5th August 1914
My dearest wife
I got this pad today as it will be useful to write upon with a pencil while I am sitting outside. I am now with Cyril at the band. Charlotte was up for a little while this evening but has gone home. This morning it rained heavily. Cyril and I went to Hythe by motor bus and looked up Florence and Ethelwyn. Fred had only left an hour before to cross to Ostend for Brussels but he thought it better to leave his wife in England. Archie had gone to see him off and he was going home today so we missed them both. I am afraid you are feeling the stress of this epoch making time. The clock seems to have gone back a century and brought a Napoleonic era back. I trust history will repeat itself and that once again, “England will save herself by her exertions and Europe by her example.”
At this point the programme of the band came to an end and they then played “Rule Britannia” and “God save the King” and afterwards, in response to calls, “The Marseillaise”. I will write a little more over my whisky and then to bed; we do not sit up late here. Please thank Kath for her letter. I must write to her and the other girls as opportunity occurs. I am rather in hopes we may hear of George’s whereabouts in the morning. I can quite understand that you are perturbed at the thought of possible dangers ahead for him and perhaps others, but cheer up, little wife, it is well that our children should be ready to play a part for their country in the face of grave danger and whatever befall; we could not wish it otherwise. The attitude of the country seems admirable and this time of trials may read a valuable lesson to the nation and to that section who seem to have forgotten “that life was duty”.
Thursday – Fine morning, I may as well add a few lines and post to you when we go out. Of course you are getting The Times posted to you. What nice lines Canon Newbolt wrote on the Vigil of the War. I enclose a cartoon on the subject from evening paper. William Watson’s sonnet in this day’s issue is fine. The German Emperor and his advisers have acted in just the way I always expected and I never could understand how many people believed in their peaceful protestations. I heard from Jack this morning and am glad to learn that he hopes to join you after all. It seems that George is encamped at Somerset House but the battalion is likely to go on to St Albans soon. With respect to your suggestion about laying in coal and flour, I do not think it right in the national interest to join in the rush for stores, neither do I anticipate that we shall pay much, if any more a little later. Much love to you dear and to all the others. I am sure you will all keep brave though anxious hearts.
Your loving husband