13th November 1918 Wednesday

An Obnoxious Pile

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“On Wednesday 13thNovember, I received a wire from the A.D.M.S. which was as follows:- ‘One officer, fourteen other ranks R.A.M.C. proceed evening train 13thObozerskaya area. They will take over charge detention hospital Obozerskaya.’ I was astounded when I read this, and so was Capt. Rosenfeldt, for there was nothing said about what was to be done with Rosenfeldt and his men, at present running the hospital. Still, I thought that sooner or later the A.D.M.S. would make a change, as the hospital was in such a filthy state, and was so badly run by Rosenfeldt. I immediately wired off to the A.D.M.S as follows: ‘Please wire instructions as to disposal of American Ambulance unit here, Urgent.’ The A.D.M.S.’s reply to that wire was: ‘Use as ambulance not as detention hospital,’ which reply helped me such a lot! I had now to find accommodation somewhere for Rosenfeldt and his men and suggested to him that he should move into the school at the Forestry Village temporarily. This he refused to do without consulting his superior officer! (I thought I was that distinguished gentleman!) Then a Capt. Pile, a most obnoxious Yankee M.O. arrived on the scene, and gave orders to Capt. Rosenfeldt to repair to box cars which were standing empty on the line outside the hospital. There were no stoves in these cars, and as it was snowing heavily, and very cold, I tried to impress upon Capts. Pile, and Rosenfeldt the absurdity of putting men into them in such weather, when they had the chance of good billets indoors, but they wouldn’t listen to me. So into the box cars they went, and when both British and American H.Q. heard about this I got the blame for putting them into such a plight, but was able to clear myself satisfactorily. The whole thing was originally the fault of our A.D.M.S. for not first of all consulting with American Medical H.Q. as to the disposal of Rosenfeldt and party.”

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