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RegHannay

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"Only with Honour"

Extracts from a Medical Officers diary May 1915 - August 1916. 36th field ambulance - 7th battalion East Surrey Regiment, 12th division - 134th field ambulance, 39th division.

 

All material produced or reproduced here and throughout this blog is the sole copyright of the holder of the Reginald Hannay Fothergill diaries.

Entries in this blog

 

"Only With Honour"

Saturday 25th December ,Xmas day, Bethune hospital. The rash has disappeared and though still weak I feel very well. Well here we are, Xmas day. "Peace and good will towards men" We spent quite a nice day, a simple luncheon and in the evening things became quite festive. The table was dressed up with flowers and about 12 of us sat down to :- soup, turbot, turkey and cauliflower, plum pudding and dessert, stout, beer and lemonade. The dinner was nicely served too, the food wasn't just s

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

Sunday 5th December 1915. (*Returning from leave.) Awoke to find we were moving out about 7:10am but we did not get up as we soon encountered a heavy swell, so I forfeited breakfast and read until 11:00am when the sea became calm. So I dressed and had coffee. Not many officers but quite a few civilians, I noticed we were not escorted by a destroyer. I had one officer pointed out to me who was returning for the fifth time!! He was wounded at Mons, again at Ypres. Then went to Darda

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

7th Battalion war diary. 14th October. The casualties were heavy. Captain Tompkins, Lieutenant Bearsnell were killed. Lieutenants Knight and Marshal wounded. 56 other ranks were killed, 160 wounded and 33 missing, which many it is hoped will subsequently be brought in wounded. We took 16 prisoners, one machine gun and three trench mortars with a lot of ammunition. In the evening we were relieved by the 11th Middlesex and went into billets at Noyelles Des Vermelles.   Tuesday 19th

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

Extracts from diary entries for 13th, 14th October 1915. Wednesday 13th. To meet a likely run of wounded a large dugout was erected by the road but owing to lack of time was hardly covered to withstand large shells. At 11:30am I took up my position in the dugout with my staff and was joined by Captain Milne from the 38th FA who brought 20 RAMC men with him.   At midday we started two hours of intense bombardment. The noise was appalling as the Germans replied vigorously. Very

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

Monday 4th October.  MY old 36th FA had come in for it the day before yesterday, poor Stanley Bell was killed together with a sergeant and some men. Also one of the ambulances was  blown up and the driver killed. A wonderful night to look round over the land which offers an uninterrupted view in front for a long way, seeing the Huns shells bursting and the shrapnel. "God" I would give something to get out of this with honour. Jack Cox has not played the game, if I hear correctly,

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

Friday 1st October. Sleep almost impossible partly owing to the bitter cold and mostly due to a fierce artillery bombardment of the Huns trenches by our batteries some of which was close beside my house. This is most bitter cold weather with a strong east wind. I have made a splendid dressing station out of this room, thanks to a fire I am able to keep comfortably warm. Thompson, MO to the Sussex 36th brigade was killed this morning by a shell at his dressing station  and Bell of my ol

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

Saturday 25th September. Walked up to trenches at 2:45am. It was drizzling slightly but very warm. This is "the day" the Dertag of the Huns. And even as they prepared for their day so have we, and, today the Allies are going to make a combined effort. Glorious news has come in all day (9:45pm) by wires from Brigade H.Q. I understand the plan was for the main push to be made by the French somewhere south in particular and by the English 2nd Army. No advance was ordered on the Armentiere

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

Saturday 18th September.   This was a lucky day for the Regiment. At 4:30pm the Huns opposite Barkesham farm started on us with trench mortars and rifle grenades. They threw about 50 mortars and we threw during the bombardment about 28. I watched this from my dressing station, I could see the dust and debris rise in our lines at each explosion. I expected many casualties but as a matter of fact the regiment didn't lose a man or have a single casualty. The only ones who suffered we

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

Tuesday 24th August. Felt quite well again. Only one trivial casualty today, a graze of a finger by bullet. The lad said he was 19 but I laughed and he confessed to being 17, and looked 16. Nice boy and so proud of his wound, which thank god was a mere scratch.   Monday 30th August. I was awakened at 2:00am this morning by the steady beat of men marching past, and as they marched they sang in harmony this simple and plaintive air. It sounded very solemn and somehow pathetic i

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

Sunday 22nd August. Went to bed  in afternoon but received message to go to Lys Farm at the extreme right of our trenches, so got up feeling rotten. Found man doubled with colic, had to stretcher him back along trenches full of traverses. It necessitated lifting stretcher and I carried stretcher for a time. Retired early to bed with aspirin and high temperature and good sweat, woke at 1:00am  feeling quite well. Wonderful thing aspirin! Slept well and no casualties.   Monday 23rd

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

Saturday 7th August. The prospects of continuing to live amicably with Jack are not very bright. The novelty of renewing our acquaintance after a break of eight years has gradually worn off and we must rely on intellect and an interchange of sympathies to keep us together. I fear we have very little in common now. I have never touched on topics of religion with him, nor have I opened up theosophical subjects. Yesterday however, some question of the deeper truth was allowed to and he sh

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

Monday 26th July. Logan turned up from St Omer. They seemed anxious for him to join a committee or board which is going into the question of "gas"In the event of him leaving I hope to be able to take his place as MO to the 6th Royal West Kent Regiment. So I returned home about lunch time to find our CO Colonel Dunn was gone!! Great consternation! I think everyone is considerably relieved to be rid of this dear old hen, always fussing and never satisfied with anyone. Major Turner has taken h

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

Thursday 15th July. The officer died at 9:45am, some of his brother officers were just in time to see him before he lost consciousness. Today is the French presidents birthday and the people celebrated by having a holiday, the Huns by throwing nearly 200 shells into town. Comparatively little damage was done but people are very scared and moving out in great numbers.   Saturday 17th July. The Germans successfully shelled the church a Neuve Eglise until it took fire and burnt

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

Saturday 3rd July. Made a journey in car to Gunners Farm for wounded, shell burst on our right otherwise things are quiet. Had some games of tennis in afternoon with jack. Still very out of practice especially on forehand strokes, serve not so bad considering. Chaps look amusing playing in khaki and funnier still playing in kilts!   Tues 6th July. All officers including Colonel Dunn turned out for riding lesson. I had Sergeant Major Down. We all careered around the field. The

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

Tuesday 15th June. We brought back some bread rolls to our rooms on Monday. Reveille at 5:00 am today.  I made tea and with rolls we had breakfast in  bed instead of at the mess. I am billeting officer, started away in front of the field ambulance in a motor ambulance with my billeting party consisting of interpreter, Sergeant Butcher and six men. I had no name of a place as to help me for a destination, I simply had a point given me on a map being about eight miles away. How

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

Monday 7th June. *Ralph Montgomery Vaughan. M.C. 1890-1976. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.  In 1912 he began his flight training at the Bristol school, Salisbury Plain. He subsequently joined No3 squadron Netheravon, from there to No5 squadron on its formation. Appointed to R.F.C reserve and in December seconded to the R.F.C as flying officer.  On the 15th August 1914 on flight to France Vaughan made a forced landing near Boulogne and was arrested by the French and kept for almost

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only With Honour"

Tuesday 1st June. Perfect weather and cloudless sky, the brilliant green of the fields and hedges is almost bewildering in the sunshine. We had a free day and the men are well occupied with washing their clothes and bodies after the long journey from England. Jack is mess president and so far he has managed to spread excellent meals on the table in the old chateau. They have also very fine wine in the chateau 1.25 franc blanc and 1.50 franc for rouge per bottle. In the afternoon Jack B

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

only with honour

Monday 31st May. De-trained St Omer at 4:00 pm, marched field ambulance for five miles to Cormette through beautiful cultivated fields. Cormette, a little hamlet nestling among trees with one large farmhouse, the chateau which was occupied by the C.O. Large rooms riddled in rat holes and nearly all the furniture removed in case of Germans. Lovely garden. roses, vines and lilac. We are now in sound of the guns, which are continually rumbling in the distance perhaps 15 - 20 miles away. I

RegHannay

RegHannay

 

"Only with Honour"

"Only with honour"...The W.W.1 diaries of Reginald Hannay Fothergill Medical officer R.A.M.C (mentioned in despatches) May 1915 - August 1916. Being the receiver of a white feather Reggie felt obliged to do his duty and volunteer to serve his country entering the war in late May 1915.   At the beginning of his journey you feel his excitement of adventure even at 35 years of age. then the disillusionment with the leadership and the futility of it all becomes clear. He writes w

RegHannay

RegHannay

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