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November 6, 1918: A Dartmouth Doctor in WWI

November 6, 1918

Laryngitis worse.
Decide to keep out of the wards again today.

Being restless I accepted the invitation of Capt. Price of the Red Cross in Toul to go to the front. (The chief occupation of the Red Cross in Toul seems to be excursions to the Front.)

We left at 9.30 and drove to Flirey, Essey, Benney and Xammes.
Here another Red Cross man met us and we started for the front in a truck. We were about three miles from the front line trenches. We drove about half the way then got out and walked. For the last mile we practically crawled. During this time an occasional shell went over our heads, whether German or American I do not know. The sound certainly was not stimulating.

By the time we reached the front line my back felt better when I was stooping over than it did when I was standing upright - and fortunately so.

We were taken to a lookout, given glasses and told where the German front line was. I looked but all was quiet and they may have been telling the truth or trying to fool us as a deathly silence prevailed. In way of demonstration however one of the men put his helmet on his bayonet and raised it above the trench. Instantly there was the report of a gun. We were satisfied and went aback doubled over even more than we were when we entered.

We had gone about 500 yards when a shell landed about that distance in front of us. However we kept on and get back to Xammes in safety. 

From here we started for Jaulny and all along this road there was an occasional shell over our heads. None exploded near us. Just before reaching Jaulney [sic.] they dropped some gas shells near enough to give us the odor but not near enough to make it necessary to put on our masks. 

From here we went to Pont-a-Mousson and back to Toul.
We were back in time for dinner.

The evening papers say “Allies sweep Foe back on the whole front” “Americans cross the Meuse” “The Germans must come to Marshal Foch with a white flag” “The Allies have indicated to Germany that their terms will be unconditional surrender.”

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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