I thought I'd share this story with you. I was contacted by a young lady, asking if I would be interested in buying a soldiers diary from 1914-15 that her Nan had. She said she "wanted to get as much as I can to help my Nan". Being the sceptical type. i asked for some scans, and some idea of a price. To cut a long story very short, she listed it on e bay, for a very high price (I told her to drop the price and it would sell for more than she wanted, but she didn't) I ended up giving her a reasonable bid, and she accepted. The photos are hers, not mine, but it came today, and it is a little gem. Even comes with a letter from the Imperial War Museum saying how important this diary is!!!! And I can't believe that she sold it!
Anyway, here's a few extracts, and It's staying with me, there's no way i would sell it. It's just too important.
It is a Journal written by W Moss – Gunner serving with the 24th Brigade Royal Field Artillery (6th Division) in WW1
It has personal accounts of various battles in WW1 including Ypres
“A church in Houp line was shelled by the germans, the poor people running away for safety & for there lives. Some homes were knocked down by the explosion of the shell, little damage was done to the people, but many home was a complete wreck. I think there have been a 100 civies all told in houpline & amentieres.” Dated 1914.
“what the hums did in another. A family living in a house at crayole-lock, father mother & daughter 17 insulted by 5 German officers & another 14 years the same. The father kicked up a row, was shot out in the yard, the mother in the habit of striking out was shot where she stood, the only one left was a married daughter who told us & showed us where Huns were leaving behind a young girl with her left breast cut off. She also showed us where they cut her leg off from the knee, it was a dealy sight to see the old mother after showing us this took us further down a few doors away & there we saw two little babies 12 months & the other 3 years. The 12 moths had a leg & arm off and the other had 2 arms off. A few yards on further was a jewelers shop which had been smashed, there was valubles of all sorts, but we were forbidden to touch”. Dated 1914.
There are around 30 odd pages at the front written in pencil then around 6 pages in the middle written in pen which the easiest bit to read and about 10 pages at the back, which included the killed and wounded list.
There is also a loose note included which is giving the Gunner permission to leave his billet on 14/10/1915.
Some of the had writing can be a little hard to read, as it was written mainly in pencil and it is a little smudged over the years…….but mainly it is in good condition given its age.