I spent the night at Trafalgar and then we were
taken by car to Elmwood where we had a delicious lunch. I had three helpings
of strawberries. 50 of us went by bus to Montreal station where again we
were met by a lot of photographers, before we boarded the train. I was
photographed on the engine of the train. The scenery from the train was
quite different from anything I have seen before.
We woken at 4.30 in our bunks as we had to catch
the ferry boat across the Bay of Fundy. … At Digby we disembarked and caught
the train to Windsor. I spent most of the time in the observation car. I
was fourth in the relay for lunch and by then the train had run out of
strawberries, but more were procured.
We arrived at Windsor about three. There more
photos were taken. Some say that nearly all the town was out to see us.
I had my first night at Edgehill. We went to
church and everyone seemed to stare at us – the girls from the battlefield
fortress of England. The service was very difficult to follow because it
was communion and different from ours. The sermon was very patriotic and
both King George and God were put on the same footing. It was odd to sing
‘God Save the King’ in the middle.
In the afternoon Judge Sangster drove us across
the bridge in the direction of Hartsport where we saw a pulp mill and bales
of pulp waiting to be shipped or loaded into a freight car. ‘Uncle’ as Judge
Sangster wished to be called, took to us to see a doctor friend where at the
bottom of his garden was the river Avon.
A tidal river the difference
between high and low tide being 70 feet.
Then came the great thrill. We went to see an
Indian Reservation. The government had built houses for the “Red Indians”
who lived a feeble existence on Government money. One, a John Knockwoot put
on his wardress for our benefit complete with a headdress of feathers. I
asked him to speak some ‘Indian’ and he said “Au Revoir”
We spent the morning at Egdehill and then went
into the town. One of our party asked what the sign to the museum was and
then we were very kindly taken to the place itself. It is a called Clifton
belonged to Judge Haliburton, a writer if I am not mistaken
(Haliburton was well-known in the
nineteenth century for his comic writings, which first appeared in book form
in The Clockmaker; or the Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick of
Slickville of 1836 where the expression ‘Mad as a Hatter’ may have
In the after we went for a picnic. We climbed a hill and gathered wild
strawberries. Here we seem to eat nothing but strawberries.
In the evening we had been asked by the manager to go and see ‘Abraham
Lincoln in Illinois’. We saw the film. The trains in the film had not
changed much from the train we travelled in to Windsor. (Known as the
Blueberry Express they were so slow that it was said it was possible to get
out and pick blueberries?)
This afternoon, Mr Stephens, the churchwarden organised an expedition to
Grand Pre to see Evangeline.
We saw the well, the church and Evangeline herself, a statue with large feet
out of all proportion to the figure. The little ornamental pond had water
lilies of all kinds and colours growing in it and little blue dragonflies
flitted over the water. We went to Kentville where we had a polar ice and
an ‘Oh Henry’, which was peanuts in toffee covered with chocolate.
Nothing much happened today except that we heard we were going the next day.
Having packed our luggage, Jacquie, Renee, Pat and myself carried our
luggage outside and packed it into the cars of Mr Hunt, the minister and
Miss Roeckling. (the headmistress) Miss Roeckling in the lead, drove us out
of Edgehill. We did not drive far on pavement, but soon turned on to a
washboard road, so-called because of the ridges made by the cars. The
scenery was extremely pretty. There were quite a number of natural rock
gardens, much better than the Chelsea Flower Show. The trees were mostly
fir trees and we drove through a forest without seeing any sign of human
habitation. The only bit of life I saw was a deer, a lovely red creature
standing upright against, a tree watching us pass. The journey was only 36
miles, but seemed much longer because of the very hilly and winding road..
We stopped for lunch and again had strawberries and cream
We arrived at Dr and Mrs Woodroofe (in Chester) at about half past two.
They live in a dear little Dutch house quite near to the sea. We were taken
round the shores and saw the water at high tide.
We breakfasted at half past nine having gone to bed at twenty to one, day
light time. At Windsor they have daylight time and at Chester standard. We
have changed our watches about eight times since we left England.
We watched Jacquie and Renee play tennis and in the afternoon eleven us went
out in a motor boat and a rowing boat to Birch Island. There we bathed in
the clear water. One of the boys showed us a sea gulls nest with a baby
bird in it. Then we sat down in a bed of masses of strawberries and picked
them by the handful. They were simply delicious. Then we went back. This
time I was in the rowing boat being towed. The water was slightly choppy and
the water came in every now and then. We passed through a shoal of
jellyfish. I have never seen so many in my life.
The summer continued, idyllic in every sense. The Canadian’s showered us
with invitations. I stayed at first with Dr and Mrs Woodroofe with
Patricia Hollis. Each day we seem to play anything up to five sets of
tennis with Renee and Jacquie who stay across the road with the dentist and
his wife, Dr and Mrs Croft. We appeared from my diary to be continually
making sandwiches either for picnics, the yacht club teas or perhaps a local
fete. I described a picnic on the beach at Hubbard’s where the sands on the
beach were white and silvery. After the picnic “I went in for a “glorious
bathe. The best I have had this year. It was quite cold getting in, but once
in it was lovely. I could have stayed in forever almost. We swam out to a
raft with a diving board on it The water was beautifully clear, and we could
see the bottom of the sea, but it was impossible to dive from it as the
waves were rocking the raft up and down.”
But to continue the diary -Wednesday 17th
We went by motorboat towing a rowboat to Birch Island. We anchored outside
Birch Island and were rowed to the shore. Settling down on a chosen spot we
gathered wood for the fire. Then we piled up stones from the beach both to
sit on and for the fire. Phil (a local boy) brought the rowboat out and I
tried to row. The attempt was not too successful. After coming out we found
the ‘weenies’ (Vienna sausage) were frying and nearly ready. They were good
and after that came the clams. I had quite a few of them. At dusk we lit
the bonfire and sat round it and talked and sang a bit and told stories. I
was teased a lot about the number of clams I ate.
The days went by with numerous games of tennis each day, swimming off the
wharf, many invitations, and visits to Lunenburg, Bridgewater, Fox Cove and
Deep Cove. “A kind of fiord with very steep side and fir trees growing on
the banks. The water was a beautiful deep green and reflected from the
We decided to go to Marriott’s Cove. We packed sandwiches and pat concocted
a butterfly net. Just before we started, Colonel and Mrs Laurie with their
married daughter called. They are very talkative and I should think a very
merry family. Mrs Laurie’s eyelids flapped all the time and the married
daughter lisped and stuttered a bit. Colonel Laurie’s voice was very deep
and Mrs Laurie
and her daughter had – high-pitched voices. (Mrs Laurie is English and lived
in Blackheath for a time before coming out here.)
We went to the Yacht Club for tea. We have been given many privileges of
the Yacht Club. I don’t know who is the kind person in authority there. We
were introduced to lots of new people, but I hardly caught anyone’s name.
Many of the people there were Americans spending their summer vacation in
the North. One old man whose name seemed to have appeared on Dollar notes
told us of the ignorance of Americans. He said quite lately they heard of
some who arrived with skis thinking that Nova Scotia was cold in summer! I
much prefer the Canadians to the Americans.
Mr Kaseby took us for a sail in his boat in Chester basin. (It was reckoned
that there were 365 islands in the bay.) Although there was no breeze in
the bay, out among the islands there was quite a wind. We took it in turns
to sit on the bow and the waves which broke by the boat, splashed over us.
That was a lovely sensation. After supper we went to a Canadian Legion
garden party and I had clam chowder for the first time.
That evening Dorothy (Dora) and [Fabian Pease] arrived about 11.30 having
just come over from England.
Fabian and Dora
The whole family were woken at 5.30 by the children singing and talking. In
the evening Pat and I put the children to bed. I looked after Fabian, gave
him a bath and put him to bed in his cot. Then I read from Mr Toolledoo to
them and then told them a story.
Friday is the day of the Red Cross Garden Party. In the morning we
decorated the Red Cross stall with red, white and blue paper and posted
flags everywhere and it looked quite nice till the wind sprung up and blew
the flags out of place. The whole garden part collected about 1000 dollars.
26 years ago war was declared in 1914. It is dreadful to think we in the
midst of another World War.
Instead of going to church I looked after the children. … Later their
sister, Chenda came round with a Japanese doll for Dora and a book and a
wheelbarrow for Fabian. In the afternoon we went out on the motor yacht ‘Oh
Yeah’ with Mrs Wortz and the ‘girls’. The girls were all over 50 years of
age. We went round the island and came back in time for tea at Mrs Chenalls.
Dora and Fabian were there.
In the morning we finished the doll for the church sale which was to take
place in the afternoon. As the tide was high the children, Mrs Woodroofe,
the children, Pat and I went swimming off Miller’s wharf. There were quite
a lot of jellyfish in too.
Mrs Bell came for the children to go to tea with her. Pat stayed behind but
I went. Mrs Bell has a lovely house looking over the back harbour. At the
bottom of her garden is the water where she has a wharf. To get there one
has to go through small wood. The children had brought there sailing small
boats and lost them many a time in the water.
Drumnaha. The home of Dr and Mrs. Winthrop Bell
Yesterday I visited Halifax for the first time. Mrs Bell took Pat and
myself. Mrs Bell had to see the American Consul and as it was 2 o’clock by
standard time by our time we had to hurry. Later we went to see the Citadel
and Bedford Basin where there some oil tankers waiting. Mrs Bell asked a
streetcar driver where the jail was and a soldier was very amused.
Miss Doughie, the ‘girls, Mrs Woodroofe, the children and myself went to Oak
Island. We went by motorboat and disembarked at the wharf. We went to see
Island was famous and still is, as a site for buried treasure. Numerous
excavations have been carried out with the hope of finding the treasure.
Some theories suggest that it could be Pirate plunder, Spanish gold or the
lost fortunes of the holy warriors, the Templar Knights. I was told it
might be Captain Kidds’s hoard.)
morning I started my letter home, but had to discontinue on account of the
sandwiches we had to make for the picnic in the afternoon. At about 1.15
we congregated at the Government wharf. About 30 of us got on the motorboat
while the rest got in a smaller one. We went to Winters Island near Mrs
Finney’s Hat. Some of us bathed in the little sheltered bay diving off the
motorboat. Then we played or tried to play softball. It was dreadful as I
was the first girl to go in and I had neither held a softball bat or stick
before in my life. Then we trailed down the beach to have the salad
supper and sandwiches. We sat round the fire and toasted marshmallows
before we went home. En route I saw about 5 shooting stars.
Mrs Bell came this morning and asked Pat and I to go on a picnic. Later
when she arrived she asked the children to go too. We went in to cars first
to Deep Cove and stopped for a while picking wild raspberries and seeing a
blue coloured kingfisher. We drove on to New Harbour and Mr Mcmann, Pat and
myself went round to the point to the lighthouse which was being repainted.
We threw stones into the water that was beautifully clear and a lovely blue
out to the sea though the sun was slightly hidden by a haze. We drove home
through Hubbards. The scenery was beautiful and we stopped at one point to
see a tuna fishing boat trailing some rowing boats towards some fishnets.
The days went by with many games of tennis and with swimming often of
Millers wharf or that of the Yacht Club. We were regularly invited out by
kind Canadians to tea, to sail in their yachts, to tea or to drive in their
cars when going to places of interest. We were fortunate to meet the
Wimbledon tennis champion, Dorothy Round, Mrs Little. We often went to the
cinema. One film was about Albert Ball, an air hero of the Great War Air,
who shot down 43 German planes. [Some years later we were to live in a
house owned by his father in Nottingham.]
we went to Halifax with Mrs Bell. We had to take Bubbles, her Airedale. Pat
had an appointment to with Prof. Bennett about her next term at Dalhousie
College. Later we went to the Stanleys. And had tea there. Pat is to stay
there during her term at Dalhousie. We drove round the Citadel and saw some
quite large ships in the harbour including a destroyer.
Phil asked if Pat and I could go out in the motorboat for an hour. We
arrived at Bingham’s wharf and in a few minutes the boat arrived. Phil
seemed prepared to out tuna fishing hoping he would catch nothing. In the
middle of the expedition the motor broke down and I went in for a dip. After
supper I went canoeing in the back and front harbour. The phosphorescence
was superb and the paddle made a path of fire in the water. I never knew
that phosphorescence could be as strange as that.
a super day today. In the morning we played tennis. After lunch Mrs Bell
called and presented me with a lovely invitation. She is going to adopt me
and pay for my fees. I now not only feel dependent, but my parents will be
pleased. After going to the Flicks in the evening there was a phone call
from Halifax from Mrs Balders asking me to stay a week there.
I got up at 6.30 to pack my belongings so that I could play tennis before
breakfast. I telephoned Mrs Balders and said “I would love to come”. At
half past two Renee and Jacq drove up from Crescent Beach at and arrived a
the same time as Mrs Balders. The Balders had a chauffeur who had been a
cowboy on the Prince of Wales Ranch. We boarded our luggage on the cars and
then ourselves. We had a picnic on the road halfway back. After we had
deposited our luggage we changed for tennis and then we changed again for
Boulderwood , North West Arm,
After dinner we went out in the canoe and then bathed of the wharf in the
(North West Arm). In the evening Mrs Balders had a cocktail party. We
played tennis till the guests had arrived and then went up and changed. One
of the guests, a Commander Layton knew my father and had an explosion in the
Labs with him. Another Admiral Bonham-Carter was President of the College
for a time. (Royal Naval College, Greenwich).
As Renee was stuck in a book I went off gaily for a canoe ride till I found
that I could not get round further abreast with the wind. I once turned
round was on my way back when the wind swivelled me round. The only thing
for me was to tie the canoe up and get the Major to help me get it back.
The next few days continued at Mrs Balders with frequent games of tennis,
swimming and diving in the water and canoeing in the North West Arm.
Sunday 1st September.
On this day a year ago War was declared at 11 o’clock by Mr Chamberlain on
Germany. During that time the world has completely changed and many
countries France, Belgium, Holland, Poland, Luxemburg, Denmark, Norway have
been annihilated. The only country to stand on it own was Finland. Now
after a year of war we stand with our backs to the wall resisting air attack
after air attack left with no ally and only the British Empire to back us
up. The colonies and Dominions have been marvellous sending over men and
machinery for a cause, which is theirs, seems thousands of miles away. It
seems dreadful that these kind people should suffer too although they have
to put up with a thousandth less than every single person in England.
Now the adventure of coming here is over, I turn and think whether I should
enjoy an air-raid or two. I don’t think I would, as it is only fair to
others to do is to shelter and in that way there would be no excitement in
the afternoon we went on the Seaborne. We walked in the sultry hot weather
to the ferry and went across the Arm (North West Arm) that way. On the
other side the staff car was waiting for us driven by a naval rating.
Collecting Mrs Leighton on the way we drove right to the gangway beside the
Seaborne. We had tea on the stern on board ship in the open. Except that
the cakes were stale and the dust and the smells of the dockyard blew about
and by the time we left we were almost black with grime, we enjoyed
This morning I got up at 7.30 daylight time with Renee in order that we
should get to Chester by 9 o’clock. When I arrived there I found a letter
from Mrs Bell asking me to go and stay with her till the end of the
holidays. I did not go immediately as to day we were going to visit Phil’s
This morning I played tennis with Pat. At a quarter to twelve Mrs Bell came
over and fetched Pat and myself and we then drove over to the Woodroofes
where we dropped Pat and I picked up my luggage. In the afternoon I unpacked
and then went to see Chenda’s bic. and pumped the tyres up so that I could
drive down to see Pat. I helped Pat put the children to be and read to
them. Of course Fabian never listens but he misses the reading.
went to New Ross with Mrs Bell who had business with some branches of the
Red Cross. It is surprising the number of garments and socks that people
living in the small houses in such a small district could produce. Pat came
too and so did Bubbles. Mrs Bell took us to see the views. The view I liked
immensely was the one at the New Ross crossroads looking down on to a lake
with its feeders running thorough some verdant fields. The view reminded me
of the Avon or perhaps the source of the Thames and it made me feel quite
cycled down to the Woodroofes. Miss Fowkes asked us to go sailing. It was a
marvellous sail. Usually I don’t like it but this time it was really worth
it. The wind changed its direction many times and after a while the sea
came quite rough - sometimes the waves would rise 40 feet high. We did not
arrive at our destination because a squall blew up a round Mrs Finney’s Hat.
This morning I went fishing for the first time in my life and really enjoyed
myself although I got pretty cold, partly because I went bathing first. I
sat in the little rowing boat behind the motor boat and started well by
catching a perch. But next I caught five codfish. One after the other, but
poor Philip did nothing but put them on the boat. The next day I caught
quite a variety and more than anyone. I started with a small codfish, then
to scalpins, a skate , 2 flat fish and a conger eel which was a nasty
looking object. In the afternoon I went on a picnic to Winter’s Island
where I bathed again and picked mushrooms.
Back to school. How dreadful! We went back in the foulest of weather of
weather to Edgehill. It was supposed to be a tornado. I found I was over at
the K.C.S. building (King’s College School) and sharing a room with Averil
Kings College Annexe
Continued on part two.
Hollis) stayed at the house called Oakfield. It was owned by
Colonel Laurie whose distant grandfather had been aide-de-camp to the
Duke of Kent, Queen Victoria’s father, Colonel Laurie and his Oakfield
estate were fascinating.
one of the finest men I have even met.
Oakfield had its own station – the railway from Halifax to Montreal and
we could flag train to stop if we wished to catch it. Colonel Laurie had
a big black Buick car and as we went over the line in it he would say
‘one look and we are over’. Before the family had the house fire it was
full of precious family possessions and the whole experience was a step
back in time to be there. Each morning we all, including the staff,
gathered for round the breakfast table for morning prayers and bible
reading. ’ I believe Colonel Laurie’s father had been Member of
Parliament for Pembrokeshire)