29 September 1914

It is clear from something Calderon wrote to his wife at the end of October that he did suffer from bouts of depression whilst he was an interpreter with the Blues.   On this day, Tuesday 29 September, he wrote to her:

This morning after 3 hrs riding I left the Regiment to its Brigade drill and rode home alone. […] As I rode home alone I practised sword exercise all alone in a field under the hill on a row of dummies on poles, made of sacking and straw, as directed by the Colonel. However, the horse was very shy of them, and horribly alarmed when the sword went into them, and shied and galloped about; and it was rather lonely, poking dummies all alone in a big field, even when a battalion of Kitchener’s men began to drill in a distant corner.

His strategy for being accepted in the armed forces at the age of 45 had succeeded brilliantly.   But he wasn’t a ‘soldier’.  He was ‘the Interpreter’, always ‘on the outskirts’ of the Blues.  ‘Lone’ occurs five times in the passage just quoted.

On the other hand, he never ceased to think of Kittie’s predicament too.  He finished today’s letter:

Goodbye, dearest Mrs P.  I’m sorry for all your turmoils and troubles.  But have no anxieties about me; I feel sure that they are unnecessary.  Bless you.  And get among friends as soon as possible after Sunday.

Your loving P.

The last sentence suggests that he knew they were leaving for the Front after the weekend, and was unlikely to see her beforehand.

Next entry: The military situation

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About Patrick Miles

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