The End ... and a Beginning: 95
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Title graphic: Frank Bridge: A Life in Brief
The End ... and a Beginning: 96

Apart from concern about his health, Bridge was also deeply worried about the imminent outbreak of the Second World War. His pacifist ideals underwent frequent self-examination in the realization that efforts to secure and maintain peace had to be much more positive than the customary lip-service paid to such matters as disarmament. Beginning in 1935 in his letters to Mrs Coolidge, he chronicled and discussed in some detail the events leading up to the war; America seemed a haven in comparison to Europe:

Massachusetts just running through one's mind seems a more than peaceful spot in contrast to all the apprehension and disturbing conditions which bob up over here day after day. It seems impossible that a terrifying inferno will not burst upon everybody this side of the Atlantic. The only query appears to be 'how soon'? It is a depressing reflection that mass unemployment improves through intensive production of armaments. Often I think how tragically people like Ramsay Macdonald must feel on seeing all their long years of honest endeavour being jettisoned by the frantic efforts to re-arm as rapidly as possible.

Ethel has just been to see her sister in Hanover. A view there is 'what is England making such gigantic preparations for?' The postman hands in the letters with 'Heil Hitler' instead of 'Good morning'. What a queer state of mind, although the Germans adore being ordered to do anything, and everything, perhaps. There is an epidemic of fear so rampant that even some stupid accident may set everything ablaze.5

It was not long before gas-masks were issued, air-raid precautions taken, and evacuees from London were billeted at 'Friston Field'. For their safety Bridge brought his manuscripts down to Friston from London.

5 Letter, Frank Bridge to Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, 21 July 1936.