Diary of Agnes Eleanor Dean 1917

During 1917, Nellie Dean, my grandmother, was teaching at Ferntown School near Collingwood and corresponding with New Zealand soldiers at war.

Filename: A_E_Dean_Ferntown_Collingwood_1917.pdf ( download )

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Filename: A_E_Dean_Ferntown_Collingwood_1917.pdf ( download )

Size: 476.7 KB

Document type: application/pdf ( )

Nellie wrote regularly to Herbert Mead, Reg Hird (who she married in 1920) and George Smallholme, who died in France, when they were stationed overseas during WW1.  She numbered her letters, as requested, so to allow them to be read in the correct order, should a number be received at once.  She also sent the Auckland Weekly to favoured recipients and parcels of various goodies. 

Nellie recorded all her correspondence, outgoing and incoming in her diary, along with a daily weather report and various newsworthy events.  She describes a sighting of the Aurora Australis, notes when earthquakes occur and volcanoes erupt. 

The diary is a window to the times especially when it describes the journeys made between Kongahu, Karamea, where Nellie came from and where her family lived and Golden Bay where she worked for five years as a Primary School Teacher.  It also shows how people responded to news received from overseas and how local communities supported each other through these difficult times.

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