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[Page 251]

Xmas found us much less busy, but for all that the work for each did not lessen for accordingly the Staff was less and I think we were down to 17 Sisters. I then had the Acute Medical Ward and the surgical chest wounds, but the majority of severe cases were pneumonia and trench nephritis cases. Pardon, I don't mean to go into detail.

For days before Xmas the boys that could were busy making paper decorations, they made the place gay and it looked like Xmas, but I think very few had the real Xmas spirit. We did hope for a quiet peaceful day though, but towards midnight on Xmas Eve I was listening to the Carol Singers singing "Oh Come all Ye Faithful" and others when Fritz's guns and our guns commenced. In the morning two Xmas cards were picked up in our quarters, then others were found in the Hospital, they were greetings dropped down from the sky by our neighbourly friends at the Aerodrome. It snowed the whole day long, beautiful to look at bur so so cold.

I will now copy a few items from my diary and then change the subject.

29th: Two A/planes were brought down within view this a.m. by a Scotchman named ------- He has brought down 37. You see the Fritzs come over say at a height of 20,000ft to take photos, and he goes up to watch at say 18,000 ft, and when he sees them he goes up to meet them and open fire.

30th: Terrific barrage this a.m. The Huns had attacked again, came over in the snow swathed in white. The Naval Division caught it and the poor labour men later with shelling.

Dec.31st: Good-bye 1917, I was awakened suddenly at the early hour of 2.30a.m. with the sound of close shelling and quickly detected a faint sweetish scent like pineapple, then immediately followed a loud knock at the door and Owen calling out "Sister Donnell they're sending over gas shells, have you your respirator ready?" I jumped up as did most of us and got dressed, shivered and shook and coughed and I though I never should manipulate that mask. 10p.m. Will this restless life never cease, as

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