Diary 3: P6/1769 Jess Armstrong, Armstrong papers

P6/169 Studio portrait of Jess Armstrong, c1920

Kirsten Mulrennan and Rachel Murphy, 'Opening a window to the past: Researching archival diaries', University of Limerick Special Collections and Archives Department website (https://specialcollections.ul.ie/research-diaries/) (Date accessed).

P6 Armstrong Papers

The Armstrong family lived at Moyaliffe Castle, county Tipperary. The papers contain administrative material relating to the management of the estate, as well as personal papers of family members. The papers contain a wealth of material relating to WWI, as William Maurice Armstrong (1889–1917), commonly known as Pat Armstrong, served as Captain in the Tenth Royal Hussars (the Prince of Wales’s Own). He served in India until the outbreak of the First World War, where he fought at Gallipoli in the famous 29th Division, and later in Egypt. Captain Pat Armstrong was awarded a Military Cross in 1916 for gallant and distinguished service in the field. He was killed on 23 May 1917 by a sniper while inspecting his troops in a front-line trench at Arras, France.

Explore a range of papers and photographs from the Armstrong papers in relation to WWI through our online exhibition Long Way To Tipperary.

Personal diaries in the Armstrong papers
The Armstrong papers contain a number of personal diaries, including those of Pat Armstrong, written at the front, and one of his sisters, Winona Rosalie ‘Jess’ Armstrong (1893–1982), who in 1927, married Captain William Daryl Olphert Kemmis (1892–1965) of Ballinacor, county Wicklow.1

P6/1769 Jess Armstrong’s diary, 1914, Armstrong Collection

Jess Armstrong’s diaries
The Armstrong papers include 24 personal diaries written by Jess Armstrong between 1906 and c1980. Many of these include glued and loose inserts of press cuttings and letters, while some also contain additional diary notes on loose sheets. The diaries record her daily activities, giving a vivid picture of her life, including the events of the First World War, the deaths of her brother and parents, hunts and other field sports events, farming and so on, both at Moyaliffe and at Ballinacor. However, some of Jess’ diaries for the years 1955–1982 are missing, presumed destroyed by Jess herself before donation.

The diary used in this resource is Jess’ eighth personal diary P6/1769, written between January and September 1914, and runs to over 150 pages. 

For more information on the Armstrong family, and to download the Armstrong catalogues in full, click here.

  1. As this author was unmarried at the time the journal was written, she is referred to as Jess Armstrong throughout this resource.[]