Thomas Graham’s Diary – 25th August 1939

In this entry, Thomas reflects on the loss of life in the First World War, just 25 years before this. One of the biggest factors in the support for appeasement in Britain through the 1930s was the memories many people carried of the great loss and suffering of the Great War. Very few families were unaffected so the majority of people understood exactly what was likely to happen if war was declared with Germany. As a former soldier and veteran of the Boer and Great wars, Thomas was under no illusions as to how hard war was likely to be. These diaries are a reminder to us of just how tense this time was for everyone in Britain.

Thomas mentions here that he has volunteered to be an Air Raid Warden. Concern about attacks from the air in the time of war had grown in the UK since the 1920s when air travel became more common and most countries were building up their air forces. The Air Raid Wardens Service was set up in 1937 and was responsible for reporting on bombing incidents. Thomas voices his fear of attacks from the air on many occasions in his diaries so it is not surprising that he stepped up to help with this service. Air Raid Precautions were the responsibility of the local council, which is why Thomas is going to Callander for his meeting. Callander was a Police Burgh from 1870 to 1975.

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