Edith Leckie Diary [Manuscript], 1914-1915

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1914 September 28th - Oct. 1st

Mon. 28th. Busy day. Took [unclear] & Miss Campbell down to the Dominion [unclear] in the eve. Moved into Bertie's old room. I housecleaned it [unclear].

Tues. 29th. Busy day - some people here to tea but I did not [unclear] in. Cut down my [unclear] blue hat, turned it inside out & retrimmed it - it looks quite smart. A Miss [unclear] [unclear] & Miss [Boulles?] came in in the eve. They are friends of Edith [unclear] (Mrs Balfour)

Wed. 30th. Beautiful day for a change. Miss [Tupper?] had arranged to drive me out to Siwash rock with some magazines for the 50 kilties there but she rang up at the last minute to say she couldn't go. However the Langleys took me out in the aft. Spent the A.M. cleaning silver, washing [unclear] etc. The Langleys had Mrs [unclear] & the [unclear] with them & after calling at different places for the mags we left Mrs. [unclear] & the kiddies at home & [unclear] Mrs W. & I drove out to Siwash Rock. Major Tait had phoned we were coming so we went through a gate marked "No Admittance" & down a long muddy road where some soldiers and horses [unclear] working till we were stopped by a sentry - who brought the Sergeant of the Guard who in turn brought Lieut. Mark [unclear] who showed us the guns & with whom we had tea in a beautiful spot in front of his shack. The Camp was most picturesque in this little hidden spot on the edge of the sea. There were the big white tents, the little wooden shacks in front of the big trees all around (a certain amount of ground had been cleared) & on the platforms facing the sea there were the two guns on which Vancouver's safety to a large extent depends. Capt. [Mark?] seemed to think it not enough - especially as there are several German cruisers in the vicinity. Last Sunday night they quite expected them while we were deluded into thinking we were absolutely safe now. After tea Mrs W. & I walked down the steps & looked at Siwash rock & she told me the story about it. Pauline Johnson's ashes are buried there. [Mr?] [Mark?] drove home with us. Usual Wed. dinner dish washing. Read a while & turned in early as I was tired.

October

Thurs. 1st. Another wet day again after the ne fine one. Wrote Jack in the A.M.

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Oct. 2nd - 7th

Mrs Taylor, Mrs Plummer, Miss [unclear] [unclear], Miss Boulter & Miss Crosbie were here to tea. Wrote Auntie in the eve.

Frid. 2nd. Beautiful day. Did not feel quite up to the mark. Did some sewing. Miss Manuel came in in the aft. Took her with me to Miss Hill's to dinner. I had promised to spend the night with Miss H. as Mrs Nelson was away. Began knitting a pair of grey socks for the soldiers after dinner. Miss Hill put the stitches in & showed me how to "pearl" but I gave them to Miss Manuel to do as I was afraid I would not do them well enough since it was a first attempt.

Sat. 3rd. Had breakfast in bed - then went [unclear] Miss [unclear] for a while. Read the papers to myself & Miss Hill after I was dressed. Came home before lunch. Read, did a little ironing & sewing, looked after John etc. in the aft. [unclear] is in bed with a cold. News from the front continues "satisfactory". Fine weather in the aft.

Sun. 4th. Went to Communion Service. Read the papers to [unclear].

Mon. 5th. Busy morning & aft. Mr. [unclear] came in in the eve. [unclear] & [Digby?] were out at [unclear] but we turned on the gramaphone & danced. Jim was in [unclear] [unclear] [unclear] to borrow some candelabra for his [unclear].

Tues. 6th. Card from Bertie dated the 30th from Quebec so [unclear] had just then sailed. He is on the 'Audania" - Canard Line. Took [unclear] & Miss Campbell to a musicale at Mrs [unclear]'s. I helped [pass?] [unclear] the tea [unclear]. Walked home with Mrs [Cowan?]. Took Miss [unclear] to the Dominion in the eve. Very good gazette showing the landing of the British troops in France, the Canadians at Valcartier etc. Beautiful weather.

Wed. 7th. Another beautiful day. Went to the dentist in the A.M. then to the P.O. & then went to see Miss Crosbie at the Can. Handicraft [unclear]. Stayed there some time & she showed me all sorts of pretty & interesting things. Stopped at the [Seymours?] on the way home (walked). Mrs Hutchison came in [unclear] in the aft. Sat on the verandah & sewed while John was in his "pen" after lunch. Washed the dinner dishes & turned in quite early. Mrs Hope rang up & asked me to take part in a vaudeville entertainment she & Mrs [unclear] are getting up in aid of the Belgians. Poor Belgians! The country is overun with Germans & the people are driven from their homes & are in a [unclear].

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Oct. 8th - 11th 1914

condition. Refugees are [crowding?] to England by the thousands. Re'cd a large picture of Col. [unclear] & officers at Valcartier.

Thurs. 8th. Went in town in the A.M. Took some papers to Miss Burrows. Walked home & called for the [unclear] at Miss Manuel's little school. ([unclear] still has a cold). Sat out on the verandah & did some mending after lunch. Then after a nap & tea went out & got some gasoline & cleaned some gloves. Antwerp is hard pressed by the Germans. Hope & pray it won't fall. The Canadian troops have arrived in England. In fact some of them have been there for some time but the censor would not let us know. Wrote Jack [unclear] in the eve. The [unclear] was at [unclear].

Fri. 9th. Wrote for a while in the A.M. & was busy as usual. Went to a meeting of our Chapter in the aft. It was held at the Seymour's this time. Mrs. [Furgeson?] ([unclear] Duchesney) who is back in town came home to tea with me. Mrs. [unclear] & Mrs [Godson?] were here also discussing advisability of forming a "[unclear] Chapter". is at any rate a military one to make keeping the soldiers & their families [unclear] [unclear] [unclear]. Miss Walker came in in the eve. I washed my hair & she very kindly rubbed it dry for me by the drawing room fire. Also did a little mending. I saw Mary Rogers at the Meeting. She had been to Valcartier & had had tea with Bertie. She says they all seem happy & look 20 years younger! had [unclear]

Sat. 10th. Quite a wet morning but fine in the aft. Went in town both before & after lunch as I bought a pair of silk stockings which were too large & had to be changed, [unclear]. Also got samples for a kilt. Was going out to the Naval Station with magazines but Dorothy [unclear] was not feeling fit & she was to bring her car. Looked after the baby & read after tea. Finished a letter to Bertie in the [unclear]. Antwerp has fallen I am sorry to say but it was probably a wise move to evacuate as most of the army has escaped. 2000 British Marines were cornered, however, & interned in Holland.

Sun. 11th. The [Muirs?] called about 11 & said there were some pictures of the Germans [unclear] Brussels etc. to be shown at the Dominion this morning & asked us if we would like to go to see them which we did. They could not put them on at a real show as it would probably create a disturbance. The pictures

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Oct. 12th - 15th.

were quite interesting, however. We also saw those of the Belgian towns which have been utterly destroyed. The Germans did not look such fiends as their actions indicate, but the army in Brussels has been quite well behaved I believe. In the aft. I met Mrs Henderson just outside here & went with her to a service in the Horseshow Building for the Home Guard. Mary & Alec were with us. It was an interesting service & quite stirring but too much speechifying from various persons. The hymns were "Oh God our Help in Ages Past", "Soldiers of Christ Arise" & also "Oh Canada" God Save the King of course. The "Guard" must be 700 or 800 strong at least. Mrs. Ritchie & Mrs Hutcheson are in it. Went to the Hendersons to tea.

Mon. 12th. Busy morning of course - Went to [Rolly's?] to tea. It was very pleasant. Her husband & brother were there (also Miss Campbell) & Mrs [unclear] [Mr?] [Elkins?] & [his?] [unclear] came in. Jim came in to see me in the eve. & we played [unclear]. [unclear] came in after he left. Thanksgiving Day.

Tues. 13th. Went with Mrs Henderson to call on Mrs Wright in Kitselano in the aft. - had tea there. Mrs [unclear] Smith and a Miss [unclear] were there. When I got back I went to call on Mrs Rogers & Miss Angus but the latter had returned to Victoria. Miss [unclear] told me all about Valcartier which was most interesting of course. Went over to the [unclear] in the eve. Sadie was there & told my fortune.

Wed. 14th. Washed some things in the A.M. Went to a tea in aid of the Belgians at Mrs Bauer's in the aft. [Rolly?] came with me. We took something. I took a little Indian "papoose" basket which was [unclear] so it was a sort of bag [unclear]. Washed the dinner dishes. Was very tired so turned in early.

Thurs. 15th. Lovely warm fine day - just like summer. The Canadians have arrived in Plymouth. Hope Bertie & Jack are with [unclear] & that Dorothy was able to see them. It was rumoured that Canadian troops had landed [before?]. If only Gram could have seen her grandsons returning to her old hometown with such a fine regiment. Spent part of the morning ironing & mending a [unclear] to wear

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Oct. 16th - 20th

to dancing class which we had a 2:30 P.M. All the girls except Anita [unclear] were there i.e. Mary [unclear], Mary Rogers, K. Watson, Drysdale, Margaret Bryan, [unclear] Lockwood & myself. We practised the foursome & eightsome to the pipe major's [blowing?]. Mrs John Hope was there too. Went in to the Ritchie's on the way home. Mrs R. has lent me a Royal Stewart plaid to wear & may have a kilt - Mrs Macdonald & Mrs Rowley were there.

Frid. 16th. Busy day. Did [unclear]. Mended etc. - wrote Jack. Had also the dancing class.

Sat. 17th. Went over to Mrs Cowan's & got some mags to take out to Siwash Rock. She gave me a snapshot of a group at Cowan's Point. The four girls who are taking the [unclear] of [unclear] - i.e. Mary [unclear], Anita Bell-Irving (her sister Mary came with her, Mary [unclear], Kathleen Watson & Mary [unclear] (who came late). Came up in the aft. & we practised the foursome. I got [Kirk?] to help. They all stayed to tea. Read the papers & turned in fairly early in the eve.

Sun. 18th. Margie & I went to Church in the A.M. Afterwards went around to [Rolly's?] & got some mags. - also stopped [unclear] at the Langleys for a few minutes. Spent most of the aft. tidying up the sewing room for Miss Barclay. M. & Digby were out in the eve. [Rolly?] [unclear] asked me to supper but I couldn't go. Sorted papers & read them. Rainy day.

Mon. 19th. Miss Barclay here making me a velvet jacket & altering the kilt I borrowed from the Rogers. Had a perfectly wild day - [telephoning?] about tickets, kilts, etc. Mrs Brown (late of Londonderry) was here in the aft. So nice to see her again. Miss B. stayed late sewing & then we had a dance in the hall!

Tues. 20th. Felt tired after yesterday. M. in bed with sick headache. Tidied up various rooms upstairs & did the baby's washing for her in the A.M. Went to a rehersal in the aft. & then to tea with [unclear] Crosbie at the Handicrafts Guild. [Rolly?], Misses [unclear] & Mrs (?) were there. I danced for them in my kilt. Allies pressing the Germans back into Belgium.

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