The First World War Diary
of Stanley Hallett of Weymouth
Stanley Hallett of Weymouth was an 18-year-old student at Kings College in Windsor when the First World War broke out in 1914.
Like every other able-bodied student at his school, he enlisted for service overseas.
The son of Weymouth’s Dr. E. O. Hallett was a gunner in the First World War but also served in the Second World War where he attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
He kept a diary for at least parts of 1917 and 1918 – and that small leather-bound notebook has come down to his grandson Andrew Elliot of Weymouth.
Elliot believes there may have been more diaries but this little Boots Pocket Diary is all he has.
The Courier’s Karla Kelly has been talking to Elliot about how he came to have his grandfather’s diary and what it means to him.
That story will be published in an up-coming edition of the Digby County Courier. For now there is a short introductory story online besides this, which includes a video of Elliot introducing the diary and a photo gallery from the project.
Elliot has also agreed to have Hallett’s terse and mundane, yet informative and telling, diary entries made public via a series of tweets from a special account set up in honour of Stanley Hallett.
To see the tweets on Twitter, follow @VimyDiary1917 or scroll down on this page. We are aslo working on a Storified collection of the tweets with additional information, clarification and corrections added, to be published once the whole diary has been tweeted.
A glossary of abbreviations and jargon
Gnr RS Hallett #18 – Gunner Reginald Stanley Hallet, Regimental Number 18.
Served in the 1st CDA – 1st Canadian Divisional Artillery
12th Brigade, CFA – Canadian Field Artillery
8th Btry – battery
O.P. – observation post
Registering – firing shells on a location before action to determine settings necessary to hit that location when needed
O.C. officer in command
WD – war diary – official record of a particular unit
Intrained or entrained – got on or in a train
Billet – place to sleep
Bivouac – temporary overnight shelter when between billets
Picket – watch around camp while others rest