September 1st 1939
September 1st 1939 (Friday). Raglan House, Somers Road, Malvern Link Worcs.
Today we learned that, as had long been feared, Hitler had put his vaunted war-machine into operation by invading Poland on the trumped up charge that Polish arrogance could no longer be endured. At 5.30 am attacks were launched without any declaration of war in three direction, in East Prussia, Silesia and the Corridor. Danzig was illegally re-incorporated in the Reich. Virtually the general war which Britain and France had done everything in their power to avert had begun.
I heard the news from a porter at the station. I have never seen a man look so horribly grim, for it was also known that Polish towns were being subject to indiscriminate bombing despite, as we learned afterwards, German undertakings to respect civilians and open towns.
The Government scheme for evacuation of school children from danger zones was put into force. Thirteen trains were expected in our area. The first came in whilst I was there. All the children were cheery and bright, looking forward to a “holiday” in new surroundings. One small child told Mother that his parents had spent fifteen shillings on a new outfit for him! The only general difference was that everybody else looked grim but were more friendly and helpful than usual.
I convoyed Auntie G and Uncle A to Hereford on their way back to Bristol. Joined the WVS.