7-8 Marzo Getting a few days rest

7-8_Marzo

Merriman’s diary on pages for March 7 and 8, written sometime after March 15. Merriman is still catching up on events while he is in hospital.

Merriman says that he met a “Bennett” who claimed to be related to Milly Bennett.  The only Bennett in the Lincolns at this point was Thomas Edwin Brown Bennett.  It is unlikely that he is related to Mildred Bennett since she was actually Mildred Bremler  who later became Mildred Mitchell and then Mildred Bennett (as a nom de plume).  She was discussed in the January 11-12 posting.  An Ancestry.com search on Milly Bremler and Thomas Edwin Browne Bennett shows that they are not related to three generations before their birth.  Perhaps it was just a means of friending Merriman by saying that they had someone in common.

Merriman explains that Bennett took what small change Merriman had and instead of buying him items made a phone call to the US Consulate to try to get out of Spain.  Merriman mentions that Bennett spoke of “cruisers”, probably a potential way out of Valencia.   In March 1937, the American embassy had been contacted by five potential American deserters.  Three names are known.  On May 13, 1937, Thomas Bennett of the address listed in the ALBA list returned to the US on a Certificate of Entry on the Normandie.  Appears that Thomas Edwin Browne Bennett got out of Spain early which was very unusual.  The US Embassy did little for other deserters who showed up at their door.   They certainly didn’t send cars across Spain to Murcia to pick up the average Lincoln soldier who wanted to go home.   In 1940, Bennett’s occupation was “messenger for US Government” on the US Census in Washington.   A very curious fellow and we will see Merriman’s curiosity piqued in the next two days of the diary.

Since this is a short post, it might be interesting to show a few random pages from the end of the diary which were filled out well before the dates on them.   It is impossible to place the dates of the pages, but suspicion exists that Merriman was under anesthetic or painkillers when he wrote these pages.  Alan Warren speculates that Merriman was writing down the spelling of signs to be painted {which would be placed in the Murcia hospital so that English speaking soldiers would know their way around}.  This is a plausible explanation for these curious pages.  One might not place too much weight on Merriman’s recollections throughout the period where he was convalescing.

7-8_Deciembre

Random pages from December written probably when Merriman was in hospital.

11-12 Deciembre

Another two random pages from December probably written in March when in hospital.