Margaret’s WW1 Diary +100 Years

Journal Entry – Monday February 5th 1917

Very cold day. America has withdrawn her Ambassador from Berlin & Count Bernstorff has been handed his papers at Washington. This looks as if America means to act, but I hope she will not come in. There are enough nations fighting. This submarine menace is the last resort of the enemy. The Zepps have failed & her army on the Western Front can not make any headway. now it comes to this, either Germany is starved out or we are starved out. A list of food regulations is published to day. 2 ½ lbs of meat per head per week,...

Journal Entry – Saturday February 3rd 1917

Returned home on Thursday. The weather has been bitter, & in that little house in Wimbledon it was impossible to get warm. None of the doors or windows fit, gales blow all round you when you sit in any of the rooms. There is a large crack in the house from top to bottom & the ceiling in one of the rooms was momentarily expected to fall. Yet for all this Frank, Ursula & Juliana live a happy life. I had a nice time running up to town most days & seeing several of my friends. Had tea at Wimb....

Journal Entry – Saturday January 27th 1917

Something bombarded the Sussex coast last night but did very little damage & there were no casualties. The Germans are attacking mear Verdun again. A bitter wind still. We have not had such a cold winter since the year 1895 but we have not had severe frosts but it is such a long spell of cold winds. We have had stacks of letters enquiring about Bob perhaps by the end of next week we get news. This afternoon to give the children exercise I fetched them down in to the dining room & had a good romp. Ellis has moved...

Journal Entry – Friday January 26th 1917

I stayed in bed yesterday to shake off my cold, have still a beastly throat. Ellis is better & is coming down into the N room today. I have been reading the German official news in the Times of the 13th, it refers to 50 prisoners being taken about where I think Bob must have been but does not mention officers but the number fits it as he had 40 men with him.

Journal Entry – Wednesday January 24rd 1917

The Times speaks favourably of the President’s speech though it says that the Allies will not agree to what he says about peace coming without victory that is ending in a draw. It speaks in the highest terms of his great ideal. If he succeeds he will rank among the greatest men the world has seen. I know Reginald on whose word the family relies does not hold the exalted opinion of President Wilson which I do & thinks he is only working for the material good of America but here I beg to differ from my most estimable brother....

Journal Entry – Tuesday January 23rd 1917

President Wilson has made a great speech about his plans for the future peace of the world, he says America can have no voice in the peace terms but they can and will have a voice in the arrangements which are made after the war to stop further wars. He is a great man & I hope the allies will listen to him. Fortunately our leaders have more sense than the newspapers. I cannot quite understand what the president’s plans are, but he seems pleased with our answer to his note. I see to day that further complications have arisen...

Journal Entry – Monday January 22nd 1917

M.C.K. went to Wimbledon on Wednesday with Nicholas. Took him to see a doctor on Thursday & dispatched him to school on Friday. On Friday night there was a terrible explosion near Woolwich a whole munition factory was blown up. Fortunately most of the people were got out before the fire reached it. 18 Stanley Road felt the shock just as Juliana had been kissed good night & she was frightened but was soon soothed. Bert Clogg has lost his leg but he is able to write himself and writes a very cheery letter & says his other foot is...

Journal Entry – Saturday January 13th 1917

Cold day. After lunch snow fell for an hour & lay, but about 3 the sun came out. I went down to Limes Cottages to see Mrs Sly, on my return I found Father sweeping the snow from the front door step. He had actually swept a path from there to the east gate of the churchyard. The great event of the week has been the new War Loan which was started on Friday. Mr Lloyd George made a great speech on Thursday at the Guild Hall explaining it. He wants more money. I had hoped to put in some...

Journal Entry – Wednesday January 10th 1917

Drove Tim Betts down to Lifton & went in to Launceston with him. Did shopping & went to meeting of Suffrage Society. Had to preside, and as it was the first one I had been to for 2 years felt rather out of touch with it all. Miss Willcocks spoke & told us of the work of the N.U.W.S. & of the Hospital Units which have been sent out to the various fronts. She told us that the American Commission of Inquiry had published the following approximate figures of both the military and civil population in Europe during the war....

Journal Entry – Monday January 1st 1917

Very mild & warm day. The allies have answered Germany’s not & proposals of Peace by a definite refusal & so on goes the war. Daily fresh rules are drawn by the Gov. as to how we are to live. No more white flour, one meatless day in the week, which latter we have had for some time. Tim Betts came here to day. He is to stay & play with Nicholas. The latter is certainly improved by school discipline & learning obedience, but he is still sadly untruthful. On Sat I walked to Hurlditch & heard Arminel’s experiences as...

Journal Entry – Wednesday December 27th 1916

Drove into Lanson in the Pony cart to buy toys for the school children. It was a lovely morning, very clear & still. The ground was white with hoar frost. Went to see the Morsheads & arranged for Tim Betts to come to us for a week as a companion for Nicholas. Lunched at the White Hart & there met Mrs Wollocombe & had a chat with her about her boys. Tom is now a Major & has won a Military Cross. Bidlake has been made an Acting Lieutenant, Roger still a Corporal in the Cycling Corps. Had a beautiful...

Journal Entry – Christmas Day December 25th 1916

It began early as the children were awake looking at their presents. There was much excitement & running about. I had made Elizabeth & Philippa 2 red cross uniforms out of one of my old ones. They were immensely pleased with them. At 8 D & I went over to Church, & we felt then rather sad & lonely when we thought of the large crowd of us that used to be there at that service. The church looked very pretty with the usual ivy up the pillars, & we had a nice lot of white chrysanthemums for the altar...

Journal Entry – Friday December 22nd 1916

President Wilson has sent a note to the British and all the Allied Govts asking them to state what terms of peace they wish for, also asking them to consider if a settlement could not be arrived at. The Daily Mail of course shrieks with anger at the idea, it seems to delight in war. It is a detestable little paper, and as for the London Correspondent of the Western Morning News, no words are too bad for him. If only a sort of International Board could be formed with Representations from all the nations perhaps then we might have...

Journal Entry – Thursday December 21st 1916

Dorothea came home on Monday & Nicholas on Tuesday. He has grown but was looking rather pale & thin, & much subdued. There is a great difference in him, no doubt a result of the discipline. The roads for the last few days have been fearful, a sheet of smooth ice, one evening it rained & then froze. This morning we took the children in to Lanson to do their Xmas shopping. I was in Cater’s shop with them for more than an hour & Dorothea was at Slees buying Sunday School prizes. Philippa is a great anxiety on these...