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October 30, 1918: A Dartmouth Doctor in WWI

October 30, 1918

Very pleasant day. A very quiet day with but little work.

Met Carter Harrison, ex-mayor of Chicago this afternoon.
He is here to take charge of the Red Cross in Toul.
Must be a man of 60 years. 

At 4.45 p.m. the Boche came over and dropped two bombs in the outskirt of the town. As yet do not know what they hit. 

Bill Stickney visited me this morning and told me Bob Thonbourg was in command at headquarters. 

Went to Toul with Capt. Whitcomb at 5 p.m. to have supper at the Red Cross mess.
Met James G. Blane, the 3rd. at dinner. He was with the Red Cross. A very arrogant, opinionated man, very free with his criticisms of the President and the Government.

On the way down to dinner the big guns were very active at the front.
It was just midway between daylight and darkness and we could see the smoke of the bursting shells and a little later hear the report.
At 6 p.m. the bombardment shook the building and seemed very near.
One Red Cross man came in late and said the Germans were shelling Nancy. Later we found that this was a false report.
At the time however we felt that things were getting exciting at the front. 

At 8 p.m. we started out to the street and as we reached the sidewalk the sirens began and we heard the German plane just over our heads. The street was filled with people and the French inhabitants made a mad rush for the nearest Abri - paying no attention to anyone in the street.
We were obliged to look sharp, in the darkness to keep from being run over.
The search lights were flashing and the shells of the anti-air guns were exploding over our heads.
It was such a beautiful sight that many gave no thought of the danger and stood watching.
This continued for a half an hour. After this we continued our way to the hospital.
As we walked along we watched the flashes of light, the signals, and the exploding shells in the North.

We were back at the hospital at 9 p.m. and stood watching the North from the Hospital yard for about a half an hour then went to bed. 

We had no knowledge as to what was going on but the rumor was that the Germans were advancing. 

When I went to sleep the firing was still going on.

From MS-397, Box 1 Folder 14. To read the diary in its entirety, visit Rauner Special Collections Library and ask to see the Harry Goodall papers (MS-397).

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