10 April 1918

10.pm. Wednesday night. Arrived at Cöln (Cologne) after passing through some very beautiful country.  Was disappointed in not seeing the Rhine and the famous Cologne bridge.  No hospital accommodation at Cologne, so changed trains to go on to Hannover.  On this train we officers, by this time eight in number, got two compartments to ourselves, the first preferential treatment we had obtained.  Had changed my money (about 100 francs) for 80 marks at Le Coteau.  Bought cigarettes (very expensive and not so good as English ones) en route.  Managed to buy a piece of good soda-cake for 2 marks.  Very picturesque country.  Our train contained very many wounded German officers and men.  It was very quaint to see all the children by the sides of the railway waving.  They all did it, yet no smiles or cheering.  It seemed to me that it was become mechanical, they did it so often.  They had obviously been taught to do it, and yet it seemed a very pleasant custom.  Too often do our own wounded excite no attention beyond curiosity.  For the rest our own medical services are infinitely superior to the enemy’s.  At many of the very frequent stops (I remember once we travelled five miles in five hours) women came hurrying down with hot soup or coffee for their wounded.  It gave one the other side of the picture, and the sight of the women and girls, many of them in black, and especially of the kiddies, made me think again what a bloody business this war is.