Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Saturday 1st April 1939

At last, England takes a decisive action! The Territorial Army strength is to be increased to double war strength. A statement was made by the Prime Minister last night that if Poland were attacked, this country would feel bound to give Poland every support, immediately. France agrees to do the same. We are also informing Russia and America of all events.

Other overseas reactions: silence in Italy, jubilation in Poland, fury in Germany.
The Furhrer (Herr Hitler) is stated to have torn up the speech he had prepared for today and is feverishly writing another.

Today is Boat Race Day in England, however, and Oxford and Cambridge must have their usual battle despite the trumpetings of dictators. I am listening to the wireless now; the crews are getting ready.

The Boat Race is now over. Cambridge led all the way and won by four lengths.
So much for national and international events!

The weather has been bitter and wintry lately, so that I felt it quite unseasonable to commence “White Dew”, a springtime chronicle. However, today, although wet, was at least warm – almost sultry in fact.

Drove to South Benfleet this afternoon, with Lois, her cousin Dolcie and Pa Shervill (who is getting his old fitness back again). Lois wore a really snappy scarlet kerchief on her golden head. I led a CHA ramble. Twelve of us altogether. Muddy struggle across the lowlands and the downs. Later I lost the way in West Wood, Hadleigh. We plodded doggedly along muddy footpaths and eventually found Rayleigh Road. Then we hurried into Rayleigh and “The Weir”, where tea was ready. Most of us were ready for tea, too.

I thought I’d have to walk back almost alone to Benfleet and Slinky B, but ten of the party were still undaunted by the mud and so completed the whole course – 10 or 11 miles. Later I went to Oakdene. Pa Shervill beat me at chess and I obtained a moral victory over Mr Rogers.

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