Sunday, October 27, 2013

9 June 1916 Flanders

Dear Folks,
Have handed the hospital over to 4th Ambulance and are now in a camp behind our old one. We were intended to go up to the Advanced work (our section) but as two of our Dr’s were posted to other units, it left our section short of officers and so we had to stay behind. We have since got some more and will be able to go up when our turn comes around in a few days.
Well since I wrote last there have been some pretty exciting times. On Sunday night we sent 100 stretcher-bearers up to help clear the wounded from the copse. Half of them came back the next day and the rest stayed for two days longer. They were “C” section as they had been there before and were a little bit acquainted with the country. They report having a very exciting time and I only wish I could have been there.There was only one casualty. He was wounded in the leg and arm and will likely get a permanent blighty. The patient on his squad was killed and one of the boys had his arm around the patient when he was hit. Pretty narrow escape eh? We all wear the new steel helmet now when we go up there. It certainly saves scores of lives. One of our boys got a big dent in his, as big as a fist. Certainly saved his life.
The boys got great praise from the authorities. They had been carrying wounded out of the front line which is only 25 – 30 yards from Fritz’s front line and in full view of him. Their flares were falling right around them and they were forced to go overland not having any communication trenches. Some of the poor fellows had been lying there for as long as five days and were in very bad shape. Gangrene had set in in a lot of cases and all were in bad condition from lack of food and medical attention.
The bombardment was exceptionally heavy and the enemy evidently thought that they would have a complete walkover but they soon found out that those who were alive were very much alive, and the number of Germans left on the field testified to that. We had one German in the hospital here. He was a young looking chap about 25 – 26 and a very good looking chap. He certainly didn’t look starved and was in good condition. He only stayed with us a short time and we didn’t get much of a chance to quiz him.
I was very much disappointed that I could not get up but I’ll try and get up next time. We were lucky to get off with only one casualty.
I am quartered in a hut here and I got to work yesterday and made a bed. It is a dandy affair and is just like a spring mattress. There are 6 of us in this hut together, a double bed in two corners and a single in the other two. We made a table and bench as well so we are pretty comfy. We will only be here for a few days though, but we are enjoying ourselves while we are here. The roof is thatched with straw and is quite waterproof.
It is too bad about Al Ryan but I guess he was pretty sick though. I was glad to know you got rid of Mrs. Orr. She should have more decency than to impose herself on people like that way.
I hope Orville doesn’t have any more trouble with that fellow. It has caused him enough worry now. I don’t see how they can hold him libel for the costs.
I got Mae’s letter and also the parcel from Rose. I was glad Mae succeeded in getting her choir into Massy Hall. But I guess she …. and she will be very glad when the strain is over. Is she taking a playground for the summer?
Well I must ring off and get to bed. Hope everyone is well.
Yours lovingly,

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