19th November 1918
There is a strange emptiness within me. The war is over, finally, and yet I cannot rejoice. I suppose it is thinking of those who lost their lives in these past 4 years. It is not something I can celebrate. Tears sting my eyelids as I prepare breakfast on my own, in my little, lonely flat.
I miss them.
Even this morning, a week after the war is over, and more than 2 years since I heard of their deaths, I still find myself mourning them, and looking to the sky, expecting to see Zeppelins dropping bombs on us.
They said they’d come back. They said... death only happens to other people. And yet only 7 months after they signed up, I received five consecutive telegrams telling me they were dead, or as good as.
WE REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT CAPTAIN T.COVELL HAS BEEN REPORTED KILLED IN ACTION. STOP. VERY SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. STOP.
L. COVELL LOST AT SEA... PRIVATE J. COVELL KILLED IN ACTION...PRIVATE W.COVELL MISSING IN ACTION... C. COVELL LOST AT SEA.
All of them gone. My father, my brothers, every one of them dead. I will never see them again, and it pains my very soul. My mother had taken to her bed at the first telegram, and grew steadily more ill as the others came. She still has not risen since that day. I comfort myself with the fact that she is not alone in the old house; she has my younger sister, Amelia, and two housemaids to look after her.
I am undoubtedly alone.
I find myself constantly pondering through sleepless nights whether they died for a good cause. Was any of it worth it? Whole families have been killed by this war, and not just on the front, but here, at home, murdered in their beds. What can possibly justify such horrors, such awful loss of life?
The war is over. And so is the old way of life. The old order is gone and nothing can ever be the same again.
Bells ring through the streets of London, still celebrating our victory. But what sort of victory ends with so many dead? I cannot fathom it out. Indeed, I doubt anyone quite understands it.
Peace, at any rate, is finally ours. And I hope it shall be, for many years to come.