News seems to have traveled surprisingly fast for the time as Edie mentions the Battle of Jutland – 100 years ago today – just three days after it began. Here are three extracts from her diaries which record her hearing about it and commenting.
June 4. Too terribly sad news of a naval battle in which we appear to have lost very heavily – 18 ships – and men (?) I only hope we shall get further details that will show it to be not quite so bad. One thing: we have knocked out a German Battleship. [This was the Battle of Jutland, the last and largest naval battle of the war, which was fought through the afternoon and night of May 31 and into the morning of June 1. Ed] Yesterday was calm and uneventful – cold, windy. No mail.
June 5. News of the sea fight not quite so bad as was rumoured yesterday. It seems we won but with a terrible loss of life. Rough, wet Sunday – off afternoon – did not go out. A Sgt I have in the ward was opposite the gas attack made by the Germans on April 25- 27. Soon after the gas was let out the wind changed so that it was blown back over their own lines. He said it was a sickening sight to see the men lying in heaps. It took 4 rows of ambulances all their time night and day to take them away. Rather beautiful that it was their men and not ours. Very rough sea – much too rough for batheing. Thank goodness, lets me off another day.
June 8. Lord Kitchener and all on board the Hampshire were blown up off the Orkney Isles on Tuesday evening. No survivors. I wonder if there was a spy on board. If so he succeeded in giving a famous man a glorious death and many suffered at the giving. Meanwhile do the Germans think for one moment, that the burden of the War was on poor Kitchener’s shoulders? Aged over 70.
These extracts can be seen in full on this page: http://anurseatthefront.org.uk/the-diaries-all-four-volumes/the-diaries-volume-3/.