Thomas Graham’s Diary – 24th August 1939

It must be remembered that as we edge closer to war, Thomas had already seen his share of conflict. He joined the King’s Liverpool Regiment as a Second Lieutenant on 25th February 1893 just before his 20th birthday. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 20th September 1895 and Captain on 21st March 1900 just before he traveled to South Africa to fight in the Second Boer War, where he remained until 1902. Thomas also served in the First World War from 1914 to 1919. The last thing he wanted to see was another war.

Thomas was clearly tired of the same rhetoric being issued by press and politicians alike. He had already seen it multiple times before. He knew that Hitler’s actions would cause ‘so vast a sea of death, ruin and suffering. And all for – – WHAT?!’

The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact had, as Thomas correctly states, given the country, Prime Minister and the French a ‘most severe shock’. A statement was ready by the Prime Ministers at 3.30pm and it was clear. The country despised the idea of war but stood behind Poland. For Thomas, the ‘miseries of others are quite negligible’ for people like Hitler and Goebbels.

Thomas continues by outlining the course he believes the war will take. There is a possibility of a ‘lighting war’ but it depends on how well new technology is ready for a mass scale war. A ‘concentrated and venomous air attack on London’ could also be a ‘Knock-out blow’ on Britain.
Thomas notes that last-ditch attempts to circumvent war were being made by the Pope, but that he was ‘quite the last person Hitler will bother about’.

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