COLONEL MACKESY'S DIARY

1919 post war diary. de-mobbing in Egypt - Trips down the Nile, the Red Sea, Damascus and Germany -including family visits to Ireland and England -return to NZ on the "S.S.Remuera"

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Postby Steve_Butler » Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:58 am

15th May 1919
Imperial Hotel
Thursday
Bright and early before I went to breakfast the opening of my door revealed Alex Jack standing outside - Had heard he was in Town and came to look me up before his classes. He is taking a three minth course in Business, finishing up next week. Hopes to get a home soon.
Went to Kensington Gardens and they [look] glorious in their shiney colours.
*****[Paris?] is not in it with London.
Have failed all along the line to locate the Wildes - Reids (relations). I think Reading is the place but have not been able locate them, when I come back from Ireland will have a run down [there].
Nurse Cavells remains were brought to Westminister for services to day. Queen Alexandra present.
I had Ethel for dinner - the mother not so well to day.
Image
Miss Edith Cavell

[transcribers notes:] Executed during WWI was Edith Cavell, a nurse from England who was working in Belguim during the war. While not a spy, secretly she worked helping British, French, and Belgian soldiers to escape from behind the German lines and eventually rejoin their units. She housed as many as 35 refugees at once in the nursing school where she was the administrator. When the Germans occupied Belguim they converted Cavell's nursing home into a Red Cross hospital, and let her continue as Matron under German supervision. By 1915 she had helped more than 100 British and an additional 100 French and Belgian soldiers. but the Germans grew suspicious and arrested her in August. Her trial in October lasted only two days and resulted in a death sentence, in spite of appeals from both the American and Spanish ambassadors for clemency. On the morning of October 12th , 1915, Edith Cavell was executed by a German firing squad and buried nearby. Eventually her body was exhumed and returned to her native soil in Great Britain for reburial - you will find these words on her statue in St Martins Park "'Humanity, Fortitude, Devotion, Sacrifice"



May 16th 1919
Imperial Hotel - London
Friday
To day I visited Westminister Abbey and had a walk along the embankment. Good look at the obilisk and the various bridges. The Lions at the obilisk had several holes through the metal where falling shrapnel struck them. I am inclined to think that the diversion measures probably did more damage to London people and property than the bombs that the Bosh dropped.
In the evening I went to Bells for dinner, I like them as I did of old. But the Aunts always trick to keep us apart - Jessie they never *** look to see them. They are queer spinsters, mother delightful.
Called on Lieutenamt Colonel F****[Freddy?] Hurbut, head of Division Department, and got my Long Service Medal.

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Postby Steve_Butler » Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:18 pm

17th May 1919
Hoyton - Liverpool
Saturday
Up early to get uniform into proper shape et cetera for the Palace.
I got there right on the minute, getting out at Edge Hill were Jessie was waiting for me.
I had 1030.
I was put in with the C.M.G. orders - the D.S.O.'s being in the next pen ****[wiped??] off spaces in the Palace, a **** was put over in D.S.O. for that order.
The King presented ther Medals in the court yard, and on a ramp with a dias.
He spoke quite a long time with me asking several questions.
Everything went off well.
At 1425 I caught the Train from Euston to Liverpool, getting out at Edge Hill. Found Jessie was waiting for me. I had wired her yesterday - she looked well.
We took the Train to Huyton where *****[name?] lives, she is looking after the house and kids while they are away.



May 18th 1919
Huyton
Sunday
4 after Easter.
Breakfast fairly late 0930. Then 1100 to C.o E. [Church of England] a long long service- Minister old - voice not distinct.
On the road home we overtook a Mr Turton and his daughter - they asked [us] to Tea, then themselves came to dinner. He lost his only son at Solonia - He has something to do with Liverpool Municipality, surveyor I think.
The children here are Margaret 15, and Betty 9, the latter a smart little girl in every way.
Margaret is very tall for her age and larger boned. They had a brother called {space left here by Mackesy] who is away at boarding school - Jessie finds much fault with Margaret, too much I fear. But she says Margaret is lzy and not trustworthy about her duties. Is shielded by her mother against a strict Father, and has been spoiled since. The mother came back from India - mother firm but cold.

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Postby Steve_Butler » Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:25 am

19th May 1919
Huyton
Monday.
Went up to Town with Jessie, left her at her office, then took the elevated [scenic platform?] and had a good look at the docks. Went out as far as Seaforth. Returned I called at the Housing Department of Mr Turton. Who showed me over the Townhall and parts of Liverpool, he is head of the Building Department and has now about ten thousand poor people housed. He showed me some of the buildings he had erected where former slums had stood.
Saw Cathederal. At 1400 called for Jessie [and] had lunch with her, met Miss Pembuton whom I am said to [have] met before.
Then saw some more of the Town - had Tea at the Middlelands hotel "Adelphi" - Then home to dinner - the day fine but very very very raw.
Liverpool has grown greatly since I had seen it [last].


May 20th 1919
Train to Channel boat - to Kingston
Tuesday
Up to Town again - After leaving Jessie I spent several hours in the Museum which is quite an interesting place. It had been closed down during the war and is just being opened up, getting a good spring clean.
After lunch we did some shopping - Jessie getting a dress for her Aunt. Back to Huyton after Tea, a very pleasant motor drive of an hour or so. Then dinner, after which we caught the 1900 Train back to Town leaving my luggage at the station, [then] we went to the Theatre - seeing the Mikado - We had some real good laughing over it.
Had to leave before it was finished for me to catch the Irish Mail and Jessie her Train back to Huyton.
The run to Hollyhead took four hours - Train getting in at 0200.
Image
Hollyhead

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Postby Steve_Butler » Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:47 pm

21st May 1919
Limerick
Wednesday.
I had wired for a berth and found one ready for me - downstairs very smelley. But I was soon off to sleep.
The sea was calm, but the boat late, so that this usual mail train from Dublin was missed - which necessitated waiting for one and a half hours at Limerick Junction.
Elliott, to whom I had wired had come down to meet two Trains, and was going to meet the third when I arrived at the Bank[?]. Annie Taylor, now quite grey, had a lunch waiting - It was 1430 when I got in.
In the evening they took me to see a friend of theirs, a wealthy spinster who had just sold out a lovely place - very cheap - a Miss Baker - going to Dublin - great friend of theirs.
Weather still fine.
Had a talk with Lionel Eaglestone.


May 22nd 1919
Limerick
Thursday.
A good nights rest. The Bank **** is a big high building with lots of stair-climbing.
Irish time is twenty-five minutes ahead of England summer time, and with the extra one hour added it makes things fairly early - but anyhow, I was [by] a long way the first one up.
Annie, [and] I call her so - is full of life and fun, has taken complete charge of her uncle who does as she tells him. In fact Gordon said [that] he did not know how the Governot could get on were it not for Annie - who does all the housekeeping.
She took me to see the town in the morning - Cathedral and King John's Castle (5th Battilion National here et al).
After lunch he [Gordon?] and I motored out to Kilalon[?] - saw Loch Derg and went to a G********* Farm, by name [of] Going - M***** Lady (Miss Miles) was very nice.
In the evening called on someone else.
The drive through many provinces[?] was simply grand.
Weather fine but cold.


[note:] Charles Mackesy immergrated from Ireland, first to the USA then on to New Zealand. Charles married in the United States - then bringing his wife and three boys to settle in Whangarei (North Island).


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Postby Steve_Butler » Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:02 pm

23rd May 1919
Tralee
Bank house where Mickey Pearson was brought up
Friday.
The weather is cold and cloudy - stayed in all day writing letters.
At 1800 *****, having persuaded Elliot to come too - we took the Train for Tralee East, had several thousand pounds to take there and make this the opportunity.
He had advised the manager, a Mr Taylor, that we were coming - Taylor was at the Station to meet us and we stayed with him at the Bank House. Mrs Taylor had dinner waiting. It was 2200 before we got in. She is rather pleasant stout and short daughter of Sir W.Harrison of Cork. A governess Miss Legge was also pleasant, A Mr. O'Brien had been asked in - a dreadful talker.
I went to bed at 2425.


Mayb 24th 1919
Tralee
The day very fine - yesterday the **** main for ****.
Saturday.
A fire had been lit in my bedroom, and everything that they could think of was done to make me comfortable - Without the fire would have been better. Passed a good night.
Took the 0900 Train for Killarney arriving at 1000. Took a tour of the Lakes - two hours in a boat then walked eight miles there - down and back one and a half hours walking a tour of the [space left by Mackesy-see below Kerry Mountains] mountains. One peak of which is the highest in Ireland.
The Lakes and scenery were beautiful, reminded me both of Canada and New Zealand.
The Gap of Dunloe was very fine and five small lakes.
A nuissence were the women selling mountain dew on the road (Pot***). You must give them [a shilling?] to get out of there. Earl of Ken*****[name?] owns most of the property here - Kilaney has few[?] hotels other than for Priests and nuns.
Got back to the Hotel at 1700 - had to wait till 2100 [for the] Train - getting in at 2200, we had a late dinner - a [cop?] of Annie Taylor's came to met us.
Image
Lough Gouragh & Lough Callee in the Kerry Mountains - the highest peak in Ireland being "Carrauntuohill"

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Postby Steve_Butler » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:14 pm

25th May 1919
Rained all night
Rogation Sunday.
To the Prespeterian Church. A shrill voice in the next pew behind me dragging the Hymns spoiled things for me. Not much of a preacher.
There is a very nice park (private belongings to some Captain who allows the Towns people the fun of it for ten shillings a year) just at the side of the back farm, a grand place for children.
After church a walk through it.
After lunch a car jaunting took Mr and Mrs Taylor, Elliot and me out to "Arabela" - a farm belonging to the Peats.
Jessie met Mrs Peat when she was in Yonigal last year - They make seven hundred pound out of their orchard [each season?] - a lovely old place, but everthing much neglected. The family are the Mother (seventy eight years old) a son and a daughter, they are some connection to the Melvilles.
The drive out and back was very delightful, the beautiful lanes are at their best now.


May 26th 1919
Limerick
Monday.
We left Tralee with the 1035 getting back to Limerick at 1405. The country is very pretty.
Tired but much disturbed, Law lessons is the order of the day. We met a Lady on the Train who has four policemen living in her house for protection. Crimes all constantly committed, and the evil doers escape, there is no such thing as a healthy public opinion in this country. Everyone is afraid to give testimony against the lawless element.
I hope that after Peace is settled Ireland will be dealt with. What it wants is a strong impartial Government.
Probably a rebellion thoroughly stamped out would be the best remedy for the Country.
The Priesthood wants wiping out - But that will save us time.
To bed early.
Weather fine.

[Transcribers notes:] Charles Mackesy was understanding or perhaps had a nose for what was to come in his ancestral homeland. The dreaded "Black and Tans" were being recruited to face the problems he was witnessing:-
In 1919, the British government advertised for men who were willing to "face a rough and dangerous task". Many former British army soldiers had come back from Western Europe and did not find a land fit for heroes. They came back to unemployment and few firms needed men whose primary skill was fighting in war. Therefore, there were plenty of ex-servicemen who were willing to reply to the government’s advert. For many the sole attraction was not political or national pride – it was simply money. The men got paid ten shillings a day. They got three months training before being sent to Ireland. The first unit arrived in Ireland in March 1920.
Once in Ireland it quickly became apparent that there were not enough uniforms for all those who had joined up. Therefore they wore a mixture of uniforms – some military, some RIC. This mixture gave them the appearance of being in khaki and dark police uniform. As a result, these men got the nickname "Black and Tans", and it stuck. Some say that the nickname came from a pack of hunting hounds known as the 'Black and Tans'.
The Black and Tans did not act as a supplement to the RIC (Roayal Irish Constabulary). Though some men were experienced in trench warfare, they lacked the self-discipline that would have been found in the Western Front. Many Black and Tan units all but terrorised local communities. Community policing was the preserve of the RIC. For the Black and Tans, their primary task was to make Ireland "hell for the rebels to live in". Over 8000 Black and Tans went to Ireland and while they found it difficult to cope with men who used classic guerrilla tactics against them, those who lived in areas where the Black and Tans were based, paid the price.

Historians agree this was another English political disaster as many Irish not initially interested in the IRA joined the revolts.

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Postby Steve_Butler » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:48 pm

27th May 1919
Holyhead Hotel
Tuesday
A drive round the outskirts of Limirick showed it to have some fashionable suburbs with very fine residencies.
After that with Elliot [on] to inspect some Bacon Factories. Annie had been with me for the drive - Lunch at 1330.
At 1445 they saw me aboard the Train - The trip up to Dublin was most enjoyable, sun shinning all day. We got away from Kingston at 2000 - A most perfect sea - like glass.
We got in by 2300 and I put up at the Holyhead Hotel, where I spent a good night.
I had intended visiting Mt Terford but Mrs Mackesy wired that Barbra's husband was expected hourly to die - they had two nurses in the house.
So I decided to come on a day sooner. Alice Mul****[name] wanted to see me but instead I rang her up from Limerick and had a chat.
Met Lieutenant Park R.A.F. for whom I had got accommodation on our boat.


May 28th 1919
Huyton
Wednesday.
After a refreshing sleep left Holyhead with the 0740 Train for Liverpool - arriving there 1230. Took the 4.30 for Huyton. Having met Jessie and Jeanie for afternoon Tea. I like Jeanie she is very Lady-like [which is?] common with all Alexander women. Has the feint of interrupting conversation, her hair is getting very grey, though she is only forty one years old - he is [her husband?] fifty-nine and looks very much younger. He has been doing munitions work, does not like living in England and still wants to go to the Colonies once the children are finished with schooling - I rather like him, a quiet sort of man.
We went to the Theatre in the evening seeing the "Admirable Crighton" - Very good. Late to bed.
Weather still fine.
Jonny Park whom I met yesterday in R.A.E. is off to Russia to fly there.

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Postby Steve_Butler » Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:49 am

29th May 1919
Imperial Hotel -London
Thursday
Jeanie took me round to see a "will report", [of some?]private gardens, the owners had died and as the Lease has only nineteen years to run and the place costly to keep up as a tennant, [and] no tennant can be found. The old gardner has been retained and keeps the place very fine indeed.
It would take several thousand a year to keep the place up as it ought to be kept.
We all had afternoon Tea in Liverpool where they saw me off by the 1720 Train for Custau Station.
I got a promise from Jessie that she would would be a bit more careful of herself - she has continual blood pressure which might at any moment kill her or worse paralise her for life.
She is something like the "other" Jessie in temperment, does too much and never spoils herself.
Reached London 2230 to the Imperial Hotel.


May 30th 1919
Friday.
Met my old Adjutant J. Evans at Headquarters. He is now a Major and is to take a boat out to Suez about the 8th.
Chaytor had written over that I should be demobilised in England - no need [to] return to Egypt. Also that as I had left the E.E.F my rank of temporary Colonel was ceased.
This Godly, to whom it was put, did not allow the demobilisation ****.
Chaytor after all is the same un***** dirty dog.
Never doing an officer a kindness, but never overlooking the chance to do him down. What a difference it would have been made to the spirit and comfort of the E.E.F. had those two brothers not been in charge.
Saw Godly, [went] down with him to the War Office. [He] Thanked me for excellent!!!! work done. Would not forget to mention me et cetera - all wind.
Spent an hour with Aunt Louisa - she is better this week but wont go out yet.

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Postby Steve_Butler » Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:09 pm

31st May 1919
Saturday.
About Town, in the afternoon went to the City and Tower [of London] - crossed Tower Bridge et cetera.
The best time to see the city is of a Saturday afternoon when all the people are leaving - otherwise the place is too full for comfort.
Had a good walk round the Tower Gate - back over London Bridge.
Weather still very fine - quite warnm now.
Met one of the four officers on leave in England since Friday - but now in Camp somewhere.


June 1st 1919
After Ascension
Met the Bells at Baker Street Station and went to the Zoo, after which Maude went back while Ethel and I went into Richmond to see the Park.
I liked it the best of all - and signs very very old ****. While the Thames was simply covered with small boats. One of the finest views is said to be the one from the "Star and Gaiter Hotel" near the Hospital.
I saw several men with both feet gone - Some less arms, others with one leg off.
We went by underground and came back by bus. Houses all the way.


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Postby Steve_Butler » Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:30 pm

2nd June 1919
Monday.
I had been trying to find the "Wilds" and "Reeves", relatives. I thought they lived at Reading but had failed to trace them there.
So today I ran out to Ealing, but could only find one "Wild" in South Ealing - Not connected. So now I shall give it up.
I went out in Trains and buses and come back with the underground.
Had been asked to dinner with Colonel Studholme and had a hard time in finding his place - 5 Buckingham Street. He had given me a diagram but the diagram was wrong and the little street access very little known in the neighbourhood.
I met his brother who lives in England, and wife, and another officer and wife, a Laywer from Wellington leaving for home on the 13th. Pleasant evening.
Weather warmer.


June 3rd 1919
Tuesday.
To N.Z.R.C. and British Museum - Out to the Times Book Club in Bond Street to try and get something on Bolshevisim to help me in lecturing on the subject.
Hard to find anything but stories of people who [either] win, captured or suspected of being Bolsheviks before they could leave Russia.
I ****[purchased?] "The Truth about Sula" a new book - [I] hope it turns out what I want.
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Postby Steve_Butler » Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:50 pm

This Diray now up to date on:
http://www.nzmr.org/diary2.htm
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Postby Steve_Butler » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:01 pm

4th June 1919
Wednesday
Took the 1057 Train from London Bridge to ST. Leonards on Sea. Got there at 1230.
Had wired the day before to Ellen Larry would it be convienient and got a reply, yes.
So they were expecting me.
Found Ellen very small, quite grey. The business woman I ***** was her sister Maggie, much younger and not so grey - but was more bright and talkitive I should say. They have a nice house and full of boarders. But expect they may soon have to move the house having since bought it to by turning into flats.
Ellen took me round about to Hastings - Land is light - bur very ****** country.
But received ****** evening - after dinner left with the 7.50 pm Train - arrived back 1030.


June 6th 1919
Thursday
To Headquarters where I was again examined by the victors as to any ailments traceable to the War - Quite fit - this says the Royl Acadamy.
Spent several hours there.
I see the Honours list in the "Times" that I had received a C.B.E. Commander of the Order of the British Empire I presume.
Strange how cold these Honours leave me. I have never, so far, felt the least bit of pride. Though naturally enough I am pleased to have them.
I also learn that Darcy Chaytor has the same thing, the only two of the N.Z.E.F.in England.
Sorry he got anything - I consider him essentially unworthy of any Honour.

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Postby Steve_Butler » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:24 pm

6th June 1919
Friday
A lot of walking - Making up my mind to run over and see the British and French Battlefields and the Rhine - I got all the assistance from our people and a letter to the War Office which I took over myself and got a pass to Fallistone[?] and across.
My boat does not leave until the 23rd - so there will be some time [to fill in?].
I had Tea with Captain and Mrs Maxwell he was for eighteen months legal advisor to the N.Z.E.F.
In the evening went with Captain McKenzie, whom I had not seen since the Gallipoli days, to the Colisium and saw a good show.


June 7th 1919
Saturday
Got my ribbon C.B.E. and went to the Bells to have it hemed on. It meant of course altering all the others as the C.B.E. follows the C.M.G. then the D.S.O.
Took Maud out to seee "Blue Bells", quite good - though Ithought some of the funny parts silly.
The weather is very hot for London at this time of year - Everyone asking for rain.
Went to look up the "Governors[?] Club" and the "Patriotic Ass". Found it in All Norwich General Building, Number two basement. Not very much of a place but may look in again with time if opportunity offers.
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Postby Steve_Butler » Tue Sep 05, 2006 6:29 am

8th June 1919
Imperial
Whit Sunday.
To Windsor with Ethel, left by the 11.am. Very pleased to have seen it - No wonder that Royality likes to live there. The view is simply charming. The long drive straight for [about?] a mile was of special interest.
Eton has the same Station as Windsor, new to me the Town is nice and clean.
Saint Georges Chapel very fine. A Band was playing at the East Turret of the Castle.
Back to London and [then] out to Hamstead Heath - this time with Maude. One of the girls must always stay with the mother.
Much astonished to find the heath all covered with bush, thousands of people on the parade, and a couple lying behind every bush. They lie out to enjoy themselves and don't mind making love in public.
Very warm weather.


June 9th 1919
Train to Boulogne to Cologne.
Whitsun Monday
Bank Holiday.
Left by the 1255 for Folkstone, had been wrongly directed to Chairing Cross whereas the train started from Victoria, but made it in time.
Found the two girls being on the station to see me off. ***** on the Train - left Folkstone at 3.50pm, getting to Boulonge at 5.30pm.
Met Studholm on the boat [who was with] the Editor of the Christchurch paper, [his name was] Trigg.
At the Folkstone Hotel I also met Colonel Rhodes and his wife.
Studholm is on his way to Colongne and had come down in his car, and Rhodes will be using it to ****** tomorrow.
Met our ********** Major White[?] who got me a ticket to Colongne.
The crossing was most frightfully chilly after the heat of London - I was downright cold.
Captain Wick (W.Rg) [Wellington Regiment?] got my return ticket to Colongne [on a] Sleeper and arranged for me to come back, and he will ***** me over ****** ****.
Dined with Auther and Mrs Rhodes and a Miss Hymes who is with them traveling together.
Train left at 2000.
Image
Folkstone today.

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Postby Steve_Butler » Tue Sep 05, 2006 1:00 pm

10th June 1919
Officers Club - Cologne
Withsun Tuesday.
I found two United States Colonels in my carriage on the way to Poland and Russia.
(Food Continental) Had a quiet night - early morning I saw us passing through devistated districts. Had breakfast at the E.E.F. at Charleroy - passed Mons - Namour - Huy et cetera. Going through Belgium was very fine indeed. Had a carriage all by myself after Namour.
Hay making is [carried out] in the old style all along the line.
The valley of Meuse especially beautiful, great many coal mines and tremendous slag heaps. Very high chimneys over [the] whole Anses.
[Came to] The German frontier at 1310 at Herbesthal where a German Engine took the Train over.
Meeting a Major Lee on Indian civil accounts who is the C.ofS.[Commander of Station?] to the O.C.R.E. Cologne, who afterwards showed me to the Officers Club. We stayed together - going to the Theatre (Express) and a ride on the Trains. All free to the A.o O. - rather good that.
Then walked across after dinner to the Hoffenz ****** bridge to Durtz - Cologne has changed wonderfully since I saw it [last?] - It has grown industriously new Town, very fine - a good place to stay at.

[Transcribers notes:] Charles Mackesy attended studies at an Agricultural University in Germany in the late nineteenth century (circa 1880) as a young man. Possibly Colonge was the seat of the university where he studied. Because of his education here Charles was a fluent German speaker.


June 11th 1919
Officers Club - Cologne
Wednesday.
Walked about a great deal finding old recollections cropping up. But know no-one and recognise great changes, climbed the "Dome" for view - 575 steps - hard work - but worth it.
Met a Major Learhill who recognising my badge said he had crossed to England in a Hospital [ship?] with a Major Mackesy - that was Charlie of course. So I asked him out for the afternoon - he was waiting to go to England tomorrow.
We took the electric Train to Bonn.
Met P***** [name? or perhaps "Padre"?] who showed us round - took electric Train to Godasberg, climbed the old Castle and Tower - said to be one of the finest views on the Rhine. Had refreshments on top - full of people, all well dressed and in good condition - shops seem full of goods.
Last Train back to Coln [Köln] after a very long day. One feature very noticable are the quantity of smoke stacks every where.
Image
Kölner Dom today with its 575 steps.
[transcribers note:] Charles Mackesy's son was Major Charles Mackesy, N.A.M.R. who was hospitalised twice from Gallipoli.

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