26th March 1917 Monday
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After immediately signing on again for another tour of duty, this time in Egypt, Douglas’s sojourn in Scotland came to an end. However, Egypt in the sun became an unfulfilled fantasy. The sun was swapped for more mud and rain as orders came to report back to the Western Front.
“On the 26th I was relieved by a Capt. MacDonald, and proceeded to France via London, Southampton and Havre. Whilst awaiting in the rest camp at Havre to be sent up to the Front, I developed influenza, and was carted off to the Officers’ Hospital in Havre. It was a most comfortable hospital in a large mansionhouse. Col Babington D.S.O., was in charge, and I was put into a nice sunny ward. Next bed to me was a Mr Merrylees – a Y.M.C.A. worker – from Paisley. He had a bad dose of bronchitis, and was glad to lie in bed, being an elderly man.”
At the time, large hotels and buildings like schools and casinos were an obvious choice for wartime hospitals with their large rooms and large bright windows.
Today’s Le Havre leaves no trace of the Casino or the Officers’ hospital, the modern esplanade of Boulevard Albert has been totally modernised.
Find out about our connection with Dr Page and an introduction to his diary here