Margaret’s WW1 Diary +100 Years

Journal Entry – Saturday June 3rd 1916

Heard the news of a great naval battle & the loss of several ships, felt very gloomy when as a ray of light came the news of the birth of Ursula’s son. We got the wire just after lunch. Jack Elliott came for a week end. Mr Moore’s brother also home on leave, & an uncle arrived, also Cousin Maud for the day, we all had tea at the Rectory.

Journal Entry – Friday June 2nd 1916

Ascension Day was wet as usual, misty stuff, not much rain but had a very good audience for the Play “St George & the Dragon” which was written by Mary & acted in the barn. The tableaux of the fight were very effective & the background of the old barn very picturesque. It went very well & the singing was very good. Nicholas & Elizabeth took part in the dance. Philippa was dressed up but did not take part. We took over £3 at the play. We had tea in the garage. Father had to go to Lezant in the...

Journal Entry – Wednesday May 23rd 1916

The Irish Rebellion has come to an end but it is terribly sad to read of. Many of the rebels have been shot but Sir R Casement has not been tried yet, his seems to be a most extraordinary story. Last Sunday the Daylight Bill came in to force & on Saturday evening the clocks were put on an hour. The stable clock was altered at 5 & the house clocks at 7. After all the talk there did not seem to be much difference, the general opinion seems to be that Parliament has no business to interfere with Kelly...

Journal Entry – Monday May 1st 1916

Many things have happened this last week. The East Coast was bombarded but fortunately the ships were soon driven off. More Zepp raids too & also there has been a rising in Ireland. The leader Sir R Casement was caught in a ship full of ammunition which was being taken to Ireland. The news today is that the rebels are surrendering but last Monday they at first got the upper hand & surrounded the Post Office in Dublin. To day alas we hear that Kut has fallen. I fear they must have had a terrible time.

Journal Entry – Monday May 1st 1916

Many things have happened this last week. The East Coast was bombarded but fortunately the ships were soon driven off. More Zepp raids too & also there has been a rising in Ireland. The leader Sir R Casement*1 was caught in a ship full of ammunition which was being taken to Ireland. The news today is that the rebels are surrendering but last Monday they at first got the upper hand & surrounded the Post Office in Dublin. To day alas we hear that Kut*2 has fallen. I fear they must have had a terrible time.

Journal Entry – Tuesday April 23rd 1916

Rather a cold Easter Day with some showers. M. C. K. came home on Thursday & brought Charlotte Worthington with her. Mary T also cae. A political crisis is going on & the country is hovering on the brink of a possible general election, but it is hoped that this will not happen. John went on Wednesday & Willie Guest has also gone. On Good Friday there was the last of the lantern services. The church was packed, it was immensely long.

Journal Entry – Sunday April 4th 1916

There have been Air Raids three nights running on the E. Coast. Friday, Saturday & Sunday & one Zeppelin was brought down & wrecked in the sea & the crew taken prisoner all except one poor young officer who was left behind to blow up the Zepp so that is couldn’t fall into our hands. John has had a notice this morning calling him to join up also W Guest both of whom did not pass the medical last Autumn owing to their chest measurements not being big enough. Albert Balsdon also had a notice but he has to say...

Journal Entry – Tuesday March 28th1916

Horribly cold again & the Cornish Tors are quite white. The story in yesterday’s paper of how a German armed merchantman tried to break through our blockade is very thrilling to read. She was disguised as a Norwegian vessel but when one of our ships stopped her & put off a boat to board her & examine her papers she saw the game was up & made a fight for it but though she was a big ship & ours a much smaller one she did very little with her guns while ours soon did for her, but she managed...

Journal Entry – Monday March 27th 1916

I have not written for many days. Since I last wrote the army of the Philistine have once again invaded this house. Mary F has gone in to a nursing home for a complete rest of three weeks. Michael is truly adorable & is growing in to a first class rogue. A report reached us yesterday brought back from Launceston market that the German Fleet had come out but like all report which come from that source proves false. Had a letter from Bob who has been roughing it a bit in the snow and cold during the scare of...

Journal Entry – Thursday March 16th 1916

Glorious day, warm and balmy, we went down to Dunterton to get daffs and took Miss & Mrs Moore. There was a meet of the hounds at Kelly Cross but not a large one, the Godfreys & Cicely B. G. & Fred Yole & one other farmer were the only riders, they did not find. No war news in the paper today which is chiefly agitated over the calling up of the married men.

Journal Entry – Wednesday March 15th 1916

There seems to be a fear that the French will after all leave Verdun, the German attacks are continuing & the papers are also prophesying a naval battle soon. The talk in London is of invasion & Mary says that ammunition has been handed out to the troops guarding the coast. General Smuts has won a victory in East Africa. Working party today. Janet left yesterday.

Journal Entry – Saturday March 11th 1916

We have lost a destroyer & a torpedo boat of the E coast by a mine, the destroyer was HMS Coquette*1. Germany & Portugal are now at war. General Smuts*2 is getting on in E Africa & THE French are still holding their own at Verdun. Yesterday Janet & I & Miss Moore went to a meeting in Tavstock on Women’s Work on the land, Sylvia Hamlyn spoke remarkably well.

Journal Entry – Thursday March 9th 1916

Jones, auntie Mabel, Mr Moore & I went to Lanson to see a competition for women’s work on the land. We saw the women sawing wood, hedging & the faggots they had bound & the manure they had spread & also went through mud ankle deep. Janet came away with all wish to work on the land finally & entirely quenched. The rumour of the German fleet has now increased from 25 cruisers & one Zeppelin to 50 cruisers & 2 Zeppelins & several armed trawlers.

Journal Entry – Wednesday March 8th 1916

(Ash Wednesday) snowing all day but evidently only in Ramsdown there being hardly any snow Lifton way or towards the Tamar, but very thick up to the Lodge & last night the baker could not reach Cloggs, we hope they are not starving up there. Still more reports of the German fleet being out, a report from Amsterdam that 25 cruisers & one Zeppelin passed northwards, not nice to think of. Janet & I waded through the snow up to see Kingsland. Had first working party this afternoon quite a lot of people in spite of the weather.

Journal Entry – Tuesday March 7th 1916

(Shrove Tuesday) Alice Wills & Nimrod Davy were married this morning, I played a hymn & a wedding march of sorts, 2 little girls Davy’s daughters children were bridesmaids. It is colder than ever the wind is biting. A card from Evelyn containing the following diary of Sunday night: “5.30 p.m. Police say no service to be held, warning of aircraft about. 6.15. Report from sidings that several zeppelins are coming over North Sea, sidings will not light up. Ammunition factory is now lighting up. Gas fairly moderate though not very good light. 6.45. News through that zeppelins have been...

Journal Entry – Saturday March 4th 1916

The Germans have reviewed the attack on Verdun. What is going to be the end of it, & what terrible things shall we be hearing soon? That’s seaplane was wrecked on the French coast. Captain Gordon had fresh tales to tell the other day. He said we were building super super dreadnoughts as fast as we can build them, a very unlikely tale, as it is not dreadnoughts we want but torpedo boats & submarines. It has been a lovely day, had my 1st practice of Mary’s play “St George” which we are really trying to do this year &...