31st January 1918 Thursday

Dazed and Distended and a Pretty Girl!

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 “My duties consisted of attending to the daily sick parades, and looking after the sick and slightly wounded in our small hospital. I also got together the Ambulance Concert Party, and had many a happy hour rehearsing with the boys.

The lady and gentleman in whose house I was billeted gave the Colonel and I a lunch one day. It was a great feast consisting of oysters, fish, beef and vegetables, sweets and coffee. We also had countless wines thrust upon us, beginning with Sauterne, and following on with Burgundy, Bordeaux, Beer, Champagne, Liqueurs and Gin! I felt rather dazed and distended after it all. Some music followed, and then tea was served! I left about 5.30 p.m. after about five hours of continuous feasting! The three daughters of our host and hostess were present also. One was rather pretty.

On the 31st January I was sent to the 17th Royal Welsh Fusiliers to act as their medical officer, whilst their regular man was on leave. The Battalion was stationed in Estaires, so that I was quite close to the Ambulance.”

It was like home from home and a life that he had become very used to away from the comforts of life in Edinburgh. Life on the Western Front was never going to be a holiday, but men will make the best of any situation. Nevertheless life could sometimes have seemed a little bizarre. One moment you were dodging a shrapnel shell or shaking with fear under attack by gas or being bombed from above. Next thing, for those lucky enough, you could be being wined and dined in the parlour of a sympathetic host with some attractive daughters to distract your attention.

Estaires at the beginning of the war

Estaires at the beginning of the war

Find out about our connection with Dr Page and an introduction to his diary here

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