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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

War work

Monday, May 8th., Comarques, Thorpe-le-Soken.

Reading Marcel Dupont's "La Campagne" last night and night before. There is no genius in it.  (40th. Edition), but it gives a plain notion of what war is, and some things are moving. Curious sensation lying in bed reading this, nightingale singing violently across the road, and horses and motors passing at intervals, and the thought that exactly similar scenes might be occurring here at any time, and that this house might be a ruined chateau and that our furniture might be defiled by German officers. At any rate according to the theory of the War Office.

A period of extreme vigilance now on. It is a pity here that at new moon high water is at midnight. If high water was at 6 a.m. at new moon the periods of vigilance would be fewer if there were any at all. One night out of three our Lieutenants have to spend at the telephone in the orderly room - 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. The military are all on fire preparing for an invasion. The first serious defences against an invasion are now being made. I have no belief in it myself, but the civilian part of the organisation falls on me as War Office representative for over 30 parishes, including about 15 miles of coast. I feel sure that if the Germans did manage to land events for a few days would be in a high degree disconcerting. Among other trifles for which I have the chief responsibility is a War-Fair at Islington Market - with 1,500 stalls, 6,000 helpers; the biggest thing of the kind ever organised.

The war may end sooner than some people think. My view is that the Eastern Front is the danger point. I never have believed in the Russians and still don't. I should say that the Germans will next try an offensive on the Eastern Front, & if it is at all successful the war may be prolonged. If it isn't there is a chance of a German cave-in.

I am also writing a play, and writing (official) articles for America about British affairs. Still, we shall open a sort of tennis season on Saturday next, w.p.

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