My mother quotes Ted’s diary in her book of the letters, saying:
His diary from the end of August onwards, is more a record of 1915 than of the current year.
Sunday, 27 August 1916: Col Hogg arived to command 3rd Bn. – Y.M.C.A. tent day at Sneedhams Green, 1915! – Nell saw me for the first time, but I never saw her!
After recording little more than ‘Wrote Nell’ on the succeeding days he comes to
Thursday, 7 September 1916: Davies’ tea party at Sneedhams Green a year ago today where I first met Nelll.
Sunday 10 Sept, 1916: Wrote Nell (170) Dance at Broadsground this time last year & I first spoke to Nell!
If Ted wrote his 170th letter to Nell after being parted for about 250 days, he was writing to her most days even though the mails went once a week and took a month or so to arrive.
Friday 15 Sept 1916: Wrote Nell (176) My first lunch at Broadsground this time last year!
Wednesday, 20 Sept 1916: Wrote Nell (181) Tea at Broadsground with Nell last year!
Thursday, 21 Sept 1916: Wrote Nell (182) – C.O. gave me R.H.S. bronze medal today
Friday, 6 Oct 1916: Nell put up her hair a year ago today.
For the Edwardians and during the War, putting up her hair signified that a girl should now be considered a young woman. Nell’s waist-length hair had never been cut, and she wore it in one or two plaits. When she put it up, she wore the plaits curled around her ears; later in life she wore them at the nape of her neck.
At a month off her 18th birthday, Nell was considerably younger than Ted who was 33 when they met.
Sunday, 8 Oct 1916: Wrote Nell (196) – over to Cheltenham in the car last year, came back with Nell.
Friday, 27 Oct 1916: Left Landsdowne 8 a.m., arrived Kohdwara 4 p.m. … Hot march & men tired. Entrained 9.30 & off at 10 p.m.
Saturday, 28 Oct 1916: Arrived Delhi (Kingsway) 8 a.m. Nothing ready in camp, as tents had arrived but no poles! Camp hear Durbar polo grounds, between them and Kingsway Station. Familiar ground of the Durbar of Xmas 1911. Wrote Nell (213).
Sunday, 29 Oct 1916: Pitching camp all day. I went up to Viceregal Lodge 3 or 4 times to see about guards etc as the Viceroy turns up tomorrow. — This time last year! THE happiest day of my life — Wrote Nell (214).