Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tuesday 28th May 1940

Pond and I, in the canteen, during siesta this afternoon, tuned-in the radio to Berlin and heard the news in English. An event of “pride and joy” for the German people was announced: King Leopold of Belgium had made terms with the Germans. These Terms (unconditional surrender) had been accepted and the Belgian Army no longer existed. Calais had been taken by the Germans some days ago but the Ostend forts were still being held “by the enemy”.

In the evening news from Daventry: it was confirmed that the Belgian Army had ceased to resist but added that several thousand Belgians had escaped and were now fighting with the French. Nothing was said regarding Calais and Ostend...

Delightfully calm letter from my Mother today, “When the Germans invaded Holland and Belgium it was a bit of a shock. Anyhow, the war has really started now and I expect Italy will be in any minute and that will affect you my dear...” She also gave me details of Rupert Brooke's death place. “Rupert Brooke died at Scyros (an island) April 23rd. He was buried in an olive grove - “One of the loveliest places on this earth with grey-green olives round him, one weeping above his head, the ground covered with flowering sage, bluish-grey and smelling more delicious than any flower. The path up to it from the sea is narrow and difficult and stony; it runs by the bed of a dried up torrent”. Perhaps you'll go there one day!”

If only I could! And who knows? If Greece is attacked, there may well be British troops in the Aegean Sea.


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