I went in and told the joyful news to Lieutenant Franklin, who was to be boss of the new Convoy, while Lieutenant MacDougal was to be head of the Belgian hospital, and of the unit down at the big Convalescent depot in the S. of France, at Camp de Ruchard, where Lady Baird and Sister Lovell superintended the hospital, and Chris and Thompson did the driving.
It was sad to bid good-bye to Lamarck and the Belgians, but as the English Convoy was to be in the same town it was not as if we should never see them again.
“Camille,” in Ward I, whose back had been broken when the dug-out collapsed on him during a bombardment, hung on to my hand while the tears filled his eyes. He had been my special case when he first arrived, and his gratitude for anything we could do for him was touching.
The Adjutant Heddebaud, who was the official Belgian head of the hospital, wrote out with many flourishes a panegyric of sorts thanking me for what I had done, which I duly pasted in my War Album; and so I said Good-bye to Lamarck and the Belgians, and left for England, December, 1915.
THE ENGLISH CONVOY
My second leave was spent for the most part at a garage in the neighbouring town near the village where we lived. I positively dreamt of carburettors, magnetoes, and how to change tyres! The remaining three of my precious fourteen days were spent in London enjoying life and collecting kit and such like. We were to be entirely under canvas in our new camp, and as it was mid-winter you can imagine we made what preparations we could to avoid dying of pneumonia.
The presentation of a fox terrier, “Tuppence,” by name, I hailed with delight. When all else froze, he would keep me warm, I thought!
It may be interesting to members of the Corps to know the names of those who formed that pioneer Convoy. They are: Lieutenant Franklin, M. Thompson (Section Leader), B. Ellis, W. Mordaunt, C. Nicholson, D. Heasman, D. Reynolds, G. Quin, M. Gamwell, H. Gamwell, B. Hutchinson, N.F. Lowson, P.B. Waddell, M. Richardson, M. Laidley, O. Mudie-Cooke, P. Mudie-Cooke and M. Lean (the last three were new members).