In Hull, Richard Brown’s reaction, recorded the next day, was possibly fairly typical, although he was unusually frank in recording it for posterity:
Didn’t do much work the first day, possibly due to the lack of sleep, but more probably suppressed excitement. On the day war was declared I had a peculiar feeling of intense patriotism, a determination to do whatever I could to help (swank) and in the evening when the King spoke to us am afraid I stood up to attention when they played ‘The King’. Queer how we get moved out of our usual feelings at times, because though I am patriotic I wouldn’t usually have stood at attention with only myself for company.
By the way I have estimated this affair will last five to six years. What a hell of a time. Five times 365 days each of which might produce some sort of frightfulness in the way of an air raid or bad news.