8 October 1914

The transport ship ‘Huanchaco’ arrived at Zeebrugge at 5.30 this morning.  Mid-morning George wrote to Kittie that the voyage had been ‘much like other sea voyages; meals, tobacco, chat and a little music’,

But down below something between a menagerie and a beehive; sad horses’  faces looking out in rows over plank partitions; men sleeping in invisibly dark corners everywhere.  All night the stamping of horses’ feet.

Natives of this country have gone to fetch newspapers; I must go out and meet them.  We have had a good talk with officers and soldiers of the foreign nation, and heard many interesting things of the battles they have been in.

It seems to me that the Belgians’ courage and initiative are greatly underplayed in accounts of the first year of the War, though the reasons for that may be understandable. Now the Belgian army was concentrating on defending Antwerp.

Next entry: 9 October 1914

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About Patrick Miles

I am a writer who specialises in Anton Chekhov and is writing a biography of George Calderon.
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