Robert Monteith's Diary in Germany

6/X/15 Christensen met me at the ferry, obtained a room near the docks where I was to embark the following morning.
7/X/15 Embarked on S.S. "United States" as a Stowaway, Christensen travelled second class and during the voyage supplied me with food which he purchased on board. Sailed about 2.30 p.m.
8/X/15 At sea. Seasickness, the United States seems to specialize in the "Tango."
9/X/15 Third day at sea, quite well again.
10/X/15 At sea, nothing of note happened.
1l/X/15 At sea, one stowaway captured, feel a bit jumpy in consequence.
12/X/15 At sea, quite comfortable, regular meals.
13/X/15 do.
14/X/15 British aeroplane with searchlights watches the ship.
15/X/15 British warship puts a prize crew on board. I re main hid away under bunk in spare cabin, neither light nor air, and seem to want to cough every time a person passes the supposed empty cabin.
16/X/15 S.S. United States taken to Kirkwall for examination of papers and passengers. Stowaways are exempt from examination if not found. / was not examined. Passengers dance the tango over my head, I am glad to know someone is happy.
17/X/15 Still in Kirkwall, talk of sending us to Leith to offload cargo for examination. More dancing, some people would dance at a funeral, four male passenger suspects taken off.
18/X/15 Still in Kirkwall. Ship moves out about 8.30 a.m. It is good to hear the engines working again. (Where are we going?)
19/X/15 Reach Christiansland, anchor outside, move on again for Christiana.
20/X/15 Christiana as 10.30 p.m. mix with third class passengers and get on shore unnoticed as I carried no baggage. Stop at Grand Hotel.
21/X/15 Train to Moss (Norway) Christensen's home. Put up in Moss Hotel, have to fill in a paper containing a number of questions regarding movements, business, etc. Breakfast, go to bed and try to sleep. Christensen has in the meantime gone to see his parents. When about thirty minutes in bed, Christensen rushes in, pulls me out of bed, and informs me that I had to clear. A German agent or spy had been arrested a few days previously and a close watch was kept on the movements of all foreigners. It appears he was residing at the Moss Hotel. The Hotel people had already notified the police of my arrival. I remained in hiding in Christensen's home, until night train for Copenhagen, 8.30 p.m. manage to get sleeping carriage, quite comfortable, my best thanks are due Mr. and Mrs. Christensen.
22/X/15 Reach Copenhagen about 7 a.m. Breakfast, call at German Minister's office, he has heard of our coming but has received no passport for me. But wires the German Frontier guard of our coming. Train for Danish Frontier about 10.30 British U-boat nosing around between Denmark and German port, but four German Light Cruisers arrive on the scene, the U-boat does not worry us. No trouble at German port, reach Berlin 11.30 p.m. stop at Hotel Cumberland, Kurfurstendam, find Sir Roger Casement is in Munich. Wire him to come to Berlin.
23/X/15 Berlin. Call at Foreign Office, arrange with Mr. Meyer for police pass for Berlin of which the following is a copy.
"Ausweiskante""Vorfeiger dieses Mr Monteith 1st,"polizeilich nicht zu behelligen""Berlin den 23 Oktober 1915
Mr. Meyer asked me what I intended doing? to which I replied, nothing until I report to Sir Roger Casement and receive orders from him.
24/X/15 Did not rise until 12 noon, first real sleep since leaving New York. Left Berlin by night train for Munich to see Sir Roger. Reached his hotel about 9 a.m. wandered around Munich until evening, bought an overcoat. Returned to Berlin by night train. Sir Roger accompaning us. Sir Roger looked very ill, despondent and nervous, and in a state of fretfulness.
25/X/15 Berlin, return to Hotel Cumberland, Sir Roger stopping at Hospiz am Brandenburger Tor, Budapester Strasse. Sir Roger visits War Office and obtains permission for me to visit Brigade camp at Zossen, about 30 miles from Berlin.
26/X/15 Travel to Zossen with Sir Roger (whom I shall hereafter and hereunder write as S.R.C.) and Major von Baerle of the War Office. The men were paraded (number on parade 50) S.R.C. spoke to them informing them that in future I was to be regarded as their command officer (or until such time as a senior officer arrived from America). I also said a few words to them. Lunched at the German officers mess. Returned to Berlin same evening.
27/X/15 Saw Sir Roger at Hospiz am Brandenburger Tor, Budapester Strasse. It was agreed that I rest until Saturday when I should go to Limburg to take up recruiting for the Brigade with the Irish prisoners there, R.C. to go to Munich.
28/X/15 Bought some clothing and things I required—everything a most unholy price. Spent the day in a quiet way, visited several places of note in Berlin.
29/X/15 Still at Hotel Cumberland, called at Saxonia, Christensen not yet returned from Copenhagen.
30/X/15 do.
l/XI/15 Meet Christensen on way to see me at Hotel Cumberland, he met nobody at Copenhagen. R.C. has not returned from Munich. Meet Sergt. O'Toole and Beverly at Potsdamer Banhof at 9.30 together with Gafreter Zehussen, one of the interpreters attached to the Brigade. Find he is the husband of an Irish lady. His home is in Hamburg, and unfortunately his business is ruined by the war, consequently his love of England is intense and fervent. Take train to Limburg ad Lahn.
2/XI/15 Reach Limburg. Find an orderly waiting with instructions from Commandant to report to him at once, which we do before having breakfast. Commandant offers to do all in his power to help us, and places two rooms at our disposal. He also informed me that my hotel bill will be charged to the Government, together with the Sergts. and the interpreter. This I declined to accept, as far as my own bill is concerned. Stop in the Alton Post.
3/XI/15 Commenced recruiting campaign at 9 a.m. and continued till noon. Started at 2 p.m. and worked till 5 p.m. These hours were chosen so as not to interfere with meal hours of men. Men seem indifferent. A lot of them are absolutely impossible.
4/XI/15 Still recruiting. A little hostility shown today, but when the firey ones had it pointed out to them that if they also try the injured innocent and act the dramatic they could do so without fear of punishment. They did not seem to want to do it and some of them even went so far as to give their reasons why they would not join us.
5/XI/15 Recruiting. Several men today asked what they would get for joining—a straight question. Pointed out I had nothing to offer except the honor of fighting for their own country. There was so to speak "nothing doing." A party of French prisoners today cried, "Irish Traitors" as we passed.
6/XI/15 Recruiting. A letter from S.R.C. He is not well, very depressed. S.R.C. is not well. I do not think he is mentally fit and I am afraid to ask him to see a doctor. Last time I saw him he was simply quivering like a leaf. Go to Frankfurt in evening.
7/XJ/15 Recruiting. We now manage to get through about 50 men per day. Nearly all of them are satisfied with their present state, which is peculiar. All of them are loud in their statement that when the war is over they will be prepared to fight for Ireland. God help us! after the war. Their idea of fighting for Ireland seems to be to fight the people of the North. John Redmond seems to be a sort of tin God to these men, a constant cry is,"Now we have home rule we are equal with England and it is our duty to fight alongside the English."
8/XI/15 Recruiting. Today I had a small flag sent me by a lady (Mrs. Zerhussen), the Republican colors green white and orange. One man who saw this lying on the table said, "That's enough, I won't join you when I see that flag." I asked "Why," to which he replied, "Because that's the flag of United Ireland!!!" Again God help us.
9/XI/15 Recruiting. Men all satisfied with their present condition, most of these I find belong to the Special Reserve (ie. Militia) can't see further than their nose and suffer no pain as long as their stomach is full.
10/XI/15 Noisy lot of men today who promised all sorts of kind things, such as shooting, hanging, etc. I have also found out the reason for the men being satisfied with then: condition. Each Irishman in Limburg receives on an average 10 parcels per month, or one in three days. These parcels contain food, clothing, tobacco, etc, and also, some regiments had a supply of money from Regimental funds. Now the average number of parcels received by English prisoners of war from all sources is from 3 to 5 parcels per man monthly. Most of the parcels coming to Irishmen are sent from England. However, it is good that they get something for nothing from England. But is it for nothing?
1 l/XI/15 A new batch of men just came in from work on farms. I asked them as to the treatment there, all would much rather be on the farm where they have much more freedom, good food, an allowance of beer, good bedding and a small money allowance, from 6d to lOd per day. One or two awful liars who tried to make us believe the country people were on the eve of revolt, men were refusing to join the colors, etc.
12/XI/15 Recruiting. Half holiday for some reason, Limburg is full of young men called up for medical examination, these march around the town singing, wearing sashes and streamers in their hats. I spoke through Zerhusen to one who had failed to pass the medical test, he was the most miserable man in the town, cried like a child and would not be cheered up.
13/XI/15 Have up to now selected 52 men who will in all probability join us. The War Office will not give me permission to wear uniform which would assist me greatly in the work. Major von Baerle from the War Office came to Limburg to see how things were going. He wanted to remain in the room whilst I was speaking to the men, but I objected as it had been said before that the men would not be interviewed before a staff of German Officers.
14/XI/15 Sunday no work. Went to see Limburg Cathedral which dates from the 12th century. A glorious old building built upon a rock which stands prominently above the town. Limburg is one of the quaintest towns I have visited. Old world, gables and picturesque corners everywhere. No street leads anywhere, all up and down hill, just a picture for Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales. One waiter in my hotel is an Italian, and not interned or interfered with in any way. Up to the present although I scarcely know ten words of the German tongue, I have not been asked for a pass, and in my own country I was not able to move without two policemen at my heels. Surely these Germans are a trusting people.
15/XI/15 My uniform is finished, cost about 500 marks, (25 pounds). No permission as yet to wear it. Sergt. Major Keogh from Zossen has joined to help in the work. Men here are hopeless, John Redmond, John Redmond. Had a copy of London Daily Mail with an account of the outrage on the Irish emigrants at Liverpool and a German paper reprint of the Bishop of Limerick's letter on the subject. Some of the men here immediately said that the Daily Mail was printed in Berlin as a decoy. The same is also said of the Gaelic American and Irish World. I have just met Father Crotty here, one of the Irish priests sent from Rome to take charge of the spiritual needs of the Irish here. I did not care to spend too much time in Father Crotty's company. I was afraid I might place him in a false or compromising position. He was there as a priest and only as a priest. I also met a German priest, Father Berkessel, who had a Tipperary accent, he had lived years in Ireland. A most lovable man, it was good to hear him talk, he, previous to the war paid an annual visit to Ireland, and is coming again when the war ends. I hope to meet him.
16/XI/15 I am wanted back at Zossen, things are not going well there, men are out of hand and S.R.C. thinks it would be advisable for me to return as early as
17/XI/15 It seems to be the wish of the German people to have things their way, which is wrong. The men selected by me are to be separated into separate rooms, consequently they will be under suspicion of every man in the camp—Irish, Russian and French. It will spoil everything. The German soldier is not tactful.
18/XI/15 Recruiting. No change, men seem without interest in life, home, or future. It is so pitiful.
19/XI/15 Ask for pass to return to Zossen. -
20/XI/15 Recruiting. Half holiday.
21/XI/15 Sunday, no work.
22/XI/15 Work at standstill until remainder of men return from winter work on farms.
23/XI/15 See Commandant in Limburg and ask leave. Leave Limburg Wed. with Keogh, Beverly and Zerhussen for Berlin. Sgt. O'Toole returning to Limburg to see rest of men as they come in from farms.
24/XI/15 Reach Berlin 10 a.m. See S.R.C. in Hospiz am Brandenburger Tor Budapester Strasse. S.R.C. on verge of collapse, disappointment of his hopes time after time has almost killed him. I am seriously afraid he contemplates self destruction. Zerhussen and I go to War Office and see Major von Baerle, who has charge of our affairs. He is unable to give me permission to go to Zossen or to wear uniform, and requests me to stay in Berlin for a few days until the necessary authority is given by the General Officer Commanding. More expense. Hotel prices are appalling, and in this case I have also to be responsible as Zerhussen must stop with me in order to interpret my interviews with officials. Keogh and Beverly go back to Zossen. Stop in Hotel Saxonia, Budapester St.
25/XI/15 Still in Berlin, called to see R.C. no definite answer.
26/XI/15 Do. S.R.C. ill, very ill.
27/XI/15 Berlin. At 5 p.m. got permission to go to Zossen in uniform. Leave Berlin 10.30 arrive Zossen 2.30 about two feet of snow on the ground. Every hotel closed, town in darkness, although we had engaged rooms by wire, in hotel, no one there to let us in. Finally the town watchman arrives who has instructions to let us into hotel by the back door. Rooms seem to be ready, "Blessed are they who expect nothing for verily they shall not be disappointed." Zerhussen attempts to swear, his very first effort, for he is in truth a godly man. He was an awful failure at the job, so I gave him a lesson, names he will remember.
28/XI/15 Go to camp, obtain a pass from the General and see the men. All prisoners, no leave allowed, no arms, no overcoats. Men in an ugly humour in consequence—return to Hotel.
29/XI/15 Call on General at Kommandatur to report formally for duty, very kind reception, handed over the men. Rank as Lieutenant confirmed. Rooms not ready in barracks, so I return to Hotel.
30/XI/15 Move into officers quarters, arrange for meals in the Forest House, a small Inn near hand. Have a parade of the men. Inspected clothing, boots,quarters. Ascertained wants, which include every thing imaginable. Boots, clothes, overcoats, blankets, football, melodian, sewing machine for tailor, glass for windows broken through horseplay, etc.
l/XII/15 Parade the men and explain that it is.hardly probable that the invasion of the British Isles will take place. But ask them to think over the idea of striking a blow at England by going to the Eastern Theatre of War and joining the Army for the invasion of Egypt and helping to free another small nationality which England strangely enough omits to free. Nobody seems very enthusiastic about the project.
2/XII/15 Start to get the men in training. Ask for overcoats, arms, etc. Duties allotted, daily parades ar- ranged. Passes granted. Am watching for the good men. Rifles issued 2 p.m.
3/XII/15 S.R.C. arrives at Zossen. Together we interview the men on the question of going to Egypt, 38 of 56 volunteer. I am disappointed. High boots issued.
4/XH/15 S.R.C. is now stopping at the Hotel Golden Lion in Zossen, about two miles from the Lager. About 2,000 Russian prisoners are quartered here. Inspected rooms and visited men in hospital.
5/XII/15 Sunday, no church parade. J. McGoey arrives from America. Football match, our team beat the Germans 4 goals to 1.
6/XII/15 Usual parades. S.R.C. paid a visit.
7/XII/15 Usual parades, men bucking up.
8/XII/15 Everything now moving smoothly. Signalling class started.
9/XH/15 Route march to Berlin, where Sir Roger Casement joined us. S.R.C. as this was the first armed parade he had witnessed paid for lunch for all hands.
10/XII/15 Foot inspection, men in bad way, soft feet and ill fitting boots, no other boots can be obtained so have to adopt the German method of foot bandages, it is the men who inform me exceedingly uncomfortable to them.
ll/XII/15 Pay day. This is usually a lively day with the Brigade, as a wonderful lot of beer can be purchased for a shilling, usual parades.
12/XII/15 Sunday morning, no church parade. This parade is usually held once in three weeks, owing to lack of accomodation. Roll call parade.
13/XII/15 Usual parades. Straightened out a lot of small difficulties and worries for the men. German lesson in the afternoon for the men, a number of whom can speak quite well, having knowledge of the language.
14/XII/l5 Route march to Mittenwald, about 20 kilometers, splendid day, very cold. Arms inspection, great improvement in spirits and appearance of men. Boots a great inconvenience to men.
15/XH/15 Sore feet the order of the day. Applied for new boots for all hands, get a promise that the matter will be attended to. Find that Corpl. Delamore is a qualified Chiropodist and buy him an outfit in order to relieve the men.
16/XII/l 5 Men's feet much better thanks to Delamore's skill. Route march.
17/XII/15 Usual parades, skirmishing work. German lesson by interpreter.
18/XII/15 Kit inspection, also barrackroom' inspection. Everything in good order except windows, which I ordered to be repaired. Half holiday.
19/XII/15 Sunday. Church parade. No work.
20/XII/15 Usual parades, signalling, German lesson.
21/XII/15 Parades as usual, no letter from home yet, still hoping. Miserable day, snow and rain.
22/XH/15 No outside work, weather too bad. Barrack roofleaking, have it repaired, windows now weather-proof. An order has been issued to withdraw the arms from the men. General discontent, men saying the Germans do not trust us. Am afraid there will be serious trouble.
23/XII/15 I obtained permission from the local Priest who does not speak English to have a Priest from Berlin (an English speaker) to hear men's confessions before Xmas. All hands attend the celebration of Mass in Zossen town. Arranged for special Xmas dinner for the men in one of the local restaurants. The sum of 3 marks per man is allowed by the G.O.C. Zossen (General Schneider) as a canteen rebate.
24/XII/15 Xmas Eve. Usual morning parades. Preparations for tomorrow in hand. Everyone in good humor except for withdrawal of the arms. Had to place a picquet on the gate owing to the action of some gay and festive spirits, who want to discover the person who gave the order that the Irish were too dangerous to be allowed to carry rifles.
25/XII/15 Xmas Day. A danger signal immediately I enter men's bungalow. Pte. Holohan was having an argument with a bottle of proof rum, and he loves me. I must drink so I drink and invite the bystanders to share the bottle much to Holohan's disgust, as what remains would not make a mosquito sing. Dinner at 4 p.m. music and singing the order of the evening. Quite a lot of girls there. It is wonderful the way the girls will chum with the Irishmen. German and English lessons in progress all over the house. Three fights, which I had no trouble in stopping. One man wants a German soldier's blood, because he thought the said German made some remark discreditative to the Irish! During one of the rows a German picquet came in to quell the disturbance, and were greatly relieved when I came on the scene, and said I would deal with it. There were only 4 of them amongst about 30 of mine. Twas good to see the look of relief on the under officer's face when I came on the scene. I got him on one side and gave him a little advice as to how a German picquet should deal with an Irish row. My advice was to get away from it as far as possible, that was of course if he wanted to avoid international complications with an Allied Force. Being a wise man he followed my advice to the letter. Got the men on the road home at 12.15 a.m. The N.C.Os. stayed another hour with me and interpreter Zerhussen, during which time we had a speech from Sergt. O'Toole in Irish, and a fierce discussion as to whether Maryboro, Wexford, or Limerick was the nearest approach to Heaven by the remainder. Various toasts were drunk, and we went home to find to our astonishment everyone in bed and asleep.
Mrs. Gaffney (wife of Mr. Gaffney, U.S.A. Consul General at Munich) together with some American friends had sent the men a very generous present. Each man received a green satin bag tied with Irish and German colours, containing tobacco, cigarettes, chocolate, patent pipe lighter, Bavarian confectionery and other things, together with a small envelope containing a new silver mark.
26/XII/15 "Boxing Day" and the morning after last night, a deputation waited upon me at 7 a.m. requesting a little medicine, as all hands were very sick. I went down to see. The deputation had not exaggerated, so I bought the medicine and had it served at their bedsides, some very rapid recoveries.
27/XII/15 Morning parades, inspection of barracks at 12 noon. All correct.
28/XII/15 No parades, weather wretched.29/XII/15 Full parade, all present, marching drill, no arms. Signalling class under Sergt. Beverly.
30/XH/15 do.
31/XII/15 Report sent in re men disposing of clothing, etc. to German Soldiers and civilians, who sometimes pay for same in bottles of spirits (Schnapps) which is bad for Irish heads and hands, all sales forbidden.
1/1/1916 The trouble brewing over the arms question has come. Although the day was observed by the German people as a holiday, the General was inhis office and sent for me to explain the cause of the row between his lambs and mine. The incident is this. On New Year's morning the German canteen was kept open (without orders) until 1 a.m. of which my men took full advantage. The Germans sang songs and my men also sang, and good fellowship reigned supreme until some Geman in an unguarded moment spoke of my men as English. Then the dust began to fly, at this time there were only 7 of my men present and about 30 Germans. A German under officer came on the scene and drew his bayonet on my men who were fighting like demons. Four of our fellows were good boxers (an art which the German people know nothing of) and were making comparatively good progress. These men concentrated on the man with the bayonet, who was carried to his barracks minus his bayonet which my people had captured. Corpls. Delamore and Grannigan ran from our bungalow to the canteen and got the Irishman away. All would have been well had not the under officer made a report. The report led to all sort of complications and punishments. My men were at once deprived of their liberty, all passes cancelled, so that through the action of a half drunken under officer a lot of bad feeling was established and good men punished for bad.2/1/16
Four armed sentries are now stationed around the barracks enclosure. I also found that the sentries' rifles are loaded—in this way. The sentry as usual did not present arms to me but merely stood to attention. I asked him why he did not present to me? To which he replied, A sentry does not present arms when a rule is loaded!!! Two of my men evaded the sentries and went to Zossen.
3/1/16 Confinement still the order, men in very ugly temper.
4/1/16 General sends for me and tells me of the past, present and probable sins of the outfit I have the honor to command. Good Lord! the records are awful. I promised all sorts of things and plead extenuating circumstances, mean irritations on side of some German officials. No use, the General has had some promises from me on the men's behalf before now, and is going to run things his own way.
5/1/16 No change
6/1/16 Sent for S.R.C. who informs me that the detachment of volunteers for Egypt are to start training immediately, arms are promised, make this known to men who are delighted.
7/1/16 Usual parades without arms. S.R.C. is ill, nervous and depressed.
8/1/16 Usual parades.
9/1/16 Sunday, Church parade. Punishment for row on New Year's morning now made known. Seven men actually concerned, ordered short term of imprisonment. All others confined to camp for 14 days to date from 1st inst. But passes allowed to men of good behaviour on my recommendation.
10/1/16 Route march today. Effect of confinement easily seen.
11/1/16 Usual parades, paid out at 11 a.m.12/1/16 No arms have yet arrived. Usual parades. S.R.C. very ill. I am afraid his mind is going, disappointment after disappointment has broken him, have tried to get him to see a mental specialist, wire for his doctor and go to Berlin to see some people, friends of his to whom I made known his condition. Go to General Staff who promise to hurry our departure for the front—also call at Foreign Office. Wire for Father Crotty to come to Zossen as I think S.R.C. would like to see nun. This was done entirely on my own responsibility.
13/1/16 Hotel Saxonia, Berlin, awaiting a reply from S.R.C's. medical advisor, who is away from Berlin. See Miss McFadden [war correspondent for Chicago Tribune].
14/1/16 Letter from S.R.C. who informs me that he intends to see specialist this day. Return to Zossen and await S.R.C's. return to Hotel Golden Lion. He arrives about 8 p.m. looks rested. The specialist Dr. Oppenheim has ordered him to a sanitorium. This means that all devolves upon me. I am not up to my job.
15/1/16 Spend most of the day with S.R.C. making arrangements, take over papers, etc. Usual parades in camp. No arms yet. Confinement finished yesterday, passes issued today. Men absent again.
16/1/16 Usual parades, no orders yet from General Staff as to the Eastern move. From last date things have gone so oddly I could not at tempt to keep a diary, and as things are here (as far as I am concerned) seem at an end. I will try to summarize events to date.
Sir Roger Casement went to Munich to a rest house under the care of Dr. Rudolf von Hoesslin and I took charge of Brigade affairs. Things went badly, the men wanted new clothing and boots which I repeatedly asked for. To one appliation I was told the men's boots and clothing were worn out"through their playing football in them," and as I did not want to see the men playing football in their nakedness I did not forbid the awful practice. It must be explained that the men had only one suit of uniform. The men were still kept as prisoners, no leave granted. This so exasperated the boys so much that 24 out of 38 who had volunteered for service in the East, withdrew their names. Of this I informed the General Staff at Berlin, through Captain Nadolny, who went into a towering rage and said he would send them all to the Western front. I said you cannot and will not do so, and to his question why, I said because I will prevent it, my men will do as I say. He went on to say that arrangements had been made to train the men as a machine gun battery and that negotiations were proceeding with the Governments concerned to pass the men through their territory on their way to the East. This was in my opinion humbug and subsequent events proved my suspicions to be correct.
I was asked to see the men again and ask for volunteers, which I did; 38 again volunteered, all of whom signed an agreement to come with me and under my command. Sir Roger Casement has now the document filed with remainder of Brigade papers.
After some time I wrote a letter to the General Staff asking if it was the intention of the Government to allow these 38 men to proceed to the Eastern theatre of War, and if not to give them some work to do, so that they would become self supporting members of the community and cease to be a charge to the German Government. To this letter after some delay I received a telephone message directing me to call on Lieutenant Frey at the General Staff. This I did and after some talk in which I put the men's case pretty strongly. Lt. Frey sharply and curtly informed me that the German Government had not asked me to come to Germany (although this is covered by a pass in the agreement entered into by the Imperial Government and Sir Roger Casement). I therefore said if you talk to me in that way I have nothing more to say. I will hand my sword to General Schneider in the morning, then you can put me over the border, or if you so wish it, hand me to the English. I took up my cap and gloves and was about to go; on which his manner changed immediately. He tried all he knew to pacify me and implored me to discuss the matter fully. This we did and I outlined a scheme which the men might be set free on police pass and earn their own living. I was promised on more than one occasion that efforts were being made to meet my wishes. I wish it to be known that although I wrote a number of letters to the General Staff, I never received a written reply.
I must move quickly as my time is short. I am now driven, I can use no other word, to embark on what I believe to be the wildest enterprise in the history of Europe, and it is in my opinion a deliberate cold blooded attempt to get rid of Sir Roger Casement and myself, under the pretense of helping our country. A record of details of this enterprise has been left in other hands and in other minds, so I shall not go into the matter here. There is no way out of the difficulties. We are cut off from communication with Ireland and America, and the whole transaction amounts to this, that I believe Sir Roger Casement, Sgt. Beverly and myself are going straight to our death with our hands tied, without even hope of being able to raise a hand to defend ourselves, and fools think we cannot see through their treachery—or let me be charitable, want of foresight. We go well knowing what is in front of us, but we go without fear and without reproach. Without me and perhaps without Beverly the world will move along in the same way, but in Sir Roger Casement, the world loses one of her best and greatest men.

R. Monteith
10/4/16 Berlin



Robert Monteith