Posted by: newenglandarchivist | September 14, 2015

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur during World War I

With the start of WWI now at little more than a hundred years passed, I thought it would be interesting to post a journal written by one Sister during WWI when Belgium was under German occupation. The Oudenburg Journal, which is posted below, describes the horrors of living under occupation and of war. Because the Sisters in Belgium had to destroy all journals, letters, etc. for fear of them falling into German hands, this journal was written after the war ended. The unnamed Sister responsible for the letter describes her fear and struggle during the first two years of the war. The letters end in 1916 and it is unknown whether she wrote any more.

While the handwriting is quite clear, I also am posting the typed transcriptions of the journal for ease of reading. While often sad and horrifying, this journal offers an interesting window into World War I.

Oudenburg Journal      Oudenburg, Belgium journal 1919 transcription



  1. Dear Sister Archivest, thank so much much for sending a copy. It was gripping and awe inspiring. I would love to continue to receive any further information of this kind. Sincerely, Janet Branch

    • Dear Janet, thank you so much for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I update the website about once or twice a month. More on WWI will be coming soon.
      Again, thanks for writing. Nancy

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: