Overheard in a Village Pub
July 10th 1940
Returning from a certain aerodrome a short time ago, I stopped on the way to call at a village inn. There I listened to a conversation which had an almost uncanny bearing on the conversation I had just been taking part in at the aerodrome. Bombs had fallen near the inn two nights before, and two of the more eminent drinkers were voicing the opinion that what we had had up to then in this country was ‘just nothing’ to what would be coming in the future. They seemed to enjoy the thought of the aerial fury which they expected to descend upon them, and each supported the other in emphasising its probable violence. It seemed that the rain of bombs would be such that not a blade of grass for miles around would survive.
Then up spoke a small pinch faced man who had until then been sipping his beer and listening to the others. ‘You say they’ll send over hundreds to attack one point’ he remarked. ‘Thousands’ corrected the other two. ‘Very well; thousands. But I want to ask you something. D’you think our lads will let them?’ The other two looked at one another and said almost simultaneously ‘of course not’.
…No one in that inn had the smallest doubt that ‘our lads’ would let them have it. No one had the slightest fear about the result when ‘our lads’ got in touch with the enemy. The two solemn drinkers smiled faintly as they solemnly nodded, and gravely asserted that ‘our lads’ would just ‘massacre them’.
Air Defences doing ‘marvellously well’….
July 24th 1940
Our air defences have been doing marvellously well. This week in which I am writing has been a series of triumphs for the Royal Air Force, and a series of losses for the enemy. And, incidentally, I must mention the finest broadcast I have ever listened too. It was that one by Charles Gardner from a recording van which happened to be at a point where it was possible to actually witness and record a big air-fight in progress. This was a really brilliant piece of broadcasting, and I heartily congratulate Charles upon it. It put into the shade every ‘immediate’ sports and other ‘thrill’ type of broadcast that has ever come over the air. It took you right up to watch the battle and share the anxieties and excitements of the participants. And that climax, when the section of ‘spitfires’ finally hounded after the Messerschmitts, closing up on them as they tore out over the sea, was truly magnificent.
How to prepare for visits to the Air Raid Shelter
July 31st 1940
It is quite simple to prepare for visits to the air raid shelter, but it must be done before and not after the warning is given. A bag must be kept packed and should contain among other things a first-aid outfit, rubber gloves (from 1s 6d a pair), air or other cushion, torch, candles or night-light, rubber shock absorbers for the mouth and wax ones for the ears. A packet of food, not overlooking barley sugar. At Marshall and Snellgrove’s there is an infinite variety of siren suits from 42s. Some are cut on lines suitable for the older woman who is not as slender as she would like to be, while others are destined for the youthful figure. By the way, the anti-concussion bandeau is also of paramount importance.