Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
Anne Donnell diary, 29 December 1917 - 31 January 1919
MLMSS 1022/Box 2
Mr Gould Tel. 2968
I shall pass through this world but once.
If therefore, there be any kindness I can show,
or any good thing I can do, let me do it now:
Let me not defer it nor neglect it.
For I shall not pass this way again.
Harold Pritchard 2/-
No 5. C. Transport Section
The Silver Lining
The inner half of every cloud is bright and shining: I therefore turn my clouds about, and always wear them inside out, to show the lining.
Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler.
2 doors from Bathurst St
Mr F Snudden
No 6 Botany Rd
3 house opposite across road
Charles Letts & Co
Name Sister A Donnell
Address Torrens Road
Croydon. South Australia
In the event of this Diary being lost, kindly return to the above address.
[Pages 5-6 not transcribed]
Pa. Page. c/o Mrs Clows 20 Aberdeen Road East Prahan
Prahan Car to big shops in Chapel St. Lewis & Love Cross, tram at William Street & Aberdeen St is off that.
Get off at shops.
[Pages 8-15 not transcribed]
Victors Grave in Rue Petillon Military Cemetry Fleuebaix East of Laventie
Mrs Streater Ellis
St Ives Treganna Hotel
Penzance Regents "
Clovelly Bideford Stn
Buses - (New Inn
Lynmonth or Lynton
Jock Gillespie E. Coy No 5 O.C.B.
St Johns College Cambridge
Pte Clarence Greenham D Coy 24th Batt.
No 4647 E.J. Oldfield
43rd Battalion A.I.F.
Major Gould Wattle St. Malvern
Mrs Hogan-finchpool Hayes Middlesex
Barr & Sons 11 King St Covent Garden
Miss Vidler S.C.A. Hut A.H.T.D. APO B E L
Mme Copette-Coolen 17 Rue Royale Calias
Greensmith Downs & Co 143 George St Edinburgh
Miss M. Young.
B.R.C.S. Conroy A.P.O. S13 Miss Crowdys [indecipherable]
Red Mile Serpentine Rd. Seven Oaks Kent
Major Bayley. Villa Lesnacieve Cannes
Tonkin A.I.F. Printing Section
Aus. Corps H.Q. France
Ross Mrs Ruck 14 Lundale Road Gillingham Kent
Mrs. S Robjohns 10 Cyril Marsdens Battersea Park
Bus 19 to Prince of Wales Road.
Grave 56 E Block
The Hero for his fatherland has died
Mrs Jeffrey 68 Clovelly
Mrs Badcock Cliff Cottage Clovelly
Porlock & to walk weir at Ship Inn for lunch
Selsworthy from Porlock to Minehead
Two German Aeroplanes were brought down within view this a.m. by a Scotchman named McCludden (or something like that) He has brought down 37 You see the Fritzs come over at a height of say 20,000 feet to take photos & he goes
out up to watch say 18,000 ft and when he sees them he goes up to meet them & opens fire.
The ground is still covered
in inches thick with snow
Mrs. Hoetop High St. Clovelly
48 C.C.S. Ypres France 30.12.1917
Terrific barrage opened out at 6.45 a.m. lasted for an hour. I thought maybe it would be a repetition of the 30th Nov. Very soon after the wounded started to come in. And a very busy day & night followed. The Huns had attacked again Came over in the snow swathed in white. The Naval Division caught it. Also during the morning the shelling was heavy & rather close. The Labour Batt had a bad time through it. Such a number of gas Patients coming in too.
I am in the Acute Medical now & battling with Pneumonia chiefly the M.O. is C. Chandler a Chest Specialist from London. By night we had several in with Chest wounds also.
Good bye to 1917. Was awakened at 2.30 a.m. to the sound of close shelling & quickly detected a faint sweetest scent like pineapple when immediately followed a loud knock outside & Owen saying "Sister Donnell Theyre sending over gas shells Have your gas respirator ready" I jumped up tout-de-suite as did most of us - & got dressed shivered & shook & coughed and I seemed as if I never should manipulate that respirator The sister next door called out to see if I had croaked.
10 p.m. Will this restless life never end. As I write the shelling is going on again - heavier too. I am not undressing It's a terrible life this. Ma first 1917
January 1st Month 1918
Time lags The beginning of a New Year. Twas heralded in for us by the sound of shells from the enemy and the sounds of our guns retaliating. All the Sisters stayed up but me And Matron said this morning that Australia should have been represented but I was a bit homesick and got out some old letters and re-read them. I was tired too. Then the shelling kept waking me And my cough was troublesome, and
and I didn't take Mrs. Wiggs advice - Sit on the bed & smile but got sorry for myself & cried a bit - So the beginning of 1918 is not a promising omen for Anne.
January 2 Wednesday
Just a very busy day no excitement to speak of It's nothing but work work work from early morn till night, very rarely can one get a hour to oneself. I love being in the Ward but one really does need a change occasionally. And I never seem to get a letter written. I do think if all the Powers that be could come here or rather in the firing line & listen to a barrage and then see the results Peace would soon come.
I have had my orders for Night Duty again Such is existence in this cold cold spot. Matron says she thinks I ought to be sent away with this cough but I'll stick it if I can.
January 3 Thursday
This morning at 10.30 a.m. the noise from the Archies attracted us outside to see what was happening. What a sight it was There were several of Fritzs & one plane having a great fight above us. They scattered & dodged in & out above & below the thin white clouds, but not any came down. At 4 p.m. two of our observation baloons were up when Fritzs Archies started peppering at one and the two observers got frightened & came down in the parachutes. It was a pretty sight to see them.
Rumour says that Fritz has brought 50 more Divisions from the Russian front to this. I can picture us yet going away with a rush or being Prisoners of War. Pessimistic still
January 4 Friday
On Night Duty in The Acute Medical Ward with several bad Pneumonia and Trench Nephritis
January 5 Saturday
Every Thing much the same - I am getting very homesick to be back with my ain folk.
were I don't know the blighters returned again at 6 but - did not come so close. It really is a great nerve test, a terrible test.
Had a letter from Mary today. She has rejoined the 38th and is in Italy. How it has made me long to go. Why should I be alone I wonder.
January 6 Sunday
Those wretched visits from Fritz when he knocks overhead with his z z. z.z & then leaves his Cards (as the boys say) At 4 a.m. my now trained ear detected the z -. It made me feel faint & I went & stood by a very sick boy who was awake and waited. Only a few seconds & then those terrific crashes the things all rattled down from the walls. It's awful. The Patient, wakened and 'What was that Sister? The very ill ones were too ill to take much notice for which I was thankful. I didden't tremble, but literally shook for 10 minutes and how I went around my 54 boys to see how they
January 7 Monday
I lay awake most of the day with the renewed ache of disappointment. If only I were sure of rejoining the others, but you never know. I have a feeling that I am going to be forgotten out in this outlandish place. However its a poor heart that never rejoiceth. And I am thankful that I can be of use.
To my surprise Matron asked Captain Chandler to keep a professional eye on me but I am all right. The cold has left a cough & my appetite a bit pickey that I think she worries over it. She really has been very good to me.
January 8 Tuesday
The morning began again with the Fritzs coming over and leaving some iron rations 'as the boys say'. One came rather close.
There is such a lot of Pneumonia cases coming in 72 tonight. I feel each one should be specialled It's so terrible to see so much suffering, and they are so good and brave with it. Each life is so precious I think and each life too that passes on is loved by some one, and means sorrow. It cuts me when I see the married men with little children go. Pick up the photo of them under their pillow. And they fight so hard for their lives. Such is war & its results.
It seems beyond human nature to stand this biting cold weather.
January 9 Wednesday
The snow lies thick on the ground everything freezes in a few moments even your very breath. As I stepped out of my door to-night I went down in two ft. of snow. The tents & huts are banked up half way with it.
Mary says the Italian warmth & sunshine & fruit are quite a treat lucky beggars.
I am taking Pt Wine as a tonic.
Am not just A1 The cough makes me tired And I have a T 99.6 & P 120 but I can go on. And the boys are perfect dears in helping. I really believe they genuinely like The Australian Sister as they call me.
January 10 Thursday
It has thawed & rained & the snow is vanishing. It is raining now & for 3 hours a terrific bombardment has been going on lights flashing around the dark sky on 3 sides of us. We seem to be in the centre of an horseshoe with the battle line three parts around. Rumour says that the Germans are massing for a big attack and that our artillery are catching them. All the men seem to think there will be great things doing here shortly
and the bigger then anything done yet.
No tonic again the way of a letter.
T 99.4 P 108
January 11 Friday
Unpleasant rumours afloat That Germany is going to make a tremendous effort on this front Some think we will be strong enough to meet it. I know that this one cannot settle down and make things comfortable. I keep my trunks packed and ready to flit at any time.
Work doesn't slacken one bit. The poor boys with Trench feet are coming in by the hundreds. The weather is terribly severe. One Officer came in and said as he was doing his round in visiting the out-posts He passed one man & said "All right" "All Right Sir" was the reply then he went on 50 yds to the next. When something told him to
have go back & look at the man Twas only the matter of a few minutes but the man was standing dead frozen to death.
January 12 Saturday
Everything much the same. Received 'The Sayings of Mrs Solomon from Sister Pratt'. There are 6 Sisters on night duty. One is a Londoner another south of England & then Wales Scotland Canada & Australia represent the others. We harmonise fairly well on the whole. Canada cannot stand the English though when any Military Red tapeism is on foot. Neither can I. They are too polite to say any thing and cannot fathom our calm independant ways. I just go on in my quiet way and find everyone very good to me in fact am inclined to be spoilt.
January 13 Sunday
Sunday again. I never really know what day it is. I should love to go to Church Service. I haven't been for 8 weeks not even for Xmas.
The guns are going loud & strong again. I went for a walk in the a.m. to the ruined village of Ypres from far and near it is nothing but waste and desolation.
I am not feeling a bit well tis the cough that won't let me rest- and makes me so so tired.
January 14 Monday
One of our Sisters was told by an Officer that the Germans have warned the British Government to remove all the C.C.S.s. along the fronts. We here the 21st and ones the 48th are the nearest to the war zone. before the Camblai Attack we were just 5 miles behind the lines I don't know quite what we are now but the majority say far too near And that it ought to be under the ground.
January 15 Tuesday
To-night was speaking to a Sergeant from a Hospital at Calais. I was & wasn't surprised to hear what the Germans have done there. The main streets in ruins and hundreds of Civilians fleeing Southwards 15,000 left in 10 days. The Government are supplying vans, etc for their removal. At their Hospital they have built a dugout that cost £2,500-0-0 but it is absolutely bomb-proff.
I wonder why I am in the thick of things so Calais with its air raids & now fire. To be at a C.C.S. I am envied by many. They say they get the real thing at a C.C.S. Yes but one wants to be very strong to stand the strain Work has not ceased for me for 2 months I do pray for strength.
January 16 Wednesday
Matron has been watching me with a keen eye, evidently for she has given me the night off and Captain Chandler is going to examine my chest. I am glad now I tried not to give in but I just felt last night that I hadden't the energy to do justice to the bad cases so will give in for some one stronger to take my place. It's hard luck.
My word I could never forget the experiences of a C.C.S. If I get an opportunity I must write them up. It has been two months solid hard bending anxious work. Work to say nothing of the bombing & shelling and then the sights of the poor battered men & the sick sick men
that it that tear at your very heart-strings. And the intense cold. hard biting frost and snow.
January 17 Thursday
Captain Chandler examined me this a.m. Said there was no activeness going on but recommended a thorough rest, and that I should be sent to a warmer clime Matron has been like a dear little Mother to me and I love her for it. She has written to Miss McCarthy suggesting that I go to the South of France. Am going to Abbeville Sick Sisters Hospital by Ambulance train today or by Car to-morrow.
T 100.6 P 120.
January 18 Friday
At 8.45 a.m. I am comfortably fixed up in a Motor Ambulance hot water bags rugs - a small bottle of Whisky And a dear little Sister to accompany me And I hate to confess it but I am labelled with a field Ambulance Card marked 'Debility' And am on my way to the Sick Sisters. An American Dr joins us from 21 and he is such a dear keeps tucking the rugs in There is something very attractive and loveable about the Americans. The driver goes out of his way to the Heilley Cemetery where I get out to see if my niece's fiance V. Arncott is buried there but no success I was sorry, for its a quiet resting place on the side of a hill. There are several Australian graves there.
January 19 Saturday
In the Sweetest room A blend in blues with 2 companions An E-Sister and a Ceylon Missionary. The latter is a Miss Vidler And interests us with her work in Ceylon and her knowledge of Biblical Prophesy.
Really I do take kindly to being looked after just like a duck takes to water.
There is nothing much the matter with my lungs a few cracklings at the R-base Dr says. I am just tired . It's awful to be so tired and to look it which brings many reminders from the others.
T normal Am so pleased All I want is the fresh air & sunshine for a few weeks.
January 20 Sunday
Sunday again & No service. A Mr Holmes visited Miss Vidler today. He is a Collector of Sculls and any old
century relics of the different ages. Apart from Mr. Rothchilds Collection he has the next best private collection. A very interesting man to talk to. Before going he & Miss V knelt down by my bed and prayed. In the next bed [indecipherable] Sister who is an R.C.
Got up for afternoon Tea - Matron says she wants to get me strong enough to travel to the South of France in a few days.
Listened to Miss Vidler when she got to bed telling how she believes the Second coming of the Lord will take place. Truly she is interesting on Biblical Prophesy.
January 21 Monday
Sister Linklater spent the afternoon with me brought some sweet Carnations dear little Link I do love her and it was so nice to talk to an old girl again. She said that Mary has been mentioned in dispatches. I am glad but wish it had been the R.R.C.
Stayed in bed all day
January 22 Tuesday
Stayed in bed all day. Don't feel as if I have the energy to get up for afternoon tea, as Sister seems to think I should and I have no appetite. Sister Keys came to see me this afternoon.
Auntie 'Miss Vidler' has gone. We will miss the Biblical discussions.
January 24 Thursday
Sister Flora MacDonald & Sister Belstead came & brought flowers from Sister Howitt. It's just lovely to see the old girls again.
January 25 Friday
(Continued from 30th)
quaintest little square boxes all along one side with people selling books & papers - & fancy things. The driver says they are always there summer and winter. Then we see the fine building of Notre-Dame. How I wanted the time to see the inside of it. After that we go to the Station. Have a delightful dinner at the Hotel there -
then Mr Gordon for France 6 - Centimes 6, then Mr. Gordon comes along again and sees us all comfortably settled in 1st Class carriages. There are 10 of us 2 English Sisters 2 New Zealanders, 2 V.A.D. one American. One French R.C. Sister and 2 Australians. Twas a wretched journey. I was train sick the whole way
January 26 Saturday
and was thankful to reach Cannes at 4.30 p.m. Had afternoon tea and then Lady Gifford took me to my room, I seemed half silly & went straight to bed and cried with tiredness.
January 27 Sunday
The days are beautiful like early Spring. Too good to last. I'm afraid Sister Rothwell & I went for a long long walk by one of the canals, a beautiful canal that is bordered on either side by a avenue of tall trees - even the buds are shooting out on some.
January 28 Monday
[No entry on this page]
January 29 Tuesday
This afternoon Miss Stead Miss Rothwell & myself went out on the milk ambulance to St Riguier. A drive of 8 Kilos. The Ambulance goes out every day and brings in 3 tons of milk to supply the S.A. Hospital No 3 A G.H. No 2 Stationery B.E.F.
The Church there is, they say very old and historical built in the time of the Crusaders.
January 30 Wednesday
Left Abbeville at 10 a.m. & arrived in Paris 4.15 p.m. was met there by two B.R.C. men who looked after us. I there pick up 9 others going south. We are driven through the principle streets of Paris. See the Statute of Napoleon 1st The carving in bronze all around is magnificient. Drive down an avenue to an archway where 8 avenues enter past the L'Obelisque, 'Sister to Cleopatras Needle' place de la Concorde where there are magnificient fountains. Then over the most beautiful bridge I have ever crossed - the Alexander bridge the first stone being laid by the late Czar of Russia then on to an Island And along by the River Seine
back again where there are the (25th
January 31 Thursday
Reached Cannes at 4.30 p.m. & we all got in a Taxi, and in a few minutes was welcomed at the Hotel de l' Esterel by Lady Gifford. Am longing for the daylight to come to see what the place is like.
1st have I done to deserve a fortnight here. It is all done for us by the B.R.C.
1918 28 Days February
At the first peep of dawn I awakened to the crowing of cocks jumped up and threw open the Shutters. And then drank in the most beautiful scent from the Mimosa blossom that is growing on the high bank opposite my window. I was eager to get up but perforce had to stay in bed for breakfast. And then I explored the place truly I feel as if I have come from the depths of hell to the Gates of Paradise. There is the lovely blue Mediterranean Sea on one side. And this Hotel on the hill side. And in the loveliest garden of palms Mimosa - Oranges and some real gum trees. And the Sweetest of flowers. What
February 2 Saturday
Oh, this delightful place. I wandered along the beach to the City. Then along the main streets. The fascinating shops - the laces and hand made things and the flowers and candied fruits and pictures. I bought two small paintings one of the Esteral Mountains and the other of Monte-Carlo.
February 3 Sunday
Got up two hours before breakfast time, and went for a walk on the mountain side - there are gardens and gardens of Mimosa.
February 4 Monday
Had a perfectly glorious day. Got up at 5.45. I attached myself to 2 N.Z. Sisters & Scotch V.A.D. We went to Monte Carlo by train, saw a good bit of the Casino and the lovely Gardens around and the Concert Hall was simply a dream. Took the 12 tram to Mentone & the scenery is
perfe gorgeous, & especially the view from Ruckebange looking towards Monte Carlo. At the Mentone we went to the Italian border crossed over and saw an Italian town in the distance. Then we went into an Olive Wood Shop, and I could scarcely tear myself
February 5 Tuesday
Rested most of the day in the sunshine and tried to write letters.
February 6 Wednesday
Up at 5.45 a.m. and went to Nice and Monte Carlo. The day was a bit cloudy. Went to Monaco
Cast Palace & from there there is a beautiful view of the Casino & Monte Carlo. I saw them gambling at the Casino. The gardens there are glorious. At Nice we walked some way along the promenade. It is beautiful. Then the shops at Nice almost take your breath away. The bead & charm ware. perhaps its a good thing I haven't much money with me. It took us 5 hours to come back in the tram but the scenery was worth it.
February 7 Thursday
Feeling somewhat tired so just basked in the sunshine in the a.m. and then the N.Z. Sisters invited me to go with them to the top of the Californian Mountains to see the view from the Observatory. We walked along the beach then Swanked it by taking a Glarry & pair. I felt too tired to walk. The scenery was just perfect. And the Mimosa. There is such a lot of it down here.
Had put my name down to wait at the table, but excused myself - perhaps my wish was father to the thought & I have been doing too much.
February 8 Friday
Just basked in the sun all day and felt tired.
February 9 Saturday
Just the same as Yesterday felt so tired don't want to do anything eat write read talk. And cannot sleep Its wretched this constant tiredness - and the cough is rather trying again.
February 10 Sunday
Just the same. And I am disgusted to think that I am here in this delightful place with warmth and sunshine - fresh air I expected to take a new lease of life.
February 11 Monday
I'm just tired of being tired and wish I was in Australia. I don't know what is the matter with me I wish I could see a Doctor.
February 12 Tuesday
Last night Lady Gifford took my Temperature and very soon a
n Medical Man was here. Twas a mental relief for I really felt ill by this time.
Did not cough quite so much, but had an awful night a suffering without pain - when your heart and brain is out of tune with your body.
Every one is extremely good.
February 13 Wednesday
Lady Gifford has moved me into a lovely room where the sun shines in from the time it rises until it sets. And the scenery is just beautiful lovely palm trees - and gum trees - and the blue sea & in the distance I see the Esteral Mountains - I feel I will surely soon get strong again, but patience. I don't take a bit kindly to being sick and I am such a baby I am getting thoroughly spoilt. Miss Innis always comes and kisses me good night and Lady Gifford tucks me in and Katherine the maid never lets the hot bags get cold.
February 14 Thursday
"No Sister you will certainly not be fit for duty for a long time and my advice is to go back to Australia for a complete rest" so said Major Bayley to me this morning. I don't think Medical Men should give shocks like that. "You have worked and now you must rest your Will and Spirit are far too strong for your body and its your body you must take care of now).
In the afternoon Colonel Bateman saw me (came from Mentone). I don't know what he said but Lady Gifford said they
have told her I had (complete nerve exhaustion). Still I can't believe I am such a wreck and will not.
February 15 Friday
Yes - I am a baby I was crying when Lady Gifford came in this morning. I fancied my heart was weak she said she couldn't have me fretting and was such a dear. So when Dr came he thoroughly examined it and assured me it was all right - so I calmed down again.
February 16 Saturday
Much the same.
February 17 Sunday
Much the same.
February 18 Monday
Much the same.
February 19 Tuesday
And again but I do really feel a bit better and the T. is almost normal. How I dislike this seeming waste of time when I have such a lot of letters to write. And if I could only read or sew or do something.
February 20 Wednesday
Sat in the sunshine for a little while.
February 21 Thursday
Went for a little walk in the sun but Lady Gifford watches me like a Mother - wraps me up and sees that I don't linger in the shade I rather enjoy being spoilt now.
Dr says he has hopes of me now
of me retrieving myself. I always thought I would.
February 22 Friday
Went for quite a nice little walk to day it made me tired, but am ever so much better.
A B.R.C. Sister kept me company at meals to-day - she was great company told two Stories of two English Officers & two A Officers
February 23 Saturday
Miss Crowdy (The Commandant for the V.A.Ds. in France) is very delicate. She is here for 3 months). We went to the Pottery this afternoon I was rather disappointed at the ware and would much rather have spent the time in a charm or lace shop. Had afternoon tea in town tomorrow is the last day that Cakes or Sweets can be made in France or biscuits and if you want a cup of tea it must be without sugar. I felt ever so much better for the outing, in fact am going to be amongst the well from tomorrow.
February 24 Sunday
Such a glorious day.
Copy of letter sent to Miss McCarthy Convalescent Home. Cannes 23.2.18
To Matron-in-Chief B.E.F.France.
Dear Madam. You may remember that I was sent down from the 48 C.C.S. five weeks ago to the Sick Sisters at Abbeville. And from there I was sent here to convalesce. During all the cold weather I have had a troublesome cough and though there was some slight lung affection, the Medical officers assure me that that has quite cleared away. Unfortunately I took another chill here - which prolonged my stay, but now I am very much better and most anxious to regain my former health and strength. It has been, and is still my one aim to be able to serve my country over here and with that object in view, and having heard of your many kindnesses to others, I am approaching you on the subject to ask you if you would consider the possibility of my being sent to a warmer climate where I would I feel sure be able to keep well and do
February 25 Monday
This has been my first sick leave after 2 yrs & 8 mts service. Miss McCarthy I do hope that you will not mind me writing to you, my one excuse would be, is, that my former unit is in Italy and at present I am feeling somewhat of a stray sheep.
Thanking you etc yours faithfully, AD
Am feeling very very much better - and if I should stay longer now I feel I should be swinging it in earnest.
Revelled in a precious stone shop this afternoon & bought some.
February 26 Tuesday
this at mid-day however lovely it was I am just wanting to be up and doing again - Am so thankful to have regained that feeling.
February 27 Wednesday
Arrived at Paris at 9.30 a.m. It is not a very nice day. Left again at 1.30 for Abbeville had lunch at the Club & wandered down the Street - but did not see anything of Special interest. I should love
d to have seen Notre Dame but there was no time.
Reported fit for Duty on arriving at the Nurses Home. It was queried a bit but I convinced them that I really was.
February 28 Thursday
Orders came through at 11 a.m. and I am once more at No 3 A.G.H.
March 1918 31 Days
Copy of letter
Received from Miss McCarthy
Headquarters L of C
Dear Miss Donnell
Just a line in acknowledgement of your letter, to say I will bear your request in mind, and am forwarding your letter to the Matron-in-Chief, Australian Nursing Service, so that she also will remember you, and when a vacancy occurs I feel sure she will if possible arrange for you to go to a warmer climate.
I am so glad to know that you have benefited by your change to the south of France and now that the weather is getting warmer I hope that your cold will soon be alright again.
March 2 Saturday
Miss McCarthy came to dinner and spent the evening last night.
My name is up for night duty to-night - I am so pleased not especially for night duty but - so thankful to be on duty again- It's quite a tonic to feel you are earning your living again.
March 3 Sunday
My 2 Marquees are not busy & boys mostly convalescent, but winter has set in again - its snowing & windy cutting March winds.
March 4 Monday
Had our photos taken in a group in the cold this morning.
Received a lovely bundle of letters from Australia
That Somehow I thought with this cold weather that that companion of mine would return the cough.
March 5 Tuesday
March 6 Wednesday
Fed up. Just pining for the sunshine.
March 7 Thursday
That bridle around my physical strength has got me down again. Felt too ill to go on duty. T 103.6 P 130.
March 8 Friday
Had a bad night but much better to-day. Major Lawton thinks I am not strong enough for work yet. So its to be the Sick Sisters again.
Everyone is extremely good
to to me but I don't take kindly to Hospital again.
Matron is a dear, she had a long talk and advised me not to worry but just to let mind and body have a rest, if its a long rest well never mind. We need one now and there are plenty of fresh Sisters coming out.
But I don't know I cant submit.
March 9 Saturday
Labelled P.U.O. & escorted by Capt Goode to the Sick Sisters. Matron by request has put me in a bright sunny room occupied also by Y.M.C.A. & [indecipherable] S.C.A.
March 10 Sunday
Captain Chapple. Sister MacDonald Miss Murdock & Miss Birdwood called in this afternoon. Miss M- bringing the loveliest branch of wattle which had the dinkum scent of Australia.
March 11 Monday
March 14 Thursday
In case am sent to Blighty went out & bought a few pictures.
March 15 Friday
Left S.S. 9 a.m. I trotted down the stairs to get in the Ambulance when was waylaid to lie down on the Stretcher a Stretcher Case. Twas so funny tucked in to gray blankets & carried out but Matron says its much more comfortable being classed a B case and you get better looked after. There are 4 of us 3 from No 3 Lawrence Wearn myself & a V.A.D. from Le Treport.
Transferred to 14 Gen Hsp. Boulogne for U.K.
P.M.O. sent from No 3 A.G.H. or P.M.O. Has been poorly on & off for some time. Was in Hsp in Jan this year sent to Cannes & whilst there was in bed. Now readmitted & not considered fit for Active Service in France at present.
March 16 Saturday
Gave up my bed for another Sister & got up and went for a long walk on the beach. It was a glorious sunshiny day & I felt tons better. In the afternoon went into Boulogne & bought a beaded necklet for Dot gave 33 francs for it then went to see Jessie at No 2 - we had afternoon tea together and enjoyed it very much.
Dossed down on the hard floor for the night. I dont like this Hospital The Chateau Mauriceim puts me in mind of a cheap boarding house.
March 17 Sunday
Down on the stretcher at 9 a.m. waiting for the evac to U.K. I do feel such a fraud still what can I do do as youre told in the Military. 12.30 Left Boulogne 12.30 for Dover - two Hosp Ships & 2 leave boats are escorted over.
Really its just it travelling as a stretcher case. No bother no tips just lie back and enjoy it. At London the St John's Amb people look after you well carry the stretchers etc. A lady came with us to the Hsp took our particulars Crowds of people were at the Station to welcome the boys back Cigs were thrown into our Ambulance arrived at Southwell gardens 8.30 p.m. Hip hip hip hurrah to be in a Hospital of our own.
March 18 Monday
Stayed in bed all day.
Mrs Hall visited the Hospital this a.m. the lady who has given it for the Aus Sisters. Everything is very nice indeed.
Major Turnbull evidently thinks me anaemic having Eastons Syrup.
March 19 Tuesday
Just a lazy day.
March 20 Wednesday
The sun was so tempting that I went for a walk in Kensington Gardens to the Peter Pan Statue. Its as sweet as ever and the daffodils blue bells & crocuses are very pretty. There were crowds of lovely children as usual with their nurses and ladies taking dogs for a walk.
March 21 Thursday
The great offensive has begun on a 60 mile front from Arras to La Fere
March 22 Friday
Mrs Hall & Miss Congell came to lunch. Had a bonzer lunch too.
The battle still raging. The Germans are now passed Ypres where our C.C.S. was.
March 23 Saturday
Quite a Summer day spent the morning in Kensington Gardens. Wrote to Marge
The Germans still coming on and now have Peronne.
March 24 Sunday
March 25 Monday
Went to Horseferry Rd then walked down Oxford & Regent Streets. After coming from France it surprises me at the amount of wealth in London it seems to me there is lavishness everywhere & certainly no signs of war concerts theatres walking in Parks beautiful full dresses things are dear but still they are bought just the same. And the independent way the salespeople have take it or leave it kind of style.
March 26 Tuesday
Mrs Fletcher (who is in charge of the Red Cross stores at Southhall) and myself came out to St Albans to-day for 3 weeks. Surely at the end of that time I will be quite strong again for its just lovely here quite in the country and plenty of good food.
March 27 Wednesday
A wet and rainy day so stayed inside this afternoon.
From May 7th
fallen bawling stream to fall in a deep and narrow channel from the heights to the shore; in your minds eye people its banks with a straggling village of irregularly shaped lichen covered cottages on so sharp a decline that the base of the one is on a level with the roof of its neighbour pave the Street with minature boulders from the shore, arranged in a series of terraces, and terminate the descent by an antique piece of wave-worn stones from which the only approach to the sea at low water is by ladders whose perpendicular depths might well startle the inexperienced traveller.
March 28 Thursday
And then you will obtain something which would resemble Clovelly, if it were not, indeed, unique in its singular construction & beauty, and did not surpass all descriptive powers, whether of pen or pencil"
Artists swarm in Clovelly to such an extent that one position "the Ladder" has been called "the promenade, of Artists". And the complaint that "Artists and Aust bins are in every corner" is not uncommon.
Yesterday I went for a walk along the beautiful Hobby drive winding in and out on the side of the steep hillside
over its lovely walking under the graceful straying branches of the Birch Trees a tender with green now with the new unfolding leaves. And
March 29 Friday
underneath and on the banks are the carpets of blue bells and clusters here & there of the sweet scented yellow primroses - and ferns whilst the other side you look down under the tall shadowy trees and get glimpses of the calm calm sea that has scarcely a ripple on it - everything here spells quiet & peace.
Went Paged the gate keeper & after a chat with him wended my way through the pretty park of Clovelly Court to Gallantry Bower the boldest headland on the Coast it rises steer from the sea at a height of 387 ft. Here again its rest & peace except for the ever restless sea on one side and as far as the eye can see on the other are the ever refreshing trees - the
March 30 Saturday
ferny hollows and the soft-green rolling downs And the
gru deer & cattle quietly grazing in the near fields.
The Gate Keeper is an old veteran it looks like the oldest inhabitant and he quite enjoyed a chat - told me that a newly married couple were having their honeymoon at Clovelly Court Oh Yes I said Mr & Mrs Ashquith. And he was quite interested when I told him that the Brigadier General passed through the C.C.S. when he was wounded. Oh Yes he said they have been keeping company for 8 years but yer know the Hamlyn family didden't favour the marriage because he carried no title
but you see she the want and she is
March 31 Sunday
to have Clovelly when Mrs Hamlyn dies. She was Lady Manners & Mrs Hamlyn's niece but he was delighted to think that in spite of him being a cripple she married him.
Then I went up to see the old Church were Charles Kinsley father was rector and
the house passed by the house where Charles spent the impressionable years of his life Tis, in a charming spot across the road & on higher ground then the Church.
Came back to the New Inn for lunch and really had a meal that was satisfying to my good appetite - a fresh caught flat-head flounder or plaice. Its just the most heavenly evening and since tea I have wandered
April 4th Month 1918
down steps & up steps in & out and round about corners and the dear old Men & women are giving me a smiling good evening. I have such a longing to tread inside those quaint cottages where you see tiny steps winding in all directions:
And but I just get peeps of the clean shining Devonshire ware on the dressers and the purring pussy on the doorstep so that I think it must be just as nice inside as the s the variety of sweet scented creepers & flowers that adorn the outer view must be an index to the inside I could wander up & down all day and only wish I were one of those swarms of Artists so as I could work sit and p drink in the scent of those flowers - theres the Honeysuckle fucia Japanonica
April 2 Tuesday
white pink [indecipherable] yellow roses lillies of the valley wall flowers etc etc but as I am not I go into a picture p.c. Shop and, I think I will shock you when I say that I bought £5 worth I hadden't the ready money but they were irresistable and I don't expect to pass this way again One is The Castle Rock at Lynmouth by the well known Devonshire artist - Chaplin and the other Clovelly at Eventide by Sweet I do believe they were the nicest two in the shop however I liked them best & love them.
Some jolly sailors passed up this afternoon from their little camouflaged boat - they had sunk an enemy Submarine and a few days back saved the crew off a torpedoed Norwegian boat that sunk in 3 mts
April 3 Wednesday
Ever since Thursday have had a constant headache & swollen face - especially nose & glands of neck so was sent into Hospital again this morning. The pain gives me gyp especially at night.
April 4 Thursday
Had an awful night but the Abscess broke this afternoon much to my relief.
April 7 Sunday
This morning Sister Dolson came and spent the morning She is the Canadian Sister I chummed up with at 48 C.C.S. She was still there on the morning of the 21st when the great battle commenced at 4.30 a.m. She was lucky, her leave having been arranged and so left at 7.30 a.m. escaping with her luggage when 2 hours later an order came to Evacuate the C.C.S. And the other Sisters
or just escaped with their lives. Her vivid description of the tumult is what some would call thrilling but any one that has been through it would call it Hell Even as she left the noise from their
April 8 Monday
guns & ours were terrific. The ground never ceased quivering. The shells were coming thick and fast making the ground like a monstrous dust storm. Ours was only one C.C.S. but twas nearest the line & midway between Ypres & Etrecouet Sister said all the C.C.S.s belonging to the 3rd Army "Sir Julian Byngs) were lost and the booty the Germans have captured is enormous.
April 9 Tuesday
Return to Campbellfield for another 5 weeks.
April 10 Wednesday
The Germans make another big push.
April 11 Thursday
April 12 Friday
Abbey Chimes - Through lifes long day -
April 13 Saturday
Abbey Chimes Home Sweet Home
April 14 Sunday
April 15 Monday
This afternoon there was a lecture given by Rev A.C. Carter. The Chaplin to the Institute of the Civilian blind and to our blinded Soldiers and Sailors at St Dunstans. He illustrated it with lantern slides. It was very interesting to see the despair depicted on the solders faces when they realise that their sight is gone and then contrast it to the cheerfulness after they start their life at St Dunstans. I thought I should come away fearfully depressed, but instead I felt uplifted.
They are taught almost everything and I am sure everything that a blind
April 16 Tuesday
man can be and they certainly look much happier than many that have their sight.
They teach them shorthand typewriting music walking running rowing snow-balling poultry farming trades such as basket & mat making carpentering, boot making but its their cheerfulness that I thought was so wonderful Sir Arthur Pearson (himself blind & also his charming wife) believes in teaching them
to independency. It was a beautiful lecture.
April 17 Wednesday
A letter from Mr Beilby on my plate this morning.
Mr McIlwraith is here for a day or two he usually stays in his Devonshire Home. Told us the story of how opposite their place two loaded transports were going out from the Harbour when a Submarine attacked Missed his target the torpedo struck into a rock on the coast exploded. the result being a beautiful dash of water sent up 600 ft. into the air. It skirted some fisherman by 6 feet and
later sent the stunned fish in so they caught 5 ton quite a boon to the little village and they realised £100-.
Mr McI- is a dear old man and so Australian
April 18 Thursday
April 19 Friday
April 20 Saturday
Sent off long letters to Mrs Robjohns Dot Pall Ada Maye & Olive
Went to see the old Church of St Michaells age 948 A.D. one of the oldest in England Lord Bacon was buried there and there is a Memorial to him
there in the thick wall at the right side of the Altar I was shown a very old old picture in the vestry corner painted on oak I should imagine of the ressurection.
April 21 Sunday
We hope that each day will bring us fine weather but no luck the trees and ground are covered in snow inches thick. I wanted very much to go to church but everyone advised me not to - I havent actually been able to go to a Service since November - when I heard the Rev R.J. Campbell.
Am reading Walter Greenaway
- Spy & hero
An excellent story and true though badly told.
My Australian died to day.
April 22 Monday
The loveliest day we have had for weeks.
April 23 Tuesday
I go to London to get some money and I am awfully amused as I am walking along the Street - someone way lays me & says "Sister why havent you got goloshes on a morning like this". I saw he was an Australian General but who I dont know We had a little chat & then with a smile & salute passes on. Twas one of those dark foggy London days not raining but - the ground was sloppy. He evidently took a paternal interest in Aus- Sisters. I was muffled up too with coat & thick scarfe & boots.
April 24 Wednesday
Yesterday Miss Congers received a message from the Queen saying that her presence was demanded at Windsor Castle this morning as the Queen wanted to hear more about the Australian Sisters.
April 25 Thursday
Anzac Day The Sisters from Glen Almond & we two from here went this afternoon to the Cemetery with a basket of flowers to put on our soldiers graves in St Albans. Its a glorious day. When we arrived there we saw already a spray of white Narcissus tied with white ribbon & a card attached on each grave. On the card is the rising sun badge & these words.
Pilgrimage to Australian Soldiers graves
In Great Britain & Ireland.
Iniated by the London Branch of the Australian Natives Association.
Australia is proud of her illustrious dead who have fought a just fight for King and Empire and tenders sincere sympathy to bereaved
April 26 Friday
relatives and friends.
They had feared no death when honour summoned them to Britains Aid Now they rest in shrouds of glory Every debt of homage paid.
Afterwards we motored over to Lord Salisburys old home - Hatfield Hall with the hope of seeing over it but werent successful because of the shortage of people.
April 27 Saturday
April 28 Sunday
Extract from Mr Fletchers letter. Sir Walter Davidson made such a nice speech. At the front said he had had an opportunity of going over to France and spending 8 days just behind the front lines. He had expected to see fine big men in the Australian troops from what he had heard but he diddent expect to see such smart soldiers why they were equal to the Guards. He said after that 8 days it was so very easy to understand why they had done such wonderful things. One had only to come in contact with them. When on his return to England talking to the King the King told him the Australians had gained more V.C.s & honours than any other nation in Comparison to their numbers.
April 29 Monday
April 30 Tuesday
Reported in at Southwell Gardens and Major Turnbull marked me Class AT Am feeling very bucked over it. Great piece in The Times to-day about the Aussies.
May 1 Wednesday
Reported to Miss Congers Miss C - Good Morning Sister.
Let me see you have been off duty for 3 months what about a trip back to Australia.
Oh no dont think I have your name down for transport but you havent been back and I think a trip back would do you good - say in 2 or 3 months time. Its better to go now because you could come back than to get sick again & be sent back for good. It would be so nice to see your people again too & have a little time with them Am given furlough - issued a sugar ticket then proceed to the Lord Controllers Office & get a meat & butter ticket then go to see Stella & baby Geraldine.
May 2 Thursday
Stella went to London and left the sweet darling in my care. I took her for a walk and just loved every minute with her. She is such a pet.
Uncle pat tells a funny story of an Australian who had been indulging around the rum barrel in France somewhere then informed his mates that he was going up the line to the front the called him mad & tried to dissuade him but no he got on a mule & was off by & bye the mule pitched him into a shell hole where he was picked up by stretcher bearers when he wakened up he saw a Sister bending over him found he was in Hosp at Boulogne and told he was a seriously gassed case marked for Blighty he went & had a good 6 months there.
May 3 Friday
Another home day with Stella & baby.
May 4 Saturday
Left London 10.15 a.m. (Paddington) and arrived at Treganna Castle Hotel St Ives at 7 p.m. Its a lovely old place on top of (or nearly) a hill - from it theres a lovely view of the bay and sea.
May 5 Sunday
Had a lovely day was awake early listening to the sweet birds trilling in the woods. Then went for a walk - had a chat with a fisherman on a seat overlooking the bay then explored the old quaint village of St Ives. Its so uncommon - everything about it & full of unexpected surprises at every turn. The narrow stone steps that lead up to the small rooms from the street - the tiny footpaths a foot width indeed every little twist & turn is different. And cant you imagine the little children coming out of these cubby holes of doors dressed in an old fashioned Sunday best with white embroidered nickers below the knees but spotlessly clean.
That lovely little bay with the fishing smacks.
May 6 Monday
Left St Ives & bought a ticket for Penzance intending to see Newlyn and Lands-end but feeling tired changed my mind hurridly when an up bound train for Exeter came in and at night I found myself in an Inn at Bideford bound for Clovelly in the morning. Ordered early breakfast to catch the mail out & in walked an Aussie for an early breakfast too. Trust the Aussies one sees their turned hat everywhere. To my delight he is bound for Clovelly too & we spent the day together. Late in the afternoon he goes on to hoofs to a farmhouse that promises to give more in the food line. Clovelly is unique & full of charm & sweetness. As we clattered down the pebbley walk we thoroughly enjoyed the novelty of everything & pointed & laughed at the old
May 7 Tuesday
fashioned quaint houses quite regardless that the quiet residents
were may be peeking at us from the tiny window panes above but its absolutely sweet & I dont think that anywhere in the world you would see anything like it I make inquiries to how old it is but no one knows however it really finds a place in Domesday as one of the manors that passed from Bristria to Matilda with a population of 37 In the reign of Richard II it came to the Caeys. In Westward Ho Charles Kinsley writes about the place & he says of it.
"Take the steepest hillside with which you are acquainted. Let the Atlantic roll at its base, cover it with
tangled ancient trees and tangled undergrowth to its summit, suppose (Turn to March 27th (Continued)
May 8 Wednesday
At 3 p.m. spied 2 Anzacs coming up the walk & waited for them so we went into Mrs Pengillys & had a nice tea. Only Anzacs we may be yet we enjoyed Mrs Pengillys Tea. High St was an awful climb But the scenery was sublime. So they trust that as they who run may read "Will never die until a dead horse kicks them and the hairs from their tail
s turn into candles to light them to glory
Saw the above at Mrs Pengilly house. Walked up with the boys to meet the coach & the sun is shining beautifully so later take a snap of Charles Kingsleys house I do love meeting our boys they are so fresh & love sport.
May 9 Thursday
Awakened before 5 a.m. and watched the colouring of the sky & sea from the rising sun so got up early to run down to the beach & get a snap of Crazy Kates Cottage & Clovelly before leaving at 9 a.m. On arriving at the corner to meet the Mail 3 Eng. ladies were dressed picnic fashion & luncheon baskets greeting me. Good morning so your leaving C etc. etc. finally they persuaded me to change my mind & spend the day with them at Bucks Mills I readily did for I wanted to go there and we had the loveliest day Im beginning to think a holiday on ones own is just the thing and it does do one good to meet and know all sorts of people - for I find
you there is goodness everywhere.
The Valley of Bucks is beautiful.
May 10 Friday
The Weather is favouring me. It has been a perfect day and in spite of being alone I am enjoying it all immensely. Last evening a new acquaintance. A commercial traveller and I went for a beautiful walk along by the River Taw at Barnstable and through the park where I think the variety of the patches of wall flower is the best I have seen - so rich in golden & brown colouring. Rose at 5.30 a.m. & came by a small train to Lynton & Lynmouth. It is absolutely charming to walk in Lyn Valley to the Watersmeet & then to the Valley of Rocks & seeing Castle Rock. My only regret is that I cannot go back via Porlock & Minehead & see all the country that is described in Lorna Doone: but the coaches are not running until the 20th. Bought Lorna Doone.
May 11 Saturday
I am really a lucky beggar. Had an offer of a drive to the Station so saving a long walk - One has to be independent these days & try & manage alone help is so scarce in the way of porters. Leave Barnstable at 9 a.m. & get a quick train to London. Then at 7 p.m. I am in this most delightful of homes the happiest in all England I should think. The feel & touch of real home life is just the best thing on Earth to me and then Mrs Robjohns is just the nicest old lady anyone could see and Kitty Dinkee & Mrs Sydney Robjohns
May 12 Sunday
are so nice too - for the 5 days there I feel I could say good-bye to Military life for ever And my thoughts go back and I dream of the Bluebird Hospital that I hope someday will be a reality I chat read sew mow? The Garden or ?
May 15 Wednesday
May 16 Thursday
Report at Headquarters and my order is to go to Southall on temporary duty
May 17 Friday
Sharing a room with Brownie we wish for we know not what.
May 18 Saturday
May 23 Thursday
Have a movement order to report at Harefield Saw Major Anderson & Colonel Yeatman the latter said he was awfully pleased to see me here
May 24 Friday
Have felt like a fish out-of water
When I came into tea I received a letter from a sister at the Beaufort War Hospital telling me of my Australians death. It came as a shock and I cant get over the feeling that he should not have died.
May 25 Saturday
A lady offered to take some of the Sisters for a Motor ride this afternoon - So 5 of us went she took us to Beaconsfield 18 miles & we flew along & was there in 25 minutes - The trees & flowers are so pretty and the rhodendrons hedges a picture.
The Kyarra has been torpedoed
May 26 Sunday
We are having the most delightful weather we have our own Australian boys to look after there is plenty of work but I cant feel happy theres a something that instead of giving out I find myself continually shrinking within myself - I blame myself for not rising above the pettyness that is displayed morning noon & night from one and another I wonder why I feel so lonely here perhaps its because in am an old No 3ite we are anything but popular with the majority of the other Sisters No 1 & No 2 principally. I put it down to us first coming to England then re-
May 27 Monday
turning to Lemnos and then being made a fuss of because of our work there. While they had been working hard in the hot summer in Egypt. Our destiny was planned & we could not help it but
they an unkindly spirit is shown towards No 3ites wherever they go I put it down to jealousy and am quietly prouder than ever that I belonged to a Unit that was free from petty bickering for 2 years And that is the reason I think that it was such a shame we were broken up for surely if one is happy it must lend to good work. Yes we are branded bumptious & undisciplined and are not
May 28 Tuesday
welcomed anywhere and if you mention Lemnos its fatal. I am sharing a room with a Sister that was so rude to me over the shifting of my bed that I summed her up and felt that silence would be my security whilst sharing the room so we never speak. Tis a strange state of affairs I believe now if we spoke
it would we might have a mutual liking in many things but I think an apology my due it doesnt come - so we remain silent and I am sure to the curiosity of the girls that share the rooms on either side of us.
May 29 Wednesday
Intended to get a supply of fruit in London but not at these prices.
Grapes 17/6 a lb
Peaches 12/- " "
Oranges - -/7 each
Apples not worth eating
bananas 7/- a doz quite green.
What do you think Chickens are 14/9 each
May 31st Friday
Went to London to do some necessary shopping - intending to go & see Mrs Bale after but twas too late after going to the Army & Navy for the regulation hat After tomorrow we must be strictly in uniform woe betide those who are not wont even be allowed outside the gate How I dislike shopping in London. The Assistants are quite the reverse of graciousness I want some light material for a gown and theres some 14/9 a yard & pre war days it would be 3/3 I inclined to be genial mention this, & he answers crossly "Yes but those days are not these days & its useless wasting time on comparisons pip pip
May 31 Friday
Spent ½ a hour in the [indecipherable].
Chapel of the Ascension.
Passing us through the busy streets of London. Enter this sanctuary for rest & silence & prayer Let the pictured walls within speak of the past yet, ever continuing ways of God with man.
Is it nothing to you all ye that pass by? Come & rest awhile commune with your own hearts & be still Jesus Christ the Same Yesterday and to-day & forever.
Enolia Russell Gurney through whose pious care & bonus this Chapel was rebuilt & decorated to the Glory of God.
Frederick Shields who out of weakness was made strong & in the power of the holy spirit executes the paintings in this Chapel which he completed only 3 weeks before his
1918 June 1 Saturday
death 26 Feb 1911
June 2 Sunday
I have had some difficulty and delay in getting my now 6th kind of regulation hat so pending its arrival I wore the old one
into the fields and just wandered into the back fields & woods alone - on my way in the back door I unluckily meet the Matron (Miss Ross) who quickly twigs the hat and says quite crossly "Sister what are you doing with that hat on?" I might have committed the biggest wrong on earth - so small she made me feel - but for a moment but no I wouldnt be downed so joined a croquet party and enjoyed a game so much that when I met Miss
June 3 Monday
Ross again I gave her a pleasant smile & she returned it but looking at my feet. This time says "Sister what are you doing with those Shoes on". Twas my day off so surely I thought I could wear a pair of sandshoes for I was awaiting another game of croquet but I have schooled myself never to let another woman get me down and its the very best way in the military take no notice - for I have seen how cruelly one woman can cause another to be so unhappy.
June 4 Tuesday
June 5 Wednesday
We are having a very busy time in the wards. Days off are being cancelled until the Hospital Ship goes. It seems to me that Harefield is generally considered a convalescent place.
but I was too until I came here and now I consider its the busiest Hospital I have been in apart from the C.C.S.) I know I have never worked harder on Active Service Another thing the food is very poor - there is no nourishment in it sufficient to keep up your strength. I revel in the view from my window and I love to hear the birds I like my co-workers in the ward so I should be happy but
June 6 Thursday
I do miss my friends.
H. S.S Margha
by on Nov 2 4th 1918. By Monseigneur the Bishop of Amiens in the Church of Song (Somme), In Memory of Australian Officers, N.C.Os, and men fallen on the battlefield.
My General, Officers, N.C.Os. and men of the Australian Divisions.
After the words that have fallen but a few moments ago from the
June 7 Friday
Pulpit of Truth, and from the lips of one of your own Chaplains, and knowing little of your beautiful language it behoves me to keep silent, but if I gave no utterance to my thoughts as this impressive ceremony is nearing its conclusion, I would fail in the fulfilment of a triple duty which my conscience dictates to me. That of prayer; that of gratefulness; that of Admiration.
Duty of prayer for your [indecipherable] dead resting in peace in my land of Picardy and on the borders of the Somme.
June 8 Saturday
Duty of Gratefulness for the liberation of my Diocese delivered from the enemys yoke.
Duty of Admiration for your heroism, which has placed you in the foremost rank amongst the bravest in this unique war.
Together we have prayed for your dead, and their Imortal souls have appeared before God who has judged them. And human praise expires on the blink of their tombs, we are powerless to grant them the Glory which they have a right to. For that reason we supplicate the Lord, in offering him the Sacrifice
June 9 Sunday
of Jesus Christ to give them a reward worthy of their emmolation May He make them perfectly saintly and Beautiful, that they may have a right, one and all, without delay to an Eternal Crown and glorious Immortality.
As Bishop of Amiens I owe you and your Illustrious Dead my heartfelt thanks, because the land of my Diocese has been your field of Battle and you have delivered it by the sacrifice of young blood.
During the painful days of the Invasion you have made a rampart of your
June 10 Monday
breast, behind which you shielded and saved the last shred of my territory. Later, when Victory at last smiled upon your army, the Australian Army distinguished itself by the audacity of its attack, by its utter disregard of death, by its doggedness, as well as by the rapidity of its advance.
In the name of my Clergy and of my people I offer you my heartfelt gratitude and admiration.
Gentlemen, your dead were great men, and amongst the most illustrious, because they
June 11 Tuesday
obeyed the highest inspiration.
Why did you leave your far away Australia? Because of your sentiments of loyalty towards the British Empire, whose banner has protected the British and development of your country, its existence, its economic future and its civilization for these were in jeopardy as well as the destinies of France. It was necessary to snatch from German Military violence the hegemony of the World for that reason you left your shores and cross oceans, for the honour of your country and for its future.
June 12 Wednesday
It takes blood to cement the foundation of a country, and you did not refuse it in the World War to the cause of Christianity. You have indeed lavished it with a Saintly generosity, and in so doing have written a most glorious page in the history of Australia.
On the fields of Battle far away from your homes, the love of your country became stronger in your hearts, and children, who during the coming centuries will grow up in their homes and schools, will learn through your great deeds the reason of
June 13 Thursday
Patriotism. They will be able to pronounce your names without speaking of the Towns, Village Table - lands, Ridges and Valleys of the Somme, where you have gathered the laurels of Immortality.
Indissoluble links unite our two Nations; a link of prayer because we will piously keep the Tombs of your heroes; a link of friendship, because the freedom of my Diocese has cost you so much blood, and link of mutual admiration, because the hearts of ones Soldiers Australian and French, beat with the
June 14 Friday
Influenza or as the boys say "The dogs disease has [indecipherable] is [indecipherable] raging here [indecipherable] - how half the staff & patients must be laid low with it. And the other half are doing [indecipherable][indecipherable] to help each other.
[continued from page 176]
same love, with the same enthusiasm for the saintly cause, whose final triumphs will assure the futures and development of our two Countries under the eyes of God, who has blest our Arms.
June 15 Saturday
June 16 Sunday
June 17 Monday
The flue still raging.
June 18 Tuesday
June 19 Wednesday
Several Sisters down with the flue. I believe Southwell Gardens is full. The well Sisters are busier than ever. Matron says to do the most important work. Give the treatment & keep the place as tidy as we can - Several Sisters on duty are feeling sickly but are still sticking it.
June 20 Thursday
June 21 Friday
The flue seems to be abating but all the Sisters look very very tired indeed. We have had no one to take the places of those off duty & I think there are 14.
June 23 Sunday
This morning I missed Sister Dickinsons tired face at breakfast. And on making inquiries someone says she was very ill through the night. On going over at 10 to morning tea I hear the remark "My word theyve got the wind up properly over Sister Dickinson" I diddent see Matron but the home Sister seemed almost beside herself, I heard her order "Get me 3 hot bags" to someone. Then later twas whispered that Sister had pneumonia. And Colonel did not want her moved - she was too ill but that Miss Congers through the phone said she had to go to S.G. so Matron & I am sure with a
June 23rd cont.
most anxious heart took her with T103.6 P136 R40 (or at least they were at 4 a.m. I heard later that twas three hours before they could get a medical man to see her there (it being Sunday I suppose) and the Sisters there were nearly frantic over it. However I consider that she was refused her one chance that was to have remained quietly here poor little Sister. She passed peacefully on at 4.30 a.m. with her friend beside here who was fortunately a patient at S.Gs. She really had died at her post for she was on duty the day before. It is one of the saddest things that has happened yet to think that she was in the
June 24 Monday
midst of professional help and yet so far.
It must just be heart breaking for Matron. She has gone in to-day to bring the body out. We are so pleased that she is to be buried in the Anzac Corner with the boys here. It is such a peaceful spot by the side of the Church.
June 25 Tuesday
Sister was buried at 3.30 p.m. to-day. I think every one that could go were at the Service in the Church and graveside. Colonel Yeatman did not want a display in the streets so the sisters walked down quietly in twos & threes and the Officers Men & patients followed the coffin Sisters brothers friend was with me and without knowing it we sat on the seat behind that which was reserved for the heads and the coffin was placed in front of them at least they followed it in General Featherstone & Miss Conyers Colonel Yeatman Major Anderson & others. The coffin was draped in the Union Jack but when I saw the her red cape & white cap lying on the
June 26 Wednesday
wreaths it just broke me up. The boys in blue were well represented arms in slings - some with crutches others limping with a stick and others poor boys with disfigured faces so many of our boys give their lives yet it does not seem so sad in a way as what it does when a sister gives hers & truly, she gave hers.
The remembrances in wreaths & flowers were numerous and so beautiful & the words
foll on some of the cards were these
In Memory & honour of our Sister from Ward 40
To one of our noblest from A.T.N.A. New South Wales branch.
June 27 Thursday
In deepest appreciation of a self-sacrificing Co-Worker from
the Medical Officers No 1 AAH
Deepest Sympathy from the Sisters maids
Deepest Sympathy from the Motor Staff
" " " " "
" " " Theatre Staff
" " " J A D Miss
" " " Mrs Gough
" " " A.W. Hook
" " " Mrs & Mr [indecipherable] Leake
" " " Mrs Hall
" " " A E Hunter from the GO &
Officers of No 3 A.A.H.
With Sincerest Sym from Matron & Sisters of No 3 A.A.H.
Deepest Sym from Southall In loving Memory of N.C.Os & Men No. 1 A.A.H.
With Mrs Hales kind remembrances and ours
To our dear Comrade from the Nursing sisters (pale pink roses)
June 28 Friday
Had the day off. Wrote until 2.30 then went to visit Stella at Hayes. She & baby are very well. On top of the Uxbridge bus a man in the seat behind me said which State do you come from Sister" - On looking around I expected to see someone in blue or kakki but he had on ordinary working clothes and a badge that I had not seen before with the Aus Coat of Arms & Aus in letters underneath. He had been 10 days in Blighty and was fed up with things (or not fed up for that was the trouble). He came over with 13 others as Special Munition Workers. They couldnt get enough to eat & not proper accommodation
June 29 Saturday
to sleep in. I felt so sorry for them.
June 30 Sunday
Had an exciting morning getting 8 patients away from the H.S. for Church.
July 1 Monday
Had a nice quiet day in the ward.
July 2 Tuesday
Had a day off & spent it in writing a letter.
July 3 Wednesday
July 4 Thursday
Our Nancy ONeill & Capt. Reg Downing was married to-day at 2 p.m. in the R.C. Church at Golders Green. Twas a perfect day & Nancy was sweetness itself and looked beautiful in a champagne crepe- de- cheyne. Im sure they are going to be ever so happy.
July 5 Friday
July 12 Friday
Francis day My day off. So at last went to see Mrs Bale at Streatham Hill. French & the Allies flags all in evidence all over London but Australia is much in the boom. Almost every 3rd person you meet wears the rising sun in some shape or form.
London always gives me a headache it is most bewildering after quiet Harefield. And where ever you go there is hustle & bustle. In the buses trains taxies tubes.
July 13 Saturday
July 14 Sunday
July 15 Monday
It rained and poured like cats & dogs to-day so they say will have rain for 40 days
July 16 Tuesday
My afternoon off. Went into London again to see the Army & Naval war pictures - which are very fine though twas very stifling & close in the rooms. Not a breath of air. A beautiful band was playing.
Afterwards went to see this years exhibits at the Royal Academy then rushed to Paddington to get the 6.25 train & missed it but met Lieut L.C. Campbell - then we all had dinner at the Station and met with rudeness from one of the waitresses. How dare these E. girls we all said how we hated asking for anything in England Some try to completely squash one but Australians never never will be squashed.
July 17 Wednesday
July 22 Monday
To-day Sister Cary & I went to Stratford-on-Avon in all travelled 250 miles. Saw Shakespeares birth place which was most interesting then visited the Grammar School saw Marie Corellis house visited Lavender House and Anne Hathaways Cottage then the Church were Shakespeare was buried.
Twas a flying visit of course but we thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope to go again -and some sunshiny day when I can take some snaps.
One days outing only cost us 15/- each including the warrants which were 9/7 in all
July 23 Tuesday
On night duty what luck for once to have had such a nice day yesterday.
The prophecy is proving true its still raining.
The Hospital Ship went to day at least the patients did some very bright and happy are they when they get an Aussie. I love seeing them go yet it makes me feel homesick I could have cried this morning when I said goodbye to my boys. One does get fond of them
July 26 Friday
It still rains
July 27 Saturday
July 30 Tuesday
3 of us hired a horse & trap for 2 hours this evening & took 3 patients for a drive I taking Sister Linklaters brother. We went to Rickmansworth and did a little shopping - had afternoon tea at the Red Spider. It was so refreshing going for a drive on night duty & the scenery everywhere now is very green & shady. We all enjoyed it I think.
Night duty is not at all busy but I get that let go feeling terribly & am wasting time. Id be sorry someday to think I have the time to write letters and dont do it.
July 31 Wednesday
August 2 Friday
The bay is delightful & I thought I had never seen such pretty scenery for a back ground then the Chine is a dream & the most loverlike walk
I have between two hills that almost meet.
The old village with old thatched cottages are quaint & interesting.
Caught the 11.40 a.m. train from Ventnor via Ryde & Portsmouth. At R secured my seat in a 1st class carriage then a pompous E man with 4 women & a baby got in & he approached me in a commanding way & said
"Are you going far?
A Yes to Victoria.
Well you see we are a
August 3 Saturday
party of 5 & dont want to break up so would you mind going to another carriage "
A I dont particularly wish to move and think there is quite enough room for all here.
"E. Well you see we are a party & presently the baby must lie down & have a sleep & we have a lot of luggage and theres a lot more empty carriages further down. Would you mind a smoking carriage.
A "Yes. In this case I would not care to go into a smoking carriage.
E. Well what about another one all to yourself.
Yes I would rather go out of this one
August 4 Sunday
E. "Well" (without any thanks) "Ill take you."
So he did & for a little while I had the carriage to myself, then it filled up with 3rd class passengers (very very nice too) I then guessed why he had been so insistent in securing a carriage to his own party.
August 31 Saturday
The police strike is on. This is an incident that happened to day in London. A few boys were gathered together And a Tommy with one leg was standing with crutches - talking about the strike & remarked "Well I dont think the policemen should have gone on strike". When someone suddenly approached them & said "Who said we shouldnt have gone on strike. "I did" said the Tommy With that the man knocked him down & then an Australian who was near punched the P- down & the P got up and ran then several As gave chase - the P got into a motor - & they chased that but couldnt catch it then a crowd
September 1 Sunday
Our Wattle day.
Myra & I had a good game of croquet in the afternoon. We are both keen on it & enjoy it immensely.
[continued from page 214]
of Australians blocked the traffic in the Strand for the afternoon. Sat there in crowds & played two up. A lot of Sammys joined them - & people were too frightened to interfere much. At last . Several Aus Officers came & reasoned with them & they dispersed.
September 2 Monday
September 3 Tuesday
My last night of Night duty Matron is letting me off a little earlier in the morning because I want to get the 9 a.m. train from Waterloo to Shanklin Isle of Wight.
September 4 Wednesday
A day of misadventures & adventures. Missed the milk Ambulance - so missed the 7 a.m. train walked then to Denham 2 ½ miles arrived at Waterloo to see the 9 tram puffing out and perforce had to sit & wait for the next with instruction to change at Eastleigh. Then before reaching there sleep overcame me & I wakened up to find myself at Southampton - had an argument with the
Porter avowing the train diddnt stop there. Took another train to Portsmouth & another to where the Princess Margaret ferry took us across to Ryde thence to Shanklin. Went to sleep again & lost my precious ticket. Much to the consternation of
(then to my fellow
September 5 Thursday
Cont on Aug 1st
passengers & the amusement of the Porter & myself. I gave my name & address in & glancing down saw it written like this - Miss A Donnell No 1 aaharfield
Shanklin is the most delightful spot one could wish to see so clean & well kept just at present it is overflowing with pleasure seekers as I found to my cost when I went to seek a bed for the night & had the greatest difficulty in getting one from the largest Hotels & boarding houses I was repeatedly turned away & just as I was about to give up searching & thinking I would have to have a night on a seat on the esplanade I found one in a private house. I was never so thankful for
August 1 Thursday
from Sept 5th
anything as I was for that bed. I just tossed into it & slept soundly for 11 hours when the lady brought in the nicest cup of tea & delicious bread & butter I immediately got up & and 8.30 was on my way to Ventnor a walk of 4 to 5 miles but part of the way was through the landslip a landslip that has been converted into the most beautiful dells & woods. And I just loved breathing in the fresh sea air. The scenery is very very pretty the whole way and the Island well deserving its name The Garden of England, Shanklin I liked best though
September 10 Tuesday
September 11 Wednesday
My day off
Had a lovely day at Oxted. In the pretty little old fashioned village in Surrey with Mrs Robjohns She had been staying there for 6 weeks in Ye Old Bell Inn 500 years old.
The dear had a lovely dinner beautiful Chicken &Dinkey came in late with some delicious grapes. She has been giving lessors in sketching to some children two of her pupils being the Austin Chamberlains.
September 12 Thursday
September 13 Friday
Have got a silly old ear ache.
September 14 Saturday
September 15 Sunday
Mary leaves Italy to-day for leave & expects to arrive on Thursday. Also Wakely & Barry. I am looking forward to seeing them.
September 16 Monday
Twas just beautiful to waken up this a.m. to find the ear ache gone. Twas a small abscess & it gave me gyp I was delighted that it broke for was reporting sick to-day (otherwise).
The Hospital is getting very busy again. Gathering them in to send away by the next boat.
September 17 Tuesday
September 18 Wednesday
September 19 Thursday
Myra & I have the day off so go to London hoping to meet the girls at Berners but they haddent arrived so we did some shopping I invested £2 in Kerchiefs they are so pretty then we lunched at a place in The Strand an old Gentleman.
October 2 Wednesday
Sister Betts Wedding Day. I had an invitation and everything was very nice indeed - she was married at the Pres. Church in Upper George
St by Colonel Shannon.
October 3 Thursday
October 21 Monday
My poor old diary - with the best of intentions I havent made an entry for ages and I have missed many interesting things but really I dont ever remember fighting so against time every day seems more than full. The long days on just fly and for a fortnight we have had very sick Influenza patients in with the eye boys Its a terrible flu. The worst I have come in contact with. It starts with an ordinary cold and if neglected some turn into a general aching with severe pains in the small of the back and at the back
October 20 Sunday
of the head also great tenderness over the balls of the eyes T usually 103 to 105 - . Then almost without warning an acute Pneumonia sets in which makes it hard to combat. We lost one of the dearest boys that way & so suddenly. Sergent Bradford from Murray Bridge
October 22 Tuesday
Yesterday (Trafalgar Day) Oscar Asche and his wife Lily Brayton entertained 600 Australians wounded at the Chu-Chin-Chow and several Sisters As it was my day off I was offered a ticket & went It was simply beautiful & everybody enjoyed it so. I had a seat 10/6 in the front Stall with the Troops. At the first interval tea sandwiches & cakes were handed around and enjoyed. Then when it was over every Soldier was handed a packet of cigarettes Players with Oscar Asches compliments. It was a most enjoyable day and Mr Asche is going to try &
October 23 Wednesday
arrange Sunday concerts for Aus. Soldiers at "His Majestys". He says the Americans have concerts for theirs so why not we for ours one boy called out. "Hes worthy of an Aussie anyway" - Sir Phillip McBride spoke a few words. Apol for the absence of Mr Hughes and Hon. A Fisher. Mr Asche replied . Said he was an Aussie & it gave he & his wife great pleasure to have the Australians there that afternoon. Then he read out part of Germanys reply to P- Wilson and knew how the Aussies enjoyed a sense of humour & they had done their part in bringing about that message to P.W. "The German Government trusts that the President will approve
October 24 Thursday
no demand that would be irreconcilable with the with the honour of the German people.
October 25 Friday
October 26 Saturday
October 27 Sunday
Sister Leitch & I went into Southwell Gardens to visit some of the sick ones with the flu. Then we went to the Weigh House Church & heard the Rev. Orchard D.D. One of the best sermons I have heard in my life & quite a unique & uncommon service though I think it is a Church of England Church. The Minister took off his surplice to deliver the Sermon.
October 30 Wednesday
October 31 Thursday
My Birthday Went to spend it with Stella Then we went to London & looked at the pretty shops - had afternoon tea Then when seeing Stella into her train Met Miss Finlay & she told us the sad news of Miss Miles Walkers death from Influenza at Sutton Veny. My word we have lost a friend she was one that was loved by all who knew her.
November 5 Tuesday
Matron & I went to Miss Miles Walkers funeral at Sutton Veny.
November 6 Wednesday
November 7 Thursday
Received Adas Cable saying Stewart accident fatal. Eric gone front. Felt very upset all day dear old Stewart Wrote at once to Ross.
November 8 Friday
Great discussions in the ward to-day. Will the Germans accept our terms or not.
November 9 Saturday
November 10 Sunday
The Kaiser has chucked his job & the wars over.
Had an inoculation for Influenza & as per usual much against my will.
November 11 Monday
The Armistice is signed - The guns went off at midday Theres a certain amount of quiet excitement with most of us some are overjoyed I wish I could feel happy but Im terribly depressed - am thinking of Ross & Stewart - & how things have changed
Evening The Sisters who went to London & said there was great rejoicing everything packed & people shouting a band was playing down Oxford St & an Aussie & Jock danced together all the way along the Street. Two Sisters at Oxford Circus
amidst in the crowd ran into a big tall Australian without any teeth who said "Here I am
November 12 Tuesday
the wars over & not any of the girls kissing me. The Sisters hurried on
November 13 Wednesday
Day off Stayed in bed till mid-day. Then walked to Northwood & back 6 miles. It very pretty all the way.
November 14 Thursday
November 15 Friday
Sister King - Carney - BobTown & I went into London to celebrate the festivities a bit & then go to the Queens Hall in the evening where Australia was having her evening Mr Hughes I thought spoke well kept mainly to facts Mr Joseph Cook also spoke about the work the Aus. Navy had done & to my surprise he told us that the first shot that was fired in the war was by an Australian in Aus. waters & one of the last was by our flying Airmen.
November 16 Saturday
November 17 Sunday
Went to London to see Sister Leitch at Southwell Gardens & then on to Christ Church to hear the Rev R.J. Campbell again. He does hold one so. Strange but its just 12 months to the day since I heard him last.
November 18 Monday
November 26 Tuesday
Had a party in the ward. It was so nice & the boys loved it. [indecipherable] snapped it & put underneath. The Victory Tea party (not rationed) Ward 36. Myra sang so nicely & the sisters were dears the way they came & helped to cut Sandwiches & entertain. Then in the midst of things Sgt Gilbert got up & made a nice speech then all of a sudden as I was half sheltering by beautiful Bess at the far end of the ward I heard Myras voice call out loudly in the crowd "Anne come along and get your present". I suddenly
November 25 Monday
Sprang to attention & walked down & received a lovely ivory backed brush & come. A present from the boys Everyone said it was a lovely party but we all regretted Major Browns absence.
December 3 Tuesday
Went this afternoon with Miss Steddall to St Dunstans. First we went over the workshops where the poor blind boys work away with a will at matt making basket making boot-making & other things. Then we went to the poultry farming & others having lessons in type writing & brail There were several of our dear Diggers there with their other comrades English Canadians Scotch & others What impressed me was that there was a beautiful spirit of cheerfulness &
December 4 Wednesday
contd on 1st
of helping one another everywhere. I just felt I wanted to give myself to one of them & let them use my lights for what they wanted And what I think is that it is every ones duty to step above the surface of things & see & know what those dear boys lives are going to be in comparison with others so that one can help them not only with money but in numberless other ways.
To-day a Pte Payne was ad to 36 both legs gone, then I have a prisoner of war a Loepold Morriss
December 1 Sunday
who has been 23 months in Germany. My he can tell of some cruel treatment by the Germans how they were so hungry that they would have their ration of bread on the [indecipherable] so as not a crumb should be wasted - how they would quarrel over cabbage stumps & potato peelings - & for the least thing the dogs would be let loose on them inside their barbed wire cage with an electric wire of high voltage so there was no power of escape Then they would be shot for next to nothing This Corp was
December 2 Monday
ordered to go & work in the salt mines but he was sick & got out of it that way When the N.C.Os objected to working in the mines & said they the Germans had not the right to ask them No they said but we expect you to volunteer & if you dont well punish you.
Our boys one & all speak so well of the Red Cross parcel how they have to thank the red cross that they are alive to-day Miss Chomley especially
December 5 Thursday
Bess & I have the day off & go to Oxford We enjoyed it immensely both being lovers of Englands old treasures though we only had 4 hrs there we saw quite a lot first went to Christ Church College & at the entrance a man said he had been showing people over it for 54 years & would we like to be shown over: but time being limited we first saw the dining Hall. Theres the best of everything here the guide says solid silver cut glass the best damask bordered with Cardinal Wolsleys hat & the centre Tudor roses. The portraits all around the walls of different
December 6 Friday
men educated. There are some treasured paintings 2 of Romneys originals & the guide felt very proud to show us Charles Dodgsons (Lewis Carroll) whom he knew well then Dr Fells whom he haddent much admiration for.
There are some beautiful windows in Christ Church Chapel by Burne-Jones & one by a 16th Cent Dutch man Abraham Van En- Then the windows in the University C by him too were even more beautiful & we loved Bessye Shelleys Memorial saw the outside of the rooms of the Prince of Wales
December 7 Saturday
My Sisters Birthday how well I remember it last year
At Magdalen College
December 8 Sunday
Dear old Bess has received her orders for Transport - & goes on
Monday Wednesday. I will miss her.
December 13 Friday
251 Davey Street
Miss E.P. Dowling
off Woolwich Road
Hunters Hill N.S.W.
December 14 Saturday
Tel 1009 Canterbury
C/o Mr Riggall
51 Walter St
December 15 Sunday
Had a day at my trunk packing.
December 16 Monday
December 17 Tuesday
Went to Christies to see the wonderful red Cross pearls they are just too beautiful for words then met Stella & Gerald had afternoon tea with them.
London is more crowded than ever Masses of people everywhere below ground & above in trains & Tubes everywhere crowded.
December 18 Wednesday
Dear old Mitch turned up at Harefield for Duty to-day. A very pleasant surprise.
It was interesting
Lock Long Torpoedoes tested tested - British Navy Targets various spaces for all are made at Greenwich fire them at a distance 1000 yards & a depth of 12 feet.
December 19 Thursday
Day off got up early & caught the 8.40 train to Leicester to see Mrs Smart & family. Hilda met me & first we had a delightful cup of coffee & tarts (not rationed) then we saw some lovely shops I bought some blouse lengths & teazle wool. Went to the factory & then to the Home for dinner It was sad to find such a change in Mrs Smart who now never leaves her room & is quite helpless. The time passed so very quickly & I had to leave go by the 5 to 5 train back.
December 20 Friday
December 24 Tuesday
Xmas eve We have been just as busy as we can be preparing for this Xmas. It has been giving & receiving all sorts of pleasures in the shape of partys Balls bridge tournaments etc etc & now anyone with responsibility is heard saying "I will be thankful when Xmas is over" I was too - there was such a lot to do & the competition in the best decorative wards involves a lot of work.
December 25 Wednesday
It is the most delightful Xmas everybody is so happy.
January 5 Sunday
Harefield is closing down fast. The Hosp ship went this morning & following that 8 Sisters are warned to go on Transport I am to go on leave Tuesday.
Its come just what we hoped & longed for but at the same time its a break a terrible break parting from our Active Service friends & the Diggers. I am in a party of 10 going on the Margha No one has heard of the boat before so am prepared for the worst Sister Radcliffe is in charge. Yesterday went to Streatham & said good-bye to all the Robjohns
Later. Never trouble troubles We are on the Ship & its perfectly beautiful 2 in a cabin top deck cabins too & a Stewardess to look after the ten of us for she has
[Part only of the entry on this page]
no other passengers we are taking orthopaedic cases so there will be no cryings of Cherubims. Itll do me - & me - & its adorable & divine & Im so happy all the expressions - & I have never been on a
boat ship that gives
[January 7 Tuesday - whilst this date is printed in the diary the entry is not consistent with the date as printed]
[This entry is also only part only of the total entry]
such promise of comfort. Its a
P & O late British Indian line then we hope to have enough work to keep us in touch with the boys. Its great
The Ullysses sails too soon She looks a nice boat but I like ours best.
19th We felt - the engine going at 7 a.m. so jumped up to have a farewell look at England -The trip down on Friday was then the same Devonshire scenery that we welcomed so 3 ½ years ago. It is winter now & not at its best still
it has its Special Charm the Villages with its prominent mark always stand out - Then the red cliffs of Devon are uncommon.
20th In the bay of Biscay & the ship is tossing some we are all down, hopelessly & helplessly sea sick its so horrid.
21st Much the same There is not much work on board 2 ½ hours with 4 of us doing dressings is practically all there is to do at present. The dear old Diggers its a treat to have something to do for them. Im afraid we have a strict and not very popular O.C. on
board Major Freeman from St Peters College Theres a dear little Pomeranian been smuggled on & he says he must have it executed The Medical O.C. is
a much kinder & is using all his persuasive powers to save the doggies life I battle too but Im afraid its no good.
This is the doggies History A soldier brought it from Australia as a pet It went through France with him until he was (skittled) killed then his mate took the dog & looked after it & vows he will take it back to the boys Mother so he
smuggled it to England then from England to the ship somehow the O.C. discovered it & gave orders for its death. The boy has it well educated he opens a kit bag & the little thing runs in & never murmurs until it is let out They have a guard of about 14 on it night & day so I think if anything happens to it it will be as much as the O.Cs life is worth.
22nd Its the loveliest day to-day blue skies & warm sunshine - No England you dont know what you miss by not having much of either
I feel as if I have taken a new lease of life.
The Mediterranean is not at its blue best but grey & angry - & the ship not being laden is tossing & creaking at the will of the wind & waves consequently we are more or less helpless & hopelessly sea sick its horrid.
Theres a ship "Herdfordshire" Bibby line keeping us company across the angry waves. There is keen competition for a race but she is laden & making head way.
24 Our rival is falling behind. We had a wireless to say the Ullysses sailed 8 hours
after us but has Influenza on board & has to stop at Gibralta to take off the worst cases its hard luck. So far we have no sickness. The average Mileage per 24 hours is about 300 some days 320-321-343-320-286-250 320
We have gone ahead & can now only see a speck of smoke in the far far distance from the Herdfordshire
29 - Awakened at daylight & saw land - at 8 we are into the mouth of the Canal at
Suez Port Said. Its a glorious day and looking in every direction there is a Stretch of flatness flat Egypt The
boys call out to the Nigger Sieda Walid - & the response is Hollo Soon boats are alongside & they are bargaining again with their cheap rubbish & the silly boys will buy them orange boats come along & they are a treat but soon the police hunt them off & they row away for their lives then later a few more daring ones come again when the police are not about then when they come our boys keep the police at a distance with pelting potatoes at them until they get all they want We ate oranges all day lovely
At mid-day the coaling begins The niggers are as black as the coal with clothing scant & ragged when the barges come near pennies are thrown down & I have never seen anything so funny as the scrambling for them & the din of gibberish is terrific which keeps up all the time of coaling. I was thankful when they struck at 6 p.m. & diddnt come back until 6 a.m.
The Herdfordshire sailed gleefully passed us this afternoon and the Ullysses has caught up & anchored near
30th 1-19. The Ullysses sailed passed us at the mid-day with loud cheering
The coaling is finished. At 4 & we pass on but Im sorry we miss seeing the most interesting part of the Canal after dinner theres coo-eeing going on from both sides of the Canal going to one Arbour some call out No Tassie says one but Shes been torpedoed says another "Who are you? from the ship? 10th L.H. (this is when we passed Contara both sides of the Canal are bordered with bell tents for quite a long way.
31st Got up at Sunrise to see what was to be seen Pretty houses - here & there Palm trees & the purple haze on the sandy mountains Yes - the life of Egypt is light & fascinating. We regretted not being able to go ashore.
100 L.H. men were taken on this afternoon
We are anchoring by the Ullysses again hear she has Diptheria on board now. We sail at 4 p.m. leaving her behind & after 100 L.H. men have come on board.
See Dec 26th.
Hope to see Mount Sinai
[This is a continuation of the above entry and only part of the entry on the page]
Suez Jan 31st 1919.
100 L.H. men just came on board & two Diggers talking.
1 Yes there fine big chaps all right.
2 I can see some fun down in F block now when fatigues are going on
1 The 3rd divi wont be in it.
2 No not with the L.H. gentlemen
1 See how that chap weares his 3 stripes on his shoulder.
2 1 1919
have all appeared in white this morning & looked very fresh & nice - & we are all donning summer things
A mock wedding ceremony took place to-night which was great fun.
2nd Our 3rd Sunday on board Its hot & close I am having a week off Duty.
feb 11th Arrived at Colombo
" 12 Went on shore last evening. Had a lovely Rickshaw ride along the beach to the Galle face then through the streets to Victoria Gardens. Saw the Mosque of Buddha. Had dinner with Mr. Allen and Simo & then back to the boat. The Ulysses is alongside again came in at midnight.
We all went ashore this a.m. - I did some shopping & helped
the or gave my advice to anyone that wanted it in the way of buying silks etc. Its great fun beating them for their goods. In one shop they came down
from £13 to £3 for 2 pieces of jewellery.
At 10.30 5 of us took a Motor & went to Mt Lavinia. It was beautiful All thought the native quarters which are clean and romantic looking I just love Colombo.
We were off again at 4 p.m. headed southwards only 10 days and then Australia really and truly it is too good to be true.
14th It is so hot & close. No one has any energy We passed over the Equator at 12 noon to-day.
15 Every one still tired & listless
16th Sunday Had a great gathering on deck this a.m. Mr Agnew gave an address to the Troops on the Imperial League advising all to become Members. Then spoke on the Repatriation Scheme - & its many advantages then spoke of the land & advised the boys strongly on that I thought he was never going to stop but it was interesting we Sisters sat in deck chairs. Sewed & listened.
20th received a wireless from my sister in Perth this morning it gave me just a
lovely feeling that Australia and home was really and truly near only 3 more days & then Australia.
22 = I just cant sleep for the anticipation of the pleasure of seeing my folk in Perth at least will have a few hours with them and then theres the joy of setting foot on & seeing them part of Gods own country again We have been seeing the Southern Cross for some nights but to-day and surely
it cannot be imagination but theres a scent being wafted across to us some cannot detect it but I can distinctly its an uncommon
sce scent bur we fancy it savours of trees so we just call it the small of Australia only a few hours now I have applied for special leave whilst the Ship is in Port.
23rd A thunder storm passed over last night & somehow it predicted a warning of disappointment. I awakened at 4.30 a.m. & thought I would
[Part of the entry only]
Watch the sun rise over Australia. So I got up every few minutes until
7 but there
[Page 276] [Part of the entry on this page otherwise it is a reference to 25 December]
was no sun
& The morning was sultry & somewhat cloudy. The Ship had anchored about 4 miles out. And then I heard someone call out We cant get off they are just going to take off the W.A. troops & we are off again & calling in at Adelaide for coal I couldnt believe it we are a clean ship not a case of sickness on board and surely
there was some sort of a welcome in store on coming up on deck I hear the Engineer a true Scotchman chaffing the boys "What do you think of this & your Australia now" Dont bite said one of the boys Australias ours and itll do us. Well get off after the Medical Officer has done his inspection A little later that is completed - a farce really the Diggers line up display their hands & are dismissed I missed seeing the troops but our turn comes & we do the same then a roumour "Were a clean ship so theres a hope of going
into the wharff". That faint hope is soon dashed though for a black ugly old tug comes along & off go our W.A. boys with cheers from their ship mates.
Can it really be true - can one ever realise that not a smile is given not a flag indicating anything except the Australian one with the Yellow dash on it) not a sign of welcome. I do feel so sorry for the Diggers one Dad of 52 nearly wept He said "I had to come away for it fairly made me heave to see those dear lads full of anticipation why
they cattle would have been treated better
If only a welcome message had been sent across by the way I did hear that the Red Cross sent one saying Welcome Home sorry you cannot come ashore (but the R.C. has always done the nicest things. If only a few cases of Apples or Grapes had been sent across it would have shown something of a thought it is not the people I am sure.
After taking 8 hours to get of about 50 boys we sail on our way. I could weep & weep with the ache of disappointment. Cest la Guerre - said someone but it isnt.
c/o McLeod & Co
28 Dalhousie Square
[indecipherable] Douglas Harveyht
Exchange c/- 35 or 124 [indecipherable]
Llandudno 11-22 4-15
Bellsy Cock 6-20
Mr A.R. Sime (Andy)
Conway back 2 6 or 3-45 from to Llan Junc 3-50
C/o G Holdsworth
65 Macleay Street
Carny Robe S.A.
Mr R Beilby
255 Bunbury Rd
C/o R.J. Adams
Bank of Australasia
Stellas home add
C/o Mrs Thompson
7 Vivian St South
Pte Brain The Rectory Korumburra Victoria
Mr J.P. Healy 47 Moore St East Perth
Mr Fleming Elphinstone Victoria
Mrs R.R. Keynes Keyneton
8920 Bombardier J Hughes
104 Howitzer Battery
Pte J.E. McMillan Milang S.A.
424 Cpl W.J. Ion Urquhart Queenstown Tasmania
Phone Central 899
Beautiful Bess Address
27 Part St
3 Rotherwick Road
129 Phillip St
C/o Mrs Pike The House on the Hill
Mr Hugh Cummings
1181 Hay St
Time there was but it is gone:
Time there may be who can tell?
Time there is to act upon;
Act then now and all is well.
Delay in filling in this coupon has invalidated many claims.
There is so much bad in the best of us,
And so much good in the worst of us,
That it ill behoves any of us to find fault with the rest of us.
[Transcribed by Rosemary Cox for the State Library of New South Wales]