Tag Archives: George Crawford

Diary entries which mention George (or, occasionally, Geordie) Crawford, a colleague of ALL at the Hendon Paper Mill both before and after the war. GC was still working at the Hendon Paper Mill in the 1950s. See also George H. Crawford at Lives of the First World War.

13 March 1915; Saturday

At work as usual. Finished in decent time. Was riding bicycle home and tyre burst in Hastings Street. Left bicycle at George Crawford’s until Monday. Played piano and suchlike. Went down to the Peter Benefit† boot shop and bought some new boots. Father hurt his arm a bit at work. Had long walk at night with Charlie and Willie Whittaker. Car-­red1 up *2 Street and then walked round by the Grindon Road. Bicycle punctured. New boots 12/6. Father hurt his arm slightly.


  1. “Car-red” meaning “we rode on the tram-car.”  

  2. There is a St Mark’s Street off Hilton Road, not far from Eldon Street, though the shorthand does not exactly fit it. 

8 March 1915; Monday

At work as usual. Took over summary. Went down in the car first thing and was pretty late. Busy all day. Had a bit trouble with Geordie1. Sands in, probably for the last time before they go away. Finished about 5.30. Came up with the new boy. Mr Scott found a mistake of £2 pounds [sic] in my sales book. Charlie finished soon. Tried a bit music. I played a bit. The shop doing very badly.


  1. “Geordie”: if correct – how ALL commonly referred to George Crawford, his office colleague at the Paper Works. 

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. 

22 October 1914; Thursday

Still slack at work and talk of reducing the staff. Mr Scott talking to George Crawford about it. I went to Endeavour meeting at night and there were only a few there. Mr Kettle spoke. Sister Madge played. I played ping pong afterwards. Saw the fire engine going to a fire at Cooper, Bells’†, but it was soon out. A big fire at Robert Barrow’s† in the morning. Charlie saw it.

15 May 1914; Friday

Got up at 6 o’clock. Went with George Crawford to the Tunstall Hill<s>1 first thing and took some photos. Had walk at night. Got to know of disaster to aeroplanes which had passed over here2. Some of them wrecked at Northallerton and 2 men killed, Lieutenant Empson and Private Cudmore3  4  5.


  1. Tunstall Hills is an area of open space in Sunderland, now both a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest both for its geological and biological importance. The area consists of Green Hill and Rocky Hill and surrounding land. Locally these two hills have been also known as the Maidens Paps because of their shape. See also Sunderland map. 

  2. See previous day’s diary entry

  3. Lieutenant Empson and Private Cudmore: these were Army ranks, not RAF, because the Royal Flying Corps remained a corps within the Army until it was transformed into the RAF in 1918. 

  4. This page at  the History Network appears to refer to the same incident, and names the dead men as Lieut. John Empson of the 4th Royal Fusiliers and Air-Mechanic George Cudmore of No. 2 Squadron Military Wing R.F.C. The source of this information appears to be Flight Magazine dated 22 May 1914

  5. See also John Empson and George Cudmore, both at Grace’s Guide. 

30 January 1914; Friday

Got up about 8 o’clock. Busy all day. Mr Deakin found some buff copies in the waiting room which had been put there accidentally a night before through a row with the lads. It nearly ended in a row between George and me1. Finished in good time. Called for Willie and went to the organ. Got on pretty well. By-election in N.W. Durham Division. The Liberal, Mr Aneurin Williams returned2.


  1. George: probably George Crawford, colleague at Hendon Paper Works from before 1914 to the 1950’s; his only son Geoffrey was lost in the evacuee ship City of Benares, torpedoed 17.09.1940 in the Atlantic. 

  2. The North West Durham by-election of 30 January 1914 was triggered by the resignation of Llewellyn Atherley-Jones, Liberal. Aneurin Williams, also Liberal, was returned with a reduced majority after the Labour party fielded a candidate for the first time. 

13 January 1914; Tuesday

At work as usual. Frank1 off in the afternoon with a cold. Went down to Band of Hope2 annual general meeting after boxing with Charlie for a bit. Went into choir practice. Fairly good practice for anthem on Sunday. Hurried home and met Jack. He had the forms drawn up and we arranged for him to see his boss about them.

Row with Okie3
Had called for Father’s money and he wouldn’t give it to me. There was a man at the mill taking photographs of the machine4.


  1. Frank: little is known about ALL’s office colleagues at the Paper Mill, except George Crawford. 

  2. “Band of Hope”: Victorian temperance organisation which still exists as Hope UK. 

  3. Okie: a representative of Robson’s Saw Mill? “Father’s money”: probably arrears of wages – there is more about compensation money later. 

  4. Presumably the moulding machine in which Father had lost his two fingers.