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A Prisoner of War

26 Aug 1914 I suddenly thought the world had fallen on me, being caught by a bullet which rather knocked me endways for a bit….I met a stretcher bearer who…helped me to a dressing station fixed up in the local school…Got hold of a farm cart which was soon filled with wounded and started off South with the idea of picking up an ambulance somewhere. Had got cold by now and was shivering violently and as stiff as a board…we returned to the School from which we had just come…Had to be carried into the school where I was lucky enough to get a bed upstairs where I promptly went to sleep

27 Aug 1914 German advanced guard passed through at 9am…during the afternoon two German officers came in and formally took over the hospital. They took all weapons, field glasses and maps but beyond that were fairly civil. A guard was put on the hospital and all equipment was collected and burnt (bang went about £30). We were fed and looked after by the women of the French Red Cross of the village and luckily had some of our own doctors to look after us…

7 Sep 1914   German nurses and medical orderlies turned up and we were turned out to go to Cambrai. Officers in cars and the men in wagons…at last flung into a big school where there were French, English and German wounded. Given some straw in a room at the top of one of the building, but it took most of us a devil of a long time to get up there

 

On 11 Sep Captain Philby was transferred by train from Cambrai to Torgau, which took 83 hours. His diary details life in the various prisoner of war camps until his return to England soon after the Armistice.

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Published 2 years ago by Archivist - Somerset Remembers

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