WARTIME DIARY OF MARY HALLWARD
1914 – 1918 (AGED 47 -51)
5 Aug. Left Malvern today ... train punctual in spite of troop movements.7 Aug. 2 of the Oakeleys’ [Frittenden House] carriage horses were commandeered. A cart horse
has been already taken.
8 Aug. Dover – Deal stories ... huge masses of them in camp there, no lights at night, & martial law
12 Aug. Saw 9 aeroplanes in ½ hr on their way to Dover.13 Aug. I went to a Red X practice at the House [Staplehurst Place, once her grandfather Henry
Hoare’s house, now the Seligmans’]. Our frugal tea of jam & dripping & bread ...
15 Aug. Saw an airship, going up the [railway] line.19 Sept. 2 speakers in the village darkness of 9pm on enlisting. One, a young American, was
excellent, and the other v.g., no more recruits.
21 Sept. Hubert [her brother] was going up too [to London], to try C.O.S. work as he wasn’t
accepted in the public schools corp, being 42.
13 Oct. Spent a good deal of time doing & undoing refugee arrangements. Brattle’s house is off,
but Ashbee’s is on.
14 Oct. Did some begging for refugees, but spent most of the time reading soldiers’ letters
from the front.
5 Nov. [Refugee house outfitted]. Emmie drove me & Mrs Benbow to see the Belgian soldiers in
Mrs Hall’s hospital [Cranbrook].
24 Nov. Lord Goschen went thro’ with 50 or so Buff Territorials from Marden to Headcorn.8 Dec. ... I was able to hear from H(ubert) about his offer of a commission in the 10th Batt.
of the Cheshires, under Col. Whittall.
16 Dec. Hubert is going to train at Bournemouth.20 Dec. Hubert & MacM [his wife] turned up at 4, she haggard, he not looking well, but very
fine in his new khaki.
28 Dec. Kathleen
[sister] went to Mrs Mabb in the aftn. She has 5 sons in the army.
6 Feb. Lord Kilbracken called , and reassured [Aunt Sophia Hoare] about raids.
16 Mar. Rode with G to Cranbrook & saw the wounded English in the Vestry Hall.
20 Mar. Went to Stst, saw Welch Fusiliers march by to Maidstone.15 Apr. Dick [cousin] has written a v. loving and touching acct of Vin’s last days [another cousin].
for Elsie and the family.
3 May Bicycled over to find out about Dick being wounded ... in the thigh on Ap. 24, shot
extracted in Boulogne on 25th or 6th, in Guy’s Hospital on 27th. Aunt Laura saw him on 28th.
1 June Kathleen [going away] went to her last Red X at Staplehurst.
2 June ... heard that Patience [cousin] is going to give up her nursing in France, & come to Marie.
22 June ... to Mr Hanmer [Saynden] about girl student labour this summer.
2 Aug. I ... picked John [brother & priest] up for tea & wounded soldiers at Hartridge [Cranbrook].9 Aug. Margaret [sister] went back to do Registration in Stepney ... Kathleen did some Nat.
Registration in the village.
24 Aug. Hubert motored to Canterbury with Pollington to see a bike & returned with it bought,
2nd hand for £37.10.0.
3 Sept. Marie heard that Charlie & his yeomanry are going to France, & as infantry only, so
she was low.
19 Nov. Hubert ... is transferring to the 3/5 Buffs at Ashford.
24 Nov. ...the Franks were calling. He is a grey-haired 1st Lieut. In the Reserves at Staplehurst.4 Dec. Margaret [sister] & Bicé [cousin] left Headcorn 7.45 for Folkestone, Dieppe & Havre,
where they will be YMCA canteen workers with Joan [cousin].
27 Dec. [at Oxford]. Constance [cousin] who teaed with us from her military hosp. in the schools.
29 Dec. Gertrude
[cousin] left for her hosp. at Freshwater after lunch.
6 Feb. Jack [Hanmer, Saynden] is hoping for the Flying Corps.9 Feb. ... meeting [at] Forest Row about “The power of 1d.” War economy. Mabel & family
must go to [Jessie] away from Zeps.
10 Feb. Filled window sandbags.20 Feb. Olive [cousin] read us her acct of the bombardment of Belgrade. She had no news of
home for 5 months.
1 Mar. Went to a show in the parish room for patriotic purposes.10 Mar. Waltham X, Kathleen’s clubroom ... for girls in Nobel’s cartridge factory. She means
to go on with it.
23 Mar. We started an index of parishioners in their districts!
20 May Tomorrow daylight saving time begins.
2 June We hear a great deal of gunfire from Flanders. Aeroplanes pass almost daily outwards.
10 June Hubert is here to see about his furniture, burnt in a M’stone warehouse.
28 Aug. Dreda [Hanmer] was meeting Mr Hanmer back from Jack, in hosp. at Rouen.
30 Aug. Mrs
Hanmer is still at Rouen with Jack. Mr Hanmer enjoyed telling us
about his trip!
18 Jan. Hubert went into the trenches from Etaples on Sun.
15 Feb. I discuss our rations with everyone I meet.
12 Mar. [E. Sussex]. Aunt Sophia [Hoare] called on Mrs Wood, “a suffragette”.
5 May Joan [cousin] arrived from Havre ... hasn’t had leave for a year.
12 May Found Aunt Crin & Miss Hamilton [companion] sitting in the twilight of Daylight Saving.
21 May Patched my oil silk waterproof with its own pocket & seccotine.
2 June Cold, S. Wind ... heard guns at the Front, in the afternoon.13 June [Limpsfield]. What we thought was a Zep boomed overhead for an hr betw.
11 & 12 & we heard a doz. bombs dropped.
15 June Read of the worst air raid in London on Wed. when we heard the aeroplanes going over.
18 June [Cannon Street] ... no trains or time tables or porters.
20 June Between Sittingbourne & Chatham they heard enemy aircraft ev. day this week.9 Jy [Lychpit] ... met Jack [cousin], fresh from having his seaplane & kit burnt in a raid at
Felixstowe last Wed. & having got his DS Cross for his first enemy submarine a month ago
24 Oct. Much artillery shooting to the NE between 11 & 12. An explosion at 1.50.
7 Nov. ... ate my last 4d egg.29 Nov. It is v. difficult to manage the rationing without a cook to make all sorts of courses
instead of bread.
2 Dec. ... back to cook our own supper of vegs & fried bacon. We drink tea & eat cake about 1
0.30 & go to bed any time after 11.
12 Dec. Dug up artichokes for dinner.25 Dec. [Summerhill, Benenden at Uncle William Hoare’s] ... vast turkey, “bread” sauce
made of potato ...
10 Jan. Aunt Crin went to church while I put out the rationed cereals etc.
16 Jan. Had to go & get oil in the sleet – and then dig up parsnips out of the sticky earth.
18 Jan. Aunt Crin went to Mrs Day [Henhurst] to ask about 2 lambs in Apl ... on her lawn.
22 Jan. Went to Cranbrook myself to try for provisions. Got ¼ lb margarine!
23 Jan. Tried for more butter at Mrs Roseveare & failed. Margarine & all fats impossible to get.
28 Jan. Went to get potatoes before breakfast. Bought them for first time.
30 Jan. ... I was copying a letter of Molly’s [cousin] torpedoing.
18 Feb. I heard anti-aircraft 11 last night.
22 Oct Went to try for rabbits, but failed as usual, & got sausages.
5 Nov. We made our own supper with thick burnt soup etc.11 Nov. Heard of the armistice at noon from Hammy [Mrs Hamilton] who had been to the
village. Mr Balmer was getting the flag up on the Ch. I spoke to a Tommy farm-labouring,
& to Mrs Mabb on my way over [to Frittenden].
Everyone beaming – Thanksgiving service at 7pm with bells and lights.
14 Nov. A long letter from Harry [brother] flying nr Damascus.17 Nov. There was a United Service at 3, with Mr Thatcher reading the Bible & making a
long & excellent prayer. The Ch. was crowded.