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 slopped on one's plate. After dinner the sister brought in half a dozen half bottles of hospital champagne so that all together, things quite hummed. We had a good gramophone with a good many indifferent records and there was a piano nobody could play.
There has been rather a puzzling patient here since last Monday, he was sent in as a hysterical case and indeed he looked in most ways entirely so, although there were also present indications of nerve trouble in the legs which looked undoubtedly organic. He had no temp and pulse was normal. He complained of profound loss of power on one side, pain, numbness etc,
*7th Battalion war diary. Epinette.
No fraternising this year, although the Germans tried to make peaceful advances by showing the white flag. Our artillery consistently pounded their trenches all day and night. A certain amount of retaliation took place but not as much as we put over.
Sunday 26th December.
Well last night I was just getting off to sleep when he suddenly fell out of bed on to the floor and when picked up he was dead. It would be interesting to know the true diagnosis. Doctor Robinson the head surgeon here diagnosed the above as Landry's paralysis having seen a similar case where no temperature occurred.
Friday 31st December. Windy corner trenches.
The arrangements of the trenches here is rather extraordinary, platoons are dotted about . This time I have my dressing station just by the headquarters and am sleeping at H,Q myself. We are hopelessly far away from the firing line.
We sat up playing patience and talking before a nice fire. There present, the colonel, Major Wilson, Major James, Captain Nicholls, myself. a machine gun officer and a liaison officer. At midnight our field guns opened rapid fire just to show there was no ill feeling. The Germans scarcely replied and things settled down. Thus the old year went out and new year came in, not to the merry ringing of church bells but to the roaring of countless guns.
*All material produced or reproduced here and throughout this blog is the sole copyright of the holder of the diaries of Reginald Hannay Fothergill.
(* I think, "live and let live" happened)