25th March 1919 Tuesday

Kennedy on the Khalyan and Disconcerting News

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“On Tuesday March 25th many alarming pieces of news came to my ears, and I seriously began to wonder whether I would ever see ‘Blighty’ again. I paid a visit to the hospital ship in the afternoon to see Kennedy. Now he is a brother Scot and I thought that he might cheer me up a bit with his conversation, belonging, as he does, like myself, to Auld Reekie. Instead of cheering me up, he put the ‘wind up’ me properly. He told me that a party of over 1000 Bolsheviks were marching on Solombola from the direction of Murmansk with 5000 rifles and 17 machine guns. Some of them he said, were already in Solombola, and on a given date, they were to blot out all British and Russian officers, and then invite the troops to revolt. He also told me that our great attack on the Bolsheviks on the Railway Front had failed completely, and that we had lost four officers killed, and 400 other ranks killed and wounded. Ten shots, he said, had been fired on British monitors at Solombola last night (I heard them), and three civilians had been murdered in the Archangel streets by Bolos. last night. Needless to say, I was most depressed when I left the hospital ship, but the arrival of a small mail from Blighty at night brightened matters up again considerably.”

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