Yearly Archives: 2014

9 December 1914; Wednesday

Busy all day. Working overtime at night taking stock. Had tea at work. Went for walk round town last thing. Stormy night. Bought Echo with account of the Fight of Falkland Islands on Nov. 8th. German Cruisers “Scharnhorst”, Gneisenau, Leipzig sunk. Dresden and Nürnberg being pursued. Admiral Sturdee in Command.1

  1. See 1 November entry on the Battle of Coronel, at which Admiral Graf Spee had been in command (the 1930s ‘pocket battleship’ Graf Spee, scuttled in the comparatively nearby River Plate after the 1939 battle of that name, was named in his memory); Spee, with 5 cruisers and 3 auxiliaries, moved from the S. Pacific to continue commerce‐raiding in the S. Atlantic (and detached the Emden for similar duties in the Indian ocean; see 10 November entry), and attempted to attack Port Stanley; Vice-Admiral Sturdee had arrived there the day before with 2 battle-cruisers and 5 other, mostly heavier cruisers. 6 of the 8 German ships (including Nürnberg) were sunk, only the Dresden and the auxiliary Seydlitz escaping; no British ships were lost; German losses were 2,200 (including Spee and his two sons), and 215 prisoners; British losses were 18 killed and 19 wounded. 

6 December 1914; Sunday

At chapel in the morning. Sung Jackson’s1 Te Deum. At Sunday School and got on fairly well. Lent Reverend MacDonald Stalker’s2 Life of Christ. Went with Charlie at night to North Bridge Street Presbyterian Church choir and helped in “Let the call of the Lord”. Good singing, nice church, poor preacher. Wild night. Missed Willie. Read a bit and wrote up diary. Tried Charlie’s new song over. At North Bridge Street Church.

  1. William Jackson of Exeter, composer, 1730-1803. 

  2. Stalker’s: J. Stalker “Life of Jesus Christ”, 1891 (now ISBN 9780766170469). See also The Life of Jesus Christ and Arthur Linfoot’s Library

The Life of Jesus Christ

James Stalker (1848-1927) was a minister, lecturer and preacher for the Free Church of Scotland. He wrote around two dozen books, the majority on Christian themes, the first of which, in 1879, was The Life of Jesus Christ.

The Life of Jesus Christ was enduringly popular, going through a number of editions and revisions over at least the two decades after its publication, and is still available today both in print and as an e-book.

On 6 December 1914, Arthur Linfoot wrote that he had “lent Reverend MacDonald Stalker’s Life of Christ”, presumably his own copy. The diaries do not mention when Arthur Linfoot himself had acquired or read the book.

5 December 1914; Saturday

Finished in good time. Went up with Joe to drill but when we got there decided to go for a walk and went round by the top of the new park and round Durham Road. Saw the recruiting procession. A lot of Scottish Horse and Highlanders. Recruiting Procession. Went to Teachers’ Training Centre. Had walk round town at night with Charlie and Willie. Read a bit last thing. Went to bed about midnight.

4 December 1914; Friday

Kept busy at work. Went with Father at night to Dr Robinson to be examined. Interview lasted a good bit. Big recruiting meeting in the Victoria Hall1. Lord Charles Beresford2 speaking. Went along to Halford’s† and bought Charlie a flash lamp. Had walk last thing with Joe.

  1. Victoria Hall: see note on 10 January

  2. Lord Charles Beresford (1846 – 1919): a senior admiral, popular with the public, and an MP from 1874; a participant in the late 19th/early 20th century naval controversies, including competing unsuccessfully for appointment as First Sea Lord in 1906, with Admiral Fisher (who escaped compulsory retirement at 65 in that year by promotion to Admiral of the Fleet, for which the retirement age was 70.) Fisher, who was a leader in the pre-1914 naval construction race with Germany, retired as First Sea Lord in 1911, but was recalled in 1914 to succeed the German-named Prince Louis of Battenberg, was a bizarre and unpredictable character, who briefly went absent during the controversy about the Dardanelles debacle, then resigned in May 1915.