1 April, 1917.
As I said previously, I have changed my job. A chance came along to get into the Medical Hut or dressing station of the Battalion. I took it, partly because I want the practical experience, more in medicine of which I know nothing; and partly it is of course a little superior job. The one thing I didn’t like was leaving B. and the old shack, though of course I see him several times a day. My new home is altogether better, only two of us in a larger room with electric lights and stove, with a regular mine of coal from the Q.M. stores. I sleep on a stretcher on a couple of boxes which makes a very fair bed. My new companion I don’t know very well as yet. The work is continuous, though of course not hard. I help the others and the M.O. on morning sick parade, which is sometimes very heavy. We’re busy through the day with civilian population. Surprising to you I guess it will be that we attend them; but we do, the whole town. They call through the day, others leave messages for us to call at their homes. There are more of these cases than there are soldiers. We get everything from bad cases to little seven-year-old kids who cut their fingers (I dressed a little boy’s hand this morning—a wee cut—but I put it in a sling and he is a hero). Of course, all this is free of charge. Bad cases we take all day amongst the troops. The regular sick parade is in the morning. At night — at six P.M. we do dressing again.
We cook our own rations, which are very ample, in the sick room, a house just across from where I sleep, and we eat and sleep more like civilized people than like soldiers, which is some blessing. The hours are long, from about six-thirty till nine or ten P.M. I like it. Of course it may not last long — maybe a month, maybe six months; you cannot tell. They may need us in the line any time. In cases where the patient is very bad, we send him to the field ambulance which is usually in some château or school. If he is only temporarily bad, they keep him until he is well, then return him to us; if bad enough for base hospital, they ship him to the dressing station down the line, and so on.
Our pay is delayed this time for some reason. I haven’t had the price of a paper, even, for over a week — the boys down here are just the same.
Our guns brought a Fritz down here this A.M., with the assistance of some of our planes which drove him this way.
And now I must quit. Supper is to get ready, and then the evening parade of sick.
Give Dad’s love to little Billie. And best love to you.