2 Aug 1918: POW Graudenz

Friday. August 2.     Red letter day.  Got my first letter from Dad, full of news.  Bucked me up no end; a letter sent to Karlsruhe.  Miller got his first parcel from Scottish Rifles Fund.  It will be jolly convenient if he gets all his from them as it will give us such variety, mine being R.A.F.

31 July 1918: POW Graudenz

RAB diary Wednesday July 31, 1918, Graudenz: "opportunities for learning"
Wednesday, July 31, 1918: “opportunities for learning”

Wednesday. July 31st.     Got an R.A.F. parcel yesterday, one today, and hear that I’m getting two tomorrow.  So now it seems as though I’m fairly embarked on calm weather as regards food parcels – and even should mine slacken off somewhat, Miller’s should be arriving very shortly.  Only clothes worry me now.  I’ll make no further mention of the arrival of food parcels, as I keep a special note of them, and of letters, in another book.  The R.A.F. application for our removal to a special R.A.F. camp has been officially rejected; and I must say I’m jolly glad.  In no other camp would I get the fine opportunities for learning Spanish and French, and for chess as well, which I find here.

24 July 1918: POW Graudenz

RAB diary Wednesday July 24, 1918, Graudenz: "This tinopener is famous"
Wednesday, July 24, 1918: “This tinopener is famous”

Wednesday. July 24th. I think I’ve weathered the storm at last.  Another parcel for me today from Berne, containing 70 odd French biscuits.  This came direct from Hannover.  My p.c. seems to have done some good.  Have been afflicted recently with a plague only second to the plagues of Egypt: I am the proud possessor of a first class tinopener, given me by a Polish officer at Hannover.  This tinopener is famous, especially for round tins, and hundreds of people flocked to our room every day, especially after an issue of tins.  We’ve got so tired of saying ‹Yes, it’s on the top shelf of that cupboard, left hand side› that we noised it abroad that it is broken.  It is a lie, but what will you?  At least we have peace now.

23 July 1918: POW Graudenz

RAB diary Tuesday July 23, 1918, Graudenz: "parcels"
Tuesday, July 23, 1918: “parcels”

Tuesday, July 23rd.     Something has turned up.  Two R.A.F. parcels for me direct from Hannover, probably in answer to my postcard giving my new address; dated June 19th from England.  Jolly quick!  There must be several other parcels between May 31 and June 19 wandering round Karlsruhe and Landshut after me.  Distribution of a Red Cross parcel to every officer not yet in receipt of parcels.  Miller gets one.  You should just see the change in the spirits and in the faces of the fellows.  I’m glad mine are turning up.  It’s just fine to feel that the people at home are doing their best for us.  Swopped an oz. of baccy for a small piece of soap, the first English soap I’ve had for four months.  I have taken to a pipe and find it a great comfort; have written home for a good English pipe and some tobacco.  Can’t quite understand why a parcel, sent off on June 19th, should still be addressed to Hannover if my letters got home all right.

16 July 1918: POW Graudenz

RAB diary Tuesday July 16, 1918, Graudenz: "Red letter day"
Tuesday, July 16, 1918: “Red letter day”

Tuesday. July 16.     Red letter day.  Two R.F.C. parcels arrived, dated May 31st, and directed to Hannover.  Both intact except for a cake of soap, alas!  Still, cleanliness, though next to godliness, is a bad second to ones tummy in Graudenzlager.  Rather perturbed to hear my friends remark how thin I look.  Usually people you meet every day are slow to see a difference in you.  Still, thank God I feel fit again.  I’m sharing parcels with Miller, a very decent little Scotchman from Glasgow.  You will never quite realise at home the delicious taste of that first tin of Haricot Mutton.

14 July 1918: POW Graudenz

RAB diary Sunday July 14, 1918, Graudenz: "visions of meals"
Sunday, July 14, 1918: “visions of meals”

Sunday. July 14.     Though this is a diary, it is for you all at home, for interest and amusement after the war.  But one thing you will never quite fully appreciate; the delight we have in self torture, in conjuring up visions of meals we might be eating, were we home.  We eat enough here to keep from dying, but we are constantly hungry and get weaker every day.  Today I feel much better in myself, but I really haven’t the strength to walk round the square more than once.  We arrange any little business we have to do so that we need not climb up and down stairs more than necessary – just as if we were a lot of old ladies.  This morning we discussed a probable breakfast.  I plumped for:
Banana Fritters
Fish Cakes and Tomato Ketchup (Salmon)
Bacon and eggs.  Fried Bread
(Bread) butter, marmalade, Toast
(Coffee) Café au lait.
I must ask Tootsie to have it as a treat one morning après la guerre.
Instead of which I had – black bread: 3 ozs.  Coffee.
Rumours of 400 parcels at the station.

12 July 1918: POW Graudenz

RAB diary Friday July 12, 1918, Graudenz: "we have all the indolence of one of the ‘idle rich’"
Friday, July 12, 1918: “all the indolence of one of the ‘idle rich’”

Friday, July 12th.     Felt considerably better.  Quite a large list of parcels for the camp.  I was unlucky however.
We live here on about an eighth of a loaf, and two soups a day.  Yet after our sumptuous repast we drink wine (at least some do: I personally don’t) at 13/- the bottle; and smoke cigars varying in price from 1/6 to 2/3 each.  So we live the life, and have all the indolence of one of the ‘idle rich’.