Category Archives: September 1914

All diary entries written in September 1914.

30 September 1914; Wednesday

At work. Not much to do. Sands and Bob came down in the morning with their uniform on. They are going to Ravensworth Castle tonight1. Got money. Went to Porteous and had two teeth extracted at dinner time. It didn’t hurt much. Fine day. Had walk out last thing after playing a good bit.

Waelhem & Wavre-­Saint Catherine completely destroyed. Waterworks behind Fort Waelhem blown up. Belgian infantry fight well.


  1. Ravensworth Castle: presumably an Army camp; there are two Ravensworth Castles, one at Lamesley in Tyne & Wear, SW. of Low Fell, the other at Ravensworth village in N. Yorkshire between Richmond and Barnard Castle; the former appears to have been used as a training camp in 1914 having been abandoned by the Liddell family in 1910. The castle is now partially destroyed as a result of subsidence caused by mining. 

29 September 1914; Tuesday

Not much to do at work. Stayed in at night and read some grammar up. Had short walk up the town at night with Charlie. Rather cold night. Received news that the Emden had sunk other four British ships in the Bay of Bengal. Nothing fresh from the front

Magazine of Waelhem blown up. Wavre & Saint Catherine put out of action. Lière1 bombarded.


  1. Lière: spelled Lierre on 5 October; now Lier (S. of Antwerp.)  

27 September 1914; Sunday

Mission conducted by Mr David Mathews commenced. He preached only poorly and I didn’t quite agree with all he said. His service at night was awful and more like a Salvation Army meeting. He managed better in the School and held the attention of the children pretty well. Had usual walks. Fine day. Mrs Cooke and Bella Spain at our chapel.

Germans bombarded & occupied Malines.

26 September 1914; Saturday

Finished in good time. Finished about 1.30. Went up the town in the afternoon with Charlie and he got measured for a suit at the Store1. I called at Porteous the dentist and he examined my teeth and agreed to take 2 out next Wednesday. Went to Roker at night with Willie Whittaker. Came back on the car2.

The Belgians retired from Malines to line of outer Antwerp forts.


  1. Store (if correct reading) would mean Co-operative Retail Store 

  2. Car means tram-car, as usual. 

22 September 1914; Tuesday

Got up late. Had to hurry to work. Very little to do. Finished early. At choir practice at night. Mr Kettle at meeting at the chapel. Received news at night of the loss of the Aboukir, Hogue & Cressy, by German submarines. * to be attacked by 5 or 6 submarines. The Aboukir was sunk first and when the others were taking off the crew they were sunk. About 1200 lives lost. British capture armed liner “Spreewald” & two coalers (H.M.S.Berwick) and also news of the capture of the Professor Woermann at Sierra Leone.1


  1. Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy were old cruisers patrolling in the Broad Fourteens area of the North Sea. They were supposed to sail at 13 knots (which they were too old to do) and to zigzag (an order widely disregarded as submarines had not been seen in the area); however the submarine U9 was indeed there, and sank all three. Spreewald: armed cruiser/ex-liner,3,900 tons, supplying raiders in W. Indies; Professor Woermann: 6,000 tons, apparently merchantman; became SS Professor after War. 

21 September 1914; Monday

Very slack at work. Finished early. Got hair cut. Had bath. Read a good lot of Everyman1 and wrote up old diaries about the time I was commencing to go with Mildred†.

News to hand of the damage of the cruiser Pegasus by the German cruiser Konigsberg while she was at anchor and not under steam2. Also the sinking of 5 merchant ships by the Emden3 and the sinking of the Cap Trafalgar by the Carmania4.

The big battle in France still going on. Read Lloyd George’s speech.


  1. Everyman: see Everyman and Arthur Linfoot’s Library

  2. Pegasus, a Tyne-built cruiser of 1897, was sunk by the Königsberg off Zanzibar. 

  3. SMS cruiser Emden was used as a raider in the Indian Ocean, and in September 1914 alone took over 20 British merchant ships, as well as raiding Madras. See also 29 Sept., 10 Nov., and note on 9 December

  4. Cap Trafalgar was a large modern German liner (1913, 23,640 tons) converted as an auxiliary cruiser, in service in the South Atlantic; she was found and sunk at a secret base in the Brazilian islands of Trindade, 500 miles E. of Brazil, on 14 September by the Carmania, another ex-­liner (1905, 19,500 tons) fitted out as an armed merchant cruiser; the Cap Trafalgar was thus the first ex-­liner to be sunk by another ex-­liner.