Monday 29 May 2017

Will Sidney's War - October 1918

Whilst looking through Will's things I came across this letter, dated 1 September 1919, enclosing Will's preliminary issue of the British War Medal Riband and, whilst the timing is a little out of synch with my posts, I really wanted to include it ...
We now pick up Will's story in October 1918, where he is still in the 29th Stationary Hospital in Turin. Will has been in this hospital since 8 September, when he transferred from the 38th Stationary Hospital in Genoa, where he had been since 26 May.

He is still suffering with problems with his neck and has now been in hospital for about six months ...
Other than telling us that he wishes that he was with Ethel, Will doesn't have much to say during these first few days in October, though he does write of the weekly concert "A better OC", where he plays the part of  'Old Bill' and is also involved in singing, comedy conversations and an impersonation of the London Music Hall artist 'Harry Weldon'.
There seems to be some better news for Will the following week ...
"6 Sunday & 7 Monday - Still in hospital"
"8 Tuesday - Marked out for Base Depot. Left Turin for Arquata"
"9 Wednesday - Transferred to Arquata Base Depot. Got a Med Board. No News."
"10 Thursday - Went before a MB, Got B111. Can't move my arm nor shoulder."
"11 Friday - Writ to Ethel & home. Wishing I was @ home."
"12 Saturday - Nothing doing. Drew kit. Takes me all my time to write." 
It seems being marked B111 (which I assume to be a B3) would indicate that whilst Will has been assessed as being free from serious organic diseases, able to stand service on lines of communication in France, or in garrisons in the tropics, he is only suitable for sedentary work.

 "13 Sunday & 14 Monday - Still down @ Arquata Base Camp. Nothing to do all day but mope about."
"15 Tuesday - Same as above. No letters from anybody."
"16 - 19 Wednesday - Saturday - Thinking of my own darling Ethel, wishing I was with her. It is very miserable down here. About a dozen houses in a tinpot of a village. Reg & ordinary letter from Darling Ethel. God bless her. I would like to kiss her for what she is doing (thinking of her loved one)."
 "20-23 - Still @ Vaje Camp. I am as miserable as still nothing to do all day & my shoulder causing a lot of pain. An abscess is forming on the top of the whole wound."
"24 Thursday - Admitted into 51st B Sta & hot forment on to my neck."
"25 Friday - Still in Dock. My neck sore & painful."
"26 Saturday - My neck better of the abscess. Waiting to be sent out of Dock. Thinking of Darling Ethel."
 "27 Sunday - Discharged out of hospital to Vaje Camp, Arquata."
"28-30 - Drawing kit etc. Answered Ethel's loving letter & one to Cousin Annie & Ma. Answered another letter to Ethel, got one from her"
This is the last entry in Will's diary for 1918.

You can find out what happens to Will in November of 1918 in my next post.

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