Home Fires Burning: The Great War Diaries of Georgina Lee

Overview

Georgina Lydia Lee (1869–1965) moved in high society and, together with her husband Charles, had many contacts with members of the Establishment. In October 1913, at the age of 44, Georgina gave birth to her only child, Harry. Georgina was closely involved with the domestic war. She describes the food shortages that took hold as Britain was blockaded and the terror and carnage caused by the Zepplin air raids that assailed London. Letters from the six serving members of her family alerted her to the despair at the...

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Home Fires Burning: The Great War Diaries of Georgina Lee

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Overview

Georgina Lydia Lee (1869–1965) moved in high society and, together with her husband Charles, had many contacts with members of the Establishment. In October 1913, at the age of 44, Georgina gave birth to her only child, Harry. Georgina was closely involved with the domestic war. She describes the food shortages that took hold as Britain was blockaded and the terror and carnage caused by the Zepplin air raids that assailed London. Letters from the six serving members of her family alerted her to the despair at the size of the Regular Army in 1914, the reality of the shell shortage scandal in 1915, and the shortcomings of Sir Ian Hamilton in the Gallipoli campaign. By late 1916 Georgina shared her countrymen’s anti-German feeling, as the scale of the Somme casualties became known. She writes of public figures, such as Sir Edward Grey, Asquith, Churchill, and Lloyd George and the events that shook British society in the midst of war. Her diaries offer a fascinating insight into how Britain coped with the pressures and crises of World War I on the Home Front.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780750943864
  • Publisher: History Press Limited, The
  • Publication date: 12/30/2006
  • Series: The Great War Diaries of Georgina Lee
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.23 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Gavin Roynon is the author of Massacre of the Innocents.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Hew Strachan ix

Acknowledgements xii

Contemporary Map of Kensington and Chelsea xiv

Not so Remote from the Conflict - Editor's Note xvi

Map: German Air Raids over London, 1914-18 xx

Family Trees of the Davis and Lee Families xxii

Book I July 30 - August 29, 1914 1

Dread in all our hearts

Stock Exchange closed

Belgium's appeal to the King

'we are in for it at last'

weeping women at Paddington

Army and Navy Stores under siege

hunting down German spies

no standing room in St Paul's

sewing bed-jackets and pyjamas for the wounded

why Churchill raved like a lunatic

desperate need for recruits

vive le g?n?ral French!

German goods disappear from shops

no toys at Hamley's

a walk on Wimbledon Common

Asquith backs Kitchener's appeal

'mutiny' of Irish Guards

destruction of Louvain.

Book II August 30 - October 7, 1914 27

Paris prepares for siege

heroism of Captain Grenfell

Welsh distrust of 'fighting for the English'

telegram from Viceroy of India

'send a copy to the Kaiser!'

recruitment meeting in the 'worst' county

Dolgelly's blank record

Smuts brings South Africa into the War

Allied victory on the Marne

Rheims Cathedral

an act of vengeance?

lingering death of Georgina's father-in-law

Aboukir, Hogue and Cress torpedoed

the Mayor of Brussels arrested

a widow at eighteen.

Book III October 9 - December 10, 1914 45

Fall of Antwerp

Dora and the Lights of London

Captain Williams and HMS Hawke

fire at Glaslyn

a narrow squeak for Grandpa

an extraordinary sight at Aldershot

the German POW camp at Frimley

an unpopular resignation at the Ritz

Prince Louis of Battenberg steps down

Turkey declares war

special wedding licence needed

Charles joins the Veterans Corps

fall of Tsingtao

why Captain M?ller of the Emden was given back his sword

death of Georgina's father at Glaslyn

two Kings meet at Ypres.

Book IV December 13, 1914 - March 3, 1915 69

Remember Scarborough!

the last pheasant-shoot at Gelligemlyn

Guy Lee's Christmas Eve letter

the truth about the Christmas Truce

why the Germans played God Save the King

Charles Romer-Williams takes the Beagles to Belgium

American disapproval of the blockade

Mrs Paget's dinner party

the Saxons' 'truce' with the Buffs

the truth about the Retreat from Mons

farewell to young Eugene Crombie

Queen's Hall packed for Hilaire Belloc

Uncle Hugh Lee's wedding

engineering workers on strike.

Book V March 4 - May 30, 1915 91

Food parcels to POWs hi-jacked

lies about England

ammunition in short supply

Lloyd George's Factory Bill

Kitchener's appeal to the workers

'spend the shells and spare the soldiers'

the King gives up alcohol

German officers escape

how a Zeppelin helped recruitment

Georgina joins the Chelsea Branch of the Belgian Relief Committee

wounded Tommies at the London Hospital

'I've had enough of Royal Visits'

gas respirator crisis

sinking of the Lusitania

anti-German riots

Fisher and Churchill resign

a sad visit to Rustington

Book VI June 2 - September 27, 1915 115

Lloyd George's plain speaking

'our guns are silent'

the first airman to 'bag' a Zeppelin

Guy Lee confirms the shell shortage

'everything England does is wrong!'

Sir John French and the French actress

300,000 Welsh miners on strike

Mrs Pankhurst leads a women's march on Bastille Day

emotional departures from Victoria station

'these partings are so awful'

socks knitted by crippled Belgian soldiers

'blackest week of the war so far'

reaction to 'peace proposals'

casualty lists from Gallipoli

Zeppelins over Chelsea

recruiting figures fall.

Book VII September 29, 1915 - February 12, 1916 134

Food prices escalate

the fate of Colin Dunsmure

change of command in the Dardanelles

Edith Cavell's courage

King George V's riding accident

Joffre at Downing Street

Guy Lee summoned by Plumer

sinking of a hospital ship

Uncle Alex's appendicits

lethal results of faulty grenades

Haig promoted

Christmas at Caerynwch

the Persia torpedoed

Asquith's Compulsory Service Bill

the ironing room at Mulberry Walk

Queen Mary and the surgical supplies

Capt Guy Lee honoured

Bristol prepares for the Zeppelins.

Book VIII February 17 - November 28, 1916 156

Invidious work of the exemption tribunals

P?tain 'hero of the hour'

women bus conductors take over

blinded heroes at Anzac Day Service

fate of Sir Roger Casement

Jutland, a Pyrrhic victory?

death of Kitchener

Queen Alexandra's Rose Day

heroism of the Boy VC

August Bank Holiday cancelled

Haig's appeal

a feud at the Belgian Surgical Depot

captured submarine on display

gruesome fate of Zeppelin at Cuffley

unloading of hospital trains

Harry Lee's third birthday

death of Emperor Franz Josef.

Book IX November 29, 1916 - November 30, 1917 193

Upheaval in the Cabinet

the German Chancellor springs a surprise

third Christmas of the war

departures from Charing Cross

spiritualism

munitions factory disaster

submarine menace grows

food rationing

problems with removals men

USA enters the war

a droll substitute for Easter eggs

Georgina to be honoured

hospital ships torpedoed

industrial strife

Mrs Paget and the Zeppelin

wartime wedding

air-raid casualties at Chatham

the end of Kerensky

a tonic from Cambrai

the National Anthem on the steps of St Paul's

Georgina flies her Union Jack

cook joins the WAAC.

Book X December 2, 1917 - September 9, 1918 237

Allenby captures Jerusalem

Uncle Baynes dangerously ill

DSO awards for the Lee brothers

direct hit on Odhams Printing Works

rationing bites harder

family wiped out at Royal Hospital

'Tank Day' in Kensington

Easter Sunday in the Great Crisis

Foch promoted

our fourth wartime wedding anniversary

the Zeebrugge Raid

Trenchard's resignation

de Valera arrested

call-up age extended

petrol pirates caught

Government's decree on strawberries

King of the Belgians at the Albert Hall

Aunt Edie's funeral in Bath

'did ever brute beasts deserve retribution?'

Civil War in Russia.

Book XI September 12, 1918 - November 11, 1919 265

Shell-shock cases

Lee laid low by 'flu

a sinking outrage

wreath laying in Paris

captured guns in the Mall

naval mutiny at Kiel

'I could almost feel sorry for the Germans'

the Kaiser abdicates

pandemonium in London

Service for the King of the Belgians

Foch and Clemenceau in Piccadilly

'we want the Tiger'

dawn of women's franchise

Wilson at Buckingham Palace

'flu 'killing thousands'

Harry Lee starts at school

strikes everywhere

Versailles Treaty signed

Peace Day

anniversary of Armistice Day

Two Minutes' Silence throughout the Empire

the Lee family at the Cenotaph.

Biographical Note on Georgina Lee Ann de La Grange Sury 295

Select Bibliography 301

Index 303

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