May Sinclair

Ghent, Belgium

Ghent, Belgium

Malaria gone.

The Commandant called to give his report of the ambulance work. He, Mrs. Torrence, Janet McNeil, Ursula Dearmer and the men were working all yesterday afternoon and evening till long past dark at Termonde. It’s the finest thing they’ve done yet. The men and the women crawled on their hands and knees in the trenches [? under the river bank] under fire. Ursula Dearmer (that girl’s luck is simply staggering!)—Ursula Dearmer, wandering adventurously apart, after dark, on the battle-field, found a young Belgian officer, badly wounded, lying out under a tree. She couldn’t carry him, but she went for two stretchers and three men; and they put the young officer on one stretcher, and she trotted off with his sword, his cap and the rest of his accoutrements on the other. He owes his life to this manifestation of her luck.

Dr. Wilson has come back from Antwerp.

It looks as if Dr. Haynes and Dr. Bird would go. At any rate, I think they will give up working on the Field Ambulance. There aren’t enough cars for four surgeons and four field-women, and they have seen hardly any service. This is rather hard luck on them, as they gave up their practice to come out with us. Naturally, they don’t want to waste any more time.

I managed to get some work done to-day. Wrote a paragraph about the Ambulance for Mr. L., who will publish it in the Westminster under his name, to raise funds for us. He is more than ever certain that it (the Ambulance) is the real thing.

Also wrote an article (“L’Hôpital Militaire, No. 2”) for the Daily Chronicle; the first bit of journalism I’ve had time or material for.

Shopped. Very triste affair.

Went to mass in the Cathedral. Sat far back among the refugees.

If you want to know what Religion really is, go into a Catholic church in a Catholic country under invasion. You only feel the tenderness, the naïveté of Catholicism in peace-time. In war-time you realize its power.


Saw Mr. P., who has been at Termonde. He spoke with great praise of the gallantry of our Corps.

It’s odd—either I’m getting used to it, or it’s the effect of that run into Antwerp—but I’m no longer torn by fear and anxiety for their safety.

[?] Dined with Mr. L. in a restaurant in the town. It proved to be more expensive than either of us cared for. Our fried sole left us hungry and yet conscience-stricken, as if after an orgy, suffering in a dreadful communion of guilt.

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