Monthly Archives: March 2015

29 March 1915; Monday

At work as usual. Snow in the morning but got out fine. Did a bit shorthand1 at night from Macauley’s Essays2 and played a bit.

Received news of the Falaba3 disaster also the Aquila.

  1. See Pitman’s Shorthand

  2. Thomas Babington Macauley, now best known for his poem Horatius (“Then out spake brave Horatius, The Captain of the Gate:…”) whose essays, originally published in the Edinburgh Review, were collected as Critical and Historical Essays in 1843. See also Arthur Linfoot’s Library

  3. Falaba: See footnote yesterday

Critical and Historical Essays

Critical and Historical Essays, published in 1843, is a collection of articles by Thomas Babington Macaulay, later Lord Macaulay, which originally appeared in The Edinburgh Review. Most of the essays have as their subjects noted literary or political figures.

Macaulay is now best known as author of his poem Horatius, from Lays of Ancient Rome(“Then out spake brave Horatius, The Captain of the Gate…”).

Arthur Linfoot wrote on 29 March 1915 that he “did a bit shorthand at night from Macauley’s Essays” and again on 19 April 1915 that he “did some shorthand from Macaulay’s essay on Milton”. It appears to have been his habit to copy text from works such as Macaulay’s essays as a way of honing his skills at Pitman’s shorthand.

28 March 1915; Sunday

Went to the Royalty Church in the morning. Nice church, good music and pretty good sermon. At Sunday School in the afternoon and had 3 classes. At North Bridge Street at night to hear Penitence, P[ardon] & Peace1. Miss Brackwill took the soprano and Tom Leyden the baritone solos. Billy Marshall and Billy Whittaker with me and Charlie in the choir. Had usual walks. Rather wild weather and some snow. The Falaba2 torpedoed and over 100 lives lost.

  1. “Penitence, Pardon & Peace”: oratorio by John Henry Maunder (1858-­1920), organist in Sydenham and Forest Hill; better known for oratorio “Olivet to Calvary.” 

  2. RMS Falaba was the first passenger ship torpedoed in WW1, and an American engineer L C Thrasher was among the 104 lives lost, causing an international incident as the Kaiser had declared British waters a war zone as recently as 18 February; but Falaba was carrying explosives, which duly exploded. The submarine was U28. Location probably S. of Ireland, as Thrasher’s body is said to have been found after the Lusitania sinking. 

27 March 1915; Saturday

Finished work about 2 o’clock. Went down to the north side of the river and saw the Hebe1 and†­ submarine and then walked on to Roker with Joe. Went to Roker again at night with Willie Whittaker and Charlie. Very cold and rather wild.

  1. H.M.S. Hebe was completed as a torpedo gunboat, but was converted along with her sister Onyx to submarine depot ship before the War. Hebe served with the Sixth Submarine Flotilla based on the Tyne, 10 or 12 miles north of Sunderland, from 1914 to 1916 

25 March 1915; Thursday

At work as usual. Went to recruiting office at night arranged to call in tomorrow night to see the doctor. They say I can arrange to go to Haltry† on Easter Tuesday. Went down and saw Mrs Furley about Luke who was not at Sunday School last Sunday.

U29 announced as sunk1. Father at the Court and the case settled.

  1. U29 was sunk with all hands on 18 March 1915 (i.e. a week earlier than this diary entry) in the Pentland Firth after being rammed by HMS Dreadnought, the only German submarine known to have been sunk in this way.