Private Diary Blankenburg Mark
J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen
Sunday Sept 1st. Letter from DD d/ 23 July. Fine day at last, sat out in the garden during the morning & have arranged French lessons with Kerchof. Wrote letters & attended to Camp correspondence in the afternoon & had a foursome golf, but everything very wet. Slight rain again in the evening.
Monday Sept 2. Letter from Gina. Fine day, & 4 of us worked on golf course, cutting grass, rolling etc. Tennis 3 – 4. French lesson 5 – 6. Golf 6. – 6.45. Roll Call today 10 a.m. This is to be permanent on account of post. Read papers. News continues to be good.
Tuesday Sept 3. Fine morning. General Committee meeting at 9.30 a.m., all points agreed to, & have got sanction of Comdt to turn Belgian dining Room into Billiard Room etc. Played tennis 12 – 1 p.m. Heavy showers & thunder during afternoon. More good news tonight. Morels parcel No 9 arrived in good condition.
Wednesday Sept 4. 2 letters from DD, dated Aug 3 & 4, 1 from Gina & 1 from Willie. 200 cigarettes & Red Cross parcel. Tennis did not commence until midday, we played 2 to 3 p.m. & golf after tea; did round in 62 – (a 29 & 33). Remained fine all day but cold wind. – Read papers, news continues to be good. Bitz episode & threats of reprisals on French officers for similar reprisals on German P of W in France.
Thursday Sept 5. Fine day. Red Cross parcel & nebulizer arrived. Played golf in the morning – Tennis 3 -4 p.m. & 5-6 p.m. First hour singles with Soltans, he beat me 2 sets to 1 – 6-2, 5-7, 6-0, but quite good games. 9 French officers including Bitz & Coulonval left for Spandau, under reprisal scheme.
Friday Sept 6. Another fine day. Played Tennis 10-11, 12-1 & 3-4. French lesson 5-6. Golf 6-7, so day passed quickly. 2 Morel parcels, biscuits from Berne, readdressed from Mainz & 6 tennis balls arrived today. No evening papers.
Saturday Sept 7. Fine day. General Committee meeting at 9.15 a.m. to discuss furnishing of Common Rooms. Billiard Table dismantled & put in Franco-Belgian Dining Room. Played golf in the morning. Roll call at 1 p.m. & new Comdt Major Uhlig was introduced by a member of Inspection Staff from Berlin. Played singles Tennis with H 3to 4 p.m. Just before 5 p.m. new Comdt came to pay me his official visit & spoke English. Thinks I am very young for a General, he is 46 & only a Major! He has lately been in Flanders & has seen active service on East & West fronts. Also fought in China in Boxer Rebellion & met English troops.
Sunday Sept 8. Fine morning but cold. 3 letters from DD, 1 from D’s mother – d/ 7 July, 28 July & 3 Aug. Played tennis singles with H from 12 to 12.40 p.m. when rain drove us in. We have very good games together, evenly matched with quite good rallies. Heavy rain from 2 to 3 p.m. but fine enough for golf after tea. – Wrote letters in the afternoon. Lippens has seen the Comdt today & settled about funding of Music & Billiard rooms.
Monday Sept 9. Very wet morning. Roll Call in passage. Spoke to Comdt about parcels. Comdt Mozir came & asked me if I would be spokesman for French & Belgian Officers for all points which affect Camp in general. Wrote letters all morning. Walk at 2 p.m. a new one due North to next village. Fine from 12.30 to 4 p.m. when more heavy rain & wind started, cleared up again at 6 p.m. Comdt paid visit to No 2 & 3 rooms & kitchen about 6 p.m.
Tuesday Sept 10. Another wet morning, Roll Call in passage – Spoke to Comdt about changing my room down stairs to No 3a which is smaller, nearer bath & mess & will be warmer in the winter. Darned socks all morning & got ½ hours walk before lunch. It blew a gale & poured all afternoon & evening.
Wednesday Sept 11. A fine morning with cold wind – got 2 clothing parcels at last, my old M& M coat, shirt, vest, tobacco, 5 cigars, shaving soap etc. – all very welcome. Did some work on golf course in the morning, altering approach to No 7 green. Walk round Pankow 2 – 4.10 p.m. Heavy rain & wind again from 5.30 p.m. onwards. No papers tonight.
Thursday Sept 12. Cold dull day. Letter from Weston, 2 parcels, biscuits & 200 British cigarettes. Order read out that on account of complaint from P.O. an officer could not go down to see parcels. Worked on golf course during morning – rain during afternoon & evening – heavy showers & wind. Amused myself mending & darning afternoon & evening.
Friday Sept 13. Another cold dull day with heavy showers. Busy sewing all morning – Letter from DD d/13 Aug. Case 20 Emergency Parcels & case biscuits arrived from Van der Zyde, Rotterdam. Went for a walk 2 to 3.45 p.m. A new walk more in country; via Malchow & Zanow. Knight celebrating his 21st Birthday tonight. McLean made excellent chocolate pudding for dinner, served with hot chocolate sauce! New officers & now getting their parcels fairly well.
Saturday Sept 14. Fine morning. Letter from Betty d/7 July. Worked on golf course before lunch & played a game at 2.30 p.m. Did last round in 30. Weather looks better, no rain today, tennis courts rolled. Quite a gale blowing at bed time.
Sunday Sept 15. Warmer day. Austria’s Peace note published in German Papers. Worked all morning on golf course with H & played a round. Tennis started again at 2 p.m. Fine warm afternoon & was able to sit out. Played 36 holes golf after tea. Lippens came & read papers after dinner: the next few days ought to be most interesting.
Monday Sept 16. A Real fine sunny day. Wrote letters after tea. Letter from A. Ella, clothing parcel d/20 Aug. Played tennis 10-11, 12-1, & 2-3 p.m. Wrote letters after tea. Time changed 1 hour & got up hour too soon in consequence. Tennis hours altered to 8.30 – 9.30, 10 – 5 p.m. Somewhat indisposed after lunch!
Tuesday Sept 17. Another fine day. Played 3 rounds golf with H in the morning – quite good scores 31, 31, & 29. Tennis 2-3 & 4-5 p.m. Cloudy & very thundery after tea. Franz has left canteen for the front! Lippens & Kerchof went to Berlin to see oculist & buy music for Orchestra, which I fear only consists of 3 so far. It will be hard to get anything going with so few performers in camp.
Wednesday Sept 18. Hot stuffy day. Letters from DD – d/7 July & 29 Aug. Gina – Willie & Percy B. Played tennis 10-11. Got Red Cross parcel No 129. Went for walk 2-4 p.m. by ‘Grose Stein’, very hot indeed. Comdts Mozin, Collard & de Heidelburg Belgian Army left 9 p.m. for Heidelburg en route for Switzerland. They were all captured Aug 14 at Liege. Read Balfour’s speech on Austrian Note. Fear Laundry has given me “Dhobi’s Itch”. Must be chemicals used. Am treating with Zinc ointment. Others have it as well. 40 E.F. parcels arrived from Rotterdam.
Thursday Sept 19. Cold dull morning. Letter from Betty d/29 Aug. Roll Call in future is to be held in the garden. Played golf after lunch with Hatfield who did 27 – all 9 holes in 3’s. I did 2 30’s. Alterations to No 4 green are a great improvement. Red Cross parcel No 129, Aug 15 arrived. Another Tennis Tournament starts tomorrow. Open doubles in 2 classes, those who have played before this year Class A, beginners Class B. I am playing with Pughe Evans.
Friday Sept 20th. Cold windy day. Roll call in garden. Approached Comdt about a ‘fives’ court. Tennis Tournament commenced at 1 p.m. Pug & I defeated Turner & Kent 6.2 – 6.2. Case Medical Stores arrived for Camp.
Have made up an American Tennis Tournament, 5 pairs, No 2 & 7 Room, I am playing with Kellog. McLean & H started a ‘book’ on it, at 7-2 each pair & have got 300 mks in the ‘book’. Prices before bed, self & K evens. Hatfield & Shorman 2-1. McLean & Vick 7-1. ‘Ascot’ game appears to be very popular in Music Room every night. Shall have to enquire into it & check it, if it becomes ‘too popular’! Anniversary Pheasant Farm attack Ypres 1917.
Saturday Sept 21st. Cold windy day. Interview with Comdt – re – orderlies, Baths etc & medical stores. Played 2nd Round tennis at 2 p.m., stopped by rain & finally finished at 3.30 p.m., beaten by Vick & Kellog. Not a fit day for tennis, wind very strong & played in woollen waistcoat & sweater.
Got fortnights’ supply biscuits from Copenhagen. Spoke to Kincaid Smith about ‘Ascot’.
Sunday Sept 22nd. Fine sunny day. 2 letters from DD dated 28 Aug & 1st Sept. Slept badly last night & had indigestion after breakfast. H & N won Doubles. Played singles with McLean 12-1 gave him ½ 15 & beat him 2 sets to 1. Played in our private Doubles Sweepstake 3-4 with Kellog v Hibbard & Pug. Score 10 all. We ought to have scored more. Wrote letters after tea. Nazare is producing some excellent caricatures. More rain at 9 p.m.
Monday Sept 23rd. Fine morning. – Letter from Gina. Walked with Lippens, Hatfield & Kellog to the Nurseries & got some pots of Heather, and have arranged for 2 dozen cut carnations to come every week at 1 mks a dozen. Orderlies & German N.C.O. fetched heather after lunch. Tennis started at 1p.m. Private Sweepstake continued. McLean & Vick v Norton & Farmer result 10 all after Mc & V had reached 9-3. Lippens & Kerchove dined. Steady rain set in after dinner.
Tuesday Sept 24. Letter from Betty d/Aug 28. Arranged about Medical Stores with Comdt who enjoyed a Liquorice Cough Lozenge! Played 27 holes golf with H. Greens very slow & easy after rain, managed to beat my previous record of 58, doing 55, with 27 & 28. Football in the afternoon. I sat out in the garden reading my French book. No tennis today. Lippens read us papers, re political situation. Read Papers.
Wednesday Sept 25. Fine morning. Worked on golf course. Played tennis (Sweepstake) 1.30 – 2.30 p.m., beat H & S 11 – 9 after 9 – 6. General Committee meeting 9.15 a.m. Prints bar in Billiard Room, Silence Room & use of Library for classes.
Got 3 parcels this morning. Biscuits from Berne. Red Cross No 130 pillow from DD. Cold & windy with rain at 4 p.m. Stopped tennis. A derelict Captive Balloon passed over Camp about 3 p.m. going N & rapidly sinking.
Thursday Sept 26th. Fine day. Got 4 letters from DD, 1 from Gertie d//12 – 25 Aug. Our private Sweepstake continued, lunched early & K & I played Mc & V at 1 p.m. Game stopped at 1.35 from the Inspection parade by His Excellency? at 2 p.m., finished after & we won by 15 – 5, which has put us in the running I think. Sopwith & Kincaid Smith left for Aachen, en route for Holland or England. Read Papers.
Friday Sept 27th. Heavy rain in early morning. Parcel 2 French books. Walk 2 – 4 p.m. via Pankow Station cleared up & sun came out. Good news from W tonight. Read papers.
Saturday Sept 28. Fine morning. Went to nursery gardens with Lippens, H & Mc & fetched our carnations. I have now 2 dozen bright pink ones on my table in two tall vases purchased in Canteen. Football in the afternoon. Read papers after dinner.
A heavy storm wind & rain from 6 – 6.20 p.m.
Sunday Sept 29. Fine day but cold wind. Played golf morning & afternoon. Hatfield did 26 & 31 – his best score & the record for 9 holes. Wrote letters after tea. We all dined with Lippens & Kerchove. Read papers. 2 letters DD & Betty.
Monday Sept 30th. Fine day with strong wind, but no rain. Worked on golf course & read French before lunch. Played golf after lunch, bad score. Finished weekly letter. Spent evening studying maps & official reports.