Friday June 28th. Visited dental hospital. They examined my teeth, and, as far as I could make out, determined to stop all three. I was rather surprised. I quite thought that my little ’erbert, my Landshut bugbear, was a goner. Adjourned until another day. Was remanded.
Waiting impatiently for letters and parcels: 3½ months since I’ve heard from home.
Tuesday evening April 2nd to Monday April 8th} Le Cateau
In hospital at Le Cateau. All I needed was rest. Stayed in bed all day. Foot, ankle and knee got rather better. Could hobble about a bit. Rheumatism at nights. Food not so bad judging by after standards.
8am: Thick slice of black bread, with traces of butter. Coffee (a quaint substitution for coffee, which is of course unobtainable. Made, some say, from burnt barley. Others, from acorns). No sugar or milk.
10am: Thick slice of bread with traces of butter or jam.
12pm: Basin full of soup. Very good. Macaroni, Barley, Semolina, or something similar. Sometimes as second basinfull.
3pm: Bread with butter or jam, and coffee.
6pm: Two slices of bread with meat paste or Limburger cheese, and coffee.
Nothing much happened during my stay. Several men died. One of ours, a DCM fellow too, cut his throat at midnight one night and died instanter. Poor fellow was probably mad with pain. Thursday April 4th. Sent off a letter. Friday April 5th. Warned to be ready to proceed as a sitting case to hospital at Cologne.
Tuesday, April 2nd: There interviewed by a German ex-Flying Corps Officer, a lawyer of Leipzig, who carried out a cross examination, but got no very vital information out of me. Gave me a cigar, and promised to have a message dropped the other side of the line for me; whether out of kindliness or to inspire confidence and so get more information I know not. He was very thoughtful and courteous. Gave me the choice of going to the camp or to the Hospital; chose the later, and he sent me there in a cart (Heard from Hanna afterwards that he arrived at the Camp at 6pm. the same evening). Hospital had been a factory – very crude. Put on a large room containing about 100 wounded, in all stages, our own and German about equally mixed. Two other English officers there, one a fellow named Ahern, of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, of Youghal, Co. Cork, who knew Abby Perry slightly. Getting wind up somewhat about people at home. Wondering how soon I should be reported missing, and how soon afterwards definite news about my being a prisoner of war would go through. Am afraid they must have had a least a fortnight of suspense at home. Am longing to get a letter off. Treated awfully well by the French inhabitants of this part of the country, who frequently offered me bread, and called out expressions of sympathy from their doorsteps as I hobbled past. Forgot to say that after taking off my boot at Le Cateau (the big black field boots) I couldn’t get it on again next morning, so I had to wear a sort of sandal, cut from an old boot and tied on with string; and I carried the boot in my hand. Met an ex-clerk of John Knights at the hospital whose name I forget. He had lost his right arm and had hopes of getting back to England. Gave him appropriate messages for JKs.