DA Ballantyne War Diary 1942-1945

Captain D. Allan Ballantyne. NZMC.
C/o 229 Main Rd.,
Dunedin, NZ.

Sunday 20 December 42   R.L. 119 Newtown, Berlin.   Having a spell of most unseasonable weather. All this month it has been warm & fine, a few flakes of snow only on two days. This time last year at Ramsdorf we had 2 ft of snow & low temps. The German staff here held their normal Xmas fete last evening & apparently had plenty of wine, there are but few about today. Had a rehearsal of our songs for the concert on Boxing Day. They seem to be fair – any way we be as good as can be with Fernhead who has not a very good voice for lead & Bratty, who wont let himself go. Erschins makes a good tenor. However the general effect is pleasing. We’re doing ‘Lost Chord’, ‘Mary’, ‘What shall we do with a drunken sailor’, Hullaballoballay’, ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’, ‘Polly Wolly Doodle’. To all of which I have written harmony & for one or two added a little to the interest on the piano. ‘Billy Boy’ as a spare. Received a Best & Taylor Physiological basis of Medical Practice & the other day a Starting Physiology & a bio-chemistry book so have a very good library. Am at present reading Wiltshires Price. Mail very poor – my last letter from Joyce 20 August some weeks since. A surface from Robert in September & none from Mother for weeks – I think the authorities here are holding them, tho’ tis said the mail

restrictions are […] – all Red Cross Parcels are stopped owing to the occupation of southern France by the German. However we are all right here at present tho’ unless some arrangements are made we shall be short of food, as the rations don’t really supply enough. I think I have been given away by a British soldier – piecing things together. Know the man. However am quite within my rights over everything. – The news from the German papers is satisfactory at the moment. – There is heavy fighting between the Don & Wolga & in the middle sector about Reshev. It appears that the 8th Br. Army is now in Tripolitania advancing towards Tripoli – On Tunis things seem very quiet. The Japanese are doing nothing – one has the impression they’re either fully occupied in China or satisfied with what they’ve won & have decided at the moment any large undertaking is too costly. – Myself very well & in good spirit – am very tired of this country.

Monday 21 December 42
Paper. Conference between Herr Hitler, Count Ciano & Marshall Caballero & the announcement by the latter that neither bombs or Churchill’s or Eden’s speeches can affect Italy. However at this time such a conference may appear to one as significant. In Tunisia & Libya reconnaissance activity only. – In Russia hard defence fighting on the Don – & elsewhere Russian attacks. – Weather here very nice.  – Shortest day. Daylight about 8 am & not very much sun in our room – but up till 1.45pm when the buildings opposite obscured the rays. No O.Ps. & I have only some 6 patients. Aussannaire is to be repatriated & they have asked for someone to replace him. He is very overcome with the news although he may have to wait for some months before departure. This afternoon examined my ward & wrote progress reports till 4pm then tea. An hours English with Aussannaire. Dinner which Miles excelled in. Tea with Elbay, Matic, Fosbrooke at 9pm, then wrote down some songs which Matic is most anxious to sing at the concert on Boxing Day. ‘How my […] etc. No mail for some weeks – last letters from Leslie Heyes & Bob. Latter seems very fit & well & will probably be in army after exams – which I presume means now. I suppose as a ‘medicin ausihare’ by French Fank. Have started on counterpoint again & am doing a little each day & also studying form. Bed this pm at 11.

Tuesday 22 December 42   We’ve got the shortest day past & from now on will have an increasing amount of daylight – now the weather is due to become bad any day. News: There is much talk of Roosevelt’s influence over England & North Africa & suchlike – & the papers this morning print gleefully a report of some British Israeliti congress in which Britain & America are stated to belong to Israel. – However as we have probably a small amount of indigenous blood – Saxon, Celt, Scot, Pict – a little Norwegian & Norman blood I’m afraid the Israeliti element is rather crowded out. In France there is a developing anti Semitism – due to the German of course. Matic tells me it is now impossible to speak of any work done by Jews, e.g. one cannot discuss Trend. But the Germans get his ideas & knowledge second hand thro’ a German who worked with him & who is now resident in Switzerland. There is very heavy fighting between Don & Volga, a push to the West of Reshev & a breakthrough with retreat of German in Don sector. In Libya & Tunisia local battle activity only. Today cool fine with no wind – no mail as yet. Shall hope to see some before Xmas.

Wednesday 23 December 42   Weather continues same – no snow. Managed to get 16 bottles beer from French priest so we shall have 20 or so + something a little stronger. Storlag have prohibited us having a concert with the French, & have also excluded Serbs & Russians – a severe blow to us as we are producing almost the entire show for an audience of little more than 18-20. All efforts to get a dispensation have failed. We inquired if 401 could attend for it, but they have moved & the nearest Kommando is Gooshieren, which is too distant. Palandri 714, Redmond 401 & possibly Steve Wright 517 have moved to Teltow area we hear. Wessendorf, now a stabsanf arrived back today & saw my one OP. – He is apparently leaving again on 8th or 18th Dec. for which I’m sorry as he’s much easier to work with than Henn who prefers to ride roughshod over everybody, including his own colleagues & subordinates. No news of note today.

Thursday 24th December 42   The ‘camp’y today has made an effort to keep out controversial stuff & has a sermon of Xmas by a naval padre (German). Not so the German papers to complain bitterly of our attack on Quisling last night or the night before & write a little hysterically & indulge in much common sentimentality over our brutality. They conveniently forget London, Coventry and many other places. There is more vituperation poured over the Jews. Several people arrested for ‘black marketing’ although a German

Illustrated paper prints a page of ‘him & runs’ sketches on the same subject, & asks ‘what is the use of money?’ No work today & no O.Ps. for me. We received an excellent Xmas ration of Red Cross. 1 Xmas parcel + ½ a Canadian & ½ an old Xmas parcel of last year so we shall feed very well. The French had mass at 6 pm & dinner at 7 before which Barker, Wiltshire, Fernhead, Ersekins & I had a ‘sniftah’ 2 to be exact. appel 8 at which King displayed a ready wit in following up a black discourse with the compliments of the season. – Our friends along with Maki visited us towards midnight. Our lads sang carols – the Russians below sang & also the French. – Went to sleep about 1am.

Friday 25 December 42   Xmas Day. Presume my Joyce will be at church & then to the beach for lunch or Kai. Got up at 9 am for appel & at 9.45 presided over a short Xmas service where we sang hymns & carols & Sgt Farne read the lesson as laid down in the prayer book. Went round wishing my chaps the best etc. & dishing out a few presents. Walked in court with King & Farne. Cold raw foggy day & and no wind. Little ice about but no snow. Lunch we had, a good soup, potatoes & a slice of beef each – the first real meat (German) I’ve had for 18 months & a piece of sausage – salmon & toast, biscuits & cheese with coffee. Retired to rest in afternoon till 4.

Concert this pm from 5-8 to an audience of some 30 only. Matic & Martilance & Fitoff permitted to come. Went off very well & my quartette sang quite decently. Wiltshire did the announcing. Retired to bed at 11pm.

Saturday 26 December   Appel at 9am & did little today. Spent morning in bed, afternoon read ‘Seven Tempest’. At 7pm dinner with our NCOs. Toasted the King. King W.O.1. Ersekins, Fernhead S/Sgts Tarne, Sgt David, Sgt Fosbrooke, Wilshire, Barker & I finished up at 11-12pm with Auld Lang Syne assisted by Asnon, Henri & G.

Sunday 27 December 42   Appel 9am then retired to bed for day – getting up at 4pm. Hurst came in & had tea with us but I’d forgotten all about service. Not too fit today.

Monday 28th December 42   Up for appel at 7.30am. One O.P. whom Hessendorf saw for me. This afternoon examined my ward & wrote progress notes. Entertained Elbay. Aussinnaire, Lanchon, Robert & Talbot to tea at 4pm. Snack dinner at 7.30. This pm wrote to Bill Carswell & to my Joyce. Bed with Price’s Medicine at 10pm.

Tuesday 29th December 42   Very cold (comparatively) frost now lies all day. – tho’ there is as yet no snow. One O.P. & round with Stabsargt. Wessendorf has an impetigo on the back of neck which he’s

healing with some of his ‘drops’ – I advised him to have some local Tr. Papers – Main article concerned with English Secret Service shameful murder of Darlan’ more or less freely translated. They seem to implicate us on the least pretext. It is possible that this man who was anti-English until his apparent reversion 2 mths ago was an enemy agent. We seem to have regarded him with suspicion & the Americans him in a bitter light. General Girand who takes over his command will be a much more satisfactory leader of the French from our point of view anyway. He has always been against the German, as instanced by his being kept P.O.W. until his escape. We seem to have suspected Darlan owing to the French Fleet never leaving Fouton in good time. The French papers maintain they were not able to obtain sufficient fuel but that appears improbable. The Communicae gives ‘heavy defence fighting on the front’ particularly between Don & Volga & reports 46 Russian tanks destroyed – Libya renewed battle activity – Tunisia little of note . Read some medicine – yesterday wrote Bill Carswell & to my Joyce.

Wednesday 30 December 42   First snow lying on ground when I pulled up blind at 9 today – not so cold as yesterday – 3 O.Ps. This afternoon worked for ¼ hr in court & read medicine & this evening Samson Wright. Did my hours interval with Aussannaire from 5-6. News today nil of note. Headlines speak of some U boat successes off the west coast of Africa. Bed with a book Panther by R.L. Haig-Brown at 10pm.

Thursday 31 December 42   Snow & moderately cool. Not much work – no O.Ps. This pm slept till 4. In evening a mock trial at which Barker & I gave medical evidence. David judge. Whole thing was rather poor. Waited up to see the New Year in. Went to bed at 12.30.

Friday 1 January 1943   First day of what will probably be a most important year in my life for we are expecting the war to take a more decisive form & possibly it may finish towards the end of this year. I am much more confident than last summer when we appeared to be somewhat inefficient (on land anyway). One of course must have one’s own private & perhaps selfish thoughts but I do want to get away from this POW life & to be with my Joyce again – am not happy & not terriblyunhappy here – one is […] oppressed with spells of boredom. Walked in court this morning. Sent Xmas cards just given us, to Mother & Joyce & a letter we had to send indicating prohibited articles to be sent in parcels. This afternoon read & slept & after 4 helped Mils prepare the NCO’s dinner which we commenced at 7. Pea chicken & milk soup. Salmon with cold vegetables, tomatoes & a dressing. Macaroni & meat & creamed mashed potatoes. Xmas pudding & sauce. Biscuits & cheese. White & red W, coffee. Went off very well & we are now done with entertaining for a while.

Saturday 2 January 43   Snowing – appel 7.30am. Not a holiday but had no work. Visited Aussannaire. Read ‘Echo de Nancy’ & this afternoon worked at Chopin studies. In evening read ‘Tapestry Men’ by Alice Buchan – Times of Richard ⅱ, Henry ⅳ & ⅴ & did some counterpoint. Bed 11pm.

Sunday 3 January 42   Snowing steadily & a moderate thickness laying, so we shall probably not see ground now until March. Up at 9 for appel. Barker tells me I do not hold my shoulders back properly so must remember to do this. News yesterday of no note. We hear Generals Gort & Wavell are promoted to Field Marshall. This afternoon worked at Chopin studies & commenced rewriting my Rain oér Rahoon, reducing it from its rather chaotic original. Played some Hoyst with a violinist Mills, who is a patient of mine & played a duet with Stott. Shall hope to receive some mail this week.

Monday 4 January 43   Two O.Ps. only. Nothing much in papers. Russians attacking everywhere in strength & with fresh reserves SE of Ilmensec. In N.Africa things seem quiet. Leading article on Mr Roosevelt this morning. Wrote up progress notes. Recommenced physiology from Samson Wright.

Tuesday 5 Jan 43   The 5 days of this new year have passed quickly. Robert & Lanchon to leave today unfortunately & 2 French medical students replacing them – ostensibly for 2 ½ months but these changes are often permanent. No O.Ps. […] ward round & did German from Wiltshire’s conversation grammar book which is useful for learning vocabulary. I laboriously add several words each day. Robert & Lanchon left between 2 & 3 – saw them off &

the 2 new arrive. They are both Drs & not students the German had said. Read some Physiology when we finished the last Xmas Cake. An hour with Aussannaire. Dinner. Miles gives us an excellent meal in evening & excels in tasty soups. Wrote to my Joyce, Bob, Yvonne & Mrs Clark. Some more physiology & a little Counterpoint – am still on 1st species but shall go on to 2nd shortly. Lights out 11pm.

Wednesday 6 Jan 43   Cool morning – a good thickness of snow, about 6-12” one hears them clearing the streets very early in the morning. I should not like to live here. There is no question that we have a perfect climate in Hawke’s Bay. 4 O.Ps. this a.m. No mail as yet – perhaps tomorrow. Papers still speak of heavy defence fighting particularly between Don & Volga. Nothing much in Tunisia & bad weather is hindering operations in Libya. They speak of brushes with […] in the South of Libya. Read yesterday a captured diary of a British Infantry officer in Tunisia – apparently the same old story – no air support which corresponds with German papers report that London was concerned with [… … …] airforce in Tunisia [… … … … … …]

Thursday 7 January 43   Moderately busy with O.Ps. & writing up some admissions. Walked for ½ hr in snow. Read Physiology & did a little Counterpoint. English & French with Aussannaire. No news of note. Read in a French paper some more Americans landed at Dakar last week. News from Eastfront

Same – not much in Libya or Tunisia. Bed 11pm. No mail.

Friday 8 January 43   Snowing heavily. Porridge for breakfast. Another week almost gone! ’Heigho Lack-a-day what have we got to lose’. Two O.Ps. & round with Stabsany. This afternoon worked at Physiology & this evening a little also – an hour with Aussannaire. Must remember ‘il m’est veniva l’idee = It occurred to me’. News same as ever. Heavy Russian offensive on whole front & nothing of note from Libya or Tunisia.

Saturday 9 January 43   No O.Ps. today. Did German this morning besides a ward round. Letters for Barker, Fosbrooke & Wiltshire but none for me. Worked at Chopin studies this afternoon & this evening played in a whist drive. Bed 11pm. The blessed weekend.

Sunday 10 January   Up at 9 for appel. Woke up a bit cold & with a mild sore throat & stuffy nose. Saw a patient for Matic & walked in snow – air dry, frozen snow & sunshine – very pleasant. This afternoon worked at Chopin studies & Bach Fantasia & Chromatic Fugue. Hurst came at 3, held service & he & Gook had tea with us. Says Steve Wright is very unhappy in his Commando so at last is having much trouble with the men. Retired to bed at 8.30 & am doing counterpoint. Dammed cold tonight but the heater is a comfort. No news tho’ I read in today’s paper a message from Melbourne, Australia in which an invasion by the Japanese

is feared. That they are concentrating a fleet at Rabaul in New Guinea. Maybe so but I think our sea power is too strong. There is some news of an attack by us on Burma but little reported so it is either a minor undertaking or we have had some success.

Monday 11 Jan 43   Cold morning & bath water is pretty frigid now. My chilblains are all right. They don’t worry me if I don’t think of them. It is a great thing to take ones self in hand & to say. This is Monday morning – another week commences although the quiet weekend is over you have another in 6 days to look forward to, & you know from experience here how quickly the weeks pass. You can merely do your best with O.Ps., although you can’t always get them rested or the exact tr. [treatment] you want you may make sure that no man is overlooked who is really ill. Taking a longer view, it is one week nearer England & Joyce. Men must be content with your lot – although tobacco is short you have plenty of good food & you must cut down your smoking ‘one says’ yes but I must have some pleasure. You would be better to give it up completely – you will need all your money when you reach England & smoking is a wasteful & expensive habit. Then perhaps I can limit myself to a pipe in the evening perhaps that will do for a start. But you have other pleasures. You have your own medical books & although Wiltshire & Barker say you are wasting time reading physiology & that you will need to […] better to do an MRCP you know tho

the latter may be correct you never had much trouble getting thro’ medicine & they say our degree is equal to the best in England. Anyway you know you can do things when you try & you must […] being contented & as happy as you can under these circumstances without your Joyce. You can think about her at night & although in the rare dreams you have she is usually your sister & not your adored wife she is your lovely Joyce. Had one OP this afternoon. Did some psychological treatment on 2 hysterics, examined my cases & wrote progress notes. An hour with Aussannaire & this evening made up a new account book for the mess – collected subs, had a discussion at dinner (excellent tonight as usual) on nurses & what your daughter should do. Go into a beauty parlour or become a nurse. I must not have such strong dogmatic views on things. Smoked some John Sinclairs ‘Rubicon’ & have just got over a spasm of vertigo lasting ¼ hr. It is plug tobacco & evidently ‘tough stuff’. A little physiology & bed 10pm. Paid today 32R.M. Handed in 200 R.M.

Tuesday 12 January 43   Quiet day – wrote up a history & examined a Frenchman. No physiology of note as I was weary this afternoon & slept for 2 hrs. This p.m. wrote to my Joyce – had some tea with King & talked to Fernhead who has ‘flue’. From French paper we are commencing our offensive again in N. Africa. News from

Russian front same. Hard, continuous defence fighting on all sectors.

Wednesday 13 January 43   2 Arabs this a.m. One from Aden. Poor fellows – they feel the cold here & one can’t do much for them except to ensure they get bed rest for a week or so. The English medical orderly came also & tells me the […] worked every day over Xmas & New Year & work 7 days weekly making […]. This must be dealt with by the next commission which comes here. News: the same from all fronts. Some renewed activity in South Libya. Bad weather is really hindering opns. [operations]. Dinner this p.m. with T.E.A.D.G. & spent very pleasant evening. Must remember the stories over spuds & R & G áfon’s vons avee Wottrofser. Some physiology this afternoon. Bed 10.30pm. No mail.

Thursday 14 January 43   Not very cold today. Busy morning with round & 7 consultants. This p.m. read small amount of physiology & this evening ‘Green Hell’ by Julian Hugind. A very interesting adventure trip thro’ Bolivia. Received a letter from Sheriff, Trustee of VIIIB. None from England or NZ. My last letter from Joyce was written in NZ on 20 August. Received in October. News same.

Friday 15 January 43   Warm today & a remarkable thaw has set in. One consultant only & round. Some headache. Slept this afternoon – an hour with Aussannaire. One hears Rostor Woronish & Wili Rye Lahi Sandstorms in North Africa.

Saturday 16 January 43   Nothing in papers of note. There has been much ridicule against the Americans ‘White Book’ published apparently recently & much attempt is being made to incriminate America & Jewry in the origin of this war. This afternoon worked at Chopin studies. This evening an air raid from 7.45 to 9.45. Bed 11pm with Hugh Walpole’s Duchess of Wessex.

Sunday 17 January 43   The English Commando of Palandri’s 22 hit by a bomb & several injured. Two brought here at 1am today. One had died, the other is well. A number of French in & it appears as if a good deal of damage has been done. A number of French killed. There is one story of 100 trapped in a burning building. Palandri’s MI room destroyed but he fortunately was in the court walking about. The water is off today. One hears an aero engine & a torpedo factory were so badly hit – was apparently Russians one plane one hears fell not far from here. Bad foggy morning. Worked at Chopin preludes this afternoon & this evening another air raid from 7.45 – 10.15pm. […] & finished […] & amber by mason.

Monday 18 January 43   Article in paper today of raid on Berlin. Deutschland Hall destroyed. Apparently several factories & one station railway hit – one hospital. There is much of course of the British aims at destroying the German ‘Kulturcentro’. No mention is made of all the London hospitals, Buckingham Palace, St Pauls, The Guildhall, The Albert Hall & the East End. Am afraid this place may be badly knocked

about before this is finished. Saw Palandri who was in his barrack when a large bomb landed 100 yds away in a field near an AA battery. He was blown off his feet & the barrack walls collapsed but was merely scratched – all barracks were partially destroyed & the Kdo has been divided between 520 & 517. Palandri lost his moustache & looks a bit naked. Is very well as is myself. Received no mail. News: Large British offensive resumed in Libya other news as for last night. Reported that 24 planes shot down over Germany last night. London bombed – 6 German planes reported missing. Whist drive this evening after 2 postponements.

Tuesday 19 January 43   Rounds & one O.P. – not too much work – this afternoon some physiology & this evening talked to Aussannaiare & read ‘Green Pastures’ a play of the Negro ideas of God. Paper today – “unceasing by hard bitter winter fighting”. Reports that the Russian offensive has continued for 2 months & the German troops under the most difficult conditions & in icy snow storms have fought heroically to hold the front – that the Russians have always new forces to throw into a weak spot. The worst spot of all they say was Stalingrad. The defenders of […] […] have abandoned the town & fought their way back to the German retiring forces. In Libya the Indian Communicat speaks of our rear guard in being in contact with heavy British forces. In Tunisia local activity only. Weather cooler again. No mail as yet.

Wednesday 20 January 43   Foggy morning. Miles brought us tea at 7.15 & at 7.45 porridge & toast. Excellent. Only 11 more days to this month & the New Year is flying. Dreamt about Bruce Rennie last night – he’d become very fat & Bull & Gilchrist. We seemed to be back with the old unit. Higgs a former patient of mine had 2nd stage of his opn. [operation] yesterday – a large hydatid cyst of liver – Germans very interested – a chivarty sent for all the staff to view it. Read yesterday in B.M.J. that Bob Burns is a POW. 2 O.Ps. […] – one with a +ve sputum. Poor chaps are feeling the cold & I got 2 of them admitted. This afternoon read Physiology & dozed. This evening Physiology. News same. We are attacking fiercely in Libya & the Russian steam roller is in full progress. Wrote to my Joyce yesterday – No mail yet.

Thursday 21 January 43   Peaceful day. News the same as previously. Did some German with Matic this morning & this afternoon & evening Physiology. The air raid casualty – English lad who died is to be buried tomorrow near Spandau & Barker & Farne go off at 6am for the funeral. Some mail, but none for me. Bed 10.30 pm.

Friday 22 January 43   Another day with little work. No OP. Did German with Matic & this afternoon walked in court for ¾ hr & played with a fox terrier pup belonging to lorry driver. Then read Burrell’s Recent Advances in Pulmonary Tuberculosis. This evening Physiology. Tea with King. Am absolutely out of

tobacco & cigarettes. No parcels lately & French tobacco & cigs are short. Today have smoked about 8 cigarettes & tomorrow 2 packets are mortgaged. Think I shall give up smoking but it’s a terrible struggle. However shall see – tomorrow perhaps 4 cigarettes. News same – not much. We don’t seem to be doing much good in Tunisia. Appears as if the Americans haven’t had enough experience […]. Barker went to the funeral this am. English lad from Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders buried with 8 airmen shot down in the raid last weekend. Attackers & attacked of the same race in a common grave. 54 French coffins & Barker saw inside one & said they had been burnt very badly – poor fellows.

Saturday 23 January 43   Tranquil day. Worked at Chopin studies & Bach Chromatic Fugue this afternoon. This evening won the whist drive – […] section unselfishly handed back all the cigarettes as I have resolved to stop smoking – am always just on the rocks & living from hand to mouth.

Sunday 24 January 43   Tripoli taken by us – terrific news. Stalingrad completely surrounded & the Russians breaking thro’ the defences from the west. German retreat in north & East Kantasus. Heavy defensive fighting on whole front. […] came today and held

service at 3pm – no recent mail from NZ. but says […] writes at home now, mechanised. Worked at Chopin Preludes & little of Bach Chromattic […]. The men had a treasure hunt this evening which was apparently amusing. Spent evening with Aussannaire the Onc & Ganbort.

Monday 25 Jan 43   The worst O.K.W. reports over the last few days that I have ever seen. They admit a general retreat in Russia to ‘shorten the front’ & a retreat in West Tripolitania towards Tunisia – & this evening Moronish has been evacuated. Mr Churchill on a visit to Mr Roosevelt. Amazing weather, all the snow has completely gone. Today moderately warm and sunny. One O.P. & ward rounds. Spent evening learning how to polish leather by boneing from King. Once regular of Gordon’s. Bed 10.15pm.

Tuesday 26 Jan 43   One O.P. only & rounds. News same – much written of heroic resistance of German […] at Stalingrad, or in region of the town, which is probably quite true. ‘jeder mann im Fasting’ ‘Kampfe bis dem Weten’ etc. This afternoon read Physiology. Some more books for the library I have at the moment ‘Salar the Salmon’ & ‘Faraway’ by Priestley. Continued boneing & polishing some shoes. Wrote to my Joyce.

Wednesday 27 January 43   No snow yet – dull overcast day with light rain. Did German all morning & after lunch retired to the bed to read Physiology. Potts very kindly gave me some State Express tobacco so I shall have much pleasure taking up the pipe again after a week’s abstinence. This afternoon Physiology, walked & slept for an hour. Hear this pm that Mr Churchill & Mr Roosevelt are having a conference at Casablanca with Generals Girand & De Gaulle. Read ‘Salar the Salmon’ this evening.

Thursday 28 January 43   Mail in, but none for me, lack-a-day. No O.Ps. & quiet today. Commenced Bush & Taylor’s Physiological Basis of Medical Practice – an excellent book on applied physiology. Have received Jamieson’s […] of Anatomy in 7 Vols & Hartridge & Hughes Histology. Gave Fraser’s anatomy to Barker, as I have a Gray. News today same.

Friday 29 January 43   Everyone is expecting a large scale air raid tomorrow night so we shall see. One O.P. I have only 3 inpatients now & do German in a.m. […] piling up vocabulary. Good meal this p.m. Paper. mobilisation of all force for war – men from 16-65 & women from 17-45 & everyone between these ages including foreigners living in Germany liable from now-on. So things are apparently rather desperate. Terrific thrust everywhere by Russians who appear to be almost at Rostor & driving south east towards Rharkor. The Caucasian & Stalingrad (now must be finished) troops completely […]

The 8th British army now advancing towards the Tunisian border. Physiology this afternoon. Supper with King, Fernhead, Farne & Martilance.

Saturday 30 January, 43   The anniversary of Herr Hitler becoming Fuhrer of Germany 1933 when he rec’d office from Fd-Marshall von Hindenburg – some say under somewhat strange conditions. Marshall Goring to speak at 11a.m. & Dr Goebbels at 4p.m. & exactly in these times Berlin had alerts. The second at 4p.m. apparently from a single plane which I saw very high going west thro’ a hail of ack-ack, quite unperturbed, so I hope he got back home safely. There is a general feeling that the British will raid Berlin this night. Quiet morning – this afternoon Chopin studies & this evening a whist drive. Commenced Priestly’s ‘Faraway’.

Sunday 31 January 43   Beautiful sunny warm (for Jan) day like our early spring at home. Walked in Court yard for a while & read. A good afternoon’s work at piano – Till 5.30p.m. broken by tea adjournment at 4pm. This evening looked to Aussannaire & Ganbert after had cocoa with King & Farne. News is the same.

Monday 1 February 43   2 O.Ps. an acklorhydria & +ve ? T.B. presenting.
News: Part of 6 German army at Stalingrad captured. Heavy attacks everywhere & we are attacking again in Western Tripolitania. Some rain this a.m. but soon cleared up & we had a sunny afternoon. Read Physiology & walked for about an hour in the courtyard. This p.m. talked to Wiltshire.

Tuesday 2 February 43   Forgot to mention yesterday Admiral Kalder has been appointed ‘Inspector’ & Admiral Donetz (U boat chief) chief of Navy. The Italian C.G.S. dismissed & replaced. Warm fine morning – no snow & I don’t think even a frost. No mail as yet. Received a letter from Bob Eaton dated 17 Dec. 42 – amazingly rapid. He tells me Joyce is well & likes Gisborne, but works long hours – so I’ve written her today & put in some advice on the dangers of xrays on the ovaries. We haven’t been able to produce a family so far & I am afraid that if she remains there much longer there will be no prospect of any. News the same.

Wednesday 3 February 43   The same today. Nil of note.

Thursday 4 February 43   News that the 6th German army beaten at Stalingrad thus concluding a fight which has lasted since last August – 3 days of mourning ordered in Berlin. Fd Marshall Paulus – General Streeter among the dead or captured. We are attacking again in Tunisia. Little work today. Reading The Jury by Gerald Burdett. 2hrs Physiology this afternoon. Rec’d a cigarette parcel.

Friday 5 February 43   One must admire the way the Germans have fought to the last man at Stalingrad & one regrets such past occurrences as our capitulation at Singapore & at Kalanerte but things were probably different. Our troops anyway have on the whole fought to their

last cartridge & one knows that those left at Stalingrad would have the ignominy of raising their hands above the head as I’ve done on a couple of occasions in Crete. Today it is announced in all the papers that the total war effort is to come into effect. All hotels, boarding establishments, pubs, bars & cafes, all shops not dispensing the necessities of life & likewise all businesses not connected with the essentials of war production are to be closed for the duration of the war & every available person is to be mobilised, either for armaments, food production or for the Services. No doubt this will apply thro’out Europe & one may find extra pressure put on France. A quiet day. Read Physiology this afternoon. Walked in court for ¾ hr – Some Pulmonary TB this evening & talked to Aussannaire. No mail from my Joyce.

Saturday 6 February 43   Quiet day. Saw one OP for Magnagni. Round with Lt Henn – Chevarty promoted recently to Oberfelolarty corresponding to Lt Colonel. Worked at Chopin studies this afternoon. This evening had Aussannaire, le Duc & Ganbert for dinner & spent pleasant evening.

Sunday 7 February 43   […] today. Rostor Norkin. – In papers – Count Crano retired his post as Foreign Minister taken over by Mussolini himself. Wholesale changes in Italian Govt. – an Italian admiral with his ship missing. Walked in court with Matelance & Matic’ from 11-11.30am. Worked at Chopin studies this afternoon. Hurst came for Service. Whist drive this evening. For supper tonight a chicken – beautiful. Bed 10.30pm.

Monday 8 February 43   One O.P. only. Count Ciano is now Ambassador to the Vatican – a pleasant place where I should imagine he’ll come to no harm. Papers speak of War effort necessary. Some of our ships sunk including a cruiser of ‘Dido’ class in Bight of Sollnar. Artillery activity in Tripolitanian Tunisian border. Russian heavy fighting in Woney [?] basin & at Orka [?], […] case of
Woronesh [?]. – Elsewhere fairly quiet. Read Physiology & had my hair cut. Barber gave me a tin of Players ‘No Name’ – No mail.

Tuesday 9 February 43   Not much work. Plodding along slowly with Physiology.

Wednesday 10 February 43   Same.

Thursday 11 February 43   Rec’d 2 letters from England – one from Mrs Cobley & another from Miss Huxley. Bull’s friend Mrs Douglas is very ill. […]  Dec 19 & Jan 2. – No letters from NZ. Not too much work.

Friday 12 February 43   News much same as previously. Kh! No further snow – wet day & specially wet tonight. 3 O.Ps. Physiology & read Ann Harding’s 4 part setting about a woman who got herself into trouble everywhere.

Saturday 13 February 43   Blessed weekend again.

Friday 5 March 43   Since last writing much has happened. Dr Goebbels has made a speech in the Reich Sport-Palast – assembled a crowd of Yes-men & put questions to them concerning whether they wished to continue the war with all possible strength to the end ‘victory’. Much ‘ja-ja-ja’ ‘juden rans’ etc. & the papers published this as ‘the answer of the nation’. ‘How great are the mighty fallen’!! – Rostor & Kharkoo Woronesch. & yesterday Dernjansh (south of Ilmen Sea) & Rshev evacuated according to plan in the course of shortening the front. Mr Churchill has had ‘an upper respiratory catarrh’, Mr Roosevelt’s gastritis & me Influenza some 2 weeks ago when I spent 3 days abed. Henn very politely came & paid me his compliments & Fosbrooke was like a hen with one chick in looking after my wants. He told me my leucocytis went down to 2,200 after the fever, so I’m having some U.V. light & they are mounting. Rec’d a host of letters last week – Joyce’s Sept, Oct & early November with 4 snaps which are lovely. Mother well. Letter from Uncle Diam who is sending me more cigarettes, Alex Dickie, Nurse Riddick; the Ravensbourn Br. of Patriotic Soc., of which my mother is president & some from England. Mrs Douglas sent me a parcel of good tobacco so things at the moment are excellent. Good weather. Myself getting fit again. Not a great deal of work. We seem to be doing better in Tunisia, where

the Germans had broken thro’ the American’s sector. Plodding thro ‘Taylor & Best’. An air raid last Tuesday from 10-12 pm – actual bombing lasted an hour. The worst raid Berlin has had. Official figures 191 killed & 268 wounded but from the widespread damage I should think these figures are too low. Several members of the staff here lost homes & suffered damage. Trains held up. Fires still burning 36 hrs afterwards. One hears the Air Ministry lost its upper storeys. The papers are moaning about indisches Luftterror etc. & say we commenced raiding open towns in May 40. London was bombed 2 nights later but very little is said about it.

Saturday 6 March 43   Fosbrooke met his match yesterday. Went walking with a postin, a member of 6 Army wounded in arm at Stalingrad who has apparently marched miles & miles over the steppes. He came back looking tired. Mail has not got away this week. Weather good. Saw 2 Russians this morning with general oedema & ascitis – probably protein deficiency. Matic ill with mild ‘flue. This afternoon worked at Bach & Chopin studies. Whist drive this evening.

Sunday 7 March 43   One hears Fovey leaves us on Monday & is not being replaced. A lovely morning. Things seem to be going well at home judging by some information – letters etc. Had hot bath & felt no good afterwards, no cold water for douche afterwards. Walked in court for ½ hr with Martilance. Nothing of

interest in papers – am translating a German book on Xray of lungs & doing Physiology from Best & Taylor. Worked at Bach this afternoon & looked thro’ some songs with Ersekins & Fernhead. Hurst came & held prayers.

Monday 8 March 43   Not much work. Read this afternoon & slept for ½ hr & this evening translation. Walked in court. Found it difficult to get on with Barker – we had […] & I wanted to have his chair arranged & he became quite peeved – a peculiar fellow – very generous with cigarettes of which he receives thousands (literally) & in other ways extremely self-centred & selfish. Get on well with Fosbrooke who talks to himself & like Greta Garbo ‘wants to be alone’. We have little to say to each other – he doesn’t snore or have nightmares or sleep walk & during the afternoon sleeps so I see but little of him during the day. Get a bit fed up sometimes listening to everlasting talk of parts of England & Scotland & Edinburgh & long to be with some of my own country men, but on the whole we get along well. Myself particularly well with Wiltshire. There is a tendency among Home people (or some anyway) to look down on the Dominions, our better living conditions & pay etc. & freedom from tax seems to cause them some annoyance (Barker anyway) –  it is probably jealousy, so I don’t speak about the subject. Mentioned by way of conversation that my base Kit had arrived here intact & was immediately jumped on because they considered shipping space too valuable for such trifles – Perhaps so but they don’t realise conditions at home. I shall thank God the day I see NZ again. Am very proud of my mother’s family’s small part in the founding of the country, that I’m descended from pioneer stock & am intensely glad I’m a NZer but I keep quiet about it. Some of the men, in addition to officers, seem to look down on the Dominions. Neale has had some difficulty. Weston regarded Palandri as an utter heathen which made me very angry. However we are all one in this show & they can say what they like. England means as much to me as to any little Englishman.

Tuesday 9 March 43   Am getting up at 7.10am – shaving bath before appel & working from 8.15-9.15am. One O.P. this morning. Air alert at mid-day & some ack-ack. One of our planes very high on reconnaissance. Hear in last week’s raid 2000 killed & 80,000 without homes. Numberg bombarded last night – papers report very heavy damage. Germans doing better in south & are retiring in north. Von Branchity apparently in supreme command again & even Blomberg also back one hears. French papers etc.

It has not been mentioned in any German papers here – no doubt will come out in time when his explanation will be req’d. A few months ago they talked about the wonderful military genius of the Fuhrer who seems to have landed them all in a most unenviable position. Letters today from Brownie Oct 22nd & Miss Hinchy 3 Jan. Have a fine snap of my Joyce in summer wear sitting in a grassy patch & nursing a wee girl. She has a sprig in her hair & looks very happy & altogether charming. To the devil with the waste our youths away from each other! Am fed up with it & tired of saying to myself “There are many others like you & you must have patience”. Don’t give a damn for such sentiments! My Joyce is more important to me than anything else. I want to be with her again as soon as possible. Sometimes wonder if I ever shall again as it’s impossible to imagine anything but this life at present. That’s how low I’ve sunk. Am battling thro’ Tristram Shandy. Beautiful prose but heavy going – […] slow in parts. Should think Stone a thoroughly unpleasant scoundrel.

Wednesday 10 March 43   One O.P. & I have now 2 patients, so that I spend mostly the morning learning German vocabulary. Lovely weather & we get the sun from mid-day until about 4.30-5pm. I have taken to working from 8.15-9.15 in a.m., bathing before appel – again from 2-3 in p.m. 5-6.45 or so & after dinner do translation of a German book on Xray of the Lungs. We have bombed Numberg heavily according to the papers, hitting hospitals, churches, dwelling houses & historical & cultural (this word appears in every report of an air raid) centres. Not much other news. The Germans continue their retreat in the north & ? middle sectors & the Russian is attacking heavily here & has abated somewhat in the south.

Thursday 11 March 43   One O.P. A lovely day. We have bombed Munich very heavily, according to the papers – much the same a/c being given as for Numberg. They are howling a bit in the papers over ‘only English are capable of such methods of warfare from 6000 M high against women & children & such like’. Continue to quote extracts of newspapers concerning these attacks & that they are directed against the civilian morale etc. In fact so much has appeared recently on this subject that one gathers it needs fostering & one reads of ‘the hate stirred up by these attacks’, that they only serve to strengthen the determination of the people to pursue this war to the final victory & such like. They forget the reports in their papers some 2 ½ yrs ago of ‘London in Flames’. I am very uneasy about remaining here till the end of the war as I think the raids so far are a fraction to what will come. Attended a lecture this evening from 9-10.15pm in the Lab. […] given by Pannequin. Followed it very well.

Friday 12 March 43   Not very much work. Injected some 100 Russians with T.A.B. at 8.30 this morning. Physiology this afternoon. Weather good.

Saturday 13 March 43   Dreadful scene in ward this morning when Henn lost his temper & dignity with Matic yelling at him as to a dog. It all happened so quickly that I had no time to walk out & anyway I was afraid if I did so he would discharge a Cypriot whom I wished to keep for another week. Very surprised at Henn who became quite mad with rage. Anyway it was nothing to do with me. I invariably preserve a dignified manner no matter what his moods are – though in the past on one or two occasions it has been difficult holding one’s temper in check when he has ‘abused’ a patient. All the more character training I presume. Had 500 mill. T. & 250 mill. each of Para A & B & also 1c.c. of […] typhus vaccine today, the second T.A.B. of 3 at weekly intervals. Felt a little tired last evening but nothing of note. Worked at Bach & Chopin from 2-4.15 & walked in court yard. This evening a ‘whist drive’.

Sunday 14 March 43   Lovely morning. Got up at 9am & after appel had hot bath & cold shower. Pottered about & walked in court for ½ hr. About 10 developed pain in centre of abdomen which lasted all day but is now, at 8.15pm, much better. Nearly vomited after a slice of bread at midday. Bowels little out. Was quite convinced this afternoon I had an appendicitis. It is still a little sore in R.I.F. when I cough, but I don’t think it will come to anything now. Temp. 98.8º Pulse 80. Anyway though I have still a little discomfort in the tummy there is now no pain. Should hate to have my abdomen opened. Got Fosbrooke to palpate it this evening & he doesn’t think anything is necessary beyond staying in bed & keeping warm. Robert is going back to France & his successor has arrived here – one of the volunteer men, so he doesn’t appear on check parade. Anbrecht was in this morning – has lost some of his fat & is much fitter though he’s had cholicystitis – said he missed being captured by the Russians by 2hrs – at a town near Stalingrad. Was on an ambulance train (or goods) which pulled out just before the enemy appeared.

Monday 15 March 43   We have bombarded Essen very heavily & Germans have raided Brighton. In Russia fighting in Rhasker, the German have advanced again after evacuating the town some 4-5 weeks ago.

Am better today but tummy still uncomfortable. Have my appetite back. Think I have some obstruction – probably spastic. Anyway passed some wind but couldn’t manage motion. Have taken couple of cascara tabs as they act on large bowel so shall await results tomorrow. Very nice day. One patient this morning & this afternoon read physiology & went into a dreamy state for an hour.

Tuesday 16 March 43   2 letters from my Joyce 28 Nov & 19 Dec. grand, & one from Sister Kean 24 Nov. Things seem much same at Napier in general – Clarkin in O.P. & Peg McKay in I. Powley in theatre – Smith running McHardy & I imagine damned well & efficiently. My Joyce is very well & very happy riding at weekends. She is probably now on holiday – Lovely day. Up at 7.10am & bathed – water warmer than one month ago & my chilblains have gone. Physiology for 2-3 hrs today. Wrote to my Joyce & mother. Wiltshire has flue & is abed. No news of note today.

Wednesday 17 March 43   Quiet day with no O.Ps. Interviewed by a German Press Representative who asked me to broadcast which I politely declined. Various other questions to which I gave guarded answers. This afternoon & morning Physiology & this evening attended another talk by Pannigin on tuberculosis of the broncho pulmonary glands. These Frenchmen certainly can talk well. Yellow air raid warning this evening.

Thursday 18 March 43   Nil of note today. Vituperous obituary notice of Cardinal Hinsley’s death & a scurrilous article on Randolph Churchill & his syphilitic grandfather. All a bit ‘Continental’.

Friday 19 March 43   Quiet day – good weather continues. Robert left this afternoon at 3.30 – he arrives in Paris tomorrow evening at 6.30. He was actually looking pleased & has lost his scepticism of ever getting back to France. Dressed in civilian clothes – a dreadful brown suit with a brownish tie, office shirt & black overcoat, no hat as they only had 2 at Stalag – one too small & the other too large. For the suit he had to deposit 100 marks – it was worth about 35/-, & the 2nd class tram fare 66M. Ruefully remarked he arrived in Germany on a free train. Henri Amon took his bags to the station & Szenko went to see him off. Saw a case of ? Schaumann’s disease – an exaggerated form of Bock’s sarcoid – bilateral. Skin lesions on face & ears & forehead resembling hafons erythematosis & enlargement of cervical ancillary […] (slight) & pulmonary hilar glands. Price describes the conditions Physiology. A Russian general who is using our latrine – has a room to himself in TA. One hears of collaborationist etc. & vague reasons of his own men shooting him – he’s minus a leg. Wiltshire recovered from flue.

Saturday 20 March 43   No O.Ps. & quiet morning. Injected a Serbs upper abdominal skin with novocaine as I suspect him of a functional disorder. Lovely day but chilly in our O.P. room. Practised Bach & a little Chopin until 3.15pm when a French commando orchestra came to give a concert. Walked in court. After dinner talked to King & commenced Dorothy Sayers ‘Busman’s Holiday’.

A delightful book. Berlin on its toes tonight – everyone on duty as they’re expecting a large air raid.

Sunday 21 March 43   Officially 1st day of spring. (Foňhling). Lovely day with clear blue sky like Athens. No air raid last night or today or so far this evening – till 10.15pm anyway. I got up at 9 & went on appel shaved & bathed & Le Feuore then cut my hair. Pottered about & walked in courtyard with Barker. Saw […] today – […]. This afternoon Hurst came at 2 & held a service. He has Herpes Zoster poor chap. Says some NZers have had January letters but his last is November. Finished ‘Busman’s Holiday’ & enjoyed it. I have got more enjoyment from Miss Sayer’s books than from any others in this life. Lord Peter Wimsey is such a refreshing change from Henn & Co. & his compatriots. Sardines on toast – a small piece of duck meat roll, potatoes (cold mashed) & cold meat roll – (le champagne) & tea. Spent evening arranging ‘Under the spreading chestnut tree’ for piano accordion & guitar. Bed 10.30pm.

Monday 22 March 43   Quiet day. Our offensive has commenced in Tunis – Russian offensive seems to have passed its peak. Yesterday National Day for commemorating German dead – no British bombing which I think was ‘cricket’. Herr Hitler stated

in a speech yesterday that 542,000 had fallen since the war commenced. I think a lot more Germans are deserving of mention.

Tuesday 23 March 43   Quiet day – wrote letters to Mrs Douglas, Miss Huxley & to my Joyce. Lovely weather – lads have taken to basketball. Too many windows have suffered from football & it is now disallowed. One O.P. & I have one patient – so not too much work. Am reading physiology consistently. Town of Gapsa in Southern Algeria evactuated by enemy & occupied by our Troops.

Wednesday 24 March 43   2 O.Ps. 2 letters from my Joyce Dec 4 & 11th, one from Alan Kendoun, one from Sister Field – a rather pathetic one, & one from my mother of 4 Dec. Joyce has it secondhand that Bob is to be married this March. I think he is unwise to do that in his final year. Got thro’ 5th year which I’m very pleased to know & was at Invercargill when my mother wrote, under Tish Hunter. Lovely weather continues. Played game of passball for an hour this evening – got very dirty – had bath & change. Played in shorts & gym shoes & a polo neck sweater I have. As stiff as ever tonight.

Thursday 25 March 43   3 months since Xmas & the time has gone very quickly. Quiet day. Cooler & overcast. Our offensive continued in Tunisia. Played passball tonight again from 5.45-6.45 & collided with one of the trees, with Clark on the other side of me to

give some added impetus – barked my shoulder – fell over & barked the Rhanda bit – feel very well – physically livid & damn stiff tonight. Physiology & translations today. Lanchon in for tea at 4pm.

Friday 26 March 43   Dull day & rather close – round with Henn – Physiology this afternoon & slept for an hour. Passball this evening before dinner.

Saturday 27 March 43   7 letters – Sam Turner (Oct), 3 from Joyce & 2 from my mother January & one from England. My mother is very well – went to Invercargill & stayed with Angus Sharpe (now a detective & his wife) for Xmas & came back with Bebon 29th. Joyce very well & going to Georges for 2 weeks to retire. Sam going into army at end of this year & Ed going over to Hastings to live with June. Bach & Chopin this afternoon & last Typhus injection. Whist drive this evening. Barker winning booty. Just finished at 10.15pm & siren went – Everyone going to cellar & I am just waiting for crowd before I go down. Ack-ack has not yet opened up. Should imagine it may be a bad raid. Last was apparently worst this place has yet had. No joke being bombed by our own planes. Houses ¼ mile away hit last time. Shall finish this tomorrow as lights must go out in few minutes. Quiet offensive continues in Tunisia Russian front.

Sunday 28 March 43   Raid lasted for some 2 hrs with an hour’s heavy bombing. Rather dull a.m. Got up at 8.30. Pottered about this morning & practised this afternoon & this evening wrote to my mother & Bob.

Monday 29 March 43   Cooler today. 3 O.Ps. & this afternoon read physiology. Our offensive continues in Tunis, & the German is retreating in front of overwhelming superiority in troops etc. Hear a German man was blown off a 20ft embankment during Saturday nights raid. Apparently very heavy. – On ?Telten & Postan. Bed 11pm. Played passball for 80 mins.

Tuesday 30 March 43   Heavy raid I think on east part of Berlin – siren went soon after 1am & all clear about 3.30, actual bombing lasting about an hour. Felt a bit tired this morning & my feet are sore – cool morning with sun peeping thro’ a few light clouds. Up late 7.30 & seemed to take a long time bathing, shaving etc. Round with Stabsarzt & saw one French O.P. Read physiology this afternoon & some translation this evening. Bed 10.30.

Wednesday 31 March 43   Cool day with intermittent showers. Little work. Physiology this afternoon & met a German Oberstabsayt Physician. Played passball this evening & got a bang on the nose with some epistaxis – just at end game so retired. No news of any note. Report that we endeavoured to encircle certain German […] […] in Tunisia.

Thursday 1 April 43   A quarter of 43 passed – trust the remainder goes as quickly. No mention in the papers of the last two raids on Berlin last Saturday & Tuesday nights. Today cold & squally with showers of heavy rain & a wild north wind. One O.P. this a.m. This afternoon had a crown refilled & read a novel. Private Worlds by Phyllis Bottome. The gramophone has been repaired – someone broke the spring some weeks ago & King & Co. are playing some terrible recordings of military marches played on a Wurlitzer organ. I would prefer to listen to some jazz than that. Very few decent records – one by Cortot playing 2 Chopin waltzes. Little of notice in the papers. Things go on well in Tunisia – not much from Russia. Some more ships sunk I notice. Physiology this evening.

Friday 2 April 43   Quiet day. Dull day & quite cold. Magnagni went off this afternoon to Paris enroute to Corsica – his home. Read physiology. Everyone a bit brown at the moment. News satisfactory from Tunisia. Played passball.

Saturday 3 April 43   One letter of last November last from my Uncle Robinson. Edward a pilot & now in Canada – has apparently done quite well. Quiet morning – worked at Bach & Chopin this afternoon – find it a bit hard to keep up the interest at times. No news of any significance in papers. Feel like a good holiday & have been damned lonely lately without my Joyce. Barker & Wiltshire a little anaphylactic to each other at the moment.

Sunday 4 April 43   Good outing to Redmond’s Kdo. Left here at 10.30 & arrived there about 1.30. Several changes in train – walked to Bensterm Stn then to Trektonus Park – then changed again & finished up with 2 steam trains. Played football – myself on the wing & pretty hopeless – a huge pitch with soft sand in the centre where one became a bit bogged. Had a rapid meal, no time for showers. Walked about 2 miles to a station & got home at 7.15pm.

Friday 16 April 43   Have been very lazy in writing this. Not much of interest. Weather has improved & is not quite hot – warm enough for sunbathing at midday. News from Tunisia poor – one gathers we have most of the country in our hands now & that any large scale evacuation of German Italian troops is impossible. The time spent from 7 to 10 of this month in Berlin & the conversations are reported as satisfactory & very friendly. In Russia the […] of the […] presumably prevents any large scale activities as there is not much reported. We bombed Stuttgart this month. Have had the ‘blues’ a bit lately. Today received another pound of tobacco from Mrs Douglas. No further mail.

Saturday 17 April 43   Have received some tutorial notes for primary fellowship – have been trying at VIIIb for some months. Think I shall do M.R.C.P. but one must know physiology for this so I’m working this. Find I must know Biochemistry well & am working at Thorpe – a very good book on the subject I have. Not much of note here. Weather same. No mail for me today. Rec’d cigarette parcel.

Sunday 18 April 43   Windy, warm & overcast. Have 2 more patients – both achlorhydric gastritis with much mucus in resting juice so have them on a very strict regime. This afternoon Bach & Chopin. This evening read Greek history.

Monday 19 April 43   Lovely day. Saw a few O.Ps. for Talbot & wrote some case notes. This afternoon took a deck chair into the sun & from 6 till 7 played handball, only falling over once. We have been discussing the Russians. Barker states we have not invaded the continent because we are afraid of the Russians becoming too powerful – that we would prefer to wait till they are exhausted before doing anything. Wiltshire states there is some rumour of a political change to us shortly in this quarter with the idea of alienating us from Russia on to the axis side. Some of the Russians here are inclined to criticise our support of Finland & also our non-intervention. There appears to be an anti English faction among some Russians here – of peasant type – big burly fellows with little culture about them I must say. I myself think that we must view the future with some circumspection. We originally fought this regime & have not been at all friendly with the Soviets since their inception & the regime is really more opposed to ours than the National Socialist here. All the same I feel as we have thrown in our lot with them we must see the show through & I don’t envisage us ever supporting Germany in this war. The Communist movement has bred a nasty type of fellow in apparently all countries – one who is dissatisfied, & extremely savage & cruel – working on the half wits of the country while good for nothing louts who see an opportunity of getting something for nothing & in my own country, at any rate, better shot. It is a most confusing situation. The Press here has recently come out with some startling allegations of the shooting in cold blood of some 10,000 Polish officers captured by the Russians. The crime is stated to have occurred about Snurlusk. I have not read all the facts as published but it is alleged that a mass grave was found & sufficient remains for an identification of some. Russian POW’s & some Pols have supplied (according to the Press) certain information. One hears that a Polish army has been formed by the Russians & that these utterances are designed to lower morale. We hear here that an army of some 200,000 Russian P.O.W. is being formed by traitors to the Soviet regime & will be incorporated in the German ranks. Certainly we see Russian P.O.W. here who are attached to A.A. batteries. They are well fed. Many of very low intelligence. The German are breeding traitors every day. Happily our own men are above that sort of thing. This will certainly be an interesting year. About 30 planes flew about over Berlin late this afternoon & Goebbels makes a speech

this evening. Tomorrow is Herr Hitler’s birthday & they are expecting a raid on Berlin tonight or tomorrow night.

Tuesday 20 April 43   No holiday but short parades of German staff etc. & every house ordered to fly a nazi flag. About 3 O.Ps. Nothing much of note.

Wednesday 21 April 43   Air alert at 12.45am this morning – only about 2 planes probably from a fleet attacking Rostock & Strettin. Lasted about one hour. Attack in Tunis has commenced again and they speak of our extraordinarily heavy artillery fire. From East front not much.

Thursday 22 April 43   Some 3 O.Ps. Lazy day & sat in sun reading. […]

Good Friday 23 April 43   […]

Saturday 24 April 43   Weather overcast & no sunbathing today. Heavy British American offensive in Tunis.

Sunday 25 April 43   Nothing of note today. Read some Danslet & a novel by Eden Phillpots – ‘Dark Horses’. Wrote to Joyce & mother, Uncle Fred & Bob Eaton.

Monday 26 April 43   Another holiday. This afternoon Bach & Chopin & this evening read. Nothing of note to report. Weather cooler.

Tuesday 27 April 43   Rain squalls throughout day. One O.P. & rounds. Have a haematemesis who […] well. Recommenced Biochemistry. Wiltshire & Barker in the dumps a bit & we had a discussion on happiness.

Wednesday 28 April 43   Wet day – up at 7.10am as usual & bathed before appel. Had my usual breakfast of […] grille & cocoa at 8.15am. Read biochemistry this morning from 8.45-9.45 as there is nothing to do before 10am. An American aircraft carrier, Langley, sunk in Mediterranian & the papers are in headlines over it. Read Stanley Sykes ‘Missing Moneylenders’. No mail.

Thursday 29 April 43   Cold again with intermittent sun & rain squalls. Heaters have been off for some time & it is cool inside. No O.Ps. Read Biochemistry this morning & afternoon & had the piano tuned today. Papers

yesterday report our attack from west […] in Tunisia. We are apparently within a few miles of the town but the country is very difficult. However no doubt we shall have the place before long. Interesting item in this camp today that after March 28th people were forbidden on the south coast of England. No mail as yet. Feeling a bit browned off at the moment.

Friday 30 April 43   Bad day but heaters on again much to Fosbrooke’s disgust – says we’ll all get colds. No news in the papers. Worked at biochemistry and one French O.P. for Talbot – also a round – no mail. Have started a history of music (written in French) which seems very interesting.

Saturday 1 May 43   May Day & a holiday so we had appel at 9am as Bolst likes his bed as well as us – so he says. Sunny morning with no wind & prospect of a good day. See that Freyberg is now Lt General & has been knighted. Watched the children playing in street (the Aonanstrasse) for a time. Worked at piano this afternoon & read this evening. A very pleasant day.

Sunday 2 May 43   Lovely sunny day. Did a round & saw my ward & walked in the sun. This afternoon from Redmond’s Kdo 428 20 men or so came to play passball at which we won 10-4 or thereabouts. Redmond himself came & […] – at 4pm. Had a meal of salmon, lettuce & potato, biscuits, butter, cheese & jam,

tea & their band of 4 played to us. They left just before 6 after a very pleasant time. Had snack meal at 8pm. – Letters. Joyce 30 Dec. 25 Jan, 1 Feb 43. Mother 23 Nov & 15 Dec. 42. Grant Baron 3 Nov 42, Miss Johnston 6 Oct 42, Grandad Eaton 28 Jan 43. 8 in one day very good.

Monday 3 May 43   Sunshine a lovely day. No news. Heavy Russian attacks on […] Bridgehead. Local activity in […]. […] report increased sea & air activity in Straits of Sicily & very heavy continuous artillery fire in south sector. Commenced skipping & exercises again from 3.45 till 4.30 with a bath and then tea with sugar & am all right for dinner at 7.30. Wrote to Gilbert Baron.

Tuesday 4 May 43   Warm sunshine. Round this a.m. – and one O.P. New French Dr. has arrived to replace Aussannaire – late – does French O.Ps., not a P.O.W. Germans have evacuated an apparently important point between Tunis & Bisjork. Wrote to my Joyce. Exercises. Sunbathed & read this afternoon from 1.30-3.30.

Wednesday 5 May 43   Warm sunshine. Went off to football this afternoon with some of men & tried to score goals without much success. Price & Webb later kept goal for some

small boys, one of whom played very well. Charles Ersekins mended a little boys shoe & told him it would be 2 Marks. The little chap was very crest fallen & delighted to find it a joke. Had a good bath when I came home.

Thursday 6 May 43   Lovely day. One O.P. Sat in my deckchair in sun this afternoon & read. Stripped to the waist 4pm-4.15 skipping & exercises & bath. Tea. This evening did some translation. We have taken Mateur a strategic point between Bizerte & Tunisia.

Friday 7 May 43   Photographed 2pm while it didn’t rain which it did most of the day. ½ men & Barker & Wiltshire went for chest Xrays. New heavy attack on in Tunisia & the German Italian lines pierced – one hears they have retired to […]. We apparently have very strong tank & air units operating. Mussolini’s […] in […] […] […]. He speaks of ‘African sickness’ & says we have come back from Africa which seems to me to indicate Tunisia is either finished or upon its last legs. He complains against the ‘barbaric’ raids of ours. Forgets his boast of Italian air men bombing London & of his allies bombing of Warsaw, Belgrade, the French refugees & towns, London, Coventry, Birmingham & the many English towns. No, the bombing of open towns is in our minds & they are being taught a sound lesson. The Russians continue to attack heavily in the Kubon Bridgehead. Elsewhere the mud prevents any large scale operations. London & Moscow have officially denied the Kutyn murders & I read in ‘Echo de Nancy’ that some European paper complains of the incompetence of the International Red Cross, so they have either refused to have anything to do with it (quite within their rights there as Russia is not a signatory) or have not taken much notice of the German report. If the Germans can kill 3,400 Serbs or/and 25,000 Russians in cold blood as alleged reprisals both of which stories one hears, they can surely invent such facts or magnify the legitimate shooting of Polish officials who have intrigued against Russia, or such a figure. Anyway it is very unlikely that this business should remain unknown for some 2 years after Germany has occupied the territory, so that the question ‘why bring that up’ may be postulated.

Friday 14 May 43   Papers have announced that resistance in Tunisia has finished so that we are now in complete control & have a German & an Italian army in the bag. Today hottest yet. Sunbathed & am doing my exercises religiously every day. Letter from my Joyce 15.2.43. Moon Wednesday. Air alarm last night.

12.30-1.30 – apparently only one or two planes over & not much flak.

Saturday 15 May 43   Very pleasant day & little work – 3 new admissions. – Offer of Fr. This afternoon went over some stuff with Ersekins & Fernhead on piano & this evening some reading of French history of music.

Sunday 16 May 43   Left at 11.30 for Feltow which we reached about 2.45pm after walking from Lichterfelde Ost. Played football – were only beaten 8-5. Waldie & Price & really everyone excepting Clark played a thoroughly good game. Wiltshire & Barker played extremely well. Saw Palandri, […] & Cooper, the first time since VIIIB some 18 months ago. Air alarm last night with hardly any Flak – None I think. Evidently false alarm.

Monday 17 May 43   Another air alert at 1am. Very little flak put up. Wiltshire & Barker in bed this morning. Full on with Fosbrooke at dinner. c/o my talking ‘balls’ so I […] by saying I’d be silent to which he snapped good! I remember old Golan Morahn’s expression saying ‘I was so wild’ – I got more heated & heated & finally excused myself before saying a word. Barker gave me much relief by saying it was a cad’s trick etc.

at present I have nothing to do with him. Such a foolish business. I think perhaps I feel things too much but it is difficult under these conditions preserving a normal attitude to life. Not seen a paper today. Things apparently go well. No further mail. Read Physiology, copied out some […] stuff & did some translation this evening.

Tuesday 18 May 43   Nothing of much note today. We have bombed a dam somewhere & the resulting flood has caused considerable loss of life, including 340 prisoners of different nationalities. Rather lonely.

Wednesday 19 May 43   Weather good. Sat in sun this afternoon & read […] tonight. – 4 letters – Joyce 8.2.43, Mrs Calrey [?], Mother & Mr Clarke, March 15. A photo of Joyce sitting on a wool bale with the Holden twins & the 3 looking just as well & fit as could be. Wallace Campbell dead – died in Egypt. Wrote to his people & to young Keith who has commenced medicine. Also wrote Mother, Bob, Joyce & Pam Skinner.

Thursday 20 May 43   A repatriation commission came this morning. Unfortunately we knew nothing of it till 2 days ago – went in a body to the Chevartyt this morning & protested.

I put up Melrose – he was considered by Henn & the chevartyt who thought he should not go up. However I asked that he should & Hunn presented him very well & he passed. A case of bronchiostasis. 2 air alerts about midday & one lasting an hour last night. Sat in the sun this afternoon. Hear the NZer McMillan has been to Katyn, flown there with a S.A. Lt. Col., American, English & another NZer. He had no option as to whether he went or not along with them all. Sat in sun this afternoon & read my exercises daily.

Friday 21 May 43   Bright sunny morning. Another air alert last night – apparently on outskirts of the city as there was no flak fired near here. Lasted about an hour. Woke up pretty tired & had my bath after appel. Sat in sun this afternoon in shorts only, am gradually browning. One O.P. round with Henn. 6-7 played passball – we beat the French about 6-3. This evening did some music arrangements.

Saturday 22 May 43   Another air alert last night from 1-2 & we had to go to the cellar. The 3rd successive night. Heard no bombing or flak. Warm sunny morning. Noakes back with Miles so the latter hasn’t so much to do.

Did some praying with Charles Ersekins this pm. Lanchen has very kindly got me Revel’s […]. […] […] […]. Gershwins Rhapsody in Blue & some Manuel de Fella & I have commenced […] on the Revel. […] very difficult to ‘get into’. I’m pretty delighted as it is a pleasant change from old Bach’s profound depths. Lovely day. Watched a passball match this evening & walked with Mastatanc & Matic. Admitted a pneumonia. A Frenchman. Bed 10.15pm with a book.

Sunday 23 May 43   Warm sunny day. Up at 9am for appel. Walked in courtyard & this afternoon did about 4 hrs work at piano – mainly first of Miroins ‘Hoctuelles’ of Revel [?]. Pretty difficult to get into. At 7pm meal with French & spent a very pleasant evening playing ‘pelaforne’[?] (Anction)[?] after appel. Bed 11.30pm.

Monday 24 May 43   Overcast today following rain last evening – warm. Did a ward round & wrote notes. Not much else. Read physiology this afternoon – did my exercises – tea & watched the French scrambling about at passball. Almost fell out again this evening with Wiltshire & Fosbrooke – am becoming bad-tempered. I must steel myself to silence during meals from now on. No further mail – something about

America & England putting pressure on Russia re communist activities in other countries. Rather amusing to think that it has always been Russia putting pressure on us, according to the German papers previously.

Tuesday 25 May 43   Weather overcast still, so sunbathing is off. 3 O.Ps. Am feeling rather browned off at the moment – the interest have flagged somewhat.

Wednesday 26 May 43   Not very much happening here. We are apparently bombing West Germany very consistently & heavily – & the papers refer to the ‘air’ gangsters! The papers are full of propaganda these days & everyone sending messages of congratulation & good wishes to each other. Read a very little physiology.

Thursday 27 May 43   Overcast again. 3 limbless chaps arrived from Rockmunster this a.m. including my own chap Alan Williams whom I was delighted to see again. He has lost his R [Right] arm – shot in Salonika camp as I’d heard. Is very bright – somewhat under weight but very well & well tanned. Has been fortunate in having lived in a hospital since arriving in Germany. His brother Lester is a P.O.W. in Italy – & working in a hospital there. The old Coy. is now completely changed. Some O.Ps. today. Read Physiology. Russians are attacking heavily again in Kuban bridgehead.

Friday 28 May 43   Overcast again – evenings good but days preclude any sun bathing. Have just read ‘Silver Leg’ & enjoyed it very much. Saw a Russian O.P. for mateo with war oedema. See in an Echo de Nancy that Mr Churchill is in Washington & addressed the Senate. Answering questions re an offensive against Japan he replied that once Germany was beaten the question there would resolve itself. The papers are full of talk these days – of the ‘Atlantic Wall’ of the yearly balance for Japanese naval gains & losses which I think not well audited etc. They have discovered a document signed by Timoschenko calling upon the Polish men to kill their officers & to join the Russian army – all this […] […] a long time ago. An interesting article on rebuilding the front after the Russian advance of the winter – coping with mud & water, Russian patrols & aircraft. Both sides are apparently amassing troops & material & the German is doing his best to conceal his activities & plans & the Russians also – who are very good in the use of camouflage says the paper. They speak of who will attack & when. That the Russians appear to expect an offensive to the south of Moscow. Did my exercises today. Some translation & Physiology. Wiltshire has a cervical adenitis from an impetigo of the scalp & is more miserable than ill. The […] upsets him. Bed 10.45pm.

Saturday 29 May 43   4 O.Ps. including 3 Cypriots – one a most decent old fellow who presented me with a cigarette case. They are frightfully difficult people to deal with – don’t understand English & many malinger but since 2 picked up several positive checks I treat them pretty carefully. This afternoon played some songs for Williams & after tea worked hard till 7pm at Ravels first […] ‘Nochrellis’ which is the devil, both hands mixed together with different rhythms. Overcast sky again. Paper reports continued heavy defence fighting on Kuban bridgehead against sustained Russian attacks. Wiltshire up & looks like death. He’s a terrible fellow when ill.

Sunday 30 May 43   Anniversary as P.O.W. (2 years). Fresh morning with overcast sky again. King & Co. in next room playing the gramophone. There are few very decent records but it is pleasant to hear an orchestra again. Worked this afternoon at Ravels ‘Noctuelles’ (1st […]) & Rhapsody in Blue – which is rather banal but Barker is very anxious to hear it. Mended my skipping rope & wrote to my Joyce this evening.

Monday 31 May 43   Dull & overcast again as every day last week – mornings fresh. Did not see a paper yesterday but presume the Russians are attacking on the Kuban – local activity elsewhere – one

hears that a heavy bombardment of West Germany is continually going on but little given in papers on account of morale. I have the most confused dreams (I think I must be a sentimentalist at heart) – always pleasant. For instance last night at one stage I was in a large rather bare room with some vague people about & Joyce also – discussing work for M.R.C.P. at another period in a deserted suburb of some NZ town & met Molly Lowry who told me she was alone in a house so I said I’d better live with her – & to avoid trouble & also to please myself asked her to marry me – she replied she‘d be delighted – had been hoping for that for some time & I kissed her. A most realistic business that was! Woke up in the early morning wondering just what my position with Joyce was & was pleased to be awake & get that right. At another stage Fosbrooke & Wiltshire & I were in bed & Bildt coming along for appel. Being able to sleep well & meeting people in dreams is a godsend in this life. Funny that Joyce is nearly always my sister or is often only vaguely present. Other officers tell me that they never dream about their wives. The 6th month just commencing of what Germany regards as the ‘decisive year’ & she has had nothing but defeats & retreats & is being bombed heavily without being able to reply.

Tuesday 1 June 43   One or two O.Ps. & ward round. This afternoon sunbathed & did my exercises tonight raining heavily & about 11pm another lot of limbless

arrived including 4 officers – navy & merchant marines.

Wednesday 2 June 43   11 letters 5 from my Joyce – 27 Feb. & the rest March. One Mother – 1 from Mr Campbell’s wife, Grandad Eaton, Ed, June, Mrs Spence. Everyone very well. McKenzie has obviously become to be regarded as a son by my mother. She is most attached to him. A sweet tempered Scottie. George Waterworth away – Jock Starcloy, Rusty Page & Howard Kippenberger were in a field hospital which changed hands several times & were very well treated by the Germans. – Barker met an Oberent from R. Staff a few weeks ago who said the campaign in Africa was a gentleman’s war with field hospitals right up against the front lines. Weather overcast this afternoon & sitting down to read some physiology. Am right out of tobacco & cigarettes but Matic kindly gave me some […] this morning. -. Played passball this evening. Russian attacks eased on Kuban. Apart from that not much.

Thursday 3 June 43   Overcast with rain. No O.Ps. Read physiology & did my exercises as usual. Nothing of note in paper. Catwill an F.A.V. lad & a friend of Wiltshire arrived here with a patient from Konigswater. Lt. Col. C.S.Palandri’s C.O. in charge there. Max Miferhoffer is in a Revier in the vicinity & apparently very happy. John Warren is at the Marlag in Bremen with Aldridge, Harvey & a NZer called McDiarmind who has apparently not behaved as he should.

Friday 4 June 43   No O.Ps. An International Red Cross Commission – who say they hope to see repatriation arranged. That the British […] P.O.W’s are still being handcuffed – we hear that also from the ward camp & from VIIIB. Also that the German army dislike doing it but that it’s an order from the chief some uncomplimentary remarks deleted. That the British have long since ceased handcuffing Germans – that the British POW’s in Italy are more or less living on Red Cross parcels. Dull day but warm. An airman shot down over Denmark 6 weeks ago arrived early this a.m. about 5 o’clock – he’s minus a leg, has a fractured jaw. Says the Danes were very good to him & he has a pint or two of their good blood in his veins, or had. No news of note in papers.

Saturday 5 June 43   Sunny day but raining this evening. No O.Ps. Worked at Ravel this afternoon & this evening entertained Banchet, Gantry, Gumer, Matic, Szarto & […] to dinner & to bridge & chess afterwards – a good evening. Mils turned on a scrumptious milk soup, fish & lettuce with dressing, a haricot & bully beef stew with milk & butter in it, biscuits & cheese, coffee. Bed at midnight.

Sunday 6 June 43   Up at 5.45am. Bath, shave, away at 7 to Falkensee – a 2 hrs trip, changing at West Kenny for Spandau West & then in steam train

arriving at 7.30 just after 9 with hardly any walking as we went to Nenkerm via Ubahn. Had tea saw a quite amusing silent film but with music accompaniment with a pretty girl in a circus. Then game handball at which an ex patient of mine there scored 6 goals – they won 6-3. Then a fine meal turned on by Christos, my former hemiplegic, who is in his element – a first class cook & his kitchen spotless. 4 course. Lettuce & radish salad – macaroni cheese – stewed gooseberries, rhubarb – apricots & custard – biscuits butter & marmalade. Beer & marmalade, coffee & cigarettes, most of the stuff home grown. The Cypriots did some open air dancing. I saw a number of my ex-patients & one very decent NZer Smithson & 3 Australians. 2 of the men gave me some tobacco & we left at 3.45pm – got home just after 6. Walking from Nento Stn met Scarrough. Rain off & on all day & teeming tonight. Warm with some thunder. Hr Goebbels made a speech last night but I’ve not seen today’s paper.

Monday 7 June 43   Nothing of note today. Dull day.

Tuesday 8 June 43   Attack by a navy air force on Lampedusa – beaten off according to reports. Physiology this afternoon. Slept for an hour & had the naval people to tea. Played passball. Wiltshire, Potts & I in forwards. We won 3-1. Wrote to my Joyce & my mother.

Wednesday 9 June 43   Interesting article on U boat warfare. Saying the people mustn’t view merely the sinking of 1 […] or even 2 or 3 but take the long view that we have lost 31.5 million […] since entering of war etc. but the rather important […] thing they mention is our new methods of dealing with this menace, & which have been very successful. More about the torrid attack on Lampedusa – tonight’s paper speaks of heavy defence battle on Kuban. The situation there is not at all clear at the moment. Rec’d letter 15 May from Mrs Cotting. […] that all personal cigarette & tobacco parcels to be stopped – on both sides – that we shall be […] in […] tea here & our authorities will do likewise. If so we’d get none so these wretched […] & the German P.O.W. will receive all our decent brands. I’m quite convinced now we don’t produce a bad cigarette or tobacco after some of the rubbish I’ve smoked – […] of […] spirits.

Thursday 10 June 43   Nothing much happening. Papers contain very little. Heard of battle of Cape Matapan & sinking of Hood & Bismark from a naval officer here. Warm weather. Read physiology today

Received a letter from Mrs Cobley 15 March – She has very kindly sent me the Kuvel ‘Sonatine’.

Friday 11 June 43   Great flap on this morning as a German Oberfeld […] inspecting the place. They came to our room above while we were at lunch. Rec’d a photograph taken by one of the guards today of myself with some of the lads at a football ground. Very warm today. Sat in sun for an hour & walked with one of the mercantile marine officers. Hurst came & held a small service. Am reading Handels Zetons oh mon mantin. Perfect gems.

Saturday 12 June 43   No O.Ps. Lovely day. Worked for some 4-5 hours this afternoon at piano & have broken the back of the 1st miron ‘noctrebles’ & commenced on some […] […] […] a hell of a thing to work at. Lost my tobacco pouch. No news in paper of any note. We hear Pantelleria has been taken. Lonchon to tea. Fosbrooke kindly gave me a tin of Rothman’s tobacco. 4 cigs. & 2 […] French also. So am quite happy again. Rhapsody in Blue – a band thing really and Barker is very fond of it so I’m setting it up for him.

Sunday 13 June 43   Pleasant day hot – tho’ some clouds at times. Worked at Ravel & Gerschion

this afternoon from 1-6 with an hour off for tea. Played passball this evening. PanteMaria taken by us without landing […] – air & naval bombardment. Lampedusa also taken I hear this pm. Wrote to Grandad Eaton, Jane & my mother.

Monday 14 June 43   Whit Monday- holiday. Dull morning. Air alarm last night at 1.30 apparently only one or 2 isolated planes – one or two bursts of flak only. We have bombed Dusseldorf again very heavily. The Americans both Wilhelmshaven & another town. Hear […] […] ment in Fr. [French] very bad & it is impossible to live with Marché noir. Le Feuvre presented me with some Fr. [French] tobacco so I’m pretty content again. Worked at Ravel etc. this afternoon.

Tuesday 15 June 43   Bad weather nothing much of note. Quiet on all fronts.

Wednesday 16 June 43   Another air alarm last night. Some air force limbless arrived including an old patient of mine from Athens  […] – he looks very well.

Thursday 17 June 43   Another air alarm last night. Apparently no bombs dropped. Absolutely nothing in the papers. We have bombed Cologne again.

Friday 18 June 43   Another air alarm last night. One is so tired in the morning after these broken nights when we have to troop down to the cellar. Weather continues to be bad – cool with rain most days. Am slogging along at Physiology & French grammar.

Saturday 19 June 43   No O.Ps. & quiet day. Very wet again & moderately cool. – papers – Hr Goebbels visits bombed areas in Ruhr & makes a speech. He lays a complaint against our ‘ terrorist methods’ before the ‘world public’ & promises revenge etc. Worked for some 4 hrs at piano mainly at ure bargne swi l’ocean. 1 milk parcel between 2 today as extra so we shall eat well this week.

Sunday 20 June 43   Pleasant warm day tho’ overcast. Worked hard this afternoon at piano. No special news – changed my cigarettes 40 for 2 pkts of French tobacco.

Monday 21 June 43   Mid summer day & lovely. The hottest day so far this year. Sunbathed. Played passball this evening & read ‘Echo de Nancy’. Received 6 letters yesterday & not one from my Joyce. 3 Mother Nov. 42 & April 17 & 28 43, one from England, one Betty Day. Wrote mother & Joyce, Mrs McLagan re her missing son & Betty Day.

Mick Gilchrist is well & living in a P.O.W. camp in Italy. An old castle, presumably an Oflag – where he has no medical work. Papers nil. Air alarm at 2am.

Tuesday 23 June 43   Dull again warm. Nil in papers of note. No sinking by U boats are seen these days. This 3 months must be the lowest of the present war – we have apparently coped with them. No offensive in Russia seems likely this summer. Heavy bombing Italy & Germany.

Wednesday 24 June 43   Air alarm last night at 2am but apparently no planes over Berlin – lasted an hour. Tired out this morning. Moderate amount work. 4 O.Ps. & round over which Henn spent ages. 90 of our planes reported shot down yesterday over Germany & occupied France etc. Hear French city Le Creusot almost completely destroyed. Heavy bombing Italy continues.

Thursday 25 June 43   Weather very unsettled, neither fine nor wet – & when one sits out a cold wind blows. – altogether not conducive to high spirits when coupled with the stagnant phase of the war at the moment. No letters from Joyce & no parcels (personal). Red Cross of course weekly.

Friday 26 June 43   Little work – weather the same. Played passball & knocked some more skin off my arm. Press conference at Vienna all about upholding the European culture of a thousand years.

Saturday 27 June 43   No work this morning of any note. This afternoon worked at Ravel’s miroirs – getting myself well tied up. Entertained the French this evening to dinner & cards – a pleasant evening & Miles turned on an excellent meal. Bed at midnight. Nil in papers.

Sunday 28 June 43   A new Fr. [French] military doctor has come to replace Goubert & one hears all the P.O.W. French Drs. will return in the next month or two being replaced by others from France. Got up at 9a.m. bathed & shaved & had le Fenore to cut my hair. Have developed a mild Nymphangitis of my L [left] arm from a septic spot & am resting it & putting on antiphlogistine. Fortunately have no general symptoms. Sat in sun this afternoon – there was a cold wind – & talked to an RNVR officer here who has lost a foot. No mail today. From 5 till 7:30 worked at Ravels Barque sur L’Ocean. Meal tonight of left over haricot & bully beef stew & meat roll added + extra potato & moderately fresh bread – margarine & marmalade & tea. Bed towards 11pm.

Monday 29 June 43   Nothing very much today. The weather continues to be very unsettled – warm but very little sun. Am monitoring my arm which seems to be settling down. No news of any import.

Tuesday 30 June 43   Same old life here continues. Talked with mercantile marine officer who has been almost all over world. Russia, America, Japan Australia, Black Sea, etc.

Wednesday 30 June 43   A slip up in my dates somewhere as today is the 30th. No German offensive. One O.P. only. I have some 8 patients in ward. O.P. an Australian seaman of 54 in a propaganda camp here 999 which all seems very irregular the camp. There are apparently several officers & N.C.O’s & the German Foreign Office people are in evidence. Every 2nd day they go on a tour of the city – like in a […] villa & have a 4 valve wireless set. Address 26 Kornerstrasse, Zeeland dorf West Berlin. We have bombed Cologne again & apparently hit the cathedral & there is a ‘leading moan’ in the papers.

Thursday 1 July 43   Williams went away this evening with 2 other chaps to Lamsdorf so I gave him a list of our chaps there. Ersekins &

King went with them to carry luggage & Glaty from Russian station went as posten, so doubtless they’ll get lost & see a good part of Germany. Moan continues over ‘Koln Dom”.

Friday 2 July 43   Moan over Koln Dom goes on & occupies a leading part of paper. The puppet press of the occupied countries has the Volkisoher Beobachter. Certainly a sorry business this destruction of fine churches & civilian dwellings but it is too late now for the German to talk when he himself employed these methods first in the Spanish civil war, the Italian in Abyssinia & now at the commencement of this war on London, Liverpool, Cardiff, Coventry & the other English cities. Weather changeable & warm, some sun this afternoon between thunder storms. Am feeling as if I want a change & wondering whether or not to apply. Miss old Hetherington badly as I’m not of kindred spirit with these people, especially Fosbrooke with whom I live.

Saturday 3 July 43   Weather still unsettled with very little sun. Last sunbathe 21 June. Read couple of articles in ‘Echo de Nancy’ from Storhan observer – Reports Anglo-Americans have considerable nos. troops & much material in Nth Africa – that an invasion is imminent – in one or more of 5 sectors, Norway, Atlantic coast, France – Mediterranean coast, France, Italy, Balkans & Roumania & Bulgaria via Black Sea – but that chief offensive is likely against Italy owing to heavy bombing. That

a landing will undoubtedly occur, but that il n’y sera pas rester longtemps’ – also discussed question as to why an invasion of Italy had not already occurred & attributed it to fact that ‘The Duce’ & his satraps had united the whole people of Italy etc etc despite the terrible bombardment. The Pope is not taking his summer holidays this year – Is trying to buy a ship to revictual the papal state. Haven’t written to Joyce this week as we got no issue of letter forms. I have one spare. Have been trying to compose a letter to my love in my mind […] not sat down. Find it harder every week to write letters. No mail. Worked at piano all afternoon till 7pm. The naval chaps went away tonight at 9.30. Old Bildt was very decent & let Barker, Wiltshire & I off appel to talk to them. Martelance will miss them. Two German marines came with an ambulance for them & Afford & Beston went to the station to help with luggage. The marines were apparently most unpleasant to them & 3 land girls referred to them as English swine. Quite typical of the Hun to treat humble fellows in this fashion. I look forward to the day when we’re on top & I’ve finished with their general hypocritical behaviour.

Sunday 4 July 43   Ersekin & King arrived back from Lamsdorf just before 9. Had a good trip there but didn’t get into the camp & had to come straight back. Glaty (from Russian station – a very low specimen) apparently was frightened by the camp people there & wanted to get back & they had a not pleasant trip back to Berlin sleeping a few hrs in a lock up. Dull cool day.

Brisdorf medical orderlies (only 6 there) came for passball. Worked at Gerschwin & Ravel. Lanchon came down also. This evening finished ‘Marling Towers’ Angela Thirkell – a novel of English county life during the present war & published in Sept 42. Pearl Harbour mentioned but not Crete or Greece & Dunkirk of course. They didn’t have much time for the French & one sees the old enmity to the Fr. cropping up again. Not a very great book – merely much chitchat but one or two good characters & interesting as one has some idea of life & thought at that time in a certain class or has one?

Monday 5 July 43   Dull again – just as one expects now in this city. No mail – no news of note & not much work. Wrote my Joyce & Mother.

Tuesday 6 July 43   General Sikorski involved in plane accident & killed & of course the German papers heard it as a murder by the British Scout Service. We are to instruct the men in anti-gas measures – which is rather interesting. Very heavy bombardment of Italy & West Germany & Channel coast continues apparently daily. Dull day with some rain this evening. Played passball.

Wednesday 7 July 43   Just a matter of getting each day finished & to bed. Poor day.

Thursday 8 July 43   Saw Fenton of 5 A.G.H. Hetherington […] who came from Westerhorst with another Med. Orderly to take a T.B. limbless lad back. (He was

also with Neale & helped him with Lawrence). Tells me Harry Nelson well & not dead – last heard of in Posen. They have all been issued with gas masks & have an A.R.P. squad. Saw Lt. Col. Stevenson S. Africa who is in solitary confinement at IIID/500 a French Kdo. & has had no satisfaction from Stalag C.O. & has now written to Swiss Embassy. He is pretty fed up there poor chap. Gave us some interesting information about the fall of Tobruk this time last year. Concerning Auchinlich Ritchie, Gott, Ramsden – Russian attack goes on between Orul & Bjebjorod.

Friday 9 July 43   2 O.Ps. from 700, a not very good Kdo. It appears where there is no room to move about & the windows are all closed at night. Played passball this evening – weather just same.

Saturday 10 July 43   Strong forces have attacked Sicily & battle in progress along whole south coast. News that Russian have destroyed 1700 German tanks & some 300 planes. Worked on piano today – dull afternoon with rain this evening.

Sunday 11 July 43   Communicat merely reports landing in Sicily & heavy fighting – no ships sunk & no reports of planes shot down.

Wednesday 4 August 43   In meantime Mussolini has been dismissed  – ‘on health grounds’ & whole Italian Govt. changed, a leading fascist newspaper Popoto Italia suppressed. Marshall

Badoglio chief minister – he who conducted Abyssinian war – small praise to him. We have demanded the absolute capitulation of Italy saving which Italians must stew in their own juice to quote Mr Churchill. Most of Sicily in our hands. Catania proving a hard nut to crack & we are concentrating more with pressure along north coast – Palermo having been evacuated. Hamburg has been severely bombed – one hears 80% destroyed etc. but a conservative estimate seems to be 60,000 killed from a population of 1,700,000 or thereabouts. Berlin is expecting a heavy raid. They are evacuating all possible – digging slit trenches, repairing shelters & have ordered people to remove all furniture possible to the suburbs. Yesterday went to Muggelsee at Ransdorf swimming. In compartment was a sewing machine, dressing table – many suitcases in addition to prams & dogs. All carried by women – some old, others young. They are commencing to evacuate patients from here tomorrow. 150 going one hears to Leipzig. More going on Friday. We have had several alerts in last few weeks but no bombing. Letters from my mother, Gotea Maaka, Mrs Cobley, Mrs Spence & others no tobacco & a cigarette parcel, tho’ at the moment am saving my English tobacco & smoking French – awful stuff really. One or two letters from Joyce but none later than March. Elbay, Lanchon & Pannequin left this morning for France – a Major, Capt. & Lieut have replaced them. The huge battle in Russia continues with if anything slight advantage to the Russians who appear

to have almost surrounded Orel, but neither side seems to have advanced much – tank hitting against tank or murderous artillery fire. Losses on both sides must be very high. We’re having a heat wave.

Thursday 5 August 43   Sudden orders to evacuate hospital & everybody fit for discharge left today. Otherwise things same. Very hot, sleeping even without a shirt in short U/pants only.

Friday 6 August 43   Rest of patients went today – one hears to Leipzig & to Knigswater. Dull day with some wind but still very hot. Fosbrooke & I went Rahnsdorf & swam in Muggelsee & then walked to a small village on an arm of the lake, myself sweating profusely. Trains full of furniture & chattels going out of Berlin.

Saturday 7 August 43   Place here absolutely deserted. We’ve all packed emergency kits to take to cellar with iron ration of biscuits & chocolate & medical kit & I’ve got French first field dressings for all our people. We are applying for evacuation from the city. Orel taken by Russians & Catania in Sicily by 8th army. Worked at piano.

Sunday 8 August 43   Dull unpleasant day & raining this afternoon. Slit trenches dug in parks & people are bricking up shelters to prevent blast. Worked hard all afternoon at piano. No mail.

Monday 9 August 43   Weather cool with rain & occasional thunder. No result from our

Application to Stalag to be moved but a letter has gone to the […] power. (All embassies, by the way, have got out of the city.) Stalag have said that camps will be shifted when they’re bombed. Typical of this race. The Russians continue to attack on the whole front & from the papers are obviously perilously near RharRow (it must now be in artillery range). Bombing is apparently a shambles & one hears that from 60,000 to 200,000 people killed. We do know that all available ambulances have gone there & that bread is being flown from Berlin. Dusseldorf we hear also is completely destroyed. Dr Goebbels has made a speech in which he said they had never envisaged such a bombardment as the German towns had suffered – that the Heimat must not let the Front down & that what the British people went thro’ in the autumn of 1940 & the way they bore themselves, which so many of us here admired, so can the Berlin people. Fosbrooke has issued an order to the British personnel here that, in the event of air raid casualties being brought here whether civil or military the British personnel will aid them to their utmost. That in event of further tr.[treatment] being req’d here they shall be treated irrespective of nationality. The officers here are very satisfied with this step.

Tuesday 10 August 43   Saw one O.P. Dull day with rain at times. Now sleep with a couple of thin blankets. Hear we took 10,000 P.O.W. at Catania, one can hope for a conclusion to

the Sicilian campaign perhaps this week. Read some short stories by Lawrence Kirk ‘Mushrooms on Toast’ very good & also ‘Action for Slander’ & enjoyed it. The crack ‘straight from the Sunday Schools of NZ’ is really quite apt. They had in any case made the last woman of all the characters. Have realised since becoming a P.O.W. how insular we are & how straight laced. It’s not a bad thing really.

Wednesday 11 August 43   Hope we shall get mail this week as I’ve had nothing from my Joyce since March (writting) 4 months is not good enough for air mail. However, there is a war so I suppose one must blame that. Sorted out my letters this morning. Must get some outstanding ones answered. Have commenced French & English, alternate evenings with Sezanto, who has a good idiomatic book. The German stagnates & I am too busy getting the C.N.S. noted at present to bother with it. Getting on much better with Fosbrooke & the others & have lost my silly paranoid ideas of a few months ago. This place is absolutely deserted. Most of the Russians from Stn.I have gone now. Hear this morning that Kharkow & Briank taken by Russians. Received some B.M.J.’s from Harlow (address ‘The Villa’). Famine in Belgium & Scotland, Poland & Greece. America is sending food to Greece & us milk to the low countries – doubtless most will find its way to the German, however it is a good gesture on our part & will be another nail in the enemy’s coffin. The Archbishop of Canterbury has instituted a fund for ₤75,000 to rebuild the hospital at Stalingrad. A surgical commission gone (probably now) to Russia – including Gordon

Gordon-Taylor & Watson-Jones.

Thursday 12 August 43   2 O.Ps. – my work for the day. Weather cool & overcast. No further news of note.

Friday 13 August 43   Letter of 31 July from Ann Huxley. Wiltshire worried over his boy who doesn’t make progress at moment. His wife writes she is moving again – apparently there has been some bombing in the neighbourhood (Chelmsford) – & that it is difficult to get a variety of food for the infant. Also her landlord apparently turned out a rotter. Wiltshire gone to 329 for a few days. Neale & Stevenson tonight suddenly moved – we imagine Seaward is behind this. A new major from Dunkirk Fosbery came & apparently off colour. Fosbrooke went out there this afternoon & saw Fosbery who is fed up & wants to return to an Oflag. 2 other M.O.s there but they were asleep. Worked on cns. [Central Nervous System]. See in a B.M.J. that Brem Highet lost at sea on his way to M.E. Had his fellowship & has been working on nerve regeneration at the Nuffield institute & had done extremely well – even been elected a Hunterian professor to deliver 2 lectures before the College. Charles Ersekins has kindly given me a new lighter – mine finished. Air alert last night – some flak.

Saturday 14 August 43   Rain again. What a summer. However one sleeps much better with cooler nights. The O.K.W. admit a break through by the Russian near Wjasma & in Sicily they shorten their bridge head according to plan. I should think Sicily is now finished. Worked at Ravel & Rhapsody in Blue all afternoon. Old mbt came in – tobacco issue today & some Junahs from Canteen. Have not seen a paper today. The big air offensive against Berlin is supposed to commence tonight. We have all our emergency kits ready to take to the cellar. Weather fine & cool this evening.

Sunday 15 August 43   Air alert last night at from 2-3am. Some flak reported south & a plane going at high speed but nothing about here. Dreamt old Bild fined me 10/- for being late for appel & was nearly too late this a.m. Slept till 9 o’clock when I heard King say ‘Bell’ & got up in a hurry. Dull morning but turned out very good. We went out to Falconsee for the afternoon (730). Went thro’ centre of city to Spandau West & then steam train. Played pass-ball – won 6-2 or thereabouts – had a good meal outside on the lawn. Lost about 4 marks ‘dog racing’. Saw Smithson & a number of other lads. Sgt Mortimer & Morris. Got home at 9pm. Most pleasant day. Had 2 postens who had a good meal there – lay in the sun & smoked English cigarettes & tobacco. Christos still doing a very good job as cook there. Supper (cold) at 9.30pm & bed 10.30. Saw a wax bust in a hair-dresser’s shop, from one angle just like my Joyce. Looked for it on the way home but missed the shop. Must look next time I’m out.

Monday 16 August 43   Air raid last night 1-2.30am. Saw one plane in search lights – good deal of flak. No bombs near here. Dull, cool morning. The summer seems to have gone. Cool overcast dismal day with hardly any sun. Standby warning at 9am lasting ½ hr. 3 siren blast, enemy planes in vicinity.

The Dolmetscher here played & sang some Richard Strauss songs to me this afternoon. Worked at c.n.s. French this evening with Fumean & Bzanto. – Have not seen a paper but reports say there is nothing of note. The great battle continues in Russia. Wiltshire not yet returned. Hope in a way we’ll have an undisturbed night. Not much catch having to cart ones gear down to cellar night after night, after being woken by the siren – a hideous noise it makes – or sit on the end of our building & crawling out of a warm bed. Nights now a little cold.

Tuesday 17 August 43   5 letters this morning. Joyce 4, 15, 30 May & 6 June & one from Mrs Spence. My Joyce well – one letter written from Napier, one from ChCh & the others after returning from her holiday. Don’t know why she didn’t go to Dunedin to see my mother, even if she solely had gone thro’. courtesy to me would have pleased me. Have an idea she can’t be bothered with my mother’s simple life & self. Bob is thinking of going to Balclutha next year – I don’t know whether he is being married or not but presume so. Unfortunate him being mixed up with that girl. I sometimes wonder if I should have got married – not waited till Bob was thro’ & given my mother more money & got myself to England for post grad. work sooner. However, the latter I couldn’t do as I had to pay his fees & was afraid they’d be short if I was out of a job for long and then I should have lost my Joyce, as she couldn’t be expected to wait years. Anyway my mother in those days had enough. No work – went up to the skin place this morning.

Wednesday 18 August 43   Sicily is finished – official in the German papers – Haeramai! Big conference between all Chiefs of Staff of English & American forces with Roosevelt & Churchill – in Canada. Our room disinfected yesterday & I slept on Stn.I. Air rid from 12-2.30am this morning possibly Spandau way. Wiltshire returned from 329 this a.m. – had a pleasant change & looks well. Warm sunny day & sat in the sun this afternoon. Annan arrived suddenly by ambulance this afternoon (he has a torn ant. [anterior] cruciate ligt [ligament] with leg in plaster) having been chucked out of his Kdo. Palandri & Readman have also gone – we think to the Black Forest. A good deal of peculiar underhand work is going on in this Stalag at present, & the general consensus of opinion is that Senward is no good. Wrote to my Joyce & my mother & to Mrs Spence yesterday.

Thursday 19 August 43   Am wondering if we’ll be shifted from here too – would quite enjoy a change now as I’ve been here a bit too long & anyway have no work at present. Peaceful undisturbed night. Warm morning sunny with a haze. Am reading a German book on the nervous system. Sat in the sun this afternoon & baked for 2 hrs. Then cold bath. Our heat wave has returned with a vengeance. Doing 2 hrs a day of French – teaching English so I should improve my vocabulary.

Friday 20 August 43   Tired this a.m. – another air raid last night from 12 till 1.30 & had to troop down to cellar. Hot hot day – no work this a.m. so worked on c.n.s. Baked in sun this afternoon. No news of note but the Russians are still attacking with great force – Germans say

they knocked out another 500 tanks yesterday. A great deal about Sicily, saying how a 1/3 of our forces were wounded or killed & of how successful was their evacuation – much the same as we’d write. Very warm again tonight – no blankets on the bed.

Saturday 21 August 43   Stifling heat – No O.Ps. – worked on c.n.s. this morning & this afternoon spent 5 hrs at piano – am getting the 2 ‘miroirs’ a bit under control. Wearing shorts & short sleeve shirt. Annan messing & living with us, but sleeping in Martelance’s room. A damn nice lad Annan.

Sunday 22 August 43   My usual day with 9 appel & morning pottering about & knocked a cricket ball about for a time. This afternoon at piano. The Dolmetscher here has loaned me some Hugo Wolff songs, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion & 2 sonatas of Max Reger, the latter not much. Wrote to Miss Huxley.

Monday 23 August 43   Weather overcast & cooler. Worked at c.n.s. & read some Lancets this afternoon – also a book by Walshe. – Kharkov evacuated by the Germans – a very important place Kharkov, if there is much of it left now.

Tuesday 24 August 43   Spent 3 hrs in cellar – 12 midnight to 3am actual bombing for about 1½ hrs & we got a few blasts. Some heavy stuff coming down. Woke up at 7.30 feeling very weary. 7 letters. Sept 42 mother also May 23 & June 6 – Leo Hannah, Adrian Webb, Miss Johnston & one May from my Joyce – delighted. Explosions still occurring this morning – as if a munition dump were hit & the city is enveloped in a pall of smoke. A British airman came in at 5.30am & we were not allowed to see him – French treated him, Insbrooke took Wiltshire

down to see him this morning & created a stink over it. Airman landed on Tempelhof aerodrome, was looked after all right – taken into a shelter – slight burns of face & hands only. He is in the linen room & guarded but King was allowed to see him early this afternoon. All walks stopped – for French also.

Wednesday 25 August 43   Warm hazy morning – minor air raid last night from 11.30 to 12.45pm. Few bombs dropped. Papers report 60 planes shot down but I think this figure is too high. Slept this afternoon till 4pm & usual routine. Wrote Webb, Mother, Miss Johnston, my Joyce.

Thursday 26 August 43   Warm hazy day – another minor air raid last night from 11.30-12.45am & we trooped to the cellar. Worked on c.n.s. this a.m. Annan hustled away back to his Kdo this a.m. at 9 in the hospital van. I didn’t have a chance to wish him goodbye. Slept for 2 hrs this afternoon. Read c.n.s. & worked on it this p.m. Played deck tennis with Wiltshire, Potts & Clarke. An hours English French with Szano. Bed 11pm. Hope we get an undisturbed nights sleep. The conference in Canada concluded last Tuesday. – There is much damage between Tempelhof & Papastrasse & certain lines are not yet functioning.

Friday 27 August 43   Same routine – warm & hazy with not much sun. No news of note. The terrific battle on Russian front continues with undiminished intensity. Tobacco parcel/ Mrs Douglas.

Saturday 28 August 43   Same – worked at piano this afternoon.

Sunday 29 August 43   Most of lads & Fosbrooke & Wiltshire went to 329. Dull day with intermittent rain. Worked at piano this afternoon till 7pm. News much same. Heavy fighting everywhere on Russian front & Germans steadily being driven back.

Monday 30 August 43   Cooler today & heavy rain & some thunder. One O.P. this a.m. & I now have one patient or Matic’s really. Tagenroc on Sea of […] evacuated by Germans. Life here continues much the same. I get up at 7.25am, go on appel, bath shave & eat my frugal breakfast & then work till 10 when I drift about to look for some work – usually return at 11 & work till noon when we eat. King Boris Bulgaria dead.

Tuesday 31 August 43   Dull day with alternate bursts of sun & heavy rain. It is evident that the large scale raid on 24 August has caused a lot of damage mainly in south west it appears. Started my exercises again this afternoon & feel much better this p.m. for it. We all have the cafard at the moment. Barker is the worst – has had a cold & generally miserable in body & spirit. About time we had another air raid. Received ½ lb St Bryno tobacco from N.Z. Patriotic fund so my note to them on sending tobacco instead of cigarettes has got home. Perhaps some more mail tomorrow.

Wednesday 1 September 43

Heute habe ich 32jahren [Today I am 32 years old]. Sure enough an air raid last night on the same area, one hears, as the last attack. From 12 midnight till 2am & I got up most unwillingly. Large fire in west of town still burning this morning. Dull day with patches of sun & clear again this evening. No patients. Did my usual routine of work. Some mail in but none for me. Have given up sleeping in afternoon as one feels terrible afterwards & am also eating less as I don’t wish to put on weight. Did my exercises again this afternoon & am getting back to form, skipping for 15 minutes with an opening break of 6 mins without stopping & today did the 6 mins with a foot fault. Paper – heavy air raids on 2 towns of south Germany. Ostfront some communicat. Severe defensive fighting against superiority in men & material. Landing craft bombed in Sicily – am expecting to see an anglo-american operation shortly in southern Europe. Wrote Joyce, mother, Mrs Clarke, Isobel & to Red Cross (Bodleian Library) thanking them for books. Talbot left us yesterday so there are now no P.O.W. French Drs. here. Mostly regulars & I don’t like the look of the majority.

Thursday 2 September 43   Good night’s sleep. Usual routine. No O.Ps. Exercises this afternoon & worked at French.

Friday 3rd September 43   Good night’s sleep again. Long communicat today & leading articles on entering the 5th year of war. Pictures of the Polish & French campaigns & of our retreat in France but nothing of this year & of last year only Sebastopol. Battle of Orel finished – German having retired here as he seems to be everywhere on whole middle & south front.
GREAT NEWS. After several small landing raids which were repulsed English troops landed in force in the Calabria area of Italy opposite Straits of Messina so the invasion of the continent proper has begun. Exercises & usual routine.

Saturday 4th September 43   Heavy air raid last night – alert from 11.45pm to 2.15am & much dropped it appears. Have not heard any details yet but apparently yellow area involved as the British Kdo there was hit but fortunately no one injured. Spent morning making up mess accounts. Worked this afternoon at piano.

Sunday 5th September 43   Pleasant day. Darned socks & walked in court with Barker & Wiltshire. We don’t like the look of most of the new ‘prei nulige’ (tho’there is really no ‘prei’ about it) French Drs. One of them complained to Wiltshire of our bombing of Paris said we should bomb Rome instead. The French have a peculiar decadent affection for their capital. They want to avoid it being bombed at any price. Barker says they’ve no guts & I rather agree with him. They’re up & down, like the barometer & seem incapable of steering anything but a course of comme ci comme ca.

There are many exceptions of course – at the moment we’ve written most of them off but perhaps I shall revise this later. Worked this afternoon at piano. Good night’s sleep.

Monday 6 September 43   Pleasant day & took some sun this afternoon in a deck chair. Perhaps some mail tomorrow. K is back with some interesting tales. News – We have taken several more places in Catalina & the ‘weak’ German Italian forces have retired to new positions. Very difficult to know what’s going on in Italy but one hears things. The papers are very reticent about the situation & today there is some discrepancy between the O.K.W. & Italian Communicat, the latter says after brave & courageous defence against an attacking enemy superior in men & material G.I. troops merely retreat & we followed up slowly. Good night’s sleep. The Cypriot Kdo hit by incendiaries & they’ve lost all their belongings but no one injured fortunately. Mannheim bombed last night.

Tuesday 7 September 43   Warm sunny morning with a haze – good night’s sleep. Worked all a.m. & slept for 1½ hrs this afternoon. Munich bombarded last night & Strasbourg & Stuttgart by day yesterday. G.I. troops retreat in Calabria & heavy defence fighting by G. on south of Ostfront. Possibly a raid tonight. Fosbrooke gave me a decent tobacco pouch.

Wednesday 8 September 43   Terrific battle continues on Ostfront with Germans in middle & South Front gradually being forced back.

No more coming.

Thursday 9 September 43   Italy has capitulated – unconditional surrender. – Terrific news. The papers ‘Feiger verrat Badoglios’. It was apparently arranged on 3rd Sept Badoglio & Eisenhower meeting I think in Palermo, after preliminary parties being undertaken by representatives. Germans say they have taken all necessary measures & that it was not unexpected.

Friday 10th September 43   Official publication of the circumstances of Mussolini’s arrest. He had a 2hr audience with the King in an effort to get more power to deal with people sabotaging etc. At the end of interview the King informed him that Badoglio was his successor & that he should report to him & be obedient in all things to him. Mussolini objected & on going out to his car found it removed & in its stand an ambulance with 6 men including a Colonel of the Carabinieri. M. [Mussolini] cried in a loud voice for his auto & the Col. stepped forwards & said Excellency, I have orders to take you under arrest. M. objected strongly & was without more ado seized & tied to a stretcher & dumped in the ambulance & driven off. The papers here are furious with the Italians.

Saturday 11 September 43   Hitler made a speech last night which is reported today. Briefly he goes over Italy’s entry into the war & the help they received from her. Save for a few good […] they had little help so they say. He absolves Muss. from all guilt & says he had a very difficult posn [position]. That Italian people must carry unending shame etc. etc. That he had taken all necessary measures. […] has Rome. Rommel & someone else in N.Italy & we seem to have South Italy, whole east coast inc. Venice & Sardinia & Rhodes. Russians have Marispel & seem to be in about 120Km of Kiev. We have apparently bombarded Bolongne from the sea. Presumably by units of Home Fleet. Altogether things seem to be moving with us definitely on top.

Sunday 12 September 43   Was wrong about Rhodes, it is in German hands & I don’t think we have the whole East Coast of Italy tho’ the papers are conspicuously silent over it. Worked today at piano.

Monday 13 September 43   Mussolini freed by German S/S & Parachutists, a ⅓ of the latter falling over the mountain sides & losing their lives in the operation. Apparently a good bit of work – on the mountain at a height of 6000ft & the Italian guards first packed in. A stork

made a difficult landing – picked up Mussolini & made a not too easy take off & he has gone to visit Hitler. Papers all making the most of it. Russians continue their steam roller in middle & south fronts. Every few days some new town geräumt.

Tuesday 14 September 43   Great news. An Austansch of medical personnel & all the orderlies from here except Tarne & Price are to be returned to England with Barker & Wiltshire. Fosbrooke & I remaining. The Germans apparently want some of their medical personnel back. Vth American army has landed at Salermo. Air raid last night – not much.

Wednesday 15 Sept 43   Another air raid – not much dropped. Americans seem to be getting themselves into a fix at Salerno.

Thursday 16 September 43   Air raid again last night. The navy & air force are hammering the enemy at Salerno & reinforcements have been landed. Some 2449 Americans captured – 8th British Army doing forced marches & fighting its way north to contact the V American army who seem to have made a mess of things.

Friday 17 September 43   Another air raid – not much. Situation at Salerno bitter & appears no likelihood of our withdrawal there now. Russians pushing on hard & approaching the Dnepr.

Saturday 18th September 43   News same, quiet night. Worked at piano. Tobacco parcel & Ravel’s Sonatine arrived this week.

Sunday 19th September 43   3 letters Joyce, Mother & Bob. Worked at piano.

Monday 20 September 43   Situation at Salerno now reversed & we have initiative. 8th Br. Army has reached Vth American so all should now be well. Russian offensive continues. Went to Solex Cypriot Kdo. 837.

Tuesday 21 September 43   Fosbery & Padre Thomas in from 329 & we spent a most pleasant afternoon with them over coffee & cigarettes. Air raid last night light.

Wednesday 22 September 43   Tait from Tellow in yesterday morning. Good to see some new faces. Price now going home & Pugh (Sgt) radiographer remaining. Xray working but as yet only screening possible as no films & developer.

Thursday 23 September 43   Some more mail. 3 from my Joyce – Wanda Ferrio & Anne Huxley & Mrs Douglas England.

Friday 24 September 43   Poltawa evacuated. Russians on Dnepr in South & German position on middle & south front chaotic apparently. They deny reports of this from

England in paper today. Swedes have been c/o treatment of Russian P.O.W. in Norwegian camps talking of mass murders & also express much pleasure over the tyrant Mussolini being removed & Germans are very cross about it all. We now seem to have most of south of Italy below Salerno & are apparently now fighting near Naples. Sardinia has been evacuated by German & most of Corsica. Free Serbs together with odd Iti’s are fighting in northern Italy & have occupied part of Venice & also hold two fronts on Adriatic. We have 3 or 4 Italian prisoners here. Went to 700 & 730 yesterday with Barker. Barker & Wiltshire not sure about going home as Tait & Fosbery are being considered. Some gloom about as a result.

Saturday 25 September 43   German U boats active again & claim to have sunk 12 destroyers & 9 merchant ships in a convoy from England to America in Nth Atlantic. Weather now much cooler. Smolensk & Roslawl evacuated by German. Air alert at 11.45am & we all trooped to cellar with O.Ps. Saw a Sth African who left Italy last Sunday & arrived at Teltow on Thursday evening. He looks very well. In a camp near Rome says some of camp gates opened on day of armistice but the Germans took their particular camp. Worked at Ravel Miroirs & Sonatine this afternoon & played some Messiah for the Dolmetscher here. Papers say in Salerno sector our attacks failed.

Sunday 26 September 43   Cold day. Worked at piano from 4-7 & read a pleasant novel. We’re feeding very well from Canadian parcels.

Monday 27 September 43   Russian pressure continues & they’re now approaching the Djneper. Not much work – very cold nights & I have taken to a hot water bottle.

Tuesday 28 September 43   Life pretty tranquil. For some time I’ve been doing O.Ps. myself – simply telling Timreck what I want done & it is fixed.

Wednesday 29th September   2 Italian Drs & some orderlies have arrived & are locked up in Russian station. Fosbrooke saw one who told him his life story in fast French. One letter from Alan Londoun – wrote him & mother, my Joyce & Uncle Bob. We’ve taken Foggia & seem to be advancing towards Naples. Some chaps from 8th army say that the Americans are not too good.

Thursday 30 September 43   Another month gone – chilly morning. I feel terribly well in this weather. Bath water good […] now.

Wiltshire in dumps because Barker got 34 letters yesterday & he none. No further word of when move will occur tho’ Stalag have asked for a list of credits with receipts held by those on list. Went out to Falkensee to 700 where they have 900 Italians & when I arrived they were brazen awaiting a parade in one compound & some French in another compound & fortunately for the former 2 fences of barbed wire between. Then to 730 where a good meal & back to hospital at 8pm taking the Grinau train from Spandau West via Nordring & changing at Treptower Park. Lovely autumn day.

Friday 1 October 43   Much milder today & sunny autumn day. Letter of 29 June from my Joyce & a letter of 5 April that reached her from me. One from Tess Stanley of 30 May. Jack had 4 months to make friends with his small daughter & left again for overseas as Grade I in May. Walked in yard with King this morning for ½ hr & am reading c.n.s.

Saturday 2 October 43   We have Naples & retreat continues in Russia. Krementschung now evac on Dnepier. Warm sunny day. Worked at piano.

Sunday 3 October 43   2 letters 9 & 10 Aug. NZ. Grandad Eaton & Joyce. All very well. Pleasant warm day & worked at piano.

Monday 4 October 43   Warm pleasant day – one O.P. – read & slept for an hour this afternoon.

Air alert (stand-by) (3 blasts) at 10.30 this morning lasting 20 mins or so – recon. plane apparently. We have bombed Munich & Casel by night & […] Germany. Parts of France & Holland by day. Harvest Festival yesterday at Reichsports palast. Dr Goebbels made a speech which is reported in today’s papers. There appears no likelihood of Germany starving – only the occupied countries. Exercises this afternoon.

Tuesday 5 October 43   Not much work. To Sollusc this evening & saw Emery.

Wednesday 6 October 43   Wrote to Joyce & sent her a photo – we’ve just got the groups taken last day. Slept this afternoon for an hour or so.

Thursday 7 October 43   To 700 & 730 today & rushed round. Came back to Lehrter Bahnhof & saw the Hamburg express.

Friday 8 October 43   Weather fair, cool day. Screened a chest this morning & made up mess a/cs. [accounts]. Slept for 2hrs this afternoon. Warm & sunny in our room. Worked at piano from 5 till 6.45pm. French this evening. No further mail.

Saturday 9 October 43   May letter from mother (surface) with 2 very good snaps. Good weather little work. Read an Ian Hay. Air alert at 11.45-2.30 – cellar.

Sunday 10 October 43   Good weather continues – cold mornings & sunny days – sun leaves courtyard now about 3pm. Worked at piano till 6.30pm. News. Kuban finally evacuated by German. We continue to advance slowly in Italy. Rumoured that the Br. from this stalag are going to Innsbruck. Air raid 8.30 to 9.30pm. last night.

Monday 11 October 43   We have bombed Bremen by day & night & also Hanover. Dinner this evening with our N.C.O’s who are leaving us on Wednesday, we hope for England. They go to Falconsee 700 & then on to Throingen & France one hears. Thanks to some coffee & butter a good dinner.

Tuesday 12 October 43   Good weather continues. Like April in Canterbury NZ. Hordes of O.Ps. French Italian Russian – saw a few myself. There are large numbers of Italians from Greece with syphilis. They’re a poor lost-looking crowd. Munster & ports on Baltic bombed. We seem to be nearing Rome & in Russia the attack is in full blast again with reports of heavy fighting in regions of Gomel, Wilki, Luki & between Sea of Asow & Saporosche.

Wednesday 13 October 43   Cold morning with clear sunny sky. All our N.C.Os and orderlies except Tarne & Pugh left this a.m. about 10.30. The Chevaryt (Gewalt) said he hoped they considered they had been well treated & thanked them for their service & Fosbrooke made a short speech to them. Place is now pretty dead. Fortunately I only have one patient due to go out.

Thursday 14 October 43   Out to Falcensee & saw our chaps at 700 – living with the Cypriots – & then on to 730 where Napolean produced his usual good meal for me. Lovely day – got back at 8pm.

Friday 15 October 43   Same routine – not much of note occurring here – & the place is very quiet.

Saturday 16 October 43   No O.Ps. Went to Wuhlheide 329 this afternoon & saw Seward about a few things in connection with 700 & 837 – mainly fuel for 700 which is non-existent & the poor fellows can’t cook their meals. Spent pleasant 1½ hrs with Fosbery, Todd, Cooper, Thomas, Scarborough & had tea with them – came back at 5.30.

Sunday 17 October 43   Up at 9am. Since our men left we don’t go on appel – the orderly corporal checks us in our rooms. Worked at piano this afternoon till 6.30. Saporoshje evacuated by German. We have resumed the attack in Italy. Air raid […] from 9-10.30pm.

Monday 18 October 43   Milder weather & heating is now on slightly. No work this morning. Did some cns – Went to Sollux – things ok there & few sick. Air raid this p.m. (slight) from 8.30-9.30pm.

Tuesday 19 October 43   No further mail – misty a.m. & it appears as if Berlin was enveloped in a smoke screen last night – a recent innovation for air defence. Hordes of Italians coming as O.Ps.

Wednesday 20 October 43   No smoke screen, I think only mist. Dull warm.

Thursday 21 October 43   To 700 & 730 – warm pleasant day – back at 7.30pm. nothing of note. Fuel for Cypriots now satisfactory.

Friday 22 October 43   Discharged my one remaining patient & saw 4 O.Ps. Worked at piano for a couple of hours.

Saturday 23 October 43   Large Russian offensive continues with day after day the same news in the paper of defensive tactics – or some new place evacuated. We bombed Kassel & lost according to papers 48 planes. Worked at piano from 1.30 till 6.30 with an hour off for tea. Wrote to Wanda Ferris.

Sunday 24 October 43   Warm dull day – walked in court & this afternoon some music. Announced in papers that Melitopol evacuated of German rearguard & that first German wounded in exchange arrived in a German harbour on 22nd Oct.

Monday 25 October 43   Same in papers day after day. Heavy Russian attacks & tenacious defence by German. Italy not much of note.

Tuesday 26 October 43   All British from this Stalag moving to we hear somewhere near Dresden – whether we go I know not. One letter from my mother – an old surface June. Weather continues to be very pleasant.

Wednesday 27 Oct 43   Wrote to my Joyce – a wedding anniversary letter & to mother. Very little happening. The Australians, Canadians & Indians (no N.Z’s. mentioned) went to Barcelona & were repatriated to W.Africa the English to Gottburg in Sweden & went home on 2 ships from there. There seems some vague rumours that a further exchange is to be effected shortly but we don’t know anything here. Anyway I hope to get home when the war ends.

Thursday 28 October 43   Married 4 years today & not even one anniversary with my Joyce. Went to 700 – all Cypriots gone & to 730 – they’ve all gone. So came back at 4.30pm. Got Debussy’s ‘Chittens Corner’ & ‘Reflections in Water’ today – from Lehon. Lovely autumn day.

Friday 29 October 43   Have seen 3 Frenchmen this week in O.P.s & that’s about all I’ve had to do. Barker fed up with Italians who behave like spoilt children. They’re an absolutely hopeless lot.

Saturday 30 October 43   Another good day – most of leaves on our trees have fallen & this morning the French & Russians heaped them into piles & burnt them. One Scot from 428 this a.m. but his papers not in order so he comes again on Monday. Some mail but none for me. Kremenchug evacuated by German this week. Worked at piano all afternoon & read Neil Bell’s ‘Carduroy’.

Sunday 31 October 43   Another lovely day – walked in court for an hour this morning & worked at piano – finished Corduroy & read ‘The Middle Watch’. There is no question of our moving at present. Chevarty says we will be remaining here – that he will recommend us all to be included in next repatriation party because we’ve worked well. Wait & see – there is something about another exchange but nothing definite at present.

Monday 1 November 43   Fresh a.m. with sun which is getting lower each day. No mail from my Joyce since 3 Oct.

1 February, Tuesday   Slack in writing this. A good deal has happened since November. Our lads have got home safely & we’ve had letters, myself from Potts who has sent me some cigarettes & tobacco. They had 28 days leave after arrival in Leith with a great welcome & a further 10 days at Xmas. Since Xmas I’ve had some 30 letters & Joyce’s are almost complete. She hoped to spend Xmas with Mother in Dunedin. A letter also from Dr Lamb assuring me she ran no risks & that he considered she would be perfectly safe with Xray work. A very sweet letter from my[…] herself on the same subject. Bob to be married 22 Dec. & to go to Invercargill this year. He was married in a BD so Mother said (or that he would be) so I suppose is in the army still. Last year he was a 2/Lt. Since 22 Nov. we’ve had very heavy raids here & the place is badly knocked about. At present communication somewhat upset from 3 heavy attacks at the end of last week & on Sunday evening. We took some tiles on the roof & had a number of windows smashed with blast but so far have been very fortunate. There have been several near misses 200-300 yards with H.E. & in the last raid a P. bomb hit a corner of the building but didn’t go off. These are small – some 30 lbs only. We applied to be shifted but nothing doing at present. No Br. patients save occas. [occasional] O.Ps.

Barker & Wiltshire have Fr. & Italian orderlies & have much trouble in getting things done. On the whole they’re lazy, dirty & inefficient. War. We have so far made slow progress in Italy but have made a successful landing at Heltimo 50km. S.[south of] Rome & things are going better. The Russians have advanced much in S [south] front & Zhitomir is in their hands & they are making efforts to cut main line from Germany to Odessa which supplies 3 German armies on Dryper bend. At the moment the main offensive is in the North between Leningrad & Illmensee & German is retreating. With all the talk of shortening the front by retreating it appears to have been considerably lengthened. There is much talk of invasion. French papers report the whole plan was completed & submitted to Stalin & staff at Teheran & unanimously approved. Mr Churchill has said it will come this year. On 30th Jan. anniversary of Party & chief had just commenced his speech when alarm went & everyone had to take to the cellars. No bombs dropped. Tarne saw a Br. airman yesterday – had been well treated – landed in a tree & hurt his abdomen but apparently superficially only. Said he didn’t want to stay here as this place is due for ‘a packet’.

Invasion Staff – C/Ss G. Eisenhower, 2 C/S. air V/M Tedder. C.O. Americans Gen. Lee / C.O. English Gen. Montgomery. French papers speak of us as using 300 Divisions, but they are not well informed & publish any rumour which comes on the wind. Since end Oct. am working with Gunner & Popoff in Lab. & it’s very tranquil. An exceptionally mild winter. No snow.

Wednesday 2 February 44   Yesterday afternoon Wiltshire & I went to the Charity with a c.s. fluid & then to Stalag to see Wick. Not a tram running & everyone travelling on U Bahn. Trams absolutely packed. In every street are piles of rubbish & damaged buildings, some completely knocked down, many burnt & more damaged by blast or flying rubble. Fully ½ the Charity is destroyed including the pathological Dept. where we went to P.Ms. last year & M42. No hostility from people most of whom probably do not know who we are. The F. speech is devoid of interest save for its almost completely negative outlook – certainly nothing in it to comfort the people. A few of our planes over between 8 & 9pm & we went to the cellar but nothing notable. Barker, Wiltshire & I on the Hokonui last p.m. – success. Gas supply still negligible.

Thursday 3 February 44   No further parcels & am on my last tin of tobacco which I must spin out over 2 weeks (2oz). London bombarded last Saturday-Sunday night & papers now announce that we minimise the effect. So the OKW has published the ‘fact’ that 900 bombers were used 750 over London & 150 in south (& here reports differ in that S.W. appears in one place & S.E. in another) & that 34 planes are missing. These figures correspond pretty well to our own raids in planes used & in losses. One supposes they can withdraw planes from the fronts, but the figure 900 seems somewhat too like our own nos. for accuracy. The Russian offensive now particularly heavy in the N. [north] & the Estland border now close. Moonlight & no raids. We seem to be going ahead steadily in Italy.

Friday 4 February 44   We’ve been on to Hokonui game this p.m. which is amusing. Lutz & Rowno evacuated by German. These towns lie 100-200kms from German occupied Poland. Hear this evening London again bombed. Declaration in paper this a.m. by Spanish Govt. to remain neutral at all costs. A Spanish paper however writes how they hate ‘Bolchenism’ so if the Govt. permits articles of sort & encourages

volunteers to the German army they’ll land in the soup. Franco, an avowed enemy of Russia must be worrying over the position & will probably be amenable to reason if he wishes to keep his position & head, otherwise I should imagine that country would not be much of an obstacle to us. Anyway he’s had an ugly past & will have to answer for that sometime. Colder today & a little snow fell – just a few flakes. Reading Ascheff’s pathology in the German.

Saturday 5 February 44   Not feeling myself these days – retired to bed for afternoon.

Friday 18 February 44   Had heavy attack of influenza last week. Started Monday & temp fell by lysis to normal on Friday p.m. Thought I had something more on one or two days. Am now back to normal with cold bath in a.m. & feel absolutely grand. Wrote to Mother, Loudoun, Ann […], Webb (NZ) & Uncle Liam & to my Joyce this week. No mail but 300 cigs from Canada this month. Heavy air raid on Berlin 3 nights ago. 49 planes shot down according to papers. Fortunately mainly in centre & north of city & we had nothing near. Am quite sure Chevarty is keeping us here because he thinks we shall not be bombed if Br. here. London bombed again early this week.

Much talk of the invasion. Reported to be published in Trait d’union. (Fr. equivalent to ‘Camp’’) that Mr Churchill has stated the world will be astonished before end of March by a military undertaking of tremendous proportions. We’ll wait & see. I place no reliance on French papers as they’re often badly informed & too liable to rush into print. Italy goes slowly, & we’re not making much progress with our bridgehead at Netlano, designed to cut German L.of C. [line of communication] to south sector. Papers admit fighting is worse than they’ve experienced on East Front with unheard of artillery fire. One has impression we’re content to wait till the operations start in west before taking Rome.

Saturday 19 February 44   Not much work this morning. This afternoon worked at piano. The OP 10 […] No. 2 doesn’t seem to progress much. I can’t get my damned R [Right] arm […] enough as yet & the action of the piano is slow & stiff. However it’s good practice & ground work. Hokonui this p.m. London bombed last night. Reported to be heaviest since 40 – Big articles in paper on subject & some criticism of inaccurate reports by Swedish papers. Undoubtedly heavy but probably good deal of pep for people here. Long article on how everything is in readiness for dealing with invasion.

Sunday 20 February 44   Full air alarm at 3am. Got up & sat in cellar

till nearly 5 but there was no raid here, so we’ve fooled them again. Slept in till 9.45 & got up & had a hot shower before the cold. 3 letters Ann Huxley (2nd instalment only) Jan 22. Chas. Ersekins Jan 22 & Brownie Nov 7th. Sunny morning & quite pleasant. Finished an obscurely imaginative book of Virginia Woolf termed a biography ‘Orlando’. Peculiar & obviously written by a woman. A number of people are mentioned & thanked in preface, for information which in some cases seems irrelevant e.g. Lord Berners for his notes on Elizabethan music & of this there is ‘gar nichts’ [‘notheing at all’]. Full air alarm at 1.30pm lasting till 2.15pm. No bombs dropped & no flak. Read Leacock’s biography of ‘Mark Twain’.

Monday 21 February 44   Dull cold day. We lost 83 planes on night Sat-Sun according to papers in raids on middle Germany inc. Leipzig. Heavy fighting at Nettimo. Did my ½ hr in yard. Air alarm but no sirens went.

Tuesday 22 February 44   Had an attack of tachycardia in bed last night. Most amusing to look back on tho’ I was terrified at the time & thought I’d got muscarine poisoning till I realised Fosbrooke was snoring away peacefully. No doubt due to taking some exercise with W.B. & Tarne. We’ve taken to hitting a ball about with a baseball club. Today’s paper ‘The truth about Tcherkassy’.

A number of surrounded German Divisions have apparently fought their way back to the main force. It is obvious that the Russians regard it in a different light to the German who claims it as a great victory & the generals […] including a damned Belgian have been awarded high decorations. The paper states that any other interpretation than theirs is lies. One wonders. They’re attacking hard at Nettuno. American & English losses in Italy to date stated as 100,000. Heavy raids by day on middle Germany & a night attack on Stuttgart. Another German raid on London. Mother’s birthday – drafted out a letter to her.

Wednesday 23 February 44   Krinoi Reg evacuated by German & shortening of front in north. No mail. Wrote to my Joyce. Played our ball game between 5-6pm. Started Walpole’s Herries Chronicle. London bombed last night.

Thursday 24 Feb. 44   London bombed again & we bombed extensive areas in Germany & also the Protectorate & are stated to have lost 119 planes. Nettuno chronic & Germans state some of the heaviest battles of this war have occurred there.

Friday 25 Feb. 44   London again bombed & we bombed by day & night yesterday north middle & south Germany including

Schweinfurt & reputedly lost some 160 planes. Mr Churchill has made a speech in House in which he states 44 will probably not give a decision & that we have heavy fighting ahead for which Italy is an example.

Saturday 26 Feb. 44   Spent afternoon reading Wallpole’s ‘Herries Chronicle’ & played football this p.m.

Sunday 27 Feb. 44   A good mail. My Joyce 8, 22, 29 Nov. Mother 17 Nov & Bob had just been married. I feel it should mean much more to me than it really does, but we’ve so little in common & I’m sorry to find him so unutterably boring & a bit of a nincompoop – never got over him whisper down the phone to that girl of his. I thought she was a wall flower or hot house plant. Looks healthy enough but a ‘damn or blast’ would never pass her lips. Just too, too utterly Victorian & I’ve had enough of this type of female in my own aunts & even mother at times & their friends. Neither my mother nor he have ever mentioned her in letters save recently my mother who said she was pleased to have found a daughter which means I presume that Joyce hasn’t come up to scratch in that respect. However I love my mother & my Joyce both & they seem to get on together very well so this

may not be a correct surmise. I think after I expressed my disapproval at this girl’s remarks concerning Joyce & her behaviour to Gilchrists people the engagement was broken for a while. Only had rumours of it from Joyce in letters to Egypt. Am not sure what I should do, write & send my blessings to this sister-in-law or wait till I’ve heard from Joyce & see if the girl has paid respect to my wife. If she hasn’t there will be nothing doing. I’m an obstinate devil but if I’m considered a disapproving relation & no courtesy is shown to my wife to hell with this sister-in-law. Meanwhile the policy is one of waiting. Letters from Ann Huxley, Aunt Maggie & Ed. Turner. Sam overseas with air force. Worked at piano.

Monday 28 Feb. 44   Damned cold weather with snow. Played football 5-6.

Tuesday 29 Feb. 44   Same routine with football.

Wednesday 1 March 44   March in like a lion & I hope will go out as a lamb. Wrote Joyce, Mother, Ersekins, Brownie, Aunt Maggie & Ed Turner.

Thursday 2 March 44   Last week we lost about 600 planes in day & night raids over Germany & this last few days 4, 19, 5 & similar numbers – Flakabuchr – Have we put a number of Hun fighters to earth?

Friday 3 March 44   Usual routine with football & wrenched my knee a bit – nothing much. Russians attack mainly in N [north]. & middle & German carries out […]. In Italy hard fighting continues. We don’t seem to make much headway at Nettuno nor to lose ground of importance.

Saturday 4 March 44   Finished Walpole’s ‘Herries Chronicle’ a monumental work of great value & interest. Air standby at 3am. Some flak (few shots) but I didn’t get up except to […]. Full alarm at 1.30pm & we trooped to cellar but distant. Worked at piano. To bed with a hot bottle at 11pm. Cold weather – gave football a rest. Tarn produced some excellent pikelets for tea & we had a supper of Canadian meat roll, bacon – an egg & baked potatoes – soup. Raspberries & custard.

Sunday 5 March 44   Lovely spring day – walked in sun for ½ hr at mid-day & worked at piano. Buds are commencing to appear on the trees & ground snow all gone. Air stand-by (3 blasts) at 3am. Didn’t get up & all clear went ½ hr or so later. No mail today. Can hardly expect any for a few weeks now.

Monday 6 March 44   Lovely day. First important air raid by day on Berlin – no details yet but it seems Spandau, Teltow & a large locomotive factory near Konigswusterhansen bombed. Raid lasted about 1hr & there was nothing dropped near us. Busy in Lab. Played football & this evening read. Air standby at 8pm lasting ½ hr.

Tuesday 7 March 44   Little snow last p.m. but has gone by this p.m. Wrote to my Joyce, Grandad Eaton, Mother & commenced a letter to June. Finnish Parliament is considering proposals by Russian Govt in secret session. At Nettuno heavy rain has made everything a quagmire & the German has no success in narrowing our bridge-head. Nor do we seem to make much headway. New Russian offensive in Sth. Sector. From Chepetowka to Dniper direction of attack being south. Played football.

Wednesday 8 March 44   Papers claim shot down planes on 6th as 140. Zorndorf village badly hit but fortunately 428 escaped & our chaps had a good view of an aerial battle. 1 plane came down near them & they saw 3 parachutes coming down safely & 1 which failed to open. Possibly the poor chap was unconscious when he left the plane. I hope so. Another daylight raid today by a large number of planes. Spent from 1.30 till 3.45pm in cellar. Mainly outskirts of town & we hear a synthetic petrol factory at Erkner destroyed. Air standby at about 3am. I didn’t get up. Wrote to my Joyce & to June – cards to mother, Bob, Grandad Eaton & to Liam Robinson.

Thursday 9 March 44   Cool dull day. Day attack again from 1pm to 2.45pm – nearer today. Papers claim some 84 planes yesterday up to date of these 60 bombers. Barker to N [north]. Berlin this a.m. & came back with Chevarty in his Auto union drop-head saloon. Says damage severe. Barker gave me a tin of John Cotter as I’m out of tobacco. Very decent of him. Wiltshire has flue. Walked in court this p.m. with Grunsly who hopes to return to France shortly. Read pathology this evening. To bed with French play at 10.10pm.

Friday 10 March 44   9 planes shot down in day attack yesterday by flak. No fighters used by German. Cold weather again. One letter of 23 Dec from NZ House.

Saturday 11 March 44   Heavy fighting in S. [south] Sector of Ostfront & Russians gaining ground. Ulman an important town of Ukraine taken. Worked at piano this p.m. & played Bridge with Miles, Tarn & Pugh this p.m.

Sunday 12 March 44   Usual routine. Walked in yard this a.m. & worked at piano till 6pm.

Monday 13 March 44   Russians at Tarnepes which means that Lemberg-Odessa railway is cut. No news of Japanese theatre. Reading Aschoff’s pathology.

Tuesday 14 March 44   Saw 2 N.Zers. from Genshagen. Div Cad. V an R.M.T. Not too much work. Snowed again last night.

Wednesday 15 March 44   2 letters from my Joyce 7, 14 Dec. others from Sister Field, Uncle Bob, Adrian & Betty Webb, Mrs Spence & Miss Johnston. Joyce a week with mother & no mention made

of Bob’s wife & no attempt on part of latter to see Joyce. Am simply furious – appears this wench will not see our family & refused to meet with Betty when she was in Dunedin with my mother. All the more angry because I sent a card with my compliments to Bob & his wife some 2 mths ago. Intemperate & hasty. Shall write to mother but I shall first await further letters from Joyce to see if this discourtesy was rectified. Joyce writes that my mother considers this wretched intruder selfish spoilt & self centred & that Bob thinks she will change if he can get her away from her mother, who is apparently a Victorian type of the worst type. If Bob thinks he’ll get away with this misalliance without any change of relations with me he is a fool. Wrote to my mother but not concerning this, & to my Joyce & to Ann Huxley.

Thursday 16 March 44   Barker off colour with sinusitis. Rumours of another repat. & Stalag have asked for my particulars. Reports from England over the same so some of us may be lucky. Appears as if Fosbrooke, Pugh & Miles will remain as indispensable & that I may go as MO to a Br. camp & Barker, Wiltshire & Tarn be lucky. We shall see. It is too optimistic for

me to expect to get home tho’ I’m not really required here – am doing job of a Fr. [French] Dr. who has not been replaced.

Friday 17 March 44   Busy in Lab. Russian offensive continued in Sth on larger scale & Germans admit giving ground. No further air raids tho’ no moon.

Saturday 18 March 44   Worked till 2.45 in Lab. & then at piano. Played Bridge with Wiltshire Tarn & Pugh. We are attacking again against Casino – by N.Z, Indian & Fr. troops.

Sunday 19 March 44   Up 9.15. Walked in court after late breakfast with Tarn & Miles. This p.m. wrote to my mother concerning Bob & his wife but shall hold letter till I see how things go, also to S. Field, Uncle Bob & Miss Johnston (cards). We’ve taken the railway stn in Casino & things seem to be going to schedule. Nettuno front stabilised & nil of note reported. Russians extending their

attacks in Sth & doing well. The different versions of our prospective move are amazing. Rtemia tells me today that Fosbrooke, Barker, Pugh & Miles will remain & that Wiltshire Tarn & I leave, but where he doesn’t know – to a camp but ? collecting post for repartrees or a Br. camp from which people to go home will be picked. In other words it is unknown whether we are directly passed from here or will be picked in a Br. camp. I saw Fosbrooke immediately & he will see the Chevarty. I think any chances of mine are nil. Played bridge with Miles, Pugh & Wiltshire. A few of our planes over at 10.15pm. Didn’t go to cellar but watched from window. Saw one plane in searchlights & flak bursting all around but he wasn’t hit. Heard a bomb whistle.

Monday 20 March 44   Warm sunshine & snow alternating. Fosbrooke saw Chevarty & recommended W & B to leave & to have first chance for repatriation. Nothing definite yet; it is simply planned. Busy in Lab. Played Bridge with the lads.

Tuesday 21 March 44   B. Tr. this evening. Heavy fighting at Casino & papers say the N.Zers. formed ‘Stosskeil’ & suffered heavy casualties.

Russians continue their steady advance in south. Went to Stalag to have some music gepruft. Wrote letters this evening. 1st day Spring. Air alert at 9.30pm. No bombs near.

Wednesday 22 March 44   Daylight raid 1-2pm & again this evening from 9.30 to 10.30 but not a heavy attack tonight. No bombs near us. Wrote to my Joyce, Mrs Cobley, Sister Field, Miss Johnston, Uncle Bob. Germans evacuated Schmerinka.

Thursday 23 March 44   To Stalag this afternoon at 2pm with Keller. Got my music & walked back – (there by U bahn) & saw a good deal of damage. The German radio now announces each hour the Luftlage [air situation] – which indicates how severe our air activity over the Reich territory has become. Air fore alarm this morning but no sirens went & no attack made. Cool day but overcast, no rain or snow. Watched Fosbrooke remove an adherent spleen.

Friday 24 March 44   Published in tonight’s papers that German troops occupied Hungary. Govt. changed. In papers this a.m. rumours from Stockholm that Admiral Horthy is interned in an unknown spot in Germany scoffed at. But no mention is made of him & there is no evidence of his having resigned. – It is simply another Austria Czechoslovakia etc. but the tide is gradually but surely running out. Large scale air attacks all over Germany. […] alarm on here all last night. Heavy fighting at Casino continues. Fresh day & some snow this p.m. but sun pleasantly warm at midday, when not obscured by clouds driven by a cold north wind. Am on my last legs for tobacco – no parcel from England since early January. Heavy air raid this evening from 9.45 -11.45pm. We get several fire bombs – one landed in our lavatory & fortunately broke a water pipe on way thro’ roof & with aid of a deluge burnt itself out. The others apparently did not go off, but a house over the road got a direct hit with a (for us very luckily) small explosive bomb which wrecked the upper 2 storys. 2 similar bombs landed some 50 yds away & apparently didn’t explode. We lost some windows again.

Saturday 25 March 44   The street a mass of wreckage – & the court filled with flying tiles masonry & wood. Wiltshire & I shift on Tuesday, so we’re told, to Lazaretts 30km from Schweinfurt & another about

the same distance from Nurmberg. Barker stays with Fosbrooke & repatriation for M.Os. is off. Only O.Rs & people who’ve passed the commission. Tarn will probably be lucky. Letters this morning from Mrs Cobley, Ann Huxley 15 Feb. & 1st March. Mother 5 Dec. & Golan Maaka 12 Dec. I’m hoping I may meet some NZers & some recent P.O.W.s from Italy, and no doubt they will be a bit trying at first. Cool weather – overcast but fine. Played Bridge with Pugh, Tarn & Miles until 10pm when a bomb landed a little close for comfort & we retired to the cellar for an hour – air standby from 9.30. few planes only. German claims bag of 112 bombers last night. Russians less than 100km from Roumanian & from Central Govt. (Reich) frontier.

Sunday 26 March 44   Started packing. Wiltshire & I decided on our new places. He goes to Langwasser Nurmberg & I to R.L Ebelsbach both in the XIII area.

Monday 28 August 44   This diary along with the other gear taken in the search on leaving R.L.Neukölln arrived today, some 5 months after me. Every letter & almost every piece of paper taken & in the midst of the search the officer present, an unpleasant Lieunt. asked the V officer if he’d not found anything. I’m damned glad to shake the dust of IIID from my soles. April & May letters I think have gone to Berlin & are probably sitting on their shelves, as if we didn’t remind them every few weeks that we wanted letters none arrived. I’ve been in a fix with addresses as the small book containing these was confiscated. It has fortunately come. From the appearance of all this gear I don’t think they’ve looked at it. Certainly not at this diary as there are several things written which would irk our ‘hosts’. They probably couldn’t read my writing – a pleasant surprise receiving this gear all complete as I didn’t expect to see it again. I arrived here on March 28th I think. Wiltshire & I travelled together with the Hauptfeldwebel of Neukölln & a posten. Went to station in hospital truck & had a reserved compartment in the express. Left Anhalter Bahnhof about 11.15 hrs & arrived Bamberg at 1900 passing thro’ Halle, where Handel was born, just as the ‘all clear’ sounded. Didn’t have time to check my luggage thro’ so had to carry it with the help of a posten. Left my heavy box of books at station here & trudged up with the remaining gear. Hospital some 10 mins walk from station. MacDonald (Ian) a friend of Barker’s here – has a duodenal ulcer & passed a commission for repat. early in April.

He finally left me on 18 July & I hope is now almost home. No piano here & for some weeks I had no quarters, sleeping in Lab – managed to get a barrack converted, a good room for MacD. & I & a decent room for the staff (Br.) This move caused quite a deal of quiet dissatisfaction with the French & Belgians, with whom our people lived previously. However it’s all blown over & I hope forgotten now. Some 3 weeks ago got a permit to go out within a 3km radius without posten on Sat. & Sun. from 2-6. We’ve had some excellent swimming in the main. Have been to Hammelberg twice, last time Tonkin & I were only permitted to remain ½ hour. This place is altogether more easy than Neukölln & one feels much freer. The German Dr. is most reasonable & makes a round usually each Monday a.m. & doesn’t interfere with us. Wirtzberg & Schweinfurt are both very decent as regards consultations. Bamberg less so. We had a near miss last month about 21st I think. A bomb landed some 50 yards away from me. Factory here thoroughly hit on 23rd. Myself retiring hurriedly to the shelter on seeing the smoke signal of the fighter & the bombs commencing to fall. The news could hardly be better. Since the invasion on 6 June we’ve now almost the whole of France & today Ronen is announced as evacuated. Roumania has just capitulated to Russia & conditions there are difficult to visualise but the Russians appear to have nearly reached Ploestri. The German seems to be fighting desperately

to preserve Warsaw. In Italy some few days ago we commenced attacking again after a short pause & are inching slowly up the Adriatic coast towards Bologna. The French Nationals appear to have assisted us a good deal.

Tuesday 29 August 44   A spell of lovely weather has broken & today windy with some rain & cooler. It has really been pretty stifling. Do my ward round at approx. 8.45am & then dressings & see new cases. Have 53 at moment. Usual game of table tennis with Tonkin after tea at about 3.30pm. Have ploughed thro’ the radiology of stomach & duodenum in French & am now on 2nd vol. on intestine etc.

Wednesday 30 August 44   Put on a spinal cast on one of my American Sgts. Machine gunner in a Fortress – Screened 3 chests & xrayed an American Lieut’s finger. Wrote case histories & reports. Windy cool day – almost too cool for shorts. Rouen evac. by German.

Thursday 31 August 44   Same routine. Amien, Rethel & Verdun evacuated by German. Hope this damned V.I. will soon be stopped.

Friday 1 Sept. 44   Myself 33 today. News continues to be good. Large scale attack on again in Italy.

With the recent total mobilisation in this country all our N.C.O.s & unemployed medical O.R. must work. As always these people interpret the convention in their own manner. A number of our men seem to be indiscriminately sent out to work whether fit or not. I am very tired of all their nonsense (the German’s). It’s high time these blasted Nazi’s came to perdition. Please God it won’t be long now.

Saturday 2 Sept. 44   Spent morning seeing Chevarzt & arranging for men to see commission in Oct. There are 18 from here, several of whom I think are very doubtful. I have 2 reputed duodenal ulcers. On coming here I knew nothing of gastro intestinal radiology & a Russian Lt. Col.?? & a doctor??? who styled himself a Radiologist from Leningrad knew little more than me. Unfortunately these 2 men were ‘rayed here. I should have sent them to Schweinfurt. Now that I’ve read some French books on the subject I’m not sure about either & pretty dubious about one, who had a severe melaena with haematemesis. However we shall see. We have now as radiologist an Italian chest specialist & he seems little better, except for chests. I shall xray my own in future as I can at least say when things are normal. Wet & windy. Took a nap this afternoon.

Sunday 3 Sept. 44   Bit distressed over a nice little black & white kitten that someone killed this morning as it has had gastro-enteritis for some time. MacDonald’s cat the mother, reared them very badly & weaned them too soon to run after the tomcats again. The sole remaining one of the litter, a pretty grey, I have brought over to my room & shall keep it here to try out diluted milk with citrate & give it some sulphaguanidine. It seems to be not too bad. Wrote to my Joyce, which took me some 2hrs. I’m so barren of ideas & to Diamond Robinson. Spent morning in bed reading a book on Genetics. We seem to be now in Belgium as the news today speaks of N. of Sedan. V.I. is not mentioned. The Russians seem to have occupied all Roumania & to be either in Bulgaria or on the border & also on the Hungarian border. Bulgarian govt. changed to a “L one”. Lyon in S. France now appearing in news. It would appear that about ½ of German army in France will be captured. Wonderful! Serb. man of confidence here today & had lunch with us. What a gabble & amount of gesticulating we had! All ‘answerisses’ suppressed here – we have to go out with posten. The Fr. Capt. Olivier moaning greatly & insisting he’s a ‘Freiwilliger’- which means nothing.

Personally I’ve been surprised at the non-change of attitude to Fr. P.O.W.s since the German reverse in France. 10pm news today Finland has broken off diplomatic relations with Germany. The retreating movements in the Rhone valley are now described as occurring ‘Schnaller’ [more quickly].

Monday 4 Sept. 44   Better day – light cloud & N.W. wind. Shut the kitten in a box & had to get up to him at 2.30am & put him with box & cover in the porch as he was trying to get out & howling. Poor little beggar – but unless he’s kept in restraint he’ll eat anything & not improve. Walters is taking him in hand & he’s very content at the moment on a chair by their stove which is burning. Montgomery promoted to Marshall. Hear we’re now some 30 miles S. of Brussels. Tonight’s news attacking north of Mons. Swiss Legation reps due on 15th Sept. Didn’t mention how I conducted a funeral service about a month ago. Read the service from an American Episcopalian book of common Prayer which is almost identical with that of the Church of England. Letter re this kept.

Tuesday 5 Sept. 44   German radio announces fighting at Brussels & Antwerp & we hear those places + Liège, Mix-la-Chapelle, Colmar of Treves taken by us. In Italy large scale attack continues with no success today according to radio. Did some more diplomatic activity this evening – attending a special mass for the birthday of King Peter of Yugoslavia. Wonderful news. Bed 10.15pm.

Wednesday 6 Sept. 44   Warm day. Numerous wild rumours among the French. The Italian Dr. discharged one of my patients, an Italian on whom I operated some 4 months ago, without my knowledge, but I managed to keep him after some discussions with various people. Bulgaria attacked by Russians & it appears Bulgaria has capitulated.

Thursday 7 Sept. 44   No mail yet. No special news. Myself a bit fed up.

Friday 8 Sept. 44   Weather cold – a good deal of work on hand. Double colles fracture in this p.m. 4 air alarms in last 24 hrs.

Saturday 9 Sept. 44   Did the colles with the Serb surgeon this morning at 8.45 & had just finished when sirens went – alarm on till midday. Up last night for an hour & saw Nürmberg bombarded. Damn cold these nights & no warm cellar as in Berlin. Started to work this afternoon but another alarm & we had to cease. The kitten is not behaving itself & is becoming a nuisance so I may have to destroy it. Shall see.

Sunday 10 Sept. 44   Air alarm again this morning. Padre arrived towards end of it at 12 noon. All is very well & does not expect to come again in the month’s time. Saw Wiltshire at Nürmberg 2 weeks ago where 100 or so repatriates arrived in en route for the final collecting point. Inc. Brooke-moore, who appears as strange as ever. Held service at 5pm & was interrupted just before sermon by another alarm. I arranged a hot bath for him & he put up with Tonkin & myself.

Monday 11 Sept. 44   Padre off at 4am & I too lazy to get up & see him off. Myself pretty busy at moment getting case notes written for commission. I have 20.

News continues to be pretty fair. No mail.

Tuesday 12 Sept. 44   Left at 4.30 this a.m. with Maynard, a repat. case & Robins, another for Würtzberg where we arrived at 8. An unteroffizier repat. from Casablanco went with us. He seems to have been OK there, & eat corn beef every day. Würtzberg, 100,000 approx. on the Main – a lovely old town with an old fortress on a hill above the river – one fine old bridge with figures of saints each side. Fine Cathedral University & some fine modern hospitals. Never bombed. Saw a German […]. Had a meal in the hospital Standard, where many staff are nuns. Retired to cellar for 2 hrs owing to air alarm & walked about town. Could not get up to the fortress owing to military regs. One of nuns asked me to telegraph England not to bombard them. I replied she had no need to worry on that score. Got back here 6.30pm.

Wednesday 13 Sept. 44   Air alarm last night again. I stayed in bed. dead tired.

Thursday 14 Sept. 44   Another air alarm last night for 1½ hrs. Myself busy – news – Russians in Pragda, part of Warsaw east of Vistula.

Friday 15 Sept. 44   Swiss arrived 10.30am. Saw place & I committed a grave error in not insisting they saw everyone in BK – they showed little interest in the people but I insisted they saw the officers. Also Tonkin & I completely forgot to show them the staff room & Spider (Webb) in bed. I was pretty grieved over my error – apologised to the nun & they seem to have pardoned my forgetfulness. Rosenburg anxious about his wife. Fosbrooke & Barker & Br. gone from Neukölln. We don’t expect to see them again. Marcelle, the Frenchman, put a stove in our room this afternoon. Maastricht taken – we’re south east of Aachen & penetrated their front line & are also into the West wall somewhere south. Slow advance in Italy. News pretty fair. Weather cool with misty rain. No air raid today.

Saturday 16 Sept. 44   Not much of note here. News sometimes excellent.

Sunday 17 Sept. 44   Wet morning. I went over to breakfast in dressing gown & then back to bed. Listened to some Bach on the organ per wireless. No mail.

Monday 18 Sept. 44   Nil note.

Tuesday 19 Sept. 44 and
Wednesday 20 Sept. 44   Spent in bed with a boil on the L. ankle.

Thursday 21 Sept. 44 – Same. Up & about again. Heavy cold.

Friday 22 Sept. 44   Feel quite fit again. A Tunisian (7th American Army) & an American from France arrived. So I now have some 60 patients. Arranged with Chevaryt to accompany him to Nürnberg with the commission cases so that I’ll be able to see Wiltshire.

Saturday 23 Sept. 44   Our 1st air borne division seems to have landed in some trouble at Arnheim – some 2000 prisoners & the C.O. captured. We’ve pushed

up from Einthoven to Nimwegen & are attacking strongly to North & N.E.

Sunday 24 Sept. 44   Forgot to mention last week a Tunisian Arab & an American (both 7 army) arrived from South France, captured 10 days previously. Had to state my position here to Olivier who became very excited & grabbed the Arab as his patient. However, got things straightened out. Quiet day – Didn’t go walking. Read George Eliot’s ‘Romola’.

Monday 25 Sept. 44   A whole batch of letters April & May from NZ & one 7 Aug from England. Great joy. Bob had his wife’s abdomen opened for an ovarian cyst. Weather cool & we have our stove going. News same. Huge attack on in Italy – we’re trying to get to the Po Valley before the bad weather arrives.

Tuesday 26 Sept. 44   Swiss International Red Cross Reps. came at 5pm. Both charming fellows. I go to Nürmberg with Chevarty next month & am looking forward to seeing Wiltshire.

Wednesday 27 Sept. 44   Cool but fine day – Did a circumcision & removed a wart at 8.30. Round & dressings. Satisfactory reports on 2 ulcer cases from Schweinfurt Stadt Krankenhaus. Screened 2 chests & did 2 films this afternoon. Saw 3 new cases & commenced finalising charts for commission cases. The 1st Br. airborn Div. has unfortunately been mopped up at Arnheim. Germans claim many dead & 6,500 prisoners. The remainder of the […] landed […] have been joined by ground forces & are OK. 7 army attacking between Elsmal & Swiss frontier – elsewhere quiet. The large scale offensive in the west has not yet commenced. German retreating in Baltic countries. Worked on radiology this p.m. & a nice fire in my stove. Purloined some […] […].

Thursday 28 Sept. 44   Swiss advise that no further personal parcels permitted from England or America (by our people) & Red Cross supplies getting short in Geneva owing to the situation – all ships required for supplying the fronts. On my last tin of tobacco.

We shall probably reduce ourselves to ½ parcel per man weekly in a short time. Some news of supplies arriving via Sweden but I should imagine the same conditions apply – am writing this just out of the air-raid shelter during a full alarm. At such times all up patients go freely to the hills & we transport dying to the shelters which are now electrically lighted. Today, fine overcast & cool & I have a good fire going in my stove. Tonkin has a cold & mine is improving tho’ I’m a bit deaf these last 2 days. Not much to do this a.m. Round & dressings & wrote up case notes. Hope to get some recent NZ mail shortly as letters are arriving again from England. Things quiet on west front at moment. Italy continues to improve slowly each day. Russians appear to be making efforts to reach Belgrade & Budapest so I expect Hungary will join the right side shortly. Another air voralarm at 6.45pm. Finished 2nd French Tome on Radiology. Wrote Miss Johnston & Joe Peel.

Friday 29 Sept. 44   Nil of note.

Saturday 30 Sept. 44   Great speculations as to when the war will finish & most of French now down in the dumps because Strass had

told them it won’t be this year. – They are as variable as the wind. The large scale offensive in West has not yet commenced although today enemy news states we are attacking heavily in Holland & portion of Germany adjoining us being subjected to continuous bombardment. Air voralarm [pre alarm] at 1.45 lasting about an hour. Played bridge this afternoon. Weather fine, fresh mornings with light frost last night. My stove doing good service.

Sunday 10 October 44   Batch of old letters sent on from 111D. Mrs Cobley, March. Ann Huxley, May. 3 months April & May & my Joyce 22 & 29 May. They were having a lean period of letters. Cool day. Worked at Harmony which I’m commencing again from the commencement & trying to educate my very bad ear to all the chords. It’s a bit trying, trying to hear chords in my room with a wireless continually blaring forth in the French Kdo barrack next door & squeeze bags etc. coming from the other side. One of the penalties I must pay for living by myself. Tonkin surprised me this evening by wanting to return to Stalag. I can understand his point of view but am not keen on a change. MacDonald warned me against these […]. They are the last people I would wish to look after. Have never been properly disciplined.

And good honest Sam thinks he would be doing more good in England. What about myself. Looks as if everyone considers I should hold the baby. Not so. However I’ve told Tonkin he can go when another […] N.C.O comes.

Monday 20 Oct. 44   Wrote yesterday to Mother, my Joyce , today to Allan Williams. Moderately busy. Nice day after yesterday’s rain. The Russians seem to have let the partisans down very badly at Warsaw. Otherwise nil of note save Calais finished. Summer time ended last night. I got up an hour too soon. These people in the next room talk too much. Hope this week doesn’t last too long as I’m fed up with this life.

Tuesday 3 Oct. 44   Commission next Tuesday & I looking forward to seeing Wiltshire at Langwasser. The Chevaryt elected to take our cases to Nürmberg as he doesn’t like Hammelberg & I don’t blame him. News continues same.

Wednesday 4 Oct. 44   Cool mornings with little frost in air. Russian N.W. & N. of Belgrade. Attack commenced in Holland & middle sector Italy. Read Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn.

Thursday 5 Oct. 44   Not too busy today – have almost completed all case records for commission – waiting on 2 E.K.G. from Schweinfurt Stadt Krankenhaus [Schweinfurt City Hospital]. Finished my last tin of tobacco. Bought 20 Chesterfields for 20RM – about 30/- English currency. Cool day & I had my stove going. Wrote Mrs Cobley, Bob.

Friday 6 Oct. 44   Nice fresh day. Russians now in ‘’raum von Belgrad’. Pressure continuing elsewhere. – Worked at pathology. Screened 4 chests. Wrote my Joyce.

Saturday 7 Oct. 44 – (date only, entered)

Sunday 12 November 44   2 letters from my Joyce today. July 11 & Aug 7. She’s very well & in the 11 July letter had just arrived to stay with Aunt Milly. Uncle Fred met her at station. Mother writes that (& Joyce also) NOT to place any reliance in Govt. Rehabilatation schemes & that more & more we are becoming like Russia. Sounds as if these people have ruined the country. Since last writing I’ve been to Nürmberg-Langwässer & seen Wiltshire who is his same delightful self. Was I glad to see him again! Up to his neck with work – new wounded from Arnheim. The parachutists are tough boys. Spoke to one ‘Geordie’ (Tyne sider). Took my 18 cases for the commission with Sam &

Spider. Left here at 1.30 to catch the 2pm train – in midst of full alert. Changed trains at Bamberg & at Nürmberg-Langwässer only some 7 km. out. Arrived at hospital after 1 ½ mile walk about 7.30 to 8pm. Commission at 4.30 the next day & passed 14, referred one to next sitting & refused 3. Saw a few officers from Va, east of Karlsruhe, 2 NZers amongst them. Slept in room with W & the COMS a good fellow. Spent 2 nights there. The 1st morning the padre arrived from Hammelberg, having set out the day before & the line was out by a bombing attack the other side of Schweinfurt, so he had to go back & round the Wurzburg line. Left early on Wednesday a.m. & arrived back here about 10.30. Two weeks ago went to Stalag with Roy Dabinet, my new Vertrauensmann & R hand man here. Tonkin has returned to Stalag. Nedelkovic also with us. Left at 4.30am on a pitch black raining day & had some difficulty groping our way to station. Saw Brown there & almost everybody asleep in the Padre’s room. Been very worried this week over our American Lt., a navigator shot down over Schweinfurt on 2nd. Developed the most severe attack of serum sickness I’ve ever seen & […] 2 days before any rash appeared – came out on 5th day. Had to give him I.V. saline the other a.m.

He’s now absolutely OK. Opened a knee joint last Wednesday & removed a large free lying osteophyte. Preferred to take the responsibility for this myself & was meticulously careful. The lad is very good & the clips came out in 2 days. Wound beautifully clean. Sent Sam & Dabinet on Friday to do T.A.B. inoculations in a number of Kdos. at Hassfurt & Gerolzhöfen. They’re not yet back – a good change for Sam – he’s a grand fellow to have here. Peter Dormand & Mattern went off to Meiningen this week on first stage of their journey home. Gerbes & O’Connor, with 2 T/Sgts went to a Luftoflag near Weisbaden. They presented me with 200 cigarettes. Dormand, Gerbes & O’Connor & I had a party the week before last. A good evening & the 3 also came to our mess one evening last week & we sang songs of various nationalities till 10pm. News. Russian just on Budapest & in west a large attack on Mety in progress & also at Namevegen. Antwerp completely open as a port. Advance on Adriatic coast sector. Russian offensive in East Russia petered out after some advance made. Air raids here nearly every day. Mr Churchill & Eden in Paris for

11 Nov. French here received mail today direct via Switzerland. Food situation stated to be very good & life most joyous, which gives the lie to all the German propaganda about famine etc. Oh yes that bounder Franco, the Germans say, has made a remarkable speech denying ever a ‘Bundnis’ with Germany & stating Spain was never anti Russian or contra England or America. The papers report very cold & sarcastic commentaries in the English & American papers. Fosbrooke is hibernating in S. Germany. Bob’s wife had an EUA, a Laparotomy & expects a babe this month. Bob goes off next month, where I don’t know. Edward commissioned, married & missing all in 2 June or July letters from Mother. First fall of snow on the 8th here & since it has rained – tonight cold & wet & miserable but I’m very comfortable with my fire. Persuaded the Zahlmeister to give me a coke isane which is a great success. I’ve got to keep a small fire only on as the room becomes too hot. Held 2 min. silence in barrack at 11am yesterday & in afternoon walked out to Eldman & saluted the graves of 4 Australians buried in the cemetery.

A whole lot of ‘pep’ on the radio today over a Deutscher Volkssturm, the bandits margoins or terrorists or any other damn name you wish of this benighted land. Pep means hysterical speeches ‘Sieg Heil’ ‘Urser Fuhrer’ etc. ad libertarian & the soul destroying male unison singing & march music. Last Sunday from 4-5 the main radio was inadvertently left on Geneva & I was absolutely delighted to hear Debussys ‘Doctor Gradus ad Parnassus’. Listened to some Bach this a.m. from 8 till 8.30 wonderful. Played bridge from 5.30-7.30pm with Spider against two lads from the barrack. We lost. In the blues on Friday & yesterday but this evening fine.  Went to bed with a little reading matter. Am so damned fed up after 3½ yrs as a prisoner.

Monday 13 November 44  Lazy.

Tuesday 28 November 44   Strassburg taken & opons. [operations] going well in Alsace & Larbringen – slow between Aachen & Cologne. British appears to be teeing up an attack in Holland. Both sides Rhine extensively bombarded in today’s O.K.W. Bericht & Freiburg heavily last night. We continue to average an alarm daily. Some days free but on

others as many as 6 in 24 hrs. A gramophone arrived. Have been somewhat worried over a wrist joint the surgeon opened & then I cont’d & finished for a volar dislocated semilunar – His asepsis is open to serious question & I’m glad I did the knee joint myself. However the chap is well & no sepsis has come. An American book I have says do a reduction if the bone is out over 7 days provided Xray doesn’t show a denser shadow in the semilunar. From one I took it is no darker than the others so I decided to replace it. A bad miss of mine, & of the other people who saw the film. I only spotted it after 3 weeks. Must be more careful with clinical exam. & Xrays. Otherwise everyone very well. Life proceeds just the same.

Wednesday 30 November 44   Wrist joint good. Heavy attack by mosquitoes in Nürmberg last evening & they passed near us. Stan Penn arrived with a S. African who is apparently an epileptic but struck me as possibly an

hysteric. Penn is very well and I was delighted to see him.

Saturday 16 December 44   A pound of Players from Mrs Douglas yesterday. No further Red Cross parcels. We have 22 American which will give ½ per man for Xmas. Note from Richard this week & 2 tins of Players which he kindly sent me. Rumours of a repatriation in January so I hope he gets home. No letter yet from MacDonald – I should have written him for Xmas. Letters from my Joyce up to 17 Oct. but only one Sept. has come. Front very slow advance in West, where conditions are very difficult. Budapest still holds out. All the people here are fed to the teeth with the war with a wave of depression over mess this week. Two days without alarms, but last evening a full & today over 2hrs full alarm. Trying to think how to finish off a letter to my Joyce – Can’t describe the feeling I’ve had this week to see my lovely one again. Save that it’s a bit like ‘crying for the moon’.

Sunday 17 December 44   Up at 9am. Dreamt last night I was on my way home with Minter (an American flying sgt with a vertebra body fracture) – met Hetherington & Bull – was most uneasy because I’d left everyone here & there was no Br. M.O. Quite a relief in a way on waking up & finding myself still ‘in situ’. Spent about ¾hr elucidating a history of abdominal trouble from a particularly stupid austln [australian] & at the end of the exam. found an […] […] on the returning gloved finger after a P.R. Walked this p.m. with Nedelkovic & Olivier. Walked for 2½ hrs. Cold dry & some sunshine – fine weather & I feel extremely well.

Saturday 13 January 45   Xmas & New Year passed – Good Xmas – poor New Year but celebrated Orthodox Xmas very well on 7th Jan 45 (last weekend) when Sipp & Cannon came to dinner. German offensive in Luxemburg & S. Belgium which commenced on 17 Dec. a failure & they are retreating after not much of an advance. Today Russian offensive in Weichselbogen & East Prussia commenced. 3 days ago told I was being relieved & to be repatriated – However wrong – no doctors – only orderlies & Sam is to go.

Russians gradually occupying Budapest which is completely surrounded. No letters – Some 6” snow but today a thaw has set in.

Wednesday 17 January 45   The German front on Weichsel appears to be completely disrupted & the Russians are advancing extremely rapidly. I should imagine the utmost confusion obtains in the German camp. In the West following our concentric attack our pressure today is reported less. Budapest – garrison holding out in centre of city only. Large numbers of planes passed over us last night – a continuous heavy roar for ½ hr. No bombing in the neighbourhood. Swiss commission due on 20 Jan. 45.

Tuesday 27 February 45   Life a bit grim at the moment – No mail this year – Red Cross parcels very short & I’m right out of tobacco &cigs. – No personal parcel for 3 months. Donbel & the Colonel (Teha) & the Y.S. surgeon Sottovitch have all been very kind in giving me cigs. in past 2 mths but I can’t accept any more

as the chances of repayment appear nil. I’m very busy. The German offensive resulted in a whole lot of wounded coming in & some 2000 odd Americans to Stalag XIIIC. They’ve received damn bad treatment from the German – a number now in Kdos. & coming in – generally in poor condition. A large scale air offensive for the past 3-4 weeks & travelling is difficult .Apparently last week two of our lads I’d sent to Hammelburg wounded lightly during a machine gunning plane attack near Bad Kissingen. I’ve had 4 severe lobar pneumonias in a week. Received some Penicillin from the Br. [British] Red Cross. Have had a number of Americans with frost bitten feet & had to do 8 amps. [amputations] 3 of them both sides. The U.S. surgeon & I did them together & Strass anaesthetized for us. Have a damned unsatisfactory case at present lad 24 with wounds back – comp. fracture of R scapula & what appears to be a small […] emphysema R & the worst of all – the Xray machine has broken down – & so far I’ve decided against sending him away for Xray owing to the difficulties in travelling & the daily air raids. Budapest finished – street fighting in Greslan – an advance towards Danzig

& Stettin & in mid Silicia towards Dresden. Our offensive in West commenced few days ago & a slow but what appears to be a sure advance is going on. In far East Phillipines appears almost finished. The end of Dec. & January one of my worst periods as a P.O.W. – much better this month. A remarkable thaw occurred on 30 Jan. & all the snow disappeared in a few days – one or two light falls since but no sign now & the weather is warmer & since the 15th we’ve had less rain. The American Capt. Myers has developed a pericarditis. I’ve between 60 & 70 patients & am maintaining a fair turnover. Fed up with the German wireless programmes – terribly dull – they give the same stuff turned round each few weeks – never hear the French or Spanish never any English music & mostly rubbish all day. No decent swing except very rarely when an English station comes in. Am wondering whether Bob has an infant or not – due last November but his wife seems to have been most unkind to my mother & of course Joyce & I are too vulgar! Damned sorry he took such a wife unto himself. Joyce possibly en route for England but I doubt it. Air raids (2) today full at arms.

Am pretty hungry these days.

Wednesday 28th February 45   Fine day – 4 pneumonias this week – 3 better but one looks as if he might develop an empyema. Our offensive in West progressing well. Discourse by Dr Goebbels ‘the usual’. Full alarms daily.

Thursday 1 March 45   Quite mild this a.m. but blew up strongly from the west & tonight some rain. Another full alarm today as for about each day for past 3 weeks & another full alarm this evening. Nedelkov the chemist & a Belgian & my new medical orderly George Morgan (a lad I’ve had for months with a vasomotor disorder) to Schweinfurt this a.m. early to collect supplies. Not back by 4pm when we had news they’d been caught in a machine gunning raid & the chemist & one other wounded. Apparently the former abrasions to face & the other a soft tissue injury of arm. It’s after 10pm & they’re not home yet but I hear the first train now since 9am. News today – Posen taken – heavy street fighting in Breslow – advance in Pomerania & increasing pressure in East Russia. In West somewhat difficult to understand but the advance continues. This morning we heard the British Radio over the loud

speaker system & things seem pretty well. Received a very few cigs & tobacco from Stalag today & 10 food parcels so I can smoke carefully again. Am finding the shortage of tobacco hard. Haven’t smoked my pipe since New Year. Letter from Campbell (my cpl cook) of last June today. Discharged from army & very well contented to be with his wife & daughter. The gigantic anglo-american aerial offensive continues. See in ‘camp’ Lloyd George has received an earldom in N.Year Hons.

Friday 2 March 45   Nedelkovic, Morgan, Baudouin & Lediger arrived back at 10.30pm. Nedelkovic with splinters in his face – eyes fortunately OK & Morgan with a couple of small superficial wounds in the inner L upper arm. All pretty tired & hungry. They had a fortunate escape – near the engine which was shot up. Another alarm while I was examining Lister’s chest this morning at 9.20am & shortly after a full alarm. The Cherarzt came over to see Morgan – expressed his sympathy that the first day of his duty as a medical orderly should be so unlucky, informed him to stay abed & shook his hand all while another alarm on. A perfect gentleman is the ‘old man’. Dabinet an otitis media R […] seems to be improving – temp. now normal but pulse still 100-120. Says he always had a fast pulse so I hope everything has settled. No Xrays possible as yet.

Thursday 8 March 45   Wrote to my Joyce. Very busy these days with about 100 patients. Transports from East Germany of sick & frost bitten men arriving almost daily. We go down to the station & take the worst – no postens arrive for men notified for discharge so the situation is difficult & I’ve taken over a barrack in the Russian camp. The old man isn’t too happy about it but says it’s the sole solution. He seems completely fed up with things. The Padre here Sunday & Monday & tells me Bill Foreman & John Borrie arrived at Hammelburg with 2000 sick. A Br. [British] M.O. with a transport on Monday & I brought him up for a bite & coffee – gave him some U clothes & a spare pair of boots I had – lost all his kit. The same story from all. Russian advanced to within a few kms of them & then stopped or retired & in the meanwhile Jerry evacuated them. Some suggestion de Clive Lowe liberated. Hetherington & Gilchrist repatriated. No word of Clay. Weather damn cold at present with rain & snow but perhaps we’ll have some sunshine soon. Loud speaker system out of order so we’re getting no news but it appears as if the whole west part of the Rhine has been

cleared up & I hear today […] 10kms from […], the Russians 4 kms from Stettin & 26 from Berlin. Various jerries give it 4 weeks but one mustn’t be too optimistic. Morgan’s arm better (he had an infection) but he’s now down with serum sickness from the Tetanus antitoxin. German serums must be very crude as I’ve had a whole lot of these. Dabinet’s ear better but he’s now developed a large facial boil. Our offensive continues – full alarm today & some bombing not far away. Last night planes passed over us continually for ¾hr. Am tired & fed up with trying to make 3 wretched German blankets cover the space of 9, coping with new arrivals, combating lice, trying to get decent food for the chaps, etc. etc. Rations down again – now 8 to a loaf of bread 250 gms daily only. No Red Cross parcels but I managed to get a few cigarettes yesterday. Do hope this blasted war won’t last much longer. I’m telling everyone 8 weeks at the moment!! Probably mainly to cheer myself up. No mail.

Sunday 18 March 45   9.50pm in bed. Inundated with patients – some 240 at the moment, half of them with little wrong & if I don’t get rid of them in a hurry they develop something. All patients progressing fairly well save an emphysema after a pneumonia & on whom I’ve used Penicillin locally – a dismal failure – for which I’m sorry as I can’t understand why & the stuff so precious. No Xrays possible at present. Yesterday 136 arrived, inc. an M.O. from Edinburgh – McPherson – a nice looking lad who has come from Katowitz. They go off to Stalag on Tuesday morning – early. Shall sort out what I can & send on next week if possible as I’ve far too many patients. No tobacco or practically none at the moment but I hear some Red Cross parcels have come to Stalag – 2 trucks which won’t go far with the hordes of evacuated men arriving. Kobling taken – we’ve pushed to the region of Maing – Hagenan gone & at good bridgehead across the Rhine at Remagen. This p.m. the O.K.W. Bericht reports that 5 German officers were shot for not blowing the bridge at Remagen – Air raids on & off all day & most nights – hear Wurtzburg badly hit two nights ago.

2 nights ago saw a plane shot down in flames & subsequently heard a Jerry.

Monday 26 March 45   Jammed with work & tired this p.m. Riddell Y.M.C.A. Rep. (Auckland NZ) & Spencer with me – arrived with some 42 lads – all in poor condition – from Teschen. Another transport of 45 & another of 27 since – the last mainly Americans – a whining lot from Limberg. Barker apparently left with them – air alarms all day & all night. We hear this evening that American armour has reached Gemünden near Würzburg – I’m not quite sure but OKW Bericht today announced a break through in their front & Aschaffenburg reached. So Hammelburg is only some 2 miles away ([…] if this OK – & we may be released shortly. Whole lower Rhine front collapsed – & we’re pressing hard in north or lower Rhine area where strong airborne & parachute formations are operating. – Shall I be out of this in a month? Now hearing bombardment day & night. Sunbathed yesterday afternoon – really hot.

Tuesday 27 March 45   Sent off 72 men & Riddell ostensibly to Hammelburg at 5.30am. They waited at Ebelsbach station most of day – finally went on to Hassfurt & then were turned round & sent back here. Our men apparently fraternised with German troops exchanging chocolate & cigarettes for bread etc. All these troops seemed completely ‘browned off’ & not anxious to fight – various officers made no comment. So I have the Russian Barrack 4 again packed out. The entertainment hall full & 6 & 8 – in all some 211 patients. Riddell back with Spencer & I. Had trouble again in 6 with a wretched kleptomaniac stealing food – his 2nd offence. Weather warmish – overcast today with some rain (drizzle). Wild rumours Gemmiden Würzburg & Hummelburg taken & Bad Kissingen of a pincer movement on Schweinfurt. All the frogs wild with excitement. O.K.W. Bericht gives a good commission for us. Offenbach fallen & armour pushing east from Aschaffenburg. Apparently some evacuation occurring from this area but the thing is to wait & see! I continue to work

quietly & to write case notes. Screened 2 chests – picked up another emphysema yesterday which makes 3. Heard news of Barker who appears to have been evacuated from Limberg some 8-10 days ago. No mail & no parcels.

Wednesday 28 March 45   This a.m. woken at 6 to be told hospital here to be evacuated – So dashed round finding patients fit to walk – a short distance only said the new cheraryt – just our luck that he should replace the old man Dr Berger at this stage. Riddell went off with the party about 8.30am. I protested against being sent off & so remained here – keeping Spencer. Finally Strass & Haskovitch & Riddell walked off at head of column with the Abwehr officer. We hear advanced armour has reached Gemmiden & Hammelburg. Expressed my appreciation to the old man for his kindness & goodness to us here.

Thursday 29 March 45   Good deal of excitement here & wild rumours floating about. Rather difficult to work. The old man most upset because he says an American pinched his wagon. Told me as soon as he heard it had gone decided to come & see me although he didn’t blame me at all. Poor old boy made me feel like an utter worm. New Chevarzt on the telephone for a train to get us away, much to everyone’s disgust. We all hope none will come.

Friday (Good Friday) 30 March 45   Hear Hammelburg camp evacuated – all P.O.W.s from Schweinfurt evacuated. Small armoured unit in Hammelburg Gummiden region out at Aschaffenburg & mopped up. Bad luck for them & us. We’re doing very well & have got near to Rasel on Lower Rhine front now well into the Industriegebiet of Ruhr. Germans expecting a Russian Groseangriffe. Spencer sick with pharyngitis & large swollen glands in neck. Fever – gave him 24,000 units A.D. serum to be sure & have him on Sulphonamide. Myself tired this p.m. We apparently

don’t go tomorrow but anything can happen in this life or existence I should say. Our bad luck – advanced units at Gemmiden & Hammelburg cut off & cleaned up!!

Saturday 31 March 45   Myself off colour – I think resulting from a mild infection of a finger with ancillary adenitis. Anyway have started on Cibasol & this p.m. temp. normal. We’re still here. […] finished – Russians up to German border from Hungary. Our advance continues. Old man said goodbye to me today – was quite touched.

Sunday 1 April 45   Overcast with moderate west wind this afternoon. Everything quiet & the aspect rather sorrowful – except that it’s spring & the fields are green – but I’m so tired of waiting for what will arrive – whether we go or not or if we’ll be liberated – the latter would be so wonderful that I really don’t think it will come. News good – another drive east of Aschaffenburg in progress – Bad Mergentheim reached. We’re near Fodda & Kessel & doing well in North – Russians in Vienna Neustadt.

Myself better today – No fever & up – worked this a.m. & in afternoon finished Walpole’s ‘Bright Pavilions’. Saw 4 of our fighter bombers dive bombing the railway line some 3 miles from us at 8 this morning. Spencer improving now afebrile. Feel not too bad physically but mentally ‘epuise’. How long now I wonder. To be free – my Joyce, our friends, the Chch flat, the car – picture shows, Waikaremoana & no war! God grant all this again as soon as possible.

Sunday 15 April 45   R.L. Langwasser. We evacuated here by cattle truck (closed & with straw quite comfortable & warm) on night of 2-3 April. Uneventful trip. Spencer & I to Lazarott here with Dearlove, British M.O. & Lanvetz American M.O. Delightful change for me. Packets – Spencer & I have good room & I’ve a lot of work – doing surgical cases & having parties of amputating frost bitten toes. Did lower leg amp. (amputation) in theatre on Friday this after spent hour digging shelters. Ebilsbach now in our hands – artillery bombardment going on continuously today – nothing landing near – hear our

advanced units near Fürth, some 15 kms away. Several heavy & unpleasantly close-by bombardments & one lad in my BK. got hit by a large piece of flak which [led to a] depressed comminuted fracture skull – Casmin operated & I assisted him & he’s progressing well. Find Dearlove & Lanvetz a tonic. Spencer just recovered from a severe bout of serum sickness. Yesterday a nice sight – 4 thunderbolts diving on a nearby flak battery. Hope we’re not evacuated again from here – perhaps next Sunday a free man. Terrific advances everywhere.

Monday 16 April 45   Everyone a bit on edge & excited. 0700 hrs terrific detonation which shook beds up. Apparently demolitions by the German – intermittently all a.m. & bits of ceiling & windows went. Air full of fine sand dust. Some artillery fire this p.m. & a battery quite near us. This p.m. we drank Messwein & I slept soundly despite artillery barrage.

Tuesday 17 April 45   0900hrs. freed by American tanks & doughboys of 45 Div. Impossible to describe my feelings. Lauvetz embraced the first 2 Doughs & Spencer & Dearlove had tears in their eyes – as all the tough Serbs. […] & Col. Filia kissed me on both cheeks – all Germans rounded up & marched off. Later med. personnel returned to the camp & we arranged accommodation & feeding for them. Gen. Frederick of 45 Div. in & Br. M.O. who left us some […] whisky. Heavy artillery barrage & this afternoon some German 88 shells landed in camp hitting some Russians.

Wednesday 18 April 45   Everyone on edge to get away & Lauvetz got busy & 2 hrs after we were freed yesterday worst cases evacuated. Snow last night & today.

Thursday 19 April 45   Left Langwasser at 2030 hrs with Spencer, Dearlove & Lauretz in the last ambulance (also Lt. Col. Cummings) – saw everyone out. Last convoy on autobahn – hit a jeep & then ran into some bombing so we laid up at Div. clearing stn for night.

Friday 20 April 45   Left D.C.S. about 10 & arrived at 9 Evac. hos. about 1400 hrs. Slept night on Officers ward where Co. came & saw us & the sister did everything possible. Meals wonderful – everyone is so glad to see us & one felt welcome everywhere. Lauratz & Lt. Col. Cummings left this p.m.

Saturday 21 April 45   On to air evac. station – Dearlove & Spencer left at 1530 hrs. I stayed night. Weather wet with a thunderstorm.

Sunday 22 April 45   Left by C4F (26 of us) at 1640 hrs – good trip – climbed for a while over Germany & France to 12,000 ft. to avoid bad weather. Saw Rhine – Cape Griz Niz & Dover’s white cliffs. […] English coast near Folkstone & landed at Membury at 2002 hrs. Then to Stn. Hospital where we had DDT sprayed on us & I was delighted to find Lauretz & Col. Cummings who’d arrived just before us from Rheims. Another wonderful meal & a hot shower & a spotless white soft bed.

Monday 23 April 45   Up at 0645 hrs & breakfast with Lauritz & Col. Cummings. Lovely morning. Near Swindon – Left by ambulance for RC head at 1100 hrs. Driven by a Canadian At. & a charming lass. Saw Oxford & then on to Wolverhampton – En route sent an air-graph home & this a.m. also cabled NZ. Driven up to an F.M. hospital near Litchfield – where very comfortable.

Tuesday 24 April 45

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Handwritten diary of Dr DA Ballantyne’s life as a prisoner-of-war, in Germany, between late 1942 and mid 1945

List of medical-related abbreviations used throughout this transcript –
B.M.J. – British Medical Journal
CNS. – Central Nervous System
Dr. – Doctor
E.K.G. – Electo-cardiograph
I.V. – intravenous
L – Left side of a person or body
M.O. – Medical Officer
M.R.C.P – Member of the Royal College of Physicians
O.Ps. – Outpatients
P.R. – per Rectum – rectal examination
R – Right side of a person or body
TB – Tuberculosis
The letter C with a dash written above the letter and sometimes seen with a dot above the dash, (neither being available as a typed symbol), is a commonly used medical abbreviation for the word “with”.  This symbol appears throughout the original text with the full word used in place of the symbol in the transcript.

Other commonly used abbreviations commonly used throughout the text –
Br – British
E – East
Fr – French
N – North
N.C.Os. – Non Commisioned Officers
P.O.W. – Prisoner of War
S – South
SE – southeast
W – West

Format of the original

Small notebook of handwritten notes


  • Captain Diamond Allan Ballantyne

Accession number


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