Category Archives: September 1914

All diary entries written in September 1914.

20 September 1914; Sunday

Harvest Festival. Mr Chadwick unwell and the new deacon preached, George Quadiss†. Rather wild day. We sang anthem “While the Earth Remaineth” at night. Had usual walks. Nothing fresh from the front. Heard of the loss of an Australian submarine boat. AE11.


  1. AE1: See note on 14 September. This is a further example of ALL noting events both on the day he heard of them and retrospectively, on the day they actually happened. 

16 September 1914; Wednesday

Insurance man called at dinner time and I met him. We talked for about an hour. Made me late for work after dinner. Rode Charlie’s bicycle there and back. Went along and saw Willie Whittaker about insurance1 and spent all the night talking about it.


  1. Insurance: the shorthand outline is more like ‘insulin’ than ‘insurance’, but the latter is more probable in the context: although insulin was known about in the late 19th century, the first successful human trials were not made until the early 1920s. 

14 September 1914; Monday

Frank back from his holidays. Not much to do. Read and played a bit.

Australian submarine lost AE1. 34 lives lost12.


  1. The AE1 took part with other Australian vessels in the capture of German New Guinea on 13 September. Patrolling in the area afterwards, she disappeared on the afternoon of 14 September, and despite searches, no trace of her (not even surface oil) was ever found. This diary entry was made subsequently – see 20 September for the news reaching ALL. 

  2. The wreck of AE1 was found in late 2017. 

13 September 1914; Sunday

Chapel and class as usual. A stranger preaching in the morning and Mr Roope at night. Mr Roope preached very well and Fred Waggott asked Joe to write out the sermon for him1. Managed pretty well at Sunday School and my turn for the children’s service. Got on pretty well.

Invasion of British East Africa announced. Light cruiser Hela sunk by British submarine2.


  1. Joe Wiseman used to practice his already excellent shorthand by recording speeches etc. verbatim; apparently he did sermons too. 

  2. Hela was used as a supply tender for submarines in the Heligoland Bight (though classed as a light cruiser, she had only four 8.8cm guns.) She was torpedoed by the British submarine E9; see also 6 October 1914

12 September 1914; Saturday

Finished in decent time. Walked up town in the afternoon. Paid for * book which I received from Hills’s1. Went up town at night with Willie Whittaker. Wet night. Saw young Letty come out of the library as we came down Villette Road.

German retreat continued to the Aisne, where new battle.


  1. Hills’s: the main Sunderland bookshop, in Waterloo Place, where Ernie later worked as manager and eventually as a director.