraordinary thing to stand on the very spot where the Saxon king was killed, which event put the Normans in possession, and changed the whole destiny of England. Pevensey, just a tiny way along the coast, was where William landed. The little Church of Battle is very beautiful, and very interesting, and we had our lunch in a little cottage that is almost as old as the abbey itself. This was our last day at Hastings, for 12 o'clock on Tuesday saw us in the train bound for London again, after a most delightful week. I had often heard that these seaside places are really kept going by the old, old people, men and women, who frequent the hotels and boarding houses, and seek a few years of life in the comparative mildness of the south coast, and now I know it is so. Beryl and I were the youngest in our particular hotel — B. in fact, a child. When the quaint maid brought in the different little trays of teas to the drawing-room on the wet Sunday, when everyone was tied to the house, and announced on her third entry. “Now, this is for the two young ladies,” at the same time dumping the tea down in front of us, we almost felt for our pigtails! But the coping stone was reached on the morning we were leaving, when Beryl said, “Well, Ellen we are leaving to-day; are you sorry to lose us?” “Yes,” said Ellen (and I really must remember her liberality in my will) “I'll miss you both very much. I do like to have young folks always about me!” There were 15,000 Canadians at Hastings billeted in the many houses left empty by people who were nervous about the Zeppelin raids. They are all along the sea front, and you can imagine how much khaki one sees about. All their cooking is done in the street in portable kitchens — we could see them from our window preparing each meal. All these men had been in hospital, and were convalescing here, and as they got better they were drafted away to the camps and others from hospital took their places. We only saw three Australians all the time, and one of those was with the Canadian force's, having been in Alaska when the war started. The day after we got back to London, Sergt. Staunton, of whom I have often spoken, came out to see me. He used to be in the K.G., and is now on furlough. Beryl came in, too, and we arranged that he should get a friend, and the four of us go to see Gerald du Maurier in “London Pride.” So I telephoned to Lady Wynne for Ronald Wilson, Staunton's great friend, in the K.G. We went there and got him, and off we started for Wyndham's Theatre. The play has only just been written, and is very clever, and splendidly done by the whole company. It is coster life in the East End, France, and the trenches, and an English country house V.A.D. hospital. How the boys loved it! Afterwards we all went to Fuller's for tea, Staunton insisting on doing host, as he was on furlough, and had just had his pay. He is such a generous boy. Coming on Christmas time is a bad time to get theatre tickets for the hospital boys — even our old friends Maskelyne and Devant failed us, as far as free passes went; but I got 14 seats at half-price for some K.G. men for the next afternoon, and Beryl took them. The day started with a fearful fog, which got worse and worse. You will have read in the cables that the fog of Saturday, 16th December, was the worst for 22 years. I went to the door of the theatre with B. and the boys, then returned to the K.G. to see a number of new cases there, going back again to Maskeyne's when the thing was over to pilot them to tea if the fog had lifted; back as best we could to the hospital if it hadn't. Well it hadn't, and every bus and taxi had stopped running, so we groped our way to the Oxford Circus tube, and got from there to the K.G. by underground, and such congestion of traffic in the tubes I never saw before. You can imagine what it meant, at the busy hour 5.30 and with all the buses stopped. It was wretched having to take the boys back without tea, but we were thankful to get them back safe and sound anyway. Sunday I was at the Anzac as usual; Agnes, too, was working there. Miss Beeman has been indefatigable in trying to raise a special fund to provide a Christmas dinner for 300 (sure) of our boys, and any others who may happen to come in, and she was very jubilant on Sunday over the success she is having. I don't think the world can possibly contain two women like Miss Beeman. Since she started at the Anzac — over a year ago now — taking charge of and buying all the stores, she has never had a holiday, never is later than 6 a.m. in arriving, or earlier than 7 (often much later) in going away, and what she gets through, I thought no two women ever could manage; and what our boys owe to her and to Mrs Rattigan is more than any pen can write. Neither of them has one thought, I do believe, outside what they can do for Australia's soldiers, and the many thousands who have come and do come, to the little Buffet have cause to bless them with all their hearts. On Monday, Mrs Hall (Queensland) asked me again to bring some men to her house in Buckingham Palace-road, for tea and entertainment, and Beryl and I took seven from the K.G., among them M'Eniery Hoskins and Deverell (a Tasmanian), who had not been out before. They do get a glorious time at the halls — such easy chairs and couches and great fires; and as for the tea! Well, ask the boys. We went next day to the Eye Hospital, and took the men out to a show and for tea. There was one Australian amongst them who is marked for home on January 12th, so he's alright, and his eyes are improving. On Wednesday, I went by arrangement with him to St. Dunstan's to take out Alf Blackett to visit Alf Tyson (from Launceston also), whom I had found in the K.G. a few days before, and who knows Blackett. Strange to say, Tyson is in the very ward poor Alex, was during the three weeks he was at the K.G., when he first arrived from France, and first knew that he had lost his sight, and the men who had been in the next beds were so glad to see him again — he had quite a reception— and I left him two hours among them all while I went to see other boys, and we got back to St. Dunstan's at 8. Sir Arthur Pearson is sending all the Australians away to Brighton for Christmas and New Year, and they were to leave on the following day. Dec. 27th — Christmas has come and gone — the third since the war began — and again have I seen the wonderful celebrations at the King George Hospital. The great day was Friday this year, and for days before the most glorious hampers and fruits kept pouring in to this great “Hostel of God,” as I heard a girl call it. Theatrical and musical entertainments were organised for every one of the 75 wards — 15 on each floor — though in several cases two wards were empty enough to be double banked, when one entertainment served. Lady Tree organised the shows on the fourth floor, and one heard and saw there some of the best talent to be found in London, and I happened to be in K.W. when our own man, Murdock was playing. To start the day at its beginning, Beryl and I set off early to shop for the boys' Christmas presents. We had previously found out from them the particular things they most wanted, and, as usual, letter wallets were in great demand, though a good many asked for a good razor or pipe. One huge Queenslander wanted braces, and it was not so easy to get a pair long enough. One man — and such a cheery handsome chap— fancied a teapot and caddy of tea, to be able to have his own cup of tea. Then, of course, cigarette cases, eau.de Cologne, soap, cigars, etc., all found a place. On that and the previous morning, at 5 a.m the sisters and some of the hardiest of the patients had gone to Covent Garden to buy plants and flowers. Sister Clarke, whom I know best in the hospital, had gone each morning and taken off Sergt. Cameron (Clifton Hill) and Dunbar Reid with her, so they were very lucky to have seen what the Christmas market looks like. Literally tons of magnificent iced cakes and hot-house fruit had been given, and the tables were a sight to be remembered. Different firms had lent a separate piano for each ward for a week, just as they did last year. The hospital gave every man in it a Christmas parcel, each a replica of the one before it; and days before we watched some of the staff tying up these wonderful parcels in bright colored crinkled papers with red, white and blue ribbons, and they formed a huge pyramid on a large table in one of the staff rooms. It was very hard to tear one's self away, but by 7.45 the boys were pretty tired, and most of the artists had gone, and the visitors also, so reluctantly we said good-bye and left too. Last Sunday was a great day at the Buffet. Every available gas jet was utilised by Miss Beeman to boil hams and potatoes and apples for sauce, and there were crowds of men in. Their Christmas dinner (the following day) was to consist of roast beef, ham, potato salads, pork and apple sauce, plum pudding and beer, besides an enormous Christmas cake, and tea if they wanted it. The dinner had to be a cold one as the Anzac has no facilities for cooking, but with beer and the warmest of welcomes, the boys would not mind that. I was awfully sorry not to see them at dinner on Christmas Day, but there were plenty of waitresses with the morning and afternoon staffs, and Mrs Rattigan asked Beryl and me to go to the Hotel Cecil to help to make up the 40 she was asked to find to wait on our men who were being feted there. She also found 40 waitresses for the Savoy, a crowd more of our men having their dinner at that hotel. So on Monday, B. and I left early, called at the K.G., and left the baskets which contained the presents, and which we intended to distribute in the afternoon, and reported at the Cecil at 11, as we were asked to. Here we got into our green overalls — the A.I.F. waitresses wearing pink and mob caps — and were allotted rooms (we were in the Richelieu rooms). About 700 men sat down between that and the Medici room, and then downstairs a crowd of officers were dined, and I saw Sir John McCall. There were boys on leave from France, boys on leave from camp, boys on furlough from hospital, and lots in their hospital blues still, as well as a good many staff boys. The tables were decorated with wattle, and the menu was — Roast beef, potatoes and French beans; roast turkey, salad and cranberry sauce; plum pudding, and dessert, all good and plentiful (a hot dinner), and beer for drink, out of — what do you think? Wineglasses! filled from pint jugs! from a cask— one cask — outside the door. It was a merciful and happy arrangement to have Christmas in the depth of winter in England, otherwise I don't know what would have happened — a mutiny at the very least. Imagine Australians drinking beer from wineglasses filled from pint jugs, on Christmas Day in Australia! I suppose my imagination is limited, for I can't begin to imagine it. Anyway, the boys had plenty to eat and were very jolly, and Mr Moss, a Queensland lawyer, made a speech, and then the King was toasted — in heel-taps, I regret to say! Afterwards the boys marched off to the London Opera House to a concert. It was a very medley crowd that left the courtyard, each man's hat decorated with the wattle he took from the tables. Some were in overcoats, some in the heyday of their youth and strength, some not very long out of hospital, and still looking pale and weak — a crowd of crutch and other hospital cases— but all were included in the march, and it just brought tears to one's eyes to see the brave start the crutches made to— the quick march of the band. Our own band and that of the Irish Guards played, and one of the latter happened to be standing beside me waiting for the others to come up, and twirling a bit of wattle in his hand. I asked him if he knew what it was called. “Yes, mimosa,” he answered. I said, “We call it wattle in our country.” “That's a funny name,” he replied; “I never heard it before, and I'll never remember it. Oh, yes, I will, though, because it's Christmas, and we are all saying to each other 'Wat'll you have? you see; wattle you have? — wattle you have— that's quite easy!” Pretty smart, wasn't it? Of course, all the hospitals had their Christmas dinner on the proper day too, and at the K.G. each patient was allowed to have one guest to spend the afternoon with him. We went there straight from the Cecil, gave each man his present, and then settled down in J3 for tea, which we were remarkably glad of, it being the first morsel either of us had since our toast and tea at 8 a.m. The King, Queen, Princess Mary and the Princes Henry and John all arrived about 2.30, and each took one of the five floors of the hospital, and visited each of its 15 wards and every man in each, and gave him a copy of 'The Queen's Own Book.' Prince Henry was on the first floor, Princess Mary on the second, the Queen on the third, the King on the fourth, and Prince John— the imp who used to stand in front of the Coldstream Guards at Windsor and grin while they stood to attention, till they were nearly beside themselves with rage!— on the fifth. We were barging into Royalty at every turn, and I stood in two wards while the King walked around. He spoke to every man, found out where he came from, where he was wounded, how he was getting on, and then gave him his book from his own hand. I like the King's voice, it is sweet and sympathetic, and his face is kind. But he looks ill and old, and very tired. He was in, the simplest of khaki uniforms, and it was good to see him among his men – the men who have fought and suffered for him and the Empire – as a man among men and not as a stereotyped King. Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 17 May 1917 (p.4): ANZAC BUFFET – URGENT APPEAL http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/153439548 Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 14 Jun 1917 (p.7): A LETTER FROM LONDON Miss Pennefather, whose letters are so very popular with 'Every Week' readers, writes from London. “The mail may or may not be going, but I am taking the whole day on to write, anyhow. Oh, it's so cold! A bitter icy wind is blowing, as cold as anything we have had, and snow falls in heavy showers every now and then. The day did promise so well, too — beautiful sunshine early this morning, which did really warm you if you sat in a window it was smiling on, and kept it tight shut! For the wind has been hard at it for two days. It was awfully disappointing for we really have gone through a most terrible winter. Yesterday I took a lot of our boys from Ruskin Park Hospital to Drury Lane Theatre. I rang up the manager, and he gave me 12 stalls for their most excellent and interesting light opera, “Young England.” Good voices, very pretty music, and full of fun. The boys did love it. Among the men was a Sydney University man called Hooper. The managers are really very good to me, and I can generally be pretty sure of getting seats. Three times have I had them for “The Double Event,” the bright and very funny little comedy that Ethel Irving is playing in; and the manager wrote to me the other day and told me practically he would give me seats up to the number of 20 on any Monday afternoon if I only let him know. Soon now, I hope, we shall be able to go for out-of-door enjoyments, Hampton Court, Kew Garden, etc., but all through the dreary, dreary winter the theatres have been the only things possible. The interesting museums are all shut, even the “British,” and the boys can't spend all their time in churches! Sergeant Harry Gillam (Ross, Tas.) and his chum, Sergeant Warfield (Hendon, Queensland) returned from their six weeks' furlough spent in Scotland last week, with still five days to run after arriving in London. They looked splendid, and are as fine types as one could meet, with — both splendid boys, physically and morally. On arriving in Edinburgh the lady superintendent of the Overseas Club evidently got interested in them, and told them she wanted to introduce them to a friend of hers. The friend appeared in the person of a Mr Wellwood, the son of a nobleman, who lived in his beautiful seat near Edinburgh. He was a white haired old gentleman, and took an instant fancy to our boys, and asked them to stay with him, which .they did for eight days; and he nearly broke his heart when they came away. He gave them a suite of rooms to themselves, and their own servant to wait on them; and they used to come in to the ceremonious dinner at night in the old conventional way— each with a lady on his arm. Mr Wellwood had had his portrait painted by James Guthrie, life-sized, and he was anxious that the boys should carry away a likeness of him; so he sent 12 miles for a photographer to come and photograph it, and he gave each a copy — just a small thing that they keep in their pocket-books. Such a beautiful old man he is, with such a kind face. He hated the boys going to bed, and used to go up and sit on their beds, just for the pure pleasure of chatting to them and hearing them talk. He took them everywhere in his motor car, and showed them all sorts of interesting and historic places, and has made them promise that they will always write to him, and if at any time he can help them they have only to let him know. From there the boys went to Novar and I think it is there Major Munro Ferguson, the brother of our Governor General — has his seat. The boys met him somehow, and he made them come and stay at his beautiful home, too. They were there a week, and said Major Munro-Ferguson was the very soul of hospitality and kindness to them. One day he motored them to see his brother's place, which they told me is very beautiful. They have photographs of almost all the places they have been taken to. All our boys share the same opinion about the Scotch people — their hospitality is unbounded and unlimited — and they just love Scotland. One boy said he found it was impossible to spend money in Edinburgh. I heard from Gillam this morning: he says he is feeling very fit, and quite settling down again into routine and discipline. I saw both Frank and Robin Potter when they were over, but this I am sure I told you. Johnna Hales' cousin, Hungerford, is in Wandsworth Hospital, and he has been to it once or twice with me. It is lovely to see all the dear old things. Ted is still at Weymouth, and has yet had no furlough, but he is better, and will go on improving I'm sure, and is really much better there than he would be in London. Last Saturday, at the invitation of one of the doctors, whom we know there, Beryl Corney and I went to Dartford, the Australian Auxiliary Hospital, 20 miles from London. It was quite a fine day, and we left Charing Cross at 11.45, getting to Dartford at 12.30 (no fast trains now). We walked the mile and a half to the hospital from the station, and on arriving there sat down to dinner with Major Sutherland and Captain Hugh Murray (two of the doctors) in their own sacred room, our mess being exactly the same as the 1,200 Australian soldiers who were there, and jolly good it was. Excellently well-made haricot, potatoes, and parsnips, cheese, and bread and butter. After dinner we were taken right through the great hospital, spent a lot of time in the kitchens and laundry, both of which are entirely staffed by women, who in the kitchen department at any rate are far more satisfactory than men; they are much more thrifty and economical, and there is absolutely no waste of any sort. The equipment of both kitchens and laundry are the best and most up-to-date that can be obtained, and the kitchen staff consists of a chef, two sub-chefs, and 30 women under them, not too many when there are 1200 patients, and I couldn't tell you how many sisters and doctors and nurses and orderlies. We saw some old friends who had been transferred from the K.G., and Dartford itself is a very old and interesting town, nearby is the hill from which Watt Tyler addressed the rebels. There is a lot of ground round the hospital, and the men were gardening, planting potatoes, etc. Inside is a splendid entertainment hall, and nearly every evening a company of professional artists come down from London to amuse the boys, then they have three billiard tables, gramaphones, and every mortal game one could think of, a huge library, twelve beautiful baths, with heaps of hot water, and all the wards are heated with hot water pipes, so are much more comfortable than those at Wandsworth, which only have stoves in the middle, of them. The men have heaps of liberty, but are not allowed passes for London, except, for something very special, and its 20 miles from the capital is the only thing the boys have to grumble at really. There is a most up-to-date massage and electrical department, which I think Captain Murray has under his control. Altogether, we spent a most interesting day, and I am very glad to know what the hospital is like, so can now read the riot act to boys who hate the thought of going there. On Sunday an old soldier, A.I.F., who used to come in often to our Buffet when it was at headquarters, appeared again, over from France. When he used to come in the old days he had four young Australian boys always with him, whom he looked after like a father, kept them interested and amused, and out of many a mischief, and they were very fond of him. All were under 20, and on Sunday he told us he had buried all four of them in France —the youngest last. Poor old chap, he was very broken up. I wonder to what extent the war has put up the price of food in Australia. It is getting very serious here, not the price only but the scarcity of almost everything. When I tell you that matches are 10½d a dozen now, which used to be 1½d, and that everything is about on the same lines, you will understand the difficulty of getting anything to eat at all. The woman who keeps this house stood for four hours in a queue yesterday outside a greengrocer's shop to get a few potatoes. Conditions are grim, and stern realities, and not hysterical imaginings, I can tell you; but when I write, what is the use of going into all the horrors and LONDON Letter Continued miseries — the sunk ships, and drowned men, and the Zeppelin raids, and coastal bombardments (we have had both again the last week). I try most of all to let you know what the money means to our boys that is so generously sent me for their use and benefit. I have never asked for a penny either in Australia or here. I never dreamt, in the fact of all that is being subscribed to, of ever having a penny to spend on them; yet it has come, and continues to come, so wonderfully, and since Beryl Corney has been with me we are able to do so much more. This terrible “push” going on now on the western front will fill the hospitals very soon, and it just fills my heart with thankfulness to know that, thanks to you all, it is in my power to give them so much consolation. Now I have not stirred for six hours, and have writer's cramp, and all sorts of things. Am frozen to the proverbial marrow — it is snowing heavily, and all the fire I have is in my eye — so I must go for a walk. I will be so glad of “Bulletins,”' “Punch,” “Australians,” etc.; also New South Wales “Referee,” the boys love. I am so grateful to all who send me papers. Richmond Guardian (Vic), Sat 11 Aug 1917 (p.2): THE WORK OF THE ANZAC BUFFET Miss Pennefather, a Tasmanian lady, who has performed an immensity of work at the Anzac Buffet in London, writes: – “The boys who come to the “Anzac” have already been rationed – three sandwiches and a piece of cake – but as much tea or coffee as they want. Presently it will come down to two sandwiches, unless the “U boats” are less successful. I buy a 2lb loaf (all bread is 12 hours old now before it is allowed to be sold), have two slices each morning for my breakfast, and it lasts me eight days. I get a meal out in the middle of the day, restricting myself to some sort of food which contains no flour or other cereal, and have a sandwich and tea for my third meal. To-day I am staying in so as to write. The mail is going to-night, and my lunch will be 2oz cheese, a biscuit, and half a cup of milk – the remains of my morning’s pennyworth. To-night I will go out and have a meat meal of some sort. It is more than likely you know more about the ships that are sunk between here and Australia than we do. Only to-day was the torpedoing of the Ballarat published, though we knew she went down 10 days ago, and there have been two since, not published. Were it not for the submarines I believe the issue of the war would be a walk-over now, but the men can’t fight without food, and the submarines are the ‘mistress of the seas’ to-day.” Miss Pennefather, continuing says: “Last week brought me a letter from the London house of the Mount Lyell Company, enclosing a cheque for £50, and informing me that the sum and the like amount each month till further notice have been voted me by the Mount Lyell and some other mining companies in Melbourne, to be used for the benefit in various ways, of our wounded and sick Australian soldiers. I have no words to express my gratitude and appreciation of this honor that has been conferred on me, and the sacred trust that has been put solely into my own personal hands. I wrote at once to Mr Hal Sheppard, and that acknowledgment he will read to the directors, who have been responsible for this splendid gift; and I also write personally to Mr Baillieu, Mr Knight, Mr Hyndman and Mr Lumsden. There may be other generous givers whose names I do not know, and whom I would have liked to write to. To them, and to all these friends, in the sacred name or our wounded and suffering boys, I offer my deepest and sincerest thanks.” Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 4 Oct 1917 (p.5): MISS PENNEFATHER ENTERTAINS SOLDIERS Mrs Fleming (Launceston) is in receipt of a letter from Miss Pennefather, London, says the “Weekly Courier,” acknowledging a contribution forwarded for the use of our soldiers. The following is an extract: – “How can I thank you enough – you and other generous friends – for what you are enabling me to do for our men? My sister’s letter with enclosure for £4 from you reached me, and the money will give many of the boys a very happy afternoon. I wish I could more often get some of the soldiers to send a letter to the different subscribers (to their entertainment and comfort) in Australia. But it is not always easy for them to write – too ill, or too hurt, or too something. Their dear hearts, however, are full of gratitude. And they know the story of all that you kind people never tire of doing for the.” The Australasian (Melb, Vic), Sat 3 Nov 1917 (p.44): FOR FRIENDLESS SOLDIERS Under the presidency of Lady Creswell, a committee was formed in Melbourne early this year, with a view to aiding Miss Pennefather (a well-known Tasmanian) in her helpful work for friendless and convalescent soldiers in England. Ever since May last the Melbourne women who practically interested themselves in this movement have been working with the object of holding a sale of work, &c., the proceeds from which are to be forwarded to England in the name of “The Australian Friendless Soldiers’ Abroad Comforts’ Fund.” Owing to the kindness of Mr G.H.V. Thomas the use of premises at 185 Collins street was at the disposal of the committee for the week ending Saturday, November 3. “Shop” was opened there on Monday afternoon, October 29, and continued each day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Excellent results were the outcome of the sales for the first afternoon, the returns amounting to £113. No expense is attached to the “shopkeeping,” for all the articles for sale were given, and the stalls were lent by Mr E.H. Willis. Miss Doris Marshall, daughter of the Rev D. Marshall, who has just returned to Melbourne after having been a V.A.D. worker in London, has much that is gratifying to relate regarding Miss Pennefather’s efforts for the soldiers; and so has Miss Corney, who has been working with Miss Pennefather. The women who have undertaken to raise funds for aiding her work are therefore most anxious to make a great success of their first appeal for public co-operation in this city. …….. http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/140196954 Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 18 Oct 1917 (p.7): A LETTER FROM MISS PENNEFATHER The following interesting letter from Miss Pennefather, dated London, July 27, we re-print from the Launceston “Courier.”– It was good to get back among the boys once more, and in spite of many I knew having left the King George several remained, and I have made the acquaintance of many more, and have my list made out for Windsor next Tuesday. The day before yesterday I took 23 of our boys in a motor char-a-banc to Windsor again, leaving the K.G.H. at 9 a.m. When we reached the castle — 11 a.m.— we were met by Miss Nicholson, of whom I have written before and we managed to get a bath chair for Baillie from a soldier's lounge in Windsor town. He cannot bear to have his legs hanging down (indeed, this was only his second time out), so Miss N. found a box, and we had cushions; so he was made quite comfortable, and so arrived — Baillie (with Jock pulling and me pushing) heading the procession – at the Chapel Royal, and the boys were all shown round as usual. I have gone into the details of what lies inside several times before. Afterwards on arriving at the entrance to the stall apartments the bath chair was found impossible; so I spoke to the custodian (Mr. Miles), and he promptly found a way out of the difficulty by despatching a messenger to some sacred spot in the Castle where the little chair is kept which used to wheel or carry Queen Victoria when she was no longer able to walk. Handles appear in a mysterious way front and back when ever steps are encountered, and Baillie was lifted carefully from the bath-chair to Queen Victoria's, and without any difficulty I wheeled him right through all the great rooms, and he heard and saw everything. When we went into what used to be the great cellars of the castle but what are now converted by lowering the floor into really beautiful servants' quarters — to be given tea by Princess Alice (Queen Mary's sister-in-law, a daughter of the Duke of Albany, and very pretty) was Baillie's proudest moment. The Princess came up and said, "Why, you're in Queen Victoria's chair!” asked him a lot of questions, and autographed his card of admission. She is really very sweet, and real and natural, and always seems to say the thing the boys most appreciate. I suppose that is because she is real. She talks to every one of them, and judging by the way the young villians unblushingly ask for her autograph, they feel quite at home with her. The school holidays have just begun and Princess Alice's (her husband is Prince Alexander of Teck, but, as you know, all these titles have been dropped) two children were there — a sweetly pretty little girl about 10, named May, and a perfectly natural, healthy young schoolboy of 12, who much preferred sitting on tables instead of sticking to the stupid old conventionality of chairs, and who much preferred seeing his sister doing the work rather than doing it himself, in spite of all her efforts to force plates of cake and cups of tea in his hands. No one could say "No!" when this sweet little thing came round. "Oh, yes, go on; you must, you know. Take that bit. Look, that," etc. The eldest son of the King of the Belgians, who is an Eton boy, and at present spending part of the holidays with Princess Alice's children at the Castle, was there too — a very tall slim young thoroughbred, about 14, very good looking and very shy. He was given no peace by little May, who kept going behind him and pushing him along to make him speak to the boys. Altogether, it was just the pleasantest, most homely, and unceremonious party of all that I have been to at Windsor. Princess Alice kept saying to each supplicant for her autograph, "Very well, in a minute, when the others aren't looking, or they'll all be asking me. "A party of 30 New Zealanders from one of their hospitals was there and every single man of them asked for and got it. So did mine and so did a crowd of our boys from Southall, who came in charge of an N.C.O., and every Tuesday the Princess gives up her whole day to this, and I know she does lots during the week in other ways for the soldiers. After the Castle, Baillie was put back in his bath chair, and wheeled all through the stables, etc., and by 2.15 the whole crowd of us arrived at the "Windlesora" for a rattling good cold luncheon, with unlimited hot new potatoes, and apple pie, and tea and biscuits and salads — as much as ever they could eat. It is the fourth time we have been there for luncheon. I order it by letter a couple days beforehand, and it costs 2/6 a head, and is very cheap, for these times. The boys had had time to work up a very fine appetite since their morning tea, and they did full justice to it. ("Windlesora" is the old — Anglo-Saxon, I think — name for Windsor, and means "winding shore.") I have ordered a char-a-banc for two more Tuesdays in this month, and will take a different lot of boys each time. On the 14th, I am taking a party from the 1st London General, and have got leave from the Registrar to have them from 9 a.m. Of course, I very rarely have time to visit this hospital, there being always so many of our boys at the K.G., and so much to do for them there; but there are two boys there now whom I was cabled to about and went yesterday to see — Lance Kelly, from Launceston, and Herbert Clarke, from New South Wales, and both are getting on well, and will be able to come with me to Windsor on the 14th. Last Saturday I had just left the K.G.H., and was having a meal close by about 7.30, when two of our boys came in, too. I soon gathered from their talk they had never been in London before, and had, in fact, only just that morning arrived from Australia, so we got going. Being Saturday, the pay office was shut, and they were very short of cash till Monday, but had booked a comfortable sleeping-place, fortunately, and for lack of funds intended to "stroll round" till bedtime. Imagine wasting five hours of a precious couple of days leave "strolling round." And this is where all you good friends in Australia come in. I suggested a theatre, which they would not hear of at first, till I could get a word in edgeways, and told them who it would be giving it to them. Then they gave in, and we hurried up to find something they wanted to see which had any spare seats. The Coliseum had only standing room, so they decided on "Chu Chin Chow, and we were able to get three good seats at the very last moment. They just loved the show, and after it was over I put them on their 'bus for where they were staying, and they promised to come into the Anzac the next day (Sunday), which they both did, and had a good meal during the hours in which a splendid cold dinner is given the boys now every day between 12 and 2. I hope I shall see these two again, and, at any rate, they have been introduced to the Anzac, and their first evening in London which promised to be a very lonely one, made the very opposite through the generosity of Australian friends. They left Australia in the 19th Reinforcements of the 24th Battalion, but expected to be transferred here. Two days ago I was waiting for a 'bus to take me to the E.S. and A. Bank and saw two of our boys with that unmistakable look of loneliness about them which always hangs about new arrivals; so I asked them where they wanted to go, and told them I, too, was an Australian. They turned out to be two Tasmanians — Trethewey and Tolland. Both had been in the Commonwealth Bank in Launceston; and they told me they had been "pulled out of the trenches" only the morning before, and ordered at once to London to report for duty at the Commonwealth Bank here. They had landed at Dover only that morning, and, although they had fought in Egypt, and been 16 months in France, this was their first visit to England. So we all came to the city together, on the same 'bus, and I sent them off to their bank, while I went to mine. You will, perhaps, have read cables etc., about recent daylight air raids by aeroplanes in London and on the Saturday before we went to Scotland the 'planes (15 of them) came over the part of London I am in. As only the bank address figures on this letter, the censor need not scratch it out, but you all know. I was just starting to go to the Anzac, and as the 'bus conductor was taking my fare he said in an undertone, "There's a raid on — do you know?" I said, "Where?" but he only shrugged his shoulders, and a minute afterwards a policeman stepped out in the road and held up the 'bus and advised us all to take cover in some basement, so all the passengers went into the different houses just there. The guns opened fire at this moment, and they are pretty terrifying. I looked up as I got out of the 'bus, and counted 15 aeroplanes apparently right over our heads. However, no bombs were dropped in this locality; they fell on the city, and you know the damage there, both to life and property. I waited in a basement till the guns ceased firing, among a distracted lot of mothers running backwards and forwards to the street trying to find their children; and when silence told us that the 'planes had been driven off I walked to the Underground, and went the rest of the way by tube, which was packed at all its stations by people taking cover. As they run 70ft. underground they are safe — if any place is safe from the high explosives of to-day. Frank Bond has been over on leave, with his two stars on the shoulder, and I saw quite a lot of him, and as I happened to be taking a char-a-banc to Windsor while he was here he came with us, and enjoyed his day, never having been there before. I was talking to a couple of chaps from his company the other day who were over on leave later, and it was good to hear their appreciation of him. They just swear by Frank, and, knowing him as I have, ever since he arrived at the K.G. as a private wounded, in the early Gallipoli days, I did not feel any surprise. He is, as the boys said, "one of the best," and "understands" his men, which is so rare a gift — so knows exactly how to handle them. Maiden, an Anglo-Australian, who was a private in the K.G. also, at the same time as Bond came to the Anzac to see me with his two stars now, and his M.C. ribbon as well. He was just over on a two days' leave. It is just lovely to see these boys again, and feel you are not for-gotten. Mrs. Sargood asked me to bring Frank Bond to dinner at the Pell Mell one night, and afterwards we all saw "Wanted, a Husband," with Gladys Cooper in it: and Mrs. Brace had him out one afternoon, and, of course, his ten days were all too short, poor old chap. However, he looked splendid. Dr. Bond, of Bruthen, Gippsland, was his father. Charlie, a younger brother, is with Frank, and Clive is on the Australia. On this excursion to Windsor, when Frank Bond was with us, I had a man named Mills, from Sydney. He had been shot through the head, and is almost stone deaf — one ear drum quite destroyed, and one has to speak right into the other ear to make him hear at all; and Princess Alice noticed my doing this, and stood by him for a good while doing the same thing. He had no idea who she was, and I heard him say, "My word, they give us a good show here!" "We've had a real fine day," etc.; and at last, "But there's one thing I would like to know, which is the princess? I was told the princess is giving us tea, and I'd like to see her." So she said, "Well, I'm the princess." Mills looked at her incredulously, then said "You don't say, now! Well, would you do me a favor of writing my name on my card, please?" which she did, of course. Poor old Mills, is at Dartford now, and expecting to be sent back to Australia. When we were at Eton College that day, on passing a huge ancient iron-studded oak door, with an enormous knocker, one of the boys raised the knocker, and let it fall, and at once the door was opened, much to the boys' horror. I explained it had been an accident. But the Provost and his wife and daughter (whose home it was) were not going to let us off like that. They invited us in, chatted to all the men, and took us through rooms full of interesting things that are not for the public eye, and it was hard work getting the boys away at all. A huge pile of newspapers has just arrived, after a long gap, which is of course unavoidable, and I'll get to work on them tomorrow morning. Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 6 Dec 1917 (p.1): ANOTHER LETTER FROM MISS PENNEFATHER Writing to relatives from London, under date September 7, Miss Pennefather says : — I wrote a long letter to you this day week — may it reach you — on the eve of our most memorable excursion up the Thames, with a big crowd of our boys. The men I was taking were from the 1st London General, Camberwell, which hospital is a good hour in 'buses and train from here (“here” means 87 Sutherland Avenue, where I moved to on the 3rd) so I got my cup of tea by 7, “set my house in order,” and started out in good time to reach the hospital by 8.45. The huge char-a-banc was already there, and the boys — the lucky ones who were coming, and the good natured ones who couldn't come — were standing all round it waiting. We were soon aboard and heading for Taplow. With each mile the day got brighter, and at last the sun shone out, which was the one thing needed to make a “perfect day.” Taplow was reached at 11 o'clock, and there Mrs. Sargood and her boys, Alex, and Ewan, who are spending the school holidays on the river, met us.. We had arranged that a motor launch (the Windsor Bell) should be waiting for s here, and she was up to time, with her crew of two men and a boy! Miss Nicholson, of whom I have several times written, came up on her from Windsor, and had been kind enough, to bring fruit out of her own garden for the boys. We were very glad to have her with us; she is indefatigable always in doing all that is possible for any of the boys who visit Windsor, I had arranged with Miss Gelf, of the Windlesora tea-rooms to have a cold lunch put on board, to which the boys did full justice when we reached Marlow Lock, and at Marlow itself they all went ashore and wandered all over the town; even those who had to be carried were brought ashore, and when their comrades got tired of their burdens we commandered chairs from an inn, and they rested on the footpath. We passed the house Melba occupied nine summers ago, now a Canadian hospital. After the boys had wandered about Marlow till they were tired we went on board again, and motored further up still, then down a lovely little tea house on the green banks of the river, below Cookham Lock and Taplow, where tea had been arranged for in the rose-trellissed garden, and there this Australian contingent sat and drank tea in a most amazing manner, which is an ever-green wonder, even to tea-drinking England, and always a severe strain on the most generous of tea-pots and most whole-hearted hospitality. The boys lay on the grass, and smoked and chatted till 5 o'clock; then we went on board the launch again, and reached Taplow by 6. Here one char-a-banc awaited us, and in a few minutes the boys were all seated, and with three cheers for Mrs Sargood, who had done so much to make it a happy day for them, and yells of “For She's a Jolly Good Fellow,”' we drove off, and 8.30 p.m. saw us back at the 1st London General after that I heard several of the boys say it was the most beautiful and perfect day they had over had in England. The open air, the sunshine, the river, the glorious woods, the entire escape from military routine and regulations, even the hospital ones; even one day of it does more good for these battered men than anyone can have the least idea of, who has not had the privilege of actually witnessing it, as I have, through the wonderful generosity and “understanding” of the many friends in Australia who, unasked, have provided the means to give the boys such a number of these open-air excursions, and, with two exceptions, in spite of a very wet August, to have had fine days for them all, also that so many of the men have benefitted, different ones, and sometimes from different hospitals, coming on each occasion. Miss Pennefather thanks her friends for papers sent, all of which find readers. One lady wrote stating she had been sending “Bulletins” for some time, and wondering if they were reaching me. I have had several lately, continues Miss Pennefather, last, night's mail bringing me some more, and I am very grateful for all I get. A very great many go across to France, and numbers to different boys in the camps. If those who are kind enough to send me papers will accept the acknowledgement of them in this way, I will be glad, for it becomes a. very difficult matter to do more writing, much as I would like, individually, to thank these kind givers, with so many calls on my time. But every paper I receive, rest assured, finds an eager reader, and the date put on the outside is a great help to me. On Sunday last, after Anzac hours I went to St. Mark's. I found H.I. Meenan, 14th Battalion, a Melbourne boy, amongst the recent admissions to the K.G. He has been severely wounded, and will, I hope pull through. He is so wonderfully uncomplaining, and so grateful for anything one is able to do for him; and oh, how good it is to have the power put into my hands to do so many things for these lads. Sergt T.G. Morrison, also of the 14th, and a Melbourne man, is in the next ward, with a fractured thigh, but able to be up on a wheeled couch now, and he goes in to visit Keenan every day. I needn’t tell you how the boy looks for his coming. Gunner W.C. Mortimer, 2nd Machine Gun Co., a Melbourne man, has just been admitted to the K.G. with an injured knee; he was over on leave, and slipped coming down the steps of an omnibus – hard luck, wasn’t it? He came among the first from Australia, he told me, and never had a knock till now. I think Gilbert, a Geelong boy, must have arrived home by now; he belonged to the 29th Battalion. I want, to thank Miss Phillips, of Tasmania, very much for the Tasmanian post cards, which are gradually finding their way into Tasmanian boys’ pocket-books; and Miss B. White, of 506 Brougham-st., Ballarat, as well as writing, sent me a book of views of Ballarat, which I carried round for a few days; and then, among the many boys I speak to in the street, chanced on a boy from Ballarat, to whom I gave them, and at the same time introduced him to the “Anzac,” near which we were at the moment. He was delighted, looked at the book, on which was Miss White’s address, and said, “I’ll go right in now to the writing-room here, and send this lady a letter” – so I hope it came. The other day a chap over on leave was telling me he had a couple of more days to go, but hadn’t a “bean” left, so intended reporting for France the next morning. He wasn’t begging; he never had an idea of being financed; he was just stating facts, and the ever-green soldiers’ fund peeped out, and after a very great deal of persuasion he at last consented to take what tided him over the last two days, and from his hat took a sprig of white heather, which, take notice, he had brought from someone he thought poorer (?) and more needy than his lonely self; he had stuck it there, and gave it to me; that is a very precious good-luck heather, and I am enclosing it to you – keep some, and send on some. Perhaps some people reading this may think, “It’s all very well, but these men are well paid, and they should have enough to pay their way for their ten days’ leave,” but now these are the facts. Many of these boys are drawing 1/ a day, having allotted the 4/ to their families, and 1/ we know is deferred always. Many are drawing 2/ many 3/ and some 5/. They come to London, many for the first time, young, inexperienced, utterly ignorant of the 1001 clever ways professional men and women thieves have of relieving them of their newly-drawn notes. They have long been known as the most generous people on earth, these boys, and the vicinity of the Commonwealth Bank is the favourite haunt now of professional, whining beggars of both sexes, who know they will never appeal in vain to the boys coming down the steps, often with notes in their hands. The children, too, of beggars, dressed in filthy rags, are sent out also to lighten their load of cash. Then, in the matter of paying for what they get, I am sorry to say the mere fact of their wearing the Australian badge is enough for them to be charged 3/ for a hair-cut, 1/ for their boots to be cleaned, and a bit more added to every small item they supply out of their own pockets to their uniforms, etc., and it is really only when they come to the end of their ten days' that they have begun to fool their feet, and to ‘know their way about,” and in saying this I have not touched on the wholesale, literal way they are robbed — notes taken in fivers and tens and greater numbers from their pockets, and the boys left high and dry, often at the very outset of their leave. I grant that often it is foolishness that gets them into these holes. But who is wise at 18, 19, or 20? And because a boy has been foolish, and is down, we don’t want to keep him down, and, my God! if they deserve punishment, they get it in France, good measure, and running over. Fancy anyone who had the power to prevent his going allowing a boy to return to the front two days before he need, and to know that perhaps his first day again in the trenches may be his last anywhere! It isn’t thinkable. The other day Miss Beeman received a letter from a man to whom she had given 2/ when he was “stony,” and about to return to France, last February! He enclosed the money, and said he would never forget what that help meant to him that night, and her “kind words,” when she gave him a theatre ticket as well, and said, “Now, go away and enjoy it, and come here before your train goes in the morning, and I'll give you your breakfast.” There's the little Anzac again, with its open door ever, and the warm hearts within, always ready to do whatever it is possible to do for the boys. Never let anyone thing grudgingly of help given to men facing such odds as men are facing in this world carnage. Let it be given if a man is in need, and let him who is perfect only cast a stone at him. Well, we had a most splendid and successful day at Windsor again last Tuesday. I took a big load, 28 men from Southwark Military Hospital, in a char-a-banc, which was early at the hospital. But the men were earlier still, and, though the starting hour was 9, as usual, they were all ready by twenty minutes to; so, there being nothing to wait for, we started, and having plenty of time, took the longest and most beautiful road; and the drive out was perfect. Of course, none of the boys had ever been before, except though one, Sergt. Meaker, 3rd Battalion, who had been to the outside of it only. Two boys were unable to walk or use crutches but all that was needed as usual was to enlist Mr Miles' sympathy, and at once two wheeled chairs — one the chair Queen Victoria used — appeared, and the two boys' troubles were at an end. The King and Queen again received .them in St. George’s Hall (the great banqueting hall) and spoke to the two men who were being wheeled. Mrs Sargood took my place among the men this time, as I have been through so often. The Queen spoke to Mrs Sargood, who was wheeling Buller — he has lost a leg, and very nearly died after his operation — and Princess Mary poured out their tea, and asked one of the boys who had been badly gassed, and whom she heard someone say could eat nothing but toast and fish—if she might make him a piece of toast. All the boys agreed that the Princess is very pretty and sweet, and only one, whose heart has stayed at home, evidently, declared, “We have prettier girls out in Australia.” Princess Alice was still away in Belgium — had gone over with the two Belgian princes. As usual, the men had a splendid lunch, Miss Gelf kindly sending out for fish for the poor chap who had been gassed, so he was happy; and afterwards we went in a car to Eton, those who wanted to go through the college getting off here — 14 of them — the remaining ones coming on with me to the river and the “playing fields” in the motor. Here we got boats, and the boys went for a long row, then lounged about on rugs and cushions, supplied by the boat-keeper, beside the Thames, in the gorgeous sunshine, so hot that I went into the shade. At 5 the Eton party were ferried over to us, and at 6 we climbed into the car again, and started for the hospital, arriving by a few minutes after 8, Miss Nicholson had told me of a fine private garden in Windsor where they were selling the fruit, so I got eight dozen nectarines and peaches in perfect condition and beautifully ripe, for less than a third what they are in the shops, and took them to the K.G. H. and gave them among the many Australians who are in bed there. You can wonder how they loved them. I wonder if Mrs Duncan Mcdougall, or if she is not able, would someone else, either write to or see the mother of a boy named Martin, in the K.G., and tell her he is better, and looking much better, that I see him every time I am at the hospital, and he is quite cheery now. Sister said to me, “The whole ward is fond of Martin — they couldn't help being.” His address is “Tenbury,” Adeney Avenue, Kew. Bairnsdale Advertiser….. (Vic), Sat 13 Apr 1918 (p.3): LADY’S LETTER FROM LONDON Writing from London under date October 12, Miss Pennefather says: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/74179927 [mentions Sister Mollie Pennefather] Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 6 Jun 1918 (p.4): A LETTER FROM MISS PENNEFATHER The following letter, written by Miss Pennefather, London, to her sister, Miss A. Pennefather (published in the "Weekly Courier") will be read with much interest : — Never has there been such a gap before between my long letters, and it is no use promising that there never will be again. As time goes on, and the war, instead of showing any signs of ending, becomes even a greater and wider problem, the need for work in even increasing channels becomes each day more apparent, and the hours that one used to be able to reserve for letter writing disappear altogether; and that is the way with me. It is no use keeping on telling the people at home; they do not understand, and cannot realise what the war really means, even in London, because it is not possible to do so at such a sheltered distance. Even here in Bath, where I am spending three weeks (returning to London on 27th), not one except the wounded soldiers in the hospital realises it, and I suppose it is pretty much the same in most of the inland country towns. Those on the east coast, poor things, know a good deal about it. The night before I left London to come down here — March 6 — there was a Zeppelin raid on the city, and, among several other parts of London, a huge bomb (said to be larger and more destructive than any other before) was dropped close to where I have my room in Sutherland-avenue. Mr Roelvink's house, where I had been sleeping while the moon was in, had its windows, doors, and breakables smashed. A nursing home a dozen yards away was demolished (bodies not all recovered even five days after), and four houses on either side of it. Doris Carter, the Melbourne singer, had her house wrecked — she is safe — and most of the houses in Sutherland-avenue had their windows smashed. No one had been to 97 — where my room is, and which faces the back — so I have no idea whether it is smashed up or no. It just comes to this really, that this sort of thing, occurring so frequently, must unnerve and unfit one for doing much work during the day. Bath is, of course, a very interesting and historic town. The old part, centring round the hot spring, is all built in a hollow, but the more modern part is on the hills all round, and the views from these are said to be the finest of any city in the United Kingdom except Edinburgh. The weather has been very good, and spring is coming at a great pace — far more advanced, indeed, both in London and the country, than it was last year, even at the end of April. That will give you an idea of the difference between the winters. Strict rations are now being enforced, and I had to obtain emergency meat, bacon, and margarine tickets down here, which I gave up to the landlady, and which allows me ½lb. meat, ¼lb. bacon, and ¼lb. margarine each week. Bread will be rationed presently, and all other foodstuffs are getting scarcer each day. The newspapers are impressing on every one who can get a food plot to plant potatoes, and, of course, other vegetables as well, so that at least there will be those to eat next winter. Lieut Stan Staunton and Sergeant Harry Gillam have both been over on leave from France. These are most familiar names to you, and both had a capital time, helped very much by parties, theatres, etc., which my fund enables me to organise. ….. Thank goodness, we have some of our magnificent boys still left. I was in one of the agents getting theatre tickets for several parties on ahead the other day, when a very nice looking young 40th officer came in to get tickets also. As he was a 40th man I couldn't resist speaking to him, though I must be sorely tempted before I can make up my mind to "stick up" an officer. I told him my name, "Not C. Penefather, from Launceston, of course?" Then he said, "I am D'Oyley Groom." Rather remarkable wasn't it? We had a great chat about mutual friends and relations; and I haven't heard about him since he returned to France. I know my last very long letter to you went down with all the rest of the mails off the Irish coast some weeks ago, and since then I wrote a shorter one, telling you about the arrival of 37 of our boys among a convoy of 200 all told that arrived at the K.G.H. on January 21. . . Shortly after this convoy, from Germany arrived the very first batch of British prisoners from Turkey, and among them O'Connor, from Monbulk, near Melbourne — such a fine-looking chap — one leg gone, and a terrible scar on his forehead; and one other Australian, Davern, from West Australia, 16th Battalion. Mrs Aeneas Gunn author of "We of the Never Never," etc., knew O'Connor's family at Monbulk, and her sister, Miss Taylor, who is one of the Anzac workers, at once went to see him at the KG. He came out once or twice with me before he was sent to Harefield and may be on his way to Australia, home, and beauty, by now, as also Davern. One trip O'Connor took with me was out to Southall Hospital in a taxi. All the committee of the Anzac went out to see the new canteen, which has just been started there, and which is under the superintendence of Mrs. Allan Macpherson. It is now most attractive and pretty, and comfortable, and well managed, and is a godsend to the boys there, almost all of whom are amputation case, as you know, and unable to get up to town or about much at all. One boy was sitting in the garden in a wheeled chair who had lost both legs from as high up as it was possible to take them off, and his right arm from the shoulder, he had a remarkably handsome and cheery face, without a trace of the battlefield on it, and with all his handicap and tragedy he said to me, "I don't consider any of the boys are wounded if they still have their sight!" Imagine that for spirit! On the 24th of last month 34 more of our boys among almost 200 soldiers arrived from Germany — the second big batch within a month — among them being L. J. Farrington, 54th Battalion, Sydney; J. G. Collins, 14th, Horsham; A. Grago, 13th, Sydney; F. Webb, Bunbury, W. A., 16th Batt.; Sergt. Burton 45th Colac; J. Reilley, 15th, Dalby, Queensland (he knows Mr. Ronald Powell and his wife who was Nancy Jowett) well; has done a lot of work for him at his place "Cambridge Eyott" near Dalby; T. Blacknell, 35th, New-castle; A. Simons, 16th, Adelaide; J. H. Addis, Port Kembla, 18th; J. G. Thomson, 25th Batt., Beechworth; R. N. Cato, 22nd, Melbourne. I can't remember the others. The day after they arrived at the K.G.H., the War Office claimed them, and on the day following the Red Cross got up a right royal welcome for all the returned prisoners then in the hospital. It began with a very fine tea up in the big "A" ward on the 5th floor. I peeped in while they were all enjoying it. About 300 or 350 were seated at the long table. The ward was beautifully decorated, and every man was crowned with some ridiculous design out of a cracker! Farrington, the boy from Croydon, Sydney, I knew, was blind, and I asked a sister from the ward in which he was if he were among the party at tea. Owing to the official business that had to be gone through the day after they arrived, I had not seen any of this lot of returned prisoners. Sister said he was not there, so I went down to his ward to look for him, and found him in bed in the lowest depths of despair and misery. Was it any wonder? Although blind, of course, all the months he had been a prisoner in Germany, he, and a young English boy, whose sight had been destroyed also, always had clung to the hope — almost a certainty to them — that when they should reach England they would be successfully operated on, and only that morning after a thorough examination, which gave not a ray of hope for either of these boys, had the oculist broken it to them that they would never see again The English boy had broken down completely, and cried like a little child. Our laddie, poor dear, had taken it much more hardly. He demanded to be brought back to his ward, got into bed, and said he hoped to God he would never get out of it again. It took a good while to persuade the boy to let me fetch his blues and get him ready, and bring him upstairs to join the party, but at last he gave in. In the ward were several repatriated men, not well enough to get up, and it was sweet to hear them encouraging and cheering on poor Farrington — "Good old Aussie," "Good luck to you, Aussie," "Tell us all about it when you come back, Aussie." The variety entertainment had just begun when F. and I got to "A" word, and as we opened the door one of the boys out of F's. ward, seeing F. come in with me, called out to the blind English boy who was sitting a little way off with his girl "Here comes Aussie, Joe" and with a joyful little exclamation Joe stretched out a blind groping hand towards Farrington. A place was found for F. in front of the English boy, so that they could talk to one another, and from my seat near the door (a spot of armstair on which were two or three Sisters as well) I watched our laddie, and was rewarded for persuading him to come, by seeing him laugh several times, and apparently appreciate the really excellent entertainment provided. Lady Tree gave a most awfully funny recitation, very well done. Ben Davis sang several times, also Ivan Novello, the composer of "Keep the Home Fires Burning," sang that song — (the writer of the words, Mrs. Ford, was buried in her own house, not far from my room in Sutherland Avenue, with her husband and children, on the night of the Zeppelin raid, the night after I left London) — and there were ever so many other good items. The Pipers of the Scots' Guards marched up one side of the great ward and down the other several times piping well known Scotch tunes and dances, and, oh, how the boys did love them, and what a perfect uproar of applause they gave them. Later on the pipers marched through several of the wards and played their pipes to the lads who could not leave their cots. Princess Mary was there, and Princess Patricia. I had never seen the latter before. She is very tall and handsome and full of life and animation, "beans,” as the boys would say, a real sport, I should think. When the show was over I put my arm through poor Fs. to take him back to his ward, and he said, "Thank you, lady for making me come, I've enjoyed it" and promised to come out with me and all the rest of our repatriated men who were able to be up, to the theatre on Thursday, two days ahead. The next day Mrs. Chirnside was entertaining them, so I booked theatre tickets for the day following. Mrs Chirnside is splendid, the way she never loses a moment in doing all she can for our returned prisoners as soon as they arrive. Thursday's show was a musical variety one at the Alhambra, and Farrington said he really enjoyed it, and the dear old thing caught up the songs so quickly and joined in all on his own. But the joy of joys was when we went to the Anzac for tea (I always have a brake or char-a-banc from Tilling's), Mrs. Mitchell was there with two of our boys from St. Dunstan's, both blind, of course, and one was not only in the same battalion as F. but came from the very spot he does, Croydon, Sydney, so perhaps you can picture what the next hour meant to F. The returned prisoners are allowed passes out of hospital every day, and the following day an English pal — Sergt. Andrews — who was in the same prison camp as Farrington, and who looks after him and waits on him — (a Mons prisoner he was) — brought F. out and to the Anzac. I happened to go in there about 5 o'clock. Mrs. Rattigan had hunted round among all the boys to find some out of the 64th Battalion — had found two who knew F. — and she said to me, "Just come and see them." It was good to see the boy looking quite happy with a pal on either side of him and their three tongues going for all they were worth. Mrs. Rattigan said "Here's Miss P., Farrington," and he shook my hand and said, "Do you remember me saying I wished I was dead that first day you found me? Well, I wouldn't be dead now for £5 a day!" Leave Mrs. Rattigan alone for finding out the saddest boys and trying to bring sunshine into their lives. I believe this boy will go to St. Dunstan's, and, of course that will be the happiest thing for him. He has been very interested in a lot of things I have told him about this wonderful place, and very cheered, too, but a long time will have to go by before he has gone through the last of his dark sad hours, poor dear. I am sure that those in Australia who are responsible for the infinite amount of happiness and help and comfort our boys enjoy will be glad to know that I have arranged for six of the worst amputation cases at Southall to have a theatre — a good theatre, and good seats — every week, and to come up to London and return by motor car. Mrs. Macpherson has kindly got a man near by Southall, whom she has employed before, to take the boys, and they have already had three jolly trips. The man who drives them — Deakin — carries each man in turn out of the car right into his seat, and back again to the car, and then takes them to the Anzac for tea. Then I have also arranged for a large party of our boys to be brought out to a theatre every fortnight from the 1st London General, Camberwell, and to have tea, and on my return to London intend doing the same for our men who are at Leytonstone Hospital. Theo. Ford, Rochdale, High-st., Malvern, is over in England for six months and not before he needed it. He was very badly gassed, you remember, but is looking much better now. Lieut. Cecil Chapman (5th Battalion) is also over for six months. Some time ago (he is a Shepparton boy, joined up at 16, was an officer at 18, is now only just 20, and is thought the world of by his battalion) he had the remarkable good fortune to be bitten by a mad dog in the trenches; took no notice of it for a day or two, and then began to show signs of heaviness and sleepiness and all ha; reported, and was sent to Paris for six weeks to be treated every day at the Pasteur Institute; loved the treatment which occupied 20 minutes each day, and had the time of his life in the gay (even now) city, especially as Rachael Roelvink had written to some very charming friends of hers in Paris to call on him, and they made his stay a most interesting one. Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 27 Jun 1918 (p.4): MISS PENNEFATHER’S LETTER Miss Pennefather, writing under date April 5, to her sister in Launceston gives the following interesting chat about her work amongst our soldiers from “Weekly Courier: – I returned from Bath on March 27, and, of course, found lots of changes at the hospital, so many of the boys I had known having been passed on to convalescence and new cases come in. So far only odd ones have been admitted from this awful push and slaughter, which began on March 21, and is raging continuously ever since, all of what is called the Northern Command hospitals being filled up first. Presently all the London ones will be filled to overflowing. At a few hours’ notice last Friday 79 orderlies and non-com officers were taken from the K.G. Hospital and sent to France, and no one put in their places. And such is the case in lots of others as well. Every possible man is being taken to fill something somewhere in France to help stem the tide of Germans, and guns, and air bombs, and gas that is being flung against our line, with Paris and the ports as its objectives. I never opened an Australian paper – never have time – so have no idea what the cables say. And that reminds one – please date the outside of any newspapers. I send a great number over individually to boys in France but can only deal with those that bear their date, for there is not time to open them and find out. All not dated on their cover I give over to the Red Cross, which sends newspapers in bulk to every hospital in England where our boys are. My last week in Bath I went to a hotel for bed and breakfast, and scratched round the rest of the day having a meal wherever I happened to be, and it was ever so much nicer though Bath is a very rationed place – 2oz. margarine a week, as against 4oz in London, and, of course, “if you can get it” applies anywhere for any article of food that is still in existence. There was no menu for any meal at the hotel I stayed, which is a very old established and well known one. Breakfast was a small plate of porridge, a kipper, or occasionally an egg instead, one tiny roll of margarine, toast and bread (rationed), and coffee (no tea unless you yourself supplied it), and, of course, sugar is not served now anywhere. Eight ounces of meat a week is allowed to civilians; that quantity a day or more to soldiers. People are being urged to plant potatoes wholesale, for they are a splendid standby, and there are many other vegetables that are very nourishing also. Small parks and squares are being planted all over London and along the railway. Miss Lahey, a Queenslander, and one of our Anzac workers, had a splendid crop of potatoes and artichokes last year that she had grown herself – prepared and did everything to the bit of ground she had got along the line – and she is doing the same this year. The Anzac benefitted by a huge sack of both artichokes and potatoes that she had grown. In some of my letters I mentioned that the part of London I live in had suffered very terribly from the raid that occurred the night after I went to Bath, but one has to see things to fully realise them. Four houses were quite demolished (and their occupants killed or injured) and many others partially wrecked. Hardly one pane of glass is left all down one side of Castellain-road, in which is Mr Rollvink’s house, where I had been staying at night while the moon was in. Pictures fell down in these, and china, etc., broken. Poor Mrs Ford, the writer of the song, “Keep the Home Fires Burning,” with her husband and children, was buried in the ruins of her house. Doris Carter, the Melbourne singer, had just returned to her’s which is a stone’s throw from me, when the bomb fell. She was unhurt, but four Australian boys staying with her were injured, and the house and contents more or less wrecked. As this happened four weeks ago last night, and many more bombs fell in other parts of London too. I wonder if Mrs Fleming got the letter I wrote her after receiving her parcel which came here care of Lieut C.H. Johnson. The contents were spread among the boys, and the little taste from “home” more appreciated than anything that could be got here, of course. Miss I. Vaughan, of Launceston, was very kind in writing to me and promising to send “Referees,” and they are coming quite all right. Two sergeants from Melbourne – Fulton (6th Battalion) and Kaiser – lying side by side in a ward of the K.G.H., who came in while I was away, and whom I have now got to know, were saying how they appreciated the kindness of one of the night sisters in getting papers for them from wherever she can lay her hands on them. I asked them if they were fond of sport, and would care for “Referees,” and Sergt. Fulton answered, “Sport? Rather – And did I hear you say the word, ‘Referees?’ Oh, no, of course not; oh, no, I don’t want a ‘Referee,’ nothing at all like that.” By which you can see what he meant – really – and next day he had lots of what he didn’t (?) want at all. I was talking to a Sydney man in the 104th Howitzers, L.K. Brown, last Tuesday, and presently he said, “That’s another Australian in the next bed; came in last night.” I saw the boy was pretending to be asleep, thinking his next door neighbour’s visitor would not be interested in him, and I looked on his board to read “Ivan von Assche,” whom I had met in Melbourne, and his sister several times, so I soon woke up that young man, and have seen him nearly every day since. He had been on leave from France and got influenza, but is almost well again now, and is marked out for Dartmore. For the first time last Thursday Ensor (16th Battalion, from Coolgardie, W.A.) was allowed out. He is the last of the repatriated men who arrived direct from Germany about the middle of January remaining in the K.G.H., and he is doing well now, after several operations on his leg, which he went very near losing. How he did enjoy it all – the drive, and the theatre, and tea at the dear little Anzac, and meeting pals. He is a keen observer, has a good memory, and will keep you interested for hours on what he went through while a prisoner. On one occasion, when in Saltau Camp, in Hanover, the Crown Prince came to see the English prisoners. He was attended by two enormous guards, Ensor said, quite 7ft high, and weighing 20st, he himself being about 6ft, and well built (a surprise to me). The C.P. came in smiling, and was most friendly and affable; stood between two of our boys with his hand on a shoulder of each, watching them play cards. “I know that game,” he said, “and have played it, I’m sure; isn’t it called Bridge?” His English is perfect. Ensor says he was never treated cruelly at any time, though neglected more or less, and of course was very badly fed, but all Red Cross parcels are faithfully handed over, and these keep the boys alive and fairly well satisfied. Considering what we know, I think this fact of British prisoners being given their food parcels a very wonderful one, for Ensor says there is not the least doubt that the German civilian population is suffering acutely from want of food. The boys are all very cheerful, poor old dears, even in the fact of what looks very serious just now. Of course the Germans have pushed us much further back than was expected they would, or was allowed for, for three of our C.C.S’s were captured, and all the doctors and nurses. Last night’s papers said our counter-attack had started with success. All leave has stopped for ten days, and all men who were on leave have been recalled. The Anzac has never been so deserted – hospital men out on “pass,” men on hospital furlough, and staff men being the only ones we had in yesterday. Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 11 Jul 1918 (p.4): MISS PENNEFATHER’S LETTER Writing to her sister, Miss Alice Pennefather, Launceston, Miss Pennefather, London, gives the following interesting account of her work amongst our soldiers in England (“Weekly Courier”) Forty-eight houses round this locality are condemned as the result of the raid on March 7, and must come down, so that, on top of the houses that were actually wiped out by the direct hit of the bomb, will give you some idea of the havoc round here. Miss Corney arrived in London last Thursday. I had just reached the Anzac from the hospital when the telephone rang, and I was asked for, and who should it be but the lady herself, arrived that minute, and staying at Berner’s Hotel. So I went right along to see her, and almost her first words were, “The Huns got me again!” Yes for the second time she had been torpedoed, this time a hundred miles off Falmouth. The passengers were taken on board one of the destroyers, and the ship towed into Falmouth, just managed to keep afloat long enough. The torpedo caught her in the cool storage hold, and sent a lot of carcases into the sea, but the greater part of the cargo will be all right. It happened at 5.50 p.m. on April 9. B.C. was on deck, and saw and heard the “look out” call “Torpedo!” “Reverse engines” was the instant order, instantly obeyed, and the torpedo shot past the ship’s bows. B. saw it plainly. The next second she again heard the sinister call “Torpedo!” and that time the ship was caught. She was one of a convoy of fifteen, accompanied by four destroyers. Fortunately B. got her luggage all right this time. It is nice to see her again, and not a soul who knows her but is delighted to have her amongst us once more, though she may take up work somewhere in the country eventually. However, nothing is settled yet. …………………………………………………………… http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/153435369 Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 12 Sept 1918 (p.4): LETTER FROM MISS PENNEFATHER In the following letter early in June, from Miss Pennefather, London, to her sister, Miss Alice Pennefather, Launceston, there is much interesting reading about our soldiers in hospital in London (“Launceston Courier.”): – I tried very hard to get a letter off to you last week, but it was impossible. Long before you get this you will know Stanley Pennefather (Siege Garrison Artillery) has been taken prisoner. Up to this no one here knows whether he is wounded or not. I can’t help hoping he is wounded, if it is not too seriously, for those men – they themselves bear witness to this – get far kinder treatment than the others. ………………………………………………………………………………………. http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/153437110 Every Week (Bairnsdale, Vic), Thur 3 Oct 1918 (p.1): LETTER BY MISS PENNEFATHER Writing on July 8 from London to her sister, Miss A. Pennefather, Launceston, Miss Pennefather tells interestingly of her work amongst our sick soldiers in England. (We abridge from the "Launceston Courier") as follows. It is a fortnight since my last letter to you.— Our boys have been admitted to the K.G.H., with what for want of a better name) is called Spanish influenza, but whether it is ------ introduction from Spain no one ------- However, it is a much more ------------- than the influenza we have been familiar with. In almost a few minutes you can run up a temperature of 105 — even 106 — and literally drop down with it; but, put to bed and looked after, three days might see you up again, and starting on the road to recovery, though weak as a baby, of course. I haven't been able to cope with all the Australians, but they, with few exceptions, go out almost as soon as they come in, and were chiefly men on leave from among the reinforcements from camp, or those just out of a convalescent hospital. No general visiting has been permitted at the hospital, and working visitors have been allowed in "at their own risk." I went nearly every day with an eternal formamint or cinnamon lozenge in my mouth and have never had a tinge (touch wood!), and although it was pretty hard to get leave to take any men out, I managed it a few times, because as well as the influenza patients there were lots of men recovering from wounds, and last Wednesday week I took twelve to Mrs. Sampson's (Miss Mollie Douglass, Geelong), in the afternoon. Mrs. Sampson has a pretty old house at Harrow-on-the-Hill, quite near the famous old school, and the scenery is very lovely all round; besides, she is the happy possessor of a garden and the garden has grass lawn, and some not long been out of bed, and all were from a hospital in a very hideous, very slummy part of London, without a speck of green to rest the eye on, so what the lawns meant on that beautiful hot summer day to those boys does not need very much imagination to understand. Mrs. Sampson's little English maid was very interested in having Australian soldiers to wait on, and the boys did the most remarkable justice I ever witnessed to the ample and most delicious tea spread for them in the pretty diningroom, looking out on the garden. Among the boys were G. Phillips (49th) from Mackay; S. A. Milgate from Moama; Haebeck, from Henty; C. M. Rawnsley, South Australia; Sergt. R. Craig from Newcastle; C. B. Smith, Ballarat; C. D. Young, Wagga, etc. Among the last admission to the K.G. are W. R. Elston, Tas., sick; D. W. Mitchell, from Heathcote, Vic.; Cam Melbourne; Sergt. C. G. Kingsley, Bendigo, whose mother I have just written to as his right arm has got it badly. These and many others the last few days are from France. July 13. — You see there has been a gap. From letters I get from Australia, very often my friends are very “understanding” as to the difficulty I have in doing much writing, much as I should like to do more of it. With two days a week entirely taken up, from 8 a.m. to 8p.m., organising and personally carrying out river excursions (50 men) and Windsor Castle trips (28 men); Sundays at the Anzac from 8.30; seeing the boys in hospital; writing perhaps 50 letters a week to boys in France, camp, etc.; sending papers, re-addressing parcels; communicating with Australian relations of the boys, taking early convalescent ones for their first drive, etc.; besides looking after my own room and personal requirements, it leaves but a small margin to fit in any more, and no one is so thankful as myself that I am able to do so much in giving pleasure and many etcetras to our men, and that I am so boundifully financed by the many generous friends in Australia, that the power to do is in my hands. I wish I could get more of the boys to write to the givers of the soldiers' fund, and give them an idea of some of the ways in which they benefitted by it. But with the best intentions in the world, they forget, and very few like their pen. Often men who are being returned to Australia tell me they will call on Mr. Macdougall, Mr. Sheppard, and others, and I furnish full address and they may or may not be able to go in the end — I mean after reaching home — but I know what this fund means to the boys. I know that many, and many a one would never have had his first long, comfortable drive in a taxi, after months of bed, but for it; that hundreds would never have had an opportunity of visiting Windsor Castle, and of being several times received by their King and Queen, but for it and by it enabled to have the whole trip made an easy and luxurious one. Hundreds would never have seen the glorious reaches of the river and had that whole day's trip also made a "pleasure excursion" in every sense of the word, but for the generous givers of this fund. And how many would in hospital have had to go without the endless little luxuries they have been able to enjoy, from champagne (for those hovering between life and death), to early strawberries, tomatoes, extra new laid eggs, whatever fruit this very limited market could furnish, lemons for cool drinks when temperatures were soaring up, or the days were hot and stuffy; and many a boy would have to forego a part of his leave (because of having been robbed, or been too trusting, etc.) but for some help. A cable sent home for money in good time before a boy has his leave will enable him to have a much more enjoyable one, as many of the boys draw their balance from week to week, and there is little to show when leave comes along and only in some cases — and then, perhaps, if one only knew there is a good reason for the omission — is the price of the cable not refunded to me. But, to my mind, there is nothing too good, nor half good enough, for these boys of ours. You out there fancy you know something of the war because you see maimed soldiers returned to Australia after being patched up here, and because there have been mines sown in home waters, and because you read cables in newspapers about what is going on in this war-world, but you don't see what we see every day— men marching to their trains, with their full kit topped by the "tin hat," to face the guns again, and probably death with a brave song on their lips; men arriving on leave fresh from the devilish slaughter they have left, but a few hours before, and with such truths to tell that even the most credulous of us can hardly believe. Yet the old tradition of their bearing pain with set teeth, and never a sound, never fails. If you could see all this you would count it no sacrifice to give up the very best of your luxuries, if by doing so you could help to ease the suffering, or give one moment's pleasure of comfort to these young beloved heroes of ours — and remember, what we see is as nothing to the realities of France. Why you have never experienced a raid— and God grant you never may – but you know nothing of war, as even we know it. On the 1st of this month, I had 50 boys up from Harefield by train for a theatre party, and took them to see "The Naughty Wife," a very amusing comedy, splendidly acted by Charles Hawtrey, Gladys Cooper, and Ellis Jeffries. Of course, all tickets for these really good plays have to be purchased — at any rate, matinee ones — but why shouldn't they be? They are for "the boys." I had two brakes to meet the train at Paddington, and take us to the theatre, and again to pick us up after the performance, and drive to the Anzac, where the whole army had a good tea, and from where they were taken later to Paddington again, en route for Harefield. They really had a splendid time, and a theatre means far more to these men than an outdoor trip, because the hospital is right in the country, and a very pretty part, too, in summer time. As long as summer lasts we shall go regularly every Tuesday and Friday for the all-day excursions. Tuesday we spend at Windsor Castle, Eton, and in boating on the river; and Friday, we leave by the same train for Windsor, and then board a launch at once (11 o'clock), and go right up to Marlow, land for an hour and then get back to Windsor at 6, and catch the 6.20 for London. We have had four of these river trips and I hope to continue them through August, and at least into September. I said above we leave by the same train for Windsor on Fridays as we do on Tuesdays, but I am glad to say that last Tuesday I had the motor char-a-banc again, after being refused petrol for months past and I have to thank Mr. Sharpe for getting permission for me to have the petrol — he was indefatigable in his endeavours — and now I have enough to last till the end of November, after which it becomes really too cold to drive down, and I must trust to luck for the following spring — though many prophets say this year . . . to see the end of the war! Last Tuesday my char-a-banc held 14 boys from the K.G.H. and 14 of our young officers from the 3rd London General, Wandsworth. I had never dreamt of asking officers to be of our party till Alf. Tyson (Launceston) who is now a flying officer, and just now in hospital with appendicitis, said he would like to come and bring a pal, and, he added, "I believe a lot of them would like to come." Next day I had a letter from him that 12 had been got without any difficulty — though each was notified that half the party would consist of privates. Like the dear human young things that most of them are, they were not ashamed, but proud to be among their men and, needless to say, the boys are proud of their young officers. I heard that one officer wriggled out of coming when he knew of the combining of forces, and got the blunt opinion of himself from – n! And, in comparison, one of the officers, when they were about to be given tea at the Castle from the hands of Princess Alice, was very upset on finding that he and his brother officers were to be set "above the salt" and have smaller cups to drink from. We picked up the 14 men from the K.G.H. first, as Wandsworth is on the way to Windsor, and on arriving at Wandsworth found 14 officers ready (9. 15) to come, and five others had to be left lamenting, on the step, clad in their pyjamas. I hope some more will come another time. Indeed, one, Lieut. -- , in his pyjamas and dressing gown, finding we had a spare seat, called to me to wait five minutes, and tore off, dressed, and returned, and occupied it. I hope Mrs. M. Burkett Trenella, Broughton-road, Surrey Hills, Melbourne, will happen to see this, and know that her brother, George Turner, who is at Sidcup, was to have come with us, but the surgeon wanted him, so he is coming next Tuesday instead, with seven other Australian boys from Sidcup. This is the hospital for facial injuries, and wonderful things are done for the boys, but beyond having lost his eye, Turner, is not disfigured. Frank Mackay is in the 3rd London General from France, also Jack Lorimer, and are getting on well. I have been down there to see them. Major Mackay (formerly Melbourne, and three years at K.G.H.) has had a very bad time ever since he went to Salonika. First, he met with a serious accident, including concussion playing football, then had a severe illness, from which he is now recovering. I had the first letter for weeks from him yesterday. I wish August and September were past; then it begins to get cool again. I have often written to you of W. A. Morris, of Beaufort and Ballarat, who lies badly hit, in the K.G.H. He has a great friend in his battalion — a nephew of Robert Blatchford, editor of the "Clarion" — from whom he gets the most wonderful and interesting letters, one of which I have read. This man is a journalist, and writes for newspapers yet Morris tells me the only time he is not in the line with the boys is when there is practically nothing doing. Every stunt sees him in the thick of it, though he has no need to go in at all. Morris says he is one of the pluckiest chaps he ever saw, and he has lost five brothers in the war. Last Friday, the 5th, my party on the river was made up of 20 boys from Dartford, 20 from Southwark, and 10 from Sidcup, and Roma May, an Australian professional singer, with a very fine voice, came, too, and sang for the boys. Her husband, a young staff officer in France, over on leave, came too. Sergt. Arthur Jacobson, of Launceston, who was shot in the foot is marked for Australia. I wish Harry Gillam could get home, too, though I don't want to see him smashed up, poor boy! but it is terribly hard. It is cheering to know the Australians get on so well with the American troops. They all say they are real good fellows, and in the hospitals, where already there are a good many here in England already wounded, they are great pals. An invitation from the Suffolk-street Society to some of our boys to visit Cambridge and inspect the county stock, was cordially accepted by a good many interested in stock, including six from Southall Hospital, but these latter were prevented from going owing to lack of funds. It is really a most unusual and most enjoyable opportunity, and I know I was doing only what those who make all pleasures possible for our boys would wish, by covering the cost of their fares to Cambridge — 30/ for the six, on their warrants — beyond this they have no expense at all being right through the guests of the society. I had a very nice letter from Miss White, Brougham-street, Ballarat, in reply to mine written at Bath. I received the slippers and socks she sent me for the boys, but not the parcel of sugar she so kindly sent me for myself; nor have I had what you sent me, either, and I wish I had it, I do; then I could make a speck of blackberry jam when the fruit is ripe. I saved my ½lb. ration, and made a bit of strawberry, and a pound of gooseberry, but owing to the severe cold in April there will be practically no fruit this year. The Ballarat Courier (Vic), Fri 8 Nov 1918 (p.3): WOUNDED AUSTRALIANS IN LONDON MISS PENNEFATHER’S OUTINGS Miss B. White, who is the representative in Ballarat of Miss Pennefather’s fund for the entertainment of wounded Australians in London, is in receipt of a chatty letter from Miss Pennefather, as follows: – http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/73544664 The Ballarat Courier (Vic), Tue 19 Nov 1918 (p.6): AUSTRALIAN WOUNDED IN LONDON MISS PENNEFATHER’S ACTIVITIES http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/73545911 The Ballarat Courier (Vic), Sat 7 Dec 1918 (p.3): THE KING AND A “DIGGER” “AUSTRALIANS EVERY TIME” Miss C. Pennefather, who arranges periodical entertainments and trips in London for Australian wounded soldiers, has forwarded an interesting letter, under date 31st August, to Miss B White, of Ballarat, who is the district representative of the fund which enables Miss Pennefather to carry on her much-appreciated work. “Last Sunday afternoon,” writes Miss Pennefather, “I was at the K.G.H. after hours, getting the boys’ names for Windsor on Tuesday, when a convoy of returned prisoners arrived, and never have I seen such pathetic sights. I have seen hundreds of newly-wounded men arrive, but their faces and bodies did not show long and shocking neglect and cruelty and suffering. The shell and the bullet had hit well-nourished and hale and well men. These poor boys have been almost starved to death, and as they lay in bed it was almost unbelievable that a man’s body could be under the clothes; some had shrunk away to 6 stone – one was less! “A colonel in our forces came into the Anzac last Sunday to enquire for someone, and stayed talking for a while. Somehow Windsor Castle was mentioned, and he said how much he would like to see it. I said if he would come down one Tuesday in the char-a-banc before he went back to France I would be very glad, but I added, ‘It is a mixed party, half officers and half men, and you might not care for that.’ ‘Look here,’ he said, ‘there’s not one of our boys I would not go on my knees to.’ That’ the stuff, thank God! our officers are made of. Another officer – I won’t give his name, but you all know him – was telling me how the mere sight of our lads inspires confidence among the peasants in France. A village is threatened, perhaps, and the poor people begin collecting their portable treasures and start off for somewhere further back; walking, pushing handcarts and barrows, with the old folks in them, and the few valuables they can manage; hundreds and hundreds of them may be trudging along, with miles in front of them, when somehow word comes that the Australians are coming. That’s enough for them; back they go to their homes, feeling secure that if it is humanly possible for them to be protected the Australians will protect them! Could there be a greater tribute paid to our boys? But haven’t they earned it? When did they ever shirk their job or run away? The Scotch, the American, and the French are satisfied if the Australians are fighting with them. I want to see columns and columns in the papers about their marvellous endurance, and fighting, and pluck and heroism. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/73548275 Geelong Advertiser (Vic), Tue 4 Mar 1919 (p.4): ENTERTAINING THE CRIPPLED Extract from a letter received from Miss C. Pennefather, of the Anzac Buffet, who is well known to many Geelong residents: – I am hoping to be able to do a lot for our returning prisoners in the way of theatres, trips to Windsor Castle, etc., and only wish it were the summer coming instead of the winter come. We could have those lovely river trips again. Everybody seems to think there will be many boys to look after and entertain right through the summer, and if those who have so generously financed one for that purpose for so many months continue their donations, I will remain to operate the fund if they desire. Five huge airships – each hundreds of feet long – have just passed over the house, flying quite low. I have been having a few theatre parties for the boys lately, and on Tuesdays at Windsor go on as usual. Southall has its regular trip for six boys with double amputations – and they see a good theatre from good seats every Wednesday, as they have done now for almost a year. Southwark or 1st Lon. Gen. alternately benefit also each fortnight, a brake taking 25 Australians to the theatre and tea. Last Tuesday and the Tuesday before Princess Alice was not at the Castle to entertain the soldiers, who were informed that she had gone to Belgium to be present with her husband at the entry into Brussels of the King and Queen of Belgium – I suppose to represent this King and Queen – so the honors were done by the little daughter, and the men got her little labored round hand autograph ad lib on their cards. I forgot to tell you that as we drove past the Palace yesterday, seeing a huge crowd I got the driver to stop to find out what was happening, and presently the King and Queen, driving in an open carriage, with no escort except two mounted police in front, and four behind, drove through the gates and out through the crowd passing quite close to our waiting taxi. They were doing another of their drives that they have been taking through different ………. During the first of these the crowds were so great that the carriage was only able to move at a snail’s pace. Little children were clambering up at the back of it, and no one said them nay. The Australasian (Melb, Vic), Sat 21 Feb 1920 (p.37): AUSTRALIANS ABROAD Miss Carine Pennefather hopes to sail for Australia early in the New Year. She has devoted the whole of her time during the war to the care and entertainment of Australian soldiers in London, and has organised hundreds of excursions for them. Among other places, she took many parties to Windsor Castle, where tea was regularly provided for wounded soldiers, various members of the Royal family waiting on the guests whenever they were in residence. Examiner (Launceston, Tas), Fri 12 Mar 1920 (p.6): WOMEN WORKERS IN THE WAR MISS PENNEFATHER’S RETURN – RECORD OF SPLENDID SERVICE Amongst the passengers who arrived by the Loongana yesterday was Miss Carine Pennefather, who has been absent from Tasmania for over six years, during which she has devoted her time almost exclusively to the welfare of Australian soldiers in London. Having sailed from Melbourne in May 1914, Miss Pennefather journeyed to Great Britain, and at the outbreak of war was on a visit to some of her relatives in Ireland. On returning to London, and learning that Australian contingents were to be sent to the front, she remained there pending their arrival. From the day when the first batches of wounded from Gallipoli were despatched to English hospitals, Miss Pennefather has entirely given up her time and energies to the entertainment and well-being of Australians in London, and especially at the Anzac Buffet was she a familiar figure to the “digger,” to whom she greatly endeared herself during her lengthy sojourn amongst them. Few war workers, indeed, have been so constant and untiring in their efforts to help the lads who journeyed so far to fight. Having sailed from Devonport (England) on January 22, by the Friedrichsruhe, Miss Pennefather arrived in Melbourne on Tuesday last after a pleasant voyage, with the exception of the fact that accommodation was somewhat congested. To add to the delays and discomforts on the troopship, there were several engine stoppages on the way out, the final one occurring just prior to the ship’s arrival at Fremantle. After this contretemps, trouble with the men entailed further delay, with the result that the voyage occupied over seven weeks. On arrival yesterday Miss Pennefather expressed her pleasure at seeing her own state again after her protracted separation from it. Despite her long and arduous work, she looks extremely well. Miss Pennefather, who is at present staying with her brother at Green-street, Invermay, expects to re-visit Melbourne in a fortnight’s time, after which she hopes to settle again in Launceston, where she has so many friends. Referring yesterday to her sphere of activities in London, Miss Pennefather discussed in an interesting manner the Australian troops and their first arrival in London. “When I knew the boys were coming,” she said, “I was content to wait. I saw in St George’s Hospital the first batch of Australians invalided to England from Gallipoli. They numbered about 350. It was terrible to see the lads wounded so when one felt one could do nothing for them. As the result of one of my letters to friends in Melbourne, telling them of the soldiers’ sufferings, these good people provided me with funds amounting to £50 a quarter to use on behalf of Australian soldiers at my own discretion. A little later this amount was supplemented by another £90 a month, subscribed by the Melbourne stockbrokers, following upon a letter of mine being read to them at a meeting by Mr Hal Sheppard. This latter sum, in fact, continued to come regularly until last September, when the numbers of A.I.F. men had gradually diminished to very few, and I had it stopped. Needless to say I regarded it as a great honour to have the unrestricted use of these funds, and one I greatly appreciated. As my funds increased, my horizon of work naturally grew larger. I used the money solely on the boys for their entertainment – such as launch picnics up the Thames (where we used to go at least once a week), teas, and theatre evenings. This, of course, all ran into money, but they enjoyed every moment of it. Not only ‘diggers,’ but also nurses, used to join in these parties.” During her visit to Melbourne Miss Pennefather will meet the stockbrokers socially at the Malvern Town Hall, for the purpose of discussing the funds sent by them for use on behalf of the troops. For some time Miss Pennefather was a regular helper at the celebrated “Anzac Buffet,” in Victoria-street, until such time as she became so busy with visiting hospitals that she had to curtail her time there to Sundays alone. Like those of other lady helpers, her services were purely voluntary. Miss Pennefather eulogised the patriotic efforts of Miss Ada Reeve, who from her matinees alone throughout Australia and New Zealand was able to contribute £14,000. After this generous donation the minds of the workers at the Buffet were quite at rest as regards the financial future of the institution. Expatiating on the popularity of the Australians in London, Miss Pennefather said that the exodus of “diggers” from the world’s metropolis left a great gap. “Victoria-street is no longer full of men with their wide-brimmed turn-down hats, without which it seems very, very empty, there only being a few staff men left. I have always considered that the Australians in London conducted themselves splendidly, considering the numbers who knocked about. Even under the most adverse conditions they always kept up their spirits, and looked on the bright side of things. No wonder they were great fighters.” Miss Pennefather is thoroughly conversant with things Australian in their relation to the great war, and her long and interesting letters from London, which have appeared from time to time in the “Weekly Courier,” will be remembered by readers with much pleasure. Examiner (Launceston, Tas), Fri 19 Oct 1923 (p.7): Woman’s World – ABOUT WOMEN Miss Carine Pennefather is expected to arrive by the steamer Loongana on Saturday, and will spend a few weeks with her brother and sister (Mr C.F. Pennefather and Miss Alice Pennefather, 49 Upton-street). Miss Pennefather has just returned from a trip to England, and her many friends and relatives here will be very pleased to see her again. It will be remembered that Miss Pennefather was one of the most enthusiastic and consistent workers at the Anzac Buffet in London during war years, and there are a number of Diggers in Launceston who will give her a hearty welcome in remembrance of her kindly attentions to them whilst in hospitals in England. The Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Sat 10 Apr 1926 (p.8): The Mainland Day by Day Death of Famous War Worker Miss Caroline Pennefather was buried at Box Hill Cemetery this morning. This name may convey little to the average stay-at-home citizen, but many ex-soldiers who arrived at Victoria-street station in London on the leave train from Folkestone, and as many more who looked in at the Anzac buffet on their way to the dismal troop train which was to take them back to the horror of France, will remember her. Apart from her work at the buffet, this dear lady found time – one does not know how, seeing that she would be found at her post any hour in the 24 – to arrange for accommodation of men on leave, to find hospitality for them in the counties, and t visit every military hospital in London where Australian soldiers lay sick or wounded. The Manaro Mercury, and Cooma and Bombala Advertiser (NSW), Mon 12 Apr 1926 (p.2): Interesting Items A wide circle of former soldiers will regret to learn of the death of Miss Caroline Pennefather, of Miller’s Cottages, Geelong, and formerly of Tasmania, which occurred in a private hospital in South Yarra, Miss Pennefather was well known for her work among Australian soldiers in London. She was on the staff of the Anzac Hostel from the beginning of the war to the end. A constant visitor to the military hospitals, she always had a word and a smile for the wounded soldiers.