World War 2


1938: The Shadow of War

From the Colwich Chronicle 1938


30th September

In spite of encouraging reports from Munich Capt. Blair came up today to lecture on the subject of gas-masks and to leave models to be tried on before ordering the sizes and numbers we want. Next month we are to have lectures on gas bombs from the point of view of the recipient, and after Christmas the doctor is to give instructions in first aid.


15th December

Our thoughts and prayers are with our German co-religionists, and the Jews who are undergoing such a terrible persecution as to shock the whole world.




1939: War is Declared


From the Colwich Chronicle 1939

3rd September

We are having Exposition today, Sunday, in response to the Archbishop's appeal and shall continue to have it every Sunday, for the present. Lady Abbess [Evangelista de Capitain] has read to us the King's broadcast message to his people. His few simple words went straight home, inspiring courage and confidence that our cause being just we could rely upon the help of God and look forward calmly to the test that is before us as a nation and individually.



6th September

At Chapter today Lady Abbess added to her instructions a warning to be very careful on two points especially. To observe all the rules for blacking out, and to avoid waste of any kind. Not only are prices going up, but many things are almost impossible to get as Government has taken over a number of the factories. She concluded by urging us all to keep calm, as anything like nerves would make life very trying not only for the nervy one but for everybody else.



1941: War over the Abbey



A Colwich Nun's Diary in 1941
5th May


Hitler is out to do his worst; night after night the planes roar overhead from dark to dawn, the sirens wail, searchlights sweep the sky already lit up by moon and stars. No guns or bombs are heard here because it is the northern towns, especially Liverpool that are being 'strafed'.

30th September



Nun learning to use a fire hose


It has been a record harvest all over the country: we alone got 4 tons of wheat from 3 ½ acres! All the granaries are full, and flour is cheaper than it was before the war. Oats also a good crop. Vegetables have done well, and the fruit though not abundant has not altogether failed. We have indeed reason to be grateful to the good God.


25th December


Thank God for our King! At 3 o'clock we listened to his speech - slow, hesitating, simple, no attempt at cleverness, but spoken from the heart. He ended by praying that God would bless us all.




The Colwich Chronicle

The Colwich Chronicle was produced regularly from 1931 to 1950 in typed sheets, and sent to other religious communities. In 1970 and 1971 it appeared in booklet form with an illustrated cover, and in 1972 it was back to a duplicated double page. Then no more, until the 2001 edition, which began the new series.

Colwich Chronicle from 2001