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Jan. 15, 1944

Came home in the evening with Hard Rock McDonald, the resident engineer. Spent the day in Avellino with the old boys – had supper at 5th Btn with young Hyde from 14th (Calgary Regiment) – then home to bed.

Jan. 13 & 14, 1944

Jan. 13: Col. Hunter was here today. I am to go back to England as all exchanges in 5th Div. are cancelled. Expect to sail on the Lady Douglas Hospital ship about the 28th of Jan. from Naples. Col. McFarlane will be here on the 18th and I am to interview him too. Am kind of of fed up with the whole thing.

Jan. 14: Am going over to the 14th C.G.H. (Canadian General Hospital) at Caserta to see Frank Fish today Went by truck via Napoli to Caserta, passed more and more troops, among them Free French and Ghurkas, an Algerian tribe dressed in khaki with a heavy brown kimono like wrap over them. Landed at 14th Gen at noon and had lunch with Frank, then we visited all the Calgary boys in hospital and then went to Town to see Prince Umberto’s Palace. The second largest palace in the world, but by far the largest I have ever seen. We went through the main parts of it. In the evening we had an old fashioned cribbage tournament, I finally oozed him out, by a score of 6-5.

Jan. 2–10, 1944

Jan. 2: Very busy day in the wards todsay. We are overcrowded. It is very cold and pretty difficult togive the proper attention. Bob Taylor phoned me tonight and is coming up with Pay Master in morning.

Jan. 3: Bob Taylor arrived about 9:30 and spent the day with me today. Col. Hunter talked with me today. I am to go in exchange to the 5th Div. He will be back on Thursday night and will probably have more information for me. Royal and I spent the evening together.

Jan. 4: On duty today, admitting. Tomorrow I am getting a track and am going to Naples and Pompeii – the following day I hope to go to Caserta and visit the 14th Gen. Hosp. Don’t know when I will leave here.

Jan. 5: Terrific snow storm in the mountains. Took a truck and drove to Naples, then down the coast to Pompeii. Went through the ruins of the City, or at least the excavated City. The streets are restored – the old chariot tracks very plain and in fact the whole thing is marvelous. Mt. Vesuvius was behaving well for us – smoke pouring from its peak.

Jan. 6: Saw a bunch of Calgary and Ontario boys today. Some going towards England.

Jan. 7: Moore, Bailey from XIth – Bruce Hunter from 2nd L.F.D., and Schofield from Brig. Ordinance visited today. They are on the same exchange I am. Have heard nothing more about England. Gork (Eng) – my roommate here left on draft for the front today.

Jan. 8: Capt. Gillespie from 6th Batn –a chap I knew in Seaford came up to visit and I went down and had dinner with he and Bob Taylor, after which we went to a picture show.

Jan. 9: On admitting duty all day. Nothing unusual.

Jan. 10: The cold weather seems to have gone, at least for the present. Steady Convoys of British troops passing towards Naples day and night. Looks as though something big is coming off.

Dec. 31, 1943 and Jan. 1, 1944

Dec. 31, 1943
Took over two wards in Medicine and am really enjoying myself and keeping fairly busy.

New Year’s Eve – all the officers but the one on duty went again to the Monastery for dinner. Another grand dinner and then we came home to our own New Years party. Rather tame but o.k. Ducce Ferguson was here. He is a Lt. Col. now. Also, Royal arrived as a patient. We sand the Old Year out and the New Year in.

Jan. 1, 1944
A terrible day. A very wild snow storm on, almost a blizzard and it is very cold here. I am Admitting Officer today and will be Duty Officer tonight, so was not able to return to the Monastery today. Still no word of my future movements.

Men of the 1st Battalion Green Howards trudge down a snow-covered hillside, 1 January 1944. © IWM (NA 10626)

Men of the 1st Battalion Green Howards trudge down a snow-covered hillside, 1 January 1944.
© IWM (NA 10626)

Dec. 30, 1943

Am working with Major Howard and Major McLeod, doing some work on Infectious Hepatitis and some lab work. Apparently, there is a dispute on between the powers that be as to where I am going. one side wants to send me to England to instruct in Armour and the other side wants to send me to the 5th Div. Personally I would prefer the latter. Until that is settled, I stay here. Will be here for New Year at least and I am getting plenty of interesting work, so am happy.

Dec. 28, 1943

Still very cold and windy. Know nothing further. Today have been working in admitting office and doing Unit censor. Passes time away.

Dec. 26, 1943

Terribly cold and wet today. Have not had any further instructions yet.