At 8 a.m. German troops crossed the Belgian border. In the morning, presumably by telephone, Calderon made an appointment to see the Colonel of the Inns of Court Regiment, who was previously unknown to him. This time George did deploy all his persuasive skills. At first the Colonel rejected him on the same grounds as the Adjutant had, but in Kittie’s words ‘as he talked I suppose [he] grasped that here was a man who would be an asset, 45 though he might be’. In fact the Colonel may have had an inkling of how short of officers the British Army would soon become. Within a few weeks, the famous Kitchener recruitment posters were saying in their smaller print that ‘Ex-Soldiers up to 45 years of age’ were wanted.
In the afternoon, the King’s proclamation of mobilisation was read to the House of Commons and the Regiment was rushed back to London. By the end of the afternoon, George Calderon had achieved his objective: he had passed a medical examination at Lincoln’s Inn, taken the oath of allegiance, and been accepted for four years service in the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps.
As Big Ben struck the first note of 11 this evening a hundred years ago, Britain was at war with Germany.
Next Entry: 5 August 1914