27 January 1915; Wednesday

At work as usual. Busy all day. Went to the opera at night and enjoyed it immensely. Saw Aida at the King’s Theatre. The principals were Miss Doris Weddill, and Miss Dora Gibson. The bass was very good indeed and well staged†. A lot of excitement about the movement prospects.

26 January 1915; Tuesday

At work as usual. Went down to practice at night. Mother went to see about a shop in Eldon Street, Chester Road, and interviewed a woman about a shop. We decided to take it.

Decided to take shop & house in Eldon Street1.

  1. Eldon Street runs north from Chester Road (the road to Chester‐le­‐Street), just E. of the General Hospital, in Bishopwearmouth (what is now Sunderland consisted of Monkwearmouth and Sunderland, north and south respectively at the mouth of the Wear, and Bishopwearmouth on the S. side of the river, about 1 mile W. of Sunderland; see eg. Meikle & Newman Sunderland and its Origins, Victoria County History publications 2007.) At the start of the diaries, January 1914, C.W.Linfoot and his family had lived at 4 Salem Hill South, towards the SW. edge of Sunderland. 

25 January 1915; Monday

At work as usual busy. Charlie called and we went up to the recruiting office. Charlie was refused on account of his finger being off1. We called at the other office and he was refused there. A man from the County Court left a paper to the effect that Father’s Compensation Case would come on Feb 17/15. Two men hurt at work.

  1. “His finger being off”: see also 13 Dec. 1914 “on account of his finger”; but I don’t recall that Charlie had a finger missing. 

24 January 1915; Sunday

At church as usual Got on very well at Sunday School. Rather stormy and didn’t get for walks. Mr Chadwick preaching. Received news last thing of the battle in the North Sea. Battle in North Sea1. German ship Bluecher2 sunk by our battle cruisers in the North Sea. The Lion, Tiger, Princess Royal, New Zealand and Indomitable with light cruisers and destroyers.

  1. This was the Battle of the Dogger Bank; the German High Seas Fleet (under Admiral Hipper) was to raid the British fishing fleet, but the British discovered this on 23 January, and (especially after the public outrage caused by the raid on Scarborough etc.) the British Grand Fleet (under Admiral Beatty) had to intercept them. The Germans were lucky that their flagship, Seydlitz, did not blow up due to fire; the loss of the Blücher is said to have caused the Kaiser to order that his High Seas Fleet remain in port thereafter – which it largely did, except for Jutland at the end of May 1916. The British flagship, Lion, was badly damaged but not lost. 

  2. SMS Blücher was the last armoured cruiser built by the German Empire. She was designed to match what German intelligence incorrectly believed to be the specifications of the British Invincible-class battlecruisers. 

23 January 1915; Saturday

Finished rather late at work. Walked round the town with our Charlie and met Dora’s Charlie in town. Came home with him and talked about enlisting. Walked out with Willie Whittaker at night and went up to the top of Chester Road. Looked in the free shop we are interested in and there was very little trade doing. At Trinity lecture on the emotions and enjoyed it.

20 January 1915; Wednesday

At work as usual. Finished in good time. Hurried to the station and went to Boldon to the Northumberland Fusiliers Concert. Had pretty good time. The Misses Mackenzie, Miss Banks, Mr Davis and Charlie and Blaikie there. Spoke a long time to one to the soldiers. Very much interested in the camp of the soldiers. They were very well mannered and in good spirits.