8th December 1941
It is 18 months since I arrived in England, in London and hugged my parents. On the 20 June 1942 I must be in the Celle St Cloud, Seine & Oise, France
You were nearly a year late, my dear love. The 31/5/43. I was in your arms very briefly. When will I be again?
10th December 1941
Wednesday: Bad news these last few days and even worse today. The Japs have sunk the Prince of Wales. It’s a bad knock for the Navy. The Americans have a sleeping pill and the Japanese are nearly in Alaska. Continue reading
6th December 1941
How I would like to disembark in France with the boys and to go and hug you. But courage and patience, that day will come – I have received via the Red Cross, an answer to one of my messages. You tell me that you have given notice on our flat and that Gerard has slip up with Robert. Both bits of news are hard. I wonder, were you able to save any of the furniture. Continue reading
28th October 1941
18 days since I wrote to you. I am now in a new building. Turnstill House, High Holborn. The building was damaged last winter, but has been repaired. I am on the 6th floor with long views. All around us are ruins, houses destroyed by fire and bombs. Continue reading
8th October 1941
Wed morning, loads of work from morning to evening. I am now in a large office with Squadron Leader Green, Petit Officer Hardy, Miss Sherwood and myself (still Sergeant.). A lot more room and my work has been simplified. Wing Commander Wells and Biles are in the next office. Had lunch with Jean. I am now part of the Free French Clique and can eat at their club/mess. You can eat very well for 2 shillings and a litre of wine costs 1 shilling instead of 4 or 5 shillings in the shops. The atmosphere is very nice and you can eat with the Officers. General Valin, Admiral Muselier, Capt. Bouderie, Charles, Muselier and others.
9th October 1941
It was raining a bit this morning, but the visibility has improved these last days and our aerial activity should resume. The Germans seem to be making a big push and I am fearful for the Russians. Continue reading
26th September 1941
“What is this Nation of shopkeepers which have not forgotten that to remain free, you must know how to be a soldier?”
I cannot stop myself writing about the ardour in the ‘Battle of Britain’. Continue reading
6th September 1941
Midday news: bulk of Italians taking another pounding in the Med.
Wing Commander Wells is back. At present in meeting with Squadron leader Green and F/O Gardner. I’ve managed to catch up on my work.
24th September 1941
This morning we had a visit from General Vallin, Chief of Staff of the Free French Air Force. He has just come back from an inspection tour in Africa and Syria.
The Syria-Lebanon campaign or Operation Export, was the allied invasion of the Vichy-French-controlled Syria and Lebanon in June and July of 1941. The conflict was a curious one, because it was one of the few where British and Free French forces were fighting Vichy French forces.
The Russian front is still holding and becoming tough. In France disorder and sabotage are becoming reasonably well organised. Continue reading
I guess there’s something in a shop that sells cigarette cards, Russian sabers and everything in between for all levels of peculiarity. And as a result is we get more than our fair share of oddness.
When it happens, I’ll share it, before this world of Facebook and Twitter scare away eccentricity for good, though that could just be the rain? Eccentrics hate rain. Also judging by other antique dealers, it’s possible that I’ll be sanitised to the madness within a decade; existing in a cosy land of tweed blazers and bow ties.
The other day, Rob and I were speculating over what horn a walking stick was made from. Commenting on its ivory inlay, an old chap of around 60 appeared, peeking his head around the corner. Continue reading
28th August 1941
I hope you find this diary more interesting with the newspaper clippings. I like it, but even without the Russians, the English were certain to win the war. In how many years, God knows. But with the help of the USSR it will bring the fall of Adolf. Continue reading
Antique Prints are quite hit and miss with many art collectors but every now and then you come across a bit of a gem. This print shows one of the notable moments in the Battle of Waterloo Continue reading
13th August 1941
Still very busy at work. Still raining. Had rabbit last night, which was very nice and I hope to have it again tonight. The Germans are attacking still and I fear for Odessa. But even if the Huns take the town, it will be the first of any importance in 8 weeks of very hard fighting. Last night we bombed 6 German towns including Berlin. Continue reading