30th September 1916 Saturday

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“Saturday Sept 30th was a great day – our Ambulance Sports. I was on the Sports’ Committee, and we had many hectic days beforehand getting everything in order. The field had to be roped off, and marked out for the various races. We had it nicely decorated with Allied flags. Handicapping the entries was another trickish job. The men were very keen, and training went on far into the night for weeks beforehand! The Sports were a great success, and a big crowd from a wide area was present. The tug-of-war contest was most exciting, and the obstacle race provided a laugh for the onlookers.

130th Field Ambulance Winning Tug of War Team

The Winning Team at the Field Ambulance Sports held at Proven, Belgium, September 1916
Lt. Col. J.G.H.Davies D.S.O. on left & R.S.M. Stroud on right.

During the afternoon a Hun aeroplane attacked and set fire to a Belgian captive balloon not far off. The balloon came down in flames. One of the occupants escaped safely via parachute, but the other was burned to death. A dud anti-aircraft shell fell close to the sports’ field, and put the wind up everybody. It was funny to see so many people all ducking and waiting for the shell to explode – which it did not do, of course!

At night our Concert Party gave a very successful show. I appeared in Scottish items and got a fine reception.

Routine work went on all this time in the Ambulance. We generally had from 150 to 200 patients in hospital suffering from all sorts of ailments from slight wounds and septic fingers to pleurisy and influenza. We took it in turns to be orderly officer for the day, which meant that we couldn’t leave the premises, and had to attend to all sick of the unit, and new cases coming into hospital.”

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