School: Elysian House
A pupil at Elysian House
Fifteen of Elysian House School's yearbooks, covering the years from 1903 to 1912, were given to Jersey Archive in 2011. These illustrated volumes called the Jackdaw are full of work by the pupils, including poems, paintings, and stories, together with numerous photographs of the girls and their activities.
Trudi Foster from Jersey Archive said it was clear the girls had money.
She said: "They seem to have been a privileged group of girls - they had access to cameras because there are hundreds of photographs."
There are also contributions from old girls. One ex pupil Edith Ereaut writes of a situation familiar to many Jersey families, making a new life in Canada. She describes passing through Quebec, Montreal Winnipeg and Port Arthur on the way.
She writes ‘The lakes are beautiful especially Superior - it is immense. I never had enough imagination before I saw it to picture its size’
The girls who attended the school expressed strong opinions about the world they lived in and how they saw it. Included are poems about 'dreaded Latin lessons' and how scared they were of the Head Teacher. One beautifully illustrated poem about the Suffrage movement includes a painting of a Suffragette punching a policeman on the nose!
"Who has the courage and the grit
at the self conscious man to hit,
who soon in parliament will sit,
The Head Teacher Miss Stevens always included a line or two about pupils who had left the school. Some came out as debutantes who would have been presented to the King. In one editorial alone she writes about pupils in Australia, Switzerland, and France as well as two who are living in Germany and one who has gained a scholarship to Oxford.
These volumes give an insight into a time that was about to vanish forever. The pupils would soon be out in a world that was devastated by war, a very different one to the privileged and secure life they led in Jersey, behind the walls of Elysian House School.