“A Mother's War," is a virtual exhibit and was compiled for the Community Memories project of the Virtual Museum of Canada. The repository of items used in the story was a cardboard suitcase bought for $5 at an auction of the Hawker Estate in Carbonear in the 1990’s.
The story is about Clara Mortimer Hawker, her family and two of her sons who enlisted with the Newfoundland Regiment and went overseas to fight in World War I. In three small writing books, Clara wrote of daily family events interspersed with community news. She did this for her two sons, Walter and Mortimer, who she knew would enjoy reading these books when they returned home from the conflict overseas.
Correspondences include letters and postcards as well as photographs and other ephemera from both Walter and Mortimer while they were in the service of King and country. The diaries are an important snapshot of how one mother lived with the dread of bad news and how she coped when it finally came. The diaries also capture a social, economic, and educational picture of Newfoundland, notably Carbonear, during the early 1900’s and its involvement in World War I.
The suitcase and all of the items used in the story, as well as other Hawker memorabilia, are archived and are part of the Carbonear Heritage Society’s archival collection. They are available to the visitor for viewing and research. The repository for all items is The Old Post Office, 182 Water Street, Carbonear
The story, “A Mother’s War”, was compiled and written by Edwina Suley for Community Memories, a project of the Virtual Museum of Canada.