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November 10, 1918: A Dartmouth Doctor in WWI

November 10, 1918

Fog in the morning, clearing at 10 a.m. Fog tonight
Cold better and do some work in my office, keeping away from the wards.

The morning paper says - “Abdication of the Kaiser”
“Kronprinz waives right to the Throne” “Ebert Chancellor” “Maubeurge falls” “German Envoys listened to terms in Marshal Foch’s train at the Rethondes early this morning.”

Everyone certain this morning that the war is over. No one wants to work, everyone wants to talk. Excitement almost hysterical. 

As we were coming out from lunch at 1.20 p.m. we heard a German plane and stopped to look. Very promptly the anti aircraft guns began firing and the puffs of smoke seemed very close to the plane. Suddenly the plane began to wobble and then suddenly plunge towards the earth. As it started on its downward course a parachute unfolded and slowly came down. 

Later we learned that the plane came down about 8 kilometers north east of Toul, the pilot was killed but the observer escaped and was captured.
This, I have been told, is the only instance in which a parachute was used during the war. 

Rumor and conversation have a sudden turn this afternoon.
It is no longer “How soon will we get home” Now the talk is that all of us will have to go to Germany and stay indefinitely.

The front is very active tonight. The heavens are filled with incessant flashes of light but the firing is too far away for us to get anything but an occasional report.
Such a contrast to the early days in Toul when the buildings shook and the rumors were that the Germans were advancing.
We wonder why there is so much action when the war is practically over.

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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