The Diary of Ruth Loggie, 1915-1916

Ruth Loggie. Diary of Ruth Loggie, 1915-1916. Black ink on white paper, 101 pages. Leather-bound diary H: 17 cm, W: 11.5 cm, D: 2 cm. ©Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Fredericton.1 ©Transcription MLC Research Centre. jkw/ak/ig

keywords: ambulance, Boulogne, children, Clare Gass (nurse), Elizabeth Dickie (nurse), dinner, England, Étaples, flowers, France, inspections and drills, In Flanders’ Fields (poem), letters, medical procedures, nurse and nurses, No. 3 General Hospital (McGill, Montreal), orderly and orderlies, patients, poppies, Rouen, uniforms and clothing, Christina Watling (nurse), wounded

summary: Ruth Loggie was born 18 July 1883 in Burnt Church, New Brunswick, and enlisted as a nursing sister with the Canadian Army Medical Corps, No. 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill) on 22 April 1915. Beginning in the spring of 1915, her diary entries relay her travels overseas, her arrival in England, and her work at the Hospital in Étables, France. Her fellow Canadian nurses include Clare Gass, Elizabeth Dickie, and Christina Watling. Ruth Loggie reports tending to the sick and wounded soldiers; she also reports on protocols regarding uniforms and reveals her pleasure in flowers and nature. She pasted leaves in her diary, and copied out several poems, including a version of John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields.” This entry is notable as it appears in her diary in November 1915, weeks before the poem was officially published in Punch magazine. She also gives insight into the trench newspaper The Sunday Observer. The diary ends in late January 1916.


[pages 1–3 have no written entries but exhibit each a leaf pressed and preserved on these pages; page 4 exhibits a leaf and the entry of 30 January 1916, transcribed below in chronological sequence; pages 5 – 8 are decorated with 7 pressed leaves of poplar, maple, and beech trees]

6 May 1915.



Came on board at 7:30 a.m. & sailed at 11 a.m. Were given a wonderful send off & the day was perfect. Passed Quebec in evening. It looked splendid & familiar. Watling,3 Lill & Clare4 & I have a cabin together. A truly wonderful day which we will never forget. Keeping our four bunks in our room.

7 May 1915.


Another bright day & we are so comfortable in mufti.5 Breakfast and lunch informal but we dress for dinner and go down in order. Getting colder as we get into the gulf. Are all delighted Miss Duncan is to be our Matron’s assist, a wise appointment. Miss Davies in charge of operating room. Lots of music on board. Brass band & bagpipes belonging to the 21st 6 & usual ships orchestra.

8 May 1915.


Very cold. Usual Inspection in a.m. & drill at 11 a.m. Tug of war between N. Sisters [Vies] & Generals. Generals win. Passed Cape Race7 this a. m. so this is our last sight of land. Lively time on deck in evening, marching behind the bag pipes. Promptly stopped by our Col.8 Also “Thou shalt not wear mufti” posted so goodbye comfort. Also none but our own officers are allowed to drill us. Hard lines.

9 May 1915.


Very cold. Numbers of icebergs, as many as six at a time, two about a mile away. Men say one 250 ft above water, top covered by cloud. Communion in early a.m. and service on deck at 10:30. Nearly froze to death. Dickie9 detailed for 6 hr duty her appendix case operated on yesterday by Col. Elder.10 Clare’s swallow returning to-day. Armitage very ill & Handcock miserable. I am fine and dandy. No drills or inspection today.

10 May 1915.


Not so cold. Inspection as usual at 9:30 & Drill later on. Lots of sea sickness. Sport on lower deck in afternoon, pillow fights, potato races, etc. Winners to race tomorrow. Looking very stormy & beginning to rain. McGill officers had party among themselves. Col Yates11 birthday. Steamer sighted flying French flag. Messages received but no answer given by our Capt. Changed our course for time.

11 May 1915.


A rainy day & quite a wind but the boat is steady & most of the sick are feeling better & on deck. I was orderly nurse for the day, Dickie on duty as usual 6 – 12 pm. Patient is fine but so tired of the motion. Inspection & Drill as usual. Caps allowed during drill. Pillow fight by the 21st sports among the officers. Our men are too much afraid of their dignity to join.

12 May 1916.


Life belt drill at 10:30. Told each to keep their own belt in future. Very rough today & vacancies at table numerous. 11 o’clock drill as usual. Armitage & Handcock very ill yet. Matron MacLatchy ill all the way. Raining most of day. No band out in evening & few people on deck. Concert posted but posponed [sic] on account of the weather.

13 May 1915.


No inspection or drill, lots of miserable people yet. Sea not so rough & a bright clear day. Land not sighted yet. The concert came off in eve, a great success (20£ made). No lights on deck to-night, port holes darkened c̅12 paper & we sleep in underware [sic] with great coats, life belts & caps ready. 12 life belts boats are hung ready & ladders in coils at proper places.

14 May 1915.


The sea very much populated. Wrote seven letters in between the running to look at vessels. At nightfall five torpedo boat destroyers quietly appeared from no where. Great excitement on our ship. We watched the signiling [sic] from our decks & went to tea feeling very safe. Not much sleep though as the girls were very noisy.

15 May 1915.


Docked at Plymouth13 4:30 a.m. A glorious morning but turned out rainy later on. Had lunch on board & then took train for London. Col Elder, Major Howard & Capt Hutchinson looking after us. The remainder of our unit & the 21st go to Shorncliff [sic].14 Glorious trip through the country. Arrive London 7 p.m. Put up at Premier Hotel. Southampton Roe [sic].15

Sent cable home. Hope they get it before Sunday. Terrible news of the Lusitania16 & heard that report had reached here that we were torpedoed. Col. Birkett17 called Principal Peterson of our arrival (for publications).

16 May 1915.


Watling, Dickie & I went to Regent Sqr Presbyterian Church in a.m. Dickie not feeling well & stayed in after lunch. Watling & I went to Intercession service in the Abby[sic]. After dinner a number of us started out two long bus rides. Saw the search lights at work, home at 11 p.m. Dickie thought we were lost. Hotel fare not up to much here.

17 May 1915.


Watling, Dickie & I went to Can Red Cross to inquire for Alex. He is in hosp. near Torquay.18 Went to Westminster Abby [sic] & took lunch on Charing Cross & went by bus to the Tower of London. Coming home we got lost but got in for dinner. At 7:45 got word to go to France tomorrow 7:15 a.m. Dickie goes to Clevedon Eng.19 & Watling stays here. My luggage has just gone. 3 of us go to France.

18 May 1915.

Tuesday. 1st Can. Hosp.

Left London in the rain, a miserable cold storm. Crossed from Folkstone20 [sic] to Boulogne.21 A cold trip. Are put up at the Grand Hotel du Louvre in a dirty dusty room. Clare, Walters, McGreer & me. A quartette [sic] of miserable women. This town is taken over by the British & nearly every vehicle has red cross on it. Thousands of troops pass through here every night on way to the front. Saw [Upton] today. She is at No 1 Stat. Hosp. 3 miles away. We are 3 miles from the firing line here.

19 May 1915.


Went out to take tea c̅ Col McKee22 at No. 1 Stat. The Hosp is lovely all tents pitched among the daisies & buttercups. Upton, Galt & Pelletier look fine & fat & happy. We walked home in time for dinner. This is the noisiest place I ever struck, trains and ambulances just below the window & the train whistles are screams. The weather is spring not much earlier than ours. We hope to get settled by the end of the week.

20 May 1915.


Beautiful warm day. Clare & I discovered a cathedral & had a lovely walk on the ramparts before lunch. Watling & companions arrived on their way to Rouen.23 They leave tomorrow at noon. Miss Archibald & Mrs Austin went to Rouen to-day. The stream of wounded is steady from ambulance to Hosp. Ship. Took tea at No $\overline{1}$ Stat. c̅ matron. Col Finlay & Capt. Shanks there to meet us. Both looking fine & so talkative. Alex Watling24 doing well & will soon return to trenches.

21 May 1915.


Morning orders. No sisters to leave hotel. Breakfast in bed, & watch the transfer of wounded to hosp. ship which lies just by our window. Kept in all afternoon till late. Waiting for telegram from the O. C.25 giving our matron permission to loan us to the Imperial Hosp. for the day. Clare & I shopped, bought creton, cups & saucers & hooks. Had a jolly time. Watling & her bunch left for Rouen.

22 May 1915.


Left Boulogne for Étaple26 [sic] at 11 a.m. Beautiful day & a perfect ride through the country. No $\overline{1}$ Stat Hosp just being formed. Three others near by. Mr. Archibald here. Had the surprise of my life when he said Hello Sister Loggie. So good to see him. Dr. Kenneth Cameron & McKenzie Forbes here, busy putting up tents. Letter from Dickie today. Having a fine time in Eng. It is perfect here. We are in huts & Clare & I have ours cozy already. & we are all as happy as larks.

23 May 1915.


A perfectly beautiful day. Army service at 10:30. McGreer & Woods on duty in the oper. room unpacking things. Work of putting up tents continues today. Had a nice nap after dinner. Tea at 4 p.m. & a number of officers dropped in courtesy calls. Went touring after supper, up over the sand dunes. Rather a pretty view from the top, but this part not pretty. The cultivated spots being used for building sites. The stretch of water to the front of us just an overflow from the sea.

24 May 1915.


A hot day. We walked to Paris Plage27 4 miles away. Most of the shops closed. So shopping was a failure. Saw Dr. Johnston on our way. Paris Plage is a fashionable watering place & has a good beach. Seven of us hired a motor to bring us home but we were set out on the road quite half a mile from here. It was swift work getting home for prompt dinner. Went for a lovely walk in the eve & discovered a lovely brook & heard some rare bird singing, including a cuckoo. Saw an airship flying toward the north.

25 May 1915.


Another hot day. July weather at home & we are not very suitably clothed. Clare & I walked into Etaple [sic]. Shopped & carried home two [broaches], two straw hats, a lantern, a glass vase. Also went to see an old church built by the English in 1004. Now R. C.28 church. Quite worth another visit. The Matron & S. Eastwood gone to Boulogne to meet the other sisters. Sewed tapes & tent roofs. A dusty bunch of girls arrived in p.m. made beds after supper.

26 May 1915.


Sewed tapes & made dressings & supplies. Saw Mr. Archibald29 at a distance & Dr. Losier30 for a minute. Clare & I detailed to get tea, some work. Made jam sandwiches & thin b. b. & endless pots of tea. Several officers in. After super Tate & Stephens & I went to ‘the brook’ [?ate] & I waded & washed our feet. Got some mint & mignonettes.

The Charge Nurses will please assemble in the Matron’s office, administrative building, at 8:15 Sharpe.



If these garments are not claimed this evening they will be sold for the Red Cross fund. (Said articles were two shirts & a hand [?] owned by some one of the N. S.31

27 May 1915.


Posted for C. c̅ Miss MacIntosh. Tate also. Hut ward c̅ accommodation for 28 foot all stretcher cases. Will be glad to get to work. Fitting up a ward goes on slowly. Hard to get requisitions filled. After supper Clare & I went walking, discovered a large residence castle we call it tucked away behind the dunes. Came home through them & saw millions of rabbits. The first living things I have seen.

28 May 1918.


Cold day. Scrubbed tables etc., washed dishes, & hemmed towels most of the day. Army life is queer. Major La Bell32 [sic] our O. C. ward, Capt. Hunt & Capt. Ramsay, his assistants, the Major is French & fat but means work, had had experience on the Imperial Service. After dinner we went through red cross train lying on the track. Very nice & airy & clean. went for a walk along the track & came home by No. 18. Hosp. They are receiving there. Train load just arrived. Letters from Laura & Frances H.

29 May 1915.


Cold day. Sewed burlap. to floor service leut. a thankless job. O. C. said useless waste of material & time. The Matron says one gets used to such appreciations in army life. Service leut moved 22nd time. by O. C.’s order. Dinner late. Matron unpunctual & kept us in [????] after which made our walk late. Went back along Boulogne road. Passed the ‘castle’ again. Came home by No. 18 Hosp. & got to bed at once. Cold night.

Irregularities in uniform are still consistantly [sic] being carried out by the sisters of No. 1 Canadian General Hospital such as capes being worn with flaps inside.

What has been allowed at other hospitals will not be allowed in No 1. There ought to be no confusion as it is to be supposed that all C. A. M. C.33 Sisters were properly instructed regarding these matters sometime or other.

Straps under the chin are forbidden by the matron in chief & have no authorized precedent.

Sisters are warned that the constant infringement of these rules will mitigate greatly against them in the course of time.

30 May 1915.


On duty Service by Presb. minister at 10 [am]. Had sham receiving of pats to drill the orderlies & nurses. Received three orderlies carried in for the purpose. Off duty 1:30. Sat on the sand & wrote letters. Less cold to-day. Had sardine sandwiches for tea. More officers.

31 May 1915.


Walked to Paris Plage after [?]. Had supper at “Le Chat Bleu,” such a nice change in fare. Bought a handkerchief to send to Miss Blackwood. Walked home & went on duty to receive our first patients. About fifty were admitted. C getting five, no serious wounds. Just two or three Canadians in the lot.

1 June 1915.


Such a fine day. So much hurry & bustle & excitement about [five pats]. Nothing in working order & scarcely anything to work with. Major Le Bel is difficult & not a good dresser. I set five to the ward c̅ an alcohol lamp which won’t boil water. No jugs to keep solutions in.

2 June 1915.


Such a hot day. Four of our patients sent out. All so glad to get on their way to Eng. McFadyn a Glasgow man left. Our staff was invited to tea at No. 2 Stationary Hosp at La Touquet34 & quite a few went. My feet were sore so I spent my hours off lying down. Lousie, [M??] Clare & I sat out on the beach this evening.


Sister Bell will report for duty in the supply room & remain on duty till notified to do otherwise. (Poor Bell)


Nursing Sisters are to read notices intelligently & not ask useless questions which seem dear to their hearts.

Signed —

Will the sisters please understand that all letters are to be left open. The censor told me this afternoon that Sisters Gillis & Chrisholms’ letters were sealed. I suggest a trefine35 [sic] applied to your sculls [sic].


3 June 1915.


Such a long casualty list to-day c̅ a great many Canadians. Clare was so glad to hear from her brother Gerald, who is at the firing line. We walked up through the poppies which grow in the fields like daisies & buttercups at home. Then on to Etaple [sic] to buy cigarettes for Gerald. I got such nice p.c. too. [Appeal] of village life [in] Etaple [sic].

4 June 1915.

Friday. 88 Patients

Clare called up last night to help out in receiving patients. Called at 10 p.m. & the ambulance train did not arrive till 2:30 a. m. Such poor management. One couldn’t fancy anything worse than the managing staff on here in every way. A disgrace to Canada. The Matron absolutely useless & poor class of men.

5 June 1915.


Another day over. All our men are splendid & some so badly cut up. Grace, Clare & I walked to Etaple [sic] after tea & bought biscuits & butter for a sleep in breakfast. Such a lovely day but the country needs rain. Etaple [sic] perticularly [sic] dirty to-night & the number of begging children perticularly [sic] large. If Canadians knew the manner of the in charge people they are paying here, they would never stand for it. Col. McLaren36 [sic] the O. C. from St. John N. B. is like a man in his dotage & matron Nesbit is surely quite a bit “off.” It is a joke till patients are concerned.


When the O. C. is making rounds will the sister in charge please notify the matron.

Signed —

(O. C.’s rounds last quite all of two minutes)


Complaint list or No Complaint list to be sent each evening to matron office.

Signed —

Much good it does to complain. The Sisters in C. begin to look like a requisition slip.

6 June 1915.


Gray, McGreer, Clare & I had breakfast in our hut. Went on duty at 1:30 p.m. to find them evacuating patients. A sacred concert at 7:30 p.m. in our [ante] hut c̅ the men, patients able to come. Such nice hymn singing. (Officers particularly requested not to attend) An ambulance train arrived at 9 p.m. Clare up again. 118 pats admitted.

7 June 1915.


Such terrible wounds among these patients & such nice men. One boy in our war just 20 years old, looses [sic] an arm & may have to loose [sic] a leg, & he is so patient. We had a terrible day. Tate & I discouraged & so tired, & it is so unnecessary. Just bad management through & through. The comfort of the patients seems to be the last consideration. It makes one heart sick. No mail again today.

8 June 1015.


A very hot day & another hard unsatisfactory day for us all. Everybody is disgusted. To think that our brothers may some day be brought to this place & to think that it is not Canadian. The men are splendid. & some of our orderlies are good. & others no good. Patterson first class. Brunett second. An Officer’s funeral attended by our officers to-day. Such a good joke about the rain coat Col. McLaren.

9 June 1915.


The worst day of all. Poor Brown nearly killed in his dressing. I never saw such butchery. Cremin will loose [sic] his leg I know. [La Bell] is very hard to work with & the Matron simply impossible. We really think a protest or report should be made in some quarter. She is surely batty.

The sisters are to please remember that the very commonest conventional instincts, in every country forbid that men are to be entertained in bedrooms which at the present time are their huts.

No sisters are to go to their huts, or either serve it there or dispense it there at that hour (tea hour). Any visitors they may have are to come to the ante room.

The only hour at which sisters may have tea in their huts is at bed time if they make it themselves.

Any infringement of these rules will carry its own punishment.


10 June 1915.


A rainy morning. & beautiful afternoon. We evacuated 17 patients this a.m. in our ward. Another ambulance train in last night but our ward was filled up so it did not effect [sic] us. Cremin [li O. R.37] this a.m. & leg amputated. poor fellow. a bad hand. going over this p.m. My half day. Clare & I walked to Paris Plage in p.m. had supper & bought some lovely French lace & embroidery. Such a rest from this atmosphere to have a meal out.

11 June 1915.


A cool day. No receiving last night. & C. is peaceful. Cremin is fine & Brown improving every day. I went the rounds trying to add to our ward equipment. Hard work. Saw Capt. [Losier] He hasn’t heard from home either. Got a cheque book last night & cheque for expenses from Montreal to [Quebec]. Clare & I go exploring after supper looking for old Roman Camp sites. A lovely tramp.

12 June 1915.


Saw three Canadians in Ward L. One of them a Montreal man Dahlamn, of Goodwins, Smallwar [sic] dept. “Under the Clock” he said. Clare & I went for a walk along the Lower Boulogne road. till dark. My feet are pretty sore.

13 June 1915.


Another beautiful day, Clare & O had such a lovely tramp after duty. We crossed the upper Boulogne road & away back beyond the dunes to splendid, extensive farming fields of heavy red clover (new to me) & so many mares (c̅ foals) tethered by front foot. horses mostly white. Back home by same rout [sic] down the terraced hills & through the pine [streets].

14 June 1915.


Half day. Went to Paris Plage, then by motor to Montreuil.38 Such fine roads & beautiful country along the banks of the River Canche39 which is just a meadow brook. On through quaint little red roofed villages, along the winding white road, till we came in sight of the old walled town, which had c̅ stood many a siege. Visited for a moment an old church & chapel of Hotel Dieu & bought some [P.Co]. A lovely afternoon.

15 June 1915.


An ambulance train in at 5:30 p.m. About 80 patients received here. Not very busy in our ward. Stayed at home & wrote letters in the evening.

Will the thief who took a bottle of glycerine belonging to the matron from this room replace it.

U [E] Nesbit.

17 June 1915.


180 patients in to-night poor lads & some terrible wounds.

18 June 1915.


After supper Clare & I walked the lower Boulogne road, three miles to Camiers, where it is rumoured the McGill unit is to locate. Camiers40 is most picturesque, not nearly so dirty as Etaples. & I hear the bathing is good & the shore only a couple of miles away.

19 June 1915.


Col [Berkett’s] party have arrived at Camiers. A convoy of patients arrived early this a.m. terrible cases. Kerr, a highland lad, had practicaly [sic] his face blown away. & his body is untouched. It is too cruel. They are all so sick of the war, & so glad to be where the gun firing cannot be heard.

Hartelot41 [sic] Castle built 811 A. D. Restored in 1223 by Philippe le Hurepel, Count of Boulogne. Inhabited by Henry viii of England in 1688.

There is a fine view of Hartelot [sic] forest & the river & meadow from the top of the walls.

20 June 1915.


Walked this p.m. c̅ Clare & Jessie Sedgwick by Upper Boulogne road to Camiers, a round [sic] about 7 miles at least through farming districts along the hard, white Roman road which winds around & in & out on the sides of the hills. Got a jug of [rosé] wine from a farmhouse & lunched nearby; on the top of a chalk cliff, just above Camiers. The usual farmhouse c̅ the dirty pond c̅ pigs, hens, ducks, etc. Came home in McGill ambulance.

21 June 1915.


Went to-night to the rose garden in Etaples (discovered by Clare before) such a sweet little French Woman, whose husband is a prisoner. The roses are still beautiful & such an abundance of pansies & sweet peas, also zinias [sic] & dephenias [sic], & Canterbury bells. I bought some seeds to send to Mamma, also bought a green vase. There were beautiful large ones too, but impossible to carry.

22 June 1915.


A beautiful day. Half day & Clare & I went to Paris Plage, had our hair washed, then got the gray motor to go to Hardelot Castle. Such a pretty drive through Camiers, Dannes,42 Neuve Chatel43 [sic] & Hardelot Village.44 The Lodge is a pretty stone cottage c̅ ivy walls & lovely garden. The chateau built in 811 has been rebuilt but the walls strengthened by five towers (4 of which remain) are as they were. The moat is filled up. Ivy is every where & very fine, dungeons & prisons very real. Chateau being fitted for Convalescent hosp.

23 June 1915.


Worked hard all day.

24 June 1915.


A usual day. In the eve Clare & I walked down to the Cemetary [sic]. Such a pathetic row of small double crosses, one or two Canadians among them. Everything arranged in order & c̅ decency. My feet are pretty sore.

25 June 1915.


Went to Etaples after supper c̅ Clare. Got to the church for 8 o’clock service. I love to see the old women c̅ their quaint gowns & close white caps. Saw some beautiful children there. Clare read “Peeps into Picardy,”45 all the way home. (Daylight here till o’clock). We are certainly having lovely weather with cool evenings & cold nights.

26 June 1915.


Got off for last hours to-day & went to Paris Plage c̅ Clare, Giffin & Miss Steel. Bought a little imitation Copenhagen pm tray. Had tea at the “Chat Bleu” & got home on time for a concert given by an English entertainer in our mess lent [sic]. Very good & enjoyed so much by the patients who were able to attend. Raining a little this evening.

Major La Bel. transfers to another ward & we draw Col Simpson46 (Winnipeg). He seems very nice & altogether we are pleased.

Ward Poster.

When patients are admitted during the hours when the night nursing sisters are on duty, they are to bathe and to see that their patients are bathed, each and every patient. No order verbal or otherwise had ever been given by the matron to whom alone the sisters are directly responsible that patients are not to be bathed on admittance. This is done is all civil hospitals and also in all military hospitals.

June 29th

V. C. Nesbitt.


27 June 1915.


Slept in, such a treat. Spent the morning cleaning up & doing laundry (which I hate)

Wrote to [Kelehei].

28 June 1915.


No convoys from the front recently & the hospital is employing gradually. Brown & Cremen put on the evacuating list to-day. This had been a cold rainy day. Went for a run among the dunes to get warm before going to bed.

29 June 1915.


A convoy of 81 patients in last night before midnight & afterwards an army service corps unloaded all night long & most of to-day. A Princess Victoria party gave a concert this afternoon in the St. John Ambulance hut for the patients, & one in the evening on the Y. M. C. A.47 hut [?] we attended. Feeling pretty tired these days.

30 June 1915.


Another convoy last night 130 patients. Some bad cases. Mr. [Ulock] still in & doing well. Going to bed early.

1 July 1915.


Half day. Mrs. Giffin, Clare & I went to Boulogne by the 2 pm train & returned by the 8:30 train. Bought a pair of shoes & some stockings & a fountain pen c̅ a cute little elephant head clip. (paid 21 francs) Boulogne seems much gayer than when we were there. Had such a nice dinner at the [Folksline] Hotel. Such numbers of officers doing nothing.

2 July 1915.


A long hard day. Tate off for a half day & so much work in the ward. Dressings all day to cases in last night. 5 of them bad head cases. Tired & aching all over to-night. No hour off.

3 July 1915.


A better day to-day. Three of us on. Another convoy last night but our ward not receiving. Brown, Cremen, Price & two others got off at last this a.m. So glad to see them go. They were so anxious to get to England. 4 head cases to O. R. I hope they come out well. Col Simpson is so perticular [sic] about them.

4 July 1915.


A frightful hot day. Off sick vomiting all day. Not a bit pleasant but all the girls are so nice. Quite fit for duty tomorrow but posted for night duty tomorrow night. Sorry to leave C. but matron says she has noticed that I look tired. So glad I was noticed at all. Jean I Bell sent to C. for the day.

5 July 1915.


On duty in a.m. after all. Slept in the p.m. somewhat. Don’t feel any too good yet: but glad to get to work again. I’m going to L. Miss [Bliss] ward. also Grey’s, & Mr. Archibald’s. A misty day. But good for sleeping after yesterday. Head cases in C. allright [sic] yet: Wrote Beatrice A. & Jean & Madge. No letter from home yet.

6 July 1915.


An easy night in comparison to the days in C. A48 convoy in but L not receiving.

7 July 1915.


Wrote Ray & Len last night. An easy night. Convoy in again 100 people admitted. L not receiving.

8 July 1915.


A frightfully blowy night. A convoy last night 180 pat admitted & 140 evacuated this a. m. There must be lots doing at the front these days. Letters from Ray, Helen L, Mrs. Young, [Ali???] K & Mrs. Sutherland. Such a treat, wrote poor Mrs. Orr who has lost her father, also Mrs. Young. She is a dear to write me as she does.

9 July 1915.


A beautiful morning. Went for a stroll c̅ Fortesque & secured some lovely flowers for our tent such sweet little turning pink peas & morning glories.

Had a busy night two convoys, 6 patients each time. Not so interesting as a surgical but less harrowing.

Slept in a.m. but wide awake all p.m.

10 July 1915.


Slept all day. Clare went to Paris Plage & bargained for bicycles $10 a month. We will go on Monday for them if I feel equal to it. Another easy night.

11 July 1915.


Such a good sleep. but such a waste of beautiful days when one is on night duty one gets the wonderful sun risings though & the birds begin their singing at 2:30. when day begins to break.

12 July 1915.


A convoy last night. 12 received in L. two Canadians. Clare & I went to Paris Plage. brought our bicycles home. I moved over the hill this a.m. in c̅ Pidgeon & Sewell. 3 in a hut now & the place is so & dirty & noisy.

13 July 1915.


Was so tired & sleepy last night & sick [to] my stomach. Slept all day & could hardly persuade myself to get up for duty. Another convoy last night.

14 July 1915.


Slept like a log all day. Nothing exciting at night except a terrific rain storm with heavy wind. Not a leak in our tent. Letter from Len.

[pressed leaves on pg. 37]

15 July 1915.


Letters from Dickie & Effie Brown & papers from Walling. Slept all day & feel so much better to night. Hope to go for a bicycle ride in the morning. Wrote Effie.

16 July 1915.


Wrote Len last night. How I dread the day he leaves Canada & he is looking forward to it naturally. Miss Lindsay & I rode to Etaples to market & brought some cherries. I love market day in Etaples. There is such a crowd of people & then fruit & vegetables are very good. Raining again this evening. Papers from home.

17 July 1915.


A wild stormy night; a good test for the leut. which held firm. Too noisy for much sleep to-day. Col Birkett has asked for us & we may go tomorrow or Monday. Matron MacLatchy here for Sunday.

Sister MacIntosh why haven’t you sent in your Sunday hours as usual yesterday? Sisters who do not send in her hours, should go without them as punishment.

No 2

Sister –

A hundred apologies but some thief took it for I did not see the envelope.


VC Nesbit

18 July 1915.


My birthday. Clare & I went for such a lovely ride this a.m. up through the country on the upper Boulogne road. Oh it is beautiful. Clare gave me one of her little jugs for my birthday & I love it very much. No definite word of our leaving. Will be sorry to leave my nice men in L.

19 July 1915.


Taken off duty at 10:30 p.m. Handed my nice ward over to a 7 Can. nurse. On coming to bed Violet appeared in night-gown to inform [??rie] & I we were more like a couple of untrained sweeps than trained nurses. Also told Stewart we were like a gang of fish wives. Not posted for a ward & off duty all day. Most of the girls left for McGill in the afternoon. Pidgeon on duty in L. Sewell. I do nothing all day.

20 July 1915.


Posted for supply tent. There for half an hour then sent to H to special a pneumonia case. Had my half after first being told that supply nurses never had half days. Lill & Clare came & we all went to Paris Plage & had tea at the Chat Blue. Clare & I wheeled home the rest going in the [Swing] Machine. Arrived No 1 to find more girls going to No 3. Just seven of us left.

21 July 1915.


Posted for Ward L. such luck. Gray & Roberts & [McMillman] & me. I kept out of sight during rounds & was off from 11 to 2. A number of the girls not posted at all. Rainy in p.m. so no bicycle rides.

I see that S. Wylie has given hours for both her staff sisters in the afternoon the day that a p.m., is given that means as you will see that one sister is in the ward when dinner time arrives, consequently she must wait until after seven to go to her own dinner as no ward is ever to be left without a sister.

You will report back at the ward therefore promptly at four so that S. Corner goes off at 4 instead of 4:30. She will then return at 6:30 after after [sic] her dinner & you will go to yours at 6:30.

22 July 1915.


In Ward L. Hours off 1–4 & it rained the entire time. Got two letters from Ray endorsing one from Irene telling about the wedding to be. Got a ‘call down’ from the [O.] C. for spoiling the patients & for ‘talking back.’ He certainly is a disgrace to Canada & to St. John particularly. He reported ward L. to Violet who in turn came to us. No sentimentally inclined sisters to be placed there.

23 July 1915.


On duty in L as usual. Had afternoon hours & went off at 3 p.m. to find my name posted c̅ Stephens & Car[peules] to go down to No 3 also found my trunk packed by Buchannon which made me furious. Such are the ways of not Stephens & I bicycled down & had a nice ride. It is splendid being c̅ Lill again & everything is so nice here. Meals good & one enjoys the china. Matron Nesbitt invited to tea but arrived for dinner.

24 July 1915.


It is lovely here & I like the tents equally as well as the huts. Lill & Lena went to Paris Plage by bus. Clare & I following on our wheels. Had a nice dinner at the hotel & shopped. Dickie & I ordering creton & buying a table, mat, etc. Coming come Clare & I stopped off at No 1 & visited. Hallie Carman very miserable & unhappy c̅ a bad headache. I do wish they were all down here c̅ us.

25 July 1915.


Wrote home. [green] envelope. Service at 10:30. Capt. Shadford our clergyman here. After lunch were ordered to be ready for F. M. French to inspect us. but he failed to appear. Service at 6 p.m. & in the eve. Lill, Clare, Lena, Miss Woods & I went for a walk towards [Dann.] gathering children as we went till there were 28 in our train. Dickie was very much amused.

26 July 1915.


A beautiful day. Went bathing in the morning. The tide was very high & the water a clear green. In the afternoon Clare & I bicycled to Neufchatel49 such a very pretty village c̅ some fine country homes. Clare & I compose a flower committee & it is quite a problem as wild flowers are scarce just now. After supper Stephie & I wheeled to No 1 & saw Tate & Sallie & Gray all longing to be here. Letter from Dolman.

27 July 1915.


Posted for duty at 9 a.m. Are in a medical [K. 3] c̅ nice Miss Bliss, also De Core. [Whitney] & I, MacDonald. Nothing much to do as ward is not stocked. Went bicycling back country after tea as usual going too far afield & had to rush back to be just a little late for supper.

28 July 1915.


Went bathing in a.m. tide very rough. Such a wind blowing. The [piano] arrived this afternoon. So we have lots of music. On duty in p.m. Rather busy taking stock in [K.] & L 1&2.

29 July 1915.


On duty in a.m. doing little duties in K. not making beds up yet. In p.m. (sick headache & all) Clare & I went touring to Sarnes via [Danne] & Neufchatel, then on towards Desvres,50 turning off to our left to visit a little church at Wirwignes51 built by a curé c̅ his own hands. Quite a wonderful monument & well worth another visit. Home of [James] & [Montreux] roads through [Freneg]. Getting home at 10:10 coming down the hill. A very wonderful afternoon. Will go to Desvres another day.

30 July 1915.


Posted for L2 in charge. Miss Forgey & Miss Harrison for staff sisters would far sooner be in K c̅ Miss Bliss. [To our] our beds in order & dishes marked. Dickie & Walling on duty in p.m. Went to the station for our creton, which will be very pretty. Dickie & I wheeled to No 1. In the evening saw Capt. Losier. Spoke to him about Miss [Os?] brought my pillow home & we arrived in our lines at 9:20.

31 July 1915.


On duty in a.m. Made up the beds & sent in requisitions. After supper Miss Austin & I took the bus up to No 1 & walked back. Saw Miss McDonald from Chatham, also Miss Cummings. No home letters yet.

1 August 1915.


On duty in a.m. Did not go to service. After lunch Louise McGreer & Lill & I went up the hill to write letters & had such a nice time. Saw some clever handling of a flock of sheep in the valley by a couple of shepherds & dogs. After supper Watling, Lill & I went to No 1 by bus and walked home. Wrote home but no mail for me.

2 August 1915.


Sports day, but the p.m. so rainy that a ball game between No 1 & No 3 was left unfinished c̅ a heavy score for McGill A. R. M. S. to make rounds & sports posponed [sic]. Concert in Y. M. C. A. in evening by Victoria party. Very good & much appreciated by patients. Very heavy rain in evening. Matron Nesbitt here for tea & ball game.

3 August 1915.


Sports came off this p.m. The ‘darn Canadians’ walking off c̅ everything c̅ exception of officers tug of war. Dickie won 75 yd race. & Watling won in thread & needle race. Got a pail & shovel. Prizes given by Mrs. Doige in Y. M. C. A. after another concert given by same party. We girls cheered everything. Letters from Len. who is still in Sussex. Lovely letters from home.

4 August 1915.


Off for the day. Clare & I went to Paris Plage going to Etaples by [Fre???] & other villages. Lovely country everywhere. Had lunch in Paris Plage & I bought some finery to send Irene, a night-gown & [wee] pincushion. Both of us came home c̅ out a [pennie]. Called at No 1 & watched the boys at base ball. Reached here in time for War anniversary service Wrote to Irene & sent box & cards to [H?ie?].

5 August 1915.


On duty in a.m. Sewed Creton for a trunk cover & hung around the ward & mess tent in turn to be looked over by Gen Hughs, whom I did not see after all. Such a fuss over these fellows. Dickie & I went for a wheel after tea to [Danne] & then to by a new road to the sea. Saw where a high hotel was ruined & partly washed away by the tide 5 yrs ago.

6 August 1915.


On duty in a.m. M’ A’. Miss McLeod in Charge. Another ward to equip. Clare, Lill, Lena & I went to Boulogne after lunch & I got a new fountain pen, also rain hats to send to the girls. We had quite a nice afternoon & ride both ways. Boulogne is a much larger city than I thought. The approaches are all barred up c̅ trucks. It isn't easy to get in now c̅ out a proper [plass] [sic].

7 August 1915.


Dickie & I finished fixing up our tent this morning & we feel very grand. On duty in p.m. Base ball game between Harvard & McGill 7 to 4 in favour of McGill. They said it was a great game. A convoy in at 8:30 p.m. Lill, Clare, & I are on night duty. ‘A’ ward not opened & I am in Observation Tent. Three patients c̅ [exema] [sic].

8 August 1915.


Slept all day & off duty tonight as my patients were transferred to K.

9 August 1915.


On duty in p.m. made beds. Called up for Convoy at nine but decided that ‘A’ was not ready so I helped Dickie receive. Went to bed at 5 a.m.

McGill concert last night. Nothing much to boast of. Clare recited well.

10 August 1915.


A convoy in at 8 a.m. & ‘A’ received 12 patients. Very inconvenient c̅ out screens or bedside tables. They have given me such a nice student as orderly, LeBel, Dickie worked c̅ him on the Metagama & liked him so much.

11 August 1915.


On duty as usual.

12 August 1915.


Clare, Miss Stut & I went wheeling after breakfast up over the hill & out the Neufchatel road, a lovely ride, got wet coming home but the rain cleared off as we came into camp.

13 August 1915.


A quiet night.

14 August 1915.


Clare & Miss Stut & I wheeled to Paris Plage after breakfast to pay our rental. A nice ride but it does not pay. One o’clock before I got to bed. Such a letter treat. Ray, Winnie, Mrs. Sutherland & Madge heard from & a ‘World’ from home.

17 August 1915.


A small convoy, this eve.

18 August 1915.


A quiet night. The day not so quiet.

19 August 1915.


Wrote Helen L. & sent cards to Greig. Everything goes as usual. Another small Convoy, patients mostly from other hospitals.

20 August 1915.


After waiting half an hour for the car, as promised us, we were informed that the O. C. had taken it so our trip was off. We went to bed mad and spent a miserable sleepless day. Sent P. C. to Rae. L.

21 August 1915.


Went to bed early & slept better than usual. Clare & Miss Steel went to Paris Plage. Got up in time for the last of a base ball match, Harvard & McGill. Letters from Miss Richardson & Mrs. Dunn. Tonight: Clare, Lill & I walked through the village & distributed sweets instead of pennies.

23 August 1915.


A small convoy in last night. We got two ‘walk ins.’

24 August 1915.


Clare & I wheeled to Paris Plage to get Clare’s glasses. Her wheel went wrong just as we started & it was c̅ difficulty that we got to the village. The bicycle man was away in Paris so we had to take the car home waiting for the bus about 15 minutes. Found Gray at Etaples.

25 August 1915.


Another convoy last night. Five patients coming to us. One sick man I felt worried about him this a.m.

26 August 1915.


A quiet night. Our sick man seems better. Clare & I went to Paris Plage walking to Etaples & waiting till 11:10 for the car. Got home at one o’clock. We called at the cemetery for a moment to locate Dunn’s grave. A really hot day, too hot for wheeling. Not much sleep today.

27 August 1915.


Lill, Clare, & I went bathing this a.m. & formed the tide pretty as out & were nearly eaten up by sea bugs or something of that species. Late getting to bed as usual. A hot noisy day. A convoy last night; we received three.

28 August 1915.


A quiet night. Went to bed immediately after breakfast. A base ball match this afternoon. Officers & men. Men won of course.

29 August 1915.


Slept all day.

30 August 1915.


Convoy expected to-night.

31 August 1915.


Zeppelin raid52 scare today but nothing happened.

1 September 1915.


Such a storm of wind & rain to-day from the south the fulfilment of the early morning sky. Days are short now & the sun much later in the morning, showing above the hills.

2 September 1915.


Clare & I wheeled to Paris Plage in spite of the dark clowds [sic] & got back before before [sic] it rained. Saw such a quaint scene in Etaples on our way. A sailor man returning & greeting the village men, women & children with kisses on both cheeks. Etaples is always treating us to some new scene.

3 September 1915.


Such a down pour of rain all night & very cold & damp. It continued all day c̅ the result that the whole camp ground is very dirty. The clay soil is so sticky when wet.

4 September 1915.


It rained torrents all last night & the greater part of to-day. Rumors about that we are to be moved away from here, before long.

Chapelle du Saint Esprit: the interior of which is highly decorated & too distinctly French in some ways. The exterior is very beautiful c̅ its clusters of figures. These figures suffered during the Revolution. Some are utterly destroyed, others are headless. We left the town c̅ regret: but time was short & the return ride long. On our return to Berck53 we went on to Berck Plage, which is a large up to [?ali] watering place c̅ excellent shopping. Back past new sentries with the old question about passes which we did not have. The return ride was lovely but long & we arrived in Camp in early time for late dinner tired & sleepy but it was such a perfect happy day. Clare & I do have good times.

5 September 1915.


Went this a.m. through Neuvre Chatel & around by the [?el] camp to Hardelot Plage. Such a beautiful beach c̅ a pretty boulevard & terrace. An ideal summer resort unspoiled. There is a hosp here for the Hindos. Returned past the lake & [gulf] links to the Chateau & home by the Boulogne Road. Went right to bed & slept like a log. Such a lovely morning ride. I’ll not forget it.

6 September 1915.


Clare & I went to Etaples after breakfast to buy eats. A nice ride & saw a donkey with panniers & a girl in charge. Such a perfect subject for a snap. Arrived home by noon.

7 September 1915.


A convoy last night, which gave us a busy night. Our last night & I am sorry after all my wishing to be off. [Lapp] is such a splendid boy. He has been very nice to me & I’m sorry to leave the patients. They are so ill & I am used to them. I am to go to “E” I believe. Lapp & I very late getting our work done. Don't know what happened to us.

8 September 1915.


A perfect day. Clare & I started after breakfast, went to Etaples & then back by La Touquet through Cueq54 [sic]& Merlimont55 past a huge Army Service Camp along a level road sometimes in the dunes, but mostly through low lying meadow land to [Berck]. Got past 4 sentries by smiles & Clare’s [French] then on to Rue which is a lovely town. Had lunch & chatted c̅ a boy lately come there from near the Belgian border. After lunch we visited the day duty again. Off from 4:30.

9 September 1915.


On duty in ‘E’ c̅ Miss MacIntosh. A quiet ward & I find myself quite lonely for ward ‘A’. I always hate changes. Off duty from 4:30 pm 10:30. It seems a lot of time to oneself after night hours & it is good to have a nights sleep again. Went bathing before lunch & Lill lost her teeth. Was scared out of my witts [sic] for a moment till she found them again.

10 September 1915.


My half day & I do nothing. Clare & I went bathing after lunch & found the tide very far out & sea live numerous. A beautiful day but too windy for bicycling. A Bridge party on to-night in Sir [W???’s] honor. Matron in Chief MacDonald & Lady Perley also here visiting McGill is getting too [f?????]. The 6th yr. men are leaving us I fear.

[pressed leaf on top half of page, akin to poplar or maple]

14 September 1915.


Princess Louise56 visited us to-day going through the O. R. & a few of the wards. Clare & I wheeled to Paris Plage to pay our rental & the party including our friend the A. D. M. S.57 passed us. We came home 38 min for last supper.

16 September 1915.


Convoy 180 last night. Clare & I took our long planned trip to Devres in spite of the threatening weather. It was a happy afternoon. We bought some Devres pottery, Clare got a vase & I a jug. We passed through Samer both ways but took new roads, going through a beautiful wood before joining the Montreux road. Came home through Danne. No letters yet.

17 September 1915.


Hours off 1 – 4 p.m. Helped cut bread & butter, & darned Clare’s stockings while she read to me. Went to Col. MacRae’s58 lecture in the evening. McConnell & Stewart & Dorothy Cotton back from leave to-day & little Tate, Miss Steel & Miss Archibald leave. Ten minutes after they got off orders came to cancel all leave. More chance trouble.

18 September 1915.


Wakened c̅ a queer headache & Miss MacIntosh insisted on my going off. Went back on duty at 3 p.m. & finished up the day’s work. Am to change another ward in the morning I hear. Perhaps I’ll get settled after a bit. Letters from Mama & Ray & Len and one from Mrs. Dunn. Mama had such a lovely trip to Truro.59 I am so glad for her. Startling news from Montreal of Ida Geegan’s death at the M. G. H.60 No perticulars [sic]. I fancy Lockart-Gall is the medium through which news came. Joint letters from Mr. & Mrs. Greeg too.

[pressed leaf on p. 60, broken remnants of what might have been a beech tree leaf]

20 September 1915.


The ex queen of Portugal honoured us today. Going to a few of the wards.

21 September 1915.


Gen Jones & Sir. Geo. Markham the Surgeon Gen. paid us a visit today. We are very gay.

22 September 1915.


Half day, & our plans for Boulogne knocked out by the Matron. After giving some necessary attention to two punctures we went to Montreuil & had a lovely afternoon going by Neuville, returning from the other side of the city to Beutin.61 We had tea at the Hotel Le Frances in the courtyard. Got home for second dinner & went to a YMCA concert, which was horrid.

25 September 1915.


‘Worlds’ from home to night. [White] & Ruby Graham, Seaborne R. & Chrisholm went to an Eng [Hosp] for a few days. Out hosp. increased to capacity by 500 beds. Church tent & Sgt mess both [pallet] c̅ beds.

26 September 1915.


Every possible patient evacuated for Hosp. ship. Cases otherwise for base details go to [Blighty].62 Clare & I walked to Danne to the church & gave sweets to the kiddies. Poor Clare is worried about the boys. Tate, Miss Steel & Miss Archibald back from leave tonight. Letter from Irene. Service in our [Ants] tent.

27 September 1915.


A convoy of 220 in last night, terrible cases, so many heads, three deaths in A & [?] tent. A great many Gordon High[ndrs] admitted & tell of their regt. being almost wiped out. Over 500 patients came to camp last night. A rainy day today.

28 September 1915.


Another convoy last night, more terrible wounds. We are very busy. Another rainy day & very cold. News from the front is very good today. Letter from Ray to-night. Such a nice long one c̅ an account of Helen’s wedding.

29 September 1915.


Still another rainy day. The camp is very mucky & slippery. Another convoy last night. The men are all sick & cold & miserable. News from the Front is still very good, but the cost is great.

30 September 1915.


Another convoy last night. We are all very busy c̅ such enormas [sic] dressings. Clare is miserable tonight with a high temp. Am afraid she is in for [gopp]. It’s a case of eat & sleep & work these days & we are short [with] Miss Duncan & Miss Cotton & the girls to the British Hosp. gone.

1 October 1915.


Work still keeping away ahead of us. I never get the beds made. Its ‘dressings’ dressings from morning till night. The weather is still rainy & most of the girls wear their rubber aprons all day. I never take my rubbers off.

2 October 1915.


Another rainy, busy day with a large evacuation. Clare still miserable with a [???]. She should be off duty.

3 October 1915.


Clare off to-day & the sun is out with us at last. The wards still busy, though our bridal chambers is empty of its [grouches] & I got the beds made in proper order & had two hours off.

4 October 1915.


Another convoy last night. Our hosp. received a thousand patients last week. Had regular time off to-day.

5 October 1915.


A better day. We are getting straightened out & some stock made up, but our patients are very sick. Four of them on the danger list.

Stevie & I wheeled to Paris Plage.

6 October 1915.


Day off & Clare & I went to Danne for Service which was a pathetic little affair, just five women there & no priest. News today that Mrs. Jafford & another nurse in the Dardenelles63 are dead c̅ dysentery. Col McKee very ill too.

7 October 1915.


Another evacuation this a.m. but our remaining patients are still on the danger list. Today’s paper says part of the trenches captured last week have been retaken by the Germans.

8 October 1915.


Went up on the hills after dinner & read. A cool day, quite a ‘fall air’ but so lovely. Mrs. MacIntosh goes on night duty & Miss Brand comes to me for head nurse.

10 October 1915.


Went up on the hills with Clare & “Potash & [Perlmeter.”] It's a breezy day—very drafty.

11 October 1915.

Monday. Thanksgiving day.

Very important day. We are given mattrasses [sic]. Orders that hosp. beds be reduced to 1000, hense [sic] the extra [mattrasses] [sic]. We carried our own down & have now a regular double bed.

12 October 1915.


Bicycle to Neuve Chatel c̅ Clare round a lovely little road behind the grounds we [???] from the village road. Capt. Shatford64 leaves to day & Capt. Hepburn replaces him. He is a son of Miss [Goun’s] old clergyman. Lily Carter is at No 1. Chicken dinner tonight.

13 October 1915.


To day’s report says that No 2 Stationary is to go near Boulogne. Two new sister Miss Stewart & Miss Lamont both R. V. take Miss Duncan’s & Miss Cotton’s places.

14 October 1915.


Half day. Clare & I wheeled to Boulogne. A beautiful hot afternoon but a thick mist to wheel through in the evening. Clare bought a [Pans] doll about 18 m box at back of bicycle. We brought lamps & mine turned out ‘too good’ so well have to return it. Sgt. Wilkinson died to-day.

15 October 1915.


Convoy at 8:30 this a.m. 103 cases so the day goes quickly. Some bad cases but not as last week.

16 October 1915.


Turkey dinner to-night. Our tents are moved over on the rising ground next No 18. So our winter quarters may be started.

17 October 1915.


Hours off 1 – 4. Clare & I wheeled back over the hills exploring a new road. Not very satisfactory as we had to get back for dinner. I wrote home. Got a note from Mr. Archibald this eve telling me that Kerr Loggie is a patient in St. John Hosp.

18 October 1915.


Hours off 4 – 8. Wheeled up to see Kerr L. He has a fractured arm & a breused [sic] back from having been buried but looks well. Wrote Mrs. L. & Rae. Our ward very idle these days. Miss MacIntosh on Night Supt. & Miss Stewart in her place.

19 October 1915.


A cold bright day. No convoy. Evacuated 2 patients this a.m. Walling & Lill off for their day & gone to Paris Plage & will call to see Kerr. Clare too gone to P. P. Clare & I went on the hills for a run before bed time to get warmed up & I started a letter & from Ray.


20 October 1915.


[???] to very cold dull day. I had Laura. Morning hours. D. E. & F. moved into G. A staff nurse going with the patients of each ward & a ‘supply’ tent started c̅ Clare in charge. Stevie & I are together thank fortune. Mrs. Enright in charge. c̅ Handcock. Our happy home in E. is broken up for good & all I suppose. Price & Montis & Rose go on fatigue duty.

21 October 1915.


Another cold day. Our huts are going steadily up. I feel very strange in ‘G’ but each change makes one feel so. I have last hours, & wish I could kick the ball with the boys to keep warm. This morning’s mist has cleared away but it’s still very chilly. The stoves ordered came to-day & our tent feels fairly warm. We are to use oil till the Govt tells us to stop.

22 October 1915.


Such sad news from the Chicago hosp. to-day. A sister died very suddenly. We have not heard for sure what of. Strep. C. infection65 mentioned but nothing definite. It will be a [sad] hosp. & many difficult letters to write. Letter from Ray c̅ news of an arrival at Uncle Wills, a son, May & Lewis will be very proud.

23 October 1915.


A large convoy this a.m. Not very bad cases. My half day. Extra buses ran to Etaples for Sister Hamilton’s funeral which was at 3 p.m. Clare & I wheeled & joined the sisters going [down] NOT as our girls were in outdoor uniform. The hosps were well represented & the service was well conducted. The procession from Mortuary to grave was pathetic but the whole scene was very impressive & will not be easily forgotten. Clare & I went on to Paris Plage & I bought a chicken for the boys, also some handkerchiefs for Len for Xmas. Dusk found us still at the Swiss shops & we had left our lamps at home. Clare & Watling helped us eat a pineapple cake in our tent after supper. I have a cold which is a great nuisance & hard on the [hand’s]. Suzanne brought back my uniform which she has had for 4 weeks, not fit to wear. Such are the dress problems.

24 October 1915.


A cold day with rain in the afternoon. Hours off 10 – 3. Cleaned up our tent & wrote home.

We have an addition to our [Anto] tent a local paper. “Sunday Observer,”66 badly typed, c̅ stale war news & original scraps of ‘life about camp.’

25 October 1915.


Such a furious rain storm last night & all day to-day. One of E tents ripped straight across & the patients were moved to F. It was very uncomfortable working to-day. Everything is wet—the patients are so cold. We tramp round in long rubber boots & get chilblains. Several of the tents came down & our pegs are loose or out.

26 October 1915.


So glad to be awake to a sunny day. It is very cold but the wind is drying things up, & the wards are more cheerful. Was off from 3 to 6 o’clock. Clare is reciting at a concert for the convalescent. Camp & Watling & Dickie & Tate have gone c̅ her. [Glendenning] is singing. We are going to Boulogne tomorrow, Lill, Watling, Clare, Armatige & I, by train. A rainy afternoon.

27 October 1915.


Went to Boulogne on the 8:40 train & spent the day. Got a photo frame for Len’s & Laura’s pictures & I got underwear. Had such a nice lunch at the folkstore & I got my hair washed. Capt. Dixon came home c̅ us at 10 p.m. The only day we have had c̅ out rain.

[p. 72 features a pressed leaf, resembling poplar]

28 October 1915.


Another stormy day.

29 October 1915.


Letters from Len & Ray to-night. Len has no idea when they leave Valcartier.67

30 October 1915.


Another rainy day c̅ bright half hours at intervals. Fastball game on between 22 & our hosp. Our boys won. Stevie & I wheeled to Etaples in last & had our usual fun. Bought nuts & apples & bread & dates & talked French. Got home for second supper.

31 October 1915.


Specialed Freeman today. He had another haemorrhage last night but is holding his own to-day & is as disagreeable as possible. Off duty from 1:30 to 3 p.m. & tramped over the hills by myself to keep warm.

1 November 1915.


Our party night. Dickie & I went in sheets & pillowcases & the party was a fair good time. Not enough music but the decorations & eats were fine, & the dancers seemed to have an enjoyable time. I relieved Gillis for an hour, Freeman is cross & none too well. I’m afraid he isn’t coming out on top.

2 November 1915.


Such a perfectly splendid party & everybody had such a good time. Our boys are just the nicest in the world. Cooper started the evening as Bluebeard & nearly ended it c̅ a tragedy as she set fire to her beard & only her usual presence of mind saved the situation. I went c̅ only a mask & had the time of my life as nobody recognized me. Price was the dear Duchess & was splendidly gotten up. Dickie went in uniform & Clare as [Dis] Hopkins.

3 November 1915.


Freeman has been quiet all day but so irritable & hard to manage & looks so white & ill. Major Archibald seems to be quite cheerful but we are very pessimistic. I sat out of doors all afternoon with him & got chilled to the bone. Latest rumor we are going to Shorncliffe. Wrote Mrs. Freeman.

4 November 1915.


A worrysome [sic] day. Freeman had another haemorrhage last night. Had an intravenous this a.m. & transfusion this p.m. 600 cc. from Capt. Redford who must feel the loss. The improvement on Freeman’s part was marvellous, but am afraid it can’t be lasting. He is much more agreeable today & I hated leaving him. Miss Drake gave a dancing lesson in the evening. Clare & I went for a walk & I ordered chickens at the Hotel du lac.

5 November 1915.


Freedman died this a.m. at 8 & I feel lost & very badly in consequence, but his recovery was too much to expect. Off from 10 – 3 & Miss Horner came & told me to take the day off as there was little to do. Wrote Mama & Alice, & Mrs. Caper. Got our chickens & bought cauliflower. Letter from home tonight & paper for Greg. Such a nice snap of Wil in Ray’s letter. Carrie has a daughter.

6 November 1915.


Clare & I wheeled to Paris Plage c̅ Miss Steel & I bought a locket & chain for Ray’s birthday. Such a dear old rose enamel one set c̅ chip diamonds. Clare got a hair wash & we had chocolate at the “Corner Cake Shop.” Miss Steel ran into a man on our way home, our only excitement. It gets dark so soon now. Ordered a baby dress for May King.

The Sunday Observer has changed its name to McGillicans68 [sic]& its editing staff is made public. Capt. MacDonald Ed. in Chief with [Billy] Galligar & Jenks & assistants. Our party is well written up with excellent wax impressions by our dish washer Rosie.

7 November 1915.


A very cold night, the ground was hard & covered c̅ white frost this a.m. A cold dull day.

Slept in & such an unfortunate morning. Dickie’s underwear which hung over the stove got so smoked up that I had to wash it all over which took up almost the entire a.m. Went for a short Bicycle ride c̅ Clare after lunch down to Neuve Chat. Our rides now are numbered as our wheels go back for good on the 16th. [Bill] admitted to G tonight c̅ suspected renal colic. He is one of the sub editor of the McGillicans [sic].

8 November 1915.


Such a lovely warm day. Off from 3 p.m. Walked on the hills c̅ Bradley till tea time & then waited round for Miss Parks who failed to show up. After supper I made two trips to the Canteen c̅ Watling who is sending boxes to the boys. I mailed my locket to Ray to-night. No dancing class as there was a bridge table on.

9 November 1915.


A rainy morning again but less cold than our previous wet days. Off from 10 – 3, wrote home, & went to the canteen for butter for our kitchen. The flowers in our ante tent are still very lovely. Mrs. Austin is certainly an adept. The asters remind me of Aunt Janet’s garden, & we get such fine colors here. It had turned into a very cold rain again.

10 November 1915.


Watling & Lill & I took our half days & went to Paris Plage in the bus. I am on duty in the Supply tent now. Did not accomplish much in P. P. Got a pair of warm gloves. It was very windy & cold, & we had another rainy night. We had a long wait for the bus at Etaples, where the usual multitude of children entertained us.

In Flanders’ Fields69

On Flanders’ fields the Poppies grow,

Between the crosses row & row

That mark our place: & in the sky

The lark still bravely singing, fly;

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: short days ago

We lived, felt dawn saw sunset glow.

Loved & were loved, & now we lie

In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the Foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch: be yours to hold it high:

If ye break faith c̅ us, who die
We shall not sleep, though Poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

11 November 1915.


Dancing Class tonight.

Col. Yates admitted to F. Indigestion. Another rainy day. came off at 3 p.m. to assist Mrs. Austin in sandwich making. Cooper also joined in.

It is officially stated that our unit is to move, but where to nobody knows. This hosp. has been condemned for a winter camp. We are all very anxious that our unit should not be divided. No 23 is still the popular rumor. Boulogne also thought of.

12 November 1915.


Still another stormy day following a wild night. Today’s rain was on showers, fast & furious. I help dismantle ward P & make supplies. [Engelke] & Miss Lindsay & [Filzie] sent to No 1 till Monday. They have had a convoy of 400 & their staff of nurses is rather small. Where are we to go? Montreaux, Etaples, Boulogne, Hardelot, Rouen, or England? If only they will not split us up or take our boys from us.

13 November 1915.


A day full of rumours which elated & depressed us in turn. Miss Brand & I are to dismantle E. tomorrow. A cold day & rainy at intervals. After tea Clare & I tramped to St. Gabriel Plage.70 The tide was going our but there was a fine swell on. Ward C is closed. ‘A’ has one patient. ‘G,’ ‘K,’ & ‘L’ & ‘F’ are the only remaining wards c̅ patients.

14 November 1915.


No definite rumor today. Boulogne & [Montreal] equally [?rpula?]. McGilliken bright & clever to-day.

A lovely bright fall day. Went to 10 so service in ‘F’ & spent the rest of the a.m. packing ‘E.’ Went wheeling after 3 p.m. c̅ Miss Brand & Miss Steel to Neuve Chatel. Miss Parks & Miss Carr [Harris] came to tea & remained for dinner & Matron Lill Watling & Clare & I walked part way home c̅ them. The [Eng.] Tommies71 were very noisy & rude on the road, a result we think from the rum found on the shore from A. S. C.72

15 November 1915.


A cold windy day. The supply room busy & noisy as usual & its staff greatly increased as most of the wards are closed. Walked into Carniers after tea to find some apples & went to a concert given by the 28th in the evening. Hallie Carman began a dancing lesson afterwards but officers came on & spoiled it all. Got a letter from Home tonight.

16 November 1915.


Prime Vic. concert part in Y. M. C. A. very good. A cold morning & the ground covered c̅ snow & still falling. In the supply room as usual. Off duty after second dinner & Lill, Watling, Clare & I went to Paris Plage on the 2 bus. Got the wherewithal to clothe myself as a Poppy for the boys’ party on Thursday. We had an omelette at the ‘Topa’ in Etaples while waiting for the bus. It's a wonderful place c̅ its paintings & associations & its lovely kitchen. I have missed a great deal not having been there before.

17 November 1915.


Clare & I went to Paris Plage in the a.m. to return the wheels. A cold morning but fine. Came to Etaples on 11:30 car to find no bus running. We walked home c̅ the exception of a [left in] an ambulance. No rain all day but it is cold & raw. Latest rumor says the [Indian] Hosp. at Boulogne. All hosps in camp 18 & 20 except [ten] have orders [to back].

18 November 1915.


No. 18 had packing orders.

The boys’ party came off c̅ fine style. It was well arranged; the supper tent perticulary [sic] so & the costumes were wonderful considering the material at hand. Brand dressed me as a poppy. Watling was a waterlily & Lill was a corn flower. No new rumors to-day. Boulogne very popular yet. Col Yates the only remaining patient. A rainy afternoon.

19 November 1915.


28 of No. 25 nurses went Wimereux73 this a.m. A very cold morning but bright & clear. Quite a heavy frost. Lill & I slept in. Twelve nurses were sent to No 1 this afternoon. Lill, Clare, & I walked to Etaples & called at No 1 to see Arnott. Saw Violet E. & had a chat c̅ Mr. Archibald & Patterson. Such a lovely walk home. The moon is glorious to-night. Wrote Mrs. Greig.

20 November 1915.


Dickie, Steves, & Clare & I walked to Boulogne this a.m. & had lunch at the ‘Pre-Catelan.’ Got an ambulance ride back part of the way. A cold day.

21 November 1915.


Mann. Watling Clare, Dickie & I walked to Frenca after lunch & back to camp by the Boulogne road & Widehem. A cold gray day. Went to 5:45 service. Our winter quarters is an old monestary [sic] in Boulogne. No [sic] used as an Indian Hosp.

22 November 1915.


Col Yates left for England today. Dickie & I went to Paris Plage & wasted the afternoon with Stephens & Tate. Had lunch at a new café on Rue St. [Joan].

23 November 1915.


Our ante tent is moved down to the O. R. where we are much more comfortable as there is a coal stove. Dickie & I walked down to the lake & through the dunes to the sea & along back by St. Gabriel Plage.

24 November 1915.


A nice day. Clare, Dickie, MacConnell & Watling & I walked to Neuve Chatel & had tea at “Prendecours.” A lovely walk. Clare & I walked round the lake in the early afternoon.

25 November 1915.


A cold day but bright. McConnell & Dickie & Watling & I went to [Montreuil] in the “Ford.” We walked on the ramparts, did a little shopping & had tea at the Hotel la France. Got home just as it started to rain.

26 November 1915.


Very cold with snow flurries. We sat round in the O. R. most of the day. Clare went to Paris Plage for her glasses & Dickie & I went to Etaples. Walked back c̅ Miss Carpenter in an hour & ten minutes. A beautiful night but very cold. Lily Carter came to see us today.

27 November 1915.


‘Did up’ a box of eats for Murray & mailed the McGillikens to Ray & a magazine to Greig. A letter from ray this evening. The forth up boys are going home after all. We gave them & their friends a little farewell dance to night in the O. R. a very enjoyable affair. Stevie & I went to Etaples for the cake.

28 November 1915.


An extremely cold day. Nothing thawed. Service in the a.m. as usual, & Clare & I went on the hills after till lunch time. Wrote home & sent Ray’s letter on to Len. Went to 5:45 service & Clare & I spent the evening reading ‘The double traitor.”74 a terrible night for our men in the trenches. Sgt. Pidgeon,75 MacDermid, Bliss & Eastwood went on leave.

29 November 1915.


Rained steadily all day, but not so cold. Reported that the sisters are to be billeted in Boulogne till our hosp. is ready for us. Spent most of the day in the O. R. I ripped the red from my shoulder straps. (great work)

30 November 1915.


A warmer a.m. but showery. MacConnel & Gourley & I walked round the village before lunch as the O. R. was close to us. Fixed Clare’s shoulder straps this afternoon.

2 December 1915.


And now our forth [sic] yr. men have been given the opportunity of going home to finish. truly the bottom is falling from our unit. Capt. Russell is transferred to the R.A.M.C.76 & is to be at _____. He left us to-day. I got tea this afternoon. Letter from Ray tonight.

3 December 1915.


Rained all day. Dickie & I spent the a.m. doing up cards & Xmas hand fo [sic]. & I wrote Mrs. Young & Len. Posted parcels to Ray & one to Greig. Brand & Clare & I read ‘The Four Maries’ & had such a nice time.

4 December 1915.


Another rainy day. Settled c̅ Suzanne, a big business. The billet rumor is current again. Clare & I walked to No 1 & had tea in the club c̅ Miss Cooper. Huts here are nearly finished & we are wondering if we will move in.

Some of us are big ships & some of

us are small;

Graceful yachts & rusty tramps but one

thing over all;

We've for the dame wide sea to sail the

same last boat to make

So here’s to you & here’s to me, the waves

and wavelets break.77

5 December 1915.


Went to morning service & wrote home in the afternoon. Our mess tent blew down & we moved into the new hut though the carpenters are still at work there. Our batmen “struck” work this a.m. & got marched back by Sgt. M. Kennedy.

6 December 1915.


Like a bolt from the blue we got orders to proceed to Cliveden. Clare & I among 15 & 15 other to go to Shorncliffe.78 We are to go on Wednesday. Clare & I went to Paris Plage on errands & of course it rained. Sent an extra card in my home letter telling them of our move.

7 December 1915.


A rainy day. Everybody is depressed & we are very sad at leaving. The 5th year men left us to-day. That is the first big break up & our going will be the next. Watling remains in France.

8 December 1915.


A beautiful a.m. for our leaving. We left our lovely hills c̅ regret & it will be like going home if we return. The boys gave us a fine McGill yell, & off we went. The 5th yr men crossed from Boulogne c̅ us a terrible crossing. Nearly everybody seasick including Dickie & Clare. Came to London & will remain here till tomorrow.

Oh to be a turtle, a slow lethargic turtle

With nothing in the world to do

But roam around the whole day through

To sun oneself upon a log,

to idly gossip c̅ a frog,

To wallow in a marshy pool

among the reeds & rushes cool

To feel no matter what befell

one need but crawl within one’s shell

And let the whole world go to — 79

9 December 1915.


Miss Steel & Lindsay remain in L. to look after our luggage.

Got up for a breakfast & Lill & I took a taxi to the Bank, & who should come along but Bun Creaghan. Len has just left London from a six day leave. We came down here on the 4 o’clock train & as yet feel like strangers in a strange land. Rooming c̅ 7 other girls.

10 December 1915.


Went on duty in our mess uniforms c̅ borrowed aprons & bibs & veils as our baggage had not come yet. Would that Miss MacLatchy could see us. I am in H. 2. Lill just across in H1. Dick & I have 1 – 4 off & we went to see Cliveden House, about a half mile from here. It is all very lovely but I have no eye for England yet.

11 December 1915.


Clare & Dick & I took a taxi into Maidenhead80 & hot some Xmas cards. It is a relief to get away from the atmosphere here. We seem to be rather resented & the MOs81 are none too friendly. Miss Drake goes on night duty tonight. She c̅ her usual wit describes this place as having a Queen Ann front and a Mary Ann back.

12 December 1915.


A very cold a.m. c̅ snow. The wards are bitterly cold & this lodge is without heating except the grate fires & we are not allowed to light them till 5 p.m. It is rather a cheerless place on the whole. Letter from home to-day, redirected from No. 3. Clare & I went walking in our off hours to Burnham82 & around Thorpe83 by a different road. A convoy came to us to-day of something over a hundred. No bad cases came to H2. Patients from Rouen & Boulogne.

14 December 1915.


Had half days & Dickie, Clare, Brand, & I went to London. I had a sick headache so did not enjoy the p.m. much. We did some shopping (in the rain). Had dinner at [Franscitis] & went to see [Mavoumean] which was fairly good. Came home on the midnight train. Letters from Len & Miss Richarson, & a box of Page & [Shaws] from Laura.

15 December 1915.


Wrote Len Gourley. Had last hours 1 – 4. Lill & I went to the Glory Hole & got our blankets etc. from our kits. It is quite as damp a store room as the old bell tent. Found Miss Wood’s cousin such a nice boy, also found a Chatham boy, [Ullock], who looks 15 & has a TB hip, poor lad. A rainy day.

16 December 1915.


Lill & I got a lovely box of Scotch cake from Mrs. Greig & hand’fs [sic] from Miss Blackwood. Miss Watson had her p/m/ & I had hours 2 – 5. Miss Nichols is c̅ us to-day. Miss Ramsay & she exchanged.

17 December 1915.


Lill & I walked to Maidenhead in last hours. Got cards & ordered a cake to be sent to Murray, also got [sardine] eats & smokes for them. 7 lbs is the limit to go & it soon mounts up. We had a lovely walk both ways as there wasn’t a taxi to be had. Quite a relief to get away from here for a time. Another convoy today.

18 December 1915.


Walked to town again c̅ Clare but taxied home to go on duty at 4. Mailed our parcels. Things as usual in the ward.

19 December 1915.


Intended going out c̅ Clare but our hours did not agree. Wrote home.

20 December 1915.


Ward decorations have begun. Jenkins (Can) is [directing] things for [Be?] 46. Eng. ivy & paper flowers are much in evidence.

21 December 1915.


Miss Nichols had her p.m. & we were quite busy.

22 December 1915.


Miss Watson’s day off. She is feeling very miserable. I had first hours. Our ward is looking very pretty now. More April like than Xmas.

23 December 1915.


On duty as usual & the Xmas decorations still going up. Jenkins is very miserable & not up to his usual.

24 December 1915.


On duty in the a.m. & got the 1 p.m. train to London. Put up at the Kingsley. Jane Todd here too. We went shopping in the rain & went to see “Stop Thief”84 at Prince of Wales theatre. Screamingly funny. We will have a good sleep [in the ???].

25 December 1915.


Rather a wonderful day. We went to St. Paul’s for 10:30 service & saw D. Enright who took us to lunch in Charring Cross & then for sight seeing. Everything was closed so we contented ourselves c̅ seeing London from the tops of buses. Finished up the day c̅ dinner at the Frascati all at Dr. E’s expense. Met Jack & Gordon Hunter & [Desbracy] & [Boysie Woods.] Clare gave me Tale of Two Cities85 for a Xmas gift & we each had wee booklets from Edith Stuart. Clare went to early service & we had breakfast in bed.

26 December 1915.


Dickie & I went to Bramshott86 by the 8:40 train. Len met us & we walked the 3 miles to camp. Had dinner in the Sgt’s mess & walked back to Hazelmere87 [sic] for the 4:44 train back to London. Not a drop of rain all day.

27 December 1915.


Lill & I went to see Grace & Wallie, then called at the Abby for Clare. Home to the Kingsley where Dr. Enright joined us for lunch. Went to the Zoo & then for a bus ride across the Thames back by Tower Bridge. Dinner at the ‘Frascati’ & to the New Theatre to see Peter Pan.

28 December 1915.


Found a letter from Alice K. & a field card from Murray. It’s very hard going back to work. Had last house. Miss Ramsay has gone to Shorncliffe quite suddenly.

29 December 1915.


Started work in H2 but sent to Alex c̅ Miss Kirk. 72 patients, a good many of them convalescent, a lot of nice men, but Miss Kirk is very poor. Was left alone all p.m. & found it very hard to find out what was to be done. No hours off. Letters from Aunt Blanche, Ray, Mrs. Loggie, Mrs. young, & cards from several people.

30 December 1915.


Am back on H2 as Miss Nichols is off c̅ a boil. It is good to be back c̅ nice Miss Watson. Did the usual dressings all [eve] & had first hours. Wrote Alice K. c̅ many metaphors.

31 December 1915


Miss Watson went on leave & I am in charge in the meantime. Miss Nichols may be on tomorrow. Had morning hours & wrote Frances Hepburn. No letters.

1 January 1916


Miss Nichols on deck again. Everything goes smoother & I serve dinners at noon. Had early pm hours & wrote Effie Brown. News from Camiers says that instead of moving to Boulogne we are to take over No 22. & get to work as soon as possible.

2 January 1916


Off for last hours & wrote home. Nothing happens & no word from Len. A card from Naomi Gray. No fresh news. The climax was reached this am. between Mrs. Burns & Mrs. McLachlan & the air was blue & frosty. Mrs. B. came off second best.

3 January 1916


The O.C. & matron visited our ward this morning & the O.C. said that the beds looked as though the wrath of God had struck them. Lill is on night duty tonight & I feel very lonely. No mail to-night.

Silence between Mrs. B & Mrs. McL to-night.

4 January 1916


No news of any description & this room is very tiresome. Have tried all evening to write a letter & found it impossible.

5 January 1916


Got a box of fudge to-night from Helen Loggie. Had my pm. to-day & spent it in bed. I was so tired. No letters from home this week yet.

6 January 1916


Miss Nichols & I [started] a round of golf c̅ Sgt Falchoner [?] did the first hole & then deserted the course & went bird hunting. The Sgt is an authority on the subject & most entertaining & we had a lovely walk. Had a letter from Len saying he would not come down.

7 January 1916


On duty tonight. Had the pm off. Mrs. Davies, McLeod & [Arnitage] were down to see. They tell us (also had a card from [Walle???] to this effect) that our headquarters have been moved to Boulogne & we are not to occupy No 22 after all. We moved to the old cottage. Clare & I room just across from Dickie. One more added to our many moves.

8 January 1916


Wrote Mrs. Park, Mrs. Dearin & Grace Loggie & Helen Donald. The ward is very light just now.

9 January 1916


A convoy came in this evening. I got 10 trench feet [& deb???ls]. Not a dressing among them. Webb is to be operated on tomorrow. Wrote Ray. No home letters yet.

10 January 1916


Got such a nice letter from Mrs. Sutherland & cards from Miss Harrington & [K.] Brook. No letters from home yet.

Webb’s condition is very poor.

White is in the clink tonight. Refused to come back to the ward to finish his work. I have Frenchie for the night. Lill is reporting Gordon in the am.

11 January 1916


White is back on duty. Cheerful & apparently well pleased c̅ himself. Webb no better tonight. Wrote Harold. Clare & a couple of [po????ts] & I played golf, or rather dug trenches. A beautiful am. went to see the little chapel on the estate.

12 January 1916


Nice letters from home, one from May, a card from Aunt J. & Uncle W. & a note from Grace saying she will be down on Friday. Also a letter from Len. I sent an add. book to him this a.m.

13 January 1916


Such a cold night. White frost on the ground. [Haugranes?] groaned all night c̅ his hand. Got a second box from home. Fudge & chocolates from Aunt Kate. Got two letters, one from Len unsettling . . other from Mrs. [Youngling]. They have been travelling.

14 January 1916


Grace came down at 2.30. Clare, Lillian & Miss Nichols & [Miss Withock] & I met her & we motered to Stoke Podges [sic] & there on to Windsor. A perfect afternoon. Saw [Wm Penn’s?] church or I would call it Gray’s church tower & church yard. Such a dear quiet restful spot. Dickie & Miss W shopped in Windsor & we went to the castle.

15 January 1916


Had nice tea & cakes for [??].

16 January 1916


Wrote Ray as usual.

17 January 1916


Six of us motered into Maidenhead & back. I got my snaps & ordered more.

White did the socks & laundry. [end. P 98]

18 January 1916


Mr. Carry Clark came down to see me today. He is sailing for home this week & will phone Papa. Two boxes of chocolate came from Aunt B & Uncle John.

19 January 1916


Four of the girls went riding this morning & we waited up to see them off. Both Alice Stuart and Edith Leslie got thrown but were not hurt.

20 January 1916


Wrote Len, Bernice, Mrs. Sadler & a card to Aunt B. Dickie, Mrs. Moore & Miss V. & I walked to Maidenhead & taxied back. Got a letter direct from Ray to-day.

21 January 1916


Edith Stewart is quite ill & [Brand] is specialing her tonight.

Letter from Laura to-day & wrote her tonight.

22 January 1916


23 January 1916


24 January 1916


Clare & Lill & I walked to Maidenhead by the river. A lovely walk & taxied back. Lill & I were measured for uniforms. Clare left her dress to be fixed.

25 January 1916


No orderly last night & no socks done.

26 January 1916


A letter from Len this am saying he has measles.

27 January 1916


28 January 1916


29 January 1916


Our McGill box of Xmas things came this am. Great fun opening it as the batmen were too busy reading their mail to attend to it. The poker & tongs & an old shovel were brought into use & we managed beautifully. [end ledger]

30 January 1916.

Saturday Sunday.

[The diary’s last entry is written in the diary’s beginning on p. 4, as Loggie returns to 30 January 1915, crossing out the previous year’s calendar day and handwriting the date “Sunday 1916”] [A diamond-shaped pressed leaf with smooth edges akin to poplar or linden occupies the top half of the page.]

Slept very poorly. The birds made such a racket in the shrubbery outside our window. A letter from Ray today writen [sic] a week before the one I received last week. Clare & I were entertained at dinner by a tirade by the Matron on military law & the foolishness of some sisters etc. etc. May the rumor concerning the 8th be true, they will be glad to see the last of us here.

  1. Digital reproduction received by MLC on 17 January 2020 via Joanna Aiton Kerr, manager,; 506-453-8431.↩︎

  2. Metagama: SS Metagama was a Canadian passenger liner which served as a troopship during WWI.↩︎

  3. Watling: Nursing Sister Christina Mary Watling (1874-1943), also known as “Teen” or “Teenie.” Born 22 November 1874 in Chatham, New Brunswick, Watling enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on 22 April 1915 and served with the No. 3 Canadian General Hospital alongside Ruth Loggie. For her service in war, she received the Royal Red Cross – 2nd class, and was discharged on 26 June 1919. “CEF Soldier Detail – Nursing Sister Christina Mary Watling,” Canadian Great War Project,↩︎

  4. Clare: Lieutenant Nursing Sister Clare Gass (1887- 1968). Born 18 March 1887 in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, Gass enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on 13 April 1915 and served with the No. 3 Canadian General Hospital alongside Ruth Loggie. Both Loggie and Nurse Watling travelled on the S.S. Metagama on 6 May 1915. Clare Gas wrote a war diary about her experience, The War Diary of Clare Gass, 1915-1918, edited by Susan Mann (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2000). Gass was demobilized in 1919 and became a social worker after the war. “CEF Soldier Detail – Nursing Sister Clare Gass,” Canadian Great War Project,↩︎

  5. Mufti: Civilian clothes.↩︎

  6. 21st Battalion, Infantry. Mobilized at Kingston, Ontario, October 1914 and embarked from Montreal on 6 May 1915. Consisted of 42 officers and 1053 other ranks. Guide to Sources Relating to Units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force: Infantry. Library and Archives Canada,↩︎

  7. Cape Race: Point of land on the southeastern coast of Newfoundland.↩︎

  8. Col: Colonel, a senior military officer.↩︎

  9. Dickie: Elizabeth Lillian Dickie. Born 16 February 1883 in River Charlo, New Brunswick, Dickie enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on 22 April 1915 and served with the No. 3 Canadian General Hospital alongside Ruth Loggie. “CEF Soldier Detail – Nursing Sister Elizabeth Lillian Dickie,” Canadian Great War Project,↩︎

  10. Colonel John Munro Elder was born 29 October 1861 in Huntingdon, Quebec, and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on 7 April 1915. He was discharged on 3 February 1919. “Personnel Records of the First World War - CEF 375283,” Library and Archives Canada,↩︎

  11. Lieutenant Colonel Henry Brydges Yates was born 10 May 1865 in Montreal Quebec, and enlisted in Canadian Army Medical Corps on 10 April 1915. He died of bronchitis on 22 January 1916. “Personnel Records of the First World War - CEF 329972,” Library and Archives Canada,↩︎

  12. c̅: Medical shorthand for “with.”↩︎

  13. Plymouth: Port city in southwest England.↩︎

  14. Shorncliff: Shorncliffe Military Camp in Kent, England.↩︎

  15. Southampton Roe: Southampton Row is a major thoroughfare in Camden, central London.↩︎

  16. Lusitania: The RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat on 7 May 1915 while on route from New York, USA to Liverpool, England. More than 1100 of its 1900 passengers died.↩︎

  17. Col. Birkett: Colonel Herbert Stanley Birkett was born 17 July 1864 in Montreal, Quebec, and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on 5 March 1915. He was discharged on 11 October 1919. “Personnel Records of the First World War - CEF 44681,” Library and Archives Canada,↩︎

  18. Torquay: Town on the English Channel in Devon, southwest England.↩︎

  19. Clevedon: Town in North Somerset, England.↩︎

  20. Folkstone: Folkestone is a port town on the English Channel in Kent, southeast England.↩︎

  21. Boulogne: Boulogne-sur-mer is a port city on the north coast of France, where many military hospitals were housed during the First World War.↩︎

  22. Col McKee: Colonel Samuel Hanford McKee was born 11 October 1874 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on 25 September 1914. He was discharged on 15 January 1920. “Personnel Records of the First World War - CEF 166270,” Library and Archives Canada,↩︎

  23. Rouen: Capital city of the northern region of Normandy, France, located on the river Seine.↩︎

  24. Alex Watling: Alexander Watling was born 29 January 1890 in Chatham, New Brunswick and enlisted in the No. 6 Special Service Corps on 1 September 1914. He was Nursing Sister Christina Watling’s brother. He was wounded twice during the war, the first time in 1915 with a gun shot wound to the hand, the second time with a shrapnel wound to the leg in September 1916 at Thiepval; he also served in Siberia. “Personnel Records of the First World War - CEF 301481,” Library and Archives Canada,↩︎

  25. O. C.: Officer Commanding.↩︎

  26. Étaple: Étaples is a fishing port on the Canache River in northern France where large military hospitals were located during the First World War.↩︎

  27. Paris Plage: A temporary, artificial beach set up along the river.↩︎

  28. R. C.: Roman Catholic.↩︎

  29. Mr. Archibald: Major Edward William Archibald was born 5 August 1872 in Montreal, Quebec, and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on 16 October 1914. He was discharged on 30 October 1916. “Personnel Records of the First World War - CEF 11980,” Library and Archives Canada,↩︎

  30. Dr. Losier: Major Arthur Joseph Losier was born 2 September 1882 in Chatham, New Brunswick, and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on 8 February 1915. He was discharged on 1 July 1919. “Personnel Records of the First World War - CEF 537279,” Library and Archives Canada,↩︎

  31. N. S.: Nursing Sisters.↩︎

  32. Major La Bell: Major Albert Edouard Lebel was born 26 December 1865 in Saint-Gervais, Quebec, and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on 9 September 1914. He was discharged on 4 May 1919. “Personnel Records of the First World War - CEF 522842,” Library and Archives Canada,↩︎

  33. C. A. M. C.: Canadian Army Medical Corps.↩︎

  34. Le Touquet: A small seaside town in northern France.↩︎

  35. Trefine: A Trephine is a surgical instrument with a cylindrical blade.↩︎

  36. Col. McLaren: Colonel Murray MacLaren was born 13 April 1861 in Richibucto, New Brunswick, and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on 9 September 1914. He was discharged on 1 December 1919.  “Personnel Records of the First World War - CEF 166837,” Library and Archives Canada,↩︎

  37. O. R.: Operating Room.↩︎

  38. Montreuil: A commune in the east suburbs of Paris, France.↩︎

  39. River Canche: One of several French rivers that flows into the English Channel, and is approximately 100 kilometers long.↩︎

  40. Camiers: A commune in Hauts-de-France in northern France.↩︎

  41. Hartelot: Misspelling of Hardelot Castle in the village of Condette, northern France.↩︎

  42. Dannes: A commune in Hauts-de-France in northern France.↩︎

  43. Neuve Chatel: Misspelling for Neuve-Chapelle, a commune in Hauts-de-France in northern France.↩︎

  44. Hardelot Village: Neufchâtel-Hardelot is a commune in Hauts-de-France in northern France.↩︎

  45. Peeps into Picardy: W. D. Craufurd and E. A. Manton’s Peeps into Picardy was a touring book of Picardy, France, published in Picardy in 1915.↩︎

  46. Col Simpson: Colonel Robert Mills Simpson was born 16 October 1866 in Carleton Place, Ontario, and enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on 4 August 1914. He was discharged on 7 June 1919. “Personnel Records of the First World War - CEF 230812,” Library and Archives Canada,↩︎

  47. Y. M. C. A.: Young Men’s Christian Association.↩︎

  48. C. A.: (Possibly) Canadian Army.↩︎

  49. Neufchatel: Neufchâtel-en-Bray is a commune in Normandy, northern France.↩︎

  50. Desvres: A commune in Hauts-de-France in northern France.↩︎

  51. Wirwignes: A commune in Hauts-de-France in northern France.↩︎

  52. Zeppelin raid: Strategic bombing raids conducted by the Germans using airships.↩︎

  53. Berck: Berck-sur-mer is a commune in Hauts-de-France, northern France.↩︎

  54. Cueq: Misspelling for Cucq, a commune in Hauts-de-France, northern France.↩︎

  55. Merlimont: A commune in Hauts-de-France, northern France.↩︎

  56. Princess Louise: Born in 1848, Louisa Caroline Alberta was the sixth child of British monarch Queen Victoria. She died in 1939.↩︎

  57. A. D. M. S.: Assistant Director of Medical Services↩︎

  58. Col. MacRae: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, the Canadian physician and poet who wrote “In Flanders Fields,” and whose name was often misspelled.↩︎

  59. Truro: A town in central Nova Scotia, Canada.↩︎

  60. M. G. H.: Montreal General Hospital.↩︎

  61. Beutin: A commune in Hauts-de-France, northern France.↩︎

  62. Blighty: An informal term usually meaning Great Britain.↩︎

  63. Dardenelles: A narrow strait of water in northwestern Turkey and the site of an Entente military campaign between February 1915 and January 1916 which sought to weaken the Ottoman Empire by taking control of Turkish waterways.↩︎

  64. Capt. Shatford: Major Allan Pearson Shatford was born 9 May 1873 in Nova Scotia, and served in the 24th Battalion, Infantry as a part of the Canadian Chaplain Services starting 10 February 1915. He was discharged 9 May 1919. “Personnel Records of the First World War - CEF 223673,” Library and Archives Canada,↩︎

  65. Strep C. infection: A rare form of streptococcal pharyngitis which is typically fatal once it enters the bloodstream.↩︎

  66. Sunday Observer: A trench newspaper, later renamed The McGilliken.↩︎

  67. Valcartier: A municipality in Capitale-Nationale, Quebec, where the military training took place.↩︎

  68. McGillicans: Misspelling of McGilliken, a trench newspaper which published submissions by members of the No. 3 Canadian General Hospital.↩︎

  69. Loggie has copied the poem “In Flanders’ Fields” onto a blank sheet of paper. Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae first wrote “In Flanders’ Fields” on 3 May 1915 after attending the funeral of his friend Lieutenant Alexis Helmer. The poem was not published, however, until 8 December 1915 in Punch magazine. Although there are a few discrepancies in the version Loggie has copied into her diary, it is remarkable that the poem appears here almost a month before it was published. Prior to its publication, the poem circulated among war workers, as described by Irene Gammel; for more, see Gammel, “We are the Dead’: Rhetoric, community and the making of John MacCrae’s iconic war poem.”↩︎

  70. St. Gabriel Plage: A beach in Saint-Gabriel, northern France.↩︎

  71. Tommies: A slang term for a soldier in the British Army.↩︎

  72. A. S. C.: Army Service Corps.↩︎

  73. Wimereux: A commune in Hauts-de-France, northern France; military hospitals were located here.↩︎

  74. The Double Traitor: British author E. Phillips Oppenheim’s The Double Traitor was published in 1915.↩︎

  75. Sgt. Pidgeon: Sergeant William Cuthbert Pidgeon was born 2 January 1890 in Toronto, Ontario, and enlisted in the Canadian Army Dental Corps on 23 September 1914. He was discharged 28 March 1919. “Personnel Records of the First World War - CEF 574250,” Library and Archives Canada,↩︎

  76. R. A. M. C.: Royal Army Medical Corps.↩︎

  77. Some of us are big ships…: This untitled lyric is also written in Clare Gass’ diary on 9 December 1915.↩︎

  78. Shorncliffe: A large military camp in Kent, England.↩︎

  79. Oh to be a turtle: This untitled lyric is also found in Clare Gass’s diary on 11 December 1915.↩︎

  80. Maidenhead: Town in Berkshire, England.↩︎

  81. M. O.: Medical officer.↩︎

  82. Burnham: A village in Buckinghamshire, England.↩︎

  83. Thorpe: A village in Surrey, England.↩︎

  84. Stop Thief: Stop Thief: A Farcical Fact in Three Acts was a play by American playwright and actor Carlyle Moore (1875-1924), copyrighted by Samuel French in 1917.↩︎

  85. Tale of Two Cities: A Tale of Two Cities is a novel by English author Charles Dickens, first published in 1859.↩︎

  86. Bramshott: A village in Hampshire, England.↩︎

  87. Hazelmere: Misspelling for Haslemere, a town in Surrey, England.↩︎