29th September 1918

A Busy Day. Frozen then Soaked, Hacked off a Leg with a Folding Knife and Commandeered all the Rum

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“But when I woke up on the morning of Sunday, the 29th, I had frozen feet, and my head was covered with white frost.

During the day I evacuated eleven Americans to Seletskoe. All were sick, except one poor chap who had a nasty shrapnel wound through the right knee. I amputated his leg in the open with a jack-knife having first of all chloroformed him. He had lost a lot of blood before I saw him, and was in a very bad state. I never thought he would reach Seletskoe alive, but I saw him later in the day, and he was quite cheery then. (In December I visited this man in 53rd Stationary Hospital, Archangel. He was very fit, and pleased with life.)

In the forenoon the Americans again tried to cross the river on rafts, but failed. Colonel Henderson was after the rum all day as usual. I took all the headquarters’ supply of rum down to my aid-post, telling the Colonel I must have it for the sick and wounded, but really taking it there to get it out of his way.

One of our planes flew over about eleven a.m. and dropped four heavy bombs on Kadish. Our guns fired a lot during the day, but the Bolos. sent back four shells for every one of ours.

Little arrived about 4 p.m. and I left for Seletskoe about six o’clock, arriving there shortly after ten o’clock. It was a long, wearisome journey through the dark, gloomy forest, and over the weird, silent marshes. It rained heavily nearly all the way too, and I was dead beat, dirty, hungry and soaked to the skin when I got into Seletskoe. After paying a visit to the temporary hospital to see that all the patients were comfortable, I went along to our old headquarters where I found Perot in bed. I had some bully-beef and biscuits, and was soon fast asleep on a stretcher.”

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