maandag 28 juli 2014

William en Marta Pattison -- 29 juli 1914

• De Brit William Pattison en zijn Duitse vrouw Marta trouwden in 1910. Toen WO 1 uitbrak, was Marta met haar dochters op familiebezoek in Duitsland, en kon niet naar huis terugkeren. In hun dagboeken deden ze ieder apart verslag van de situatie.

[Marta] July 27 Our dear little Renée walked a few steps by herself today.... Frida is often homesick and wants to go home on the big ship, right down Linthorpe Road [in Middlesbrough] to Daddy. Had a letter from my dear husband, but there was no mention of a possible war. I get frightened when I think of any such possibility.

[Marta] July 28 Renée can now walk well by herself. Hurrah! I wish my dear Willy were here now and could see how she so daintily trips around. Germany's mobilisation is now expected any time. What is going to become of us?

 [Marta] July 29 I went first to the Consulate and was told I should just stay quietly here... I am in a dreadful state. If only Willy were here so that we could discuss the matter and I could get his advice.

[William] July 31 Received a letter and newspaper from Marta saying that war rumours were in the air....At the end of the letter, Marta says: 'I wish I was at home and all this horrid war up in the moon. It is spoiling my holiday because one gets quite nervous.'
This made me fearfully uneasy, for I have been relying on their knowing the position better than I did - there was little or no excitement here... That night I sent a telegram to Frankfurt saying they should go at once, with Otto, to Rotterdam, if it was safe to travel and I would go to Rotterdam with them.

[Marta] July 31 Mobilisation is expected hourly. I went therefore to the station to send my husband a telegram. It is too late to get away ourselves, as all trains are being held ready for troop transport.
The station is occupied by troops. I sent the telegram: I STAY PLEASE DO NOT COME. LOVE. And yet, I wish I were with my dear Willy, for I feel dreadful. Everything is in turmoil, I think sometimes I must be dreaming. It is a terrible state to be in.

[William] August 1 After an almost sleepless night expecting a reply to my telegram, I was at the office at 8.30 and found the telegram I was expecting....It said: 'I am staying here, please don't come.' So now I don't know whether they will set off or not.

[Marta] August 1: A telegram arrived from my dear husband saying that if it was safe, I should leave at once and he would meet me in Rotterdam. I was naturally very bothered by this [but].. it happened as I had feared, there was no longer any proper rail connection, and Otto was only able to send a telegram - in German - saying: TRAVEL NO LONGER SAFE. MUST STAY HERE.
So the war that I feared has come. All around, there are weeping women and children saying Goodbye to their loved ones. There are many hurried weddings, where the man has to go away.
It is dreadful to go down the streets. Everyone is rushing about, vast numbers of cars, and the soldiers all in new uniforms - everything has a warlike look about it and there is no longer any hope of my [Willy] getting back home soon.

[Marta] August 3 Renée can now walk very well, and Friedele speaks German very well. If only Willy could see and hear it all. I wish I knew if he is well and if he has the same longing for us as we have for him.

[Marta] August 4 What a night that was! We now know that we are really at war. I was wakened during the night by continuous gunfire, and Mother, Father and Otto were up too.
And now, the worst of all: England has declared war on Germany! And I am quite cut off from my dear husband and cannot write to him any more. What will become of him?

[William] August 4 The eventful day. Rumours abroad that Germany has declared war on England. Government have proclaimed a four day Bank Holiday. Banks do not open until Friday - bank rate is 10% - unprecedented!

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