(Excerpt of great gran’s journal)
November 3, 1916
This is my birthday. I hate to tell but I am fifty-three. Marjorie (my gran-her daughter), the darling little girlie gave me a perfectly lovely blouse for which she sent to Toronto. It is a lovely fine voile one all embroidered and trimmed with lace. She also gave me the Windsor magazine and a box of finger chocolates. Then when I came home (to 317- from teaching) at 4 o’clock I found a letter from Lou, one from Tiny (cousin) and one from Bee awaiting me, also a box with two beautiful hand stitched pillow cases from cousin Bee and a beautiful blue tie from darling Kathleen. Bee seems better from her letter and has just won a bridge prize of a hot water jug. Tiny writes that she expects to come here on a visit three weeks from yesterday. She will also go to visit Bee in Ottawa.
Next Tuesday is election day in U.S. Lou is for Wilson of course. Neither candidate for the Presidency seems to be tacking any notice of the fact that 6 Americans lost their lives when the Marina was torpedoed the other day. The French have captured Fort Vaux from the Germans another of the Verdun forts. It is said also that there is civil war in Greece between the Royalist Party the Venizelos party. The Rumanians are succeeding in Transylvania and are pursuing the routed Bavarians. It is reported that the whole Canadian army is to be overhauled and re organized.
The Germans are torpedoing more and more ships, Norwegian, Grecian, British etc.
The Deutschland has made a second trip out to America. She is berthed at New London. She is to take back Canadian nickel again. Why doesn’t a British cruiser account for her? It is a very mild fall, no English mail since Guy’s (her son in WWI) field post card.
Wow… talk about constructing history from the ground up. I love that this is a perspective of war that we rarely see, letters and memoirs from real people – who you know. I don’t believe we get this kind of knoweldge about wars today, despite all the media coverage that innundates our senses.
How does this knowledge of your great-Gran re-frame the impact and lifestyle during the war for you?
What a wonderful birthday, too!