Margaret’s WW1 Diary +100 Years

Journal Entry – Friday August 4th 1916

The second anniversary of the declaration of War& the one question in everyone’s mind is whether the end is at hand. The fighting in France has been terrific but on the whole we seem to be getting the best of it. There have been air raids again this week & we hear they have dropped bombs near Towcester but nowhere has there been any loss of life. They tried to find Bob but he had just left. Mary is home for her holiday & Bob had a week about a fortnight ago. Pan*1 died on Aug 1st, I fear I...

Journal Entry – Wednesday July 12th 1916

Great things have been happening in France. The great push has really begun but there is very little official news. Rumour says we have driven the Germans back beyond their fifth line of trenches, also that they are quite demoralised & in confusion. We heard from Mary that a list of 1000 officers casualties had come in, they are being published by degrees in the paper. Dicky Twining has been killed. U * I * Juliana came home on the 3rd & Elizabeth & Philippa on the 4th. We have been a funny little party, Margaret came home on the...

Journal Entry – Friday June 30th 1916

I came to Wimbledon on Monday. It really seems as if the great advance is beginning in France, a fearful amount of heavy firing has been going on for the last week, it has even been heard at Tunbridge Wells. Everywhere the allies seem to be moving. It says to day that the result of our munition works are beginning to be felt. Sir Roger Casement’s trial is over & he has been condemned to death poor man, but I suppose it couldn’t have ended any other way, it would not have been fair on all the other who have...

Journal Entry – Friday June 23rd 1916

No special war news lately but what there is seems good. The Russians continue to advance, but the fighting at Verdun is still terrific. Yesterday I went to the Academy with Aunt Ella who came up from Wimbledon & joined me there. Afterwards we paid a pilgrimage to Capt. Scott’s Monument & found it all right, it is a very nice statue, * his expression is pleasing, happy & triumphant. Mary suddenly appeared.

Journal Entry – Wednesday June 21st 1916

Came to Widderlie on Saturday On Sunday & Monday went over to see Ursula. Found her sitting up for the first time. She was looking as well as can be expected & on Monday looked none the worse for the exertion, but I see Aunt Ella will have difficulty restraining her. Juliana is very sweet & attentive to her mother & says when U. is in bed “Mummy no sit up.” Yesterday I went with M. M. to a flower show which I should have enjoyed if I had been feeling better when I got back. Retired to bed with...

Journal Entry – Saturday June 17th 1916

The Russians are advancing again & according to the reports it is a big advance. A few survivors have been picked up from the Hampshire but no one can tell whether Kitchener got in to a boat or not. The sea was too rough for any boat to live and though a great number got on to rafts they never reached the shore but died of exposure. The Memorial Services for Lord Kitchener were held in London & at home on Tuesday but Exeter had theirs last week so I missed it. I have been staying with Miss Sanders since...

Journal Entry – Sunday June 11th 1916

Whit Sunday. The Church looked very beautiful decorated with scarlet poppies & flame coloured Azaleas. Feel rather desolate with no children & no Hector who has already gone for his yearly change of air at Rams Down. Mr Moore & Jack Boucher made their debut in the tower this morning & rang rounds before the early service. Mrs Yole played the Dead March after Evensong.

Journal Entry – Wednesday June 7th 1916

The news is only too true. He & his staff were on board the Hampshire on their way to Russia. The ship was struck either by a mine or torpedo & so far no survivors have been picked up. It happened off the Orkney Isles & there was such a heavy sea that the boats capsized. A rather wonderful death for a wonderful & mysterious man. Much upset this evening by the news that Ursula’s little son is very ill.

Journal Entry – Monday June 5th 1916

Fuller news of battle, it seems that after all the Germans got the worst of it, but our own losses are bad. I see Com. Pennell of the Antarctic is amongst those lost on the Queen Mary. Other ships lost were the Invincible, Indefatigable, Defence, Black Prince & Warrior. I see that I have made no mention in this diary of an important piece of family news, namely the birth of Agnes son, who was born on April 30th, we got the wire on May 1st.

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.