1st October 1918 (2) – 2nd October 1918
Colonel Henderson Drunk, Douglas Commandeers Supplies and a Sick Patrol
All material produced or reproduced here and throughout this work is the sole copyright of the author and the family of Doctor D.C.M. Page MC.
1st October 1918 Part 2 – Read Part 1 here
“On the afternoon of October 1st two boat loads of rations came up from Yemetskoe, and the Colonel arrived down from ‘the line’. He was pretty well soaked with rum, and proceeded to ‘down’ some more which Perriot unfortunately let him have. The Colonel brought an R.A.F. officer with him who had crashed on the road near forward H.Q. He got a bullet through his engine, but wasn’t hurt himself.
About 9 p.m. the River Hospital Ship ‘Vologjanin’ arrived and I went down to meet her. Capt. Griffiths was in charge, and Sister Valentine was on board too. She was in Petrograd when the Bolos. started their tricks, and fled with her mother and sisters towards Archangel. She lost them on the way however, and hasn’t seen them since, or heard from them either. When the British arrived in Archangel she offered her services as a nurse and has done excellent work out here for which she was awarded the Military Medal. She is a bright, cheery girl, her only fault being that she talks too much and too loudly. I had an excellent dinner aboard the lugger consisting of soup, fresh meat and vegetables, rice and red currants, bread, butter, and tea. It was the first real feed I had had since coming off the ‘City of Cairo’. I managed to persuade Griffiths to let me have a lot of medical stores. He had brought up none for me in spite of the fact that I had been insisting for them for weeks past! The stores he had were for the new Advanced Depot of Medical Stores at Beresniki. I got most of them! I also got a supply of stretchers, palliasses and medical comforts, so that now I would be able to run my hospital in fairly decent style.
The General arrived late at night and caught Col. Henderson as drunk as he possibly could be! I don’t know what happened at the interview but I believe that Col. H. got a good ticking off!
2nd October 1918
I was up early on the morning of the 2nd, and got all my stores unloaded with the help of ten Royal Scots, and a dozen carts. The ‘Vologjanin’ left about 7.30 a.m. I was going to have breakfast, consisting of porridge, bacon and eggs and coffee, on board but Griffiths said he couldn’t wait any longer – much to my disappointment. I got the hospital fixed up during the forenoon, and it looked quite decent by the afternoon. All the patients had a bottle of stout for dinner. I never saw a cheerier crowd in all my life before! I also gave them an extra ration of forty cigarettes.
Lt. Anderson returned with his men about noon. They were all absolutely done up, but I don’t think Anderson tried very hard to pull them together. He isn’t much of a sticker himself. He sent me a very pathetic note yesterday stating that all his men were sick, and what was he to do. So I told him to come back, and informed Scott as to what I had done. Five more cases came down at night, but they weren’t very bad. They were all medical cases.”
Find out about our connection with Dr Page and an introduction to his diary here