PRONI's March blog recalls personal wartime stories

PRONI's blog for March 2015, charting personal stories of men and women from 100 years ago, is now available to view online.

PRONI hold a wide range of records including letters, diaries and memoirs relating to the First World War and to contemporary events in Ireland, providing first-hand accounts of all aspects of war as well as the impact it had on life at home.

The March edition of the blog concentrates on a time when the reinforced British Army were launching a new offensive on the Western Front. Meanwhile on the Eastern Front, the British and French navies attempted to force a passage of the Dardanelles. The failure of this attack would lead to the Gallipoli landings in April.

A diary entry from Constance Masefield, wife of poet John Masefield, recalls the days immediately after he left for duty as a volunteer hospital orderly in France.

'Jan has gone. He left 2 days ago, and I can't yet realise it. I forgot to write to him tonight feeling somehow that he was only gone quite temporarily and then with a stab of pain I realised the miles and miles of country that lay between and the sea and the sky and all the misery.

'Oh dear life is very bitter now. I can't dwell on the pain or I shouldn't get along at all. There is no pain like this lonely sense of separateness.'

Every month, PRONI will continue to publish transcripts from the personal papers and diaries of a range of individuals who lived throughout the period. 

Click here to read the March blog.