This letter dates to 1912-14. Vivien was born 1st January 1912 and Orpen did not return to Ireland after 1914. The reference to the Germans suggests the Christmas just before the outbreak of the War, when tensions were mounting, or just after its commencement in 1914, i.e. the day of the famous Christmas Day truce. During December, since about 1902, Orpen had returned to Dublin to teach for a few weeks at the Metropolitan School of Art, and from 1909 had spent his summer holidays at Howth, on the Northern arm of Dublin Bay.
The Orpen Research Project.