27th February 1917 Tuesday
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“I was on duty at the Castle until 27th February, sitting on Medical Boards there, visiting sick soldiers home on leave, or going to such places as Jedburgh, Newcastleton, Winchburgh, etc., to board pensioners.”
This period of the war was a quiet time for Douglas. He was based at home at 22 Alba Street which was within 20 minutes’ walk of the Castle. Douglas refers a few times to “boarding”. This is a reference to what was clearly a military term for medical examinations or appearing before a medical board. The towns that he mentions travelling to were all reachable by train which is the most likely mode of transport that he would have used and he would have been granted an Army railway warrant for travel. It is interesting to note that in 2017 not all these journeys are possible by train because of the Beeching cuts. However there are currently plans for some of these routes to be reinstated.
Douglas refers to boarding pensioners. He doesn’t make this clear but we feel that what he is referring to is examining former service personnel or their dependants who had suffered injury or disability during service and were in receipt of a state pension and not necessarily those older people that were in receipt of an Old Age Pension which was introduced in 1909.
Find out about our connection with Dr Page and an introduction to his diary here