Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Wells war diary, 11 April-31 December 1917 / Donald P. Wells
MLMSS 2743

[Transcriber's notes:
Captain Donald Percival Wells (13th Battalion, AIF) was badly wounded in the foot and leg, and was captured by the Germans when his unit surrendered on 11 April 1917.

After his capture and initial treatment in dressing stations in Belgium, he was moved to a prisoner of war hospital in Hameln (Hanover), then on to hospital in Karlsruhe on 1 May (page 8) and then to the Officers POW Camp in the same city on 13 July (page 26) where he remained until he was moved to the Officers POW Camp at Freiburg on 24 July (page 35).

The manuscript begins with a 3-page covering letter from Captain Wells, describing the content of the diary and how he kept the diary safe from discovery by the Germans – at one time getting the camp boot maker to conceal large parts of it within the sole of his boot. As a result of this, some parts of the diary show nail holes and what looks like water damage.

Throughout the diary, Captain Wells describes his life as a POW, including detailed information about his feelings, the letters he received from home, the accommodation, food, medical treatment and the running of the camp in general, the entertainments and activities by and for the prisoners, and escapes (both successful and unsuccessful) by other inmates. He gives quite detailed information about the POWs’ diet and describes how they supplemented their German rations with food parcels, even contriving sweet and savoury pies and puddings, and their outrage, at one stage, at the price of wine in the camp canteen (page 53).

He also writes in detail about the general social life in the camp – "guest nights", invitations to tea, bridge tournaments, German lessons, lectures, debates, supervised walks outside the confines of the camp – and mentions quite a few other prisoners by name, including Lieutenant William Ambrose Cull, whose letters home are also in the State Library’s WW1 collection (pages 29, 83, 96, 99, 101, 102, 103, 106).

Wells also writes about the 1917 peace proposals and conferences, speeches by Lloyd George and Asquith, the effect on the allies of the 1917 Russian Revolution and Italian and Turkish defeats, as well as the progress of the war on the Western Front.

On 8 December 1917, along with 20 or so others, Wells was moved from Freiburg to Heidelberg (page 98) and on 26 December 1917 he left Heidelberg, crossing out of Germany into Switzerland on 27 December (page 104).

Wells describes the warm welcome they received in Switzerland and the diary ends with New Year’s Eve celebrations in Montreux.]

[Page 1]

The attached diary covering the period April 11th 1917 to December 31st 1917, is the original diary kept by me daily, while a prisoner of war in Germany.

It is purely a personal diary having a detailed record of all my doings whilst in captivity.

In addition, the organisations of the various camps, all attempts to escape, (including a detailed account of two escapes), Important extracts from German newspapers, are contained in this diary, and on reading the diary one can obtain a general and true account of the life of a prisoner of war in Germany.

The paper on which the diary is written, was purchased at the various camp canteens.

Although strict instructions

[Page 2]

were issued to the contrary, I kept my diary at a great risk to myself.

I concealed it always, in different "hiding places", as we were invariably subjected to periodical surprise searches, and the discovery of my diary would have involved punishment, in the form of confinement to cells.

Luckily the diary was never detected.

When warned that I would soon be leaving Germany for Switzerland, I was at a loss to know how to conceal my diary. Acting on the advice of one of the 1914 prisoners, I got the camp bootmaker to remove the soul of my right boot, and conceal as much of the diary as was possible to do, between the inner and outer souls. This he did by

[Page 3]

cutting away a great deal of the soul. He made an excellent job of it, as the boot did not show any sign of being tampered with.

The balance of diary was concealed behind the back of a hand mirror. When being finally searched prior to leaving Germany the mirror was subjected to a careful examination, & luckily for me passed the censor; my boot which I wore, was not even looked at.

Had my diary been found I would have been kept in Germany for duration of war & in addition confined to cells, for wilful defiance of orders.

That portion of diary concealed in boot was slightly damaged by water, & the paper still bears the marks of the boot tacks.

[Written vertically in left-hand margin:]
On arrival in Switzerland, the whole diary was rescued & preserved carefully ever since.

Donald. F. Wells Captain
13th Bn A-I-F.

[Page 4]

Apl 11th –
5.30 am attack on Hindenburgs line – 6.30 wounded S M Compton dressed wound in shell hole – Stayed there for 1 hour & scrambled back into our first captured trench & was assisted into a deep dugout full of wounded, attended by 14th Bn AMC. Germans counter att. 10 am & owing to bomb & ammun. becoming exhausted we were compelled to surrender

Others that tried to get back were mown down like sheep by treacherous M. Guns – we were soon taken prisoners & were treated rather good – Remained in dugout all day & night, my wounds being dressed once. Lot of our wounded out in snow all night long, lots of dead lying all over the place. Had slice bread & 3 drinks coffee & was given drink kerosene once.

12th Apl
Left dugout 10 am & assisted back to Reincourt (originally intended for our 3rd objective. Remained there 1hr & then transported in a springless waggon to a F. D. Station. It was an awful journey (cruel) Leg dressed again & my left foot put in a splint – Half cup of soup & a slice Dry Bread. Remained there till 5 pm when I left in an amb-motor car & after an hours more misery arrived at another D. Stn. Had cup tea & slice Bread & a few particulars taken from my Pay Book & after an hours stay there left again in a motor amb. & arrived at Hospital well after dark – was stripped & taken to oper. theatre & operated upon, having little chloroform administered "came to" before operation was finished – excruciating pain – Put to Bed & had fair nights sleep –

13th Apr
Had wash for first time since 9th Apl – Bread Jam & Coffee for breakfast soup for Dinner – Broth for tea – had another nights good rest Treated fairly well all day – no Dressing for leg today

14th Apl
Bread & Jam for Breakfast also coffee minus sug & milk – all letters that were on me, returned this mng – also Pay Book & French money which was exchanged for "Marks" – given souvenir Albert cathedral by one German attendant – More soup – this Hospital is a big marquee tent with 18 beds in it & is fairly comfortable – fire – attendant real hard case & very decent – visited by several German off. & Sisters.

Left Hospital qt 1.30 in a motor amb. for another "Rest Stn" 15 yds from a Railway line & arrived 3.30 pm after a most cruel journey – given soup on arrival – more particulars taken by a German clerk – a real hard case – no Dressing again today – very cold, blankets lousy – no sleep tonight –

15th Apl
Bread, margorine & coffee for Breakfast (I did not partake). Few more arrivals late last night & this mng about 40 of us now including (Lt McCullum 14th Bn & myself) all of the Bgde represented here – Soup for Dinner – Leg beginning to trouble me a little – no Dressing again today – Soup Bread & coffee at 4 pm Soup 7 pm Left Rest Camp & boarded Hosp. train at midnight

16th Apl
very miserable journey, have only had about 3 hrs actual travelling since last evening – Train stops for hours at a time - - - Bread jam & coffee for Breakfast soup for Dinner – Raining

Leg feeling very sore & smells, also swoollen – Have not struck any of my brother officers yet – Bread for tea – Raining & snowing – In great pain with my leg tonight – Had morphia pill to relieve pain – no sleep –

17th April
at Valenciennes 8 am same place 24 hours ago – this is really a most disgusting journey – my leg easier – changed trains & boarded a Hosp train for Mons 10 am arriving 8 pm – no lunch – Conveyed in motor amb. – to clearing stn – at Mons & had my foot dressed at 7 pm – great pain but it is much easier now – soup for tea – struck few of 13th Bn men here room is full of 4th Bgde chap – Had shave first for 7 days –

18th Apl Spent a most miserable night – was in great pain – no sleep – Still in pain this mng – Tea minus sugar &

[Page 5]

milk for Breakfast also Dry Bread – Leg much easier just before lunch – more particulars taken as regards next of kin &c Snowing all day – very stuffy in this room of over 100 persons. Had talk with Lt Cummings of 16th Bn – Terrible Headache – took 2 headache tablets –

19th Apl
Spent another miserable night Had to have an injection of morphia at 2 am to relieve pain Leg very sore again today – Dressed at 4 pm & it feels much easier – cannot stomach food issued here Had shave & a good wash this afternoon – Feeling much brighter tonight – will be leaving here tomorrow in all probability – Dr informed me that I would not lose my leg but that it wld remain stiff all my life. It is an awful looking gash –

20th Apl
Had another bad night – my leg did not pain much but could not sleep – headaches – another injection of morphia at 7 pm. 40 more wounded prisoners arrived 4 am some from B Coy – majority have been lying out in no man’s Land – for 6 & 7 days They say our artillery never ceases shelling Hindenburgs line Terrible – Headache all night long – feverish also – Dr to see me & gave me 3 medicines – Had another wash this afternoon bought tin Jam (5 marks) & some Hchiefs – Tea only for Bkfast good soup for Dinner – Bread jam & tea 4 pm – soup for tea –

Left Hosp 9 pm arriving Mons R. Stn & leaving there 11 pm – Had fairly good trip & my leg did not trouble me much – Had look some of glorious scenery in Belg – Country still inhabited by Belgiums, same as some of French places, only under German rule –

21st Apl
Having rather good meals on this train Leg easy changed trains some big stn on Belg. Border, departing there 1 pm Bunks not so comfortable – very slow train arrived Hameln (Hannover) 6 am [indecipherable] 4 pm [indecipherable] 6 am & was carried by S. Bs on a stretcher 3 miles to a P.O.W. Hosp. – It was an awful trip – my leg never pained so much before (5 off – 4 Aust & 1 Eng) are together – this is a mens Hospital – Had leg dressed today & got great relief.

Good meals here – Had Roast Mutton & Boiled spuds & gravy for lunch – Red X issue us with big pkt sweet biscuits daily. another injection of morphia tonight – very hot indoors – my temperature 130° -

23rd Apl
Had fair nights rest last evening – wrote Mother & Kate a field card our allowance is 2 letters & 2 Pcs a month – Leg dressed today – looking slightly better – Still more particulars taken – good meals but off my food today – more food issues from Red X well supplied with biscuits. Had long talk with interpretor about various matters – light at 9 pm my temperature 100° leg not so painful Morphia Pills –

24th Apl
No sleep last night – good meals – Leg not dressed today – not so painful More issues from Red X. Temp 85° Expect to be leaving here in a day or so for an off. Hosp. very miserable lying in bed no sleep


[Page 6]

(3) 24th Apl Contd
Leg not dressed today – not so painful – more issues from Red Cross Society – Temp 85° Expect to be leaving here in a day or so for an officers Hospital. very miserable lying in bed. could not sleep last might very dreary

25th April
Temperature 130°. Leg dressed today not feeling too good. very good meals today Issue of Maconochie to all hands – very close inside. More biscuits issued – 2 morphia tablets make me sleep; Read portion of a Book today. French Priest taken prisoner at Verdun called for Ό hr tonight – very nice chap – has pay for his meals same as we officers do

26th April
Few hours sleep last night – temperature down to 90° today. Finished reading book "Two on a tour" Leg dressed again – painful today. Good dinner today – more biscuits 2 more morphia tablets. very miserable & monotinous lying in bed day & night – noone to talk to –

27th April
Very little sleep last night – Temperature 90°. Leg dressed again today – very poor meals today – lived on Biscuits – Raining. Read a little – French Priest & British Soldier called again this afternoon & had a good yarn. Feeling OK But tired of being in bed.

[Page 7]

27 April Contd (4)
Had injection morphia 9 pm Cup coffee also

28th April
Still raining. Very little sleep last night temperature 90°. Leg Dressed again today same old dressing wound round my leg – authorities must be short of Dressings. Good Dinner today. Secty Red Cross in to have a yarn, he brought some writing paper & Pcs & is specially posting a letter & P.C. for me, it will get to England in 10 days, & in ordinary way takes 3 or 4 weeks. Had special sleeping mixture last night. Raining – wrote Mother & Kate through Red Cross (special).

29th April
Very little sleep last night – temperature 86°. Leg dressed again today same old routine Good Dinner, wrote P.C. to Davis, asking him to forward my Kit on to England & attend my mail. Word through today that we will be leaving for Karlshrue, big officers Hospital & Camp, tomorrow. Glad leave this place. Had shave. Morphia – Red Cross officials in to have a yarn. Issued with clothing to travel in (Prisoners clothing)

April 30th
Very little sleep. Left Hospital 7.30 am & wheeled down to stn. Put on ordinary train (Passenger) & left Hameln 9 am. Changed trains 3 times, with frightful pain to my leg. It was awful agony specially with no comfort in trains. On journey from Frankfurt to Karlshrue one German family took pity on us & supplied us with several dainties. Witnessed some magnificent scenery & glorious buildings – quite an eye-opener. Women working on fields & railways &c & performing all sorts of manual labour. Changed again at FRANKFURT 11.30 pm & entrained again 11.45 pm.

[Page 8]

May 1st (5)
Arrived KARLSRUHE 2 am & after an hours wait in a Red Cross Room where we had a cup of tea, we were put on an ambulance & arrived our Hospital 3.30 am. Had a few hours sleep. Received great attention all day today. There are 6 of us in a room, more particulars taken, splendid dinner & tea.

Leg dressed after tea, foot washed for first time. Leg received great attention. Pieces of Bone or Shrapnel extracted. Leg put in an iron splint & it has to be kept in one position all the time. It is very tiring & limbs get sore. Had injection Morphia.

May 2nd
Had little sleep last night, leg painful. I am not used to lying in the one position, but will soon settle down. Beef Cup cocoa Breakfast. Beef tea 11 am – Issue of Honey daily. R.C. Priest in to see us & had a yarn.

Russian Orderly attends us. We have a Sister also, she is very good & a hard case – nothing a trouble. We can write as many letters as we like, & they are posted of a Monday. Splendid meals here. Doctors say I will be on my back for 3 months. Very quiet here & a glorious climate. Wrote letter to Kate Had morphia tablet in my soup – awful taste – slept a little.

[Page 9]

May 3rd (6)
had little sleep – my bowels are open daily – I feel well, but leg troubles me. Has to be kept in one position. Leg dressed today – Good Doctors here – receive splendid attention –

Good meal at 1 pm Coco[a] only for breakfast, Issue bread & Honey daily.

Wrote letter to Bert – Had a sponge over this morning – I badly needed it Injection morphia 5 pm

May 4th
About an hours sleep last night – air raid about 11 pm guns firing, whistles & alarms sounding, an awful noise for hours. Factories, apparently munitions going all night, one of our Room mates talks something awful in his sleep, so with all this I could not sleep.

My foot X rayed this morning – still 7 pieces of small shrapnel in it. Leg not dressed.

Had issue milk & cocoa besides other daily issues. Wrote Mr Fry. Leg painful. Lts Cummings (16th) & Alston (Eng) left for camp this afternoon. Splendid climate. Had morphia

May 5th
Very little sleep last night – too much noise going on in factories &c. Leg dressed today, has been painful all day. Issue of Rice & Bovril today besides other issues of yesterday. Wrote letter Home. Splendid meals here. Injection of morphia & sleeping tablet.

May 6th (Sunday)
Leg very painful last night, had remove iron rod early this morning – no sleep at all. Very painful all day. Usual special issues of light diet again today. Old Sister returned. Raining. Splendid music can be heard from here, violin & piano. Wrote Fanny & Doris. – Morphia tonight & sleeping mixture

[Page 10]

May 7th (Monday) (7)
Had little sleep last night, factories do not work on Sundays. Posted 6 letters this morning, letters are collected every Monday & sent Berlin for censorization.

Leg dressed this morning, signs of it healing It gives me great pain at times. Usual light diet issues today, rice very good & the meat issue. Morphia & sleeping draught

May 8th
Little sleep last night – great row between some Germans about 11 pm, factories resumed their usual row. Leg very painful all day. Bought German Language books & have started to learn the lingo to help pass away time. Wrote Col Durrant. Very dull all day. No morphia tonight had sleeping draught.

May 9th
No sleep at all last night – Chandler taking & walking about all night, very annoying. Leg dressed today it has started to heal & looks much better. Piece of bone extracted.

Usual light diet issues. Another English officer (airman) joined us today, from Lager. He says food there is not too good. Australians suffered a reverse at Arras. Wrote Aunt Min. Had sleeping tablet

May 10th
Very little sleep again – Chandler troubled us again. Usual light diet issues my leg painful – Had sleeping draught

May 11th
Had little sleep last night – Good dinner today – Reading a very interesting book. Things very dull – no visitors. Gets awfully monotinous. Had injection morphia as my leg paining me very badly.

[Page 11]

May 12th (8)
Little sleep last night leg painful though. Leg Dressed today & a lot of discharge from it, small pieces bone & splinters. This extremely painful – Sister says it will be very painful for 14 days or so, as it is discharging & all small pieces bone &c will come out now.

usual issues light diet. Wrote several letters – Maggie Davis, Father & Mother & PCs to Capt. Davis & Lt Doust. Had injection morphia help relieve pain.

May 13th (Sunday)
Had little sleep last night – Leg painful today. Wrote Mother letter, very poor issues food today – Light diets O.K. Glorious to hear church bells ringing. Sleeping tablet tonight.

May 14th
No sleep at all last night – leg very sore indeed & Mr Chandler troublesome again Posted 5 letters & 3 P.Cs today (2 home). Meals getting worse, shortage of meat. Light diets O.K. Leg dressed today. it is Extremely painful. Visit from Padre. Played "patience". Sleeping draught.

May 15th
Had fair sleep last night – Cold compress put on my leg (opposite ankle to wound) to drain out piece of bone or splinter of shell which is there & causing me so much pain. Watch returned from Jewellers today (4 marks). Leg painful, learnt little German – Price of small piece soap is now 6 marks. Sleeping draught.

May 16th
Fair sleep last night – Leg dressed today it is healing fine – compress still applied I think I will be out of bed sooner than I anticipated. Good dinner today – usual light diets. Sleeping draught. Raining tonight.

[Page 12]

[Some of this page difficult to decipher due to staining.]

May 17th (9)
Disturbed great deal by Chandler last night. Good dinner today. Compress put on my ankle. Leg painful now & again. Wrote Staff Paymaster re alteration of allottment also sent a cable Home. Had game Euchre with Lt Capon today & yesterday. Sleeping tablet.

May 18th
Bad night again last night – Chandler. Leg dressed today & wound is looking splendid. Chandler shipped to another room thank goodness. Wrote letter Doris – sleeping tablet.

May 19th
[indecipherable] sleep last night, marked difference without Chandler. Lt Capon left for camp today, so Mott, McCullum & [myself] are on our own. Good dinner today – no sleeping tablet – Compress.

May 20th (Sunday)
Sleep fair last night. Leg not dressed [today] – cold compress put on. Good dinner – but poor tea. Wrote letter [indecipherable] & to several people including [indecipherable] &c who send parcels to prisoners [indecipherable]. Feeling splendid – Dreamt of [indecipherable] – last night – sleeping tablet.

May 21st
Fair sleep last night – learnt more German grammar – Usual light diets. Food not much today – Great cleaning operations. Some General is coming to inspect. Leg dressed today, wound doing fine. Posted 10 letters including 2 to home. Raining – Finished with sleeping draughts – out of bed for ½ an hour

May 22nd
Fair sleep. Visited by a German General this morning. He & his staff had most gorgeous helmets on & looked splendid soldiers. The General was very polite & asked a few questions as to how we were – usual light diets –

[Page 13]

May 23rd (10)
Fair sleep. Good meals today. Leg dressed today, it is healing splendidly. Had 14 letters returned today with a note saying I had exceeded the limited number 2 letters & 14 Pcs per month 3 letters to Home were returned unfortunately.

May 24th
Fair sleep. Sister Malta who dresses my leg comes up every day to have a yarn & teach us a little German. She speaks English. She brings us a daily paper also. Two English officers joined us last night making a total of 5 in our room now. Food very poor.

May 25th
Little sleep. One of English officers talking in his sleep. Leg dressed today – outside ankle swoollen again & cold compress applied. Wound looks well. Poor food. Mott wrote note to his little girl I saw mine tonight – out of bed for an hour

May 26th
Fair sleep. Wrote letter to Kate asking her to write to various societys &c for parcels to be sent me. Feeling well cold compress applied. Usual light diets.

May 27 Sunday
Fair sleep – things quiet today. Out of bed for an hour, wrote letter home. also P.C. British Red Cross Copenhagen. Good food today, bottle stout issued, church bells ringing & children singing all day long.

May 28th
Yesterday was Whitsunday & in consequence of same today is being observed as Sunday. Good food & usual light diets. Learnt German. Felling very well.

May 29th
Good sleep. Leg dressed today, wound nearly healed, but opposite ankle still swoollen Dr says "splinters" are causing the swelling, trying to force their way out. Raining heavily

May 30th
Good sleep. Read book all day. Raining. German orderly comes in every day & has a yarn with us, he is very decent chap. Out of bed for 3 hours today –

[Page 14]

May 31st (Thursday) (11)
Good sleep. Leg dressed today, wound nearly healed. Sister says I will be free of the "iron leg" in a week’s time. My hair growing fine – it was clipped short some time ago as all the hair was falling out on account of Dandruff.

June 1st
Good sleep We were paid a few days ago for month of May – total 33.33 marks, but a deduction of 17.20 marks for our food whilst at Hameln was made – so actually we only recd 16 marks 13 Penngs. Have received no pay for month of April. Good food today.

June 2nd
Good sleep. Leg dressed today & cold compress still applied. Air raid today & there was great confusion here, all Germans run & take shelter in a cellar. It was great fun to see them all running. A big Klaxon Horn gives the alarm & also sounds all’s well. Usual light diets still continue.

June 3rd (Sunday)
Fair sleep. Doctors inspection this mng. McCullum & Mott also one of Eng. officers are going to the Lager on Tuesday. that will leave English officer & myself on our own. Rained heavy last night.

Wrote A.I.F. Hqrs re my allottment, as other letter was returned, also a P.C. to Gertie Webb. Food good today, sometimes we get fish uncooked, & it stinks like the devil, also cheese, we never eat these "luxuries" otherwise food, exclusive of light diets, is fair.

June 4th
Fair sleep. Orderly bought me some delicious cake up the town also cake chocolate, both very dear but quite a treat to have. Cake was glorious

Am feeling tip top, wound nearly healed. Learnt German. Leg dressed today.

June 5th
Good sleep. Mott, McCullum & Dougall left for camp today, leaving Leickler & myself by ourselves. It seems very lonely with only two of us. More delicious cake tonight.

June 6th
Good sleep. Feels very lonely without other three. Heavy rain last night. Good meals & plenty of [indecipherable]. Leg dressed today – Read books, Learnt German

June 10th (Sunday)
Splendid sleep. Good meal today. Wrote letter to Home & P.cs to Kate & Fanny. Iron splint off again today & I walked with aid of crutches 20 yds. Sister Martha brought us some books to read also an German arithmetic for me.

June 11th
Good sleep. Our supply of treacle that Karl smuggled in for us – exhausted today. The Hospital issues of marmalade or Honey has ceased for several days now – Dry bread is greatly relished – Leg dressed today it is practically healed. Iron leg taken off for good. Leg is very thin. Had some cherries & strawberries today.

June 12th
Slept well. Cold compress on my foot. It has healed up completely leaving a big scab. Glorious plate of strawberries today also bag of cherries. Poor meals today meatless day. Feeling well, I have a little walk every day, on crutches, but not for long owing to great rush of blood to leg. Am very weak. Will not be able to put my left foot to ground for a long time.

June 13th
Good sleep. Two English officers in next room to us come in of an evening – have a yarn to us both.

[Page 16]

(13) June 13th (Wednesday)
News to hand to the effect that several mines at Ypres have been exploded preparatory to our attacks there, also that the cavalry succeeded in breaking through but very few returned – Line now runs thro Lille. it is also rumoured that Hindenburgs Line has at last been taken. Our first attack against that line was launched on 11-4-17. Good meals today – glorious strawberry tart tonight.

June 14th
Good sleep. Leg dressed daily now & cold compresses applied. Can walk a good distance now. Leickler taught me how to play Chess. It is very interesting & passes away the time – a German under-officer also had a game . Bought Feeling O.K. Good meals again today.

June 15th
Played draughts & chess today. Bought 3 lb cherries, they were very good. Also a cake, from the town. Issue of marmalade again today. English Canadian officer next door left for camp. Another Eng. officer arrived tonight in our room from camp. Good supper tonight. Walked a good deal today. was up most of the day – Doctor round & examined my foot – I start tomorrow & have hot air treatment daily.

June 16th
Fair sleep. Had "hot air" treatment for my foot – It was Gas & did the foot a lot of good, foot is enclosed in a box & the gas burns up thro a pipe leading to the box, which makes the air hot. The Room is full of appliances for wounds on any part of the body. Up all day – had game chess & draughts. Good meals today. Usual light diets.

June 17th (Sunday)
Good sleep. Can sleep much better when I am up of a day. Batch of Germans marched past Hospital today – magnificent sight, good march & sweet music. German Dress uniform (Blue) looks very neat & smart. Good meals. One of the under-officers came up & played a game

[Page 17]

(14) June 17th (Sunday)
of Chess also Sister Martha. He plays very well. His name is Kaiser – He is a very decent chap has a yarn to us nearly every day. more cherries today, Had touch of Diahorrea. Visited Chandler he is very bad – will not live long. No war news for a long time.

June 18th
Good sleep. Went to "medico" but had to come back as the electric works have broken down. Played chess. Good meals. Posted letter to Bert & a P.C to Home today. Karl brought me a Pot of homemade Jam today from his Home. Feeling very well. Can walk about with ease, with crutches.

June 19th
Very hot last evening – scarcely any sleep We are experiencing glorious weather [now]. To Medico this morning & had hot air. Had game chess & Draughts & read books. Paid Chandler a visit. He is very bad. Feeling splendid

June 20th
Had a warm bath this morning – first since leaving England, it was greatly appreciated.

My money arrived today. I requisitioned for £5 on 7th June on our Hqrs – I received 152½ marks. Bought cherries & various sundries [indecipherable] Soap – toothpaste – £ 100 marks is in custody of Inspr of Hospital, for which I hold a receipt. Capt McKenzie from camp admitted to our ward tonight suffering from a poisoned foot. He gave us all news concerning the camp. He waited 78 days for a reply to his first letter. Things are improving down at the line.

June 21st
Good sleep. To medico this morning & had my leg massaged also. Good meals today. Bought good fruit tart tonight – it was glorious. Had pieces of Swiss Bread & Eng cake from Capt McKenzie. Played chess & draughts. Feeling well. Very hot today.

[Page 18]

(15) June 22nd (Friday)
Good sleep. To medico again today for Hot air treatment. There is a splinter trying to force its way out near my ankle bone, & is causing me great pain.

Visited Chandler today he is very bad.

We have been doing very well as regards food since Capt McKenzie’s arrival. He gets parcels of bread Jam &c daily. Had an egg today, first since being in Germany. Recd my first letter since being a Prisoner, it was from mother dated 13/3/17. was very excited. It is no 66 & last one I received was no 61.

June 23rd
Very hot today. To medico this morning. Good meals today. Bought cake today it was delicious. Capt McKenzie, can read German & he reads us the English communiques Things do not look too promising for us this spring, we are depending too much on America, everything points to the war lasting till next year. Feeling very well.

June 24th (Sunday)
Raining all day. Good meals again, another egg from Capt McKenzie, also jam, butter & bread, & Rhubarb. Wrote letter to Mother & P.C. to Kate. Doctors round this morning & they had a consultation about my foot. They think another operation would be better. Also sent Mother a Birthday card for 23 Sept. It is a German one.

June 25th
Good sleep. Letters posted today. Bought several things from town. Had some more delicious cake. Good meals today. Usual light diets continued with exception of marmalade, which is only issued every other day. Raining again. To medico & had my foot in a special machine to work my

[Page 19]

(16) June 25th (Monday)
bone. It is a very painful process.

June 26th
To medico for usual treatment. Capt McKenzie received another parcel, so we were the recipients of more Jam syrup, butter, biscuits which are a great luxury. Played Patience & read books, also had game "Bridge" & thoroughly enjoyed myself, the four consisting of Leickler, Capt McKenzie Dickson & myself. 2 more English officers & 1 Frenchman in our ward today, making 8.

June 27th
Good sleep. To medico again. Had bath again today, my second since being in Germany. Feeling very well. Bought sardines (4 tins) I am laying in a stock to take to camp on account of things being so dear there, & in case my parcels do not arrive for a week or so yet.

Doctor around this afternoon & told me that it would be bet[ter] if I had an operation, so as to have some new flesh put over my ankle, as unless this was done, I would not be able to wear a boot. Played bridge.

June 28th
Good sleep. To medico for "foot exercises & hot air. Good meals today. Capt McKenzie & Frenchman left for "Lager" today leaving 6 of us. Hot today. We will miss McKenzie as he kept us well supplied in foodstuffs from his own private parcels. He is jolly decent chap. He is going to look after my interests at the camp. The name of his ship was the "Brecknockshire".

[Page 20]

June29th (Friday) (17)
Good sleep. Sister Rosa starts on a month’s leave. She is going to Heidelberg. Sister Teresa is taking her place. Good meals today. To medico for massage, Hot air & treatment with machinery. Man in charge who has been on leave has returned & I received much better treatment today. Young Doctor examined my foot again today.

June 30th
Good sleep. [Double-ended arrow links back to end of previous entry:] 12 months yesterday since I was first wounded. Left France for England also 12 months today.

Good meals.

To medico again. Doctor examined my foot & said that they intended to perform an operation to remove some skin from both sides of my ankle to place over the ankle bone, so as to eliminate some of its sensitiveness when I am able to wear a boot, as the boot will rub against it. But as I have not sufficient skin around my ankle the operation cannot be performed. He said that I will remain here until my foot is right, & in answer to some of my questions he said that my foot would not be the same as before inasmuch that it will be a little stiff. So I expect I will have a little limp.

Leickler, Dickson & I went for a walk in the Garden – first time I have been outside since being here. It is glorious down there under in the shade of the trees. Feeling very well. Visited Chandler. Played Bridge & Patience.

[Page 21]

July 1st (Sunday) (18)
Good sleep. No medico today. Had a rest. Played Patience & Bridge. Violent storm tonight. Good meals today. Usual light diets. Wrote a P.C. July 2 to mother no 8 & a letter to Kate no 8.

July 2nd
Good sleep. To medico for usual treatment. My foot is very sore today, some fluid matter trying to force its way out. Cold compress applied today.

Went for a promenade in Garden this afternoon. Visited Chandler. He is very bad. Posted letters. Filled in cheque form for £5, this is no 2. Another storm & raining all day.

July 3rd
Good sleep. French officer from next room escaped last night. [asterisk – see below] The German officers making all sorts of enquiries this morning. As a result we were confined to our room all day & had to be escorted to the lavatory. It was great fun. Smoking also stopped. Also we cannot buy anything else. Tonight we had a "commode" brought into our room which we had to use from 9 pm to 6 am to so to keep us in our room. Night officer is very careful now to count every person to make sure all hands are in bed. It has been quite an exciting day indeed. Germans are very bitter. They miss a hat from the Doctors room & also found a suit of Hospital clothes at the bottom of the steps which he

[asterisk] Describe how he escaped

[Page 22]

(19) July 3rd (Tuesday)
apparently discarded. They were brought to his room. No medico this morning my foot is too sore. Doctor had a look at my foot, there is an abscess just about to break. My foot is very sore, as abscess is forming right on the bone. Played cards tonight.

July 4th
Good sleep. No medico today. Small piece of bone extracted from my leg today, it was the cause of the abscess forming. foot still sore. Had visit today from the adjt of the camp & other officers making enquiries about a Padre. Good Dinner today. Played cards.

July 5th
Good sleep. Expected a visit from some German officers today to inspect our belongings, & take away any knives &c, but they did not put in an appearance. All this is in connection with the escape of the French officer a few days ago.

Excellent dinner today. Soup, Roast meat, Peas (like pea soup) Boiled potatoes, Gravy & fruit. We get excellent meals at times. For tea we had Soup & Cheese. Visited Chandler. He is pretty bad. [indecipherable] bought me some jam

[Page 23]

1.60 mks a Jar. It is quite O.K. Played cards. Following is our Leg much better

July 6th (20)
Good sleep. Started a chess tournament today. Played cards again today.

We were locked in tonight at 9 pm first time since I have been here. At 10 pm the night under-officer who sees all lights out, came around & made an awful fuss because our light was burning. He said we should be in bed & light out by 9 pm but I argued with him & as a result our names were taken. (like school days again).

July 7th
Very little sleep. Awakened by anti air craft guns at 2 am. Recalled old times again. They were firing at a great rate for 2 hours also machine guns. It was very moonlight so I presume our planes were bombing some town as a reprisal for one of the German raids. Shrapnel was falling all round the hospital

To medico this morning. My foot feels very sore after "medico treatment. Walking with sticks again today.

Received money 150 marks that I requisitioned for on 2nd July. Bought suitcase today, 25 marks, also a jar Jam, sardines &c for lager. I have quite a store of sardines.

[Page 24]

21 July 7th (Saturday)
in, for the camp. Visited Chandler. He is very bad, had an operation performed. Feeling well. Grand Duchess of Baden visited this Hospital but did not call to see us. Leickler beat me in round chess tournament.

July 8th (Sunday)
Good sleep. Wrote letter no 9 to mother & P.C. no 3 to Fanny. Raining today – Read books & Played cards. Good dinner. Usual light diets continue. No medico today, my foot is feeling sore again. Received letter from Ruth Horsfield today. It was dated 4/ [indecipherable] forwarded on from Berne.

July 9th
Good sleep. Posted letters today. Today is a Public Holiday for the Province of Baden, It being the Duke of Baden’s Birthday (60). Good meals today & a bottle of Stout each a Birthday gift from the Duke. Played chess & cards. Chandler is very bad. Had second operation Is going mad.

July 10th
Very little sleep I wake up with violent headaches sometimes the result of not being able to [indecipherable]. I use the ointment which [the] German specialist prescribed for me, but it only seems to be boracic

[Page 25]

22 July 10 (Tuesday)
ointment. Raining on & off today. Poor meals today. My ankle is still sore, the skin on the upper side seems to be too tight & I get great pain every time I move my foot sideways. Cold compress applied.

German Brass Band rendered several excellent overtures this afternoon in the Hospital Gardens just below our window. We had the pleasure of seeing them. It was glorious music.

The Grand Duchess paid us a visit tonight. She is very old & a very nice lady. She asked us several questions, Date we were wounded, How we liked being in Karlsruhe, &c & conveyed to us her very best wishes.

Played cards. Saw Chandler.

July 11th
Good sleep. Had a bath today which was thoroughly enjoyed. No medico today. French officer Lt Benter left our ward for the camp today.

Had walk in garden this afternoon.

Received 6 letters today. One from Bert date 8/6/17 one from Kate Annie & Bay 6/6/17 one from Eileen & Gertie 8/6/17 one from Gertie Rushton 6/6/17 one of "Olive" of Rosemount & one from Libby Cowling & Winnie Norman. Was simply delighted. My foot not so sore.

July 12th
Good sleep. To medico this morning Doctor examined my foot this mng & said I am to go to the camp [indecipherable] now as they [cannot] do any more for me here.

[Page 26]

23 July 12th (Friday)
I will be put in the infirmary at the lager so my foot can still be dressed daily. Leickler is also going. Played patience & visited Chandler today. Said goodbye to the Doctors.

July 13th
Good sleep. Paid this morning for month of June 33.33 marks & up to today [indecipherable] July 14 – 44 marks. Bought shirt 15 mks & other sundries in the town. Had hair & bought pen toilets. Good Dinner

Said goodbye to Sister Teresa & [indecipherable] & gave former my address. My foot bandaged this morning. Said goodbye Chandler also.

Left Hospital at 2.30 pm attired in a Suit of "Blue Drill" with Both distinguishing Badges Pair white socks and white and B[lue] striped shirt with Brown tie. No hat – so imagine what a [indecipherable] I looked. Rode to lager in a coach with a [indecipherable] camp, more particulars were taken as regards what my Fathers fathers occup address name were.

Our belongings were inspected & Sardines put in parcels room. We were also paid pp to end of month 27 marks 20 pennigs Leickler & I then shown our room with 6 French officers – attended a Great French concert tonight. It was excellent, & thoroughly enjoyed by everybody. French & Eng. sang auld L syne. Received parcel no 1.

(See end July 14)

July 14th
Slept very well last night, met all my friends today, ‘Gallagher’ from 13th Capt Dunworth & other Australians. Received 4 letters today, from Marks Kate Annie & Bay. Received 2 parcels today. Had tea with Capt Dunworth Ham & Boiled Rice & tea. Received also an issue of Condensed milk. Today is some big French Day, & all the French are having a gay old time. They gave all the English

[Page 27]

[Much of this page is indecipherable due to the poor condition of the original.]

July 14 24
officers afternoon tea – it was a treat. Paid my entrance fee & Subscription to the library today. Had yarn with [indecipherable] tonight.
Bought arm chair [indecipherable]

The [indecipherable] officers whom we are sleeping with close all the windows of a night with the result being that I wake up with violent Headaches. They also [talk] till all hours (for 13 July)

Examined by Doctor today & [indecipherable] from Roll call for 8 days. I have to have my foot dressed twice daily by the Doctor

July 15th (Sunday)
Slept till [indecipherable] Lay in till 10 am then by the time I shave wash &c breakfast it is 11 am [indecipherable] I have [indecipherable]12 noon [indecipherable] at noon & 12.30 also 6 & 6.30 pm there being two sittings. I am 2nd Sitting. Meals are not as good as in Hospital. Without parcels to help us along we would just be able to manage.

Parcels arrive here daily & are opened by the Germans, all tinned food having to be turned out on a plate. Names of recipients of parcels are posted on a slate.

All German officers irrespective of rank have to be saluted at least once a day. It is invariably the custom to salute officers without a cap.

Gramaphone recital for 1 hour tonight. I was a guest at afternoon tea today when all Australians were there 5 all told. Gallagher, Ingram,

[Page 28]

[Two-thirds of this page is indecipherable due to the poor condition of the original; only the last third has been transcribed. The page covers July 16 and parts of July 15 and 17. ]

Any officer [indecipherable] their issue of [indecipherable] & it is distributed to those who are not [indecipherable] parcels

I get an extra [indecipherable] daily at 1 pm.

There is a canteen in this camp also but they charge extortionate prices. The wine & lemonade is very nice. The meals in this camp are not to be compared with the Hospital diet.

July 17th
Good sleep. Received 2 more letters today from Cheeseman & Aunt Sally. A batch of 50

[Page 29]

July 17th contd 26
British officers left this camp today for presumably Frieburg. I shifted from the Frenchmans barrack to the room with Gallagher & Ingram. It is much better being here, I feel more at Home. It is quite a relief to release one’s feelings at times. We three have formed a mess & pool all of our food & we are quite a happy family.

The food is prepared by us – taken to the cookhouse to be cooked by our orderly. We have Bkfast 9 am tea at 4 pm & supper at 9 pm. We draw 2 plates of tin food from parcels room daily at 10 am.

Leickler to the Infirmary today. He has a rash on him.

Invited to supper with Cull & McQuiggan, it was quite a treat to have a feed of bully beef again. To bed at 11 pm

The English communiques are translated by Capt McKenzie daily & published in a book. Joined a french class for beginners today, I am going to learn french. it is very difficult.

This camp is very spacious & it is quite a daily occurence to see officers promenarding all around the camp for exercise. There is a Physical Jerks class at 7 am daily – very few attend needless to say.

[Page 30]

July 17 Contd 27
Raining today – It is rumoured that the French officer who escaped from the Hospital has been captured somewhere near the Russian fro[nt.] His food supply must have given out as it was impossible for him to get lost, he having a compass & maps. He is in the prison attached this camp & thro the kindness of the Commdt, who is a jolly decent chap, his french comrades are allowed to send him food.

July 18th
Very little sleep. Breakfast 9 am when we had porridge, cocoa & Bread & Jam; Played Gallagher chess again, I being the loser. Good Dinner today, watched a game of bowls today. To French class at 4.30 after tea.

Had my foot bandaged again today. Doctor took 5 names of officers in Hospital today to be exchanged for German officers. Two of the 5 are not minus limbs, so we shall be surprised if an exchange is made for them. The Commandant visited them & told them all that they would be in London very soon – How lucky.

The Doctor thoroughly examined my foot & said I could not be exchanged but my name was taken to be sent to Switzerland (3 of us altogether) I hope this eventuates, it ought to be quite nice there. All this is apparently the outcome of the Conference in the Hague a few days ago, all hands are very excited naturally as 16000 prisoners German & English are to be sent to neutral countries

[Page 31]

July 18th 28
All the wounded will be given preference, so it is very probable I will soon be in Switzerland.

There was a whist tournament tonight I did not play, only looked on.

Received 2 more letters today one from Bert dated 14/[indecipherable]/17 & one from Mary –

July 19th
Good sleep. The Beds here are very crude & old fashioned, not to mention their hardness; Had a bath this morning. Received my first tobacco parcel today 1000 cig & 4 ozs tobacco. Played Gallagher chess & beat him. Wrote Bert no 4 letter. Wrote the Commdt, asking him to cause enquiries to be made concerning the whereabouts of Sgt Wynne, who has been missing since our stunt.

The new German Chancellor is to express his views today re peace terms, so all hands are looking forward for tomorrows communique – 12 Dutch Doctors are being sent to England & Germany to examine all prisoners who are to be sent to Holland &c.

My wound not healed yet, it is still sore.

Rained heavily today. Recd my money July 20th I requisitioned for on 13 Inst – 160 marks.

[Page 32]

July 20th (Friday) 29
Cannot sleep very well here, beds are extraordinarily hard, with straw pailasses as a mattress. Several [indecipherable] of Huntley & Palmers biscuits arrived today. We were given an issue of 2 packets per man. They are very nice.

I had no dinner or tea today. It was not fit to eat, soup made of onions & the fish & carrots gave us a signal that they were coming. For tea we had same soup & Beetroot, so we were entirely dependent on our parcels.

Posted Bert’s letter which I rewrote yesterday. Wrote Major Marks tonight & did some printing for "Snowy"

Raining today. Received parcel 51 X of foodstuffs from good old Red Cross.

July 21
Fair sleep. Up early, as our Barrack was given a Spring Cleaning, scrubbed out &c. Played cards this afternoon A concert this afternoon at 4.30 pm when a sketch entitled "Motoring" was produced with very excellent results. The stage effects were magnificent, considering the material the artists had to work with. It is a great pity that our concerts cannot be held of a night time, but as the public object to our making the least noise, the Commdt is obliged to fall in with their views [indecipherable] our concerts to the afternoon. The Commdt & other German officers were present in an unofficial capacity

Some more Eng flying officers in this afternoon from the Hotel, 8 or 10,.

To Doctor to have my foot dressed. Cold compress applied again as their is another abscess forming , apparently an a second splinter forcing its way out, foot is very [painful] & I [indecipherable]

[Page 33]

July 20th (Friday)

July 21 30
There are still 6 pieces in my foot & if each piece is going to take a fortnight to force its way out & cause me so much trouble as the first, my foot will be put back 12 weeks.

Recd 3 parcels today from British Red Cross & Order of St John Kopenhagen. 1 bread pcl, 1 clothing 6656T & 1 good food pcl no 6656A.

The new Chancellor’s speech was published in yesterdays paper as follows :– He, Dr Michaelis would not have taken over the heavy task now before him, had he not fully believed in the Justice of the German Cause. Germany had been forced to make war, although Dr B. Hollweg had done his utmost to avoid it. The U. Boat campaign had been forced upon them thro England’s mode of fighting by the "Starvation Blockade" after Germany had lost all hope of Americas intervention. It was the only means left to them & it had proved more valuable, & is still doing so, than it was ever expected it would be. The latest offensive of the Russians had only brought the latter a very slight advantage & he had just recd a telegram from the front saying that Prince Leopold of Bavaria’s troops had broken through the Russian Defences. All other fronts were being held & the enemys hope of help from America were in vain. They could therefore meet all things with equanimity. In spite of all, there is a general wish for peace. Germany had not desired the war nor wished to make conquests

[Page 34]

31 [indecipherable] (Saturday)
in [indecipherable] her power & therefore will not carry on the war a single day [to] obtain a peace based solely on conquest. [What] they want is to ensure the safety [at] all times of the frontiers of the German Empire and a peace that will form the foundation of a permanent reconciliation [of] the nations & which will prevent the present intention of the enemy to crush them economically. They had no intention [of] offering peace again, but when their enemies have renounced their lust of conquest , & wish to come to an understanding the whole German nation & the German army & its leaders were united with them in declaring that they would be prepared to ask the enemy what he desires, & would be ready honestly & peacefully, to enter into negotiations, until then it was necessary to wait quietly & patiently"

This is rather a disappointment to us.

July 22 (Sunday)
[Had] my foot dressed & cold compress applied this morning. Took things easy [to]day so as to give my foot a chance; it [is] very painful & much swoollen.

Good dinner today, we also had a good dinner from our own parcels, oxtail Spegettie Plum pudding;

Wrote a PC to Mother, Kate Fanny & a letter to Marks, & Aust Red Cross Soc, thanking them for what they have done & for them to send clothes from my Kit &c.

Feeling well Retired to bed early tonight.

July 23rd
Good sleep. Rested in bed all day to give my foot a rest. Feeling unwell – pains in my abdomen – Had curry & rice for 4 pm [indecipherable] which was very good. Gallagher & Ingram recd a special parcel from our Red Cross Soc [indecipherable] all sorts of luxuries. Played chess

Lloyd George speech to be inserted here.

[Page 35]

July 24th 32
[Wa]kened at an early hour & informed that I with 40 others was being shifted to another camp – quite a horrible shock especially as I had strict orders to remain in bed yesterday so as to rest my foot "Cpl Major" informed the Commdt that I was not fit to travel & he said I was being specially sent for electrical treatment

Left Karlsruhe at noon after various inspections of kit &c. Leickler & I were conveyed to the station in a carriage. Had special car to ourselves – train left at 1 pm & arrived FRIEBURG at 6 pm. My suitcase containing all my necessaries &c was left behind on Karlsruhe Stn, not being able to attend to this myself, I was obliged to ask one of the interpretors look after same for me.

On arrival at Frieburg hundreds of German civilians rushed out to view the 4 prisoners appear "clad in all sorts of odd clothes imaginable Much to my great annoyance I was carried shoulder high thro the crowd, feeling very embarrassed.

We were conveyed in a motor amb. from station to camp. We are billeted in an old university, there being 20 in our room, including [indecipherable] with myself. The beds are wood with straw pailasses & are very hard.

July 25th
Could not sleep much, owing to new surrounding[s] & hard bed. There is a decided improvement in the meals here & there is [indecipherable] bread ration.

My bag was sent on from Karlsruhe this morning & received in good order.

Paraded to the adjt today, with a view to having my name included on the list of officers to be exchanged. He is going to make enquiries to ascertain whether I will be in time for the first draft. We have 3 messes in our room 2 of 7 & one of 6. I am in the last with Capts Cornish & Hill. We have one gas ring allotted for each room.

[Page 36]

33 July 25th
It is therefore a case of "first come first served" The officials here are very gentlemany, much better than the other place. Things are much better. Wrote a P.C. to Kate advising her of my change of address.

Roll calls are held at uncertain times. Three chimes of the bell being the signal. Meal are at noon & 6 pm. We have our extra meals at 9 am 4 pm & 9 pm.

Had my foot dressed by an orderly.

July 26
Examined thoroughly by the Dr this morning for the exchange. After several questions being asked as regard place & when I was wounded &c, & number of innvincations &c the Dr informed me that I would be exchanged, but he did not think the exchange would be effected immediately.

There is an officer reads out all Eng communiques every day at 11.30, & on todays news came the information that Lloyd George was going to make a speech on Aug 4th on our "war aims", also that the income tax is likely to be as high as 8/4 in the £.

Recd 2 Pcs today one being an advice from Btsh Red Cross advising that a parcel has been sent, & the other saying that Bread biscuits would be sent over every week as from our Aust Red Cross.

The only objection to this place is the courtyard, which is the only

[Page 37]

33 (34) July 26th (Thursday)
place we can move about in. It is about 50 yards square, no scope for any outdoor games at all excepting "Rounders".

July 27th
Cannot sleep so well in this place too many in our room.

All officers who wished to give their Parole were allowed to for a swim this morning & also for a walk round the hills afterwards. I did not go, though I would liked to have. If I could be taken in a cab, the outing would be very appreciable.

Recd 2 Pcls one of Bread biscuits from our Red Cross & the other from Sir Henry Proctor Presd Y.M.C.A.

Played bridge tonight. Feeling very fed up with things in general, wish I was with Lanagan & Gardiner &c.

July 28th
Good sleep. Played Bridge; Had my foot dressed by the Dr today, it is still discharging. Attended a Concert held tonight – it was an excellent show, violion solos vocal songs, stories &c.

July 29th
Foot dressed again today. Recd letters from Bert, Charlton, Aust red Cross (2) Emma, Eileen & Gert & Roy Gowing. Archie Gowing is posted as wounded & missing. Roy is naturally very worried about Him. I feel

[Page 38]

July [29]th (Sunday) 35
very sorry indeed Wrote to the Commdt here asking if he would make enquiries [indecipherable] his whereabouts also that a Sgt [Wynne]. Charlton wrote saying [indecipherable] has the Legion of Honour & MC & is also Major

Red Cross also wrote very nice letter.

Played bridge & read book. Whist Drive held this afternoon I did not go.

July 30th
Nothing much doing today. more particulars taken this afternoon by the Doctor all in connection with our exchange. Raining today.

"A raid" made on our room, Bosche searching for an iron bar which they have missed.

Made some salmon Risolles a chocolate Pudding today Both being an excellent success, I was cook. The Pastry was made out of the Swiss Biscuits.

July 31st
Raining again today – Received 4 parcels today from Aust & Btsh Red Cross Societies. Also a letter from Annie conveying the news that mother family were at [indecipherable] when Mother last wrote.

Wrote Red Cross, also Commdt asking for a transfer to Strohen with Lanagan & Gardiner. Played chess & Received my money 160 marks that I requisitioned for on 27/7/17.

[Page 39]

August 1st 36
Raining again. Sale of wine stopped for 3 days on account of last nights Hubbub.

Tried my hand again at Sardine Rissoles & treacle pudding both being a wonderful success. Played cards again.

My foot is very sore, another piece of bone is trying to force its way out.

A new Draft of officers arrived today including a Lt Col.

My tinned stuff from Karlsruhe arrived today I have over 50 tins of food now. Paid today for month of August I received 46.30 marks.

August 2nd
Raining again. Had hot shower

To Dr with my foot, it is very painful. Had very little sleep with it last night.

It was announced on roll call this mng that all officers who are sick & wounded are to parade to Dr tomorrow to be examined, with a view to being drafted to Switzerland to recuperate. Eng & German Govts have both agreed on this point. (Wrote Bert a PC no 5)

August 3rd
Raining again, very miserable day. All Communiques are read out every day at 4.30 pm by an officer who has been a prisoner

[Page 40]

August 3rd 37
since Aug 5th 1914, & in that time He has learnt German & French.

The Comman[dant] today revealed the fact that there is a great desire for peace all over the world. There is a conference of all the Allied Powers being held in London today, & tomorrow L. George is to make a Speech as to what our war aims are also our Peace terms. There is little to the further internal trouble in Russia again, at present they are retreating like a wild mob of civilians, having lost all idea of militarianism. The have made big success on the Western front, near Ypres.

Made a meat pudding also Jam Pancakes, both being a wonderful success especially the former.

Quite a number of officers paraded sick to the Dr today so as to have their names submitted, to be sent to Switzerland to recuperate for a few months, quite a num[ber] failed in their endeavours to [indecipherable] Dr.

I was informed that my name had already been submitted, to be exchanged to England & failing that I would certainly be sent to Holland.

Played Bridge.

August 4th
Slept in till 11 am. my foot very painful so I am resting it.

Wine barrage lifted today.

My wound seems to be opening more every day. Suppose it is because I am not receiving proper attention here.

Good concert held tonight, 50% of the officers celebrated today the 3rd "anniversary of the outbreak of war in rather an intoxicating manner. There was a great hubbub about midnight –

Nothing startling in todays communiquι; we are still making successes on the western front.

From all accounts, every body speaks in England of the war as lasting another year – rather a hopeful outlook – & especially L. George [indecipherable]

Recd letter from George Esther of Merwood.

August 5th (Sunday)
Raining today. Wrote letter no 11 to Mother & father – had my foot dressed

[Page 41]

(August 5th) 38
Raining all day. Played cards. My foot is still discharging a lot. The prevailing climatic conditions do not agree with my wound, it will not heal, in fact it is opening.

(August 6th)
Still Raining & miserable. Received a letter from Esther George & Gladys Merwood. Recd also a parcel from Aust Red Cross Soc.

Made a meat Pudding today also a Jam tart, absolutely excelled myself. Can cook almost anything now.

Played Bridge. Recd money that I requisitione[d] for on 1/8/17 (162½ marks)

August 7th
Very nice day today. Received two more parcels from Aust. Red Cross. Played Bridge in the Garden from 1 to 3.30 pm It was great. Nothing startling in the Communique.

August 8th
Glorious day again today – very interesting debate last evening, the subject being whether Prostitution should be under state control or not. It was decided that it should by a majority of 40 votes.

Had my foot dressed & Doctor instructed me to go to bed again.

It is rumoured that the first draft of officers to Holland is to take place about 26/8/17, so the Dutch Comm. should be here any time now.

Recd my washing back today (10 marks being the cost).

Played Bridge again in the garden, nothing startling in the Communique.

The authorities here are making slight improvements to the Garden so as to make more room & to enable us to make a Bowls course.

August 9th
Raining again. Had hot shower Bath today – Issue of Bread again 1 loaf per man to last till Monday –

[Page 42]

39 August 9th Monday
Made a meat Pie & apple tart, both being another colossal success. we also had soup for tea. Played Bridge chess, also visited Gallagher.

August 10th
Swimming parade & a tour round the country again this mng, all officers who participated are of course on their parole. Raining again.

Recd 3 parcels again today one from Aunt Sally & 2 from Aust Red Cross. also a letter from Uncle Roffey & Mr Downs. no news in the communique. Played Bridge.

August 11th
Raining again – Slept in till 10 am.

Dr sent for me this mng in reference to a special shoe being made for me. He advised me not to have one made yet, as my wound was still discharging & could do so for some time to come, & as soon as my wound was healed, I would be measured for one. Then, He supposed I may be in England or Holland where I would be able to get a better shoe made.

Concert Held tonight, it was a great success.

Made a meat pie & date tart, also soup, my cooking is undoubtedly improving. Played cards.

Recd 2 parcels again today.

August 12th (Sunday)
Raining again. Had my leg bandaged. It is still discharging & does not seem to be making much headway. If I do too much walking it swells very much, & I get very exhausted in no time,

[Page 43]

(August 12th) 40
consequently I feel very fed up at times.

Officers & ncos who have been 18 mths or more in Germany, are being sent to Holland, their names were submitted to Berlin this morning

I understand from the Censor officer also the Dr that I am a certainty for Holland if not England.

Two officers have been confined for 24 hrs in a cell for not giving the Commdt the desired bow’s

Played Bridge. Had my first french lesson this morning from Lt Winter whom I met in Karlsruhe Hospital. I intend to study French now to occupy some of my spare time.

August 13th
Had French Lesson this mng. Recd letter no 4 from Kate & a parcel from Army & Navy Stores.

Very warm today – attired in my summer clothing (white pants & shirt &c) Recd letter from Fred Doust Played Bridge.

(August 14th)
Raining all day – Most Dreadful storm last night & early this morning lasting for several hours – lightning & thunder was simply terrific whilst the downpour of rain was tremendous – worst storm I have experienced.

The Report of guns can be heard occasionally in the silence of night, we are only 50 Kilos from the Line here.

Doctor sent for Leckler & I this morning for more information as regards our exchange. The Medical orderly when consulted this afternoon said that the conditions had been slightly altered since our names were submitted, but he did not think that I would be affected in any way. The conditions have been altered so as to make it harder for officers to be exchanged. There is a Rumour

[Page 44]

41 August 14th (Tuesday)
current to the effect that the first exch[an]ge to Holland will take place on 18th Aug.

Recd tobacco parcel today, also PC from Berlin Red Cross [indecipherable] a reply to my letter of 31/7/17. They have Sgt Wynne on Record as a Prisoner of War, & as soon as He is drafted to a camp, I will be advised. He apparently is working behind the line somewhere in France. Lt Gowing is not – recorded as a prisoner of war. I now fear the result.

Had a general clean up of our cupboard today. Debate tonight subject being "That the Railways of the United Kingdom should be nationalised" The motion was lost by 30 votes.

August 15th
Good sleep. Had a visit from some a Swedish Gentleman this mng.

Played bridge. Had two guests to supper tonight. I was the cook supplying a meat pudding soup asparagus Date & Jam tart, coffee.

Not feeling well this last day or so.

Cap Robinson & Lt Berline are in trouble. A German Cpl reported to the Commdt here that Robinson & Berline, offered him £200 to give them the Key of the front door, so as to enable them to escape; When called before the Commdt this mng they denied having done such a thing. The Commdt explained if they admitted that they said such a thing in a Joke He would overlook the matter. They still denied so the Commdt has referred them to Higher Authority. It is believed that this is being done as a reprisal because 2 German officers have just been awarded 9 mths imprisonent for a similar offence.

[Page 45]

42 August 16th
My wound gave me great trouble last night.

Recd P.cs from Bert Annie & Bay. Wrote P.C to Bert also to Mother. Played Bridge.

Commdt was approached today with a view to obtaining his permission to allow 4 of us who are slightly incapacitated to go for a drive tomorrow, whilst the others have their usual weekly swim. He refused saying that the General Public would object & that it would not be exercise for us as we claimed it to be.

My wound is still discharging & very sore. Doctor ordered me to bed again.

August 17th
Swimming parade held this mng all Eng officers except those who are unable to walk attend this parade if they give their parole.

My wound bled a lot early this morning. Slight hemorrage set in.

Air attack at 2 pm 4 of our machines came over & dropped several bombs. Archies were very busy but our airman escaped all O.K. Huns here had wind up a treat Bombs dropped very close to our camp one nearly wrecked a church. Official communique reports that the Railway Stn was damaged & 3 women killed, a church partly wrecked also a theatre & a number of soldiers killed in a barrack, our airman returned safely.

August 18th
Recd 3 parcels today from Aust Red Cross best I’ve had so far. Made an excellent meat & veg pudding, apple tart & Date Date also Tomato soup, The best supper we have had. All hands had to lay down for a while after supper.

Good concert held tonight. Not feeling very well – had headache –

[Page 46]

43 August 19th (Sunday)
Slept in till 11 am – Played Bridge.

I have been appointed as Pres. of our mess being responsible for all Stores &c. Have instituted a Duty Roster in our mess much to the annoyance to some & amusement to others of our mess.

Recd 2 letters, one from Staff Paymaster & other no 3 from Bay. Not feeling well my foot bandaged with the usual rotten paper bandages.

August 20th
Had hot shower – Sent for by Doctor once again this morning, apparently there has been another alteration in the conditions – He, the Dr dictated quite a lot of inform instructions to the Medical orderly.

An issue of food from Red Cross Soc today including Butter Beans, Dates, Bully Beef, Sausages, Army Rations, Cheese & margarine. –

Recd P.C. from German Red Cross referring to Sgt Wynne. – He is now reported as [a] Prisoner – Played Bridge, wrote letter no 12 to K, A, &, B.

August 21st
Recd 5 letters – no 3 from Annie, PC from Kate, one from Gertie & Gertie Rushton also Aunt Sally – also recd Pcl from Red Cross – Over 200 parcels in today – Made mess

Guest evening today Had tomato soup – salmon, meat Pudding Date & Jam tart, Date Pudding – & Coffee I was cook, It was an excellent turnout –

Played bridge – Debate tonight – Subject that Kissing be abolished –

A Raid on our Room today by the Germans – looking for tools &c –

My foot very painful –

Germans are retiring on Western & Italian front – French having advanced just 22 7 mile on a 20 mile front –Peace overtures all over the world – I think Peace is bound to come soon

[Page 47]

44 August 22nd
Recd 8 letters, 3 from Army & Navy Stores (accounts) 1 aunt Sarah, Mary Mrs Watts Ditchfield no 5 from Kate – made a very hot curry tonight – Played Bridge with Robinson tonight – nothing startling today –

August 23rd
Wrote PC to Mother & Fanny, Recd PC from Eileen – Feeling very much off colour tonight – Nearly every body in our mess is likewise, I attribute the epidemic to the curry. Recd parcel of biscuits from Berne. Played Bridge - Recd

August 24th
Feeling very sick – Doctor called see me & instructed me to lay in bed & not to eat anything – I have slight constipation of the bowels.

Recd 2 parcels one from Mary (Books) & 1 from Army & Navy Stores – also 1 letter from A. & N. Stores –

My foot is deriving the benefit of my confinement to bed, as well as myself – Read most of the day.

In todays Communique conveyed the news that the ships to transport officers to be exchanged, are now waiting in Rotterdam Harbour, & that the wounded will be put on board in a ve[ry] short time – so we should soon hear good news –

This is first illness I have had since being a "Krieggefangenier

August 25th
Best sleep I have had for a long time last night – feeling much better this mng – Dr called to see me. I got up at 11 am. Recd letter from Gladys also P.C. from Van der zeyde.

Meeting somewhat heated one of a[ll] [indecipherable] officers was held at 1 pm to elect [indecipherable] & to discuss other business

[Page 48]

45 August 25th
The main argument brought forward was for an equitable redistribution of orderlies, as at present the distribution is most unfair, there being 1 ord to 3 officers & in our room 2 ord to 20 offs. There are other such cases.

Concert held tonight – mostly French actors.

Dr was summoned to our camp tonight, as one of the officers took a very bad turn – He was taken to Hospital in the town –

August 26th (Sunday)
Spent morning in Garden reading in the glorious sun. Recd Books that Mary sent from Censor – they are novels &c. Played Bridge –

Heavy storm again tonight –

According to todays Communique the Allies are doing extraordinarily well, the Italians have pushed & captured 20000 pris. including 500 officer also numers field guns & armaments of all descriptions. The French have been likewise successful, whilst the British are equally successful in

[Page 49]

46 August 26th
their efforts, we are slow but sure.

August 27th
Had bath today – foot bandaged. It is just the same as it was 2 months ago –

I was cook today, preparing my favorite menu once again the dishes meeting with the approval of all –

Made my pay Book up today – I have a credit of £400, this includes everything also allowing for debits that costs of cakes &c also money that has been sent me from Australia – Capt Robinson & Lt Baerline tried for their offence today August 28

August 28th
Recd letter from Bert – also 2 Parcels from A.R.C. & Gertie & Eileen over 300 parcels in today –

Spent morning in the sun reading – Played Bridge – Debate tonight Subject being that all land &c be under state control the motion was lost. Burke is now President of the Debating Soc.

August 29th
Slept in till 11 am – Raining

[Page 50]

47 August 29th
Censor informed me that my transfer application to be transferred to Strohen, which was submitted on arrival at this Camp, has now been approved – I hardly know what to do, the only stumbling block is that by my going there now I might miss the Comm, on the other hand I am extremely anxious to be with Gardiner & co. I am very fed up with this camp & its environments

After the Censor had referred to records in connection with our exchange He sent for me again & enlightened me very much conveyed to me quite a lot of delightful information to the effect that my name with several others had been submitted as being eligible for exchange to England & that as the two Governments have not yet decided as to what route the transports would take, the exchange which was to have been effected on 24th August has been deferred till Septr. – He said that we should hear something definite early in Septr

I still think it to my advantage to wait here for a few weeks & if nothing is forth coming then well I have been assured that the transfer can be effected then.

[Page 51]

48 August 30th
Good sleep – Had bath. Attired in shorts today –

Listened to the Communique today – there is a conference being held at Stockholm of all the Socialists representatives of all Socialists – one member spoke in the following terms – "that if Germany was prepared to be proclaimed itself as a Republic – then peace would be declared immediately – This conference only assembled yesterday, so we should hear some good results from it. One of officers escaped tonight Played Bridge. Very cold today.

August 31st
Officer (British) escaped last evening unknown to everybody until 6 am today – when a sentry discovered a rope hanging out of a window & concluding that somebody had escaped He informed the Camp Officer, who immediately went to every room & searched examined all beds to ascertain who was missing – It was quite dramatical to see "old Stingle" with his torch lamp & wearing a very worried look, examing all the beds at such an early hour

[Page 52]

[This page is partially obscured by what looks like the imprint of another page – perhaps occurring when the diary was hidden to escape detection; as a result some words are difficult to decipher.]

August 31st 49

the Result is that the bosche have got awful wind up & in consequence cancelled the usual weekly Bathing parade, much to the annoyance of all the bathers – [indecipherable] roll calls this mng when names were called & officers carefully counted under the personal supervision of the Commandant –

very dull day today and very cold – all wish our escapee good luck because if he succeeds, he will open the eyes of our officials, when they learn the conditions we are living under

There was a very keen Rounders [indecipherable] in [indecipherable] every afternoon, [indecipherable] all the competitors [indecipherable] marvellous – we are reverting gradually to our school days – There are several [indecipherable] suggestions in the suggestion book, one being that marbles be purchased, so that in the winter officers will be able to play marbles in the corridor – wounded officers will also be able to partake of this [indecipherable] game –

September 1st
Good sleep – Recd parcel from

[Page 53]

50 September 1st
Army & Navy Stores.

General meeting of officers today when it was resolved to continue the boycott on the wine, until the price was reduced. at the present time the Germans are charges scandalous prices for wine also other articles. Wine which can be purchased in any town & especially on Railway Stns for 4 marks, costs us 12 marks here. The Commandant when approached about the matter, said he would see what could be done, that is a week ago & still no reduction, so we British & French Gefangeners are determined to continue the boycott – if there is not a reduction in other things very soon, well the whole Canteen will be boycotted, especially as all Canteen profit help to augment the German war Loan – this we want to avoid –

Commander Lewis read a letter written by himself & Lt Col Tollemache to General Fredericks commanding Prisoners of war, complaining about the camp in general, insufficient commodation, small court yard (50 x 40) only 1 small walk a week, wheras German Prisoners having a much larger area for exercise, are allowed out for walks in England every day. Then we are marched to the Baths like a lot of convicts – no reading or quiet room, & in conclusion he mentioned, that the Germans having admitted that German Prisoners were treated better than any other Prisoners – therefore asked that the Dutch Minister visit & report on the conditions of this camp – Lewis wrote & complained to the Dutch minister a month ago, & as no answer has been received he

[Page 54]

[This page is partially obscured by what looks like the imprint of another page]

September 1st 51
concludes that the letter was not sent.

Impromptu concert held tonight when some good choruses were rendered. Played Bridge –

September 2nd (Sunday)
Church service held today, the first opportunity I have had of attending service since March.

Foot bandaged today – Played Bridge.

Lieut Hume who escaped a few days ago was captured about 40 Kilos from the Border He travelled by day & [indecipherable] walked through 2 towns in uniform He was caught by a Postman.

September 3rd
Bath today. Foot bandaged – Dr informed me that my photograph had arrived from Karlsruhe, & it showed several small splinters still in my foot. He said that if an operation was performed he would have to make sausage meat of my foot so that I would have to wait until the pieces forced their own way out [indecipherable] as soon as they did my foot would gradually become more elastic as he is of the opinion that the splinters are hanging round the bone thus preventing its movement at the joint – obtained permission from adjt to purchase a pair of shoes, as I am practically bare footed –

It was suggested that "bath-chairs" be provided for

[Page 55]

[This page is partially obscured by what looks like the imprint of another page]

52 September 3rd
Invalid officers so as to enable us to go for walks of a Friday. The Commandant when approached on the subject said that this suggestion could not be entertained as we would not be getting exercise by going out in bath chairs –

September 4th
Spent morning in rearranging cupboard

It is glorious sitting in the afternoon sun I am taking advantage of all the sun I can get, because we will soon have winter on us –

Exercised my limbs today on parallel bars The Commdt has at least introduced the means whereby we can exercise ourselves occasionally –

Played bridge – Recd letter from Mary

September 5th
(See end of Sept 5th)
Good sleep. Had a visit from the Dutch minister today – He was specially instructed to visit this camp to enquire into state of affairs which at present exist – needless to say he received complaints from nearly every officer in the camp – He openly admitted that there was far too many officers in this camp & that we were quite justified in complaining how we were cramped & also as regards having no reading Room &c. He also said that there are insufficient shelves & cupboards & that the tables are not large enough to accomodate 7 officers – He said we should have stools chairs instead of stools & was amazed when he was

[Page 56]

53 September 5th
informed that Beds had to be double banked in order to make more room.

He was informed of treatment meted out to officers who have been confined for attempting to escape – such treatment of officers has never been heard of – They were deprived of water & washing necessaries & private parcels also bedding – but as soon as the Dutch minister pointed out that he was not acting in accordance with the Hague Convention all these essentials were immediately forthcoming –

He said that the Canteen prices were appaling but that unfortunately he had no Jurisdiction over the canteen – Commander Lewis & Col Tollemache left no stone unturned in bringing before the ministers notice our just complaints –

The minister agreed that we should have more walks owing to such a small space whereby especially as we are confined in such a small area –

I complained to him that my foot had got worse since being here, simply because I have not received any special treatment, also that there are still several splinters in my foot that on leaving Karlsruhe I was informed that I was being specially sent here for special treatment, this I have not recd – he noted all these facts & said he would

[Page 57]

54 Septr 5th
see that we received treatment –

When questioned about the Dutch Exchange he said that the whole thing was being held up on account of the two Govts not being able to come to some decision as regards what route the transports would take –

I am specially glad that the Dutch minister came especially for Robinson & Berlines sakes as they are being grossly unjustly treated – The Commdt informed Robinson that a neutral was representing them on the Court when Robinson acquainted the minister of this fact, he was astonished said that such was not the case as nothing had ever been heard of their case in Holland. So we all welcomed this visit, he arrived just at a very opportune time – he promised there would be a marked alteration soon, as this place was really not fit for a camp.

The Commdt & staff here were very affable during his visit, despite the fact they were all wearing very worried looks –

Rafe & Slee (Australian) attempted an escape last evening but were caught just as they were leaving the court yard – they have been awarded 6 days cells.

Recd letter from Gert – Kate & Bay & A.IF Kit store

September 6th
Good sleep – Chairs arrived

[Page 58]

[This page is partially obscured by what looks like the imprint of another page]

55 September 6th
today as a result of yesterday inspection –

Received my tunic Breeches & Boots that I had in France, I feel quite Happy now

Had a bath today –

September 7th
Had a special shoe made for my left foot today. It is really grand, & fits me very well I can walk 80% better now, having only a very slight limp – all I am afraid of now is that my foot will get better too quick for the commission –

All Dressed up & nowhere to go today. Looked a little bit like an officer It is really quite a treat to be respectable, it is the first time since I was wounded. I cannot say how happy I am –

Recd letter from Annie also some Snaps – also parcel from Army & Navy Stores –

Listened to the Communique today our people at Home are undergoing a very anxious time as 1/3 of our crops have been ruined by the extremely long spell of bad weather – The populas have been specially warned to economise.

Played Bridge

September 8th
Good sleep – Sent for by the Doctor in connection with our complaints

[Page 59]

[This page is partially obscured by what looks like the imprint of another page]

56 September 8th
to the Dutch Minister a few days ago – He said that as soon as my wound was healed he would send into the town for special treatment also that he did not like to operate as it would be to my advantage not to – He was very nice but was wearing rather a disappointed look, as I really believe he has been doing all he could for us but I must consider myself first, because in the event of my failing to be exchanged then I am certain to receive special treatment in Germany having complained to the Minister –

My birthday today – never thought I would celebrate my 22nd birthday in such a dismal place. Hope to be home for my next

General meeting of officers today, when Comm Lewis pointed out that it was to our interest to work in with the Germans in some ways, because if we didnt we would not gain anything – after a long conference the German Commdt promised that we would be allowed 2 walks a week also a football ground, & he hoped we would work in with his ways. The Comm is not a very strong man & I think if we play the game by our Commr, Lewis well have quite a lot of influence with him. He of course is a Freiburg [indecipherable] has to be very careful in what he does as the populas here are

[Page 60]

[This page is partially obscured by what looks like the imprint of another page]

57 September 8th
a very narrow minded lot –

The Boycott is still on the wine, as the prices have only been reduced by 1 or two marks – concert held tonight which was a great success –

Recd letters from Lily Rutherford Gertie, Bert & Mabel Bletch, all wishing me Many Happy Returns of the Day –

September 9th (Sunday)
Very dull day today – No church service today, it is held every fortnight – Hills stayed to tea today. Played Bridge afterwards (mention about our mess, how we run things as regards, cooking purchasing fruit &c) –

September 10th
Had bath – To Doctor for bandage –

very dull again today busy getting signatures of all officers in my autograph book –

The adjt of this camp can speak English very fluently & in the course of conversation with Commr Lewis he said that he was the first German officer to land on Suvla Bay after our evacuation. He said that our evacuation of the peninsula is the finest thing ever we attempted – The Germans & Turks did not know anything about it. He also said it was just as well we evacuated when we did, as the Germans were preparing to bring up their big guns.

[Page 61]

[This page is partially obscured by what looks like the imprint of another page]

58 September 10th
As can be imagined the result would have been disastrous & our evacuation would have been necessary. He is a very decent officer –

Bought pair slippers from canteen (16 marks) they fit me very well.

September 11th
Good sleep – up early this mng & sat in Garden –

Half of our room challenged other half today at Rounders – we had two cripples on our side & won by 36 points, much to the great astonishment & excitement of the numerous spectators.

Played Bridge – received letter from Gertie

September 12th
Raining heavily all day today slept in till 2 pm –

Visited by a General today (apparently on the retired list) – He informed us that he was doing his best to increase our walks & provide a football ground. He said that it was impossible to enlarge this building it was originally intended to house 250 officers, & at present there are only 200 – He also hoped that we would not be here much longer –

He was besieged with complaints on the Commandants room I approached him on behalf of the invalided officers as regards with a view to obtain his sanction to hire bath chairs, so as we can go out on walks with other officers, also as there is a possibility of a football ground being provided we can watch the various matches – I explained that we up to the present have not been outside & as we have been

[Page 62]

[This page is partially obscured by what looks like the imprint of another page]

59 September 12th
in this place for 2 months, a change of scenery occasionally is necessary He agreed on conditions that we paid for the hire of the chairs & also that we did not go roaming about the country on our own, but must keep up with the other officers – Comm Lewis assured him that we would –

Lt White approached him in connection with the exchange – he said he could not enlighten him, but he would make enquiries on his return. White also pointed out that if there was a possibility of invalid & sick officers being kept in suspense very long, that we should be sent to a better camp, as this camp being the worst, our health & progress was greatly [indecipherable]. He agreed & said he would make enquiries & have us sent to another camp if there was not a big likelihood of the exchange being expected very soon – Had my photo taken again today wearing Australian clothes. Recd parcel

September 13th
Had bath today – foot bandaged my wound has been causing me great pain lately –

Several officers have purchased toy trains & amuse themselves by playing trains, despite the fact the trains were originally intended for the Arts & Crafts exhibition which is to take place soon. We want a few marbles & tops now & we will have our school days over again – what we will be

[Page 63]

[This page is partially obscured by what looks like the imprint of another page]

60 September 13th
doing in a years time I don’t know

Wrote P.C. to Bert Kate also enclosed 3 photos – 1 for Bert, K A & B & Home –

Boycott on wine raised today & needless to say there was a colossal rush for wine with somewhat disastrous results later on – Played Bridge

September 14th
Slept well – walk for officers today –

Recd letter from Aunt Sally & PC from Van Der Zeyde advising that he is forwarding a lot of books to me from camp [indecipherable]

Interviewed adjt today about our exchange – He is certain that it will be effected this month & is writing today to [indecipherable] any information –

There is likely to be a civil war in Russia The Commdr in Chief has been sacked relieved of his command because he was asking too much of the Govt, & the Govt attach a lot of blame on him for the great failures of the Russian Army. He has refused to hand over documents to his successor & is now collecting an army to march on St Petersburg. The Govt is preparing for a planned evacuation of St Petersburg, as it is likely to be threatened by the Germans in the near future The situation is indeed critical, & no further assistance can ever by expected from the Russians

[Page 64]

61 Sept 14th
They have let the allies down on several occasions, so I think it would be better for them to conclude a separate peace – The situation may change

Played Bridge

Sept 15th
Selpt Slept well – Recd my money that I requisitioned for on 10th Sept – 162½ marks – Recd letter from Bay no 7. Very dull day today Recd 2 Parcels

Concert tonight half French & half English. Did not go – Played Bridge

September 16th
Slept well – Episode with S Rafe & French last evening – Church service this morning – Had my foot bandaged. Confined to room for 2 days for being riotious after 10 pm – air raid early this mng. Could hear bombs falling but could no machines visible –

September 17th
6 Officers escaped early this mng – Capt Robinson, Baerline, McIntosh Rees Craig. They hid in wood heap till midnight & then made a bid for it –

[Page 65]

62 September 17th
The Bosche had dogs here so as to try & track them – our walks stopped today as a result.

Several rooms punished for making noises after 10-30 pm – one room having all walks stopped for 4 walks –

Read book & played Patience German Professor commenced giving lessons tonight –

September 18th
Released from Prison at 1 pm –

Recd PC no 10 from Kate –

Cornish admitted to Hospital yesterday to have shrapnel ball extracted from his leg – the Dr estimates that his absence will be about 10 days. He has had endless pain & trouble with his leg –

Recd letter from Annie – Gertie Rushton Bert & Aust Red X – Bert’s letter conveyed the very sad news that Poor Les Poole has been killed in action – I feel so sorry for his Dear People – Berts letter also conveyed the very pleasing information that Mother mentioned in her last letters to him that she had received his cables saying I was a Prisoner – Played Bridge –

September 19th
Walk today – the invalid officers did not go, on account of our long promised bath chairs not arriving –

We expect to hear some good news soon as the Germans have replied to the Popes Peace proposals & will not have submit it till the allies submit theirs our people say they have no

[Page 66]

63 Sept 19th
intention of doing so until the Germans submit theirs, so both nations are at loggerheads once again –

Septr 20th
Had shower (cold) Wrote letter to Uncle Arthur Mother & a PC to Capt Davis, enclosing Photos – Played Bridge – Discussion tonight, as to what sort of an army shall we have after the war, opened by Lt Col Tollemache.

Septr 21st
Saw "life" today for first time since being at Freiburg – The adjutant has been untiring in his efforts to secure we invalid officers bath chairs so as to enable us to go out on walks –

He has at last been successful & my first outing this mng was simply magnificent – I had numerous offers from officers to push me. The scenery is really splendid, best I have seen, we have nothing to equal it in Australia –

Needless to say, we were looked upon as novelties by the populas – we left camp at 8 am – had a bath in the public baths & then proceeded on our walk returning to camp at noon –

Was weighed today – weighing 13.7 stone – no parcels yesterday or today –

September 22nd
Played my first game billiards with Leckler today scoring 4.

[Page 67]

64 September 22nd
I am able to promenade round the square 3 or 4 times each day now –

The 6 officers who escaped several days ago have all been captured & are now in cells in this camp – They were captured right on the border, as they were they were crawling through – it was only a matter of half an hour & they would have been free again. They say sentries are 4 deep there & the places is lousy with dogs so I think it is practically hopeless to get through now we all feel very sorry for them especially for Robinson & Baerline on account of their previous trouble –

no concert tonight –

I exercise myself on the parallel bars & other gymnastic appliances every day now – & am slowly improving. no parcels again today

September 23rd (Sunday)
Good sleep last night – Played Billiards this mng – & enjoyed the beautiful mornings sun in the Garden

Mother’s Birthday today –

Macintosh & Co brought back late last night feeling very fed up – They were only 500 yds from the Rhine & say they could swim it as it was not more than 75 yds wide. They have been confined to cells pending their trial – Their total absence was 9 days.

Osborne, Marshall confined to cells 2 days for misbehaviour & being absent from Roll Call – They were well inebreated when admitted to cells & as a result smashed windows & forced the Cell Door open – besides keeping the whole camp awake till 1 am

[Page 68]

65 Sept 24th
A special roll call held this mng, by order of the A/Commdt. He addressed us all & expressed his & said that the conduct last night of the prisoners confined to cells was not becoming of an Eng. officer & as they had defied him & done so much damage, & taken advantage of the absence of the Commdt, He was compelled to assert his authority by awarding them 6 days cells & canceling their walks for 1 month He was very annoyed indeed & had the prisoners released from cells, especially for the occasion –

We commenced our walk at 10 am returning at noon, we went up the Hills & thoroughly enjoyed the grand embracing air. It was glorious I had several volunteers – The scenery is simply magnificent –

On that return journey about 20 of us missed the main body so we formed up & marched back on our own, without a German Escort. About 100 yds from camp Flipsen appeared on the scene to escort us back – we were suddenly halted by a German officer, who roused was very annoyed with Flipsen because we were smiling & He also said that He was too familiar with the prisoners. Flipsen was reported, to the Commdt, but the whole thing was washed out, the complaint being so frivilous, we afterwards learned that He lost a son last year, therefore He hates we English prisoners –

Played Bridge –

September 25th
Marshall & Osborne the chief offenders & for arousing the Commdts feelings were sent to another Camp today –

Had walk with adjutant this mng – He is indeed a decent chap –

A Debate held

[Page 69]

66 Sept 25th
this evening – Played Bridge –

Sept 26th
out for walk again this mng – The back wheel of my chair broke, but it was soon repaired by several volunteers The new censor had charge of the walk – we cripples rested half way & played Bridge in the open – It was quite a change – The population here do not seem to look upon we prisoners with much scorn – some even smile whist others bid us good mng – despite the fact that nearly every German male & female, wears a very worried & stern expression –

Recd letters no 71 from Mother dated 17th Apl Ruth Horsfield, Father, Victor, Miss Tonks, Doris & Mrs Melen – all these had been sent on from Bn & after a lot of careful censorization I received them some in a very dilapidated state – I was very pleased indeed to receive same, there must be several more for me –

Played cards –

Sept 27th
Capt Robinson sent to another Camp –

Read in the garden most of the day enjoying the glorious sun –

Germany reply to the popes Paper note in todays paper. There is nothing startling in the reply excepting that one can see, reading between the lines, that she is anxious for Peace –

Played Bridge –

[Page 70]

67 Sept 28th
Did not go out on walk today as my chair has not been returned – Those who did go out enjoyed themselves as they went for a row on the lake, there were several naval actions –

7 officers tried to escape last night but, unfortunately the Germans were informed & consequently were waiting for them – They are now in cells – as a result another search for tools &c took place today –

Speech made by Asquith published today it is a darn fine one, in which he cleared stated our terms, if our people act up to his speech we will eventually benefit by this war – The speech by the Imp. Chancellor was not published –

In the leading article in todays paper, the German people are now complaining about the secret way in which the Reichstag transacts Germany’s affairs – They demand that the speech of the I.C. be published & they also want to know the actual state of affairs as regards the prolongation of this war – There is at last signs of interal trouble in Germany – this is a good sign –

Lecture tonight by Gracie on the ’45 rebellion

Sept 29th
Capt Fitzroy left for England at 4 am – He is being exchanged for the son of Von Tirpitz – He has been a pris for 3 years, so we are all glad to see him go as he will certainly open the eyes of our Govt as regards the condition

[Page 71]

68 Sept 29th
of this camp – He apparently is a very influential man, as there are several p.o.w. who have had more service than He & they have not yet been exchanged – If influence is going to be the deciding factor in future, well there is very little hope for me –

Hills went to see Cornish today, who is in Hospital awaiting an operation – His operation has not yet been performed & he is looking slightly better –

Concert tonight, which was an excellent success – especially the sketch "Raffles" – The staging effects was simply wonderful – I was called upon to sing – much to the great amusement of the audience, who cheered most enthusiastically, until I was obliged to sing, chosing as my song "my little Grey Home in the West I felt very embarrassed indeed but my efforts were evidently appreciated –

Sept 30th Sunday
Church service today – slept in till 11 am

Played cards, numerous speeches in todays paper about peace, in fact the paper is full of peace talk – I think peace will soon be proclaimed now –

October 1st
Up early – went for a walk today, we went to the lake & on arrival there we were allowed to walk about independently in the understanding that we rendezvoused at a certain hour – we were allowed on the lake where I spent a most enjoyable hour, being attacked numerous times by other boats, but fortunately, all these attacks were repelled & I was able to claim & complete victories against

[Page 72]

69 October 1st
the navy – especially Commr Hewitt for his persistent attacks on me last Saturday evening –

Recd 2 letters from Gertie, 1 from Bay & 1 a/c from A & N Stores – Played Bridge with Commr Olphert –

Thite left this camp for Heidelberg tonight – we will miss him as he used to read us extracts from the Daily papers, & was of the greatest service to us all as his experiences during his 2½ years captivity, was of the greatest value – But we are glad for his sake, as on account of ill-health a change to a more congenial climate was necessary –

Paid today 46-30 marks.

October 2nd
Had cold shower this mng – Played Bridge – a Debate held tonight It was most humorous, as several motions had to be considered by the house, one being that a vote by Censure be passed on the President for abusing his presidential powers, some most eloquent speeches were made in connection with this motion, also for the motion that a vote of Confidence be passed on the president – a new vice president was elected, my I was nominated but withdrew.

There is a chess tournament in progress, I have entered but to date have lost all my games –

October 3rd
Slept in till 11 am – no walk today

Played Bridge –

Recd 4 parcels & 1 letter from Mrs Guthrie. Skipper visited Cornish today, He has been operated upon & is doing fairly well

[Page 73]

70 October 3rd
a bullet was extracted from his thigh.

All lights have to be extinguished at 9.30 pm from today, as there is a shortage of coal in Germany altho’ this change is not in any way welcomed we are pleased to note that there is a shortage & this is a good sign, we can put up with a little inconvenience for a few months –

October 4th
Received 3 letters from Australia one from Mother, Fanny & Mr Mannall, all were addressed c/- Aust Red X London, all were very short letters. I suppose the Aust authorities have instructed people not to write long letters to P.O.W – There must be several more for me, as I am sure the letter from Mother dated 5/7/17 is not the first she has written since my capture. Fred Mannall is a Prisoner & wounded. Wrote PC. home – Played Bridge Recd 2 Parcels from ARC & A & Navy.

October 5th
Recd 3 letters 2 one from Kate & Annie & one from Education Dept advising me that Educational books have been despatched – one from Kate was dated June 24th & a letter from Ray Gowing was enclosed – He is very worried about his brother who is still missing – Wrote letter to Fanny very cold –

[Page 74]

71 October 6th
Went for a walk this mng – very cold out – Concert held this evening when a French sketch was produced with great result – visited every room with Lt Montague who was my wife for the occasion –

October 7th Sunday
Church service conducted by Comm Lewis this mng – Did not go – stayed in bed till 11 am –

Played Bridge – Raining all day & very cold.

We have pushed at Ypres advancing 5 Kilos on a 20 mile front – 5 German Div. were concentrating preparing for an offensive & were mostly taken prisoners. Our losses were slight – The Australians took part – we also surprised a Turkish force taking several thousand prisoners, including a Divisional Hqrs – General Holmes our Div Commr has been killed – The Commdt has returned –

October 8th
Walk held this mng, but very few attended as it was so cold & miserable I did not go –

Recd letters from Army & Navy Store, Gertie, Birthday Pcs from Aunt Min, Mother Father, Doris Edie & Bill & Victor all addressed care Roffey – The verses are indeed most appropriate – Recd letters from Annie with photo of Capt Davis; PC from Van Der Zeyde advising me of books that have been despatched a letter from Bert, another

[Page 75]

72 October 8th
letter from Annie, Florrie Winsor & a third one from Annie. Played cards

October 9th
We are experiencing extremely cold weather now – so cold we have to have all windows in our room closed, fires are necessary now.

I am now in charge of our room as Skipper Hill has been transferred to a smaller room –

no Debate tonight, as the members for the motion & opposition failed to turn up –

October 10th
Walk this mng – Raining did not go – Neame & myself were invited to Breakfast with Eva Bell; we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves – Neame & I have been challenged by Eva & Green to 10 rubbers of Bridge at 1 mark for 100 – Played Bridge after lights out & had quite an enjoyable time with Eva & Neame –

October 11th
Raining all day today & very miserable – we have to keep all windows closed of a night-time – most of the officers stay in bed till 12 noon, so as to keep warm, as Bed is the only place on such miserable days. There is nothing for one to get up for –

Played Bridge today & had glass wine with Eva & Neame before going to Bed.

October 12th
No walk today, despite the fact several officers got dressed – very cold again today –

We had a guest evening tonight when I had as my guests

[Page 76]

73 October 12th
Eva & Neame. We had Soup, Salmon Meat Pudding (Turkey & Fowl) Rice Pudding Cavaire & [indecipherable]. Both puddings proved to be a huge success We also had wine after which we adjourned for usual game cards – Both Neame & Eva enjoyed themselves –

October 13th
Raining again today & very miserable – no concert held tonight owing to artists being indisposed – our 10 rubbers of Bridge finished today – opponents winning by 50 points. It was a most interesting game. Had glass wine again with Dear Little Eva –

October 14th (Sunday)
Got up early this morning to attend church service – The minister speaks English, & delivers a very good sermon, but he only has one prayer & a few Hymns. He only comes once a fortnight – Commr Lewis reads the morning service every alternate Sunday.

We challenged our opponents again at another 10 rubbers – Invited to tea yesterday with Neame

October 15th
Walk today I did not go – I played Ralph Billiards, having a handicap of 52, & He 42. He beat me by 16. Should have had more handicap.

Bought Evas ticket for 60 marks for the Billiard tournament for 60 mark

[Page 77]

74 October 15th
General meeting held today when Lewis presided. He said that after 2 months hard work with the Germans, working in with them for the benefit of all officers, the Commdt on his return from leave, has frustrated all his plans – So Lewis has decided not to have any further transactions with the Hun & is going to do his utmost to annoy them. If he has the Confidence of we Eng Officers – He cannot see why we should be prepared to work in with the Hun & receive nothing in return.

The Commdt is greatly disliked. He will not allow officers to carry sticks on walks – he will not permit any paper or pictures larger than size of a PC posted on wall after several marks worth of paper had been purchased at canteen –

This afternoon numerous officers were playing Rounders & making a most awful noise, just to annoy the Commdt. It had the desired effect, because He & the adjt soon appeared, furious as I have ever seen a hun, & convened a special roll call. He said there was too much noise & cancelled our walk for 1 day – after roll call, Lewis & the Germans had a conference, when the former explained in very few words our grievances &c, so the Commdt, having wind up crawled down the ladder & said that He would write to Karlsruhe,

[Page 78]

75 October 15th
& point out our grievances –

Meantime Lewis is going to write a letter & point out our grievances to the Commdt. Lewis has accordingly asked for "Peace" tonight.

Ralph was arrested for being rude to the Commdt & using abusive language to him –

Played Cards – Recd letters from army & navy

October 16ht
Had bath this morning – 2 Recd parcel today from Aust Red Cross – Played Bridge –

Debate held tonight, subject being on Home Rule question. It was unanimously decided that Ireland should not have home rule –

A meeting of Senior Officers from all rooms held today when Commr Lewis read a letter which is being handed to the Commdt. It was a very well composed letter & very much to the point – In it He suggested that the present parol card system be abolished & that the Commdt introduce a new card, authorising us to walk independently anywhere within a radius of 5 mile between certain hours – This card to be signed by the Commdt. This is the system adhered to in England –

He also said that this camp was obviously a reprisal camp placed in the middle of a town & as such It was the Commdts duty to assist us in every way possible. His greatest concern should be to ensure that the camp is well guarded. Also that we should be allowed our sticks as it was recognised as part of the Btsh Dress –

October 17th
Very miserable & cold today did not go for a walk. We have fires in the rooms now but one stove to a big

[Page 79]

76 Octr 17th
room accomodating 20 officers is of little use. Neame Bell & Self adjourn to the fireside every evening, have a glass of wine & get warm, & pass a very enjoyable hour away –

October 18th
Had game billiards today – Not feeling very well, too much tinned food does not agree with me. I have eaten very little this last few days – Another miserable day again today –

October 19th
No walk today on account of the inclement weather – Rained all day – passed time away playing Bridge –

October 20th
Walk today I went. It was a glorious walk & one I thoroughly enjoyed – walked most of the way & managed very well indeed –

Concert held tonight. It was the best concert ever held here. Our orchestra appeared for the first time. It was a splendid effort indeed, & some most excellent music was produced. All the musicians were dressed as Huns & it was really a magnificent success – Klaine from the canteen was present & appreciated the humour of it all. I laughed till I was exhausted – The French also had a sketch which was also a renouned success

October 21st Sunday
Up early today – had my foot dressed there are 2 big blisters on the

[Page 80]

77 October 21st
wound, as a result of too much walking yesterday. It is very painful.

Went to church this mng, when Commr Lewis officiated in the absence of the minister – It was not a bad Service.

Recd letters from Bert Father, Mabel Blatch Aunt Min & Edie & Aunt Sally & Dot Poole. I was so overcome with Joy at receiving letters from Home. I was moved to tears especially when reading Aunt Mins letter –

Played Bridge with Olphert –

Dot had heard about poor Leslies death

October 22nd
Walk held today, when the officers took lunch & stayed out till 1 pm I did not go & was too cold & wet so I played billiards. Bell has undertaken to teach me, which Instr I am glad to receive –

There is a Bridge tournament being held. I have entered having Neame as my partner, we played Windebank & Browning on our first round & won by 500 odd – Played cards –

October 23rd
Very cold again today – Cornish returned from Hospital today, he looks rather ill. His wound has not yet healed. It was a bullet. He is indeed pleased to be back again with the old boys once again –

5 officers left our camp for other camp on Sunday, & 5 more came here today – Luckily some came from Strohen & related one all the news all of our officers are still there but they advise me not to transfer

[Page 81]

78 October 23rd
there as it is a very bad camp – being considered the worst in Germany – There are 400 officers there & an Eng Capt as Commdt – So I’ve decided to remain here –

Mott, who was in Hospital with me has escaped & succeeded in getting through to Holland. I am very pleased – His wound had not healed either – I would like to meet all these officers again, but think I will stay here where am fairly comfortable –

Recd letters from Mother dated 25/7/17 one from Annie enclosed in which were photos of Father Mother & Fanny also snaps of K A & B – photos I had in France. I was awfully pleased to receive these, I feel much happier – Also letter from Kate

October 24th
Slept in till 11.30 am – very cold miserable day – Played our second round in Bridge tournament, we had appalling bad cards & lost the game.

Recd letter from Ruth Horsfield dated – 5/8/17 – my nelsons enclopedia arrived today 60 marks. Played cards –

October 25th
Slept in. Football match this mng – First match that has been held. I did not go as it is too cold to sit in the chair

Recd 2 parcels. Football matches are held twice a week, & walks 2 a week. Cinema show tonight – It was not a bad turnout.

[Page 82]

79 October 25th
Some very interesting films were screened German troops in reserve &c also part of the Roumanian & Russian front – Some popular tunes were rendered during the performance – Officers are charged 1 mark & orderlies 10 fgs –

October 26th
No walk today on account of inclement weather – Slept in today, not feeling very well – it is too cold to be out of bed. Requisitioned for cash today –

October 27th
Walk this mng did not go – Concert held tonight, when a sketch entitled motoring was produced with success. It was really an excellent programme & the concert committe took this opportunity of inviting the German staff, so as to get the Commdt interested in our concerts. He enjoyed himself & I think appreciated our efforts – our Freigburger orchestra rendered some very popular air all of which met with the great approval of the House. Commr Lewis on behalf of the Eng officers said goodbye to the French officers who are leaving in the morning –

October 28th (Sunday)
Frenchmen left at 3 am this mng they are being drafted to some reprisal camp on the Russian frontier –

No service this mng, on account of the minister being indisposed –

I had great hopes of making up a select party of 8 & transferring to a room vacated by the French – the camp officer consented but the Commdt refused to let us change

[Page 83]

80 October 28th
Despite the app very appealing way in which I approached him – Clinton Owen & Co escaped from Cells tonight – Recd 2 parcels

October 29th
Clinton & Co escaped from Cells last night. They were not missed till noon today, so that had 12 hours start The Germans have awful wind up They do not know how they effected their escape –

Recd letters from Mother Bay Mrs Hamilton, Aunt Min & Doris P.C. from Bert, Gladys Merwood, Army & Navy, Mother enclosed in which was photo of Mother, Bill & Aunt Min. This photo I had when in France & just prior to our fatal stunt I handed it with several others to Lt Doust to be sent home if anything happened to me. So I treasure it more than anything else – also letter from Gertie –

Recd 1 doz eggs from A.R.C.

Walk held today – I did not go – Cinema tonight

October 30th
Recd 5 parcels – Walk held today I did not go, slept in bed till noon Played Bridge with Olphert Neame & Bell

55 officers arrived from Karlsruhe camp tonight, including 19 invalid officers – some minus limbs.

Cull & McQuiggan arrived. When I left Karlsruhe, they expected to be leaving any day for England. It is indeed pleasing to know that as exchange has been effected so far, Karlsruhe Camp has been cleared completely so as to make room for the Italian officers – The special camp has been opened for Flying Corps & Naval officers –

Debate held tonight

[Page 84]

81 October 31st
Recd a very pleasant surprise this mng, when Lt Stones called to see me. He is the only officer that I have been unable to trace, & the officer I have been longing to see – It is indeed a grand thing to have a talk of old times. He is one of the best subs I have has, & one whom we all adore. He was hit in the left leg, below the knee, the bone was broken but has set again. He has 3 lovely wounds at least 12 inches long –

A Colonel of the RAMC & 3 capts of same unit arrived with the others. They hope to be exchanged being non combatants – Had the Colonel to Breakfast & Stones, Cornishs friend & the Colonel to Tea & Supper – I was chef again & made a most excellent pie & Date & Jam tarts with a glass of wine to finish an excellent supper – All hands enjoyed themselves –

Football held again this mng – I spent most of the day with Stones & finished up in the Colonels room Drinking wine &c –

Cinema again tonight when some very good films were produced the best being one of the Kaiser & Genl Hindenburg celebrating his 70th Birthday –

Recd letters from Edie, Mother, Doris PC from Annie & a letter from International Correspondence Schools – Bought arm chair today 80 marks – Recd 2 parcels –

November 1st
Today has been recognised as a Holiday it being "All Saints Day. Slept in till noon. The Italians have suffered a very big reverse, having lost 160,000 & 1500 guns, & are at present being closely pursued by the Germans –

[Page 85]

82 November 1st
It is really heartbreaking to think that after 3 years of war, our allies, first Russia & now Italy, are letting us down at a very critical time – It is thought in German circles that Italy will conclude a separate Peace in which case I think it will be far better for England & France to conclude Peace, for it is not worth the sacrifice to go on to say nothing of the gigantic daily expenditure The authorities here are of the opinion – Peace will be proclaimed before Xmas – I hope so –

November 2nd
Slept in till noon – Italian Prisoners now exceed 200,000 –

Had another guest evening tonight when I officiated as chef – Played Bridge with Morris & McQuiggan –

Forwarded letter today [indecipherable] behalf all crippled officers, urging them to take immediate action so as to have our Exchange effected so as to enable us to obtains some benefit fro medical treatment, so as we have have advantage of our best English treatment before it is too late – Tis really pitiful to see some of the worst cases here – limbs simply rotting away – The Colonel of the RAMC is appending his signature as to the justification of our cases – The Commdt has passed the letter – I feel sure our people are the stumbling block as rgards this long spoken of repatriation scheme We have 4 Doctors prisoners in this camp & the Col proposes approaching the Commdt with a view to obtaining permission to control the Hospital attached to this Camp – I hope for the sake of we invalids, that he is successful –

Recd letter from Marks

A French Hosp train conveying wounded French officers from Switzerland to France on arrival in France, was ordered by the

[Page 86]

83 November 2nd
French to return as the French were not prepared to send the German officers, and second as they were afraid the Germans would convey back important news as regards the movement of troops from France to Italy –

November 3rd
Slept in till noon – Recd letters from Aunt Min, Father, Mrs Gowing & Mr Asher – all dated about 10th August. –

Played Bridge again today – Walk held this mng – I did not go – Had my foot bandaged –

Recd my money today 160 marks, also paid for month of November 48 marks – Not feeling very well today –

November 4th (Sunday)
No church service this mng owing to the indisposition of the German Padre – extremely cold today –

November 5th
Slept in till noon – Played Bridge. Cinema tonight, some very good films were screened. Had another big guest evening –

All flying Corps officers were paraded after roll call, rumour says that they are being sent to a camp specially constructed for Flying officers –

Recd letter from Army & Navy

November 6th
Slept in again – God it was a sad one No debate tonight –

Special farewell concert tonight to say Goodbye to Flying Corps who are leaving at 3 am 7/11/17 – Commdt bade them goodbye & a safe journey & hoped that the time was not far distant when we could all go home to Blighty – The Concert was a very enjoyable one at the conclusion we sang Auld Lang Syne & God Save the King – All hands busy saying good bye, some to their best pals but such is the life of a Kriegsgefangener

[Page 87

84 Nov 6th
one is very foolish to settle down because German system is so erratic that one is likely to be shifted with only but a few minutes notice

Nov 7th
I like numerous others did not go to bed at all stayed spent most of my time with Leckler & Eva. They all departed at 4 am in a very orderly manner – most of them assembled in Room 30 & when we sang Auld Lang Syne – I feel rather depressed at the departure of the majority of the Fliers. Some were exceedingly nice chaps, whilst others were most undesirable chaps, having no idea of discipline.

a special walk for invalids this afternoon. I went, being pushed by Lodge. It was a very pleasant outing; I had quite a lengthy conversation with two German boys aged 12, very intelligent chaps. I was so taken up with them, I asked for their addresses –

Changed to room 41 with Neame. Recd 3 parcels

November 8th
Few officers arrived last evening, all 3 year old Gefangeners – I shifted to Room 28 with Cornish & Hill. Room 31 was too much of a boosers room for me –

Cinema held tonight – very poor show indeed –

50 new officers arrived tonight from various camps mostly captains – Majority of 3 year captivity –

November 9th
Slept in this mng – Consulted the RAMC Colonel as regards my foot – He said I was very foolish to have ever put my foot to the ground –

[Page 88]

85 A B C
November 9th
& advised me to get a pair of crutches & keep my foot off the ground, also to have a special shild made for it, so as to keep the joint from moving so freely – He said that another operation is necessary & strongly advised me to wait till I am exchanged & in time he thought I would have quite a good foot –

So this mng I spoke to the German Doctor he refused me crutches & told me to walk on the foot. I am accepting the Colonel’s advice & not his as I consider he is utterly incompetent He has not done a single thing to my foot since I’ve been here. –

Spent day in making myself comfortable once again. Lt Stones delivered a most interesting lecture on Australia tonight – Recd 2 parcels

November 10th
My crutches arrived today 30 m – No concert tonight, but picture show instead. They were very interesting – quite a decided improvement on Thursdays Show –

We have quite a big mess, 10 officers. I am exempt from all work, which is something to be grateful for – The orderly des most of the Cooking –

Crossman & Unett L Green & Payne tried to escape last night, by making a hole in the roof in Schoolhouse & then gain admission to the street by way of a rope, but unfortunately after 3 hours strenuous work, covered by singing in next room they were unable to complete their task before 10 pm, at which hour they

[Page 89]

86 Nov 10th
had to cease operations – It was arranged that 12 officers from another room occupy their beds for roll call & then go to their own room. This scheme worked, especially as the control went to the wrong room first – after Control was finished Crossman & Unett started wending their way to their room when they were arrested by the NCO I/C Guard & also several pungent questions which they refused to answer after Crossman explained to several under officers that it was not their duty to question officers, Stingel was summoned & he told off the under officers & let Crossman go to his room, much to the great amusement of all the room.

Today they were awarded 3 days C.B. for being absent from their room during control – They intended escaping again tonight, but fortunately for them footsteps were heard, so the Bosche apparantly was waiting for them but alas were sadly disappointed for Crossman decided Discretion was the better part of valour & adjourned to the picture show –

We have 4 Indian officers in our camp now – Recd 3 parcels

Nov 11th (Sunday)
Up early, attended Holy Communion 8 am & Morning Service 10 am – We have a Canadian padre now, & we hope to have regular services – The German padre officiated this mng & our padre, thanked him for his great kindness in coming from Baden to conduct services. He speaks very good English & preaches very nicely, but did not have enough prayers –

There has been a redistribution of rooms

[Page 90]

87 Nov 11th
to senior officers, much to the annoyance of junior officers who housed themselves very comfortably in small rooms. There are 60% of senior officers in this camp now, mostly captains of considerable experience & several years captivity – Some have barbed wire itis & talk nothing but shop all day long – The camp is quite different now a lot of the young officers in receipt of huge salaries, are conspicuous by their absence. –

Attended church tonight

Russia is demanding an immediate armistice & peace. Their Govt & Military leaders have been locked up & the country is being run by labour & soldiers’ unions, the country generally is in an awful state of chaos. It is almost certain that russia will conclude a separate peace. Italy is steadily losing more men by the thousands, generally speaking things are looking rather serious. The best thing we can do is to conclude peace, & not be sold a pup by our rotten allies. English & French troops are being sent to Italy –

November 12th
Had bath this mng – Spent most of day with Stones & Gallagher, had tea & Dinner with them & then played bridge. It was quite an appreciable change –

Recd 5 letters 1 from Mother, 2 Father 1 Fanny & 1 Army & Navy Stores – all dated June also 1 from A.I.F. Cable Dept advising that my cable has been despatched – Recd parcel from some relative writing unrecognisable, presumably from Aunt Sally –

[Page 91]

88 November 13th
Very cold this mng – quite foggy I showed Stones how to make a meat Pudding today, it was an excellent success & met with the approval of the entire mess –

Played Bridge & chess – several officers, having a good knowledge of German, have undertaken to write out English French & German Communiques – These are posted in the Billiard room.

Todays Comm revealed some good news. The English are making rapid progress in the vicinity of Paschendale & are also successfully driving a wedge in, along the Ypern-Menin Rd with a view to surrounding Lille in the hope that the Bosche will evacuate this most important industrial town –

Also we are now in posession of Dixmude & are trying to drive construct a huge salient their & thereby compel the Bosche to retire to Ostend, & then by our naval bombardent, compel him to evacuate that most important city, then we will have a fair slice of Belgium –

Altho Italys losses are now 250,000 this certainly pleases the German people, but the Italian or Russian fronts are not to be the Deciding factors of this war. The western front is the front the Germans want to establish success – This they cannot do. It is only a matter of time & we will drive the Bosche right back to the Rhine. This the Bosche realises.

The whole of the Turkish army is in full retreat we rapidly advancing there – hope to take Jerusalem – Boys 15 to 17 are now being called up in Germany

[Page 92]

89 Nov 14th
Recd parcel today from Kate containing underclothing from my Kit.

Walk for invalids this afternoon. I went in Bath Chair. It was very cold, I nearly perished. The same German boy came along & walked all the way with me I gave him Chocolate. We had quite an intellectual conversation. He is really a delightful boy. Lodge & I quite enjoy his company.

Played Bridge. Recd list from Berlin Red Cross, of missing personnel of all Bns in the A.I.F. Cpl Walkers name was mentioned. I am afraid poor little chap went under – I do wish I could learn some news as to the whereabouts of some of my men & best pals –

November 15th
Recd money this mng [indecipherable] 320 marks & 160 – Played chess & bridge – very dull all day & cold.

I approached the Adjt this mng re our repatriation He informed me that he has recd a telegram saying that the exchange would commence within 3 weeks & that all English would go to Switzerland & Germans to Holland, presumably all sick including those severely wounded would be exchanged first & then officers in order of length of service

Cinema tonight –

Burke Crossman, Unett & Howat, Green & Sinbad attempted to escape at 9 pm. They made a Hole in the ceiling & intended escaping thro’ a small window from the attic by way of a rope Green led the way & make such an awful noise that he attracted the attention of several people who gave the alarm.

Unfortunately Green was caught the other 5 managed to effect a hurried retirement to their rooms after hauling up the rope, despite the Sentrys threats to fire if they did not let the rope alone. A search was made especially for the rope, but without success –

Another officer escaped this afternoon, masque He dressed up as a french orderly & accompanied other orderlies to the station to get parcels, (a daily custom) – On arrival at the stn, He discarded his greatcoat & cap & eloped in civilian clothes – He was not missed for a long while after.

November 16th
Slept in till 11 am

A search was made this mng the usual ridiculous search – nothing was discovered

A special Roll call held again this afternoon when all officers were mustered in the corridor, & taken by surprise when the adjt started on his personal search We were taken into a room one by one & had the option of giving our parole to the effect that we had no German money or maps or compasses in our possession, or else be searched, also to give our parole that we would go straight back to our rooms until the search was over –

Several hid money & maps in the Billiard room, but unfortunately it was searched & the hidden treasures found

Another special roll call held when the adjt announced that some officer had mislaid money and maps in the Billiard room, & that on application to him the money would be changed for Lager Geld with 6 days cells – Loud laughter –

Officer who escaped as an orderly was caught this afternoon –

Recd letter from George & Gertie Rushton – Censor recd letter from Berlin Red Cross enquiring about me. Mary Stubbings apparently has written to her German friend – who has written enquiring after my health also asking if she could send me some books

[Page 93]

90 November 16th
I replied The Censor is going to reply & say I am well &c, & that I would like the books –

Bridge tournament has commenced – one of the Indian officer is in quad – he is not all there –

November 18th [arrow] see below for 17th
Attended Holy Communion 8 am Morning Service at 10.30 am Did not go to Evening service at 8 pm – A choir has been formed I am a member Practise is held every Saturday at 1 pm The padre has morning prayer daily at 9.15 am & Holy Communion every Wednesday at 7.15 am –

November 17th – see above for 18th
Had bath this morning & my foot dressed – Played Chess & Bridge, am kept busy now days playing Chess & Bridge, have 40 games of chess to play & 100 rubbers of Bridge – Choir practice at 1 pm. No concert tonight –

We are making splendid progress in Egypt. Turks are in full retreat, leaving numerous dead & prisoners behind also guns – Italians have completed their retirement to a well prepared defensive line & are now repelling German attacks –

Very little news of Russia – civil war is still raging –

Germans are still struggling most obstinately to regain Paschendale & surrounding country. It is very high ground & if we can get the ridge beyond it, the Bosche will have to retire to Ostend – It is a most important position & Germans making most strenuous efforts at a gigantic cost to regain it & prevent our further advance. Artillery fire on both sides has never been so violent before – It must be Hell on earth

Recd letters from Bay Annie & Gertie, & 2 Pcls from A & N Stores

November 19th
Recd 2 pcls 1 from Aunt Sally & 1 from A & N Stores Also letters from Bert & Gertie enclosing snaps of them all, & one of Fanny –

Had bath this mng & foot dressed

Played Bridge – went to German class & have arranged to have private lessons with Lodge – the Professor is charging us 16 marks a week for 4 lessons of 1 hour a week & extended to us the privilege of attending his other classes free –

Cinema tonight – Did not go – write letters to Mother, Kate, Pcs to Fanny, Gertie, Hetty, congratulated the latter on giving birth to a son who is to be named after myself –

Not feeling too well tonight

Our exchange should soon be effected. 80 German officers have already arrived in Holland, & are being made very comfortable – Those who desire to undergo any study of any nature, are being well catered for. We are to be housed in Hotels – I hope we will be just as comfortable –

November 20th
Very dull all day – nothing doing at all. Played Bridge – Football held today – I did not go –

Recd 2 parcels from A.R.X.

Very cold today – Bought Deck chair for special use at cinemas & concerts 17 marks – Recd money today 155 marks –

[Page 94]

91 November 21st
Up early – German class of from 5 – 6 & private lesson from 6 – 7 – The professor is a very good & keen instructor & if we settle down to study, we should go ahead with him. I am very keen to learn the Lingo –

Played Bridge again.

Todays Communiques revealed some very interesting & pleasing news. We are still pushing in Egypt – Aust & N.Z. troops occupied Jaffa yesterday. This is a most important port – The Turks are fleeing in great disorder – we have captured over 10,000 prisoners besides burying numerous dead, & are also in possession of a lot of guns –

The Italians are pushing once again – in one single operation, surprised the Germans & took 52 officers & 2000 men also numerous m. guns The Germans are experiencing great hardships on the Italian front now, with snow, so now the Ice Creamers have started to pull themselves together again, we should expect great doings from them soon –

There is still a civil war in Russia – one half the town of St Petersburg is fighting the other, & streets & public Houses are changing hands daily, at an enormous cost of life. The place is in a very demoralised state & all its frontiers are closed down – There is no sign of any understanding yet between the Maximalists & the soldiers & workers union –

Several of our cruisers penetrated the Heliogoland Bight & forced the German monitors & cruisers to return under protection of their battleships – It is not yet known what our intention was –

We have at last surprised the Germans on west front in the vicinity of Bullecourt & Reincourt – The first attack that has been launched since May 18th – There was incessant fighting there since our failure on 11th Apl till May 18th. The line & villages changing hands 2 & 3 times daily – casualties on both side must have been tremendous – We have lately been devoting all our energy up north, Ypres & Paschendale, thereby forcing the Hun to withdraw troop & guns from Bullecourt sector, leading him to believe that we considered Bullecourt of no strategic value to us, we are anxiously awaiting the report of our people, & I feel awfully glad to think at last after so much bloodshed & sacrifice – This historical battlefield is now in our possession –

If we have succeeded in capturing the main Road from Bapume to Cambrai, we will compell the Bosche to evacuate Lille, especially if we succeed in taking that ridge beyond Paschendale.

Lloyd George made a speech yesterday It was a very assuring one It is proposed to form a combined war council for all the allies not to have one Comm-in-chief, for all but for one person in authority from each of the allied powers – This to the mind of military experts is a very sound scheme;

Recd parcel from R – A & B –

November 28th
Had bath before breakfast. Recd parcel from ARX also letter from Mary – Football this afternoon, did not go – German class from 6 – 7 Private, & ord from 5 – 6 –

Col Williamson was in conversation with Commdt this mg & he informed him (Williamson) that all sick & invalid officers would be in Switzerland within 10 or 14 days, & that in all probability this camp & Heidelberg would be reserved for Italian officers, there are 4000 including 80 Generals, who at present line up for

[Page 95]

92 Nov 22nd
Cabbage &c same as our tommies –

Cinema tonight when a very startling Detective yarn was filmed – war films of the Kaiser with Turkish forces – German lesson from 5 – 6 no private lesson tonight as arranged

November 23rd
Up early – Recd letter from Father dated 22-7-17 & & 19-7-17 also from Doris 10/8/17 – Recd 4 parcels

Football held today – Did not go. Lecture tonight on Rubber Plan

Played Bridge – To German class again at 6 pm – 7 pm –

We are still pushing in the vicinity of Bullecourt & have to date captured 8000 including 180 officers – also numerous guns The Germans here were completely surprised & the success of our manouvers was greatly due to the tanks, which have been improved wonderfully since our failure. We are also continuing our offensive at Egypt –

November 24th
Recd parcel 2 pcls – walk this mng – did not go – German Class from 12 – 1 & 6 – 7 –

Concert this evening when Col. Williamson presided – It was rather a good show. I was called upon to sing, but did not oblige on this occasion.

The Concert Comm are organising a pierrot show & hope to give us a very good performance next Saturday – thence once fortnightly The adjt has arranged for a stage to be built, & authority for them to purchase special dresses &c.

The Commdt has at last approved of the Concert Comm purchasing costumes & promises them his assistance always –

adjourned to Room 67 where we partook of some excellent beer –

Antill has received some very bad news that his wife has died whilst giving birth to a child (the first) the child is also dead – ’tis an awful pity – poor man is prostrate with grief – they have only been married 12 months – The Commdt adjt & Censor have been exceedingly good to him, to say nothing of officers here –

November 25th Sunday
Holy Communion 8 am & Morning Service 10.00

Feeling off colour today, especially early this mng –

General meeting at 1 pm when the new Committee was elected – Olphert as President – Nervis as usual Hot aired about nothing – & accepted all suggestions as personalities – he reserved his right to appoint the Presd. & O.C. orderlies & O.C. parcels – ordinary [indecipherable] Committee meeting was entirely ignored. The barbed wire itis element are not represented at all on the Committee much to their annoyance –

Played Bridge – Had dinner with McAnally & Co –

November 26th
Snowing this mng – first fall this winter – it is very cold also – Rearranged my bed, double banking with the padre, much to the annoyance of a few officers –

[Page 96]

93 November 26th
Walk today – did not go – Recd pcl from A.R.C.

November 27th
Had bath before breakfast Have been feeling very uncomfortable of late, so decided to shift from Room 28 to Room 66 with Stones & Gallagher – Will feel much happier at my new home especially as I am clear of the barbed wired-itis element. It is really most appalling to be in a room with some of them.

German class tonight – Debate tonight –

November 28th
Busy settling down in my new quarters – Spend most of my time in Room 67 with Morris & Chisholm – play Bridge with them & have cocoa at night with them & yarn till well after midnight – In our room now 2 officers are on duty daily, one cooks whilst other does dirty work, one officer always draws & requisitions for tins & is designated as staff officer tins – I am on duty with Vaughan –

November 29th
Recd pcl Bread today Very chilly today – German lesson tonight, played bridge –

busy "mapping" –

We hope to have Jerusalem in a day or so, Turks are preparing to evacuate the City.

Russia is in a worse muddle than before, She is sueing for Peace & demands an immediate armistice –

Italy is gradually improving, whilst we are still pushing – accomplishing all we set out for – Lloyd George wants to know what date America can have equipped & placed in France her first million as now we are entirely dependent on America for men & supply space – also we cannot decide on any further plans, until we have a definite assurance from America –

Recd 2 letters from A & N Store –

November 30th
Not feeling very well. Had bath & foot bandaged – Recd letter from Army & navy – Played Bridge.

Had walk round square with Hadden. Wrote letter to Doris – today is St Andrew’s Day & there are great celebrations tonight, nearly all the Scotch men are drunk, & visiting every room in the building – It is a great scene, to see them all. Stingel & the Adjt, are at their wits end to know how to what action to take.

Lecture tonight by a German missioneary

December 2nd Decr 1st see after 4th
Church at 11 am – attended – Holy Communion – Raining & snowing a little – Played Bridge, Invited Cull to dinner tonight – He thoroughly enjoyed himself

December 3rd
Very cold today – Recd parcel – No walk today on account of last nights "viel wine drinken – Commr Lewis made a speech – expressing his disgust &c, – & Lt Chisholm is now adjt of the camp This appt was made, at the express wish of the older officers,

Cinema tonight – good films.

Vaughan & I on duty today – German class from 6 – 7. Paid professor 64 marks for

[Page 97]

94 December 3rd
tuition for month of Decr –

December 4th
Had 2nd fall of snow today: After roll call several officers amused themselves throwing snow balls at one another. I was of course implicated & enjoyed myself immensely –

Special wire recd today saying that 16 officers & 3 orderlies will leave for Heidelberg, enroute for Switzerland, on Saturday. My name was included – I feel awfully bucked with life.

Recd 2 Pcls, one from A & N & A.R.C. Recd letters from R. An & B

December 1st
Recd pcl bread No concert tonight. Played Bridge, Choir Practise today – Spend lot of my time next room with Chisholm & Co –

December 5th
Busy drawing maps for Chisholm, & co all day – very cold. Wire recd this mng including Stones name I am glad he is coming with me – Played Bridge with Chisholm, Wood & Lodge – German class tonight –

December 6th
Still busy with map of Jerusalem – Very cold again today –

Invited to Dinner Room 66 67, where McAnally celebrated his birthday. I was one of 4 guests making a total of 14 – It was an excellent turnout – Several toasts proposed & Mc wished many happy returns – Then the room was cleared for Bridge after which we had a few select dances, Lts Airth & Scisson being the stars of the evening –

I adjourned to my room after a most enjoyable evening about 1 am when Tremlott & I had a few words resulting in me being pulled out of bed about 14 times.

Room 67 raided our room at my instigation; & we had a great old ruff & tumble for quite half an hour. Onlookers were highly amused. This attack was launched as a reprisal for the bad treatment meted out to Chisholm, the treatment to Chisholm being a reprisal for the bad treatment I’ve received on numerous occasions from Room 67.

December 7th
Vaughan & I on duty today as Cooks – Today is our last day at Freiburg & in consequence, those officers including myself who are leaving for Heidelberg tomorrow are very busy. Packed all my heavy baggage by 2 pm & had it censored in the Chapel by Barney Flipsen at 4 pm

Invited Stones, Tremlott, Staff & self took over 100 tins with us in my box. I invited Chisholm, McAnally, Lodge & Little P. to dinner tonight It being my last dinner, & they have indeed been true friends to me. As a souvenir I bequeathed my arm chair to Aylett &

[Page 98]

December 7th
maps to Chisholm.

Lecture by Col Williamson tonight on Evolution.

Very busy tonight saying goodbye to all my friends, & obtaining their photos & addresses. Finished with the main building at 11 pm – Then after I visited all rooms in our building I spent half an hour in our room & had a drink all round after wishing them best of luck &c. I adjourned to Chisholms room, where I was very enthusiastically received. All drank my health sang, he’s a jolly good fellow, & after exchanging photos & addresses I eventually got to bed, feeling very tired –

December 8th
Aroused 4 am. Had breakfast & finished packing my hand bag then bade good bye to all of my friends. All saw us off. We entrained by 5.30 & left for Heidelberg. It was rather a miserable journey, I did not like leaving so many good friends behind, they were indeed true friends & their innumerable kindnesses to me I can never forget.

We were coached to the Station & from Station to Heidelberg camp arriving there at 1 pm. Stingel accompanied us to Heidelberg & as we were leaving that Station He said goodbye & was I think sorry to depart with us. I know He thought a lot of me, & if there is ever anything I can do for him, I certainly will for he is undoubtedly the whitest German I have ever met & could wish to meet.

It is said that Freiburg is one of the best camps in Germany, this I am sure, & I can always consider myself lucky that I was there so long, & not drafted to Strohen Holtzminden, or any other camps in the 11th Army [indecipherable], where British officer receive extremely bad treatment – To bayonet an officer is quite a daily occurence & when one hears of such unpardonable treatment as to leave British Prisoners in a burning hut & make no attempt to rescue them, & further more bayonet them if they dare attempt to escape thro the window, I think it is well time that we relatiated on German prisoners in England instead of treating them like Lords –

Had lunch & idled about for a few hours after which we were shewn to our respective huts. Depended on Bosche food today –

[Page 99]

96 December 9th
Slept in. Had afternoon tea with White.

Arthur Dent is here – a great shock when I first saw him, he was posted as "killed in action". Had long yarn with him & from all accounts he has had a very bad time. His Bn let him down, or sold him a pup, the Stunt he was in.

It is very cold here & all I am feeling rather depressed. I have been invited to mess with Gracie & Dalgety & co for the time being. Stones is in another mess, likewise Tremlott.

December 10th
Paraded to Dr & granted permission to be absent from Roll Call. Nothing to do here except walk around & hot air & play cards. Saw Cull & McQuiggan, also met aust flying officer named Norvel. He has lost the use of one arm –

Played Bridge –

December 11th
Very cold – Up early – today has been an eventful one for me. I with 80 others was examined by a Swiss & German Commission for repatriation. It was not a very thorough exam – He read a German General read my medical History & after a careful perusal of the X ray proof, had a look at my ankle & said that I would go to Switzerland. It was all over in about 5 mins, & just before I left, I was informed that I would be going to Chateau D’eaux –

The Commission examine the men at Mannheim tomorrow. Several officers have failed to arrive in time for the Commission. Played Bridge & had yarn with Cull.

December 12th
Taking Life very easy now. Simply sleep eat & play Bridge. Several officers arrived today & appeare met the Commission at their hotel on their return from Mannheim, & as they had finished supper & partaken of wine &c the candidates in question had no difficulty in passing for eligible for internment in Switzerland

[Page 100]

97 December 12th
I am glad OByrne passed; I am extremely sorry that old Leckler is not with us & as soon as I am exchanged, I will certainly do all in my power to have him repatriated as soon as possible. It is a crying shame, when one knows that far worse cases than our own are being overlooked, & still our govt will not interest themselves unnecessarily as regards Prisoners of war –

December 13th
There is a Cinema show here twice a week. Officers also go out for a walk twice a week. There are about 600 officers here French & English, & the Camp is run very systematically. The German staff here is equally as good as at Freiburg – very polite, perhaps it is because this is purely a concentration camp for people eligible for repatriation –

Very cold indeed our mess is going along O.K. I play plenty of Bridge nowadays, especially with Tremlott & Stones & Gracie

December 14th
130 French officers, who passed the Swiss Comm. June last, left early this morning –

Had long yarn with Matthews & Bernard, Australians of 5 Div captured last August,. They came from Strohen & have related to me some most horrifying incidents – I was glad to learn thro them that Gardiner & all 4 Bgde officers there are O.K. & well. Several attempts to escape have been made & quite a lot succeeded. Mott was successful in his first attempt –

Played Bridge –

December 15th
The cooking arrangements at this camp cannot compare with those at Freiburg, otherwise the camp is quite a good one –

Had a glorious bath today, the bathing arrangements are simply perfect, that is where Freiburg goal failed.

Received my first parcel today it was forwarded on from Freiburg –

French concert tonight The orchestra here is really splendid, simply marvellous for a Kriegsgefangener orchestra –

December 16th (Sunday)
The Senior officer here is a naval Commander – He officiates at the English Service which is held every Sunday – we have a very nice chapel here.

The arrangements for Drawing parcels is more complete than at Freiburg, whilst the tin drawing system could not be better –

[Page 101]

98 December 10th
There is also a Hockey ground here, once used as a tennis court – The grounds of the lager are very spacious & I really think this is a better camp than Freiburg. It has more conveniences & the whole camp is administered & organised in a very systematic way –

100 french officers left this morning per another camp, & there now remains very few Frenchmen.

100 English officers arrived from Karlsruhe tonight – all roped in at Cambrai, Colonels, MOs, padres & all ranks to a S Lieut. It was an awful show, the Bosche attacked at two weak points of the salient, we were holding after our most successful surprise attack 2 few weeks before – He pierced to a depth of 1 mile & got behind our artillery & then advanced toward his own line, & cut off thousands.

It was indeed a terrible blow to our people. From all accounts troops had been holding the salient for 10 days before, not relieved, & it was simply held by isolated posts, one comp being responsible for at least 800 yards –

We were warned too that the Germans were massing for counter attack & still we were surprised. The whole blunder is attributable to our faulty staff work. We make too certain of things & the feeling that the Bosche will never attack again, should be eliminated – People in England are very fed up with Haig now. He has not been too popular, but this blow will just about settle him –

December 17th
Just 2 years today since Bert & I left our Dear Home. It seems much longer –

We were shifted to another hut today, the Germans are renovating the roofs of some Huts. We are comfortably settled down in our mess now, plenty of food parcels are arriving & everybody is happy. Stones is with me –

Played Bridge –

December 18th
Recd 2 parcels. Walked round square with Tremlott & Stones. We have a roulette school here & have endless fun of a night. I am getting settled more settled now, reconciling myself to my new surroundings. Had yarn with Cull & Mc.

General Plumber has gone to Italy to command the Ango French troops there – a French train accomodating 1000 French soldiers going on leave, was derailed when half way through a tunnel when an explosion followed – 900 were killed. The accident is said to be the

[Page 102]

99 December 18th
work of spies. It is a most regrettable affair. We allies are certainly having no luck, in this war, Russia is still as unsettled as ever – Shooting one another daily. The armistice has been extended, for a fortnight longer.

Invited Cull & McQuiggan to tea & played Bridge afterwards –

December 19th
All sorts of rumours circulate daily about our going away, we are all fed up with such rumours. Very cold –

A German avaitor crashed just near our camp today & died shortly afterwards. He must have been an amateur, because he was hovering about trying to land where his mates did, & when He did land he dived into a mound of earth One escaped, rumour says the Pilot escaped & the observer was the unfortunate one.

Played cards again.

50 more officers from Karlsruhe arrived, all taken at Cambrai. It seems quite strange to see so many tin hats again.

December 20th
Nothing doing at all just now, excepting we are all certain of leaving here tomorrow, as rumour has it the border is only open for 2 days commencing 20th. I have been designated as being in charge of the sweets – which I provide every day & therefore exempt from all other duty

Cull & I went to Pictures tonight – It was a very poor turnout –

December 21st
Whilst in conversation with one of the recently captured officers, I was informed that at the Cambrai show we had 400 tanks in operation & hundreds of guns & strange to relate the guns & tanks were brought forward & established without the Bosche knowing, despite the fact that his aeroplanes were daily over our lines & unable to detect the guns & tanks as they were so cleverly camouflaged.

On one occasion we counter-attacked with tanks & Cavalry.

I was also told that we could have gone miles further, but as usual having accomplished our objectives, our troops sat down for a day or two, this enabling the Bosche to organise his men. It is the firm conviction that if our cavalry had only gone on we would have broken thro easily, but alas, we didnt & unfortunately we have lost all we ever gained. That is the 3rd time this year the Cavalry has missed its opportunity – It is very [indecipherable] indeed to hear of all these failures, after 3 years of war.

Recd parcel, attended concert tonight. It was an excellent show – Best I have attended in Germany – took ill suddenly after concert

[Page 103]

100 December 22nd
Had bath today. No news of our going away so we are all resigned to spend Xmas in Germany.

Played cards & had yarn with Cull. Invited Parkes to tea today – & played a challenged game of Bridge with him, against Toogood & Staff – we won –

December 23rd
Snowing heavily today – & very cold – I packed my box today in anticipation of a hurried move.

Recd parcel Cant understand why my cap & clothing parcels have not arrived. Played cards –

December 24th
Everybody busy today buying wine for Xmas I purchased 200 marks worth for our mess, out of Roulette earnings – All hands busy drawing tins, as none can be drawn tomorrow. We have quite a good grocers shop per our mess –

Several people very merry again tonight – We played Roulette _ I was rather successful.

Christmas Eve was nothing exciting except for a few who were slightly inebriated, & sang a few Carols, till they were forced by the extreme coldness air to keep indoors.

As a Christmas present I received most welcome letters from Mother, Fanny & Kate. It was my hearts desire to receive a letter from home for Xmas

(Dec 25th) Xmas Day
Attended Church today at 11 am. No celebration of holy Communion.

All our mess busy cooking & preparing for tonight. Each officer is responsible for one or two courses, whilst others, unable to cook decorate the table – It was a awful bustle cooking too, but our system worked well & we managed everything O.K. I invited Cull, & McQuiggan also the French officer making a total of 11 all told –

We feasted at 7 pm, Having Soup, Salmon, Rissoles Ham & Rabbit Pie, Turkey & Fowl & Roast spuds, Plum Pudding & Custard Blanmange & Jelly Tapioco Custard, Cigars & Boco wine. General toasts were proposed. I proposed toast of "Those at Home" – Jock Toogood was Chairman & without a doubt we had a most excellent turnout – Tremlott joined us with a few toasts.

Afterwards some of us, accepted Tremlotts invitation & adjourned to his hut for a Drink & a sing song, but on

[Page 104]

101 Dec 25th
arrival there all hands were rather merry so we did not stay long.

Exceedingly heavy fall of snow tonight & all day today

Tonight word was recd that all officers for Switzerland will leave tomorrow night This news was gladly welcomed & we were so happy that we did not know how what to do – all hands retired fairly early on account of making an early start tomorrow –

December 26th
All Heavy luggage packed & taken to Drill Hall [indecipherable]. I was one of the first & was successful in having my box & 5 Kit Bags censored by 11.30 am – I also succeeded in having my letters received in Germany, censored, also other valuable Documents, including my address book autograph book & Photo album – The search was not a very thorough one. Packed my hand baggage, this afternoon.

Fancy Dress Ball held tonight – It was a screaming farce Some appearances were really excellent

Played Bridge, & after saying goodbye to my friends we paraded at 11 pm to be personally searched. This was not a very thorough one. We left camp all invalids in a coach, about midnight 1 am & eventually entrained after almost freezing – Gracie, Tremlott Stones & I kept together –

December 27th
We were taken off the train at some place at 8 am & provided with Breakfast, which was indeed very acceptable.

On arrival at Constance we were taken to some Hotel & there provided with another good meal, the best meals we ever had in Germany, supplied by Germans – It is typical tho of the Hun to make a great fuss of prisoners on leaving the country, so as to create a very good impression & also to forget what the bad treatment we had.

We entrained again at 8 pm & at 10 past 8 crossed the Border & said goodbye to Germany. Such cheers I have never heard before It was impossible for us to realise that we were actually in Switzerland & not in the land that we unfortunately will never forget – at all the big stations in Switzerland English spoken people greeted us most heartily & provided chocolates cakes cigarettes & Bouquets also coffee

[Page 105]

102 December 27th
It was simply delightful to be in conversation with Eng. people again. At some of the Stations bands played popular airs, commencing with our national anthem. It was a great time, we seemed to be able to forget all of a sudden the bad times we had endured.

December 28th
Arrived at Bern at 2 am when we were welcomed by the British Ambassador Lord Newton & other Swiss authorities, we had an excellent meal, plenty of varied drinks. At such an early hour, it was surprising to see so many smiling faces & all doing something for our comfort. It was a grand reception & an occasion that one cannot forget –

Everybody sympathised with us, & expressed how pleased they were that we were at last released. Were entrained again at 4 am we were split up having to catch different trains, all for Montreux entrained again at 4 am & arrived at 9 am & all along the line, we were cheered & cheered. It was a thrilling experience. We never felt so happy since being in captivity –

On arrival at Montreux we were accorded a civic reception & welcomed to Switzerland. Some very eloquent but flattering speeches were made by the Swiss authorities & in the absence of General Williams who is very bad, Colonel Anderson, responded very nicely & thanked the Swiss people for the very hearty welcome accorded us. Swiss military Band was in attendance & played all the national anthems.

It was here that we made our debeau numerous sympathetic friends introduced themselves & extended invitations to visit them &c. It was indeed a happy day for all of After we had dined we were allocated to our various hotels, I being drafted to Hotel Beau Sejour Vevey with Tremlott Wilcox Toogood – Stones has gone to Pension de Comte, quite close to us – I have a room to myself mostly elaborately furnished, with every convenience. We have two very good friends already Mr & Mrs Peak who have supplied us with clothing – pyjamas &c. Spent night at Hotel & rested –

Today has indeed been a happy one.

[Page 106]

103 December 29th
Slept in. Had splendid sleep, best bed I’ve been in for quite along time. Had bath this morning.

All our luggage arrived today in good order. I was very fortunate to get all my papers &c thro from Germany, which were concealed in various places – Certainly got one home on the bosche there.

Reported ourselves to Commdt de Peace, when we received written instructions & forms to be filled in & returned on Monday.

Visited Montreux with Stones & Hoad & had afternoon tea together – introduced to Mrs & Miss & Mr Doubleday tonight & had dinner with them also Stones & Hoad. They are extremely nice people, & very proud of their Australian compatriots. Miss Doubleday is the renouned violinist, left Australia at age of 12 to come to Germany to complete her study. I have not heard her play yet, but she is known all over the world as being a perfect genius; We quite enjoyed our stay, & after dinner we adjourned to the Pictures, with Miss Doubleday & also made our debau at the Kursaal & Casino, & caught last train home

December 30th
Slept in. Did shopping in town after drawing £20 from Bank. Had afternoon tea with Cull also Stones & Skipper Hall, & had quite an enjoyable time – also had dinner with Matthews & Bernard after which I spent night with Matthews –

McQuiggan & all officers whom we left at Heidelberg to be exchanged to England, left Heidelberg yesterday for Holland & should arrive in England in a few days.

December 31st
Spent morning in town spending money. Had cards printed, & wrote letter to Kate & Mother.

Had afternoon tea with Stones & then I called at Montreux for Cull & we motored to Vevey. I had Stones & Cull to dinner tonight, It being New Year’s Eve, We had an excellent dinner & had an orchestra in attendance all the time, after dinner God Save the King was played, & we wished everybody a happy new year – in Champagne. We officers also presented Mr & Mrs Peak with a beautiful Bouquet of Roses

[Page 107]

104 Dec 31st
as a new year gift, in return for their many Kindnesses to us since being here –

We all caught 8 pm train for Doubledays, where we spent a most enjoyable evening, meeting a lot of new friends – It was the first time we were afforded the pleasure of listening to Miss Doubleday play the violin & it was really splendid. I cannot express how gracefully she plays.

[Transcriber’s notes:
Bapaume spelt Bapume
Freiburg spelt Frieburg
Heligoland spelt Heliogoland
Karlsruhe sometimes spelt Karlshrue
Passchendaele spelt Paschendale
Riencourt spelt Reincourt
Strohen Holzminden spelt Strohen Holtzminden
Wells occasionally uses the (almost) German words "Gefangener", "Kriegsgefangener" or "Krieggefangenier", meaning "prisoner of war".
"Robinson and Berline" are mentioned several times, with Berline occasionally spelt Baerline; there is no "Berline" listed on the AWM WW1 Nominal Roll, but Leickler/Leckler is mentioned frequently – not found in AWM WW1 Nominal Roll.
Neame is mentioned several times; the only Neame in the AWM WW1 Nominal Roll is listed as "died of wounds" on 1 October 1917 & is buried at Ypres.
Of course these may well not have been Australians.]

[Transcribed by Barbara Manchester for the State Library of New South Wales]