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Date: May 1916

[transcription provided by collection donor]

May 1, 1916
Moved to Parker Camp, Dibgate, Hythe, Kent. Under canvas. No floor to our tent & it is cold. The mess is poor. There are so many M.O.’s here that they don’t know what to do with us. They have sent to Canada for 150 more doctors & then want 2000 more & here we are breaking our necks doing nothing.

May 6, 1916
Joined the 39th Bn at West Sandling as M.O. Our Bn has a great reputation for clean lines & I don’t intend to lose this reputation for the 39th. Here I am in a hut with Capt Askwith who has been several months at the front. He has the greatest respect for stretcher bearers & has never seen one of them flunk in carrying out their duty. Also that any man that has been to the front & wants to be back is a dam liar. Met Lft. Ratchford of Victoria who lost his leg in France. He is looking fine & we had quite a talk.

Yesterday I was Brigade M.O. & inspected all the lines. It was raining cats & dogs & the mud was like glue. I got wet through & was muddy from head to foot. Col. Preston is my O.C. & Capt Ross is senior M.O. Capt Pratt is in the 35th Bn next to our lines. The 39th is a training Bn & is from Toronto & Hamilton.

May 17, 1916
Was ordered to join the Canadian Engineers at Shorncliffe. Found the camp in a very unsanitary condition. Met Capt Marr here. Have made much progress in getting this camp in good condition. Capt Campbell CAMC of Toronto is here with me & we intend to make this camp the cleanest in this area.

The songbirds are a wonder. I have heard them all even the nightingale & never get tired of listening to them. The country is at its best, everything green & fresh. It’s a great pleasure to me to take a horseback ride & view the country & see the old villages. A few days ago I visited Saltwood Castle with Capt. Askwith of Ottawa who at the time is attached to the 30th Bn though he belongs to the 8th CMR.

May 26, 1916
I met Eddie Lyons at a short arm inspection of the Signal Co. attached to the CETD. He is a dispatch rider & is tickled to death that he is a private. Has a much better time than the officers. Is looking fine & we had a great talk.

Have made great improvements in the Canadian Engineers lives. They certainly look clean now & I intend that they continue to be clean as long as I am with them.

May 27, 1916
Met Lft. Col. McCrae of McGill on the Leas. He was leaving that night for France. Visited Sandgate Castle with Capt. Campbell.

May 29, 1916
Met Sir Wm Osler at Sandgate. He gave us a paper & brought out many points which gave us food for thought. The next day he gave us a clinic at Moor Bks Hospital & laid great stress on final stages of syphilis. Also in tachycardia that the loss of vagus control is the fault. We were all very much impressed with his clinic & his attitude toward us. He is a Canadian at heart.