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’. We must not forget all those in auxiliary roles. Their job of servicing the Air Force and maintaining communications at all cost. The bases of fighter squadrons in the East, South East, and South of London, the fitters, mechanics, signalers, telephone operators, messengers and the others who endure the massive bombardment and continue day and night. For the first time since William The Conqueror set foot on these shores the men and women of England, including the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force have been placed in the middle of battle. And the list of their achievements is testament to their bravery and endurance. Without concern for their rest, not taking precaution of the bombing and carrying out their duty day. They made it possible for the fighter squadrons to face the enemy, day after day, until they were beaten.
Saturday: Yesterday was a very quiet day, the calmest for months. I managed to write 7 letters, one to you, by the intermediary of Mille Requier and one for Guy as I have had no news from him.
28th September 1941
Watched a couple of films, (1 about enemy agents). Heard the news. The Russians are resisting magnificently and our strategy of not setting up a BEF, must be hiding a greater plan.
The BEF stands for the British Expeditionary Force. At this point in the War, the Eastern Front was bearing the brunt of the conflict and the Russians were hoping for the opening of a western front to relieve some of the pressure. Understandably the postponements of this until 1944 caused tension between the Eastern and Western Allies.
Tomorrow we descend the 5th floor and should have a lot more room.
Maurice Southgate’s words
Translated by Parade Antiques