London at the weekend was like Paris 1940. Swarming with uniformed Germans. The disciplined regiments of Munich and Dortmund had descended on the city their fathers and grandfathers had once taken day tours to fly over. Now their descendants were here for a long weekend, thank God we had buried Maggie before she could see this shame.
I was on my way to the theatre. Only the day before our Prime Minister had told us “the people doing this.. are trying to divide us,they will only make us stronger,the way to defeat this enemy is to go about our normal business.” I knew what I had to do. Act normal. My throat was dry, my hands sweaty, but I was not going to show any fear. Events were moving too fast for that.
Trafalgar Square was full of the yellow and red uniformed Teutons. Singing and chanting in that brutal way of theirs, of course they would, they had reached the symbol of Britain triumphant. Nelson’s column had been designated to be shipped to Speer’s new Berlin when, and of course if, the jack boot had stomped down the Mall.
I parked the bike. A German in a red Munich shirt came up to me and in perfect in English asked me where I was going. That old trick. I replied in haut Deutche that I was a Belgian guest worker on my way to Dusseldorf but accidently I had left my papers back at the concentration camp. He waved me on. Whew, close shave.
They were in their fat lager lout way under the Edith Carvel statue. Jeering, singing,.She so nobly before facing the Hun firing squads,had cried , I must have no hate for any one. Not a sentiment that these beer swilling barbarians would understand.
I went into the Marquis of Salisbury. Here Croatian and Ukraine bar staff, collaborators, were serving the invaders. I looked around for friendly face. A little chap came up to me. He said. The cock will crow before the marigolds bloom. A broad wink. I replied . There will be no full moon on Tuesday. Wink, wink. I knew I had a friend. I ordered my drink, gulped it down quickly, acting as normally as I could in the excitement and left my copy of The Times Review on the bar and made my way to the theatre.
En route a yellow shirted Dortmund Miester came up and asked me the way to Leicester Square. I kept my cool. Once again , acting normally,I asked him perhaps he would like to see the newly built memorial to Bomber Command. He pathetically replied, But the war was a long time ago ,we are all Europeans now.
He spoke a foreign language fluently and was not obsessed with the War. What kind of education system have they got?
On the way back coming down Bird Cage walk two Germans appeared at 11 0’clock. I had the sun behind me. I banked, my bike never moved more sweetly. I clipped one and ploughed into the other, my wingman Ginger Knowland radioed ,two definite kills, winko . I watched the Jerries as they went down, young men just like me, one of them waved, Good luck Tommie… we could have been pals.
All around the green fields shimmered in the summer sun, they were punting on the Thames, I did a loop over the station,I wondered what was going on back at the Vicarage and whether they had mended the weather vane on St Michaels.
What a bastard war is.
Bless ‘em all, the long , the short and the tall. Dortmund 1 Munich 2.