01-Jun 00:04 – Tuesday
Today, June 1 1897, we meet the first of the characters through whose eyes and words we will experience the Martian invasion:
- Antoinette Louise Clark (Toni to her friends) a young medical student – one of the first of her era – who is heavily influenced by Grace Harwood Stewart, one of the first female doctors, and Millicent Fawcett, a noted suffragist
- Harry Harbord Morant, the maverick South Australia soldier who, as a result of his actions during the war, earned the personal enmity of Field Marshal Wolseley
- and of course Herbert George Wells, the socialist and author who has done so much to shape our understanding of the war.
We close with Wells observing Mars in the company of Oglivy the astronomer.
02-Jun 00:01 – Wednesday
Following the observation of lights from Mars some people begin to ponder the possibility that Martians are signaling Earth.
In London, Toni, caught up in her studies, her enthusiasm for the suffragists, and the joys of divided skirts, means it is only at the end of the day that she has time to contemplate the idea of life on Mars.
03-Jun 00:01 – Thursday
The Martians have landed in Woking and as Oglivy examines the first capsule the British Government begins to react, despatching a number of units to the landing sites.
News of the events at Woking has also begun to penetrate Toni’s world of medicine, activism, and clothing-with-pockets. She’s also begun a friendship with Elizabeth Cadbury, a well known suffragist and philanthropist.
We meet Lt Roger Carver for the first time. Carver is the Lieutenant in charge of HMS Thunder Child’s Marine detachment which on this day is on station just off the Thames Estuary.
Towards the end of the day we witness the appearance of the 1st Martian, quickly followed by deployment of the heat-ray.
04-Jun 00:01 – Friday
With the landing of a 2nd Martian craft the army attempts to surround the Woking pit.
In London medicine continues to be at the forefront of Toni’s mind, fuelled by the talk she attends by Marie and Pierre Curie, but on the way home the preceding evening she had seen a strange light in the sky. As a result she finds herself thinking of the idea of life on Mars. And because she’s friends with the brother of the renowned HG Wells, curiosity begins to stir.
Recalled to their barracks Morant and Vogan have decided to go AWOL to attend the Curie’s talk on Saturday in Oxford.
05-Jun 00:01 – Saturday
After the Martians use their heat-ray on the crowd watching them, and 40 civilians die in the resulting panic, London slowly awakes to the possible danger on its doorstep.
Toni reads the news headlines, and is horrified to learn that Martians have really landed on Earth. As an educated woman she is reassured by the differing gravity between Earth and Mars. But the first hints of concern creep into her diary.
With disruptions now affecting the railways Morant and Vogan leave for Oxford by stagecoach to hear the Curies’ talk, even as the artillery encircling the first 2 cylinders are destroyed by the Martian’s heat ray.
06-Jun 00:01 – Sunday
Today, with evacuations beginning the London newspapers begin to take notice, and the Army moves to capture the Martians.
Stuck in Oxford, Morant and Vogan decide to cadge a ride back to London on a troop train, and volunteer to take the Curies with them.
As the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies encourages their members to organise – just in case – Toni finds herself placed in a team with Elizabeth Cadbury, and also Grace Harwood Stewart – who will later become the first woman to become a medical doctor in England. They’re to be based at Queen Anne’s Mansions, where Elizabeth Cadbury owns an apartment (the Mansions are the first true high-rise in London)
Wells has taken his wife to Leatherhead, where his cousins live. And we meet Lieutenant JR Dullanty, Coldstream Guards, 4th Company (Special Operations), even as the 1st tripod emerges.
07-Jun 00:01 – Monday
Today we explore what will later become known as ‘The Longest Day‘ as the Martians, having destroyed those units which had attempted to surround them, begin their move on London. It is today, that 4 Company (Special Operations), Coldstream Guards is deployed, and the first naval engagement of the war occurs.
For Toni, her concerns for @hgwellsbro escalate as refugees begin to appear in London. Her fears for her personal safety begin to conflict with what she sees as her responsibility to help her fellow human beings.
The Curies, unable to return France, are forced to stay with Morant.
And the Martian’s release the black-smoke for the first time with devastating effect.
08-Jun 00:01 – Tuesday
The Martians continued to press their attack on London as the army’s Kingston and Richmond defences threaten to collapse under the impact of the black-smoke, and portions of the fleet mutiny.
In London, as the police go door-to-door encouraging everyone to evacuate, Toni and her fellow suffragists decide to stay to provide what help they can, even as law-and-order slowly breaks down around them.
Morant’s mother and her girls join him as he has decided to stay in London to fight for and protect refugees. To assist this glorious calling Morant decides to promote himself to Colonel and obtains additional supplies for what is becoming a growing militia based in the Underground’s newly completed Waterloo station.
At Tilbury Fort Lieutenant Dullanty manages to secure mounts and sufficient rations and ammunition to last his 2 platoons 5 days in the field, as well as several boxes of dynamite.
09-Jun 00:01 – Wednesday
As the British government flees to Birmingham and London panics, Wells becomes trapped with the curate in a house in Sheen, when the 6th Martian cylinder lands next door, collapsing the building on top of them.
Today the government establishes the #Gascoyne-Cecil-Line which follows the Great Western Railway’s mainline from London to Bristol, and we catch up with Lt Carver on board HMS Thunder Child who is tasked with assisting with the Queen’s evacuation to France.
We meet the inventor Hiram Maxim (the inventor of the Maxim Machine Gun) who is watching the Woking Pit where the Martians have erected a massive tower. And Sir J Dullanty (chemist, engineer, inventor, and philanthropist) whose Scottish estate (Rotch Wood) abutted Balmoral enters the story for the first time.
For Toni, today is a day of fear, tears, and emotional fatigue. Toni is a strong independent woman, but even the strongest must acknowledge their fears.
10-Jun 00:01 – Thursday
Today we experience ‘The Miracle of Deliverance’ – the evacuation of 338,000 of London’s inhabitants to France by means of civilian small vessels via Harwich, Foulness, Shoebury, et al while protected by the British Home Fleet.
And through the eyes of Lieutenant Carver, the senior officer of the Royal Marines detachment assigned to HMS Thunder Child, we experience the destruction of 3 tripods before Thunder Child’s self immolation.
In London Toni’s diary documents her increasing anger at the absence of any government below ‘the-line’, and introduces us to Sir John Fowler, who was a noted civil engineer. He was the engineer for the London Metropolitan Railway, and a resident of Queen Anne’s Mansions.
While Morant’s own efforts to organise begin to bear fruit, Lt Dullanty (4th Coy. CdSmGd) who has been ordered to provide an outer perimeter to the Queen’s transfer observes the HMS Thunder Child’s battle with 4 tripods, and recovers the corpse of a Martian.
11-Jun 00:01 – Friday
The Queen arrives at Balmoral, much to the distress of the British Government who had arranged for her to travel to Paris, and the first description of the Martians is obtained when a recovered Martian corpse is rushed to the #RotchWoodEstate in Scotland for autopsy.
In London, the scarcity of entries in Toni’s diary today shows how the group has been almost overwhelmed with the situation. However, they continue to organize and today ‘elect’ Elizabeth Cadbury as their commander-in-chief.
Morant’s escape route now permits refugees to get as far as Finchley Road Station using the underground. From there a network of safe houses has been set up to take refugees to a staging point 30 miles northeast of London.
12-Jun 00:01 – Saturday
In London, once again Toni’s diary has only a few entries for the day, but they are important ones – documenting decisions to make sure they remain safe, research on the black smoke, and the frightening sounds made by the Martians during their patrols.
Morant’s guests, Marie and Pierre Curie, become fixated (according to Morant) on the idea that the Martians are unable to digest arsenic.
Commander Carver, now behind enemy lines with a small scratch group of 25 (Marines, Horse Guards, and misc. stragglers) prepares to march on Woking to destroy the radio mask erected by the Martians.
13-Jun 00:01 – Sunday
Despite the loss of 3 tripods the Martians have continued a cautious push northward, reaching the outskirts of Didcot today.
In London Toni explains how the leaders of the suffragists survived the Martian black smoke, and mentions the ‘Red Weed’ for the first time. While Morant dispatches foraging parties to supplement dwindling food stocks. HMS Majestic, flagship of the Channel Squadron reports sighting a flying disc circling over the fleet.
By the end of the day, due to the number of civilians killed during the Martian’s attack on Didcot, the army has decided to evacuate all non-combatants within 10 miles of the Line further north.
14-Jun 00:01 – Monday
Given the impact of the Martian’s Red Weed on England’s urban and country environments we take a short detour to consider the plants that for a short time drowned much of England in a sea of red.
In London, the entries in Toni’s diary offers essential reading for the modern historian to properly understand the sweeping political changes that occurred after 1897. Many historians speculate that without ‘The Line’ and the anger it caused, the changes to society that swept from London, and indeed into the wider world, would have taken many more decades.
The Curies continue to collect evidence that the Martians are highly susceptible to arsenic.
Lt Dullanty decides to move his two platoons closer to London, setting up a heligraph in Greenwich to maintain contact with Tilbury Fort, while Lt Carver (ex HMS Thunder Child) continues to march his ragtag group towards Woking.
Things may be getting a bit crowded in London 😉
15-Jun 00:01 – Tuesday
This is Wells and the curate’s 7th day confined to their Sheen prison and we join Wells as he continues to observe the mining operation the Martians have set up in the pit.
In London, Morant has pulled together a team to capture a heat ray. However, on their return they will be ambushed by a group of civilians who claim to be from the 4th Coy. Coldstream Guards.
Today, Toni’s diary reminds us that even the strong have moments of fear. And once again, her writing foreshadows changes to come.
East of London, Lieutenant Carver and his scratch unit arrive at Tilbury to find the Ferry tied up at the quay and covered with corpses. While further West, Lieutenant Dullanty (4th Coy. Coldstream Guards) arrives at Greenwich without having been spotted by the Martians.
16-Jun 00:01 – Wednesday
Since the establishment of the #Gascoyne-Cecil-Line on 9 June the army had been hard at work establishing a mined line a mile-wide along GWR’s mainline east of London. Today the defences are tested as the Martian’s attack Swindon. The Martian’s flying-machine flies numerous sorties for the first time. In a bid to prevent the line from collapsing, Lt Dullanty, now based at Greenwich, is ordered to destroy the Martian’s flying base on Primrose Rose.
In London, Morant, having lost the heat-ray to the Coldstream Guards’ Special Operation Coy, has to explain to Marie Curie that he also lost her husband, Pierre.
And once again Toni’s diary reminds us that all of us have value. Society sometimes discards the old. In fact, this was a theme during the Martian invasion. The old and infirm were left behind. But without Sir John and the other ‘oldies’ in Queen Anne’s Mansions, there would have been no wireless communications, and very limited supplies of the gas masks required to survive the black smoke.
17-Jun 00:01 – Thursday
Today more discoveries are made concerning the Martians and Lieutenant Dullanty’s Special Ops unit launches their attack on the Martian airfield at London’s Primrose Hill.
At Woking, Maxim is shocked by the arrival of his granddaughter, Persephone, who left Edinburgh to join him against his express orders.
Commander Carver’s scratch force (now working their way to Woking via Betchworth) continues to grow, with the addition of a 12-pounder gun, its horses, limber, ammunition and crew.
In London, even as the red weed chokes the Thames, Toni and the other suffragettes gain a renewed sense of purpose.
18-Jun 00:01 – Friday
The infamous ‘Circus Massacre’ is well known to historians, and Toni’s view of what occurred is blunt. However, with historians estimating that 1.25 million people remained in London throughout the War, the Massacre could have been predicted.
Commander Carver, his 30 men plus field-gun, enter Ripley, just outside Woking where they encounter Persephone who escorts them to meet Maxim, her grandfather. Maxim explains his belief that the tower the Martians have erected is much more than a simple beacon and explains how he plans to destroy it.
Still confined to the house in Sheen, Wells is forced to knock the Curate out when he draws the attention of the Martians with his prayers.
19-Jun 00:01 – Saturday
Wells finally emerges from the house he had been confined for 11 days, to the sound of — silence.
In London, Toni’s diary continues to demonstrate the determination and organisational skills of the suffragists. And once again, we see Elizabeth Cadbury’s exemplary leadership qualities demonstrated.
Elsewhere in the greatest city on Earth, Morant records that one of the men who had taken the heat-ray off him had turned up with the news that Pierre Curie had been trying to get the heat ray to work at a lab in Oxford when it exploded, killing him instantly.
Outside the city, Commander Carver and Maxim finish their plans for a combined attack against the Martians in the Woking Pit, an attack that will be undertaken from both the air, and ground.
And we consider the report on an examination of the Martian’s machines recovered by Lieutenant Dullanty, undertaken at Roche Wood under the direction of Sir J Dullanty (the Lieutenant’s father). And discuss an explanation for why the Martian’s only launched a restricted number of capsules.
20-Jun 00:01 – Sunday
From a historical perspective, we are beginning to see that determination, organisation, and competence, lead to results that have far reaching consequences. As does the opposite.
We continue to see the @NUWSS’ organisational abilities with outposts now in regular contact now via radio. In her diary Toni notes the increasing difficulty of moving through London because of the Red Weed which has clogged London’s waterways and caused the Thames to break its banks.
In Woking we witness the determined assault on the Martian’s pit, while in London Morant delivers the eulogy for Pierre Currie at a small commemoration service held in the undercroft at Westminster.
21-Jun 00:01 – Monday
Wells continues to slowly build up his strength prior to leaving from the house he has now been confined to for 13 days.
Toni’s diary chronicles an epic journey from Queen Anne’s Mansions to Bryanston Square in the quest for more equipment and medicines. She and Grace Stewart undertook the journey alone. In normal days, a round trip of 6.5km would take about an hour and a half. This journey took an entire day.
Elsewhere in London, Morant continues to pester Marie Curie to provide him with weapons, even as the flood of refugees passing along the escape routes he and Brown established appears endless.
22-Jun 00:01 – Tuesday
The reduction in the number of Martians patrolling London allows the NUWSS hospital to open quietly. Red weed continues to choke the streets, and people still have to hide from the Martians to access help, but the wireless communication and organisation from the surviving NUWSS members provide hope for survivors.
Still at his underground base Morant and his followers toast Queen Victoria for her accession to the throne in 1837. This would have been the day of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
23-Jun 00:01 – Wednesday
Wells is drawn out of the house he had been imprisoned in Sheen by the sight of a dog fossicking around the Martian pit. Over the course of the day we follow his progress through Kew before he breaks into the inn at the top of Putney Hill to spend the night.
In London Morant is focussed on a tripod that had been found motionless in Lambeth.
24-Jun 00:01 – Thursday
On the edge of Wimbledon Common Wells meets the artilleryman he first met at Woking so many days before. The artilleryman has not seen any Martians for 5 days and they discuss his plans for resistance. And the identity the artilleryman is disclosed for the first time.
In London Toni continues to be thankful for those who were left or stayed behind. Edith Cavell, who would, during The German War, be shot by the Germans for helping soldiers of both side, organises the nursing staff at Queen Anne’s Mansion, and the oldies who have found purpose despite their abandonment.
Toni continues to struggle with her own feelings of abandonment by the government of the day, and we begin to see her political awakening as she starts to appreciate that there may be more beyond achieving the vote. Now she has begun to question who should be in government.
This is also the last we hear of Morant, who disappears while leading a force to release any humans still held prison in the Martian’s redoubt on Primrose Hill.
25-Jun 00:01 – Friday
Today, we follow Wells (to some extent a victim of the Martians) as he passes through the heart of an apparently dead London, witnessed only by the mournful cry of ‘Ulla Ulla Ulla’ in the distance.
Against this, Toni’s diary chronicles the events of this momentous day through the eyes of a survivor. Even though strange sounds echo through London, she and Elizabeth Cadbury make the trek north to collect more supplies for the hospital. Along the way, they encounter an empty Martian machine, and the first incredulous seeds of hope are sown.
26-Jun 00:01 – Saturday
Despite the momentous events of the preceding day, Toni and Grace have no time to spend sitting around. There are too many people still needing help. Apart from a brief description of the end of Saturday’s trek. Toni continues to assist the infirm.
As we accompany Wells to the Martian’s last redoubt at Primrose Hill, from where he can look down upon the ruins of London, news reaches the Continent that the Martians are dead and aid begins to roll in.
27-Jun 00:01 – Sunday
With the news that the Martian’s are dead, the army moves south to restore order, even as Queen Victoria acts to seize and protect all Martian artifacts by establishing #RotchWood to take ownership of all property previously belonging to the Martians.
Once again, Toni has little time to speculate on much except saving lives. However, her diary references her growing understanding of the politics of the time.
28-Jun 00:01 – Monday
As Well wandered through London in a fugue, the city begins to return to life around him, while the Queen attends a service in Balmoral to mourn those lost.
For Toni, this represents a defining day. For much of July, she’s been at the forefront of things. Now, there’s an attempt to shunt aside the women who stepped up when others didn’t.
Wells’ mental health has gradually recovered sufficient for him to be informed that Leatherhead had been destroyed by the Martians.
29-Jun 00:01 – Tuesday
As the Daily Mail resumes publication Wells recovers sufficiently to bid farewell to London, but before he leaves he ventures out one more time to observe the return of its inhabitants.
And for Toni, released from the massive responsibility of operating the only functioning ‘hospital’ in London, her mind can turn to other things – like what to do now, and what the future might look like.
30-Jun 00:01 – Wednesday
Wells, back in his own mind, and taking advantage of the free trains running from Waterloo, returns to Woking to be reunited with his wife.
While Toni receives word from her friend (Well’s brother) that he had survived the war in a French refugee camp.
And for those still with us we explore what the future will bring for those who have shared their lives with us during this fictionalised docudrama, starting with the 1900 election and David Lloyd George’s landside victory that resulted in Salisbury’s coalition of Unionists and Conservatives being reduced to a mere rump as the Liberals win 54% of the vote, while the Labour Representation Committee, later to become the Labour Party, wins 25%.