I remained in hospital till Dec. 13, 1916. It was announced that we were to be sent to Constantinople for exchange. But nothing came of it; in any case I, myself, was too bad to be shifted.
Eventually I was taken to Haida Pascha Hospital, near Constantinople. At first the food here was by no means good. We complained and a great improvement was soon noted in that we were being given better food than were the Turkish patients themselves. This was maintained till June. Then a Turkish "General Pascha" visited the place and, as a result, our rations were cut down to the old level.
There were a lot of us there awaiting exchange or repatriation. All of them - Russians, Rumanians, Indians, Australians, French, English - seemed to come to Haida Pascha to wait exchange. In an illustrated Turkish newspaper we saw a photograph of the train that had been built for carrying home repatriated prisoners of war. But nothing came of it all and in the middle of June they were all shuffled to Psamatia Camp. I did not go and remained there till June 23rd.
On June 21st I was sent for and my head was subjected to examination under the "X-rays". As a result of that examination, the Turkish doctor had me sent to his own hospital - the Zeynep Kiamil hospital. It was situated at Scutari, about four miles from Haida Pascha Hospital. This Turkish doctor was Dr Ruffki Bey, a Turk but a thorough gentleman. My head was operated upon on June 23rd, portions of bone being cut away and removed. Austrian Sister from a convent did most of the work here and they were very good and attentive. I had a rough bout with fever and at one time I was threatened with the loss of an eye. But Ruffke Bey saved that for me. By the end of August I had quite recovered from the effects of my operation.
At Zeynet Kiamil hospital I was treated quite reasonably by Dr Ruffke Bey. He gave me eight hours' leave to visit Constantinople while I went accompanied by a Turkish guard. At Zeynet Kiamil I received parcels from the Australian Red Cross Society but never any money. In many instances I received cards adorning the despatch of parcels for me but the parcels never reached me. As a rule the hospital director need to open these parcels before he handed them over; but the director at Zeynet Kiamil did not do so. Altogether I had a really good time at Dr Russki Bey's Scutari Hospital of Zeynep Kiamil.
I left Zeynep Kiamil on Nov. 23 or 24 for Zapion Hospital in Constantinople. We were told that we were to be kept at Zapion for three days and that then we were to be sent home. It proved to be correct enough for I left Zapion, to proceed to England on repatriation on Nov. 27th 1917.