Thomas Graham’s Dairy – 12th June 1939

In his next diary entry, Thomas explores the best time to start a war and the works of Reginald Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher.

Thomas begins this entry by stating that the ‘experts’ anticipate the next European crisis to occur in September. He theorises that August is usually the month to begin a war. The reason being to ‘get the harvest under way and yet finish the campaign before the rains and mud of winter’.

Thomas, however, acknowledges that war has changed with the anticipated arrival of air strikes. He believes that it would be best to conduct an air strike in the summer months but concludes that his reasoning may be out of date as the art of war has evolved.

Thomas continues by reflecting on the work and life on Reginald Brett, 2nd Viscount Esther. Reginald Brett was a Liberal MP but his greatest achievement was as ‘eminence grise’, otherwise known as a political fixer and decision maker behind the scenes.

Thomas writes that ‘his country owes him a big debt for all he did, though most of it was done behind the scenes’. He is also impressed he managed to see through the ‘shams’ and ‘fiddle faddle stuff’ of the war.

It appears that Viscount Esher and Thomas Graham had met in the past. He writes that he was a ‘queer old bird…but very interesting and charming’.

Viscount Esher also had a close connection with Callander. In 1896 he bought the Roman Camp and considerable work was done to the property in gardens. (