Brittain, Vera, Diary, 4 August 1914

Diary of Vera Brittain


Case Study: 
From Youth to Experience: Vera Brittain’s Work for Peace in Two World Wars
Brittain, Vera
4 August 1914
McMaster University Libraries
Vera Brittain estate; McMaster University has a non-exclusive licence to publish this document.


but instead gave me the astounding information that the Laces have failed & been sold up; he seemed surprised I did not know it. I admitted that I had suspected it for some time. It appears he has failed for £6000 – he must have been given a tremendous lot of credit - & that he has been living on credit for several years. There was a bailiff in the house all the last week they boys were there; he was given one of the upstairs rooms & kept out of their sight. B.S. says Park {H?] has never been a success; the Laces must have had 12 boys to make it pay, they rarely reached that. The Laces have gone; they left some days ago, & though they may return here & start again in a very small way, it is yet quite probable that they will never return to Buxton. A fine plight I shall be in if I want more coaching -- I certainly shall. Edward has been looking at my papers to-night & says that one is nearly all wrong, & that does for me. But now is not the time to talk of Oxford or coaching; the war will alter everything &, even if I pass my exam., there would probably be no means to send both Edward & me to Oxford at the same time. There is nothing to do now but wait. When I got in I found Edward had procured an evening paper with the startling news that England had sent an ultimatum to Germany, to expire at midnight to-night, demanding the immediate withdrawal of her troops from Belgium. Germany declared earlier in the day that if it became necessary to her tactics to treat Belgium as an enemy she would do so. German troops are said to have crossed the Belgian frontier & reached Verviers. Sir E. Grey’s speech has caused great satisfaction in France. Immediately after dinner I had to go to a meeting of the University Extension Lectures Committee. Small groups of people, especially men, were standing about talking, & in front of the Town Hall was quite a large crowd, as on the door was posted up the mobilization order,