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 » Tue Sep 05, 2006 3:07 pm

12th June 1919
Officers Club - Cologne
Thursday
Stayed in late writing, sent away a lot of post cards then took the Train to [the] Zoo. I saw many animals - many having been done away with - I presume to save feed.
I find I have no right to stay more than two nights in the Club, but will have to put in tonight yet if a body comes for longer than their two nights he is found a billet - [I will] go on tomorrow at 0730 to Mainz, from there to Wiesbaden, will try to see Heidleburg and Whinhessen outside of O.E.T.
Went to the opera at night 5pm to 8.30pm. Grand house, in the intervals people prominade in Theatre Piece. "Marriage of Figaro" - not very [much] talking but good singing and ********.


June 13th 1919
Palast Hotel
Wiesbaden
Friday.
Left Coln by the 0730 express. All the Station and the Train is packed.
A French Officer whom I had met in Egypt, Captain F. J. Widolff recognised me and was delighted [to see] me. Had to come to my Camp at S*****, he turned out useful.
Wilburg was reached sometime after 1100 there we got into electric Trains for Wiesbaden arriving about noon.
Put up [at the] Palast Hotel - one of the grandest places I was ever in, and cheap - eight Marks for room.
Walked about a lot.
Town one of the very best -190,000 ****[population?].
Nearly two hundred new millionaires in it. Great gardens. Heard splendid orchestra at Kiev garten.
At night went to the opera "Rhine Gold" - Wagner - disappointed in both music and play - scenery wounderful, rest no good for my taste.
Walked home, then bed.
Image
Palast Hotel - turn of the century.

Image
Palast Hotel - much bomb destruction after WWII - this image 1945

Image
Palast Hotel - rebuilt today.

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Postby Steve_Butler » Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:11 am

14th June 1919
Palast Hotel - Wiesbaden
Saturday.
To the Synagogue was the first place to go to after breakfast, which the latter was only bread and coffee - two eggs -[this] cost me six marks.
The Jewish church [has] one of the finest services on.
Then Pictchen Gallery and the Museum. Afterwards to Nerothal, then up the mountain by the cog railway - wonderful views of Wiesbaden and the Rhine plane on one side with the beautiful woods and valleys on the other.
At the Rur Garten again to listen to the fine orchestra.
First time thinking to send a Telegram.
The ****** have their ****** blocks away from the office - stupid.
Dinner then back to the Theatre, a really good play this time. Something to laugh at, a wonderful night, made Wiesbaden doubly pretty.
Paid the ***** at the bank.

Image

Nerobergbahn Wiesbaden - the cog railway still runs today.


June 15th 1919
Cologne Officers Club.
Trinty Sunday.
Got away from Wiesbaden by the 0800 Train - I was sorry to leave really should have stayed another day.
The ****** I liked they taste just like boullion - the bath I had yesterday was also very pleasant and only a mark fifty. Strange things are so cheap, that is at the present value of the Mark [equals] sixpence.
My room had a telephone, three different electric lights, cupboard, sofa - its first floor very large and only cost eight mark per day. Meals also seemed cheap but sparse and plain and not much in them.
Mainz was left at 0925, and Colonge reached at 1330.
In the afternoon indulged the caretacker of the Museum to show me through the picture gallery part (not open nowdays), when finished four United States Officers desired to have the same privilage. But the official not speaking English I volunteered [to] go back with them. Spent most of the afternoon with them - walked the whole length of town - in [the] evening to Bayenthal getting back around 2330.

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Postby Steve_Butler » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:14 am

16th June 1919
Daun Eifel
Monday.
Left at 0715 with Major Sammons for Geraldstein where his car met us, [then it took] forty minutes to [drive] to his Headquarters at Daun. He is the O.C. [Officer Commanding] Civil Affairs. Sent a wire at once to Captain Wilk New Zealand Regiment [at] Wimereux saying I was delayed and would wire again. I had [previously] wired to say I was leaving Coln that morning for Boulogne - after lunch (******** at 1000) we drove in the car to Trenes, the old Imperial city of German Emperors.
Saw the Museum and the old library with the first edition of the Guttenberg Bible of 1450. Also the Codex Poospar [of] 719[AD] - [and the] Codex Aureus [of] 796[AD]. This was a work made by the sister of Charles the Great and presented[?] to some Monastry. The cover is full of precious stones, the writng wonderfully well done, Insured for two million marks.
We got back late and had a birthday party which lasted till 2400.

Image
Gutenberg Bible of 1450

Image

The Codex Aureus of Lorsch is an illuminated Gospel Book written between 778-820 AD.


June 17th 1919
Daun Eifel - with Americans
Tuesday.
Not being able to reach Luxenburg and back in one day by Train, Major Lammond Ridley sent me off with a Major and Captain in the car.
We stopped at Saarburg where Major Rifyce was in charge. I had met him with Lammond in Cologne and went in his car to Luxenburg.
The driver was most delightful and [the trip took] something over four hours.
Town most interesting and picturesque, road and country lovely - scenery grand.
We had stopped at Treves for Lunch but I refused to stay for dinner [which would take us up to at least] until 2100 in Luxenburg, as I was anxious to get to Colonge as soon as possible.
Went through the Grand Ducal Palace, and to the Museum, but would much like to spend another day though if possible, and then go to Brussells.
We got back to Daun at 2000 and then spent two and a half hours chatting.
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Postby Steve_Butler » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:12 am

18th June 1919
On Train to Boulagne from Cologne
Wednesday.
The American Major and Captain [chose] to drive me to Cologne. They both wanted to see the city and this seemed a good opportunity.
The Major is in command *********, [and?] readily granted the request through [otherwise the] car could not have left his district.
I was up at 3am and woke the Major at 4.30, but we had to wait till 5.30 - thirty minutes late for the Captain. However it was a lovely spin, some 126 Kilometres we reached Coln in time to have breakfast, to send off wire, and catch my Train to Boulagne at 9.50am.
I promised the Americans to come back and put in a few days with them if I can miss my boat and extend my leave.
I saw a lot of the country towards ***ing[name?] and Belgium which I had missed on the way up.


June 19th 1919
Folkestone Hotel
Boulogne
Thursday.
Arrived at Boulogne at 7.30 Having met the **** Trig on the Train Colonel Studholm and seeing him off at Duren. We had breakfast together, met Major Wilk at the boat pier.
Trig going off, while Wilk who had a car ready, took me to Ypres - Comeen - Messines and several other battle places and towns where the New Zealanders had been.
Armen Tiers where they had first come to was of specially interesting - Wonderful how completely the various towns and villagers were destroyed. Some places nothing but the cross-roads remained, nothing to indicate a building had been there.
The country we motored over had magnificent roads - with **** of **** got home fairly late.

Image
Ypres during WWI

Image
Ypres restored today - picture taken from the same spot as above.


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Postby Steve_Butler » Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:37 am

[transcribers comments: I am very pleased to see the interest the diary continues to generate - I must say a lot of things appear quaint in terminology and a viewpoint of ninety odd years ago - but since the last diary entry here we have had 75 hits reading - well not quite 75 because I have been here a couple of times to post different images to go with the entries - so 70 anyway - I find that rewarding that so many of you are coming back - thanks.]

20th June 1919
Imperial Hotel
Friday
Major Wick was to get me a permit to fly across the channel - but the trouble was to get a machine - many had gone homeward, the rest were standing by for the Peace terms especially tomorrow as [this is] the last day when the Germans must make up [their minds] to sign or not.
The Government declares they wont but I think they will have to.
In the meantime the weather got bad rain and fog - so the flying was out of the question.
I therefore left at 1.50pm on a very crowded boat. We were late in leaving Folkestone - Meeting [Miss] Jones on the boat, she had been at Wiesbaden. I looked after her luggage which caused us [to] miss [the] first Train.
Got [in] late to London and Hotel.


June 21st 1919
Saturday.
To Headquarters - finding the "Gurnsey"[?name of ship] had been deflected to go by the Cape. I cancelled my passage and shall go by a later one.
Designing if possible to lecture to [Conaway??name -maybe Gallway?] - They are full of interest and I can live for less than half the price over there than here - I hope I can anyway.
It has stopped raining and hailing in London - the first wet day I had seen since my arrival.
Did a lot of running round and spent the evening with the Bells - Auntie is somewhat more cheerful, but being very spoiled by the girls and so selfish. I should say it will be a relief to the latter when she is called away.


1946
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Postby Steve_Butler » Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:15 pm

22nd June 1919
Sunday
1 after Trinity
I changed my room [for] the second time,since my return both others [rooms] were too small and picky - have now a better one. I like the hot and cold water.
The deceitful Germans had sunk their fleet, which had been trusted over to the allies, in the Scots waters up North.
The Scheideman Government has fallen and a new cabinet has been brought into being. By the papers it looks as though it is nearly ready to sign a treaty - in the meantime our Troops are going forward and everything is in readiness to strike if need be.
Weather very cold.
I wonder what Cot**** will say to Germany re the sinking of ships.

[Transcribers note:] The Scheidman Government was a player in postwar Weimar Germany. The Versailles Treaty was fiercely resented by all German political factions, especially Article 231. Plus President Wilson's "14 points" created a tidal wave of anger. Politicians as different as Erzberger and Eisner were to find that swimming against the 'diktat' was useless. At the date above the SPD party of Scheideman's took a stance that there was "no alternative".
Previously on the 9th November 1918 – Berlin, Scheidemann had proclaimed a republic from the Reichstag, in order to forestall the later attempts by Marxist Spartakists to bolshevise [radicalize] the revolutionary situation that then existed (following the abdication of Kaiser). The Allies had wanted to deal with the SPD as of the political leaders in Germany at the time only Ebert and Scheideman were considered politically middle of the road representing the working class and more important, definately not Communists, which was a great fear at the time. Lenin had recently grabbed Russia for the working classes.
Germany was at a crossroads: War weary and exhausted population. Blockade and Spanish Flu.


June 23rd 1919
Monday.
In the morning [went] to headquarters to see about the **********. I find it will have to take place later than the 26th. So made a request to get back to Germany to study aforestation for a month ********* [,granted.?or to mean: this was granted?]
In afternoon [went] with Jones to Richmond Park, it rained while we were there - Saw Uncle Sam at night - they waited.
Best thing I had seen for a long time, Germany desired another extension of forty-eight hours, but extention refused *** [allies would not?] consider it.
It is expected that Germany will now agree to sign unconditionally.
The weather is beastly cold, something like winter. No sun to be seen, grey cloudy sky.


1955
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Postby Steve_Butler » Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:46 pm

24th June 1919
Tuesday.
Mr Farnell, now a private in the N.Z.M.C. looked me up. I walked many miles with him about London streets having lunch in Soho where I had never been - Very good French restaurant and very cheap.
Hunted all over Town for June number of the "19th Century"[name of magazine?] to get an Bloshevik article - had to go to the publishers for it.
Called for Maude at her office at 2200 and had dinner where [we had previousl] luncheoned - very good place, best I had struck so far.
German news says that they are ready to sign unconditionally.
Weather wet and bleak, abominably cold. [glass?] or two spirits. Met several wild officers. Gipsey *******[hospital?]


June 25th 1919
Wednesday.
To Headquarters for my authority to go to Boulogne. They have given me one months leave till August 1st. May not stay so long, but if things remain as cheap as they were there last time - It will be a far better place to be in than London which is dreadfully dear.
Germans seem very wrathful that their representatives have arrived to sign unconditionally - They have burnt the flags taken from the French in 1870 which according to the Treaty [they] were to be returned to France. The chief man of the German delegates who were to sign has refused.
All seem afraid to tackle the Government and it will take an ultimatium from the ******** to force them to it I expect.
Walked the Parks, Kensington and Hyde.
Said good-bye to Auntie Louise - did not see the girls.

Image

Treaty of Versailles negotiations - finally signed on the 28th June.

[Transcribers notes: Interesting to note some of the proposals added to the Treaty at this time as many countries scrambled for spoils of war - and in hindsight, because of their inclusion, plus the huge war costs Germany were asked to pay - led in a direct way to the rise of Hitler and the second world war - Here below are some excepts from "Section Fourteen" of the Versailles Treaty including the French Flags Mackesy mentions above:

The following miscellaneous clauses are indicative of the opportunity taken by the victors to leave no stone unturned in bringing home to Germany the extent of her defeat:

* Article. 131 Germany to restore to China (and bear all costs of reinstallation) all the astronomical instruments which her troops in 1900-01 [i.e., during the Boxer rebellion] carried away from China"

* Article. 245 Germany to restore to France "the trophies, archives, historic souvenirs or works of art carried away from France by the German authorities in the course of the war of 1870-71 and during this last war . . . particularly the French flags taken in the course of the war of 1870-71 . ."

* Article. 246 Germany to restore to (Saudi Arabia) "the original Koran of the Caliph Othman, which was removed from Medina by the Turkish authorities and is stated to have been presented to the ex-Emperor William II." Also, Germany to hand over to Great Britain "the skull of the Sultan Mkawa which was removed from the Protectorate of German East Africa and taken to Germany"

* Article. 247 Germany to furnish to the (Belgian) Univ. of Louvain manuscripts, early printed books (Incunabula), maps and objects "corresponding in number and value to those destroyed in the burning by Germany of the Library of Louvain."]


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Postby Steve_Butler » Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:01 pm

26th June 1919
On Boulogne Train to Cologne
Thursday
The weather has been frightfully cold, just like a downright winters day - No sun at all, darken sky.
Maude came to bring me some things and saw me off.
I left from Victoria by the 1255 Train. The crossing from Folkestone was very cold, but not as rough as I had anticipated. Major Wilkes met me. The wire sent to him yesterday only arrived at 1700 to day - just before I got in.
Stayed at the L***** Hotel until Train time 2215.
He found me the tickets. Have no return ticket to Folkestone, he is to get it for me tomorrow and foreward it on to Cologne care of the Town Major.
A Peace celebrating torch light procession was held in Boulogne - a measley affair - got an apartment to myself again.


June 27th 1919
H.Q. 4th Corps (General Sir A Godly)
Duren
Friday
Bad cold - wet day all through France and Belgium, got better nearing Germany. Passed the German Peace delegates who were on their way to sign the Peace Treaty at Paris - not far from Charees Le Roy - got off at Duren to report to General Sir A. Godly G.O.C. N.Z.E.F. - asked me to stay - lives in Millionairs house most georgous building with large grounds - but money sticking out vulgarily everywhere.
Godly looks older - Met Lieutenant Colonel Studholm and Chief Matron's Thurston, New Zealand, over from England, and also Mrs Reed, Matron in chief England - Army stationed Cologne - very nice, had a long walk with the Matrons. Major P******* [was also there] who had been on Godly's staff in France.


1964
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Postby Steve_Butler » Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:53 pm

28th June 1919
Düren
Saturday
Saw the Paper Mill of Schepley Brothers, where paper clothes and boots are being made in the fore noon. It was most interesting, after lunch Lieutenant colonel Studholm took Major Prideau whom I had met on the Train [coming] up, and Captain Ogilvy one of the General's ADC's [and myself went] via Ebeningen and through Demez to Cologne. Where at 6pm one hundred and one guns were fired from the Rhine bank on the Cologne side as a salute for the Peace signed today in Paris.
After this [we went] to the Opera - saw the "Freischütz" - very good.
Then dinner at VI Corps Club. And back to Düren in the night arriving at 2330.
Cold wet weather just like winter.


June 29th 1919
Cologne
Sunday
2 after Trinity
General Godly did not get up for breakfast, [he] caught a chill yesterday, so went up to say good-bye as I did not intend returning from Cologne.
Major Prideau comming with me we left Düren at 1030 for Wermelskirchen [which had been] on the front line, to see General W. Braithwaite. He took us out after Lunch in his car to Solingen and Burg. The old home of the counts of Berg - a wonderful old castle - splendid paintings on the wall.
Country especially pretty.
People very friendly, all taking their hats off to us. Gone the little doldrums! the girls and boys look happy and content. No doubt they are great people - left there at five. I stayed here. Prideau going back to Düren.

Image

Engelbert von Berg sits astride his horse outside present day Schloss Berg Köln (Castle Berg)

[Transcribers notes:]The Counts of Berg, originally from Cologne, had conquered this land to which they gave their name. The first castle must have looked downright modest. Only the Keep was constructed on a big, broad scale. It was living quarters and defense. But already, at that time, a wall surrounded the entire grounds, including the craftsman settlement, and served to its defense. Around 1150 Adolf Engelbert entered the Altenberg Monastery.
The municipality was established in 1374 and the town became famous for its sword-blades. There are numerous metal factories which turn out fine cutlery, copper and brass-ware, and surgical instruments, etc., while several thousand workmen make small articles of cutlery at home.
In addition, there are paper, linen, cotton, silk, soap and other factories. Solingen cutlery as been famous since medieval times and is supposed to have been introduced by crusaders from Damascus.


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Postby Steve_Butler » Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:36 am

30th June 1919
Daun
Monday
Left Cöln at 0720 arriving Geroldstein 1000.
The wire sent for me from Corps Headquarters Düren to Major Cammons had not arrived, so no car was waiting. I rang them up but as they had had a smash I had to wait till 12.30 before it arrived.
Spent the time with the Burgermeister and in climbing the old ruin.
The weather is like a very late Autumn, very cold indeed - feels like snowey.
Major glad to see me, they had orders to move to Wittlich because their police having been withdrawn to Coblenz. I saw them off. Then took a long walk with Major Brewster and spent a good pleasant evening with him at the Hotel.
Lots of rain.

Image
Geroldstein - "Burg Gerolstein" the old ruin climbed by Mackesy


July 1st 1919
Wittlich
Tuesday
Major Lammons arrived about 1030 and Major Brewster (Doctor) got the motorcar to drive over to Mayen, where he had left a tunic to be altered.
I went with him. We had a cold drive but over a very fine roads and through beautiful forrest.
Mayen is occupied by many U.S. Troops - and a castle graces the hill. The cost not dear after filling up with benzine - the Americans call it "Gas" - we came back to Duan.
Frau Laudrathin where the officers use to be bilitted asked us for afternoon Tea, we left a little after six for Wittlich where Lieutenant

Colonel Savage expected me for dinner. We got in late at 2000 - he had waited.
Stayed at the Hotel Wills for the night.
Very cold wet weather.

Image

Wittlich - photo 1910

Image

Wittlich today.


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Postby Steve_Butler » Tue Sep 12, 2006 3:05 pm

Diary pages on the web site have now been updated to July 1st. A HUGE amount of spelling mistakes have been corrected as I went through and re-read this page "Diary2" which contains the months April, May, June.

So page:
http://www.nzmr.org/diary2.htm
completed (unless someone wants to give me corrections OR supply me with some of the missing words???

Interestingly many spellings have changed such as Mackesy's German term for petrol= Benzine (which may be a German spelling) and Benzene (the English spelling of the word today) - others however were mine in a haste to decipher his scribbling handwriting.
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Postby Steve_Butler » Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:15 pm

2nd July 1919
Daun
Wednesday
We were late starting back for Daun, where we arrived at 1000. After which I went with Doctor Major Brewster to witness[?] the Kreis Artst to get some vital statistics, he does not speak German. Found him a nice man. In fact all the people I meet are nice. It seems such a pity that we had such a terrible war. The public does not at all sympathise with thje German High Command.
Afternoon we took a long walk through the woods - the weather has been so cold that I should not be astonished to find snow on the ground in the morning.
There are many people at the Hotel, mostly women, they spend their time religiously in walking about the beautiful woods every day.


July 3rd 1919
Daun
Thursday
Took a long walk through the woods to some springs and then back to the Hotel by 1300.
Major Lammons was selling stuff by auction in the town.
Weather looks as though it might get better.
In the afternoon the U.S. Officers (There are four - Major Doctor Brewster, Major Lammons in charge - Captain Rungi who drives the cars [and] acts as interpreter, and Lieutenant Haig) went to several villages to sell stuff.
I went over to the Laudraths house to get information concerning forrestry.
His wife speaks good English, the four officers arrived in time for dinner, when just about finished, the girl from the hotel came over to tell me a New Zealand officer and [his] sister had called to see me. It was Lieutenant Colonel Studholm with Chief Matron Thursten[name?] motoring up from Wiesbaden.
I took them back with me and we had a pleasant evening - then a bed at Schraumhaus.


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Postby Steve_Butler » Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:03 pm

4th July 1919
Friday
Studholm and Matron left at 0900 for Düren, while we went off to Helesheim and some other places where sales had to be made.
Got back at 1300 - after that the four officers went back to Witlich, but I stayed on.
I am expecting some mail - Studholm tells me General Melville, General Officer Commanding N.Z.E.F. England, has been recalled to New Zealand.
Possibly Godly may consider me to carry on for him.
The weather is most strange, very cold and wet. Not sufficient rain to saturate the ground. The crops have suffered accordingly - oats are only six inches to a foot high, a complete failure for potatoes the staple crop - do not promise much - while the fruit crop, wheat et cetera are also far from what we could call satisfactory.


July 5th 1919
Saturday
Yesterday Cob***** celebrated the 4th [of July U.S. Independance Day]. - Had I known about it sooner I should respectfully had him up and taken part in the nights historical event.
It will probably never happen again that U.S. soldiers as a garrison in Germany will celebrate their national day.
All Americans barring one Regiment are to be withdrawn - And they hope to have them out of the country very soon - [President] Wilson appears to be liked by no one - The Americans claim that a Republican Government is sure to follow him - He is spoken of as the greatest Egotist of the present day. France and Germany don't care for him. Llyod George, the Germans say, has treated them best and they want to be friends with us.

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Postby Steve_Butler » Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:35 pm

6th July 1919
Sunday
3 after Trinity
The first good day I have experienced since I have been here - several U.S. soldiers arrived who had been billited here - to see their friends again.
Forenoon I spent in the garden reading - Afternoon took a long walk, I had many conversations with people about the war, who was to blame and present conditions - Their view is of course so very different from ours, that it is hard to get them to look at things in a different light.
But several times I had been able to stagger them not a little. They have been most shamefully misled by their own people that their conceptions are altogether wrong.
But I find no spirit of great hostility in these parts - more one of resignation.


July 7th 1919
Monday.
Called on the Oberforester in the morning and arranged to be taken through the Government woods and plantations, in the afternoon he called for me at 1400 with his buggy and we spent this day looking at the various plantations et cetera. It was most interesting. We did not get back till 1900. He took a gun and revolver with him as he said there was a gang of five men hiding in the woods who were up to mischief - discharged soldiers I presume.
Of course we had rain again. The old forrester is a great admirerer of the Kaisers and thinks [he] should come back, all would be well again with the country. A belief not shared by the bulk of his countrymen.

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Postby Steve_Butler » Thu Sep 14, 2006 4:59 pm

8th July 1919
Tuesday.
We had arranged to go to the Neroder Kopf should it be fine, we had ordered breakfast some what earlier - but it was rainy while we were at it. But decided to go anyhow.
We got there dry - a lonely old castle in a very fine beech forest, most of it volcanic stone like round Auckland.
Lay for two and a half hours sunning ourselves on a bit of grass with the most wonferful views. Then a very heavy thunderstorm coming up we thought it wiser to pullout. Lunch we had taken with us.
Got as far as Steinborn and the hotel there when it came down in torrents - much thunder and lightning - we had gone by way of Nehnbergen.
Left Steinborn in time to get home for dinner 2000.
Quite dry after a most rainy old tour.
Letters from London one from General Lovy[name?] who had seen my award at the High Commission.


July 9th 1919
Wednesday
I woke up with a lot of noise going on in the street, they were erecting booths for a market - the first since 1915. Any amount of cattle and pigs, these all very dear. And booths of all sorts of stuff for sale, the whole countryside was present.
From a cheap jack I bought some soap - said to take out all kinds os stains - and a small whistle at one of the stalls - for Melville.
The day was cold and raw, no rain and not as cold as it has been but disenjoyable - I don't think I shall stay much longer.
Letters must be waiting for me in Cologne.
Three persons are sick in [the] hotel. Better food than they are use to - don't get so much meat in the cities.


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