25 July 1914; Saturday

Busy all morning at work. Boxed with Charlie in the afternoon and played a bit. Read a bit and went over to Roker at night with Willie Whittaker. Listened to the band and walked along to Whitburn and carred back. Rather cold night. Charlie at work.

Servia’s answer considered unsatisfactory. Austrian ministers leaving Belgrade.

24 July 1914; Friday

Got up at 6.15 and went to baths. Swimming on my back for first time. Received telegram at home from insurance man and he called and saw Father. I went along at night to Whittakers’ and talked with Mr Whittaker until about 11 o’clock. He was unfit. Decided to write and ask Robsons’ what they propose to do.

Austrian Demands considered to imply challenge to Russians. Russian cabinet meetings.

23 July 1914; Thursday

Busy all day. Did some shorthand in the morning. Compensation man called to see Father, but Father was not in at the time. Willie and Lily called to ask us to tea.

Austrian note presented to Servia1 and a reply demanded within 48 hours.

  1. “Servia”: Serbia was commonly so spelt before WW1; cf. Bartholomew’s Literary & Historical Atlas of Europe, publ. 1910, repr. 1912 & 1914, in Everyman’s Library; also Lady Cynthia Asquith’s diaries for 1915/18. The spelling possibly arose from confusion between В/в (pronounced “V”), and Б/б (pronounced “B”) as actually used in spelling Србиjа. 

20 July 1914; Monday

Got up about 6.30 and went up Cedars1 with Charlie and helped him to learn to ride his bicycle. Busy all day. Finished rather late. Lily and Willie called at night with the wedding photographs. Wrote up diary last thing.

  1. (The) “Cedars”: quiet, tree-lined, at this time rather exclusive residential road, westward off Ryhope Road, opposite Barley Mow Park. 

19 July 1914; Sunday

Got up about 9 o’clock. Had bath. At chapel and Sunday School. Managed very well in Sunday School. Mr Chadwick preached a good sermon in the morning on quietness. Some very heavy showers. Mrs McPhail very ill and died at night. Talked to Dora’s Charlie a long time at the top of Vine Place. Had short walk round with our Charlie. Played a bit and read a very good article on philosophy.

18 July 1914; Saturday

Finished about 1.30. Went to cricket match with Father. Saw Sunderland beat Hendon. Went to Roker at night by myself. Scarcely saw anyone I knew. Met young George Wilkinson and spoke for a moment or two. Listened to the band for a few minutes. Came up on the car by myself.