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The Incomparable 29th and the "River Clyde"   By:

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Transcriber's Note: Inconsistent hyphenation in the original document has been preserved. This document has unusual spelling that has been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. For a complete list, please see the end of this document.

[Illustration: POINT OF GALLIPOLI]

THE INCOMPARABLE 29TH AND THE "RIVER CLYDE"

BY GEORGE DAVIDSON, M.A., M.D. MAJOR, R.A.M.C.

ABERDEEN JAMES GORDON BISSET 85 BROAD STREET

Dedicated TO THE STRETCHER BEARERS OF THE 89TH FIELD AMBULANCE IN WARM ADMIRATION OF THEIR CONSTANT ZEAL AND PLUCK AND IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE MANY EXCITING TIMES WE HAD TOGETHER

PREFACE.

I had not the slightest intention of ever publishing these notes in book form while jotting them down for the sole purpose of giving my wife some connected idea of how we at the Front were spending our time. I found, to my surprise, that keeping a diary was a great pleasure, and I rarely missed the opportunity of taking notes at odd times and often in odd places.

Several of my friends read the parts as I sent them home, and it is on the valued advice of one in particular that I now offer these scraps to the public. I make practically no change on the original, but in a few places, for the sake of sequence, or more fulness, I have made additions. These are always in brackets.

Some of the remarks in the original might safely be published fifty years hence, but at present the war is too recent for these to see the light of print.

GEORGE DAVIDSON, R.A.M.C.

TORPHINS, ABERDEENSHIRE, June, 1919.

DIARY.

March 16th, 1915. After serving for five months as a lieutenant in what was at first known as the 1st Highland Field Ambulance, and afterwards, as the 89th Field Ambulance, I left Coventry, our last station, to do my little bit in the great European War, our destination being unknown. We had heard well founded rumours that we were going to the Dardanelles, or somewhere in the Levant, and our being deprived of our horses and receiving mules instead, and helmets (presumably cork) being ordered for the officers, all pointed to our being sent to a warmer climate than France or Belgium, where the war is raging on the west side of the great drama.

Leaving Coventry at 1.50 p.m. we reached Avonmouth about 5, to find that our boat was not in. The men were put up in a cold, draughty shed for the night, where they had little sleep, while the officers took train to Bristol, nine miles off, where we dined excellently at the Royal Hotel, but, there being no vacant rooms, we went to the St. Vincent's Rocks Hotel, overlooking the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the great gorge of the Avon.

March 17th. Returned to Avonmouth and wandered about inspecting the huge transports lying in the docks, and H.M.S. "Cornwall," just returned for repairs from the fight at Falkland Islands. She had received three shell holes in her hull, one under the water line, and a large number of perforations in one of her funnels.

We then got on board our boat, the "Marquette," of the Red Star Line, built by Alexander Stephen & Sons, Glasgow, of over 8000 tons, and said to be a good sailer. We lunched with the captain, a Scotchman of course, hailing from Montrose. At 5.30 we got the men on board, and all spent the night in our new quarters.

March 18th. After getting numerous details on board during last night and to day, amounting to about 1300 men, 60 officers, about 700 horses and mules; besides 20 tons of explosives and 50 tons of barbed wire, and wagons by the hundred, we set sail at 10 p... Continue reading book >>




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