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Sunday, April 4. On Friday I buried Pte J. Davis, who died suddenly on Thursday of cardiac trouble. This morning I held a communion service at 9:30, and had fifty men present. Tonight at the close of our vesper service, the choir of ten voices, went with me to one of our hospital wards for a brief epilogue. It was greatly appreciated by the patients. Today Col. Trist came back from Diarrhoea hospital, and was fortunate enough to receive a letter from his wife. He immediately came to our hut to tell us, and have us read it. More letters came in today, but none for Barnett or myself.
Sunday, April 11. More letters have come into camp during the week and cables were received by Mr. Porteous, Mr. O'Neil, Capt. Gray, and Capt. Thompson. The messages were not dated, but gave us to know that letters had reached Canada, from us. Mr. Porteous' message was for Christmas, as it contained Christmas greetings. The information was received with gladness as now we know that some letters got through. Mail for Canada was received at the camp office this week, and Capt. Barnett and I were very busy writing cards and letters for hospital patients. I wrote 54. Mine was written to Florence and Grayson, and addressed to Grayson. I tried to make it cheery, but Oh! how my heart ached for Mom and the children.
We were each handed 10 yen on Thursday, but at present no foodstuffs are in camp. We hope they come on Tuesday. On Wednesday night Mr. Goodban - Principal of the local diocesan school - introduced the subject of "God in History", in a very excellent address. The weather was so disagreeable that it was vey unpleasant sitting in the chapel, with no windows or doors, and at times one could not hear others speak.
During the week the Guard took six Imperial, and Canadian fellows to task for breaking camp regulation - speaking to guards while on duty, gambling petty cash etc., - and three Dutchmen, and their officer, were also chastised for having a radio in their possession, although it was not in operation. If camp rules are broken, one must expect to pay the penalty. This morning Barnett conducted a communion service at 0700 hrs. Strong holds another at 0930 hrs and Strong and I hold the noonday service - 1200 hrs - tonight I conduct a short vesper service or epilogue in one of our hospital huts.
Friday, April 16. About fifty of our boys returned from Bowen Road Hospital. during the week. Many of them were amputation cases, and two or three of them were with me at Queen Mary Hospital, a year or so ago. I was delighted to see them so cheerful. The blind, legless, and armless fellows surely have lessons for each of us.
More cards have been written for the hospital patients, this week. Some of them just say "Padre, here is my wife's name and address, you do the rest". Naturally we read such cards to them and they are delighted, as we try to put as much as possible into the two hundred words, and of course when it comes to a love letter, I haven't forgotten how to write one yet, as I am still in love with my sweetheart and bride, of my earlier years, and know how to write a love letter. Ask her.
Tonight three boys - Durrant brothers - came in to chat with me about their church membership - two others, Forsyth and Hogarth, already members of our church in Canada - were with them. They are all keenly interested. Today I have finished preparation for Palm Sunday. I have to preach at the noon services.
On Thursday night our Lenten discussion group closed with a very excellent address by Mr. Gould - barrister of Honk Kong - on "God and post war problems". He has kindly handed me his notes, and I shall reproduce them, as they will form the basis for three or four good addresses later. Dr. Gray of the R.A.M.C. was just in for a few minutes chat on the above subject.
Capt Deloughrey returned from Bowen Rd Hospital, on Tuesday, Sunday, April 18 after being away for two months with Dysentery.
Sunday, April 18. Palm Sunday. Barnett conducted communion service at 7 a.m. I attended. At 1200hrs Davies was in charge of the service, while I preached from Luke 22:42 - "Thy will be done - And angels came and ministered unto Him". I led the vesper service at 8 p.m. and at 8.40 pm went with the choir to one of the hospital huts, for an Epilogue. "God Reveals His Presence", "What a friend we have in Jesus", and "Now the day is over", were the hymns. I read the Palm Sunday lesson and had prayers. The boys greatly enjoyed it.
Mr. Woods, one of the D.D.C. men came in after for a chat. He has a splendid tenor voice and is a valued member of the choir - and a good Methodist. He brought me letters, and snapshots, from his family in Australia. He has a daughter and son, and spends his twenty-first wedding anniversary here in camp.
I spent part of the afternoon in hospital wards, and shall visit Hugh Anderson in Dysentery, before going to bed tonight, as he is seriously ill at present.
Tuesday, April 20. Four more of our men have been to see me about joining the church, on Easter Day. This gives me great joy because it proves that men are thinking of the best and worthwhile things.
Wednesday, April 21. One year ago today Mom's first letter was written to me. I think of them today, and pray that the year has been good to them, and especially that they have received one of my letters from this P.O.W. camp. Today I had given me a copy of "If I have wounded any soul today". In fancy I hear the blind singer giving as this beautiful song over the air.
"The Evening Prayer"
If I have wounded any soul today
If I have caused one foot to go stray
If I have walked in my own wilful way
Dear Lord forgive.
the sins I have confessed to Thee
Forgive the secret sins I do not see
Oh! Guide me, help me, and my keeper be
Dear Lord, Amen.
I wonder if Mom ever plays "Bless this house", as it is my daily prayer for them all at home.
Good Friday - April 23. St. George's Day - Attended service at 1200hrs today. About 250 attended. Padre Strong in charge. Hymns "When I survey", "Throned upon the awful tree", "There is a green hill", "Lord in this Thy mercy's day". Barnett preached from Mark 15: 33. Tonight the choir gave us a treat in sacred song, and music.
Copy of programme to be written in later.
As I looked at these coir members, clothed in prison garb - singing the songs of Zion, and singing from their hearts, I felt that there was a Presence - the Presence of one who was sharing with us our place of agony, sweat, and tears, and blessing us in the sharing. A large congregation sat and listened, and enjoyed every item. I will plan to reproduce it on some Good Friday in Canada, and I told the men that I would tell my Canadian choir that I would forgive their clothes, if they could sing it as well as this choir sang tonight.
Before the service began I sat in the church hall and looked through the open windows - all glass, frames, etc. have been removed by looters - and saw a beautiful evening sky speaking of Peace. One whirl of smoke was rising from some hut or chimney beyond the nearby hill. Birds were flying around our building, as well as through the open windows, and I thought how beautiful all created things are. Truly God hath made everything beautiful, and man, who was made in His image, and should be workers in His world, is the one who has caused God's world to be torn with strife, separation, sorrows, degradation and wars. Still I believe that God has faith in man, and believes that eventually he will learn his lesson, and with a prayer for pardon, with return to Him. I cannot believe that Christ died in vain. It may take centuries but mankind will learn, understand, and return.
Two years ago today I was in uniform and went to work as area padre, with office at 125 Vancouver Barracks Major Jackson, District Chaplain. He was a splendid supervisor, and I really regretted having to leave him. Since then many experiences have been mine. If I have by my life and work, helped anyone I am thankful, and feel that I have not lived in vain.
Saturday, April 24. While visiting the Dysentery hospital, a man told me that he had been thinking of my sermon given to the men on our first Sunday on board ship, from Vancouver, and as we were nearing Manila. The story of Shackelton, whose text was - and min for that service - "Even though I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the midst of the sea, even there, Thy hand shall lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me" - Psalm 139: 9-10. It did cheer me to know that again in God's promise, was fulfilled "My word shall not return unto me void".
Evening Song Service - Good Friday, April 23, '43.
Introductory voluntary Passion
Sentence - Prayer - Lord's Prayer
Hymn - Congregation - "There is a Green Hill"
Recital - Piano
Choir - Hymn - "O Come and mourn with me awhile"
Solo - Mr. Gahagan
Choir - Hymn - "O Perfect Life of Live"
Solo - Violin - Dr. S. Bard, H.K.V.D.C.
Quartette - Hymn - "By Jesus' grave on either hand"
Solo - Mr. Piercey - "A Green Hill far away"
Hymn - Congregation - "When I survey the wondrous cross"
Easter Day - April 25, 1943. Attended Choral Communion service at 9:15 this morning. Padres Barnett and Davies, in charge. One hundred and five men attended. At 7am Padre Strong led a communion service when one hundred and fifty-eight attended, and tonight at 8 o'clock I conduct Vespers, the reception of ten young men, followed by the communion of the Lord's Supper. This afternoon, Frank Neufeld, of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, received adult baptism by me. He will be one of the ten in the reception service of this evening. This afternoon Sgt Ian Lyle came to see me about church membership. He is a Scots Presbyterian. He will likely attend my class during the coming weeks.
Today I received a gift from Dr. P.S. Selwyn-Clark, 2 Naka, Meizi Dori, Hong Kong, consisting of 1 large tin Marmalade, 1 tin Beef Dripping, 1 tin Rolled Oats, 1 tin Chocolates, and 1 tin Hot Cross Buns. I shared the chocolates with the officers of our unit. Then I passed the tin to Lt Blackwood, he said, "No! Padre, it can't be. It is just a mirage I see and not the real thing".
At the close of the Choral Communion, this morning, we had the choir - 12 in number - in our hut for a cup of tea. Each man brought his own mug. We regret that no milk or sugar was served, since no one has any, but we enjoyed the tea, and especially the fellowship.
For today I have hung my family photograph over my bed, and have been talking to them often during the day. I hope that their Easter is a very happy one. In the thought that it is I am content and happy too.
Capt. Davies conducted the Noon Day service, and preached an excellent on "Reasons for belief in Easter". I conducted Vespers at 8 pm, and had about three hundred men present. During the service, ten young men were received into the membership of the United Church of Canada. They are: Maurice Durrant, Philip Durrant, Gordon Durrant, Frank Neufeld, George Hall, Donald H.J. McPherson, Abraham Peters, Kenneth McClelland, George Alfred Temple, and Alexander Colvin. The last three men could not remain standing for the reception, so I had chairs for them to sit on, while the others stood. It was very impressive and men have spoken to me abut it since. Our communion service was held at the close and fifty-five men shared. During the three communion services of the day, three hundred and eighty men took communion. The padres were tired out after the full day but we were content over the work of the day and feel that our lives are not being wasted or thrown away even here in this prison camp.
April 27, 1943. We were amused last night to hear a catalogue of new rumours, and here they are. Today, Tuesday, Canteen; Wednesday, Mail; Thursday, Japanese Emperor's Birthday, Red Cross parcels; Friday, 10 yen; Saturday, 1 pound sugar, each: Sunday, Rest; Monday, move to Canton. These rumours will keep the boys interested for a while, as they just love them, and enjoy passing them along.
Friday, April 30. Yesterday was the birthday of the Japanese Emperor and we were pleased to receive a Red Cross parcel. Everybody seemed to get a new lease of life on receipt of these parcels, and today fellows are exchanging items. Today Barnett and I have been changing our beds around our hut and putting up a mosquito net. The weather is getting very hot now, but today a North Westerly wind has made it a bit cooler, after mid-day. Blackouts had been ordered for the past week, but are cancelled as from tonight, and it is much better tonight sitting with the lights on, than sitting in the darkness.
Sunday, May 2. Conducted communion service after morning muster parade - forty-five present - Barnett conducted noonday service, Davies at 8 pm, and at 8:30 pm I went with choir to Dysentery ward, for Epilogue. During the afternoon I had an invitation to H.K.V.D.C. hut for cup of tea, with group of six English Methodists. Enjoyed the tea and conversation. After service at Dysentery, Lts Blackwood and White came in for a chat abut things spiritual, and we had a very profitable hour together. I have arranged to meet my new members of Tuesday night in my hut from 8-9 pm. Two other men have spoken to me about church membership, and others will likely follow. A young Scotsman has also asked to come with us for our class. These talks, requests, etc., make us feel that some good is being done by us. For these blessings we are very grateful.
Have just finished reading "Wrestling Jacob" by Marjorie Bowen. It is another biography of John Wesley, but it is not as good as one would expect from her pen. I am certain that her sympathies are not with the Nonconformist churches. I am reading and reviewing "Let's get things Right" by T. Howard Somervell, M.B., M.A., B.C.H., F.R.C.S., published by the S.CM.
Wednesday, May 5. Weather very hot now. At night we sleep in pyjamas beneath a mosquito net, and in the day time, wear shorts, socks, shoes and hat. Shirt is not necessary except for parade. The O.C. of our camp is making an inspection of the camp this afternoon, so everyone after making huts tidy, remains indoors, until inspection is over.
Met thirteen of my boys in my room last night. Most of them joined the church, on profession of faith, on Easter night. Others are coming to see me, and I expect to have another class for a later reception. We plan to meet on Tuesday nights of each week, for study and meditation. I have arranged for my service on Sunday evening next and have taken order of service with hymns, to our organist.
Sunday, May 9. Mother's Day. Only wish I could have a peep into our Vancouver home today. I am sure that I would receive even a heartier welcome than did the telegram, a year ago, saying that I was amongst the living. I hope the best of mothers is having a quiet and yet happy day with the children, and friends. Perhaps another year will find us at home.
Today I went to our communion service at 9 o'clock and shortly after took over flowers to Lt Maze, Blackwood, White, and Queen-Hughes, Capt. Walker and Capt. Bush, and many men, who are now in Dysentery ward. The weather is much better today and we have had no rain for weeks. Shamshuipo is in the drier belt of this area. A blackout has been ordered as from last night, so Capt. Deloughrey has been fixing his light in the next room, with the aid of our batman, while I have been adjusting ours.
News has come through the Hong Kong News that the African campaign is over. This surely is good news as we think that it will mean more activity either in Europe or the far East.
May 15, Saturday. I have been troubled with "Hong Kong Foot' during the week. Blisters and sores with pus between toes, caused by heat - something like athlete's foot. It is very painful and I have been treating it by applications, rest, and air. It is much better today. Many of us will suffer from it during the excessive heat. I am grateful that this is my first, as I am unable to stand very long and even parade time - 20-30 minutes - seems hours.
Today I was called to Major Crawford's (M.O.) office to meet Mr. Wadda Nabi, one of the Japanese interpreters. He had heard of me from Mr. Kote, another interpreter, and wanted to meet me. He is a graduate of some Lutheran Seminary in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., and is a Christian Lutheran minister. He has done much for our medical staff here, and is highly spoken of by the M.O. and others. He spoke to me of his niece doing Y.M.C.A. work at Ocean Falls, as well as one of our ministers in Vancouver. He has promised to come in at a later date for a chat. He asked for my health, what I was doing to cure my foot. I told him that we had no iodine for my feet, but otherwise my health is good and faring fairly well. He seemed to be a very sincere Christian, and I was happy to have the few minutes with him.
7:30 pm. I have just been handed a post card from Miss Doreen Xavier, Ava Mansions, May Rd, Hong Kong, dated March 2, 1943, which reads: Dear Mr. Laite: I write to tell you that I have received your post card dated February 2. I am much obliged to hear from you, and to know that you have received the parcel. I hope that I will be able to send you more in the future. Wish you the best of health. Your sincere and best wishes. - Doreen. Lt Col Trist was here when I received it so he and Barnett teased about trying to explain things to my wife. I feel sure that my explanation would be satisfactory. Anyway, I was pleased to receive it, and will be glad to meet the lady when the show is over.
Sunday, May 16. Attended communion service at 0930 hrs. Led in mid-day service 1200 hrs. Hymns "Holy, Holy, Holy", "How sweet the name", and "All hail the power". Lesson - John 9. Texts - "Jesus cometh, when the door was shut" and "Behold I stand at the door and knock".
Spent most of the rest of the day in hut, because of my foot, which is progressing favorably. Have been talking to my family group today and Barnett and Deloughrey have been teasing - as we do tease each other - but I guess that pretty often, all our hearts yearn for home and a decent meal. Meals are much better than a year ago, thanks to Red Cross parcels, etc., but one does get tired of rice at every meal. I bought five pounds of sweet potatoes a few days ago. They cost 40 sen per pound, 2 yen for the lot. Barnett and I have enjoyed them. I have two or three left for tomorrow - perhaps.
Saturday, May 22. During the week our men have been having a war on bugs. Now all wooden beds have been taken out and men sleep on the concrete floors. Whether the change will be for the better remains to be seen. One boy told me that he counted and picked forty-three off his blanket one morning. There are many men who cannot sleep during the night because of the bugs. I have just finished reading a book "Bengal Lancers" by R. Yeats Brown, who was a prisoner of war in Turkey during the last war. Apparently he suffered from the same plague there, for he writes - "Lice all are familiar with. Fleas are lively little beasts. Scorpions, hornets, wasps, mosquitoes, leeches have none of them the Satanic quality of bugs. One squashes a bug and there is a smear of blood - one's own blood. One lights a candle or match, and there scuttling under the pillow, are five or six more of the flat fiends. Having killed every living thing in sight one lies back, hoping to sleep, but they smell horribly when dead, and keep alive the memory of their itching, at neck and wrist. Presently out of the corner of one's eye one sees monsters darting about avidly magnified and distorted by proximity. There is no end to them. You kill them on the bed, and they jump on you from the walls. You slaughter them by fives and tens, but still they come from the crannies where they have been for months - waiting for the scent of live bodies. They fatten on the young. Of two victims they will choose the healthiest. They suck your blood and sap your energy and your faith".
Capt. Deloughrey was taken out of our camp on Wednesday. We presume he is taken to Argyle camp. Barnett and I are alone now. Today I had a cup full of Rolled Oats, and after soaking them for five or six hours put them on to cook in our own contraption of a double boiler, and now it is cooking so well it is reminding me of home. We only wish that we could change it into a good meal of meat and vegetables. Our meals are much better than those of eight or nine months ago but they are very scanty.
During the week a troupe put on a two act comedy called "Baridia". It was an excellent performance. Costumes, etc. - in fact everything was made here in camp. One lady - impersonated - was dressed in green and white. The style was perfect. The green was made from paint - the material was mosquito net. Another wore red, the color was made from mercurichrome - silver stars were made out of tin cans, but it was all artistically done, and deserves high praise. Two of our Grenadier N.C.O.'s were the leaders in the production - S. M. McKinnon, and Cpl Guy Falconer. Scenery was painted by a Portuguese - S. M. Baptiste.
Sunday, May 23. Conducted Communion service this morning. Padre Davies preaches at noon, and Barnett conducts evening worship. A blackout was on for two or three nights during the week, but it was lifted last night. This is surely a dreary looking camp at night with all lights out. It does not mean that we go to bed earlier, but since beds are none too comfortable we are glad when day breaks.
Thursday, May 25. Stan's birthday. This is just to say "I wish you many returns of the day". I wish I could see you in your own office today. I certainly would not like to see you here. Well, I'm going to celebrate your natal day by giving myself a special lunch - steak pudding - from my Red Cross parcel. I have kept it for today. I know that we have been together in thought and prayer this week, and I feel that you are as ever the same staunch, true and noble san. Trust that next year will find us in the same land and if possible in our home for the day at least.
We read with interest the newspaper - Japanese controlled - which comes daily to the camp, and we have a feeling that events are turning in our favor, so there is hope that within another year this war may be over. I have no snapshot of you as all snaps were taken from me when captured, but a large picture of you is in my memory, and it does not fade. Let's go down and chop some wood this morning. It is now 9:20. My breakfast of rice-rata with flour and brown sugar syrup, bun and tea, is finished. Sally will call us at eleven for a snack, or better still will come down to the beach with her tray. I can imagine how our tongues would wag. Later in the day we would sit in the living room and be content together. So what about it? I'm just ready for a quiet day with lots of Mom's eats around.
Friday, May 28. My birthday. Capt. Price, Capt. Banfill, Capt. Everett Dennison, and I have been felicitating one another on this our birthday, and wishing that we can spend our next with our own folk. Weather is changing today. Heavy showers occasionally. A member of the Ministry for the information and welfare of the prisoners of war, from the Imperial Japanese army visited us today. We had marched to position on the "Square" for the inspection. Rain came shortly after he and his party has passed, and we were soaked before our dismissal. Thunder and rainstorms are on now - mid-day - with a forecast of a full day of such weather. I am celebrating my birthday by having my Red Cross apple pudding for lunch. There will be little else today. About twenty-five of our men came from Bowen Rd Hospital during the week. If you, Mom, Florence, and Grayson, could have listened this morning, you would have heard me discussing with you, plans for the day. Only wish they could be carried out.
2000 hrs. The following men came in for an hour. They are my new members, so I ask them to have a cup of tea with me to-night. We haven't any eats. What about a cake, Mom?
|Don MacPherson||Miniota, Man.|
|George Auld||St. James, Winnipeg|
|George A. Temple||Winnipeg|
|Albert E. Boulding||Pilot Butte, Sask.|
|Alex Colvin||Carman, Man.|
|Bert McKinnon||Magnet, Man.|
|Frank Neufeld||Sperling, Man.|
|Randy Steele||Grand Cascapedia, Que.|
|Philip L. Durrant||Winnipeg|
|Gerald K. Mabley||Winnipeg|
|Seymour G. Allison||Escuminac, Bona Co., P.Q.|
|Kenneth J. Hogarth||Box 268, Griswold, Man.|
|Thomas S. Forsyth||Pipestone, Man.|
|James A. Malloch||Lucky Lake, Sask.|
Sunday, May 30. Conducted Communion service at 0900 hrs. Thirty-five present. The weather was very disagreeable, with heavy rain showers. Our church hall is flooded, and we are unable to conduct our mid-day service. Evening worship in the chapel at 8 o'clock. About sixty attended. Rain continues.
Monday, May 31. A few more letters came into camp. Capt. Cunningham received his first letter, and did he feel pleased? He had snapshots of his wife and baby. Rains were too heavy today for outside parade so formed up inside the flooded hall. Many feet were soaked.
Tuesday, June 1. The men in hospital are doing very well now. They are much more cheery than they were a few months ago, and keep each other amused by games, humour, etc. One fellow in particular is the life of his ward. Yesterday morning, when I visited, I asked others about him, and they told me that he was feeling fine, but asked if I knew about the baby, baptism, and all. Later in the day I went back with a cigarette for the new mother, and while he smoked it, he allowed a pal to have a draw or puff. I commented on it, and he replied - "Padre, 'tis all right as he washes for me while I am sick". What could I reply to that? This morning I asked him about the baby and he said that someone had her in the garden, and she must be near as he heard someone speak to Mary Jane, just before I came in. Symes is a scream, and never, in his nights of agony with his feet, allowed his spirit to be broken. When he would remain awake for hours at night with pain, the boys would hear him eventually say - addressing his feet - "I'm not going to speak to you any more tonight. I am just going to ignore you, and have nothing further to say to you". Such as he deserves to live.
June 3, Thursday. Ascension Day. New regulations are out today. Food rations are drastically cut. For how long we do not know, but it will likely be for some time. We dread the thought of months on shortened rations, as many - most of us - are just on the border, and may hold our own at present standard of ration issue, but with a reduced issue may be disastrous for many men.
June 4, Friday. Tonight I had a very interesting hour with Mr. Noble - Teacher Missionary - of the London Missionary Society, about the idea of asking the United Church of Canada for a man for their union church here at Kowloon. To me it seems that the right type of man could have a very interesting term amongst the English speaking people here, and at Hong Kong. He knows Dr. Norwood very well. Later a soldier came to get the quotation beginning "Judge not that ye be not judged" - Matt: 7, 1-2. He told me that he belongs to the Latter Day Saints. And so the work goes on. Always something of interest.
June 8, Tuesday. On Saturday last I developed a temperature of 100 so had to get a powder, and rest. After the second one on Sunday, I felt much better, and am now O.K. again. The weather was too wet for service at 1200hrs on Sunday, when I was to lead. The hall was flooded because of rifts in the roof as well as no windows or doors. Padre Strong led the evening service. Tomorrow morning I conduct a Communion service in our chapel. David Johnson, W.G. - 52 - married - Non-con - died yesterday, and I buried him today. Major Baird was in charge of the burial party. Capt. Barnett went along with me as I wanted him to see the cemetery. The Japanese have re-filled, and mounded all the graves, and have each numbered. They did a really good job. Johnson's number is M12.
Have just finished reading "All this and Heaven too" by Rachel Field. It does make delightful reading.
Sunday, June 13. Services today conducted by Capt. Barnett at 0700. Choral Communion 0930 by Capt. Davies. Preaching service at 1200hrs by Padre Strong, and Evening worship at 7:30, followed by Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, by myself. All services were well attended.
Sunday, June 20. Services as usual today. I led the Communion service at 0930hrs, Davies preached at 1200hrs, and Barnett led the evening service at 7:30.
Thursday, June 24. Meals have been meagre in quantity and poor in quality of late. Prices are prohibitive now, and one's yen does not go far. This morning we had boiled rice with flour and water and a wee bit of sugar, made into a sauce - called sweet sauce. At noon we had a fried egg, eggplant and rice. Since we have no butter or grease of any kind, it is difficult to eat our bun which goes sour after a day. Because there was for a while, fair food, many of our men have been able to leave hospital for their lines, but if there is a recurrence of poor food, and a further lack of medical supplies, I fear the results. During the week seven more of our men returned from Bowen Rd Hospital, and are much improved.
Some letters came into camp on Monday and yesterday. Most of them had been written fourteen months ago, but are received with delight. During the week I have written cards and letters for men in hospital, who are still unable to see well enough to write.
Sunday, June 29. Held Communion service in the early morning - thirty-five present. Barnett preached at 1200hrs on "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord" - Isaiah 6. During the afternoon I had a very interesting hour's conversation with Q.M.S. Quenell of the R.E. who was with us at Wan Nai Chong. We compared notes, and still wonder how anyone got out of that Hell. Hemmed in on all sides, covered by machine guns, fired on by every kind of weapon; still we lived there for four days, until our ammunition was used up. He, with Sgt Paisey, and Sgt Barton, came through the lines in the early morning and won through successfully.
Pte James, who lost a leg in the "show", was also in to see me, and to have me read a letter from his best girl, and asked for advice about a reply. He stayed and chatted, and had a cup of tea. It was Barnett's wedding anniversary, but no cake was served. What would a piece of cake look like - the kind that Mom used to make? During the week, pangs of hunger have again bee experienced, as meals are meagre, but today at noon Barnett gave me his omelette - eggs and cornstarch - as he had kept a tin of vegetable and beef pudding, for celebration. With my own ration, I had a fairly good lunch. Lt Col Walker, who was with us at Wan Nai Chong - wounded - returned from Bowen Rd during the past week. He did not lose his leg as we had expected, and is looking quite fit, but lame. We shall compare notes later.