1916 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT WWI BRITISH HOME FRONT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A YOUNG MARRIED LAW CLERK IN LONDON TRYING TO ENJOY THE IDYLLIC LIFE WHILE FEARING HIS CALL UP TO AN ACTION STATION

By: CHRISTOPHER GRUT BUCKTON

Price: $2,285.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer is an interesting, original and unique World War I manuscript home front relic. Unusual inasmuch as our author who writes from January 1916 to July, Chris Grut Buckton of 36 Wellesley Road Harrow on the Hill, a law clerk in London, makes no effort to conceal his desire and attempts to avoid being called up to the army.Writing is a small precise hand, filling each day almost in a Nature Lovers' Diary book foretelling his time spent outdoors and with nature he always comments on the weather, mild that year, and Mr Buckton reveals an almost idyllic home life like his cottage in Dinton near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire with, Hettie, his wife but the backdrop on the War hangs like a dark cloud and though he begins writing about how he is looking forward to spending time at the cottage and he seems to have an affectionate relationship with his wife but work is a bit of a soap opera where 'Mr Alfreds' has a drink problem his later attempts to evade a front line posting take on a rather desperate edge. Here are some snippets: January 7th 'Saw Jess today home on leave from trenches. he related some remarkable stories to us. Does not all like the Belgian people.' January 13th 'at Westminster County Court over Italian case' January 16th 'Good sermon in the evening "enrolled to be a soldier". A very appropriate subject as many of us being enrolled' January 17th 'Hettie gave me a little note this evening suggesting giving up the cottage. She little knows the disappointment this would be to me and all the delightful little surprises I have planned for her. January 27th 'Charlie Butcher came to see me today. He starts for France next week. When will this wicked murder of the best of our young lives cease?' January 31st 'Another zepp raid on Paris last night two nights in succession. London, I suppose will have the next turn' February 1st 'Warning having been given at Harrow at 5.00 of zeppelin raid. Daddu and I just got home in time before the trains were stopped' February 2nd. Getting through Maeterlinck's Life of the Bee. I think it would be more interesting if there had been a few illustrations and a little less philosophy.. the raid seems to have done great damage.' February 13th 'Hettie remarked about the general shabbiness of the Harrow boys about the street' February 24th 'It seems quite possible the married groups may be called up for service there by June. Fancy me a soldier!' February 29th 'Hettie looking rather downhearted over my having to join the army.' March 3rd 'Wrote off to the LLCucation dept to enter for training as a munitions worker. If I could do this it would be better for Hettie than joining the army. They are moving along very sharply in their calling up of the married men.' March 5th 'We had another zeppelin raid tonight' March 8th 'Got a form from the LCC today for the munitions classes so I suppose I shall soon be donning the dungarees ... in a machine shop making shells. What a prospect.' March 9th 'Attended a meeting of my Law Clerks Society this evening...they determined that all members should be reinstated & that death claims should be met. This to be met by increased subscriptions....' March 16th 'The married men's protest grows apace but I do not think it will do much good.' March 17th St Patrick's Day 'Mr Alfred has gone off to keep the drinkers festival. He will no doubt soak in whisky...it makes me heart sick at times to see the whisky bottle brought out in the office..... a formerly courteous and generous hearted fellow to work for but being gradually ruined by the curse of whisky drinking..' 'My thoughts went back to a funeral service one dark December day when I buried all my early and ardent boyhood love in a grave in East London' March 20th 'Mr Alfred came in today as I thought still feeling the effects of St Patrick's Day. His wife almost as bad. When one thinks of the what the children of such a marriage must be one cannot help shuddering and hoping there will be none' March 21st 'Went to a phrenologist today Mr O'Dell in Ludgate Circus and he gave me a delineation and description of my character which is remarkably good and accurate.......Hettie read my diaries today and tells me she was pleased. She tells me I once said she wasn't very loveable. I don't remember myself but if so it is quite wrong' March 24th 'Lunched at the Cornerhouse and was much disgusted to see young girls taking liquors and smoking cigarettes. What will the next generation of children be like one wonders.' March 31st 'Another zeppelin raid tonight and we sat up waiting what might come from 9 until 3.30 in the morning when the trains began running again...' April 1st 'read 'Degenerate Germany, what a disclosure!' April 4th 'had a delightful evening with Hettie but do not record our conversation. It is too intimate for any but ourselves to know' April 26th 'The call is posted up at last for me to report on 24th May' May 2nd 'general conscription brought in today so I should not have escaped & it is better to have volunteered than to have been forced to serve one's country. Lost my armlet and had to report same to police.' May 4th 'Am waiting eagerly for tomorrow night to see her [Hettie] again. How I miss her. I daren't think of what the army will mean.' May 26th 'saw Mr Alfred off to Paignton today this morning then walked back through the park. Parties of stalwart guardsmen were being taught to stick 12 inches of cold steel in other human beings. Ugh! It makes one's blood cold to think I might have to go through all that' June 1st 'saw Liet barker today home from the front on leave & he recommends me to write to the War Office for a post as clerk in the Ordnance Dept.' June 5th 'Went with Mr Alfred today to the law Society for my appeal but unfortunately they will not listen to it at all. They cannot consider me indispensable so I shall get no extension or exemption whatever. This means I shall find myself swept into the army maelstrom within a few weeks. Must now look out for some decent corps but am much afraid the specialised ones will be full. .... Hettie poor darling was of course terribly upset.' June 7th Had a letter & photo from Walter Richards. he thinks I ought to have no difficulty in getting a clerical post in RAMC but am afraid he does not appreciate the difficulty now....I am farid there is nothing for it but a line regiment & probably the front in a few months time. My neighbour Mr Doyle has got in the Scots Guards & tells me the Royal Flyinbg Corps is open again so shall try for something there....' June 9th 'Went to the Polytechnic this morning to try for the Royal Flying Corps but met with no success as I am not a skilled mechanic and clerks and store keepers are only wanted over 41....' June 15th 'Got out my lantern slides & films so as to make some sort of show of my technical knowledge. Busy reading up my RAMC notes.' June 16th 'Went up to the RAMC headquarters at Chelsea but after waiting half an hour came away no one having taken the slightest notice of me or asking who I was or my business. I might have been the biggest spu going.' June 20th 'Called in at Harrow recruiting office and saw the sergeant major. he tells me there is absoultely nothing for me but some infantry unit....was advised to go to Holburn Recruiting Office for the medical examination....got all my papers returned from RAMC with two or three lines that no vacancies for two or three years!! June 21st Got to Holburn at 9.0 Quite a large crowd of fellows already there. Waited till 11.30 when was given a card to go at 2 o'clock. Back to office and did some work and returned to recruiting office at 2 Waited again until 4.0 Saw Queen Alexandria. Upstairs at 4.30 Had to get into one's birthday suit and at 5 was called to parade before the doctors. ...passed for general service." "Came out with a heavy heart for I know what this will mean to those at home. There is however something in being fit to serve one's country. Some of the specimens were miserably made. June 23rd 'i got a bit of hope when it appears Mr Alfred had seen a Mr hall who has a friend at the War Office who can fill vacancies in the ASC' June 26th 'Mr hall rings up this morning to say his friend thinks he has a post if I am passed for clerical work but "general service" looms up....' June 27th 'From a letter in Mr Rees' Chambers it seems evident the Boss is out to ruin Alfred altogether. What an end for an old family business!! Largely brought about by drink.' July 4th 'I was able to see the Commissioner and found him quite a reasonable old barrister. he was very sympathetic & practically assured me he would recommend a grant to cover rates and taxes premiums and school fees so this will take a great load off my mind.' July 7th 'Caught the express to Marylebone and was at the office before 11 Mr Alfred did not arrive untile nearly 1. Alfred seems to have gone silly with worry and I can see he will never be any good to continue in business. had to go up to Somerset House& the Law Courts this afternoon probably for the last time....' The entries end in July presumably as he is called up. We note the battle of the Somme begins in July 1916. Casual research finds that a man by the same name lived through until 1940. Overall G.

Title: 1916 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT WWI BRITISH HOME FRONT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A YOUNG MARRIED LAW CLERK IN LONDON TRYING TO ENJOY THE IDYLLIC LIFE WHILE FEARING HIS CALL UP TO AN ACTION STATION

Author Name: CHRISTOPHER GRUT BUCKTON

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Diary, 20th Century Manuscript,

Publisher: DINTON, AYLESBURY, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE ENGLAND UK, 1916

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall

Seller ID: 0002106

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