Friday Diversion: The Kemsley Wartime Journals

For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have already seen Frank Kemsley’s Journal: the blog of my grandfather’s WWI daily diary from the time that he spent in the Canadian army. I launched it last week on Remembrance Day, and started the regular blogging on November 16th, corresponding to his first journal entry on November 16th, 1916. I’m publishing the scanned pages of the journal along with the posts, embedded in the first post corresponding to that page, and today was the first full journal page. His journals (there are 3 of them) run until he returns home in 1919, and I will do my best to keep up my transcription of his journals as long as he took to write the journals.

I’ve had some tremendous feedback so far on this, including retweets by the mayor of TorontoTony Baer’s tweet that this is obviously where I get my blogging gene 😉 plus an interesting comment from Martin Cleaver that these paper journals may outlive all of our online journaling.

When I discovered my grandfather’s journals, I also found a WWII journal of my father’s from 1944, which I will be starting to blog on January 1st. It only covers the period from January-September 1944, but he was in the Canadian Navy in the Atlantic, so there’s some interesting stuff right around June of that year.

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