The Diaries of Elinor Ritchie, 1914

Audio footage of extracts from the diaries

Read by Jennifer Ayto

To listen to the audio clip, click play on the bar above.

August 4, 1914

The most tremendous day of our lives….. Beatrix returned from a miserably anxious holiday on the Thames. War means cessation of all income for them ….

August 5

The khaki uniform begins already in the streets. Beatrix decided it would be best to make a common household with us and save kitchen, fire, lighting etc. Prices going up … people are buying up all they can but the papers are severe on this. Humphrey dined at Downing Street – the P M very calm. …

August 15

Algy has been rejected as a Territorial on account of his sight …

August 27

Algy at breakfast told me Captain Graham with whom he dined last night has settled the question of his volunteering as he explained how difficult the use of a rifle would be with short sight. This set my mind at rest for him and Humphrey.

September 2

Letter from Beatrix … I had the great shock of reading that dearest Algy went to Hertford yesterday and enlisted as a trooper in the Hertford Yeomanry and sails for Egypt on Sunday.

Algernon intended to volunteer for Home Defence but the yeomanry were to release regular soldiers from Egypt.

October 13

Telegram from Lady Villiers that they were leaving Ostend for France …

October 30

Beatrix returned … radiant at having fixed all her plans for joining Algy in Cairo in about ten days.

November 26

Humphrey guarded Buckingham Palace with his special corps of Special Constables.

Monday December 28

Beatrix set off for Port Said via Paris and Marseilles.

This page was added on 09/07/2012.

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