The Edward Hall Diary Collection is one of the most important set of records held by Wigan Archives & Local Studies. Extending back to 1698, the collection consists of over 200 diaries, journals and memoirs, written by individuals from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities and collected by Hall, a veteran of both World Wars and a man with connections to the Wigan area who donated the diaries to the Archives during his lifetime.
The diaries are of international interest for both a general and academic readership and are consulted by researchers from around the world. In recent years the diaries have been studied for the history of travel, tourism and holidays, Victorian domestic life, the Napoleonic wars and women’s history.
The further diaries conserved are the anonymous travel journal, “A New Voyage to the Levant” (1746-1747), the diary of Corporal Todd during the Seven Years War, Sarah Haslam’s travel journal in the Welsh Marches (1802) and Dorothy Scholes’ First World War nursing diary (1914-1918).
One item in the collection is a fascinating First World War scrapbook that documents the operations of the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force. The scrapbook contains images of both soldiers and ordinary daily life, maps, leaflets and sketches. It is not clear who it belonged to, but one image shows ‘the interior of our tent’ with an Indian Army duffle bag belonging to H S Clarke.
The Mesopotamian Campaign began in November 1914 with, as noted in the operations leaflet,
Landing of our leading troops under Brigadier General Delamain, and capture of FAO FORT.’
The campaign ended in November 1918, and the last entry in the leaflets states,
BAKU re-occupied by British.’
In addition, a note at the end of the leaflet provides the following informtion,
Total Captures by Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force from
Beginning to close of the Campaign
Trench Mortars 32
Machine Guns 224
What follows is a selection of images from the scrapbook. If you would like to view the item please contact Wigan & Leigh Archives on 01942 404430 or email on archives@wigan .gov.uk.
Wigan & Leigh Archives – Edward Hall Collection – archives.wigan.gov.uk