17th March 1919

I had breakfast with Miss Corner and others of the [American] staff and heard very interesting things about them. It appeared that their notions as well as the English ones required some mutual understanding, and gave both nationalities some surprises. What shocked nobody in England staggered the Americans, and vice-versa. It appears that “Go to Hell” is only the friendliest and most good-natured remark, permissable in any society; whilst to employ the word “beastly” is beyond the utmost limits. To be a “nut” means to a Yankee mad. To be mad is to be angry. To be a “big pot” is an insulting and vulgar accusation – an insinuation of being very fat and coarse. “To get your goat” is to upset you, and “all in” means sick.

Miss Corner was much interested to learn that Lady Norman was the lady who rode a motor scooter, as her brother Commander Corner and his C.O., named Patterson, had been much interested in the subject, and the brother had worked out some improvements.

You may remember in my first post about the journal that I introduced Lady Norman as the suffragette who rode a scooter. Well, it sounds like I’m not the only one! Here’s the link to that brilliant photo again because it’s worth seeing twice.

I did a big morning’s work in the Camp, which is the biggest WAAC one in France. I first did two girl patrols, beside the sentry box, lowering the English flag, or hoisting it – quite a pretty picture.

Edis 018

Members of Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC) hoisting the Union Jack in Bourges, France, in 1919 (IWM).

I did a group of nearly 400 in the great dining hall, many lined up in a queue to fetch their dinner. It was hard work explaining what I wanted to so many, and meant a lot of running around and talking.

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The dining room of a Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC) camp at Bourges, France, circa 1919 (IWM).

This is another interesting photo from a technical point of view, following on from yesterday’s image of Ferdinand Foch with a “halo”. If you look very closely at the top of the image, you can see that Edis has scratched out a light fitting in the foreground on the original negative, so that it doesn’t break up the dark area over the subjects’ heads and take attention away from their faces when the image is printed as a positive image.

This was another bumper day for Edis & co, and as usual there is much more detail in the journal, and more photos to explore. Click here to see all the photos from this day on the IWM website.

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