25 Aug 1918: POW Graudenz

RAB diary Sunday August 25, 1918, Graudenz: “clean clothes”
Sunday, August 25, 1918: “clean clothes”

Sunday August 25th;     Got a letter from Dad dated June 14, sent to Rastatt (although on June 12 he wrote to Karlsruhe).  It seems that he thought I was inebriated when writing, and put April 23 instead of May 23 – since I also mentioned I had actually met Hanna, whereas in my p.c. from Karlsruhe I am hoping to find him soon.  Excellent example of erroneous detective work, Dad.  I’m glad they didn’t send the latest parcel of clothes to Rastatt, since both letters and parcels seem to get hung up there.
Got a Red Cross issue of a pair of pyjamas, a handkerchief, a collar and a shirt!  My first clean clothes for 5 months.  I shut up my socks in a suit case at night out of respect for the other members of the room.  Think of it, same socks for five months, occasionally washed in cold water!!

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.

1 July 1918: POW Graudenz

RAB WW1 diary July 1, 1918: "the same underclothes"
Monday, July 1, 1918: “appalling to think that I’ve been wearing the same underclothes”

Monday July 1.  It’s rather appalling to think that I’ve been wearing the same underclothes now as when I was first captured, three months ago.  Once they’ve been laundered, and once rinsed out; three times they’ve been baked.  Voilà tout!  I was very lucky to have been brought down while wearing two pairs of socks, one of mater’s make, and my big black boots.  Some people were wearing thin socks and flying boots, which latter were confiscated, and some very primitive attempts at boot leather issued in lieu thereof.  Likewise their socks are chiefly remarkable for the holes in them.  News of a Red Cross issue today.  Later: got another small, but very excellent issue of biscuits, bully beef, tea and sugar; and this time a little tobacco and cigarettes; not Red Cross stuff, but again sent by our interned civilians at Ruhleben.  Bon!

9 April 1918

Tuesday April 9th.  Awakened at 4 AM, with the two other officers and a whole party of men, and marched slowly to station.  Took seats in a so-called Red Cross train.  Very crowded and uncomfortable.  Wooden seats.  In train for 60 hours.  Hot and good soup served on board.  Pitied a certain Sergeant Major – an old boy, a Regular, who was mostly wounded by a bomb in the backside, and who was sitting.
(One thing I forgot to mention.  All bandages are made from paper, whether for small wounds or for broken legs.  Splints are not wooden, but of stiff iron wire framework.  One of them we used very effectively at Hannover as a toasting rack).
Tuesday night I managed to sleep a couple of hours or so stretched out on the floor, but my morning freshness was spoilt by the number of people who walked on my face.  One particular kick in the ear I shall never quite forget.