This is a companion website to the book, Dutchy’s Diaries, that contains transcripts of all the journals as well as the photographs that enhance the text.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
What was it like to be a young Canadian naval officer in the early twentieth century?
In the early twentieth century, young naval officers were required to maintain a daily journal. Four journals were found in an old trunk and have been transcribed so readers can learn what day-to-day life was like for a young officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. From 1916 when Canada was fighting World War I to the post-war period, and concluding with the roaring twenties, this book covers both naval and social history of a key period in Canada’s emergence as a nation.
VICTORIA, British Columbia, July 2, 2020
In 2007, the author found four intact journals covering her father-in-law’s Royal Canadian Navy service between 1916 and 1929. Written on an almost daily basis, the journals give an idea of everyday life in the navy during the early twentieth century. The entries also include personal activities so give insight into the social history of the era.
Learn what it was like to be under fire in the Mediterranean during the Dardanelles campaign and the realities of being at sea for extended periods of time without fresh food.
Dutchy’s Diaries: Life as a Canadian naval officer—in his own words: 1916-1929 (Edwards Heritage Consulting, 2020, ISBN 978-0-9697282- 5-2, $30.00, https://dutchysdiaries.ca/).
The author notes “That the diaries had survived the myriad of moves a naval family makes is a minor miracle. Doubly amazing is the fact we also found photographs that enhanced his story. Transcribing and researching his journals has been some of the most thought-provoking work of my life. Each day brings new discoveries, but none can top the day we found these journals.”
Helen Edwards is the daughter-in-law of Commodore John Crispo Inglis Edwards, the writer of the journals. She is a life-long historian and has written on a variety of subjects, but family history is one of her passions. She has been researching her personal family tree for over 40 years and is now working on the Edwards side of the family as well.
The process of transcribing and researching these journals has been intriguing — possibly the most thought-provoking work of her life. After reading these pages, she now knows much more about her father-in-law. She did not meet him until 1969 when he was retired, so knew little about his personal life when he was young. Helen is pleased to share the journals with the world.