Paula Gray has a transcription of her great grandfather’s dairies, but seeing the real thing was worth travelling around the world for.
Paula journeyed with her family to the National Army Museum all the way from Elgin, Moray, Scotland to see the set of diaries kept during World War I.
Her great grandfather Reginald Cresswall Donald of the NZ Field Artillery kept a record of his time on the Western Front by way of several small diaries over a 4 year period from August 1915 through until 28 April 1919.
Paula along with the other living descendants of Donald all have hardback transcribed copies of his diaries but seeing the real thing was something special.
Seeing his diaries completed a journey which has seen Paula, her husband Ken and their 4 children follow Donald’s diary entries around Belgium, including sitting inside the same crater Donald watched being blown up at Messines Ridge, Tyne Cot cemetery, and particularly memorable was hearing the Last Post being played at Menin Gate, Ypres.
The family are clearly very interested in their military heritage helped also by the fact that Ken is a weapons technician for the British Air Force and only the month before had returned home from a 3 month posting to Afghanistan.
Donald survived the war and died in New Zealand, aged 98.
Pictured here: Paula, Ken, Kimberley, James, David and Mia Gray with Reginald Donald’s diaries.