The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Gertrude Codman Carter’s Diary, November 1917

Today we return to the 1917 diary of Gertrude Codman Carter. You may read the previous entries here:

Introduction | January | February | March | April | May

June | July | August | September | November | December


We are nearing the end of Gertrude’s year as a featured diarist at The Beehive. While the month of November 1917 began with “great fun” and a whirl of social activities, it ended under a dark cloud as the Carters found out that one of Sir Gilbert Carter’s sons from his previous marriage was killed on November 28th, 1917 when a German submarine torpedoed a boat, the Apapa, on which he was traveling as a passenger. “Today should have alas had a dark cloud had I known it for the war was to cast yet another shadow on our lives,” writes Gertrude as she gathers her thoughts and fills in her diary pages.

In December, I will be closing out this year of reading alongside Gertrude Codman Carter as she chronicled her life as an upper-class white woman in British colonial Barbados one hundred years ago. Stay tuned for a new diary read-along in January 2018!


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Nov. 1

Laddie took me out to Spion Kop to swim. Great fun & as always amusing. We went on to the Charles Sealys afterward & danced. [Illegible] haze of tobacco spoke & little Laurie John on the table as a center piece. “What use is water, when you’re dry - dry - dry -” An appalling but amusing ditty on the gramophone. And Nell Manning being pulled as she swam, by a boatman in a wherry.


Nov. 2

To Sweet Park to Help.


Nov. 3

Great Eastern fete. Huge success.

Lady Probyn gave a big dinner party & I gave a supper party.


Nov. 4


Nov. 5

To Park cleaning up.

To Charlie Hayes to sketch baby.


Nov. 6

Tea at St. Anne’s to meet the new Mrs Hancock.


Nov. 7

1. Help Society

Government House tennis tournament.


Nov. 22

Savannah Club meeting of [illegible].


Nov. 23

Burtons party to meet the Hancocks.


Nov. 24 [numbered but left blank]


[Nov. 25]

Chart of [illegible].


Nov. 26

To swim with L. at the Sealeys.


Today should have alas had a dark cloud had I known it for the war was to cast yet another shadow on our lives.


Nov. 29

[Illegible] all to tea with the [illegible] boat men. Most amusing.


Nov. 30

Church parade at St. Mary’s a depressing one.


* * *

As always, if you are interested in viewing the diary or letters yourself, in our library, or have other questions about the collection please visit the library or contact a member of the library staff for further assistance.



permalink | Published: Friday, 10 November, 2017, 12:00 AM


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