REPORT ON THE SCOTTISH AMBULANCE UNIT.
Drafted at the request of the English Unit in Barcelona.
The Scottish Ambulance Unit passed through Madrid about three weeks ago, spending three nights there. W. Forrest and I were able to help them in a number of small ways and we all became very friendly.
About a week after the Unit had been at the Front ( Aranjuez ) one of the members, Donald Perfect, came into the hotel in Madrid where Forrest and I were staying and asked to see us. He said that he had escaped from an armed guard and he had come to tell us that the whole of the Unit had been arrested in Aranjuez, and all their equipment had been confiscated. They were brought back to Madrid under armed guard. No reason had been given for the arrest and the whole thing, he said, was a scandal and it was necessary for us to kick up a row about it in the British Press.
We immediately got in touch with the Ministry of War by telephone. While we were waiting for a message from them I took Perfect down to supper (Forrest had other business to attend to). Over our meal Perfect told me, quite casually that whatever happened he was not going back to England. He said there was plenty to be got out of Spain. He then went on to describe the various valuables that the different members of the Unit had managed to collect "as mementos". He himself had in his kit-bag.
1. A solid gold crucifix between 9 inches and a foot long.
2. Some gold ornaments taken off a decanter.
3. Three gold and amber ash-trays.
4. A set of silver fish knives.
Most of the members of the Unit, he said, had objects of this kind in their possession. One had a thick roll of French banknotes found in the house in Aranjuez where they were billeted. At least two had taken revolvers from dead or wounded militiamen (the Unit is not authorised to carry arms). My informant and another member of the unit had spent the afternoon before the day of their arrest digging in the cellar of their headquarters, looking for the jewels of the previous owner of the house which they had been told were buried there.
After Perfect had gone back to the National Hotel where the Unit was under supervision I discussed what I had heard with Forrest. First thing next morning we reported the