Ashamed to be connected with strikers

Lockinge-born William Hallam, living and working in Swindon, felt strikers and trade unionists were behaving in an unpatriotic way.

20th May 1917

There was a Trade Union demonstration and procession round the Town. I left it severely alone. Thousands of our T.U. men are out on strike in different parts of the country and as I told some of our fellows I should be ashamed to be seen in anyway connected with them by young fellows in khaki who have come from all parts of our Colonies to fight for us; for hundreds come in every Sat & Sun from Draycott Camp. Australians, New Zealanders & Canadians.

Diary of William Hallam (D/EX1415/25)

He poked his head over the trench and was shot dead

More tragic deaths came to the notice of diarists Wiliam Hallam and Florence Vansittart Neale.

William Hallam
Up to Wantage by 20 to 10 train. It was an ideal spring day, one of those days when every one you meet wishes you a good morning. I heard the cuckoo this morning for the first time this year when going up from Wantage Road. For dinner had asparragras [sic], first time for years…. Came back by last train. A good many soldiers were travelling back to Swindon mostly Scots for Draycott and amongst those who got out here was the tallest chap I’ve ever seen in my life 6ft. 6 I should think, an officer….

I was told up at Wantage young Whettle was shot dead in his trench. One of the men said “what’s all that smoke” and young W. poked his head over the trench and was shot dead.

Florence Vansittart Neale
Heard sad news – Arnold Vansittart killed – also saw Dick Powell wounded & missing. Telephoned Katie Gibbs, heard he picked up by Black Watch – in some hospital in France.

Diaries of William Halam (D/EX1415/23) and Florence Vansittart Neale (D/EX73/3/17/8)

More cursing and swearing about the Germans than ever before

The sinking of the Lusitania continued to outrage people.

Florence Vansittart Neale
Lusitania sunk off Irish coast. 2 submarines. 1300 drowned.

William Hallam
In the work shops to-day more cursing and swearing about the Germans than ever I’ve heard. This afternoon wife & I went up to Draycott Camp. Quite a town of huts there. 11,700 Scotch regiment there. Had a talk to one, a Cameron man, who told me there were 350 university men in the ranks of their Battalion. Although it was a very hot afternoon, it was quite cold this evening coming back.

Diaries of Florence Vansittart Neale (D/EX73/3/17/8) and William Hallam (D/EX1415/23)