2 August 1914

Suddenly (he had no time to let Kittie know he was coming), George Calderon returned to London. On 1 August Germany and France mobilised, and the party holidaying on the Isle of Wight soon heard the news. Evey (Captain Pym) may also have received a telegram ordering him to report for duty; or he decided that the Pym family must go home to Kent next day and George left with them. Calderon’s conversation with Evey, a regular soldier whom he knew well, may well have influenced what he decided to do next.

Instead of going straight home to Hampstead, he made for the HQ of the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps. 2 August was a Sunday, but he guessed somebody would be there. His intention was to enlist with this regiment by appealing to his experience from almost two decades before in the Artists Volunteers and the Inns of Court Volunteers. Unfortunately, there was no-one present who could tell him whether it was possible to ‘rejoin’ the Inns of Court Regiment at the age of 45 years and 7 months. But he did learn that the regiment was leaving for camp the next day.

Continuing in Kittie Calderon’s words:

We spent the rest of that day rummaging and collecting the most suitable sorts of garments for Camp – and most of the night stitching hard – as most of them were very ancient – and he and his ruk-sak were on the platform of the station where the Regiment was to entrain at I think it was 6 a.m. next morning…

Next Entry: 3 August 1914


About Patrick Miles

I am a writer who specialises in Anton Chekhov and is writing a biography of George Calderon.
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