Oct. 23, 24 & 25, 1943

Regular journal:

Oct. 23 – Everything torn down and packed ready for our move up towards Campobasso tomorrow. The Col. and Bob Scholes are up forward now looking for a place to set up.

Oct. 24 – Moved off in convoy at 7 a.m. – passed through Lucera, Motta, Volturara, Gambeteza, and went into harbour about two miles east of Jelsi (Ielsi) which is about 18 miles from Campobasso. We are in open harbour, all under canvas – have our A.D.S. (Advanced Dressing Station) set up near the road – a mighty good set up too with M.D.S. (Main Dressing Station) on flat spot above us. I am living in my Italian tent which is fastened to the A.D.S.

Ralph is sleeping here with me. Met a chap from Saskatoon today, a Lieut. Swanston with Hygiene Co. Had to go up with him Jelsi and examine a child, whom I diagnosed as Typhoid Fever – we will wait and see what the authorities say about it tomorrow – E.B. and I are planning to go to Motta tomorrow.

A medic bandages the leg of a small child in Casola Valsenio, 30 January 1945.

A medic bandages the leg of a small child in Casola Valsenio, 30 January 1945. © IWM (NA 21952)

Oct. 25 – Four months ago tonight we sailed on a LST in Convoy for Sicily. It seems much longer. It is very cold here tonight – the old desert tent seems rather bare. Rearranged my A.D.S. today and now have a real setup under canvas. “D” Section ins returning from the 14th today. The Brig. today said that we would be moving forward with the English troops in a few days. Will be glad to get going and really doing something but this soon. Have heard nothing more definite on the move to England yet, but if we do go it won’t be for a while yet. We now have been in Italy for the same length of time we were in Sicily (52 days).

Nursing Sisters Eloise MacDiarmid and Frances Caddy on night duty, No.1 Canadian General Hospital, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (R.C.A.M.C.), Andria, Italy, February 1944. Credit: Lieut. Dwight E. Dolan / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-213775

Nursing Sisters Eloise MacDiarmid and Frances Caddy on night duty, No.1 Canadian General Hospital, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (R.C.A.M.C.), Andria, Italy, February 1944. Credit: Lieut. Dwight E. Dolan / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-213775

Extended account of Sicily/Italy:

On Oct. 24 we moved off at 7 a.m. in convoy for a forward position, passed through Lucera, Motta, Volturara, Gameteza, and go into harbour about two miles east of Jelsi on a side hill.
“B” Section sets up a M.I. room on the road side under canvas – the MDS (Main Dressing Station) also under canvas is on the hill behind us and behind the M.D.S. is the main Unit. Our purpose here is to serve Brigade troops – all Canadians are at this time out of the line on rest and the work is purely medical. We are about 18 miles east of Campobassao and can faintly see it in the distance, perched on a hill. It is very cold here especially at night, each morning snow can be seen in the mountains, but with our pup tents, Italian tents and desert tents, we are fairly comfortable and food is very plentiful – turkeys and pigs are everywhere and we are living better than we have for many months.

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About Rob Alexander

I am a writer, photographer and historian and the author of The History of Canmore, published by Summerthought Publishing of Banff, AB.

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