Segment of the diary kept during WWI period by Emily Jane (wife of Francis) Holton of Smyrna

August 1918 - continued from August 1918

11th Sunday. Francis came to lunch. I didn’t go to church this morning but F. [Francis] and I went to evening service at the Mill. Mama came up later, I want to give Arthur pen knife but Ma is supertitious.

12 Monday. I want to learn to swim & - pupil is going to teach me. Went to the Smyrna baths at 6 a.m. with her & Ethel. Staying in the water too long (½ hr) & felt dizzy, tired all morning. It rained a little at midday. After a good sleep I had a nice walk to the Bounar [Halka-Bounar - Halkapınar?] with Bertie. We sat there till after sunset, a strong cool wind was blowing.

13 Tuesday. It was beautifully cool when I was hanging clothes out at 1 p.m. Banks of clouds in vivid azure sky. Have only 4 hrs. a week lessons now so I am having a good read. Plenty of sewing on hand; underclothing with Ethel, my knitted jacket, lace for Louise & lace for myself. Learning how to knit socks. Begun a pair of dark blue woolen ones for F.

14 Wednesday. Cold morning. No one at the baths at 6. Enjoyed my sea bath very much. Stayed 15 minutes in the water. Came up at 8.30 & walked to the vineyard for grapes & Icard’s for vegetables instead of Ethel who hurt her foot. Went to the vineyard for tea. Bertie & Mr von Raipki [?] turned up & had tea with us in the space among the vines in front of the hut. Two soldiers wanted to cut grapes, soon cleared off when they saw R; but they are not agressive so far. After he & Bertie left I fried some eggs & we went on with our meal as it was Francis supper.

15 Thursday. Went to town on the 9.40 [train]. Called for Gladys [Routh?] at the consulate & went to Gueztepe for lunch. The trams were very crowded as the boats have been stopped owing to some disturbance by deserters at the Soma coal mines. We had lunch at nearly two & were awfully hungry. Gladys & I had a sea-bath at 4, the others wouldn’t. The B_ich [Boscovich?] family were very nice as usual & hospitable. We had to leave at 6.30 to ensure being at the Point for 8.45 train. When we were leaving the sea was rough & grey & blue by turns, the sky was cloudy and a gorgeous sunset. It was warm in the sea & rough & altogether delightful Miss Farkoh who carried us off to a café for music. Enjoyed my outing immensely.

16 Friday. Feel discouraged at the baths. Had made up my mind to swim alone & failed my head goes under water. It was colder today. I want to learn to swim for F.’s sake but I am a failure, can’t get over my fear of going under. Plunged from the stair-way & tried alone twice but its impossible for me. Lessons all morning. Very sleepy after lunch & slept from 2.30 till 6! Call the Rouths & took them to the vineyard & sat there till 9.30 at the angle in the path; it was moonlight. There were clouds about & it was cool, the man has whitewashed & scrubbed Francis hut so it will be quite nice for his visitors to see tomorrow.

17 Saturday. We arranged to have our supper at the vineyard. I wanted a birthday cake for him & Arthur & I made it this morning. It would have cost 130 piasters if he hadn’t had some of the ingredients, flour, raisin & nuts. We made keffethes [köftes?]. Francis asked the Partridges to come down at 9. The moon was past half & Leslie promised us a story. I went on first & prepared a salad. Dropped my ring by thinking it was pinned on to my brooch. I felt very unhappy. We kept every one off the path near the hut where I cut the tomatoes & Francis went off to Icards for the lantern. Bertie & I found it just glinting through the soft soil. Oh! I was pleased. We all had our supper then under the big tree & when the Partridges & Walker came we had our desert cake, grapes, wine. It was cool & bright, we made ourselves comfortable with cushions & rugs & Leslie gave us a story. I gave Francis some gold cuff-links & he opened the box with me. I had thought of coming tomorrow but he preferred opening it tonight.

The Armenian ladies sent me some squares of real filel [?] lace.

18 Sunday. I gave Arthur his first visiting cards, he is 21. Francis a blue silk tie. Francis came to tea. He was wearing his links [?]. He has given them his watch & his tie pin into my keeping while he is at the vineyard. I am also his cashier. We spent the evening on the hill above ‘Red Earth’ & rested under an olive tree. Francis is going to be busy next week with his raisins. He has William guarding at night because Oliver has dingy [dengue] fever badly.

19 Monday. Ethel went to cut grapes at F.’s vineyard. He gave me some money to change for him & I went down with it this evening for the wages. I was also there this morning to get our daily oki [?] and they were all so busy. It was a hot day and Francis looked tired. He is having fewer hands tomorrow because his sultana crop is small.

20 Tuesday. Ethel went to work again so I went to the baths with Elizabeth & enjoyed it very much. I swam from staircase to staircase several times (being held) & felt exhilarated. Gave lessons rest of morning. Went for grapes late this evening.

21 Wednesday. Francis received letters from his parents. Alfie is married. All are well. They don’t hear from Francis. Have heard of our engagement; sent loving messages. It is strange they didn’t get our enquiry. Anyhow we hoped for an answer this month. Francis & I went to the Mc. V. [Vitties?]. Mc. V. let our boys have some shirts cheap. They are £5 in the shops & we are getting them at £2. I also enquired about his stolen goods, at the Konak. It seems the robbers who went about Boudjah last year have been caught & confessed as to the whereabouts of the booty. Then we had a wee stroll. It was cold & I used a coal; and a blanket tonight. Dreadful fire blazing on Tachlali. It looked fearful all night.

22 Thursday. The Warrens went to the vineyard, Mrs Iskender & her sister also turned up & Mr Fowler. The fires are burning further south. They glow red & are seen all over the slope to the summit. A north wind has been blowing all week. Francis’s raisins are all laid out.

23 Friday. Very warm day. Went to Stratten’s vineyard with Gladys & some little French children she invited up & whom she feasted with cakes & grapes. How kind-hearted she is! It is prettily -; there was a crowd of people all busy laying out raisins but pleasant on the whole. Ethel - Francis met us in the village at 8 & F. & I went for a short stroll with the other two.

24 Saturday. I called on the Armenian ladies. F. called for me & we went shopping for tomorrow’s tea at the vineyard. We went round to the W-n’s and saw the illustrated paper thrown down, in Turkish, Arabic & Persian: Interesting photo of Gen. Allenby & men. Very well -. Though I see F. almost every day there is always so much to tell him I have to count up the things I don’t want to forget.

25 Sunday. William is keeping on Oliver’s job. Mr. A. was at home this morning & was very worried about Oliver who they think has a relapse of dingy. Ellen had lunch with us, Arthur & I went to the vineyard for tea. I was not ready as usual for us because a Turk was looking over it with a view to buying the crop as it stood but I refused Arthur was to have taken our photo with the dogs but the light was failing so we didn’t wait for Francis. I took Arthur in the path & he took me & - under the tree. - is a constant visitor at the vineyard and he always accompanies me & when Wolf is loose they have fine fun. We had a very nice tea, then Francis and I strolled to the race-course. When we were leaving the vineyard to go home Arthur & William caught a man stealing grapes. He was a soldier shepherd from over the way.

26. Ethel worked at the raisins today. I took the Armenian ladies down there at 7.

27 Tuesday. The boat for the prisoners is arriving next week and people are getting ready to leave. Only 65 civilians can go with the first boat and a meeting was held to single out needy ones first then others who have no work & those whose education is neglected. I went to the vineyard to get grapes. It is awfully hot. I went to the baths at 6.10 but my arms felt weak. Slept late in the evening. Made handkerchief for Althea [Williamson?]’s birthday & took it round tonight. They are very excited & are packing & selling.

28 Wednesday. Very big Greek holiday Panaghia, shops closed down & people look festive. Went on errands early & then went to the vineyard with Arthur who missed train. Had breakfast with the workers, Francis, Ethel & William. When I came home I went to the Partridges with the bathing costumes but they let us have them and a pile of ‘Girls Realm’ numbers. They gave me some blouse & skirts, a jacket and a lovely cream jersey that will do for Ethel. I can have a nice winter dress made for her now. I mean to buy some woolen underclothing & stockings from them.

12th September

The long-looked-for prisoners have arrived at Paradise and are lodged in the College till such time as the boat arrives. About 100 are down, 60 came yesterday & more on the 1 train today. Some are Indians; they were taken at Kut-el-Amara and have been interned at Afion Kara Hissar, now it looks more hopeful for those who are to leave. There has been very good news from the Western front. There has been a steady advance & our troops are just outside Hindenburg’s fort at Cambrai & -. The line has been kept straight all along from Lille. It is all cheering if one could forget the dreadful that have come. Our aeroplanes dropped bombs over Constantinople and a proclamation to the Turkish troops asking what they are fighting for.

The new Smyrna papers (Levant & Cosmos) write freely & rather less partially. New Magazine ’Smyrna Review’, very second rate.

Ethel and I had a morning’s shopping last week after a sea-bath which was not as nice as other times, there were too many people. I bought some nice old - ribbon to face the front of my jacket which is nearly finished. Ethel bought materials for Xmas presents. We got a hat from Mr P_zi for Mamma.

Ethel has been working at Francis vineyard cutting grapes & collecting the dried ones. We made 21 okes of grapes into Umbali & got 2.150 okes only. It took 5 days to thicken & was much darker in colour than last year’s.

14. I spent the day at Francis vineyard. We made Umbali, 27 okes of grapes, brought it to the boil & left it over night. Got sunburnt.

15 Sunday. Francis & Arthur carried a basket of grapes to Paradise for the prisoners and left it in Mr. Reed’s charge. They are guarded carefully, Francis had breakfast at home & then we went to the vineyard & poured the grape juice on dishes & left it in the sun. I went to church, very small congregation. Took Harrie some torchon [?] insertion for her birthday. Gladys made the lace to match. Francis came to lunch. I went to the vineyard in the evening. It was awfully windy.

Francis had trouble with soldier robbers in the vineyard on Thursday night. William has given up the guarding.

17 Tuesday. 4 p.m. I have just I have just finished my knitted woolen jacket which I have been working on all summer. It has taken ½ oke of wool.

Gladys came over yesterday morning excitely happy with the news of the arrival of twins. Bertie & I were at the Partridges after supper when they had the Stokes round before they leave for Cordelio, and everyone was very interested. We played bridge, I played patience with Mrs P., and we danced a little in the hall. Few drops of rain.

18 Wednesday. We have put electric light into the house. The man worked at it all day & by evening we had the light. We have 32 c.p. [candle-power] in the sitting room & 25 c.p. in the dining room. It is fine to be able to read & work with ease. We had been using candles, one a night it had to be, though it went over & came to 50 pieces per week. Ma & I paid some calls & I took my jacket round to Miss Fife, I want to make a cap now. I took Ethel some roses & saw one of the twins; it was very sweet.

19. The Stokes have gone to Cordelio, perhaps for the winter, but we shall keep up the choir, Partridge, Walker & ourselves for the hymns & chants. We had them round this evening to practice. Arthur began khan [warehouse] work today for Francis and gets up at 3.30 a.m. to go into town with the cart.

21 Saturday. Had supper with Francis at the vineyard. Bright moon & calm night. He has an all night bekshi [bekçi = guard] now so will be able to sleep all night.

Tried some new cakes from ‘The Girls Realm’ & they were very good.

The Umbali turned out 4½ okes (27 of grapes).

27 September. Last Sunday (22nd) five sick men were transferred from Paradise to the convalescent hospital at the convent. Five more have come during the week & out of them all some have been taken to Smyrna hospital. There are Indians (a Ghurka), an Algerian & three English men who don’t know french. A list has been drawn up in the English colony of Boudjah providing them with breakfast, lunch, tea & dinner. We have Wednesday’s evening meal. Doris goes & gives them their food. The six fingered doctor is in charge and doesn’t let anyone in. The men are very badly off for clothes. Francis sends grapes. A subscription is being collected for all the prisoners at Paradise, Mr Butt & Mr Beard are looking after it. There are about 800 down. There have been scant communiqués in the papers. We believe there is success in the St Quentin [?] Offensive in Macedonia: Bulgarian retreat. The papers are full of Austrian porte Papa has not been feeling well & is laid up with high fever.

29 Sunday. The Englishman with dysentery at the Convent, William Morgan, died this morning. He was buried at 6.30 in the Boudjah All Saints churchyard. I was very sad; he was only 31 and had a wife & child. It was a cloudy oppressive evening, during the night a storm broke. The next day everything was clean & damp. I took my work to the vineyard after lunch & stayed till 7.


1st Tuesday. I am feeling worried about Papa. The doctor has been four times but doesn’t know what it is. The fever is less but it is still there; and he looks so ill and dazed.

I began work at the Mc.Vs. [McVitties?] & have asked all my pupils for increases. The little French boy is also starting today. We had good news this weekend, Bulgaria is asking for peace and the Germans are retreating from Cambrai & Chemin des Dames.

On Saturday the post train to Panderma [Bandırma] was held up by a little corps of deserters with reinforcements in the mountains, & looted money, shoes & clothes from the train & passengers & told chief of police they wanted peace or will repeat proceeding.

2nd Wednesday. Arthur & I had tea with Francis at the vineyard. It is lovely weather. I am longing for some walks. I had to leave early in order to attend a meeting at the Partridges for making the clothes for the prisoners. Nothing could be decided the cloth has not been sent to us. All this is in the hands of a British committee in Smyrna. The subscription has exceeded £4000 & the cloth & cotton will be bought from the government factories at Daragatch. We met to find out those willing to sew. I took supper round to the prisoners at the convent. There were three, an Englishman, an Indian and an Algerian. I went in, & helped the sisters to give it to them, as the guard had disappeared for a little while. Poor fellows I wish the boat would come & carry them home again.

3rd Thursday. Papa’s temperature fell below normal. The doctor was going to send the blood to be examined by the German doctors at the British Seaman’s Hospital but he found him better today. We were anxious yesterday & the evening before when the fever kept high & Papa murmured a great deal in his sleep.

There is very good news this week. The Bulgarians asked for an armistice after a very ‘quick advance’ by AngloFrench Greeks, & the Entente has sent conditions of peace. Damascus has fallen into our hands & best news of all Hindenburg’s line has been pierced at St Quentin Cambrai and beyond Ypres.

4th Friday. Hocket meeting at the Carrer’s at 6. I don’t feel keen on hockey & didn’t intend going to the meeting as I don’t mean to be a member this year but Bertie persuaded me to enroll myself again & play if so inclined, & I went to the meeting to uphold our side. It was a nice meeting with plenty of goodwill. Augustus is captain & G. Vedova vice-captain, Gladys secretary.

5th Saturday. Papa is much better but not up yet. I went to the vineyard at 5 & from there Francis & I went to Paradise to see the Reeds. The burial of an English soldier had just taken place on the grounds of the college. We saw a great many people walking about & were directed into the right zone by the Turkish guards. The college was all lit up. It is nice to think they are all properly housed at last.

I posted a letter to Mrs Stolton [?] yesterday (4th) in french thanking them for kind messages & congratulations to Alfie.

6th Sunday. News in the papers of the Alliance’s proposal of armistice & accceptance of Wilson conditions of last year.

13th October. It seems that when the above news appeared in the papers all Smyrna nearly went mad from excitement & were up all Sunday night. The reply hasn’t come yet! So they are more subdued. The Turkish ministry (Talaat’s) fell and Tewfik Pasha unable to form a new one seems as though Talaat’s party is very strong. The Vali [Governor] has been offered post of Foreign Affairs. He left for Constantinople last night (12th). This is his second visit this month. On the first he had an interview with the Sultan & when he came back Carabiber Bey [Charles Karabiber: A local Greek appointed by the pro-Western Governor of Smyrna Rahmi Bey to be responsible for foreign community affairs as well as a secular representative of his community in the city] & C. Giraud left for Mytiline.

Prices of sugar, cloth & petroleum fell very rapidly last Tuesday but ran up again during the course of the week. The pessimists buy things, the optimists don’t.

Last week we got news that Damascus had fallen & on Friday (10th) that by landing at Alexandretta [İskenderun] we took Aleppo. The news from the West is excellent. We took Cambrai. The Germans offer to retreat from Belgium before discussing peace if Wilson will guarantee that the Entente will not attack them in their own territory.

The interned officers at Paradise are allowed a walk a week & they go out in batches of four accompanied by interpreters & have visited some English families here in Boudjah.

Papa was very weak for some days after he got up; he tried to go to Smyrna last Wednesday (9th) but it knocked him up & he stayed at home for the rest of the week. It was only on Friday that he felt himself & I went with him to Allioti’s garden in the morning. We sat a while under the trees. In the afternoon I went with him to Paradise to see - but he was out so we sat on their verandah for an hour. It was a lovely afternoon. An English soldier died in Karantina hospital & was buried on the campus while we were there. We went to the grave. The coffin was covered with the Union Jack & the Turkish guards fired a volley (3) over his grave.

Gladys - lent us Halma & - with Papa in the evening. On Wednesday -, Ethel & I went to Miss Farkoh for tea. There was a fine storm. The sea was gray.

19th Saturday. I spent the day at - with Louis - may stay there all winter. I went over - boat. Spent the morning marketing & playing with the baby. Francis came over for tea. We left at 7. The moon on the water was beautiful. It was a very calm hot evening. The proprietress of the hotel in Cordelio died of plague. There are several cases there. We sat at Loona [Luna = Funfair] Park till train time. We sat up late at home all discussing today’s good news.

The papers today speak as though Turkey has been obliged to give in unconditionally. That peace is a question of hours. The new evening papers turns round fiercely & barely on the Germans.

The Germans on the West retreated from Roubaix & Tourcoing & Lille.

The Vali returned from Constantinople last night with Gen. Townsend. There was a lunch party at the Whittalls. The General & adjutant with Capt. Munday from Paradise left this afternoon from Myteline.

20th Sunday. Francis and I went to Paradise & attended service in the chapel at 5. Mr Brett officiated & Mr Ashe preached. There were a number of men present but few officers we sang the first - of the National Anthem. I overheard an officer say they had done so three times already. The Turkish guards were all marched away while we were there. The prisoners are at liberty. But the men will certainly - regulations -, for instance they may only go - in company of twenty with a non-com. officer in charge. Two companies will go out daily. We went into - where we met - - (R.C. priest) who gave an account of - from Baghdad -. It was very dreadful. Out of 2400 who were taken at Kut-el-Amara barely 300 are left! They have had the hardest time of all.

We have put our carpets down & cleaned the house for the winter. Ethel fell & hurt her knee & has had it up because we suspect water there.

23 Wednesday. Walked to Paradise with Mamma & took seven sticks with me. At Paradise Arthur & Augustus took them off me for the men & I gave mine up too because I found I was the only girl who’d turned up for a game. So I watched, eleven men played against the club won 6-1. Arthur was the only English boy among our team. There was a concert on in town. Francis came down on the 4 to see Mr. McV. about the paper money but he got talking to two cripples & asked them up to tea at his rooms on Friday. It turned cold after sundown. Everyone is wondering what paper will be worth after the war. Francis wants to change some.

24 Thursday. I went to tidy Francis’s room after lunch & at 4 we went to Paradise to see Wanderers [local Bornova Levantine football team] v. soldiers football game. It was good. F. introduced the two men who are coming up on Friday. We’ve decided to have them at home & I asked two on Monday. The field was encircled with officers men & Indians & some civilians. We dropped at the Rouths on our way home. Then we met the train for a paper. The armistice is signed & the Vali has resigned. Great deal of surprise & conjectures.

I am wearing my knitted jacket & cap and find them both comfortable.

25 Friday. Francis went to Paradise on the 3 & brought up his two guests Wise & Still. Latter has one leg & former has one injured so both are on crutches. They were captured at Gaza 2½ years ago & have been to Nazareth, Damascus, Constantinople. They say the - respected their state somewhat. I met the train & we had a walk first. They are wonderfully cheerful & didn’t talk of their experiences only. One told me all about his home in Southampton. We sat out till 5 & came home to tea & then chatted all together till 8. It began to rain heavily, the trains were late. Francis & Arthur went back to Paradise with them with coats & umbrellas. They were very loath to leave. They were two very nice fellows indeed.

26 Saturday. Finished tidying Francis room. After lunch put an edging on a table-centre Ethel has made for Mamma. Francis & I went to see the Ashes. The McV.s were out. There is very contradictory news about the armistice. Bertie is beginning to be very busy.

27 Sunday. The Rev. _gram preached at our church on ‘I believe in the Communion of Saints’. His belief is that we can help & be helped by those who leave us, by prayer to help them on in the different ‘mansions’ until the soul is perfect, and we are all helped by them by their influence. It was a forcible sermon & he spoke in a way that you did not lose a word. He is a civil prisoner come to Smyrna from the interior.

The Partridges had officers to tea & asked us to go round at 6. Francis and I went to tea at the Perd’s. They are still at Aliotti’s. It was a showery day. We went at 4 & we left after 6. They walked down with us on their way to the Rouths who had officers too. The latter are being asked out a great deal. Bertie didn’t come up from town till late. He had to work today. We met 3 aviators & 2 officers taken at Kut, Gaza & Dardanelles. Danced a bit & some of them played table turning. The Stokes were there. They are spending weekend in Boudjah.

28th Monday. Everybody is wandering what the delegates are doing at Moudros. They passed through Smyrna first (Rechad Hikmet Bey & Raouf Bey) under-secretary for foreign affairs and official in the Navy.

It turned out a lovely afternoon after a very stormy night. The two men I asked from Paradise were coming today & Francis & I met the 4 train. Only the one from India came. We had a walk. He was very interesting telling us incidents of the Kut-el siege, the march, the enforced labour under the Germans at Batché [Bahçe] (Adana), of life in India. We had tea at 6 & he left on the 8.

29th Tuesday. Wet day. Francis was in town today & came home at tea-time. There was no electric light so we couldn’t read the French Revolution as we intended.

30th Wednesday. Francis & I went to a concert given by the Philharmonic society. There were 45 instruments. We heard Bethoven, Haydn & some moderns. Also a song by the choral society which was very good and a solo le Cor [?], both with orchestral accompaniment. It was an excellent concert. It began early & was over at 8.30. We had tea at Costi’s. The officers frequent High Life & consequently there was a crowd there so we left & went to Costi’s where there was more hope of being served. We went into Frank St. to buy an umbrella at a sale but they wanted £5½ for a silk one & I didn’t want that! We both wore dark blue, for the first time this year.

No German or Austrian communiqués are published in the papers any longer.

31st Thursday. Arthur had a warrant officer who acted as a referee at hockey to tea last Sunday & he brought a friend & he asked Arthur to take us to a Sing Song the soldiers had tonight. Francis & I hadn’t thought of going. It was a beautiful afternoon & when I’d finished lessons we had a lovely walk behind the Greek Church. Ethel went to Paradise by train, the doctor came to see her knee yesterday & found no water there so she may use it. Francis & I walked to Paradise with Ma. Arthur met us & told us it’s their last night here so we changed our minds & went too. It began at 6 & lasted till 8.30 & was splendid. There were solos, a duet, recitations, choruses, jokes & sketches and they all seemed so bright & enjoyed themselves. They borrowed clothes from the McVs etc. rigged themselves up as girls too. One recited from Kipling. The soldier at the piano did not know a note of music & played all from ear. They finished up with God save the King but we were on our way to the station; it sounded fine. I am so glad I went. Arthur’s friend met us at the college gates & took us to the station.

November 1918

The armistice was signed on Wednesday (30th Oct.) at 11 a.m. The returned delegates passed through Smyrna. On Friday (1st Nov.) a special train from Paradise at 6 a.m. took the military prisoners to the Point Pier where they embarked on the ferry boats sailing from Fochaea [Foça] where a hospital ship awaited them. The contingent from Ayia Triadha left too, making about a 1000 + 2 or 3 civilians who were on the pier left too, the Perkins, Mr Peacock & Ramsays.

1st Friday. Francis and I went to Smyrna in the evening to see if there was any excitement but everything was wonderfully quiet. We went to the Cinema & heard an Adinolfi quartet.

The news tonight is that 200 of the prisoners who left yesterday are returning. There was not enough room. Also there will not be a boat tomorrow. Doris & Althea came to say goodbye this morning, they expected to leave tomorrow. They brought me a pretty little brooch. When we came up on the 8 train the Partridge family were waiting on the platform, baggage & all & they were told by Augustus that there was no departure.

3rd Sunday. There was no choir this morning. Bertie Walker & will be the only ones left. Francis came to lunch. We began the ‘French Revolution’ on the terrace. We walked to the Caravan Bridge on the new road & came back by train (5). We heard an aeroplane by didn’t see it. The German wireless are down & the military are leaving. There are nasty things in the papers about selling off their swords. We called on the Rouths after tea. They had had two officers up, one a little queer from long confinement. It seems the Indians are displeased at being the only ones sent back. There are about 600 left. The school will open shortly.

4th Monday. Francis & I went to the McVittie’s to tea. Austria is asking for an armistice. The local papers are full of attacks on the on the government (now!). The mines are being destroyed in the bay by the British. The E.T. [Electro Telegraph?] cable has been taken over too & the clerk in Smyrna was sent f_.

5th Tuesday. Some officers & men have arrived today. Arthur met one in the train.

6th Wednesday. At 1.45 a British monitor sailed into the port after a sweep in the centre, when people caught a sight of the white Ensign. Arthur & Papa were on the quay in the midst of a dense crowd & they said it was fine. The people were frantically excited and caught the captain up when he stepped on shore and cheered the rest of the officers. The town was bedecked with flags mostly Greek & they were waved around by individuals. The excitement rushed into Boudjah with the afternoon & evening trains. All the villagers sported little Greek flags and walked about the streets all night singing, cheering & shouting ‘Liberty’. The church bells rang at intervals and there was service in the churches and a procession with the pictures of the saints at nearly midnight. We didn’t go out after supper. I saw the crowd at the station before & the Greek flags hanging out of private houses. It is a wonder the Turks are so quiet with all this triumph flaunted in their faces.

The monitor M.25 [image] is commanded by Capt. Dixon who with his aides have taken up his headquarters at the British consulate. The tin plates over G.R. have at last been removed. John Rees a naval officer is also here.

7th Thursday. In the local papers there is a letter of thanks from Capt. Dixon to the populace, thanking for the welcome but asks that there should be no demonstrations as it is not peace but armistice. We knew when these flags were being got ready that it wouldn’t do to exhibit them freely. Last night 3 other boats came in, mine sweepers.

Francis took Ethel & me to Smyrna to see what there was to be seen. We went in on the 3 and walked along to the port where we saw the monitor. It was drawn up close to the Customs House & we walked slowly by & saw it well. On our way back we met Johnnie Rees & Francis asked him if he had news of his people but he hadn’t. Bertie told us the mine sweepers were further up & we went to see them, there were crowds of people about, but quiet. The boats sported the French flag, the smallest looked dirty as though it had done plenty of work. Then we went & had tea at High Life & saw our officers going in & out of the consulate. We finished up with the Cinema, a very good film& came up on the last.

9th Saturday. Maritza at Miss Griffiths has diphtheria after the Spanish Grip [flu] so I couln’t go in but saw Miss G. in the garden. There are many cases of dying about & it is worse now, turning to pneumonia. Some of the men coming down from the campus are dying of it.

I spent the afternoon in the Aliotti garden [then the public park of Buca] with the Perdikithis. We cut cyclamen & lovely autumn leaves & heather. Germany is asking for armistice. Antwerp has been taken. The ‘Ariadne’ has gone up to Constantinople. The Kaiser is abdicating in favour of his grandson.

The news the monitor receives is posted up & appears in the papers.

10th Sunday. Spent the morning in the Aliotti garden with Gladys and the Perds. We are having perfect weather. Arthur asked Capt. Ward up to tea. He met him in the train coming down from some camp. They keep coming every day. But he missed the train so F. & I went out with the Rouths party & met Arthur & his guest on our way home. He was a very interesting man & gave us accounts of camp life at Usgard. He had a fruit farm in Ontario before the war & Francis & he had a ‘shop’ conversation. He is coming to visit the vineyard on Tuesday to compare agricultural notes. He left on the 7. Oliver & Arthur came with us to the Rouths who had eight officers up. They had games & singing. We asked Mr Garnett also on Tuesday.

The news tonight is that Germany has signed the armistice.

11th Monday. Francis & I had a walk to Kosayaki. It was lovely there. The grass is so green & is littered with golden leaves. Cyclamen & pink tipped daisies are plentiful. I also gathered some maidenhair fern. The view of the plain with the golden brown vineyards glowing in the afternoon sun was superb. There were a good number of villagers about, digging in the vineyards and gathering olives. I suppose many of them are men who have been in hiding & now that the Turks are beginning to disband they are free. The countryside feels very safe. Francis took a day off because he hurt his hands pruning and they have festered. We poultice them every evening but one hand is taking long to heal. We are reading the ‘French Revolution’ together. Mamma & Ethel went with Ethel & the babies.

12th Tuesday. We thought of making a sponge cake today. It is ages since we’ve had that kind. Though peace is so near prices are keeping up. A sharp north wind has sprung up.

Capt. Ward & Mr Garnett - came up on the 3. They both stay at the College. We went straight to the vineyard where Francis showed former local methods of pruning etc. We are 6 weeks earlier. Capt. W. has a vineyard also & he told us many interesting things about the selling etc. Of course it is all much the same in the end. We then walked quickly to the race-course to get warm & showed them the snapped railings from the bomb projectiles. Mr Garnett was an aviator lately but we didn’t know when we were telling him about the raid. Papa was in time for tea & then we chatted till 7 when they left. Capt. W. told us 25 officers attempted an escape from Usgard (Angora) [Ankara] of whom the news that 8 have arrived at their destination has just come. He was there when they left & said that those eight were the kind who would have faced anything to get away. They travelled through unknown country to the Adana sea-coast. The others were caught. Mr G. told us nothing was done to those who were brought to Constantinople where he was interned. He has only been a prisoner three months. His engine was shot through in Palestine. He was very fond of animals & left a little terrier behind which he is very anxious to recover. Fifty officers with their men about 100 of them spent nearly £50,000 in one year! They were charged 200 prs for sultana raisins per oke. Capt W. also told us of some amuzing stories of the British soldiers who were making the railway near Angora, under the Turks. They call it the British railway now. There is a mail taken out for the monitor in port and British civilians will be allowed to send letters as well as the military. Francis wrote to his people (14). There has only been one out I understand, as yet. He also wrote a letter to the ‘Levant’ protesting against the shameful habit of allowing cattle, sheep & goats to feed in the vineyards.

The weather has turned raw. More prisoners keep coming down. Most of the officers have gone to hotels in Smyrna. The Ashes have the soldiers up very often. Arthur had one up on Thursday afternoon to tea. Gladys has got up a game of hockey on Friday of officers and girls.

14th Thursday. Francis & I had a walk after lunch. I have a slight cold and feel shivery. It came on to rain. After tea we were asked round to the Warrens & met three officers Mills, Miller & Reed. The two former were Indian Army Sergeants risen to officers, last, volunteer from Baghdad. Only surviving officer from convoy of boats - the Tigris with relief. He had typhus in Aleppo. Unconcious 10 days, nourished with brandy injections in the arm. Turkish doctor, European education saved his life.

Deluge of rain at 9. Bertie walked from Paradise, as trains are unpunctual, drenched & went straight to bed.

15th Friday. Lili sent me word at 1.30 that the hockey game with the officers was on. We (eight) went on the 2.10. Met Walsh (lieut. F.C.) who informed us the game was off. Gladys didn’t come up on the 1 & we didn’t know. But we had a game with some who were at Paradise & wished to play and enjoyed ourselves. Officers Balten & McConneville gave us tea in the College dining room. We were about 10 only but our hosts were charming. We saw English butter, golden syrup and jam again. We walked back to Boudjah & Mr McC. (Indian Army) accompanied us & waited at home for his train back to Paradise. Very refined & attractive man & showed us photos of a pretty young wife & little boy. Mary Ashe & Oliver & Ethel & I were the only English in the tea party but the others, Renee, Nellie, Graziella enjoyed it too. The other players had other engagements.

Francis didn’t come round & the Rouths had officers round & asked us in but I went late, saw Gladys a bit. Garnett was there & one other. Former showed me the photos of his little terrier Jimmy. He will probably get hold of it again because the ship will go to Alexandria first. It is lovely to see how fond these men are animals. They tell us they had all the mongrels of the place at Afion [Afyon] but they chloroform poisoned them off before they left. Some officers have brought species of dogs down from the different camps.

16th Saturday. Francis & I went to town this afternoon to do a little shopping. My ring is very loose & comes off when my hand is cold & we went to get a guard ring but the man wasn’t there. I am going to put it away till I get one. Then we went to get my watch regulated. It loses about 8 hr a month. I bought a vase for Marika’s birthday. Francis had his hand looked at at Icards & got some ointment. Then we had cakes at the tiny shop nea-Costero [?]; I don’t care to go to High Life now that we can have such delicious tea at home (Agustus gave Mamma a tin-ful & so did Rosalind & the officers have been very generous with their things), they charge such a lot. We saw a film at the Cinema which seemed a German fabrication to show up the British in India in a bad light. We had to run for our train in dark, wet streets & then waited in the train for nearly half an hour. They are very late and slow. Bertie was at the Partridges tonight and brought me a copy of music Onward Christian Soldiers for tomorrow’s service.

17th Sunday. Francis came round before church & we practised the psalms & hymns. Bertie had to go town but he came upon the 11. We three, the Partidges & three officers formed the choir. One of the officers (Mills) is going to be a clergyman and he directed the singing before church began. There were a number of soldiers in church & all the congregation sang. They were not very numerous however. Mr Ashe gave a very appropriate sermon and a message that there was only one service finer than a soldier’s & that was God’s service. We had to fight the Good fight; the church’s One foundation & how thankful we all our God. It was a thanksgiving service and a farewell one. They are all leaving tomorrow. Gladys asked us to go round to them this evening. Francis had lunch with us & we had a walk to the vineyard & to the McVitties to ask a morning off because I want to go and see our people off tomorrow. Arthur had a soldier up to tea, he reminded him a great deal of Gall [?]. Mr Forrest came to say goodbye. Christine Ferguson & her children & Grace Ford & her babies, the Perrins & their grandchildren are going; there are about 100 civilians off. F. and I went to the Rouths. They had four officers up, the ones we knew. It was a cold night & we all sat round the fire. Gladys, Francis and I arranged to go down tomorrow on the 7, have breakfast in town & then see the people off but Augustus told us the boat wouldn’t be leaving till 11 so we decided to go at 8. Oliver was at home this afternoon to say goodbye.

8th Monday. The 8.10 didn’t leave till nearly 9.20 when we arrived at the pier all were on board and a big crowd to see them off. We saw & waved to the Partridges and other friends. The special train that brought the prisoners down from Paradise was on the pier & we sat in an empty carriage for some time & watched the embarkation of the men. McConneville & Mills were checking them & reading out the absentees. The two boats that carried them off were Cordelio ferry boats. They left at 10 with ringing cheers, singing Auld Lang Syne. They all looked so happy. Commander Dixon was on the pier. They will be taken on board hospital ship Empire at Phocaea & go to Alexandria. After quarantine to Marseilles. It will be a cold journey, the weather has broken up. Then Ethel, Gladys, Francis and I walked into town & had cakes. G. left us. We walked about Frank St. & the quay & - home on the l. I got to Boudjah ¾ of an hr late. Francis had a headache with being in town. It has turned very warm.

19th Tuesday. Marika came to see us. They are leaving Boudjah this week. Both Ethel & Francis have colds. Germany has surrendered her fleet to England.

20th Wednesday. It poured all night in torrents. I got up early to give Arthur & Francis some breakfast. They went to town on the 7 in all the rain. There was a notice in the local papers yesterday that sick or infirm German or Austrian subjects should apply to Com. Dixon by 2 pm today, for exemption Francis wanted to go down with Mr Caligari about it. At 7.30 there was an awful thunder & rain storm. I went to my lessons at 9 & when I left at 11 I got caught in another burst of lightening, thunder & sheets of rain. I couldn’t get to the upper village for a lesson because the street was a turbulent stream nor to the Perdikithis to see Marika. Francis walked up from town & got drenched, went to -, and came in the evening. I went to the Perdikithis to tea. I filled the vase with roses for Marika’s birthday. The streets are clean & the rain stopped all afternoon. Our house leaked in several places.

21th Thursday. Ethel R. & and Gladys are both in bed with dingy and our Ethel with a cold on the chest. No train came at 1! The line is damaged at Trianda and there is no coal in Smyrna. The miners who were forced to work at 10 prs a day left as soon as they were free. A train came up at 6.30 but there will be none tomorrow. No trains! No electric light! No gas in town! What a crumbling of a rotten foundation.

Rosalind sent us two packets of soup mixture, baking powder & beef extract from the prisoner’s goods.

22nd Friday. Francis is feeling no better & has spent the last two days with us. Ethel spent two days in bed. It has turned cold again but the rain keeps on. I have had the blouses Louis gave me arranged & they are very cosy. One has fur round the throat & cuffs. I am making Mamma a shawl with my old rose wool and a toilet cover for myself. We have the stove going in the sitting room and a very cosy.

As there are no trains today, Papa did not go to Smyrna. Arthur & Bertie walked & Arthur walked home at 4.30. Bertie didn’t turn up but we didn’t expect him. Francis received an answer to his first enquiry with news of our engagement (March) but Gladys lost another that came a few days ago of a later date & giving particulars of the vineyard & furniture. They are all well which is the great thing.

December Sunday 1st

The trains are running again regularly since yesterday. During the week there was an automatic train to Smyrna at 8.10 and an evening one up 6.30. The streets in town are awfully dark, slippery and unsafe. Every Greek is armed and discontented. We can’t understand why developments here are so slow. The port is not open, the railway is still in Turkish hands, prices of everything are very high, trade is at a stand-still. A good many Austrian subjects have been exempted for sickness, infirmity, of Greek origin who will turn Hellen, Armenians & Jews under Austrian protection who will belong to their respective nations. The order is stricter for the Germans but the fulfilment is postponed owing to lack of transport. Francis & I were at the Barff’s on Thursday and Mr Ashe read us out a plea for the deportation not to be left to the mercy of the Turk which is to be signed by members of the British, French, Italian & Greek colonies & to be sent to Com. Dixon.

Everybody is wondering what is going to become of this place; whether there is a reason that the clauses of the armistice are not carried out at once; what value paper money will have, why letters many not come in nor go out. It is a month since the armistice was signed & we are no further. But we are wrong to think all this and should be just thankful that hostilities have ceased.

We have had a week of rain. It has been steady & heavy and has done a good deal of damage. Arthur & I went to the Boscovitch garden last Sunday & saw the bed of the stream through the aqueducts a vast space of beautiful shingle & sand. A big tree was lying in the stream in the valley with its roots. It has knocked part of Francis’s vineyard wall & Mr Barff showed us the ravages in his boundary wall. Mr B. has had dingy too. A great many of the villagers have pneumonia & other complications. Francis was in bed on Sunday, Monday & Tuesday with a little fever & a cold we presume from the pier & the storm last Wednesday. The Rouths have had dingy too.

Sunday 15th December. We have had just a week of fine weather & Francis was able to get on with his pruning. The trains have been running pretty regularly again but have been curtailed to four a day. Last Saturday F. and I went to town on the 9 & did some shopping. It was a cold fine morning. He sent off a letter to his mother through Com. Dixon’s secretary at 12. We met Augustus, William & Arthur at the latter’s office and walked back to Boudjah in an hour & a half along the milkmen’s road [via İkiçeşmelik?]. I enjoyed the walk.

I have decided to embroider fancy aprons for my friends this Xmas.

The Routh babies were christened last Sunday. I decorated the font with chrysanthemums, roses and similar which Mrs Barff kindly gave me. F. & I went to the Rouths to tea. Marika was there & we spent a cosy evening reading the Zeebrugge raid in an English magazine.

I have been out twice this week with Ethel once with the babies. Haven’t seen much of Gladys lately. I see Louisa now & again. We are a very small community.

On Thursday (12th) Francis received a small note from Charlie from Constant enclosing two snaps of himself and a very fine photo in a newspaper cutting of Johnnie with an account of his career. Also news that Alfie & all are well & that Charlie is trying to come over.

Ethel had 7 friends to tea on her birthday (Friday). F. & I gave her 6 handkerchiefs & a hair ribbon. She is fifteen.

The weather changed to torrents on Saturday & Francis went to town to see Mr W. Turrell who saw Charlie. The ships came in! and I wasn’t there to see! There were a British flagship (Australian), 2 mine-sweepers, an Italian torpedo [torpedo-boat], French cruisers, M19 which has been in before, & the Empire. The Greeks are dreadfully disappointed. They have been expecting the Greek fleet daily. If it had not been such an awfully wet day I would have gone in the afternoon to see them. Francis came in at 1 with the news. At last!

Mr Ashe takes the services in Smyrna on Sunday mornings now that Mr Brett has left & has one in Boudjah in the afternoon.

Mr Dick de Jongh’s funeral took place this afternoon (15th) Sunday.

16th Monday. Francis, Ethel & I went to Smyrna on the 1.40 to see the ships. It was lovely to have them in once more & the ‘Brisbane’ looked fine. Behind her was a big french cruisers & in the middle of the bay the ‘Empire’ to take away more Indians. We also saw Italian torpedo boat in port (worked by petrol & very neat) then a British mine-sweeper. What was awfully nice too was to see that part of the quay very busy loading the Dutch merchant ship ‘Achilles’ which has been in port through the war, with figs & sultanas. There were a good many officers & - about.

Then we went about to do some shopping, we all had some things to get for Christmas & then rushed for our train 4.45.

Francis got a very nice boyish letter from Charlie from Salonica earlier dated than the other. He doesn’t want to go back to office life. The vice consul from Alexandria came over in the Empire to prevent people who have homes here from leaving. It seems Alexandria is full of civilians who cannot get away because all shipping is taken over for military purposes & all who left here will get to England next spring!

On the 19th Francis & I took Ethel to town to finish her shopping. There is a discount on articles of dress & luxury. We bought cakes to bring up for our tea in Boudjah but had them at Perds who told us there was no 4.45. We had a pleasant evening there & came up on the 7.

From ‘The Daily Mail’ Nov 12 1918
‘In this day of rejoicing there will be one thought present in every heart and home - the thought of the dead who won for us this victory by their sacrifice, and now lie “ark to the triumph which they died to gain”. Only the eloquence of a Pericles could do justice to their fame and make some payment of the immense debt which humanity owes them - they who “when the shock of battle came chose rather to suffer to the utmost than to win life by weakness, and giving their lives to their country received each for his own memory praise that will never die”. The bravest and best are under the soil of France. The redeemed land holds it redeerness. The spring has gone out of our year with the loss of that “swift and joyful generation” which welcome the call and obeyed.
Proudly they gathered, rank on rank to war,
As who had heard God’s message from afar;
All they had hoped for, all they had they gave
To save Mankind _ themselves they scorned to save.’

26 December. We have spent a Happy Christmas, only we were disappointed that Bertie couldn’t come home till Christmas Day in the evening. On Christmas Eve Ethel gave us a treat with her doll’s Xmas tree which she brought into the sitting room after supper & we all put our presents for each other round it and she distributed them. Mamma & Papa both enjoyed the bit of fun more than all & Ma got a nice number of things including a huge tea-pot from Francis which highly pleased Arthur. He gave the latter two boxes of raisins. Ethel wanted her present in her stocking! Francis got her a nice woolen pair & Mamma pale grey ones & me - woolen ones and a hair brush all which we chose together. The cap I got for him doesn’t fit. I finished the socks in time.

Mr Ashe held Christmas Eve service in Bournabat & Christmas Day in Smyrna. I wanted to go very much but no trains were running at all. Arthur went. Francis & I went to the Barffs and Montgomerys & Mrs Iskender to wish them. Of course Francis came to lunch. We had wild boar & Mamma made a plum pudding after all. Arthur took my presents (aprons) to the Perdikithis for me. He was home at 1.45. We had service in our church at 3 p.m. & a good congregation. I didn’t decorate the church because Mr Ashe had sent a notice saying no services were to be held in Boudjah except at 8 a.m. & then that was put off. The organist wasn’t there but Mrs Langdon played ‘While shepherds!’. Mr Ashe gave a nice sermon that peace must be accompanied with true good-will. Francis & I had tea at the Rouths, Miss Farkoah was there, she & Gladys made Ethel some delicious toffee. Bertie & Arthur had some sent them by the Perdikithis & I made some of a different sort on Christmas Eve so we tasted some sweets which were awfully nice. I had a very happy Christmas.

Sunday 29 December. Francis & I had an unhappy walk yesterday afternoon. I felt things were not quite right since Christmas & my spirit was troubled without knowing why. I think all is over now. Sunday 8 a.m. Communion Service. Mr Ashe wants the service to be Christmassy and I went & decorated the church yesterday morning with ivy, periwinkle, berries & pepper tree. We also had a service at 11 a.m.

Francis & I had a walk along the carriage road after lunch and then went to tea at the Montgomery’s. We went about church meeting business at the Blacklers, Ashes & Rouths. Today was a very different one to yesterday.

30. It rained all Monday morning. Mamma is in bed with a headache. I took Louise’s baby some woolen gloves I made. Francis & I had an evening walk along a dry road above the Pines. Yesterday & today have been happy days. I felt surprised and hurt a little while on Saturday when I thought Francis had suspected I was selfish & passive when others spoke of our indefinite future.

31st Tuesday. Francis and I have been carefully noticing any weather signs these three days because the moon is changing and we are hoping for north. This morning was bright and cloudless but mild so we went to Smyrna. Francis tried to see Mr Dixon but couldn’t. I called on the Rueggs. Then we went to change some gloves & a cap and watched a mine-sweeper go out. We asked to visit the monitor & were shown round. Everything is beautifully bright and clean. A Newfoundland seaman was surprised we’d been there during the war; he said he wouldn’t stay in this place for 5 quid a day! A young telegraph boy offered to take us up to the Mt Pagus installation.

Trains are running at midday and at night 9.15. We saw the Greek boat ‘Leon’. She came in on Xmas Eve. It is a pity there is no place for our soldiers to go to on shore. The Sailor’s Rest is in the hands of incompetent and undesirable folk.

The McVitties gave a very jolly Christmas Party with a tree. Francis, Ethel & I went at 3.30. Two officers from the ‘Brisbane’ were there a little while. They walked up & back with a bull-dog.

We did not see the new year in. Papa went to bed early as usual but the rest of us & Francis sat up talking till after the electric light went out.

Segment of the diary kept during WWI period by Francis Smithers (son of Francis) Holton of Smyrna