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    Chapter 10

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    Chapter 10
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    With No.-- Field Ambulance (2)

    FESTUBERT, MAY 9 AND MAY 16

    May 6, 1915, to May 26, 1915

    "We have built a house that is not for Time's throwing; We have gained a peace unshaken by pain for ever. War knows no power. Safe shall be my going, Secretly armed against all death's endeavour. Safe though all safety's lost; safe where men fall; And if these poor limbs die, safest of all."--RUPERT BROOKE.

    The noise of war--Preparation--Sunday, May 9--The barge--The officers' dressing station--Charge of the Black Watch, May 9--Festubert, May 16--The French Hospital--A bad night--Shelled out--Back at a Clearing Hospital--"For duty at a Base Hospital."

    Thursday, May 6th, 3 A.M.--It was a very noisy day, and I didn't sleep after 2 P.M. There is a good lot of firing going on to-night.

    A very muddy officer of 6 ft. 4 was brought in early yesterday morning with a broken leg, and it is a hard job to get him comfortable in these short beds.

    Yesterday at 4 A.M. I couldn't resist invading the garden opposite which is the R.A. Headquarters. It is full of lovely trees and flowers and birds. I found a blackbird's nest with one egg in. From the upper windows of this place it makes a perfect picture, with the peculiarly beautiful tower of the Cathedral as a background.

    Friday, May 7th, 1 A.M.--The noise is worse than anywhere in London, even the King's Road. The din that a column of horse-drawn, bolt-rattling waggons make over cobbles is literally deafening; you can't hear each other speak. And the big motor-lorries taking the "munitions of war" up are almost as bad. These processions alternate with marching troops, clattering horses, and French engines all day, and very often all night, and in the middle of it all there are the guns. Tonight the rifle firing is crackling.

    Sir John French and Sir Douglas Haig have been up here to-day, and every one is telling every one else when the great Attack is going to begin.

    There are three field ambulances up here, and only work for two ( --th and --th), so the --th is established in a huge school for 500 boys, where it runs a great laundry and bathing establishment. A thousand men a day come in for bath, disinfection, and clean clothes; 100 French women do the laundry work in huge tubs, and there are big disinfectors and drying and ironing rooms. The men of the F.A. do the sorting and all the work except the washing and ironing. And the beautifully-cared-for English cart-horses that belong to the F.A., and the waggons and the motor ambulances and the equipment, are all kept ready to move at a moment's notice.

    Colonel ---- showed me all over it this evening. It is done at a cost to the Government of 7d. per man, washed and clothed.

    My blackbird has laid another egg.

    Friday, May 7th, 10 P.M.--A pitch-dark night, raining a little, and only one topic--the Attack to-morrow morning.

    The first R.A.M.C. barge has come up, and is lying in the canal ready to take on the cases of wounds of lung and abdomen, to save the jolting of road and railway; it is to have two Sisters, but I haven't seen them yet: shall go in the morning: went round this morning to see, but the barge hadn't arrived.

    There are a few sick officers downstairs who are finding it hard to stick in their beds, with their regiments in this job close by. There is a house close by which I saw this morning with a dirty little red flag with a black cross on it, where the C.-in-C. and thirty commanders of the 1st Army met yesterday.

    The news to-day of Hill 60 and the gases is another spur to the grim resolve to break through here, that can be felt and seen and heard in every detail of every arm. "Grandmother" is lovingly talked about.

    The town, the roads, and the canal banks this morning were so packed with men, waggons, horses, bales, and lorries, that you could barely pick your way between them.

    Since writing this an aeroplane has been circling over us with a loud buzz. The sergeant called up to me to put the lights out. We saw her light. There is much speculation as to who and what she was; she was not big enough for our big "'Bus," as she is called, who belongs to this place. No one seems ever to have seen one here at night before.

    We are making flannel masks for the C.O. for our men.

    Our fat little Gabrielle makes the most priceless soup out of the ration beef (which none of us are any good at) and carrots. She mothers us each individually, and cleans the house and keeps her wee kitchen spotless.

    4 A.M.--The 9.2's are just beginning to talk.

    Here is a true story. One of our trenches at Givenchy was being pounded by German shells at the time of N. Ch. A man saw his brother killed on one side of him and another man on the other. He went on shooting over the parapet; then the parapet got knocked about, and still he wasn't hit. He seized his brother's body and the other man's and built them up into the parapet with sandbags, and went on shooting.

    When the stress was over and he could leave off, he looked round and saw what he was leaning against. "Who did that?" he said. And they told him.

    They get awfully sick at the big-print headlines in some of the papers--"The Hill 60 Thrill"!

    "Thrill, indeed! There's nothing thrilling about ploughing over parapets into a machine-gun, with high explosives bursting round you,--it's merely beastly," said a boy this evening, who is all over shrapnel splinters.

    Saturday, May 8th, 9 A.M.--This is Der Tag. Could anybody go to bed and undress?

    I have been cutting dressings all night. One of the most stabbing things in this war is seeing the lines of empty motor ambulances going up to bring down the wrecks who at this moment are sound and fit, and all absolutely ready to be turned into wrecks.

    10.30 P.M.--Der Tag was a wash-out, but it is to begin at 1.15 to-night. (It didn't!)

    The tension is more up than ever. A boy who has just come in with a poisoned heel (broken-hearted because he is out of it, while his battalion moves up) says, "You'll be having them in in cartloads over this."

    Sunday, May 9th, 1.30 A.M.--The Lions are roaring in full blast and lighting up the sky.

    Have been busy to-night with an operation case who is needing a lot of special nursing, and some admissions--one in at 11 P.M., who was only wounded at 9 o'clock. I hope these magnificent roars and rumblings are making a mess of the barbed wire and German trenches. There seems to be a pretty general opinion that they will retaliate by dropping them into this place if they have time, and pulverising it like Ypres.

    5.25 A.M.--It has begun. It is awful--continuous and earthquaking.

    9.30 A.M.--In bed. The last ten minutes of "Rapid" did its damnedest and then began again, and we are still thundering hell into the German lines.

    It began before 5 with a fearful pounding from the French on our right, and hasn't left off since.

    Had a busy night with my operation case and the others (he is doing fine), and in every spare second getting ready for the rush. The M.O.'s were astir very early; the A.D.M.S. came to count empty beds. It is to-night they'll be coming in.

    Must try and sleep. But who could yesterday and to-day?

    Monday, May 10th, 9.30 A.M.--We have had a night of it. Every Field Ambulance, barge, Clearing Hospital, and train are blocked with them. The M.O.'s neither eat nor sleep. I got up early yesterday and went down to the barge to see if they wanted any extra help (as the other two were coping with the wounded officers), and had a grim afternoon and evening there. One M.O., no Sisters, four trained orderlies, and some other men were there. It was packed with all the worst cases--dying and bleeding and groaning. After five hours we had three-fourths of them out of their blood-soaked clothes, dressed, fed, hæmorrhage stopped, hands and faces washed, and some asleep. Two died, and more were dying. They all worked like bricks. The M.O., and another from the other barge which hadn't filled up, sent up to the O.D.S., when my hour for night duty there came, to ask if I could stay, and got leave. At 11 P.M. four Sisters arrived (I don't know how--they'd been wired for), two for each barge; so I handed over to them and went to the O.D.S. to relieve the other two there for night duty. The place was unrecognisable: every corner of every floor filled with wounded officers--some sitting up and some all over wounds, and three dying and others critical; and they still kept coming in. They were all awfully good strewing about the floor--some soaked to the skin from wet shell holes--on their stretchers, waiting to be put to bed.

    One had had "such a jolly Sunday afternoon" lying in a shell hole with six inches of water in it and a dead man, digging himself in deeper with his trench tool whenever the shells burst near him. He was hit in the stomach.

    One officer saw the enemy through a periscope sniping at our wounded.

    4 P.M.--In bed. It seems quiet to-day; there are so few guns to be heard, and not so many ambulances coming. All except the hopeless cases will have been evacuated by now from all the Field Hospitals. There was a block last night, and none could be sent on. The Clearing Hospitals were full, and no trains in.

    Those four Sisters from the base had a weird arrival at the barge last night in a car at 11 P.M. It was a black dark night, big guns going, and a sudden descent down a ladder into that Nelson's cockpit. They were awfully bucked when we said, "Oh, I am glad you have come." They buckled to and set to work right off. The cook, who had been helping magnificently in the ward, was running after me with hot cocoa (breakfast was my last meal, except a cup of tea), and promised to give them some. One wounded of the Munsters there said he didn't mind nothink now,--he'd seen so many dead Germans as he never thought on. As always, they have lost thousands, but they come on like ants.

    They have only had about seven new cases to-day at the O.D.S., but two of last night's have died. A Padre was with them.

    They had no market this morning, for fear of bombs from aeroplanes. There's been no shelling into the town.

    Tuesday, May 11th, 6.30 P.M.--In bed. I went to bed pretty tired this morning after an awful night (only a few of the less seriously wounded had been evacuated yesterday, and all the worst ones, of course, left), and slept like a top from 10.30 to 5, and feel as fit as anything after it.

    The fighting seems to have stopped now, and no more have come in to-day. Last night a stiff muddy figure, all bandages and straw, on the stretcher was brought in. I asked the boy how many wounds? "Oh, only five," he said cheerfully. "Nice clean wounds,--machine-gun,--all in and out again!"

    The Padre came at 7.30 and had a Celebration in each ward, but I was too busy to take any notice of it.

    One of these officers was hit by a German shell on Sunday morning early, soon after our bombardment began. He crawled about till he was hit again twice by other shells, and then lay there all that day and all that night, with one drink from another wounded's water-bottle; every one else was either dead or wounded round him. Next morning his servant found him and got stretcher-bearers, and he got here.

    I don't know how they live through that.

    Wednesday, May 12th, 6.30 P.M.--Slept very well. I hear from Gabrielle that they have had a hard day at the O.D.S.; no new cases, but all the bad ones very ill.

    My little room is crammed with enormous lilac, white and purple, from our wee garden, which I am going to take to our graves to-morrow in jam tins.

    Thursday, May 13th, 11 A.M.--Can't face the graves to-day; have had an awful night; three died during the night. I found the boy who brought his officer in from between the German line and ours, on Sunday night, crying this morning over the still figure under a brown blanket on a stretcher.

    Of the other two, brought straight in from the other dressing station, one only lived long enough to be put to bed, and the other died on his stretcher in the hall.

    The O.C. said last night, "Now this War has come we've got to tackle it with our gloves off," but it takes some tackling. It seems so much nearer, and more murderous somehow in this Field Ambulance atmosphere even than it did on the train with all the successive hundreds.

    We can see Notre Dame de Lorette from here; the Chapel and Fort stand high up in that flat maze of slag-heaps, mine-heads, and sugar-factories just behind the line on the right.

    9 P.M., O.D.S.--Everything very quiet here.

    A gunner just admitted says there will probably be another big bombardment to-morrow morning, and after that another attack, and after that I suppose some more for us.

    Another says that the charge of the Black Watch on Sunday was a marvellous thing. They went into it playing the pipes! The Major who led it handed somebody his stick, as he "probably shouldn't want it again."

    It is very wet to-night, but they go up to the trenches singing Ragtime, some song about "We are always--respected--wherever we go." And another about "Sing a song--a song with me. Come along--along with me."

    11 P.M.--Just heard a shell burst, first the whistling scream, and then the bang--wonder where? There was another about an hour ago, but I didn't hear the whistle of that--only the bang. I shouldn't have known what the whistle was if I hadn't heard it at Braisne. It goes in a curve. All the men on the top floor have been sent down to sleep in the cellar; another shell has busted.

    12.15.--Just had another, right overhead; all the patients are asleep, luckily.

    1.30 P.M.--There was one more, near enough to make you jump, and a few more too far off to hear the whistling. A sleepy major has just waked up and said, "Did you hear the shells? Blackguards, aren't they?"

    The sky on the battle line to-night is the weirdest sight; our guns are very busy, and they are making yellow flashes like huge sheets of summer lightning. Then the star-shells rise, burst, and light up a large area, while a big searchlight plays slowly on the clouds. It is all very beautiful when you don't think what it means.

    Two more--the last very loud and close. It is somehow much more alarming than Braisne, perhaps because it is among buildings, and because one knows so much more what they mean.

    Another--the other side of the building.

    An ambulance has been called out, so some one must have been hit; I've lost count of how many they've dropped, but they could hardly fail to do some damage.

    5 A.M.--Daylight--soaking wet, and no more shells since 2 A.M. We have admitted seven officers to-night; the last--just in--says there have been five people wounded in the town by this peppering--one killed. I don't know if civilians or soldiers.

    That bombardment on Sunday morning was the biggest any one has ever heard,--more guns on smaller space, and more shells per minute.

    Nine officers have "died of wounds" here since Sunday, and the tenth will not live to see daylight. There is an attack on to-night. This has been a ghastly week, and now it is beginning again.

    The other two Sisters had quite a nasty time last night lying in bed, waiting for the shells to burst in their rooms. They do sound exactly as if they are coming your way and nowhere else!

    I rather think they are dropping some in again to-night, but they are not close enough to hear the whistle, only the bangs.

    There is an officer in to-night with a wound in the hand and shoulder from a shell which killed eleven of his men, and another who went to see four of his platoon in a house at the exact moment when a percussion shell went on the same errand; the whole house sat down, and the five were wounded--none killed.

    Saturday, May 15th, 10 P.M.--Tension up again like last Saturday. Another TAG is happening to-morrow. Every one except three sick downstairs has been evacuated, and they have made accommodation for 1000 at the French Hospital, which is the 4th F.A. main dressing station, and headquarters. All officers, whether seriously or slightly wounded, are to be taken there to be dressed by the M.O.'s in the specially-arranged dressing-rooms, and then sent on to us to be put to bed and coped with.

    Now we have got some French batteries of 75's in our lines to pound the earthworks which protect the enemy's buried machine-guns, which are the most murderous and deadly of all their clever arrangements, and to stop up the holes through which they are fired. We have also got more Divisions in it along the same front, and our heavy guns and all our batteries in better positions.

    Some more regiments have been called up in a hurry, and empty ammunition-carts are galloping back already.

    This morning I took some white lilac to the graves of our 12 officers who "died of wounds." Their names and regiments were on their crosses, and "Died of wounds.--F.A.," and R.I.P. It was better to see them like that Pro Patria than in those few awful days here.

    10.30.--Just admitted a gunner suffering from shock alone--no wound--completely knocked out; he can't tell you his name, or stand, or even sit up, but just shivers and shudders. Now he is warm in bed, he can say "Thank you." I wonder what exactly did it.

    The arrangements the -- F.A. happen to have the use of at the French Hospital, with its up-to-date modern operating theatre for tackling the wounds in a strictly aseptic and scientific way within a few hours of the men being hit, are a tremendous help.

    Certainly the ones who pass through No.-- get a better chance of early recovery without long complications than most of those we got on the train. And while they are awaiting evacuation to the Clearing Hospitals they have every chance, both here and at the French Hospital, where all the trained orderlies except two are on duty, and practically all the M.O.'s. But, of course, there are a great many of the seriously wounded that no amount of aseptic and skilled surgery or nursing can save.

    Sunday, 11.30 A.M. May 16th.--They began coming in at 3.30, and by 8 A.M. the place was full to bursting. We managed to get all the stretcher cases to bed, and as many of the others as we had beds for, without sending for the other two Sisters, who came on at 8.15, and are now coping. Most of them were very cheery, because things seem to be going well. Two lines of trenches taken, all the wire cut, and some of the earthworks down; but it is always an expensive business even when successful--only then nobody minds the expense. There are hundreds more to come in, and the seriously wounded generally get brought in last, because they can't get up and run, but have to hide in trenches and shell holes. One man, wounded on Sunday and found on Friday night, had kept himself alive on dead men's emergency rations. They were all sopping wet with blood or mud or both.

    The ---- lost heavily. I heard one officer say, "They drove us back five times."

    After breakfast I went to the Cathedral, and then boldly bearded the big dressing station at the French Hospital, where all the dressings are done and the men evacuated, armed with a huge linen bag of cigarettes, chocolate, and writing-cases which came last night. I met the C.O., who said I could have a look round, and then rowed me for not being in bed, and said we should be busy to-night and for some time. It was very interesting, and if you brought your reason to bear on it, not too horrible.

    Every corridor, waiting-room, ward, and passage was filled with them, the stretchers waiting their turn on the floors, and the walking cases (which on the A.T. we used to call the sitting-ups) in groups and queues. No one was fussing, but all were working at full pitch; and very few of the men were groaning, but nearly all were gruesomely covered with blood. And they look pretty awful on the bare gory stretchers, with no pillows or blankets, just as they are picked up on the field. Many are asleep from exhaustion.

    What cheered me was one ward full of last Sunday's bad cases, all in bed, and very cheery and doing well. They loved the writing-cases, &c., and said it was like Xmas, and they wouldn't want to leave 'ere now.

    A great many of this morning's had already been evacuated, and they were still pouring in. One has to remember that a great many get quite well, though many have a ghastly time in store for them in hospital.

    The barge is in the canal again taking in the non-jolters.

    Some stalwart young Tommies at No. 4 were talking about the prisoners. They told me there weren't many taken, because they found one in a Jock's uniform.

    I've drawn my curtain so that I can't see those hateful motor ambulances coming in slowly full, and going back empty fast, and must go to sleep. I simply loathe the sight of those M.A.'s, admirable inventions though they are. Had a look into a lovely lorry full of 100-lb. shells in the square.

    7 P.M.--Only one officer has died at the O.D.S. to-day, but there are two or three who will die. They have evacuated, and filled up three times already.

    The news from the "scene of operations" is still good, so they are all still cheerful. The difference to the wounded that makes is extraordinary. That is why last Sunday's show was such a black blight to them and to us.

    Monday, May 17th, 10 A.M.--Another night of horrors; one more died, and two young boys came in who will die; one is a Gordon Highlander of 18, who says "that's glorious" when you put him to bed.

    It was a long whirl of stretchers, and pitiful heaps on them. The sergeant stayed up helping till 3, and a boy from the kitchen stayed up all night on his own, helping.

    In the middle of the worst rush the sergeant said to me, "You know they're shelling the town again?" and at that minute swoop bang came a big one; and we looked at each other over the stretcher with the same picture in our mind's eyes of shells dropping in amongst the wounded, who are all over the town. I hadn't heard them--too busy--but they didn't go on long.

    The Boches have been heavily shelling our trenches all day.

    One boy said suddenly, when I was attending to his leg, "Aren't you very foolish to be staying up here?" "Oh, sorry," he said; "I was dreaming you were in the front line of trenches bandaging people up!"

    Our big guns have been making the building shake all night. The Germans are trying to get their trenches back by counter-attacking.

    Tuesday, May 18th, is it? 1 A.M., in bed.--It has been about the worst night of all the worst nights. I found the wards packed with bad cases, the boy of 18 dead, and the other boy died half an hour after I came on. Two more died during the night, two lots were evacuated, and had to be dug out of their fixings-up in bed and settled on stretchers, and all night they brought fresh ones in, drenched and soaked with clayey mud in spadefuls, and clammy with cold.

    Wednesday, May 19th, 12 noon.--Mr ---- has been working at No.-- at full pitch for twenty-four hours on end, and had just got into bed when they sent for him there again. They are all nearly dead, and so are the orderlies at both places; but they never dream of grousing or shirking, as they know there's not another man to be had.

    Two more officers died last night, and three more were dying.

    The Padre came and had a Celebration in my ward. Three R.A.M.C. officers are in badly wounded. They are extraordinarily good.

    Friday, 21st May, 3 A.M.--Last night the rush began to abate; no one died, and only one came in--a general smash-up; he died to-night, and a very dear boy died to-day. I've lost count now of how many have died,--I think about twenty-four.

    The Guards' Brigade here went by to-night from the trenches to rest, singing "Here we are again," and the song about "The girls declare I am a funny man!"

    11 A.M.--The little Canadian Sister has just been recalled, I'm sorry to say, but probably we shall get another one. Five Canadian officers came in last night. The guns are making the dickens of a noise, very loud and sudden. Yesterday they shelled the town again, and two more soldats anglais were wounded.

    Saturday, May 22nd, 6.30 A.M.--Things have been happening at a great pace since the above, and we are now in our camp-beds in an empty attic at the top of an old château about three miles back, which is No.-- C.H., at ----.

    Just as I was thinking of getting up yesterday evening they began putting shells over into the town, and soon they were raining in three at a time. My little room here is a sort of lean-to over the kitchen with no room above it; so I cleared out to dress in one of the others, and didn't stop to wash. Gabrielle came running up to fetch me downstairs. At the hospital, which was only about 200 yards down the road, the wounded officers were thinking it was about time Capt. ---- moved his Field Ambulance. One boy by the window had got some débris in his eye from the nearest shell, which burst in my blackbird's garden, or rather on the doorstep opposite. (That was the one that got me out of bed rather rapidly.) The orders soon came to evacuate all the patients. At the French Hospital, about six minutes away, three wounded had been hit in a M.A. coming in, and the Officers' Mess had one (none of them were in), and they were dropping all round it. Then the order came from the D.D.M.S. to the A.D.M.S. to evacuate the whole of the --th, --th, and --th Field Ambulances, and within about two hours this was done.

    Everybody got the patients ready, fixed up their dressings and splints, gave them all morphia, and got them on to their stretchers.

    The evacuation was jolly well done; their servants appeared by magic, each with every spot of kit and belongings his officer came in with (they are in all cases checked by the Sergeant on admission, no matter what the rush is), and the place was empty in an hour. The din of our guns, which were bombarding heavily, and the German guns, which are bombarding us at a great pace, and the whistle and bang of the shells that came over while this was going on, was a din to remember.

    Then we went back to our billet to hurl our belongings into our baggage, and came away with the A.D.M.S. and his Staff-Major in their two touring-cars. The Division is back resting somewhere near here. We got to bed about 2 A.M. after tea and bread and butter downstairs, but slept very little owing to the noise of the guns, which shake and rattle the windows every minute.

    We don't know what happens next.

    At about four this morning I heard a nightingale trilling in the garden.

    2 P.M.--In the Château garden. It is a glorious spot, with kitchen garden, park, moat bridge, and a huge wilderness up-and-down plantation round it, full of lilac, copper beeches, and flowering trees I've never seen before, and birds and butterflies and buttercups. You look across and see the red-brick Château surrounded by thick lines of tents, and hear the everlasting incessant thudding and banging of the guns, and realise that it is not a French country house but a Casualty Clearing Hospital, with empty--once polished--floors filled with stretchers, where the worst cases still are, and some left empty for the incoming convoys. Over two thousand have passed through since Sunday week. The contrast between the shady garden where I'm lazing now on rugs and cushions, with innumerable birds, including a nightingale, singing and nesting, and the nerve-racking sound of the guns and the look of the place inside, is overwhelming. It is in three Divisions--the house for the worst cases--and there are tent Sections and the straw-sheds and two schools in the village. We had our lunch at a sort of inn in the village. I've never hated the sound of the guns so much; they are almost unbearable.

    It is a good thing for us to have this sudden rest. I don't know for how long or what happens next.

    The General of the Division had a narrow escape after we left last night. The roof of his house was blown off, just at the time he would have been there, only he was a little late, but an officer was killed; six shells came into the garden, and the seventh burst at his feet and killed him as he was standing at the door. I'm glad they got the wounded away in time. Aeroplanes are buzzing overhead. The Aerodrome is here, French monoplanes chiefly as far as one can see.

    10 P.M., in bed.--We have now been temporarily attached to the Staff here.

    Miss ---- has given me charge of the Tent Section, which can take eighty lying down.

    Whitsunday, 1915.--In bed--in my tent, not a bell, but an Indian tent big enough for two comfortably. I share with S----. We have nothing but the camp furniture we took out, but will acquire a few Red Cross boxes as cupboards to-morrow. It is a peerless night with a young moon and a soft wind, frogs croaking, guns banging, and a nightingale trilling.

    It has been a funny day, dazzling sun, very few patients.

    Whit-Monday.--Very few in to-day again. I have only six, and am making the most of the chance of a rest in the garden; one doesn't realise till after a rush how useful a rest can be. There has been a fearful bombardment going on all last night and yesterday and to-day; it is a continual roar, and in the night is maddening to listen to; you can't forget the war. Mosquitoes, nightingales, frogs, and two horses also helped to make the night interesting.

    8.30 P.M.--Waiting for supper. Wounded have been coming in, and we've had a busy afternoon and evening.

    Wednesday, May 26th.--No time to write yesterday; had a typical Clearing Hospital Field Day. The left-out-in-the-field wounded (mostly Canadians) had at last been picked up and came pouring in. I had my Tent Section of eighty beds nearly full, and we coped in a broiling sun till we sweltered into little spots of grease, finishing up with five operations in the little operating tent.

    The poor exhausted Canadians were extraordinarily brave and uncomplaining. They are evacuated the same day or the next morning, such as can be got away to survive the journey, but some of the worst have to stay.

    In the middle of it all at 5 P.M. orders came for me to join No.-- Ambulance Train for duty, but I didn't leave till this morning at nine, and am now on No.-- A.T. on way down to old Boulogne again.

    Later.--These orders were afterwards cancelled, and I am for duty at a Base Hospital.

    THE END.

    * * * * * * * * * * * *
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