Nun the wiser

Pleased to hear about Doris, I should love to see her for its such a long time since she saw her Biddy give her my love and I hope to see her soon as she left that school.

Read the whole letter from the 17th September.

21st September 1914

When I first saw the 1911 census result for Doris Crawshaw it was something of a surprise to find that she was at boarding school in Gloucestershire. The Catholic Who’s Who and Year Book 1908 advertises the St Rose’s Dominican Convent Boarding School for  Young Ladies.

This Convent occupies one of the most convenient and health situations in the lovely neighbourhood of Stroud. The School apartments are excellently ventilated, effectually heated by hot water, and well provided with everything conducive to the health, comfort, and convenience of the pupils.

Pupils are prepared for the University Local Examinations, Associated Board and London College of Music, etc. For prospectus and other particulars, apply to the Rev. Mother Prioress.

How was Doris, a child of seemingly working class parents, at a boarding school on the other side of the country? It’s also the first reference to Roman Catholicism I’ve found in the family tree. It’s a mystery to which I have no answer at this time. One of the most compelling answers I can think of is that the grandparents intervened when Frank Senior and Ada separated. Matthew Webster (1839-1921) left £408 2s 4d to his sons when he dies in 1921. This is worth about £9000 in today’s money, so he wasn’t poor by any stretch of the imagination.

The Dorsets enjoyed a rest day in billets in Jury. At 5.30pm C and D Companies were ordered to review trenches. At 7.45pm the rest of the battalion was ordered to move to “Rapreux farm”, where they bivouacked and prepared to move back into Missy the next morning. At 11:30pm the entire battalion regrouped and retired to billets. Whether this was in Rapreux farm or back in Jury the diary neglects to say. There’s a terrain de Ru Preux road near the pontoon bridge so I’m assuming the farm was originally near this location and actually called Ru Preux.

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