September 20th 1945

I fall down in the world! I take Trat to Meerut and we have a reasonable party, though she has a cold and engages in a long session in Viennese with Bart, who later steals her away from dinner for a dance – much to my disgust. The next day I arrange to take her to John Van Ligten to a party there, and I have a lot of difficulty in getting out of taking Henri and Freddy too, in fact I have to rope in Chuck with the 15 cwt to take them. I jeep off to Heemstede and find Trat in bed with a cold. So we sit upstairs and consume a bottle of wine – of course John comes in and appears to own the place. I eventually take him off to the Amsterdam party where I entertain the guests (male) with my “Big Chief Boiler Kettle” story. At 11.30 I take John “home” – i.e. to Trat’s house where we have a cup of tea, borrow a book of Oscar Wilde and set off for home at 1.30am in pouring rain.

Going down the autobahn I notice I am doing about 40, but my lights do not search far ahead and all I can do is follow the centre white line. Suddenly something appears in sight but I haven’t even time to brake and hit it full and square. It is the last of two small German tanks driven by Dutch drivers of the “Eclipse” scheme, which had run out of petrol and so just stopped on the road – no lights of course.

I bale out, bleeding from my nose, and find my right leg twisted inwards – the jeep horn full on, and much rain. Some civil policeman in a car picks me up and takes me to Valkenburg, where they give me a shot of Scotch and cocaine and send me off to a military hospital in Rotterdam. Next day I am x-rayed and find my right hip is dislocated and the femur fractured. Chuck comes down, then goes back up to the Hague and brings me some kit and a pukka “658” (?), as the one I was using on the fateful night had his signature on it, forged by me. My hip is re-set and I am put in a Thomas splint and packed off to Antwerp.

I have difficulty in sleeping on my back and also in sitting on a bed pan, which has always been a hobby of mine. Next day I go to a hospital in Brussels and yesterday am flown across to the UK. I leave hospital at 12.45 for C.A.E.C. at Evere and am put in the Dakota on my stretcher. 1.10 before take off – hundreds of people get in and then off we go, arriving in Down Ampney (RAF Down Ampney in Wiltshire) in 2.10 or so. Here I am carried into a long shed, my stretcher put on a couple of buckets, and I find myself next to a Pole from Italy. I am then given a cup of tea, a bottle, a cigarette, a newspaper, a “dinner” on a plate, a piece of chocolate and a wash, and a Red Cross dame comes round with a bag of toilet necessities and offers to send wires or telephone my next of kin – Heaven forbid.

Then off in another ambulance – my 7th – to Wroughton Hospital where I now am – most depressed, as some Sgt bone shark has said it will all take about five months – so what to do with my kit in The Hague? I have just made a lying declaration to try and change 37 guilders, which I must get back and tear up, so I reckon that one way or the other I am in the SOUP!


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