WW1 Diary – June 24, 1915

When visiting a great-aunt of mine (my maternal grandfather’s sister) in Latvia, she shared with me a real family treasure – the wartime diary of her aunt, written during the First World War. I photographed all of the pages, and am now slowly transcribing and then translating the content. It provides a fascinating view into civilian life in Latvia, almost right on the front lines of the war. I’m going to share these entries with you.

First, some background – the writer’s name is Alise Tešs, maiden name Francis. She was my great-grandfather Arvīds’ older sister. By the start of this diary, she was married and had two young children (and soon, a third on the way). The diary starts in 1915, when the family had moved to Lieljumprava, right on the Daugava river, from their earlier home in the Limbaži area, about 120km away. Only a few months after the young family moved to Lieljumprava, the First World War came to Latvia and threw their world into chaos.

This is their story. I will be posting the entries on the same days as they were written 97 years ago. So without further ado…

June 24, 1915

Midsummer’s day. Earlier and now! Everything is so quiet – there is nature, there are people. No Ligo songs, no crowns of flowers. Earlier everyone was dancing, now the men are somber. We are far from our relatives and friends, now only our little group. My thoughts go to our homeland and my heart longs for it!

18 comments on this post.
  1. WW1 Diary – June 27, 1915 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    [...] WW1 Diary – June 27, 1915 Second installment from the diary of my great-grandfather’s sister Alise, written during the First World War, just a few miles from the front lines of the Eastern Front. For the background, see here. [...]

  2. WW1 Diary – July 7, 1915 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    [...] WW1 Diary – July 7, 1915 Third installment from the diary of my great-grandfather’s sister Alise, written during the First World War, just a few miles from the front lines of the Eastern Front. For the background, see here. [...]

  3. WW1 Diary – July 8, 1915 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    [...] WW1 Diary – July 8, 1915 Fourth installment from the diary of my great-grandfather’s sister Alise, written during the First World War, just a few miles from the front lines of the Eastern Front. For the background, see here. [...]

  4. WW1 Diary – July 27, 1915 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    [...] WW1 Diary – July 27, 1915 Fifth installment from the diary of my great-grandfather’s sister Alise, written during the First World War, just a few miles from the front lines of the Eastern Front. For the background, see here. [...]

  5. WW1 Diary – August 25, 1915 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    [...] WW1 Diary – August 25, 1915 Seventh installment from the diary of my great-grandfather’s sister Alise, written during the First World War. When the diary starts, she is living just a few miles from the front lines of the Eastern Front, and is then forced to flee with her husband and two young daughters to her family’s house near Limbaži as the war moves even closer. For the background, see here. [...]

  6. WW1 Diary – September 20, 1915 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    [...] WW1 Diary – September 20, 1915 Eighth installment from the diary of my great-grandfather’s sister Alise, written during the First World War. When the diary starts, she is living just a few miles from the front lines of the Eastern Front, and is then forced to flee with her husband and two young daughters to her family’s house near Limbaži as the war moves even closer. For the background, see here. [...]

  7. WW1 Diary – September 22, 1915 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    [...] WW1 Diary – September 22, 1915 Ninth installment from the diary of my great-grandfather’s sister Alise, written during the First World War. When the diary starts, she is living just a few miles from the front lines of the Eastern Front, and is then forced to flee with her husband and two young daughters to her family’s house near Limbaži as the war moves even closer. For the background, see here. [...]

  8. WW1 Diary – October 10, 1915 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    [...] WW1 Diary – October 10, 1915 Eleventh installment from the diary of my great-grandfather’s sister Alise, written during the First World War. When the diary starts, she is living just a few miles from the front lines of the Eastern Front, and is then forced to flee with her husband and two young daughters to her family’s house near Limbaži as the war moves even closer. For the background, see here. [...]

  9. WW1 Diary – January 6, 1916 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    [...] WW1 Diary – January 6, 1916 Thirteenth installment from the diary of my great-grandfather’s sister Alise, written during the First World War. When the diary starts, she is living just a few miles from the front lines of the Eastern Front, and is then forced to flee with her husband and two young daughters to her family’s house near Limbaži as the war moves even closer. For the background, see here. [...]

  10. WW1 Diary – April 1, 1916 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    [...] It was here that her third child, a son, was born in February 1916. For more background, see here, and click on the tag “diary entries” to see all of the entries that I have [...]

  11. WW1 Diary – June 24, 1916 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    [...] in February 1916. The family has now relocated to a home near Valmiera. For more background, see here, and click on the tag “diary entries” to see all of the entries that I have [...]

  12. WW1 Diary – June 26, 1916 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    [...] in February 1916. The family has now relocated to a home near Valmiera. For more background, see here, and click on the tag “diary entries” to see all of the entries that I have [...]

  13. WW1 Diary – November 20, 1916 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    […] in February 1916. The family has now relocated to a home near Valmiera. For more background, see here, and click on the tag “diary entries” to see all of the entries that I have […]

  14. WW1 Diary – November 25, 1916 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    […] in February 1916. The family has now relocated to a home near Valmiera. For more background, see here, and click on the tag “diary entries” to see all of the entries that I have […]

  15. WW1 Diary – November 30, 1916 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    […] in February 1916. The family has now relocated to a home near Valmiera. For more background, see here, and click on the tag “diary entries” to see all of the entries that I have […]

  16. WW1 Diary – Sometime After January 7, 1917 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    […] in February 1916. The family has now relocated to a home near Valmiera. For more background, see here, and click on the tag “diary entries” to see all of the entries that I have […]

  17. WW1 Diary – March 14, 1917 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    […] in February 1916. The family has now relocated to a home near Valmiera. For more background, see here, and click on the tag “diary entries” to see all of the entries that I have […]

  18. WW1 Diary – April 8, 1917 « Discovering Latvian Roots:

    […] to a home near Valmiera, and the Russian Revolution is in full swing. For more background, see here, and click on the tag “diary entries” to see all of the entries that I have […]

Leave a comment






six − = zero