23 April 1915; Friday

At work as usual. Got a sales book a bit further up today. Read a bit at night. Bought the “Roadmender.”1 Shipping between England & Holland stopped. Had short walk last thing. Mr Chadwick called at the shop. Edward off all day.

  1. The Roadmender”, by ‘Michael Fairless’ (Margaret Fairless Barber, 1869 – 1901), is a consolatory Christian work, written by Fairless/Barber in her last illness and published 1902. It was immensely popular (reprinted 31 times in 10 years) before the era of effective modern medicine and during WW1; old copies still abound. 

18 April 1915; Sunday

At chapel and Sunday School as usual. Played organ in the chapel in the afternoon, and managed rather badly. Had usual walks. A boy sang at night, and a lady, and Charlie sang in the anthem. Both the other turns were off. Fine night.

Submarine E 15 lost in Dardanelles1.

  1. On 16 April 1915 E15 sailed from her base at Moudros and attempted to break through the Dardanelles to the Sea of Marmara. Early in the morning of 17 April, the submarine, having dived too deep and become caught in the current, ran aground some ten miles (16 km) in near Kepez Point directly under the guns of Fort Dardanus. E15 was (after some difficulty) eventually sunk by allied forces in order to ensure that she did not fall into enemy hands. 

17 April 1915; Saturday

At work as usual. Finished very late. Called for papers at dinner time. Went with Willie Whittaker to Shiney Row, car from New Herrington to Houghton, walked from Houghton to home. We were stopped by a picket at Grindon1 who were stopping motorcars. A picket also at East Herrington. We saw an aircraft of some sort over Newcastle way. A raid of [sic] Shields during the night but nothing done.

  1. Grindon and East Herrington are just outside what would have been the built-­up area of Sunderland in 1915; on the main roads to Chester-­le-­Street and Durham respectively. It would be interesting to know if there were pickets that day on the other main roads out of Sunderland -­ and if so, why.