Thomas Graham’s Diary – 26th August 1939

This entry begins with a reference to the anniversary of a battle that happened in the early stages of the First World War. The Battle of Le Cateau took place on the 26th August 1914, just after the outbreak of the war. It was a victory for the German forces with British troops being forced to retreat having sustained heavy casualties. Thomas refers to this anniversary as being apt, given what is happening in Europe at the time.

Thomas then goes on to discuss the German/Russian non-aggression agreement, known as the Molotov – Ribbontrop Pact after its two main signatories. Vyacheslav Molotov was Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Soviets and Joachim von Ribbontrop was the Nazi Foreign Minister. Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to a guarantee of peace towards each other and under the terms of the agreement, each nation was not to ally themselves with an enemy of the other. Pictures of the signing of this agreement were published in the world’s press on this day. Pictured is Thomas’ own clipping, which was pinned into the diary. It has the pencil annotation ‘the smile on the face of the tigers’.

Thomas describes his continuing work with the ARP. Frank Rowan Thomson was the local organiser of the Warden Service based at Callander.