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January 2, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary 1914 England

Dec. 21, 1904
Ada as Helena
"A Midsummer Night's Dream"
 Several years ago I purchased a tiny diary kept throughout 1914 during WW1 by Ada Harland. Ada lived in Falsgrave, Scarborough, Yorkshire England and wrote in her little book almost daily. The 3x2 inch book is difficult to read as Ada was a prolific writer and crammed as much as she could on to each page.

Along with the diary was a photo of Ada and a letter dated Dec. 31, 1914 from "Bertie" in Salisbury Plain England. Bertie was with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) which co-incidentally was the same unit my youngest son was with as an infantry soldier for several years. Ada and Bertie eventually married and I thought it would be interesting to post her diary, and Bertie's letter here on my blog.

I did some genealogy sleuthing and found that Bertie was born Herbert Ashby in Scarborough Yorkshire England to parents John & Elizabeth. At some point Bert left England for Canada because in September 1914 he enlisted in the Canadian Army to fight in WW1.

Bertie and Ada were married in Yorkshire England in the first quarter of 1919 and in the fall of that same year Ada sailed to Canada on the ship Scandanavian to join her husband in Vancouver B.C.

One son Henry was born to the couple around 1920. In 1935 Henry and Ada can be found on Ships Passenger lists sailing to England in June and returning to Canada in August. Ada noted that she was going to Falsgrave Road in Scarborough so presumably they were visiting family and friends.

Bert died in British Columbia in 1960 at age 70 and Ada died in 1977 at age 87. At least we know the diary has a happy ending but I hope you read along as I go through it to see what happened to Ada in 1914 when WW1 had just begun.

I'm going to start with Ada's first entry in her diary (Jan. 1, 1914) and continue as best I can each day. Much of the writing is very difficult to read.

Jan. 1, 1914. Thursday.

At Ms. Vollums to supper. Walk with J.T. to Scarboro. Good---- [bye?] at 4.30 a.m. Bed. Up at mid-day

Jan. 2, 1914. Friday

Business writing. Writing all day until 8:30. To [crossed out] Dance. Had everyone. Supper with Ms. Foster. The 'stave' Last Waltz


Annette Fulford said...

You will find that her husband returned to Canada on the Orduna in May 1919. He is listed as H. Ashby. When he first enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force he was with the 7th Battalion, Company F. I look forward to learning more about this couple from your posts.

Annette Fulford said...

You will find Herbert Ashby listed in this book at the Internet Archive under the 7th Battalion, F Company on page 96.

Anonymous said... was my great grandparents "the vollums"that she visited in Scarborough, they were the only Vollum family there. 67 Castle Road. My own grandad (their son) had emigrated to Toronto in 1904. Small world! maureen vollum, toronto