Rickards and I met H. in the street. Jaunty but gloomy. He said there was only one thing 'to save this country' - vastly increased recruiting. When I said that soldiers could be had quite easily if we would pay fairly for them, he at once said: "Bounty? Yes, the U.S.A. paid a bounty of £20." The usual charitable idea, not a proper salary. he said it was the middle classes that shirked, not the lower and not the upper. It did not seem to occur to him that the whole organisation of the army was such as to keep the middle-classes out of it - save as privates.
Our young women, and Marguerite paid another visit to another camp yesterday. Officers wire appointments here, etc. They call here in motors to make appointments. Good news yesterday as to moving of German troops from Western frontier. the bill came for the British stand, between 5,000 and 6,000 losses, but the news that they were thoroughly reinforced was good. the girls came home with a positive statement from the camp that 160,000 Russians were being landed in Britain, to be taken to France. The Colonel had brought the news from Colchester.
The statement was so positive that at first I almost believed it. But after an hour I grew quite sceptical. Only the Archangel route could have been used. Think of the number of ships and the amount of convoying necessary. In the end I dismissed it, and yet could not help hoping ... Rumours in village as to it also. Debarkation said variously to take place at Harwich and in Scotland, etc. Numbers went up to 400,000. The most curious embroidery on this rumour was from Mrs. A.W., who told Mrs. W. that the Russians were coming via us to France, where they would turn treacherous to France and join Germans in taking Paris. "We should not trust the Russians." This rumour I think took the cake. yet Mrs, Sharpe asked me seriously whether there was any fear of such a thing.