HIS DARKEST HOUR By David R Graham

HIS DARKEST HOUR   By David R Graham

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Davids Parliament logo

June 3rd 1940

 22:59pm.

 Your Majesty,

 

Twenty four days have passed since I gratefully accepted your Majesty’s invitation to be the Prime Minister of your Government. Throughout those days I have come to realise just how serious a situation your army and your people face from Herr Hitler’s military actions on the Continent and in eastern Europe. It galls me to say it your Majesty, but say it I must. They are actions that appear to be unstoppable.

The plain and unsavoury truth is that the combined forces of Great Britain and France have proven to be no match for the German Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe. And, as I had privately long suspected, the Maginot Line has proven to have given General Gamelin and his Chiefs of Staff a false sense of security. The Wehrmacht have simply marched round its impressive, but ultimately ineffective fortifications and entered Belgium through the ‘impenetrable’ Ardennes: flouting that country’s neutrality with impunity.

After withstanding repeated hammer blows from the might of the Germany Panzer brigades, General Van Caelenberge and his brave Belgian troops were fought to a standstill and, in a desperate bid to prevent the total annihilation of his forces, he surrendered.

Likewise, in the Netherlands, General Winkelman, by his own admission, had insufficient forces and materiel at his disposal to mount any long term defence against the seemingly unstoppable might of the Wehrmacht and he too was forced to surrender.

This sorry situation has been played out yet again in Norway; particularly at Narvik, where allied forces, under the command of Major General Fleischer, were ultimately unable to recapture the Port and deny its use as an ice free harbour to the enemy.

Coupled with these major military setbacks is the advent of Italy’s entry into the war. At a time when the soldiers of French were already fought to a standstill, ‘the hand that held the dagger has stuck it into the back of its neighbour,’ to borrow the words of President Roosevelt. This treacherous act on the part of Il Duce, left General Winkelman with no other recourse but to surrender his forces to the Germans. The subsequent lamentable martial stamina of the Italian forces henceforth, speaks for itself.

In tandem with the aforementioned, is the stark, undeniably, reality that our own forces have proven to have been totally inadequately prepared to fight a modern war. Suffice it to say that our troops have been badly trained and ill equipped from the outset. In consequence of this appalling and unjustifiable mismanagement and mishandling, over many years, a very desperate rescue operation is underway to try to bring home as much of our shattered army as is humanly possible. I pray God that not many more of your Majesty’s brave soldiers will die needlessly on the blood-soaked shores of Dunkirk.

It is now12:01am and my heart lies heavy in my chest at the very thought of having to write the following words to your Majesty. They are word that I have agonised over for many days and week; words that can only hint at the many more weeks of intense debate with my fellow members of the War Cabinet and those of your Majesty’s Government: words, which I never imagined I could ever bring myself to think, let alone utter and never actually to write to your Majesty. But write them I must. I, Winston Churchill, your most obedient servant and Prime Minister of your Government, seek your Majesty’s leave to sue for peace with Nazi Germany.

 Your obedient servant and Prime Minister,

 churchill's signature

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, Hon, RA.

 

The witching hours by Joe Lyons

The witching hours by Joe Lyons

 

On a night of ghoulish fun,

when the bold venture out

Some people filled with trepidation,

begin to scream and shout

 

Witches on broomsticks gleefully casting spells

flying over hills and churches bashing the bells

Cats and toads, scary things pollute the air with smell

the peals just keep on ringing, what is it they tell

 

So many ghoulish pumpkins illuminate with scary light

Until the candles splutter, or do they shake with fright

With young trick and treaters, home in bed with happy hearts

Who else is left marauding hidden by the dark?

 

Is it out of goodness? Will this last for hours?

Who knows, who can tell? Who has it in their powers?

Whose fortunes will compel tomorrow is a new day

While performing, some cross themselves and pray

 

Is it for fame or fortune,

will it also bring good health?

Does it matter that you’re troubled?  

When it brings you lots of wealth?

 

I thought hard about travelling, on this troubled road

I gathered herbs and witchy things, then found a scary toad.

Well it was scared and I was not, so I left it on a log

Even with all my newfound knowledge it could have been a frog

 

No one bothered me after midnight, as I went that way

I‘ll use that road again with swagger

And when I’ve had a drink I’ll sway

Now I’m sure nothing will harm me

on the darkest night or day.