2nd March 1916 Thursday
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Today there is no entry in Douglas’s diary.
Although the men from his regular unit the 130th (St. John) Field Ambulance were kept busy at Mesplaux in the cold weather building a new standing for horses and by the end of the week they had built a new joiner’s shop, life in the trenches for Douglas’s temporary company the 14th Welsh, was busy in a more terrifying way with plenty of action against the enemy.
I’m sure there were plenty of distractions to take our man’s mind off less important things than a machine gun bullet pinging over his head, whilst trying to stem the flow of blood from an unfortunate victim. Today however I’m sure his family back home in Scotland would have had him more in mind than usual.
Today was Douglas’s 22nd birthday. No mention of cake, no mention of greetings from home, no time to be thinking of himself when work was to be done.
It is edifying to think that at the age of only 22 this young man had only just completed medical school and then found himself plunged into the awful theatre of war in the trenches of Flanders. To gain not just life changing experience, but more medical experience, more quickly and under the most trying of conditions than anyone could have imagined. All before his life had really begun.
Find out about our connection with Dr Page and an introduction to his diary here