7 August 1914; Friday

Got up at 6 o’clock. Went to the baths. Only 4 of us there. Had good swim. Received news of the sinking of the cruiser “Amphion” on a mine1. 131 English & 20 Germans lost. Further news of the Liege battle. President Wilson’s wife reported dead2. Rumours of North Sea fight, but not confirmed. Had walk with father at night. Town full of soldiers. Defence of Boldon & Cleadon being proceeded with. Ad Ahlers3 remanded for a week.

  1. Amphion”: the scout cruiser leading Lance’s flotilla, which next intercepted the “St Petersburg” which was taking the German ambassador back to Germany; on realising the St Petersburg’s diplomatic status, Amphion interposed herself between it and the British shelling, which eventually ceased. Amphion then struck one of the Königin Luise’s mines, her surviving crew and rescued German sailors were taken by attendant destroyers, but Amphion drifted onto another mine and more lives were lost in a further big explosion. 

  2. “President Wilson’s wife”: Ellen Axson Wilson, first wife of President Woodrow Wilson, died on 6th August 1914. 

  3. Ad Ahlers: See note on 6 August