NOVEMBER 10, 1942
ENGLAND—Last evening one could feel in everyone one spoke to, the excitement which the landing of the American troops in Northern Africa has created. Everywhere there was the feeling "Now we are fighting together." It seemed to add to people's courage and it was reflected in group after group. The workers along the Liverpool docks and streets, cheered more lustily I thought, and one woman said: "God bless your men, and may this be the beginning of the end for old Hitler."
I have not succeeded as yet in getting the words of the radio message which my husband broadcast to France. I am told that we assured that nation that we had no desire to take over any of her territory, and that at the end of the war whatever we were obliged to invade, we would return to them. This seems fairly obvious as I can not imagine that we would want to remain in Northern Africa. A young US Army aide who accompanied us today, told me that when I made the request to visit many American troops in this country, he was put to it to find any great concentrations. Still I wanted like everybody else to hear the great news which has of course, been on the mind of every military man for days past. This speaks well for their ability to keep a secret and I am grateful to them, for probably this very secrecy saved many lives.
After spending Saturday night in a country house whose mistress runs the Women's Voluntary Services for her county, we left fairly early to drive to Liverpool. Mrs. Warburton showed us two of the most delightful and amusing paintings over the fireplaces of rooms which for the present are dismantled. We drove through the old walled town of Chester and lunched with Lord Derby at the Hotel Adelphi in Liverpool.
Immediately after lunch we started out with our army to see some of our activities here. We also looked over a ship which is like those which Mr. Kaiser is turning out so rapidly in the US. Later in the day someone told me he had been over it with a critical eye, looking for some of the defects he was sure he would find, but he failed to find any. This seems to be a case where speed does not prevent production on a quality basis as well. Finally, the army handed us over to the British Navy and we went down to review the Wrens and to stand and see them parade. They do this very smartly and the swinging of their arms seems to act as a substitute for carrying a gun.
Then we returned to the headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief of the western approaches, Admiral Sir Percy Noble. He will soon be coming to the United States much to the regret of everyone here. I am sure he will have a warm welcome there, and as he has so often been stationed somewhere near the Americans, he should not find it hard to adjust to his new environment.
The Naval Station has its corresponding air force people in charge and the WAAFS mingle with the WRENS, but the WRENS far outnumber them. We spent the night in one of the WRENS' headquarters, and after I had done my broadcast, we returned to the big recreation hall where the personnel put on a really excellent show. I discovered that many of the songs must be the same for all of us, as: "Just A Song At Twilight," sung by two young sisters, and "A Bicycle Built For Two," carried me back to the days of my childhood.
I talked to a number of the girls after the entertainment and found that their occupations ranged from cooks and stewards and transport drivers to plotters, coders and radio experts. The only thing I have not seen these girls do is man a ship's boat and do the actual repairs, both of which I am told they do extremely well.