4th September 1918 Wednesday

Russians treated (one with rum!) and sent to Vymuga

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“I was called out at 5 o’clock next morning – Wednesday September 4th – to attend to a wounded Russian. He was shot through the left upper arm – the bullet having come out behind the left shoulder. He had been shot at close range, as his tunic, and the skin around the wound were burned. It may have been self-inflicted, but no report came down with him, so after dressing him up, I sent him off to Vymuga in a drosky. It was a nasty cold, raw morning, and I soon had a roaring fire going.

Capt. Merchant with his marines went up to relieve Lt. Anderson’s party who returned about one o’clock. The men looked rotten, and some of them were absolutely ‘all-in’. I took care of two of the worst cases in my Aid Post – a cosy little bivouac which I had got the drosky drivers to put up in the forenoon. These boys – they were scarcely nineteen – could scarcely stand and were in a state of utter collapse.

In the forenoon I had a long chat with one of the French Officers, an excellent young chap – Lt. B……….. , who was horribly ‘fed-up’ with the whole business. And no wonder! For here we are, a miserable little force, hopelessly outnumbered (five to one) by the enemy, and up against an enemy who knows the country well, has guns, cavalry and telephones, whereas we have none of these necessities. What a game it is! The French Officer said:- ‘C’est très comique, mais très triste aussi’! Most of the Bolsheviks up against us here are criminals, who were released from the convict settlements at the time of the Revolution. They are led by a Hun Officer, and a Russian peasant told us that they had four field guns.

In the afternoon I rode into Vymuga in a drosky to see about establishing a small hospital there. I selected our old billet for the purpose. There were three very clean and comfortable rooms upstairs, and the old lady of the house was a decent old sort. I put Pte. Turner, R.A.M.C. in charge.

It started to rain heavily about three o’clock, and I had a very unpleasant ride back to camp. It rained all night, and I don’t think anybody got any sleep, except Lt. Anderson, who somehow or other managed to hit upon the only dry spot in our rickety bivouac. I was absolutely soaked through, and felt utterly miserable.

About midnight I was called out to see a Russian soldier who had been sent down from the out-posts. He was suffering from extreme exhaustion, and was a very sorry sight. I gave him a good ‘tot’ of rum, and sent him on to Vymuga.”

Lt Anderson (diary)

Lt Anderson (diary)

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