By the end of October 1918 it had become clear that Germany was losing the war. In a desperate attempt to preserve the country’s prestige, General Ludendorff gave orders to launch one final naval assault against the Royal Navy in the English Channel on 28 October. Tired and demoralized, many of the sailors refused to obey orders or weigh anchor, and several hundred men were arrested for mutiny. On 3 November, several thousand sailors and civilians assembled in the maritime city of Kiel to demand the release of the prisoners and an end to the war. They were met with military forces who opened fire at the demonstrators, killing at least nine and wounding many others. However they could not stop the demonstrations which spread rapidly across the country and in so doing escalated into an open rebellion against the Imperial German State. As the Astro-Hungarian empire began to collapse, new states emerged to declare independence – Czechoslovakia on 29 October, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia on 30 October, and the Hungarian People’s Republic on 31 October. Meanwhile in London, Tommy Armstrong who had begun to recover from the Spanish Flu took a sudden turn for the worse. Was the dreaded disease about to claim yet another victim?
Monday 28 October
Sir Thomas came in the morning, I was up & just making the bed with nurse, when he arrived! I read some of the day. H. shopped, & Muz stayed in all day. Ione came round but didn’t come up. Muz went down to her for a few minutes. Tom is to have fresh air today, so in the evening we moved her into my bed, & Muz is to sleep in the big bed, & me in H’s bed, & H. on the box in my room. H. sat up till 4, & then called nurse. Nurse had been to the theatre, & came & lay down in my room.
Tuesday 29 October
I was up early, & Muz did Tom’s bedroom floor with water, & we tidied the room. Tom much better today. H. went out & shopped. Ione came round, & stayed for a bit, & then went to meet Mr Hamilton. I read in the afternoon, Muz wrote letters, & Tom had a sleep. We got the Dr: to ring up & ask for nurse, as we didn’t want her any more! So she left in the evening. I slept in H’s bed, & H. slept on the box, in Tom’s room, with Muz.
“Ask for nurse”
Wednesday 30 October
I didn’t get up till rather late, Tom seems better this morning. After breakfast Muz & I went out, it was my first time out, & it felt rather queer!! We went in a bus to Flemings, as Ione was in bed jimmying.1 We sat & talked to her for a bit, then had lunch out. We were to have gone back to Ione this afternoon, to help her to settle her drawing room, but soon after we got back, Tom had a horrid turn. I was sitting with her, & saw her looking rather queer, so called H. & ran for Muz. She had a bad kind of faint, which she was in for ¾ hour. I telephoned to Sir T. but he couldn’t come for ½ hour, so I tried to get the hotel Dr, or somebody in the hotel, at last I got Dr Thomas, but he wasn’t much use, & wanted to inject something & then luckily Sir T. arrived, but she was round by then, & had been sick. He said it wasn’t anything to do with the disease, but a “rigid stomach”. She was sick the rest of the evening, & through the night, & most frightfully weak. She gave us a most awful fright, & we were most awfully anxious all night, as she never spoke & hardly moved, & looked awful. We all stayed up all night, only H. & I lay down nearly all the time, but Muz only lay down towards the morning. She seemed a wee bit better towards the morning, but kept sicking up every thing.
Thursday 31 October
Sir T. came in the morning, he says she is better, but that her tummy will take some time to get right. She was sick nearly all day, & didn’t keep anything down, & still very exhausted. H. went to bed, & stayed there all day, so as to be up tonight. Ione came round in the morning, & she sat with Muz, while I lay down for a bit, then she went off to pack up her wedding presents with K. to send to the bank. After tea, Muz had a sleep, while I watched Tom. H. got up for dinner, & then I went to bed, but didn’t sleep much, & Muz lay on blankets on the floor. Tom had a very restless night, but wasn’t sick so much, but her head is bad!
Independence for Czechoslovakia
Friday 1 November
Tom seemed a bit better, & was hardly sick at all, but still has a horrid headache, & isn’t taking much nourishment, & is still very weak. Ione came round in the morning, & did the shopping, & had lunch with us, then went to take her presents to the bank, but came back again later. H. went to bed at about 12-30, as she had been up all night. I went for a little run first, then Muz & I stayed with Tom. I was sick this morning & then in the evening had an awful headache, & felt sick, so I slept in the other room. H. had dinner in bed & then came in, & sat up all night. Muz got into bed, & had a fairly good sleep. She was dead tired.
Saturday 2 November
Tom seems better in herself this morning, but her head is still very bad. Ione came round in the morning, & did the shopping, then I went out with her, to get lunch, but went to Flemings first, to leave parcels, & then I fixed her room a bit. Kathleen Warren came, & when she left Markie & another woman came, so I couldn’t wait, so went off, & got back in a bus. H. had been up all day, & didn’t go to bed till seven. Sir T. came while I was out, & said Tom’s head had something to do with her eyes. She wasn’t sick all day, or last night. I sat in Tom’s room, & Muz & I wrote letters. I sat up till about 11, then H. came in, & I went to bed, but couldn’t get to sleep till after two. Muz lay in her bed, & H. sat up, but Muz didn’t get much sleep.
Sunday 3 November
Muz brought me my breakfast in bed, & I got up aft: H. was doing cooking etc all morning, so didn’t go to bed. Tom seems well in herself today, but her head no better. Muz looks dreadfully tired, as she hardly gets any sleep, & is so worried too. Ione didn’t come round, as she stayed in bed, then had people to tea. H. bed about 6. Alwyn came round & wants to do anything, awfully sweet. Muz & I wrote letters in the evening, & sat up till about twelve, & then called H. & Muz went to bed then too, but of course is up & down all night.