The wartime diary of Alexander Curle. It is the last of 14 diaries written by A O Curle, published online for the first time, on his life and travels across Scotland.
Alexander Curle was the Secretary of RCAHMS between 1908 and 1913, before going on to become the Keeper of the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland. He kept an episodic diary during the war, during which he became both a special constable and a keen allotment gardener. His diary records the feelings and actions of a family man during the war, bemoaning food availability and the cost of replacement shoes, yet also understanding the need for rationing. The diary is notably positive about some aspects of the conduct of the war, and how favourably it was progressing for the allies.
Curle makes only 27 diary entries during the course of the war, but it provides an insight into the ordinary life of a man who did not go to war. It shows how he still managed to undertake his duties as a curator and how the war affected the museum and the people he knew and worked with.
A quote from Curle's diary:
'13 October 1914. Since my last entry much history has been made in Europe for the war cloud which we
have all been conscious of on the horizon these last ten years , but which most of us thought would pass by, has burst and the most terrible war that the world has ever known is raging at this moment....
....Now after 10 weeks of a condition of war, with perpetual fighting going on first across the North Sea, the country is going about its business in the usual way. The town is full of territorials and red cross motors & conveyances of one sort or another are dashing hither & thither. The poor-house at the gates of Fettes is now the Craigleith Military Hospital and there my assistant curator Mr. Edwards occupies an important post as Sergt. [Sergeant] Major. The hospital is already full of wounded heroes. All the attendants from the Museum have returned to the ranks and I am left with George Archibald & Miss Dennison my typist.'