We must win or die

Florence Vansittart Neale was greatly excited by the latest rumours. Claude Grahame-White (1879-1959) was a pioneer of aviation who was the first Briton to hold a pilot’s licence, and also made the first aerial post delivery, from London to Windsor. He served in the Royal Naval Air Service at the start of the war, before turning to manufacturing aircraft for the war effort. This particular rumour was a very wild one.

29 September 1915

Still advancing. Many more prisoners. Awful slaughter. Joffre says must win or die now! Letter from Ken – he safe. 40 [of] his company killed, & 7 officers, altogether 300 men!… Bubs’ day changed to Wednesdays. They have had convoy.

Heard Grahame White is a spy! Been shot!!

Hear that 24 aeroplanes had been tampered with so could not start that night. One man found & shot.

Heard many spurious officers found out by army orders given out, no khaki to be worn for 24 hours by officers! Many found out in consequence.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale (D/EX73/3/17/8)

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