1 October 1914

The first attempt at implementing the Schlieffen Plan for defeating France had failed and Moltke was replaced as chief of the German general staff by Falkenhayn.  The Germans now began a second attempt.  Their intention was to invade the rest of Belgium up to the coast, outflank the allies from the west, and break through to Paris having seized the Channel ports.  On 1 October 1914, therefore, the B.E.F. began a long redeployment from the Aisne, where they were relieved by French troops, to Flanders.  They would be fighting alongside Belgian and French forces, and the plan was for them to be met around Ypres by the 3rd Cavalry Division coming from the north.  The 3rd Cavalry Division, of course, contained an interpreter named George Calderon.

Although Kittie numbered all of George’s 1914 wartime letters, and there are no gaps in the extant series, she probably did this for Percy Lubbock in 1920 when he was writing his George Calderon: A Sketch from Memory, and kept some of them back because she felt they were too personal.  These letters are now lost.  It appears, therefore, as though George did not communicate with her between 1 and 5 October.  But her memoirs tell a different story:

[There were] rumours that at any moment they might be off and that there was no chance of any more leave and would I, or would I not, come to the camp? — of course, I must do exactly as I liked — wives were turning up — but his advice was not to, it would be so unsatisfactory — and then another letter saying I was to go to the port and to try and bring someone with me so that I should not feel I was left entirely alone.

Next entry: Language issues again

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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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