Tag Archives: Aitken

Mr Aitken was management at the Hendon Paper Mill, and Arthur Linfoot’s boss before he joined the RAMC. His death is recorded in September 1917. See also William Robertson Aitken and diary entries about Arthur Linfoot’s work at the Hendon Paper Mill.

30 October 1914; Friday

George Crawford got to know he is to go next. Mr Aitken paid us each one in his room and informed us that there would probably be a reduction in our money, and gave Reggie Balls1 and George Crawford notice for a month. I stayed in at night and did a bit grammar. Stormy night.


  1. Balls: The shorthand looks like “Balls”, but a Reggie Bailes is mentioned on several other occasions. It seems probable that this Reggie Balls and Reggie Bailes are one and the same. 

29 October 1914; Thursday

X Wednesday X Mr Aitken took Willie into the room and gave his notice X
Finish on Saturday first. He tried to induce Willie to enlist. A good deal of excitement caused by this step. I had a slight cold so stayed at home at night and read and looked up some words.

Turkish battleships bombard Theodosia1 in Black Sea without formal declaration of War.


  1. Theodosia: in Russia, at the E. end of the Crimea. There was long-­standing rivalry between Russia and Turkey, both because of Russia’s ambitions to replace the crumbling Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, Romania and Bulgaria, and because Turkey, possessing the Dardamelles, still controlled access to the Black Sea and thus to the Crimea and southern Russia; indeed the failure of the Gallipoli expedition (1915) to open seaborne access to southern Russia was arguably a significant factor in the economic, and then political, collapse of Russia in 1917. 

26 October 1914; Monday

Not much to do at work. Mr Aitken read from a letter from Mr Lawson asking that he should <arrange> for some of us to join the army1. I explained my position to Mr Scott. A lot of stir and excitement about it. Finished soon. Went to the King’s Theatre at night with Joe to see Hamlet played by Mr Alexander Morton Byng. We were in the gallery. It was very good. Didn’t get out until late.


  1. Mr Lawson was evidently a Director of the Hendon Paper Works Company; his absence from a Directors’ meeting is noted on 15 December. Mr Aitken appears to have taken Mr Lawson’s request to heart as he was giving employees their notice and encouraging them to enlist only 2 or 3 days later

31 August 1914; Monday

Got up about 8 o’clock. Not much to do at work. Mr Aitken in bad temper and said something about clearing us all out. Finished in good time. Troubled a bit with toothache. Mr Scott asked if I would join their singing class. Received money.

Nothing very much from the war.

29 April 1914; Wednesday

Got up about 7.45. In good time for work. Mr Aitken in rather bad temper and Frank the same. Finished in good time. Aunt Mary to tea. Did a bit Pelman1. Played very little. Went down to meeting with Joe and Mr Chadwick called upon me to pray in the meeting. Walked round with Joe and talked about Pelman course. Had a bath. Went to bed shortly after 11 o’clock.


  1. Pelman: see note on 6 January

30 March 1914; Monday

Got up about 7 o’clock. At work in good time. Fine day. Got some boxing gloves at work. Finished in good time. Billy and Bob had a go and Billy got his eye blacked. I had a go with Bob later on. Mr Aitken came when they were just commencing. Got all missionary money in with the exception of John’s. Played piano. Had singing lesson. Played some duets. Went out last thing. Went to bed early.

4 March 1914; Wednesday

Got up at 8 o’clock. Mr Aitken away at London. Called round by the dock and got Father’s compensation money. Finished in decent time. Played a bit at night and then went down to Briggs’ and practised with him. Called for Willie and went to the Victoria Hall1 and saw Cherry Kearton’s Pictures of wild animals2. They were very good and interesting. Joe reporting3 at a meeting in the afternoon and got 5/-­ for it. Went to bed late.


  1. Victoria Hall: See note on 10 January

  2. Cherry Kearton: early wildlife photographer, recently (2013) re-popularised. 

  3. “Joe reporting”: Joe Wiseman wrote excellent Pitman’s shorthand; he and ALL did verbatim reporting at political meetings etc for practice, and evidently for income in Joe’s case. 

16 February 1914; Monday

Got up about 7.45. Drilled a bit. Busy all day. A row with Willie and Tom† regarding† * and the masks†. Mr Aitken showed some temper about it and blamed us for making too much nonsense on the invoices. I told Tom and Willie off for swearing and using bad language. Row in the Office. Father’s pain came on bad last thing at night. Went to bed about 12.30. Edward’s brother died at 8 o’clock on Saturday.

14 February 1914; Saturday

Got up about 7.45. Busy all morning. Finished about 2 o’clock. Sunderland versus Derby County and won 1-­0. Had short walk in town in the afternoon with Charlie. Went to lecture on Mohammed. Called at library and went up to see Willie. He was in bed but was† up a little bit in the afternoon. Talked until nearly 10 o’clock and then went to the post office again. Bought a rubber horse for Dorothy as she was far from well. Father keeping a bit better. Wrote postcard in reply to the answer we received regarding† the business for sale in Wear Street. Mr Aitken returned from London and in a bad temper.