March 20, 1918 Lady Monkswell: Extraordinary emotion: Some 25 German prisoners marched into Brooklands opposite. Of all ages, in their shabby grey uniforms, guard of 5 Tommies with fixed bayonets. I went down the road just as they came up. Feminine crowd but no groaning. Very fine, warm

March 21st: The result of the U-boat destruction to allies, neutrals and ourselves. Out of 33 million tons of merchant shipping, two and a half million tons have been sunk. This means 8 ships in a hundred or one in 13. Put plainly, it’s bad, but not nearly as bad as I had expected.


More prisoners!

March 22, 1918 Lady Monkswell: German prisoners in Mrs Pinney’s house, in spite of her. She came here and poured out to Robert, half crazy.

To Parnham, white magnolias lovely, inhabitants sad and very dull. Old red camellia out. 84 enemy machines destroyed to 27 of ours. Very fine, hot.


Our precious Prisoners

Lady Mary’s diary: Monday Oct 13th 1918

What may this week bring! It is almost paralysing to read the Spectator and the Observer to take in that we have won the war: the wicked cruel enemy asking for peace (see vulgar poem) I must take it slowly. No more thought of invasion, no more air-raids and I hope very soon, no more U-boats. Every morning I hope to mark on my map the rapid retreats and hear of immense masses of prisoners guns and material captured. The most immediate anxiety is of our precious prisoners Godfrey Phillimore Jack Mellon.

[According to the IWM Lt Godfrey Phillimore (above) went missing presumed dead on the Western Front on April 5th 1916. ( …) Godfrey, 2nd Baron Phillimore, served with the Highland Light Infantry, was captured in 1916 and spent the rest of the war in a prison camp. He wrote a book about his time in captivity entitled Recollections of a prisoner of war (Arnold 1930)]

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Explore by day, month or person here on the blog or on our five Twitter feeds: @Voicesfrom1918 @LadyMonkswell @MarieStopes1918 @JamesSansom230 and @OliveHarcourt.

Voices from 1918 has been developed by artists Sharon Hayden and Alastair Nisbet in partnership with Wimborne Community Theatre, Dorset History Centre and the Priest’s House Museum, Wimborne with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Thanks to all who have helped us with this project: Maria Gayton and staff at Dorset History Centre where we found Lady Mary Monkswell’s diaries; Joan Cocozza, ward of nursing auxiliary Olive Harcourt; Portland Museum where we found James Sansom’s diaries; the British Library and Wellcome Libraries; Priest’s House Museum in Wimborne and Gill Horitz from Wimborne Community Theatre.

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