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Edie’s diaries begin 100 years ago today – 5 April 1915

Today 5 April 2015 is exactly one hundred years to the day since the first available entry in Edie’s diaries.  Here’s what she writes:

“…answering each other’s ravings. One of them tells us he has been killed and does his mother know. Certainly death will be no stranger to him, when he comes in a day or two — or perhaps to-night. 3 ops. – 2 trephines and an arm. A field ambulance at Ypres was shelled last night, 2 orderlies killed, and 10 wounded, some fatally all the patients were transferred to us. So we have been very busy to-day.”

If that looks a bit strange….well…it gets stranger.

The first ‘volume’ of Edie’s diaries is typed. Did she type up her notes after the war or perhaps she had access to a typewriter in the Casualty Clearing Station where she was located ‘near Ypres’ at the time? We just don’t know.

But even more tantalising is the fact that the entry for 5 April 1915 is on page 112 – so the first 111 pages are missing.  Despite my very best efforts searching archives in the Isle of Wight where Edie lived the last 35 years of her life I have been unable to find any trace of the missing pages.

You can see a transcription of the full text of ‘Volume 1’ of the diaries here. For a scan of the original typed text have a look at the image on this page; fourth image top row.

Dick Robinson
Edie’s great nephew


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