Note that George Calderon’s ‘Attestation’ simply meant that he had joined the ‘Territorial Force’ and this committed him to ‘Four Years Service in the United Kingdom’. In his excellent The British Soldier of the First World War (Shire Books, 2010) Peter Doyle explains that men joining up as territorials ‘did so on the understanding that they would serve as part-timers engaged on home-defence, with no overseas commitment’.
Kittie Calderon therefore imagined ‘two little figures which were George and Reggie Astley [second husband of her lifelong intimate friend Nina Stewart] standing by two immense guns somewhere up near John O’Groats House waiting for the German invasion’. As soon as war was declared, however, the ‘terriers’ would be liable for full-time service, and the implication was that the ‘terriers’ would serve at home and the regulars overseas.
But is this what George Calderon wanted?
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