Letters and diaries can provide invaluable insight into the thoughts and feelings of soldiers, as well as into those of their loved ones on the homefront. But what about barometric charts? A recently processed collection at the Museum and Memorial highlights the unique way one British woman tracked her emotions during World War I.
Honoria Constance Lawrence created this chart titled "A Weekly War Record of Feelings in England as experienced by a Civilian from Aug. 3rd 1914 to Nov. 11th 1918, constituting a Barometric Chart of War Atmosphere.” Her chart provides a weekly timeline of the war, with Lawrence’s corresponding reactions. She advertised the chart as for sale with the proceeds benefitting women’s welfare work in Somerset, England.
Lawrence noted a depressed atmosphere when the Germans came near to Paris at the beginning of the war, at Russia’s withdrawal from the conflict and during the final German Offensive in spring 1918. Highs on the chart include hope for success in Gallipoli in 1915 and the American entry to World War I. The clear apex of her emotions is on the signing of the Armistice.
Click the image below to view her full chart, or learn more about Lawrence and this document on our Online Collections Database.