On the way back I got hit in the wrist, and went to the Advanced Dressing Station, from there to the Dressing Station in Hebuterne, and was taken on, by motor lorry, to a C.C.S. where I stopped that night. Operated on the following morning, went from there by train to Treport arriving in the early hours of the following day, being put to bed, clothes and all, just as I had left the trenches. Hearing there was room on a train going to Boulogne immediately after dinner, managed to get on it and found myself at Boulogne about eighteen hours afterwards. We lay about on the quay all day, without anything to eat, ‘till allowed to go on board the ‘Oxfordshire’ in the evening. The boat sailed sometime that night for Southampton, but we were waiting about in the Solent for a considerable time and eventually landed in England in the afternoon of July 5th.
From Southampton I went direct to a Manchester Clearing Hospital, staying there four days, and then was transferred to Bolton Infirmary with one other member of the L.R.B. Spent nearly three months here, managing at last to get a transfer to Croydon when, in another three months, I visited three different hospitals.
In July, whilst Hob was in Bolton Infirmary, his mother received the following letter:
B E F
Dear Mrs Brown,
Thank you very much for your letter with such good news of our old friend H.O. I am glad that he was able to get away so well with his wound. It was a sad business for us all and we could not afford to lose the capital fellows who went under. I was particularly glad to hear that your son had got a ‘Blighty one’ as we say, for he was at it were a real link with the past being one of the very few alas who remained of the original dear old regiment. This means more to me than I can express with 20 years, nearly, connection with the regiment. I am glad that you have been able to make the journey to Bolton to see him and trust that ere long he will be able to get some leave when in the convalescent stage.
With regard to his personal effects, they have been sorted out and will reach you via the Base shortly if you have not already received them. I was unable to sort them out myself as I was in trenches when your letter arrived but I hope all the valuables both sentimental and intrinsic were duly saved.
Please remember me very kindly to the dear old chap and say how much I miss him especially as the only Sgts. I have left to me now are Swan and Hubbard. Also please tell him to steer clear of this country in the future if he can. He will appreciate my message if when writing you will tell him to ‘swing it’ as much as he can!
With kind regards
Yours very sincerely
C S M D Co.
Discharged as fit just before Christmas 1916. At the end of my furlough I rejoined the L.R.B, their 3rd (R) Battalion being stationed at Dawlish, and we stayed there for two or three months, I being still under the doctor for my wound.