Captain C. A. C. Turner, 2nd The Connaught Rangers
Narrative Describing My Captivity From The Time of Capture Until My Entry Into Switzerland
Capture – Aug. 26, 1914
After three days of rapid retreat from the Mons position, the rear-guard of our battalion (acting as rear-guard to the 5th Brigade) came into contact with the enemy in the evening of 26th August 1914, near a small village called Le Grand Fayt, some eight kilometres east of Landrécies. Our rear-guard consisted of about 25 men under Captain Leader (killed in the action), machine gun section under Lieut. Barker, and myself with four men as rear party. I retired on to the rear-guard shortly after the appearance on the scene of a section of Germans and, at dusk, circumstances arose which obliged us to hold on to a bad position in very enclosed country in order to delay the enemy’s advance at all costs. As the night drew on our ammunition gave out, Captain Leader was killed, and a few of the men were put out of action, and we were greatly outnumbered by the Germans opposed to us. As we advanced for a final bayonet charge, Lieut. Barker was wounded in the leg, and a few seconds later I received a flesh wound across my right shoulder, from our right flank, which was soon followed by a second which completely shattered my left shoulder. The shock of this second hit left me completely numbed for a few minutes, and I only collected my senses in time to see the forms of men looming up in front, whom I knew by their voices, to be Germans. Some of them showed a decided inclination to bayonet me, but they were ordered off by a German officer who immediately knelt down beside me and asked why we were fighting against them, also various questions about the strength of our force, to all of which I professed ignorance. Barker then came up to me, leaning on two German soldiers, and I was very glad to see him; he could speak German fluently and seemed to command our captors’ respect at once. Then came a medical officer who cut my jacket and shirt off my back, painted my wounds with iodine and bound them up as well as he could with my field dressing. I was put on a waterproof sheet and carried to a bed of straw placed under a tree. All my belongings were, of course, taken; but my money, watch and cigarette case were returned to me-thanks to Barker, who told the Germans that they had no right to take those things. I spent that night in the field with Barker and other wounded men. On the following day we were picked up and taken in a cart to Avesnes S. Hilfe and into hospital.
Avesnes Hospital – Aug. 27 – Sept. 17, 1914
In that hospital we were treated with great kindness and given every attention by French nurses, in a room set aside for prisoners of war. The German doctors gave us the same medical treatment as they gave their own wounded. My wounds were well washed and dressed every day in the operating room, to which I was carried in a stretcher every morning; but I often had to wait for a considerable time in a cold passage outside for my turn. The ward was visited twice a day by a German doctor, but otherwise we were left in the charge of the French nurses. Visitors from the village used frequently to come in in the afternoons, and among them came an old English lady who paid me frequent visits. I wrote a letter from this place, which reached home in about two months. Barker was sent away into Germany after about a week, but I stayed on until the hospital was cleared on 17th September, when I went to Fourmies, about 15 miles from Avesnes, in a two-wheeled market cart, in company with it British soldier (Private White, Northants Regiment), a Frenchman and two Germans. It was a trying ride; the roads were very bad, and every jolt of the cart gave me acute pain. The unfortunate peasant folk whom we passed came forward with fruit and eggs for us. After about four hours on the road we reached Fourmies at nightfall and were taken into the school, converted into a hospital. Here the medical treatment was not so good as at Avesnes, though the food was better. On the second day after our arrival a number of German soldiers, who had fallen ill on the line of march, were brought into our ward. Their presence was unpleasant, but they were not aggressive. Owing to a misunderstanding on the part of one of the nurses about the diet of a German soldier, the doctor violently abused the nurse and ordered us prisoners to be given bread and water for one day-the order was not carried out.
Journey – Sept. 21, 1914
On the morning of 21st September, with no previous warning, Private White and I were removed from the hospital at Fourmies and put on a train in which we travelled to Chimay in Belgium. We were put in a horse-truck on mattresses, in company with several German wounded. One of these threatened to throw a bottle at us, but we pacified him with a few chocolates. The journey lasted about six hours, though we only travelled about 30 miles, and we arrived at Chimay in the evening. Here I was, unfortunately, separated from Private White who was carrying my small bundle of possessions, including the greater part of my money. He was, apparently, sent straight on into Germany. while I remained at Chimay. I was carried on a stretcher to a convent – the “Couvent des Roses” – there to rest a few days before continuing the journey into Germany. The refectory of the convent was converted into a hospital ward containing about 40 beds. The majority of the patients were Frenchmen; mostly bad cases; I was the only Englishman. There were also in the ward about six Germans. The doctor in charge was a Belgian who spoke English very well and seemed thorough in his methods, but, as this was only a clearance hospital, he had not the equipment for the treatment of serious wounds. The nursing staff consisted of four Belgian nuns, who were very kind and attentive to me, and two German Red Cross nurses who devoted most of their attention naturally to the German wounded. One of the latter could speak English and was very kind to me. I was very well fed while at Chimay. One of the nuns used to bring me tea and some cakes every afternoon. When I departed, they gave me a pair of slippers and some chocolate. The ladies at Avesnes had provided me with & woollen jacket, a greatcoat and a scarlet muffer, and thus got up I left the hospital on 15th September, and drove to the railway station in a donkey-cart!
Journey – Sept. 25-27, 1914
The journey from Chimay to Cologne took three days and was the most trying journey I have ever experienced. I was placed in a covered truck with straw as bedding and with two French officers, five French and three German soldiers-all badly wounded except one German who attended on the wants of the rest of us – as travelling companions. I was the only Englishman on the train and was the object of much curiosity on the part of the German troops, but was in no way ill-treated. While passing through Belgium I was given handfuls of fruit by the inhabitants, and was able to buy beer and cakes. After entering Germany, I was given soup and sandwiches by the German Red Cross people at most of the large stations At a large town in Belgium (Liege. I think) a doctor came round and pronounced me unfit to travel further. promising to send a stretcher and to have me taken into hospital. However, the train moved on before the stretcher had arrived. Scores of troop trains passed us, on their way to the front, all decorated with branches. Our train often had to wait on a sideline for as much as half an hour to let these pass. I learned that they had come from the Russian front.
Cologne, Schule Mainzer Strasse – Sept. 27, 1914 – March 30, 1915
I was very thankful when, at length, we reached Cologne about 9 p.m. on 27th September. We were taken from the railway station to the hospital – “Schule Mainzer Strasse” – in trams, followed all the way, it seemed, by a crowd of excited children. Arrived at the hospital, the two French officers and myself were taken into the officers’ room–a small but bright and clean room containing 10 beds, four of which were already occupied by French officers. The dressing I had on my shoulder had not been changed for four days and was in a disgusting state; it could not, however, be changed until the next morning. I had to answer a long list of questions about my identity and position in the army – as I had to, also, in every other hospital and camp I went to.
The doctor, Wiedmann by name, who attended on all in our room, was a very kind man, and took the utmost interest in the patients under his care. His operation on my shoulder was not very successful, but that was through lack of experience rather than lack of care. He put my left arm in a “stretcher” with a weight and pulley which held it in a vertical position. This had the desired effect of keeping my temperature at a moderate figure but made my arm quite stiff.
On 11th November I was taken to No. 7 hospital, where an X-ray photograph was taken and the extent of damage done to my shoulder was seen. Dr. Wiedmann then operated and removed a quantity of broken bone. My case being critical after this operation, I was given special delicacies from the kitchen, and the doctor himself brought me fruit and jellies. Towards the end of January 1915, when the wound showed signs of healing, the weight and pulley arrangement was removed and I was able to get out of bed for a few minutes every day. The latrines which I visited on these occasions were cold and unsanitary, and by going there I contracted erysipelas and was obliged to keep to my bed for the rest of my time in the hospital.
The life in this hospital was as monotonous and uninteresting as life in hospital can be. Breakfast, consisting of a mug of “café au lait” and a bun, was served at 7.30 a.m. The room was then cleaned up the floor was washed every morning-in time for the doctor’s arrival at 9 a.m. All dressing was performed in the room, also minor operations and incisions.” Lunch, a bowl of meat and vegetables, was served at noon. We were given a mug of coffee at 3.30 p.m., and supper, soup or sausage, at 6 p.m. For the first three months a daily ration of a 1-lb. loaf of fresh bread was given to each man. I was never able to eat all this ration, and asked for a smaller portion, but they insisted on my having the full ration each day. Early in 1915, however, the bread ration was reduced, “Kriegsbrod” was substituted for the fresh bread, and the breakfast bun disappeared.
The food was, on the whole, quite satisfactory. We were waited on by a young German Red Cross orderly known to us as Paul. He was a good-natured and obliging youth, as were most of the orderlies in that hospital, and would, for a small consideration, buy things for us from the town, though it was against rules to do so.
On the day after I arrived, another British officer (Captain Campbell, East Surreys) came into the hospital. He was put into a different room, among the rank and file, but came every day to see me, and very kindly wrote a letter home for me. He only stayed in the hospital about a week before he was sent off to Torgau.
The French officers with whom I shared the room were quiet and pleasant people to live with. One of those with whom I had travelled from Chimay, and who was suffering from a badly fractured thigh, fell into worse and worse condition, seemed to give up the struggle for life, and finally died in the room, in December. He was buried with military honours, and two French officers were allowed to attend the funeral.
I passed the time as well as I could by reading and picked up a fair knowledge of conversational French from my companions. There were a few English soldiers in other parts of the hospital, who were able to visit me for a short time in the afternoons. I gathered that they were fairly well treated.
I received my first letter from home about the end of October 1914, and for the rest of my time in Germany received letters and parcels regularly. In November I received a remittance frora Cox & Co. through their Dutch agents, at the rate of Mks. 1.05 per one shilling.
Dr. Wiedmann recommended me for the first exchange of prisoners, but my name was removed from the list by the Chief Medical Officer – a harsh and ill-natured man, disliked equally by the German under officers and orderlies as by the prisoners. Later on, his (the P.M.O.’s) attitude towards me changed, and he seemed quite anxious for my welfare.
Hospital No. VII – March 30 – April 14, 1915
On 30th March 1915 the “Schule Mainzer Strasse” hospital was cleared, apparently to admit German wounded, and I was removed to Hospital No 7, Maschinenbau Schule.” There the routine was the same as in the last place. On my arrival I was placed in a small isolation ward, on account of the erysipelas I had had a month previously, with two Belgian soldiers. I remained there five days, and was then given a bath, the first I had had since being captured, and placed in another room with a number of French and Belgian soldiers. To that I objected and was taken into the officers’ ward, where I found myself amongst an agreeable set of French officers. This hospital was larger and in many ways more complete than the last; it contained an X-ray installation and a well-equipped operating room. But the food was not quite so good or plentiful, nor were the orderlies so good as those of the “Schule Mainzer Strasse.” The doctor, Dietrich by name, who attended on us was a skilled surgeon, but as I was only in the hospital for a short time, I got no special treatment from him. There were several British soldiers in the hospital, but I seldom had a chance of seeing them as they were not allowed to come into our room.
While I was at this hospital I saw, for the first time, & representative of the American Embassy. I was able to speak to him alone and mattended by his escort of doctors and officers, who remained by the door of the room. I told him I had no complaint to make of the treatment I had received, nor, I gathered from him, had the men whom he had interviewed. We could not, he said, expect any improvement in the food.
Hospital N. VI – April 14 – Aug., 1915
On 14th April 1915 the Maschinenbau Schule was cleared, all the patients being sent to No.1 and 6 hospitals. I was conveyed by train to No. 6 hospital, the Kaiserin Augusta Schule-a fine building. well suited for use as a hospital. In the rooms, including the gymnasium and a fine dining-hall, there was accommodation for about 600 patients, and in addition beds were placed in the corridors, so that the number of patients often amounted to 700 or more. Here I was fortunate enough to meet Private White again, with whom I had parted at Chimay; my money had been taken from him, but he had saved my watch. He was an excellent servant to me while I was in the hospital. Time passed more easily in this hospital The French and Belgian officer’s with whom I lived were good fellows and cheery companions; we played cards, ragged and had evening feasts, and were not interfered with by the Germans. When I was strong enough, I went round two or three times a week to visit all the Englishmen in the hospital-there were, on an average, about 30 distributed in ones and twos in all parts of the hospital. These men were fairly well treated, though there were a few cases of neglect due to the incompetence or insolence of the nursing orderlies. The latter were supposed to be well-trained men, and to them the work of dressing wounds was frequently left by the doctors, whose time was taken up by innumerable operations. For smoking in the rooms, and other offences, men were confined in a dark cell in the basement, with bread and water for food and a board and a dirty blanket for bedding. Bed-patients were deprived of their butter ration for so many days by way of punishment. I heard various complaints of certain Belgians, and sometimes of Frenchmen, who used to betray the Englishmen and get them into trouble, if they could profit themselves by so doing. A sergeant Henderson of the H.L.I. was given five days’ cells for abusing one of these Belgians; the sergeant was badly wounded in the foot and only able to move about on crutches.
There was a paved courtyard, enclosed on three sides by the school buildings and on the fourth by a high wall, where we took our exercise, and where, during the summer, men sat in groups, according to nationality, under the trees, playing cards and passing the time in various manners. A German missionary Pastor Wagner, who had done missionary work in London-took a service for Englishmen once a week in a small chapel at the top of the building. He was a kind old man, but could not always keep his feeling against England out of his sermons.
The food was inferior to that which I had received in the other hospitals but in my case, as in many others, the ordinary rations were supplemented by numerous extras, such as eggs, cocoa, soup and beer; besides which I was then receiving parcels of food regularly. Those who received no food from home undoubtedly felt the pinch; especially the Russians, many of whom crowded round the door of our room every day after meals, to collect the scraps that were left over.
The routine was similar to that in the other hospitals. The doctor came round every morning and did his dressings in the rooms; but for the rest of the day we in the officers’ rooms were left very much to our own devices and seldom interfered with by the Germans.
I was fortunate in coming under the care of a very good surgeon who took infinite pains with all his patients and saved many limbs which in other hands might have been lost. This was Dr. E. Meyer, who operated on my shoulder about a fortnight after I came into the hospital, with such success that it was completely healed in two months. Much use was made of plaster of paris by all the doctors in the hospital, for fractures of all sorts. I wore a plaster bandage for six weeks after the operation, after which I was given a daily hot bath for three weeks.
The rooms in this as in the other hospitals were well heated by the central heating system. The bath rooms and sanitary arrangements were satisfactory. Little or no disinfectant was used, but the w.c.’s, &c.. were kept clean by daily washing. Everyone in the hospital was able to have at least one bath a week.
About the middle of August I was joined by Captain Stickings, of the Wiltshire Regiment, the first British officer I had met since October 1914; but a fortnight after his arrival I was removed from the hospital. One of our men complained to me that he had been hit by one of the German orderlies, and I had investigated the case and reported it to the inspector of the hospital. The orderly justified his action in the inspector’s eyes, and a few days later I was sent off to the officers’ camp at Mainz (on 30th August).
Journey – Aug. 30, 1915
I travelled to Mainz with a British officer (Lieut. Crabbie, R.F.O.) and four French officers. escorted by a German Feldwebel Lieutenant and three sentries. We travelled (3rd class) slowly up the Rhine valley, were allowed to leave the train and buy some food at Coblenz, and finally reached Mainz at about 8 p.m. Arrived there, we walked up to the citadel (the officers’ camp). were given supper and locked into a special apartment (reserved for new arrivals) for the night. On the following day we were let out of this room one by one, and subjected to a long cross-examination by a young under-officer who spoke English perfectly. He took down the usual details as to my identity, regiment, &c., and asked me various questions about our reasons for entering the war, the feeling in England, our army organisation and ammunition supply. I did not satisfy his curiosity. That done, we were allowed to mix with our fellow prisoners.
Mainz – Aug. 30 – Sept. 11, 1915
The camp struck me as well organised, and the German officers and administration staff were always civil. The food was better than any I had yet had in Germany and was decently served in a dining-hall where all partook of meals at noon and 6 p.m. There were two roll-calls every day at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.. At 8 p.m. all had to be in the buildings; at 9.30 an under-officer came round to see if everyone was present in the rooms, and lights were turned out at 10 p.m. There was a surgery where a medical officer was in attendance every morning. A list of parcels received was posted up every day, and parcels were issued in an office: tinned food was taken and kept under lock and key until required for consumption. There was a canteen where a large variety of commodities could be obtained. For recreation the parade ground was at our disposal, where people played tennis and other games, and in one corner of which there were parallel and horizontal bars for gymnastics. From the parade ground one had a good view over the town, and I spent some of my time sketching I lived in building No. 3-the oldest of the three which composed the camp-where the rooms were long, vault-shaped, and dark. The sanitary arrangements in the building were primitive but were kept in a sanitary condition. I remained at Mainz for 10 days only, and did not become well acquainted with any of the German officers or with many of my fellow prisoners.
Journey – Sept. 11, 1915
On 11th September I departed from Mainz early in the morning with the same companions with whom I had travelled from Cologne with the addition of a French medical officer, and, after a 12 hours journey, arrived at Ingolstadt (Bavaria) in the evening. Arrived there, we walked to the men’s lager on the outskirts of the town and spent the night or straw mattresses on the floor of the hospital hut. On the following morning I walked round the camp and visited the Englishmen living there (ll of them). They gave me a fairly satisfactory account of their life and treatment in the camp. A French cavalry officer promoted in the field and therefore not recognised by the Germans ELS an officer – who was living in the camp, told me that he found the life there more agreeable than in the fort which was our destination. Later in the morning a wagonette was procured for us, and in it we drove to Fort No. X, about 7 miles from the town.
Fort No. X – Sept. 12, 1915 – May 26, 1916
On entering the fort we were first of all put through the usual questionnaire, and had our pockets and luggage searched by under-officers. We were then conducted through long underground passages to a vault which was damp and dirty. The fort was surrounded by a moat and was always damp inside. The rooms which had been inhabited for some time were fairly dry, but our room, which had not been lived in before, was very damp-everything in it became clammy. The prospect of living in such a place for an indefinite period was not pleasant. At first I was favourably impressed by the commandant of the fort, but soon became aware of the malignity that he hid behind his civil outward manner.
We were supplied with bedding, stools, a table and an oil lamp, but had to purchase all other necessaries at the canteen. The water-drawn from wells beneath the fort-was contaminated and smelt foul. The latrines were filthy; the cess was removed in large tubes to a pit outside the fort. A bathroom had been arranged, at the expense of the prisoners, with three douches. Every officer was able to have a hot douche every 10 days or so. Each room contained a stove which warmed it sufficiently. As the fort faced southward, the sun never penetrated into any of the rooms.
At the entrance there was a long and narrow court yard and within the fort were two others, each just large enough to contain a tennis-court. We were allowed out of doors from about 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., when all assembled in the outer court for roll-call, and from 2 p.m. until the second roll-call at 6 p.m. (or earlier, according to sunset). When there was a fog we were only allowed in the outer courtyard, from which there was no access to the top of the fort ; otherwise we were allowed, also, in the inner courtyards and on the paths running round the top of the fort; we were forbidden to mount on the parapets on which were posted six sentries. At night a sentry was posted in each passage inside the fort.
The only way to pass the time in such a place was to devote oneself to some sort of study – I took up French and Russian. Nearly all the Frenchmen spent their time in that manner and with their music, art, and literature. The Russians devoted themselves to carpentry and various sorts of fancy work; many of them, however, made no efforts to pass the time profitably. Some of them (the older ones) seemed to have no spirit left in them, they wandered despondently up and down the courtyard and then went into their rooms and slept; others drank heavily and fuddled themselves frequently with wine, beer, or even methylated spirits.
Shortly after our arrival our French companions moved into another room, but Crabbie and I remained and were, a few days later, joined by five Russians – very nice men, with whom we got on well save on the question of ventilation; we had command over the windows, however, and kept the room ventilated in spite of them.
Of the food provided in the fort I can make no complaint; they gave us a lb. loaf of good “* standard ” bread each day, and, with regular food parcels from home, we fed well. In the canteen we could get good beer, wine, margarine, sugar and various articles of daily use. A courier went into the town periodically to make purchases for us which were sanctioned by the commandant.
Letters were delivered once a day. Parcels were examined and given out in the commandant’s office. Occasionally the giving out of parcels would be delayed for a day or two if the commandant was displeased by the evasion of officers, &c. All the Russians’ parcels were kept in the office for three weeks before they were given out.
During the earlier part of my stay in the fort a German doctor was in attendance twice a week, but later on, all the medical work was done by a Russia doctor-a very nice and a capable man.
On 7th October the fort was visited by a lady of the Russian Red Cross who was visiting all the camps in which there were Russian officers. She was attended by the commandant of the fort, two other German officers and a Russian officer, who conducted her round all the rooms in the fort. She spoke to us in perfect English and told us that Fort X. was the worst officers’ camp she had visited. On the following day the Russian officer who had shown this lady round the fort was sent to live in the worst and darkest room in the fort, as a reprisal for having shown her all the worst points of the place.
Towards the end of October we started playing football in one of the inner yards; I took part in one game, fell and injured my shoulder and was obliged, on 31st October, to leave the fort for the hospital in the town, leaving Crabbie the only British officer in the fort. I drove in an ambulance into the town and was taken into the garrison hospital, where I saw the chief medical officer- “Oberstabsarzt” Singer, who had been ship’s doctor on a Hamburg-American liner. He was a nice man and was very good to all the prisoners under his authority. I then went to the prisoners’ hospital, which consisted of two waggon sheds opposite the barracks (depot of the 13th Regiment of Infantry) which stood just within the western ramparts of the town. Each of these sheds was enclosed by a wooden barricade about 7 feet high surmounted by barbed wire. In the larger of the two sheds (known as Remise IV) one large room on the upper floor was reserved for officers, of whom I found about 50 living there, mostly French and Russian, and two British Lieut. Ratcliffe, West Yorks, and Lieut. Kemble of the Suffolks. The living conditions were well regulated under the able leadership of a French captain, who dealt effectively with all the minor disputes which arose, and acted as spokesman for all
The room was well heated by three stoves; the sanitary arrangements were satisfactory, except with regard to the disposal of rubbish and kitchen refuse, all of which was collected in tubs placed at the foot of the ramp which led up to our room. A cart came round every day to collect the kitchen refuse, and a dust-cart came once a week for the other rubbish. One corner of the room was partitioned off as a bathroom where every officer was able to take one hot bath per week.
The food provided by the Germans was not bad, but was insufficient. The greater part of our sustenance came in parcels from home. Parties of four or five clubbed together and arranged meals with the food received in parcels, which we sent to be prepared in the kitchen we each subscribed 50 pfennigs a month to pay the cooks for this service. We were given a daily ration of lb heavy “Kriegsbrod.” There was a small canteen where we could buy a few articles of daily use, also wine, and up to the end of January 1916 an occasional supply of sugar.
The Remise was under the charge of an elderly medical officer – Oberstabsarzt Wendtland – I was told that he was a retired dentist. He went about his business in a casual and haphazard manner, and seemed to be unable to remember a man’s case from one day to another. He had a radio-photograph taken of my shoulder, from which he found that the bone was not broken, and did no more in the matter. Men with venereal and other contagious diseases lived in the rooms with all the other patients, and it was only due to the precautions taken by the patients themselves that these diseases did not spread. Dr. Wendtland left about two months after my arrival, and his place was taken by a younger doctor – Stabsarzt Hohlederer – nice man who took great interest in the work and never failed, if he could help it, to visit all his patients every day. After his arrival I went daily to the main hospital for electric treatment and massage, which brought back some of the movement in my arm. Cases of serious illness and those for operations were taken into the main hospital, where they were under the care of very good doctors,
For recreation we had the space enclosed by the barricade about 150 by 50 yards. We were allowed out of doors from 6 or 7 a.m., until sunset, and, when the enclosure was not too muddy, amused ourselves with various games, or, in the warm summer weather, sat in deck chairs under the trees, reading.
In the garrets of the Remise there was a studio, where a few Frenchmen worked all day long, and a small chapel where a French priest held daily services. The American chaplain from Munich-Archdeacon Nies – came over periodically, and held a service in one of the wards in the other shed, where there were about 12 British soldiers. He was very kind to all of us. brought presents of cigars, &c., for the men, sent a large bundle of flannel belts and wash-cloths, and started a circulating library for them. Mr. Jackson. representative of the American Embassy, came to the hospital once. He was in a great hurry and was only able to spare us a few moments, hardly giving us time to think of any suggestions. Our men in this hospital were very poorly clothed when I first saw them, but later on, I received a large parcel of shirts, socks and underclothes for them from Paris, and, after I had sent lists to the American Embassy, they eventually received what clothes they required from their regimental societies.
A theatrical company came from the men’s camp once & fortnight and gave us some very good entertainments. On Christmas evening 1915 an entertainment was organised among the men in the hospital, and gifts from the officers were distributed by lottery among the men. At the instigation of Dr. Singer (the P.M.O.) a gift of two cigars and a packet of 10 cigarettes was given to each man by the German authorities. On that occasion as well as on New Year’s Eve and Easter Day we were allowed to buy what food and drink we required from the town and to keep lights on until midnight. In April 1916, those officers who consented to give their parole not to escape while doing so were allowed out for walks in the country accompanied by a German officer. This was a great improvement.
While at Ingolstadt, I received monthly remittances of 21. 10s. from Cox & Co., for which I was given on an average Mks. 62.50 excepting the last (that of May 1916) for which I received Mks. 57.30.
I was examined by Dr. Singer on February 10th with a view to being sent to Switzerland, and again by a German commission in April. Later in the same month a commission of Swiss doctors arrived, but I was told it was not worth my while to see them as they were only seeing Frenchmen. On 21st May, however, I was told that I should depart for Switzerland on the 26th.
Of the 20 months I spent in Germany. I spent 18 in hospitals. In none of the places in which I stayed did I notice any improvement during my stay, although the conditions in the various camps and hospitals differed widely. The last hospital I stayed in is the only exception; there, the life was made more agreeable towards the end of my stay by the relaxation of a few of the rules-We were allowed to smoke in the room and to keep the lights on until 10 p.m. instead of 8.30; the food was increased in quantity; and we were given the opportunity of going for walks in the country.
I left Ingolstadt in the morning of May 26th and arrived at Constance in the evening, after a 14 hours journey. I passed before the medical board of Swiss and German doctors on Saturday the 27th, and finally quitted Germany on Monday afternoon the 29th.
(Signed) C. A. C. TURNER, Captain,
The Connaught Rangers. Rougement, 9th January 1917.