Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Monday 7th June 1943

I think there is an Inspection this week; it is not going to worry me however. I have now got the library books thoroughly sorted, re-numbered and double-indexed, and today handed over the canteen caretakership to a new man. I'll still be i/c the ward linen and in between times I shall help William Lias in the ward garden.

This afternoon I went across to the 23rd Hospital to see the dentist, carrying a chit which said: “For Board. Please give dental report.” I waited an hour. All the other men in the waiting room were non-magdnoon and looked horribly dull, wooden, normal and colourless. Ultimately we were told there was to be no dental inspection today after all. We were to return the next day, at 10:30 a.m. Which was very Army.

Kopansky, in the opposite bed, had electric treatment today. Afterwards the MO made him walk up and down the ward (He has a crook leg). He marched, not limping, but with an odd, jerky gait and each time the watchful MO called, “Very good Kopansky; now turn round” the poor sod turned about in military fashion, marking time like an automaton. Once he collapsed on a bed, weeping furiously. “What is the matter Kopansky?” asked the MO softly. “Please!” sobbed the Russian, “I am alright sir! Leave me sir, please, I am all right, sir!” Then he marched again; and at last he was allowed to lie, exhausted, on his bed.

I wiped the paste from his face with a damp towel (they smear white paste on the face, possibly to increase conductivity) and he seized my hand and kissed it...

So this the electrical treatment. Seinukas had it also and Bombac – a very quiet Czech Catholic – who returned from the second dose of voltage, quarrelled with another patient and then suddenly rushed at his adversary with an open razor; Bombac was driven off with a blow from a bedside locker and then burst into tears.


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