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Diary Entry, Salisbury: August/September 1939icon for Recommended story

by stellasmith

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Rev. S.S. Dabill
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09 November 2003

4 August 1939

The 25th Anniversary of the outbreak of the War. After 25 years and yet we are in the uttermost confusion and the entire world is under arms. Still we must live in hope and press on. And though the ship of peace is broken we must not lose heart.

1 September 1939 Friday

A day of terror. Unforgettable.
Rose this morning to hear that the Germans had invaded Poland, and were attacking on all fronts. This made war absolutely certain. Grave looks on all faces and now talking in quiet tones. But an unshakeable conviction to see it through.

Edward came in and told us that he wanted Eva to go up as a telephonist at the First Aid Post at South Wilts School. It took some time to decide as she was in doubt as to what effect this would have on her career. But after a time she decided to go.

Vast crowds of children about from Portsmouth which place they are evacuating. They were being marshalled at the Memorial Hall, and they looked a pitiable sight. Gave what help I could here and there.
Went into Park Street and found the weary children sitting on the pavements. How kind the people were. They could not resist the appeal of their tired faces.

Thankful when the day came to an end.

2 September 1939 Saturday

Expected this morning to hear of the declaration of war but no news has come through. I had wondered in my own mind that it ought to come. I have always been a pacifist and have laboured incessantly for peace but there seems to be no alternative. I would rather have war with its vast threat to the future than we should go back on our promise to Poland. There is not room in the same world for our way and the Nazi way. One or other has to go.

More people from evacuation areas coming in. Mothers and infants. People running about getting them fixed up.

Took a walk this afternoon but was driven back by a thunder shower. It continued to thunder all night. Muriel very frightened. Fear for the effect of these terrible days on her.

Waited for more news of the declaration of war to end the suspense. But it did not come. Parliament met but was thrown into confusion by the announcement that they were not yet in a position to give a decision.

A rather anxious day.

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