A Mother's War

Creator(s): Carbonear Museum

The title for this exhibit, "A Mother's War," came from the pages of Clara Hawker's diaries. These diaries were school exercise books in which Clara wrote of everyday events for her sons to read when they returned from the war. She became involved in the Great War through the Women's Patriotic Association, an association of women whose contribution included sewing shirts and knitting socks for the soldiers. She recorded events of everyday family life, thus revealing some important aspects of community life during those war years. She wrote with pride of her children's accomplishments, and she always wrote of how much she missed her two sons who were so far away from home.

This exhibit also includes correspondences from Walter and Mortimer, which tell of their experiences in England, Scotland, and France while serving with the Newfoundland Regiment. It includes a brief history of the Hawker family of Carbonear and their relatives in England. It also provides the viewer with a background and brief gallery of pictures of the Mortimer family whose members had moved to live in the United States of America.

The exhibit reveals how the mother, Clara Mortimer Hawker, who had two sons engaged in active war duty, coped with news of the war and its casualties. One son was wounded, the other was sent home to die. A mother's grief during those times can only be imagined.

Only information taken from the first three of Clara's diaries is included in the exhibit. The few pages in an exercise book written by her of a trip to Boston are all we know about her life after Mortimer's funeral in May 1918, and all we know of her after that trip. Clara passed away in Carbonear on September 8th, 1949, at the age of 76.

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