10th August 1941
According to the paper today, the Germans have made serious gains in Russia. This reminds me of Mr Barthe, “you will see, Mr Maurice, it will be the Russians that will save us.”
12th August 1941
Since yesterday, I am back in the office, with a lot to do. I left my diary at home, but I feel like writing to you, so I am putting it on a loose sheet. Many people, especially, the Hun, would like to know this. Mr Churchill is in conversation with Mr Roosevelt at this moment, on the latter’s yacht.
According to the American press: Roosevelt’s Yacht (The Potomac) was spotted with an unknown Canadian vessel off the American Coast a few days before Southgate’s diary update. In the close vicinity was a large number of American Warships. This inferred that something of major importance was afoot. Namely the crucial meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill discussing the possibility of American entry into The War. Southgate was aware of this, despite the secrecy surrounding the meeting in Europe.
What do you think of that news? We are awaiting, from Russia, the arrival of 2000 Polish pilots; ex prisoners of the Russians and these new arrivals will give a lot of work to our section.
Unknown to many, the Invasion of Poland was carried out by both Nazi Germany and the USSR (hence the Polish prisoners). After signing the non-aggression pact in 1939, both these nations remained at peace with each other, until the German invasion of Russia (Operation Barbarossa 1941) caused the Russians to side with The Allies. These Polish expatriates answered the need for pilots in Britain; they were famed for their bravery and exemplary fighting record.
This morning in Oxford Street, my bus hit a truck and the passengers had to get off and get another vehicle. Nobody was hurt. Sunday pm, I went for a walk and then to the cinema in the evening. I have not been feeling well for some time now, and on Sunday morning I was not well at all. My nerves are shot.
Me, who was so proud of my coolness and could hold my hands out without the slightest tremble, could not hold my razor without trembling. I can’t even write. I have no appetite. It must be too many cigarettes and not enough married life. To be without you is very difficult. Sometimes I think about trying to get you over here, but after my experience, I would go mad knowing you were on a ship in the Atlantic. I just pray to God that I will be able to see you soon.
Had lunch with Pearl, Stark and Jean. Pearl offered a toast to her 8-year anniversary. Betrothed for 8 years – what patience! I have received a letter from my cousin Ray Southgate, the one you’ve met in France. I went to see her; she is now engaged with a pretty ring. Talking jewelry I have not seen a ring as nice as yours in England.
Maurice Southgate’s words
Translated by Parade Antiques