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WW1 Diary – June 24, 1916

Twenty-sixth 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. Her third child, a son, was born there 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 posted.

June 24, 1916

Midsummer

The weather is gloomy, but it isn’t raining. We live quietly at home. We gave our staff a holiday to go to the events at the “Blue Hill”. We saw lots of people from Valmiera passing by on their way, everyone with excited faces, even though the times are still sorrowful. Battles are continuing along the entire front, all of them are united…

Yesterday on Midsummer’s Eve we awaited our visitors from Kroņi, grandmother had promised – but they did not come. It is nice, that everything is clean and ready for visitors. We have everything we may need, my dears aren’t wanting for anything. Last year we were at Jumprava estate, now at the Anna estate. God knows where we’ll be in other years?

Still, God still gives us mercy. Midsummer is quiet. The birds are quiet, the forests too, the voices of the revellers also going quiet. As it was in the past, when people went singing Ligo songs. The children of Jānis [NB: God of Midsummer and youth] went singing, carrying the picked Jānis’ greens, singing Ligo in the hills, in the valleys, until the pink dawn blooms in the east. The heart swells thinking about the happy moments. Now Vidzeme still lives in peace, the red clover, the sagebrush, blooming in the fields, clearings, but still one has the horrible feeling that is raised by the sound of the cannons, which head this way from the groaning Daugava. I just hope that there will no longer be a need to take up the walking stick…

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