Celestine Guegan – diary extracts

DOCUMENTS: Celestine Goasdoué: Diary extracts

These are all the references to family history in Celestine’s diaries.  If the main extract is in french, that is to indicate the original language it was written in by Celestine in her diary.  The indented text is a translation into English.

Miscellaneous papers

Mercredi le 2 Sept 1976.

…le matin aussie le visite bi-mensuelle de la “beautician” Mrs Rawlings-Duquemin, belle mere de l’autre Mrs Duquemin pour qui Bertrand avail travaille, pendant l’occupation germanique. Son fils etait tres dur avec ses employees et Bertrand se deplaissait beaucoup a son service. L’allee et retour a son travail (Vazon) etait penible, vu la mauvais nourriture qu’on avait a cette epoque de l’occupation.

Trans: this morning was the bimonthly visit of the “beautician” Mrs Rawlings-Duquemin, mother-in-law of the other Mrs Duquemin for whom Bertrand worked, during the German occupation. Her son was very hard with his employees and Bertrand disliked working for him. The trip too and from his work (Vazon) was tedious, given the malnourishment we suffereed during the occupation

Paris 12/6/70

If I had married Louis Rolland when he wrote to ask my father for permission to marry me I could have had a child when 24 years of age that child could have been now about 58 years old. But it was not to be, my fate was to marry Y.M.G. and spend most of my life in the Is of Guernsey

Thursday Sept 18 1970

Lilyvale Catel
Life teaches you many things that experience can only prove to be right. Sometimes these lessons are very hard especially to sentimental, sensitive, soft people. We cannot help to be what we are. we are like that and must do our best to become unsentimental, hard, practical, realistic and “with it” and modern and we are told to move with the times. Lovely times, charming indeed. I remember quite well coming to live in the Guernsey country-side but coming to school at St Peter Port. How different things were, and the people much more friendly and neighbourly, poorer, hard-living conditions but not unbearable, more sociable more helpful and of you were decent people, they had respect and esteem for your kind of people no matter what nationality you were. Guernsey is a cosmopolitan island. People come here from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, France especially .

Date unknown

Frank Goasdoué died le 11 February, his grandfather Francois Louis died on the 10th Feb 1910, when [I?] lived at the Chateau de Champagnete Mayenne on the Paris Brest Road

25 January 1974

“Je devrais me faire un devoir d’ecrire a chacun de mes enfants au moins 1 fois par mois, sans attendre leur lettres, car j’ai beaucoup plus de temps qu’aucun d’eux. Je crois que cela leur ferait plaisir et nous serions plus intimes et moins etranger les un aus autres” [S: Diary 25/1/74]

Trans: I must set myself a task to write to each of my children at least once a month, without waiting for their letters, because I have more time than each of them.  I believe this will please them and we will become more intimate and less removed from each other.

Dimanche fevrier 14, 1971

Le St Valentin (si chere aux anglaise et aux Guernesiases)

….ensuite je fais une petite lecture en bon francais, le volume III des Miserables que je relis pour la 3ieme fois. Je l’ai deja lu a Paris pendant la premiere guerre quand je travaillais aux gages [?] de la famille Paul et Jeanne Rottembourg, qui avait un double appartement au second du 142 rue du Faubourg St Denis, pres du Boulevard de Strasbourg et entre les 2 gares du Nord et de l’Est.
(gages = remunerations des domestique, Dictionnaire Larousse)

J’au relu une seconde fois “Les Miserables” quand je me suis trouve seule et veuve pendant la guerre 1939-1945. Notre famille de mere, fils et filles divisee et coupee en 2, je restee a la ferme Les Prevosts avec Bertrand, 19 ans, Raymond 17 ans et Georges 16 ans. Mes 2 filles partis dans le nord de l’Angleterre.

Denise a [Hors…] avec son jeune frere Henri, age de 11 ans. Ma fille Renee s’en fuit avec l’Ecole des Filles de St Joseph. Elles se rendaient avec les religieuses qui enseignaient ce sont des soeurs Irlandaise bien estime ici et a Aurigny ou elles avaient un couvant, une eglise et un pensionnat de jeunes filles. Le nom de leur ordre en religion est de Sisters of Mercy, ce qui veut dire en Francais: Soeurs de la Misericordae. Elles s’etabliaent a un endroit de comte de Cheshire appele “Marble Bridge” L’eveque de Portsmouth fut les voir et donner la confirmation a elles qui n’avaient pas ete encore confirme.

Robert (10 ans au mois de decembre suivant) et Paul le plus jeune de la famille de 8 (6 garcons 2 filles) ne en Juillet 32 Paul avait exactements 8ans ou plutot les au mois de Juin 1940 quand l’evacuation des ecoles, primaires, superieures, colleges eut lieu.

Renee partie de la bonne heure pour embarquer a la “White Rock” a bord le Steamer “Viking: en route pour Weymouth et ensuite par rail pour le nord de ‘Angleterre. Ce fut [pro ] Stockport ensuite Marble Bridge ensuite Alderly Edge, pres de Manchester (Lancashire) Denise et Henri ne furent pas admis et voyager avec l’Ecole de Garcons de St Joseph, qui se rendaient a Glasgow, Ecosse. Mais [recurent] l’ordre des voyager en bateau et chemin de fer avec une categorie de gens de tous les ages, expedies dans le Yorkshire a Leeds et ses environs. Pour Denise et Henri se fut le village de [Harnforth] a sept miles de Leeds. Ils furent pendant quelque jours et nuits campis dans le hall [?] chappelle, attendant d’etre recueilles par une famille anglaise. Me les familles ne desiraient prendre qu’un enfant et Denise disai que sa mere leur avait demande de rester ensemble pendant la duree de l’evacuation. A la fin elle fut oblige de ceder car le Hall se vidait et il ne restait plus personne que Denise et Henri.

Enfin pour en finir, Denise fut mise en pension chez une Mrs Shire, femme marie et sans enfants qui pris Denise pour compagnie, dit-elle car elle s’enuyait et il parait qu’elle avait epoux un jeune homme beaucoup plus jeune qu’elle.. Henri fut mi en pension dans une maison voisine et les 2 soeur et frere se voyaient tous les jours. Henri etait chez une mere et sa fille marie et mere de 2 jeunes enfant on le mit a l’ecole avec des religieuses. Le pretre catholique de la paroisse etait aussi an Irlandais. Les familles etaient catholique pratiquant leur religion, quant a Robert et Paul ils etaient en tres bonne mains avec leur maison d’ecole les bonnes religieuse de la Chaumiere et leur compagnons et amis. Bien loge, bien vetu, bien nourri et traites bien avec bonte et intelligence. Ils demeuraient dans un endroit charmant une belle maison avec tennis court et jardin. Moseley Hall, Cheshire.

Trans: Valentines day (so dear to the English and Guernsey folk)
Next I am going to do a little French reading, the third volume of Les Miserables that I am re-reading for the 3rd time. I previously read it in Paris during the first world war, when I worked with Paul and Jeanne Rottembourg, who had a double apartment on the second floor of 142 rue du Faubourg St Denis, near Boulevard de Strasbourg, and between the the Gard du Nord and Gare de L’est

I read it a second time when I found myself alone and widowed during the war 1939-45. Our family of mother, sons and daughters divided and cut in two. I stayed at the farm Les Prevosts with Bertrand 19, Raymond 17 and Georges 16. My 2 daughters in the North of England.

Denise, with her young brother Henri, aged 11. My daughter Renee fled with St Joseph’s girls school. They were joined with Irish nuns, who are well respected both here and in Aurigny, where they have a convent, a church, and a girls school. The name of their order is the Sisters of Mercy, in French Soeurs de la Misericordae. They established themselves in Cheshire, a place called “Marble Bridge” The Bishop of Portsmouth went to see them and confirmed those girls who had not been confirmed

Robert (10 years old) and Paul (the youngest of the family of 8 (6 boys, 2 girls). Born in July 1932, he was exactly 8 or almost, when in the month of June 1940 the evacuation of schools, primary, secondary and colleges took place.

Renee left early to board the steamer “Viking” at White Rock, en route for Weymouth and then by rail for north of England. First Stockport, then Marble Bridge, then Alderly Edge, near Manchester (Lancashire) Denise and Henri would not able to travel with the St Joseph Boys School, which went to Glasgow, Scotland. But travelled by boat and rail with a normal group, ending up in Leeds, Yorkshire. Denise and Henri ended up in the village of Harnforth, seven miles from Leeds. They were there for several days and nights camped in the church hall, waiting to be selected by an English family. But families only wanted single children and Denise insisted that her mother told them to stay together throughout the vacation. In the end, they had to give in because the hall emptied and there remained only Denise and Henri.

In the end, Denise went to a Mrs Shire, married but without children who took Denise for company, because she worried when she was alone and it appeared she had a husband much younger than herself. Henri was put up next door and the 2 sisters and brother saw each other every day. Henri was with a mother, her married daughter, who had 2 children already at school with nuns. The Catholic priest of the parish was also Irish. The families were practicing Catholics. Robert and Paul were in very good hands with their school, the nuns of La Chaumiers and their friends and companions. Well housed, clothed, fed and kindly treated with affection and intelligence. They lived in a very charming place, with a beautiful house with tennis court and garden, Mosely Hall, Cheshire.

15 Septembre 1970

Douloureux anniversaire de Bertrand Francois Auguste a 7 heures du soir, (encore un lundi ) comme son pauvre pere, aussi un quinze du mois, le mois de mars 1937. Bertrand le 15 Sept 1947. Les annees passent et nous avec. Voila Jean Marie parti dans l’autre monde. Il a souffert longtemps et [patiently?] et je le le regrette sincierement, quoi que la mort pour lui a ete une deliverance d’une vie denuee de tout agreement. Il est regrette de plusieurs. Ses confreres, ses parents, ses amis, ses anciens parroisiens surtout ce de cette joli petite ville, Belle Ile en Terre qui me plait beaucoup. Il est enterre au cimitiere qui entours l’historique et joli chappelle de Loc Maria que j’ai visite avec lui un dimanche de fin d’octobre en l’annee 1951. Denise venait de se marier et demeurait avec moi aux Prevosts. Je ne fut absent qu’un huitaine de jours. Je fut voir les Missous de Quiffiec en Begard avec Jean Marie, il avait louer un taxi pour cette journee memorable et bien rempli. Nous passames par Louargat en Belle Isle Begard, il me fit remarquer [Mereri-Lande ] la demeure de Guillou a Begard, la barriere Rouge, la gendarmerie, l’eglise neuve. C’etait un vendredi et nous firent un bon repas de midi bien soigne et cuisine par la cousine Christiane qui etait venu placee sa petite Francoise en nourice chez sa mere. Elle est infirmiere dans un hopital de Paris et son mari est employee au gaz de la ville de Paris.

Trans: Painful anniversary of Bertrand Francois Auguste at 7 o’clock in the evening (and also a Monday) like his poor father, also a 15th of the month, in the month of March 1937. Bertrand died the 15 Sept 1947. Times passes and us with it. And just now, Jean Marie [Goualon] departed for the other world. He suffered a long time and [patiently] and I [feel] it sincerely, even though death for him was a deliverance from a life denuded of all pleasure. He is missed by many. His brothers, relatives, friends and his old parishioners [he was a priest] especially those from that pretty little village Belle Isle en Terre, which I liked a lot. He is buried in the cemetary which circles the historic and pretty chapel of Loc Maria, that I visited with him one Sunday at the end of October 1951. Denise had just married and lived with me at Les Prevosts. I was only gone for a week. I saw Missous de Quiffiec in Begard with Jean Marie, he had rented a taxi for this memorable journey. We passed by Louargat en Belle Isle Begard, the home of Guillou a Begard, the Barriere Rouge, the police station, the new church. It was a Friday, and we had a great lunch prepared by his cousin Christiane

Samedi 25 Sept 1976

Temps orageux, pluie fine. Cette date me rappelle bien des souvenirs agreableset desagreables, ce-mois ci m’a toujours ete plaisant, en notre ile le mois de septembre est generalement ensoleille et doux, apres le chaleur et les brouillards de mois d’aout, autre chose. Des les premiers jours de mois je reprenais le chemin de l’ecole, ou je retrouvais mes amis. Pour moi les vacances etaient mornes et solitaires. Plus tard quand ma nombreuse famille etait a son tour en vacances j’avais hate de me retrouver en Septembre

Trans: stormy weather, fine rain. This day I am reminded of memories, agreeable and disagreeable, this month was always pleasurable to me, in our island the month of September is generally sunny and mild, after the humidity and fog of August. From the beginning of the month I would take again the path to school, where I re-discovered my friends. For me, holidays were sad and solitary. Later, when my own family took holidays in August, I hated to arrive at September again!

5 Octobre 1976

A fait hiers un temps superbe, je souhaite etre au Plessix avec Yvonne. J’aime toujours ma Bretagne et aime a penser a mes jeunes annees , a mes bonnes parents et amis Bretons.

Trans: It was beautiful yesterday, I wished to be at Plessix with Yvonne. I love always my Brittanny and love to recall my youth, my good parents and Breton friends.

Undated – information on back of a photo

On back of photo of Yves : [in Celestine’s writing]
“Yves Marie Goasdoué
(photo copied from a snap-shot for pass-port)
Yves Goasdoué was born at Begard, canton de Guingamp,Cotes du Nord, France on the 25th August 1887 & baptised the same day at Begard’s church, took part in the First World war, from the first day to the last.
Decorated in 1915 with the Croix de Guerre, with a star, for mending telephone wires during a heavy artillery bombardment. Took part in the battle for Verdun for 16 months. Dead at the age of 49 at Les Prevosts, St Saviours on the 15th day of March 1937. R.I.P.”

25/1/74

Je devrais me faire un devoir d’ecrire a chacun de mes enfants au moins 1 fois par mois, sans attendre leur lettres, car j’ai beaucoup plus de temps qu’aucun d’eux. Je crois que cela leur ferait plaisir et nous serions plus intimes et moins etranger les un aus autres”

Trans: I am going to make a habit of writing to each of my children at least once per month, without waiting for their replies, because I have lots more time than each of them. I believe that this will give them pleasure and we will become more intimate and less distant from each other.

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