Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
Frank Smith diary, 13 December 1914-8 July 1917
MLMSS 2742/Item 1
2nd L.H.F Ambulance
Should this book be found by anyone at any time or any place if the finder will send same to Mrs T.L. Smith of Woodlands Marburg Queensland Australia he will be greatly oblige
2nd L.H.F. Amb
Austrn Imp Forces
May 21st 1915
2nd Aust Contingent left Albany Fleet comprised:- S.S’s Ulysses (Flagship) German boat, Hobart Ayrshire, German
or Agina left Freemantle & joined fleet German boats Vestalia &Hobart
Sun 13 - First broke Camp Enoggera [army camp, Brisbane]. 5 of us left for Pu to look after material etc. Remained there all day
14th - Remainder men came out in afternoon bringing remainder material
15th - Loading shipping horses etc. Hard at it. Letters from Aunt Jack & PR. Very late tea for men. Men given leave & leave withdrawn from train. Working very late till 12.35 am. No tea thro
16 - No one allowed off ship. Started to get clear of wharf at 7.40 am Aunt Jack, Molly, Hannah L Allan & Hilda Hudson came to see me off. Crowd merry etc. Took on pilot & dropped her at Cape Moreton. Stable duties on board Also lot of work with black kit bags etc. Sea Kit – bags issued to men. Slept in hammocks amidships. Hot & close. Weather fair.
17 – On piquet duty.
18th – Entered Sydney Harbour about 7 am Splendid scenery. Anchored off Garden Island at Farm Cove. Boat taking on coal. No leave granted. Raining lightly at intervals. On Hospital duty all night. Very busy. Crook bad, sent to Sydney Hospital in morning. Thought to be Typhoid.
19th – Trying to raise Garden Island by flag signalling. No response. About 8.30 anchor lifted & we pulled up to Central Wharf, cir quay. Took on stores & horses loaded also about 20 NSW Light Horsemen. Tried to get ashore but blocked every time. Weighed anchor about 3.30 pm & departed. Small crowd on wharf with ribbons galore. Large number sailing boats in Harbour 2 capsized. Warship waiting at Heads apparently the Encounter. Appeared to be cruising around. Two men (Collings Hourihan) left behind
Sun 20th – Barely out of sight of land all day Passed several Northward bound steamers & a couple of transport bound South. Troopships ahead of us their smoke only being visible. Rotten cold
21st – Passed Wilson’s Promintory between 6 & 7 am. Reveille at 5 am. Saw Rocky Islands in Bass St. Wind very cold. Sweaters ordered by Col, also overcoats for parading. Took on Pilot about 1.30 pm. Passed a troopship in morning. Not inclined for work on a/c of heavy cold. Entered Port Phillip Hds – took pilot on about 1.30 pm & reached Port Melbourne at 5.30 pm. Submarine AE2 & a Gunboat in Harbour no one allowed on shore. Inoculated 2nd time. Reveille 5 am. Loading horses etc. by Victorians. Took on stores also Sig Corp L.H., Field Artillery, Army vet. Corp. Also loaded Motor Ambulances etc. Left wharf about 5.30 pm direct for Albany. Crowd broke through barrier Several troopship left same day.
[Note in margin:] Wrote Jeannie Maher & Darc. Posted will 2nd
Decr 23 1014
23rd – Searchlights from Fort on us at night. Also enquiring by lamp sig. our number. Weather fine & mild morning broke fine – nothing doing. Fog came on about 11 am, fog whistles blown every 3 minutes. Weather cold on a/c of fog. Fog cleared slightly but did not lift till 6pm. Sea very smooth. Isolation Hospital fitted out 7 patients, 6 other & one Qlander. Genl Hsptl full various complaints. Ship rolling a little during night. Administration of ship in 3 sections established.
24th – Morning fine. Physical drill & Stretcher drill in morning. Reveille 6 am. Concert in evening on nr 1 troop deck (Portside Saloon) Singing etc. Finished about 9.30
25th – Xmas day, fine & cloudless dawn church service starboard deck 9 am. Capt. Power (R.C.) delivered address only necessary work performed.
25th – Xmas dinner rather poor & badly served. Pork & stewed rabbit served first, then soup then potatoes & cabbage then plum duff (full of unstoned raisins) The Flag ship Ulysses (Holts Blue funnel line) appeared in sight & at 1 pm had almost drawn up level off the port side, a few miles distant. Slept in pm & got painted & smeared with Dark tan Kiwi polish Dick Lyons & Stockwell operating. "Revenge is sweet!!" On Hsptl duty all night. Hair cutting escapade took place. Great amusement at disfigurements etc. I escaped (only owing to duty.)
26th – Boxing Day. Slept nearly all day. At noon & 6 pm Fire alarms sounded etc. for drill purposes. Got my hair cut to avoid forcible removal by horse clippers. Wrote Robbo. Mater Ulysses passed us Borda steaming to order.
27th – Very smooth in morning. Passed two ships inward bound & a German boat fitted as troopship outward bound also another vessel on horizon apparently bound for Cape. Another horse thrown overboard. Land birds seen in evening. Dead Calm. Smooth as Sydney Harbour.
28th Land (Rocky islands) in sight in morning. Entered Heads about 7.15 am & anchored away from town. 8 troopships there (in sight) before us. Three others & ours arrived by noon. No one allowed on shore. Stamping discs (identification) in afternoon. Gave letters to Censors official to post, also another to Wishart. Putting Acreman ashore (typhoid)
Later – No one ashore today
29th – Applied for leave. Told only chance lay in being selected by Capt Buchanan to take Acreman shore which was granted
29th – After much manoeuvring
etc. Capt of tug, failed to get Acreman aboard. Weather very rough. Patient ready waiting. Postponed till morning. No one ashore. Three N.Z. boats arrived previous night & pulled up to inner harbour this morning (early)
30th - Weather again rough. Orders rec’d from Ulysses (flagship) that on one to go ashore today therefore Acreman taken with us. Three calls from tug boats & a small mail delvd also got a newspaper & typed sheets war news posted up. Shifted out of Cabin.
Inoculated 3rd time.
31st - Hurrah. Left Aust. About 7.30 Ulysses steamed out followed by rest of boats excepting one which had fire in her. Borda weighed anchor & fell into line (single file) at 9 am. About noon, just outside heads, convoy forms into line of twos & threes. Fifteen ships in all
Inclined to lee choppy in the bay but fairly calm outside.
31st – Splendid weather. Tent section excepting details loafed. Lost sight of land about 11.30 am. One or two seasick. Bright moonlight night. Submarine in harbour towed by Berrima all day.
1st – Year started badly, Acreman died from enteric fever at 5 am. Buried at 11.40 am off the starboard saloon deck. Major Windeyer read Burial service, all men being dressed in full drill uniform. No volley fired. Body placed on plank off hold, feet weighed & dropped feet first. Very short service, about 7 or 8 mins. Body was sewn in canvas covering & weighed with firebars [grate bars]. Ordinary parade in morning but holiday (excepting stables) in afternoon. Sea choppy. Saw an operation in Ship’s hospital in afternoon.
2nd – Another horse thrown overboard. Smoke (faintly) visible on horizon both port & stbd sides, possibly escort.
2nd – Bandaging in morning & stretcher drill in afternoon. Weather decidedly warmer. Concert in evening. Listened for a while. Lost sight of Ayrshire.
3rd – Mater’s birthday Church Parade at 9 am. No sermon. NSW & Vic men vaccinated & others inoculated in afternoon. Nothing doing. During night stopped 3 hrs for Ayrshire to pick up some distance. Warm during night.
4th Lyons & I on special duty 6.30 am to 6pm. Paid 1/- per day on a/c of pay. 20 days. Another crowd inoculated. Weighed on chaff scales about 10 stone. Order out allowing men sleep on deck. Slept on deck Port side. Decks Canvassed in.
[Note in margin:] Paid. 1 £ - 20 days
5th On stable duty for day. Berrima
sco & submarine scouting around while star liner ahead also steaming badly or else engines or steering
5th – defective, dropped out of place. Borda 2nd in row. Amusing parade ‘Fire Call" sounded & men fell in. Self escaped also other hospital crew.
Saw Lt Col re
6th – Stables again. Set false teeth found in stew for Breakfast. Officer claimed them.
Gave Lt. Col. 5 £ to bank or look after. Heard And. Stkwl, Wb, & Sim apptd Cpls. Hayes given a bath. On stable picket 10 pm Mdt. Weather very hot. About 2.30 pm Fleet run amok, boats turning & going all directions. Hayes given bath.
7th – Got splints ready for "First Aid Lectures. Lecture by Lt. Col. Bean at 2.30 pm & practical work by Sgts. After. Practical jokes by men failed.
Fri 8th – One man fainted & one’s face cut. Sea very calm. Weather hot. On Spcl. duty Marc room. Met Brown ex SD, P.C.B. At Present in 2nd Sig troop. Sigs, taking shift duty Marconi room.
8th – Bath etc rigged up for Father Neptune. Stoker operated on at 9.15 pm for hernia. Lt. Col. Bean operated. Captn Buchanan Major Croll (Anasthetic) & Ships Surgeon assisting. Wrote Mater,
9th – Morning dull & intermittent rain heavy at times, misty other times. Sports postponed on a/c weather. Father Neptune in Afternoon. Father Neptune & wife assisted by his police Dr & Co seized individuals lathered them with white wash brush, soft soap & some red stuff then shaved with wooden razor & if possible, cut hair to disfigure, then threw them into bath
water, where they were severely ducked. Capt Wilkinson & Kendall ducked. Concert in evening. Did not go. l/Cpl Webb appointed Cpl.
10th – Picquet all day. Church parade at 9 am. Expect to cross Equator during today. Later Captn says crossed Equator at 7 pm Saty. All boats stopped to bury man off 2nd N.Z. Boat.
11th – On Spcl duty all day. Nothing doing. Wrote Molly & Dad in afternoon. Man died on Thermistocles. Buried 6 pm. Usual Ceremony etc.
12th On Spcl duty again. About 9 am all boats with horses on, put on, full steam ahead, to Colombo. Remainder going direct to Port Said. About 4 or 5 left behind. Lines of ships changed. Ulysses etc. on port side. Wrote Dan. Had
first game 5 handed Euchre.
13th – Reveille at 5 am. Hunted off deck 4.15 am. Deck to be hosed. Land in sight starboard side at daybreak. Slight haze on beach. Unable see distinctly. Towns in sight very indistinct. Town proved to be Colombo. Arrived at 8.30 an achored off breakwater. Port very busy. Cingalese in boats, galore. All out for biz. diving, selling papers
ets. fruit jewellery etc. General take downs 1/- for some papers. 3d least.
15th – First War News rec’d. hence papers rushed. Vessels taking on water. Lt. Col. Ashore Came home?? Large nr men took French leave. Nominal roll called. Men also ashore in numbers at night. Guard got spcl instructions & some armed. Some men in swimming today, 4 or 5 put under arrest by Major Windeyer. Sent Pc’s Mater Jeannie, Molly, Bill Fairley, Maggie P. & J.O.H. also Newspaper to Mater & Aunt Jack. Doubtful if they pass. Censor. Some of men returned 1.30 am, some screwed. Great experiences. First seats theatre "Grace Palosha" 8d Rickshaw 8d per hour. Cars also cheap. They saw Lt. Col. & Capt. Pitcher. Unable to slop ashore owing Col. Having my brass. Natives showed them over mosques & places of interest. Two men Chiene & Scott did not return.
[Note in margin:] Colombo
14th – Reveille at 6 am. No drill. Still taking on water. N Co’s ashore for drugs etc. No leave granted. Scott & Chiene returned 12.30. Scott pretty full. Ship pulled out from breakwater about Midday. ‘Borda" slipped moorings about 1pm. Natives again busy. Japanese Red Cross Corps. In port. 31 in all. First mail, of any size received. No letters for me. Not understood surmise that given to others in error. Natives in Catarams fishing between ships. Also diving off "Borda". Searchlight playing on ships from shore. Ulysses still in port. Got few Indian coins. Paid double value ½, 1, 5 cent pieces 100 cent. 1 Rupee 6 cents 1 penny. Rupee ¼. Supposed to leave 6.30 am tomorrow.
15th – Tug Samson brought straggler on to boat about 7 am. Tug going around delivering them to their own ship.
[Note in margin:] Scare
15th – At 9.10 am Ulysses sent signal to weigh anchor. Left 9-15 am Submarine again in tow by Berrima. Lost sight land abut 10 am. Destination still uncertain. Lecture by Lt. Col. On "First Aid" in afternoon. Great scare for some at night. Signallers got parts of msgs indicating that Germans had been sighted causing the ‘faint hearts’ great anxiety. Rather amusing. Major W. lectured them
16th On picquet. At Lect on matter of
16th Lecture by Lt. Col. On "First Aid" Bosun told us that just after M’dn’t last night, all boats put on extra steam the Borda & the other 3 leading boats, getting up about 16 or 17 knots, others falling back, Ayrshire on horizon at 5 am cont’d
16th – Also said, that rocket sent up at 5 am & all vessels turned due north. Indian coast in sight, in distance throughout day. Appear to be going due north. Rumoured Armed German Merchant men in vicinity. 4 of our fleet armed. Submarine had orders, if they appeared, "to attack at once. Also reported that German Cruiser "Karlsruhe" in Indian Ocean. Wireless also
reported mentioned that he had heard Five figure code apparently British cruisers using it. Horses eye injured.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
17th – Going West North West again in morning. Church parade at 9 am. Poor turn up from L.H.F a on a/c stables. Steering gear of Borda defective. Apparently not affecting steering. Slept all afternoon. Partly wrote Robbo long letter to post first opportunity.
Figures At 8 pm, rockets sent up by leading boats apparently to reduce speed. Another flutter of chicken hearts.
18th – According to Sun, steaming W.S.W. at 7 am. Nearly due West later in morning. Commenced writing Mater & finished Robbo’s letters. Watching signalling on boat deck etc. "Bob Thompson got information from crew, that owing to believed close proximity of German Cruiser, Convoy to keep within 90 miles of shore. Unless course altered throughout night, does not seem as if we are. Played Euchre at night. Lost both games.
19th – Picket duty. Up on boat deck, picking up signalling (semaphore). Steaming W.S.W. in mng. Talking to Brown ex P.C. B in B sig troop regimental sigs attached to A.L.H. he said latest was that we were to go to Alexandria & await orders there, perhaps go on to England. Saw last of Cocoanuts ex Colombo. Heard about being
21st - No physical drill on a/c of sports being held. Sports commenced 11 am. 7 Events. L.H.F.A. won 4 1sts & 2 seconds. Ran in obstacle race. Pulled back otherwise heat was mine. Put Iodine on my knees after it. Played Cheine draughts in hospital at night time.
22nd – Lt Col Bean sent to Thermistocles. Epidemic aboard. Said to be measles & complications sixth death this morning. Buried at 11 am.
Later. Third death today reported on Thermistocles 1 in am 2nd at 4 pm 3rd at 6 pm.
23rd - Land sighted about 6 pm on Starboard side. At 7.15 pm Course changed & land lost sight of. Land resighted about 7 am. Proved to be a huge rock, appeared about 700 or 800 ft high. Signal station & light house on points nearest entrance. Signal stn on highest peak further into & barrack, head qrs, wireless stn at camp etc. Sight of rock alone seemed
[Note in margin:] Aden Harbour reached about 9 am.
23rd – seemed to convey or bring forcibly on the mind, Britain’s strength. On Port side also huge rock but not quite so huge, nevertheless heavily fortified. Impossible for enemy to get in. No Newspapers rec’d. Got first Queenslander & Sydney mail. First mail I rec’d since leaving. No letters for me. Others got them. About an hour after anchoring,
an Arab boats came out (about 20) selling goods chiefly cigarettes of a hundred, Turkish delight, cigars, oranges & apples, watermelons, biscuits, jam, beads. Seem rather more intelligent than Sinnhalese. Also pc’s. Got a few. Too late to purchase direct. Q’lnder had photos of some L.H.F.A. Amb Corps, hence got nothing for myself paper rushed so. No warship, other than Sub. seen. Did not go inside in sight of Town. Troops disappointed. About 5 pm fleet weighed anchor & steamed off Ulysses, Ceramic & Thermistocles leading lines. Dark about 6.15 pm. Searchlight showing
[Note in margin:] Aden
23rd – on us from Aden. Also later from "Perim" about 2 am. Straits of Babel Mandeb 90 miles from Aden. About 7.45 Flagship ordered fleet Raise steam for 12 Knots per hour. Reported so as to prevent blocking mail boats at Canal. Capt Wilkinson got mail.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
24th – Land in sight at daylight. Arabia & Africa. About 8.30. 3 funnelled cruiser passed us. Fleet boats
& crew troops stood at attention to salute her. Church parade 9 am also passed, Stbd side two small solid rocks. Light houses on them. Two more on Thermistocles & 1 on Ceramic died last nights. (Do not know for certain if true.) Cruiser we passed was "Empress of Russia" converted into cruiser. Weather getting very warm again. Berrima not with us. Had got tow rope caught in propeller blade. Ulysses said (Morse lamp) that Berrima resumed voyage 5 pm & that Borda was to take Submarine in tow. Submarine caught up with convoy in afternoon.
[Note in margin:] German cruiser sunk
25th – Submarine towed from 9 am. Took about half an hour to fix two inch steel hawser through her nose. Borda in rear of convoy. "Escapees" at Colombo had to stone deck to clean oil stains from harness. Received by Wireless "War News". German Cruiser "Blucher" sunk & two seriously damage in an attempted German raid on English coast. Raiders intercepted in North Sea.
Despatch riders on Nr1 Hosp deck, practising signalling. About 5.30 pm "Borda" stopped for about an hour, to lengthen hawser of Submarine. During the night, "Borda" engines tried pick up distance on Convoy. Convoy still out of sight in morning. Weather hot. Signalling on Nr 1 troop deck by dispatch riders. Sergt. Church (water on knee) underwent second
26th – operation (Bougie). Sergts practising with field fracture bag. Signalling in pm. Land in sight. Got cheap soap.
27th – Barbar & I in portside gangway distributing kit bags. Full dress parade (Marching order) at 2 pm also kit bag inspection. Passed (what seemed to be sandstone) island about 5 pm. Very cold wind at night time. Remarkable drop in temperature. Entered Gulf of Suez early in the morning.
28th – Cast of Sub. about 7 am & anchored beside convoy in harbour about 9 am. A few Gunboats about. American Oil Co. plant in prominence. Suez surrounded by sandy deserts. Concert on in evening minstrel troupe. Not bad. Major W. also addressed audience.
29th – Left Suez & entered Canal about 9.30. Saluted a warship at entrance & about six gunboats throughout day. Canal banks entrenched & Ready for turks. What appear to be blockhouses are at frequent intervals. Stone with
29th – red-tiled roofs. Suez very picturesque from entrance to canal.
All bridges of all boats barricaded with bags chaff & bales of hay. Turks reported to be making attempt to block us. Troops in trenches Gurkhas, NZ. Infantry 15th Lancashires & Kings Own, Bengal lancers, Punjabis. Gurkhas most plentiful. Desert either side. Arabian side mined & trenched for miles. Passed Orient, Orsova P & (2 funnel) & other boat also 2 Blue funnel liners in Bitter lakes. Some waiting for us & we waited for some to pass. Cheers exchanged. Anchored at at 5 pm in 2nd or 3rd of Bitter Lakes. No signalling allowed at night. Rumors prevalent.
30th – Weighed anchor at 8.30. Canal bank entrenched all along. Passed some artillery about noon. At 11 am saw Queensland Engr’s about a railway line running parallel to Canal. Saw couple of trains
[Note in margin:] Port Said Saturday Aeroplanes
30th – At 12.15 pm Major W. said could see fighting from bridge with glasses. Looked with naked eye. Nothing to be seen. Passed territorials about 1 pm who said turks fighting five miles off. Reported to be 150,000 of them. At 8.30 am Two aeroplanes seen on left bank of Canal or lake. One flew far off & an the other passed over edge of lake about noon another passed close enough to hear buzz of engine. Arrived at Port Said 3.15 pm. Canal office at entrance, also seven hangars for French hydroplanes. Hydroplanes flying round, overhead etc. Niggers coaling vessel. Carrying up in baskets singing etc. "Kyarra" in port also battleship "Swiftsure". Three nurses off "Kyarra" came on board. Roll call at 6pm. 4 missing. About half an hour later about 20 missing. Fourteen caught before getting ashore & got 28 days & fined £5. Time to be put in at Cairo.
30th – Balance caught by Guard. Guard armed. Left again about midnight. Bought a sphere off niggers. Nurses report 17 wounded. Indians brought in & Major Richards (arnl) said expect more tomorrow as fighting all day.
31st – Land out of sight at daylight. R.C.C. parade, no protestant service. Arrived
Port Said Alexandria at 3.15 pm. Down forward hold as we entered port busy. American battleship (4 funnel in port) saluted. Anchored at wharf. No ropes or gangways lowered. Niggers galore, Soudanese & Egyptians. Kit inspection at 3.30 pm. Missed it. Pouches & Coat straps issued. Packing kit & sorting it at night. Several territorials aboard.
Feby 1st 1915
1st – Reveille 5 am. Full dress (marching order) parade 6 am. Breakfast 6.30 then commenced disembarking. Down forward hold, driving niggers & trying get work out of them all morning. Rough up dinner 1 pm. Finished disembarking about 3 pm.
1st – entrained about 3.40 pm. Lt Col
[Note in margin:] Pitching tent at Egypt
2nd – Horses & most of material unloaded & all out on 8 or 10 miles walk (stopping water horses etc) at 11.30. Arrived at Madhi at 4.45 am. Tied up horses had snack at Canteen, about 20 mins sleep & at it again, pitching camp etc. Got orders to relieve guard at Abu-ib-ella. Caught train 3.50, 20 mins run to Bab-el-louk, terminus Helorian line. 10 mins walk to stn. Guard screwed rather difficult to get them away. Had about 6 or 7 hours (intermittent) sleep.
3rd – Duffy & I saw a little of Cairo in morning. Called at British Recreation club had dinner there. 10 piastries each
Saw crowd of men (about 200) going to stn, being sent back to Aust. Crowd of wrecks, bent backs etc. About 600 in all sent back, various causes. Supposed to go by "Kyarra". Got letter from Molly today. Saw Dave on arrival. Looked well, had got my letter also saw some home letters from Molly Mater & Joe. A.L. Fredericks stored razed by fire. Got mats from him. Saw him again Tuesday. Told me he had to go to Zeitoun or some such name Wednesday owing of my going to relieve Guard, did not see him again.
4th – Very cold wind. Unable to sleep in early part. Camp is on what is supposed to have been Napoleon’s battlefield. Sandy & hills in the distance. Remains of fort to be seen. Maadi (the dead city) short distance away. 5th 6th 7th L.H. in Camp also 2nd Sig troop. 7th & 8th infantry sent to Ismailia, on banks canal. British (by ruse) captured bridging materials at Toussoun from Turks.
5th – Pitching tents etc. all day long. Cool towards evening. Had a shave at Barbers & went to pictures with Lyons & Stockwell. General Maxwell inspected troops horses & camp. General cleaning up etc. Colonel indignant with lot of us. Leave for 20
7th – Church parades 9 am. Anglican on Maadi tennis court. Good advice by Capt Tubman. Got leave from Noon. Went into Cairo by 1.40 train, had dinner, went to Pyramids about 3.30, got there 5 pm. Climbed to top of Cheops, Sergt. Croll, Antony & I.
Met Also saw sphinx. Too dark see much. Native told us about the exterior & porch being taken for Sultan’s Mosque etc. Pyramid at base, covers 13 acres, is 75 ft below ground to bed & 481 ft high. Had not time go thro it. Landed back at Cairo about 8pm. Went to Shepheards hotel, had a drink. Hotel very Oriental. Met Sergts Phillips Hammond & went knocked round till 10 pm. Come back by cab.
[Note in margin:] Dark
8th – New Routine of work, signalling stretcher drill, lectures & tent pitching included. Sergt Morgan returned had big haul of Enamel ware knives etc. Got a cap & fully equipped. Posted letters at letter box, doubtful if they pass Censor. Went with Little to Maadi Café. Shouted feed of fish etc.
9th – Usual routine work. Sargt Morgan & Cpl Stafford returned to camp. Got Sydney Mail
9th – from Mollie & letter from Jeannie.
10th – Dug drain for water from tap. Got a letter from Mater dated Jany 7th. Letter of 27th not received. No Qlander this mail. Wrote J Sheppard at night. Helping Sgt Morgan in morning. Lecture by Dr Mac in afternoon. A sectn picquets put under open arrest for being off picquet duty previous night. Result fined 40/- & 14 days C.B. Wrote Darker also the Mater.
12th – Doing artistic work outside. Dispensary. Wrote Jeannie. Lt Col. Fixing up about mess tables.
13th – In dispensary all day. Writing letters Aunt Jack at night. About 60 or 70 sick parade. Capts. Mac. & Pitcher also Maj Croll off for weekend.
14th – Sunday. On dispensary again. SSgt Phillip & Anderson off after Church parade. Brig. General here also Capts Alcorn & Sabine. Wrote Aunt Amy. Form 4s. Right dismissed.
15th – Still dispensery. Also checking panniers. Capts Pitcher & Macdonnell also Major Croll returned.
Ma Sgt Phillip made improvised cautery.
16th – Operation on Green performed. Cautery served its purpose, but no more. Capt. Tubman came over & told sgts & privates that Maadi ladies
requested wished to meet them. Wagons packed, in military style. Got letters from home also Qlndr & 2 Sydney Mails. Letter from Ede also Mater’s contained a/c of Frederichs’ fire. Shifted tents.
17th – Squad packing wgns. Loaded 2 minutes unloaded in ¾ minutes. Also going thro panniers with Capt Buchanan etc. Notice re exam for promotion posted up.
18th – Going through wagons etc. & replenishing shortage of bandages. P branded. Water cart etc. Head ache & Cold etc. Sterilising wool etc for operation tomorrow. Attended lectures on Egyptian Antiquities. Good lectures.
19th – Operation
tomorrow came off well. Only toe nail removed. Dispensary staff helping. Capt Pitcher re bandaging etc. Wrote Mater, Molly & Bill F. Alexandria measles cases Goodchap Payne Bowman McDonald Loughman & two others returned. Chiene took day’s french leave. Goodchap & Stockwell sent to look for them. Chiene full.
20th Chiene again missing. Two Turk prisoners brought to operating tent & teeth extracted. Standing on op. tent duty. B. Section man. Got letter from Dave enclosing others. Joe’s said Nevitt in Camp NSW. LH
Sunday 21st – Church parade in Cinema tent. Leave from noon. Caught 12.28 train to Cairo. Cox with me. Posted some letters in GPO. Had dinner in Café in gardens. Caught tram to Heliopolis. Fine buildings etc. Palace Hotel floor made of alabaster. Saw Summerville (Cpl) & Dave. Exchanged letters with him also glanced at
saw couriers. Had tea with him in camp. Left abt 6 pm. Caught 8.15 train home. Had feed canteen & then bed.
22nd – Dispensary duties busy day. Wagon went into town & brought box of chemicals etc. from Citadel base. Fixed Primus stove.
23rd – Bust again. Large sick parade. Cold in head. Spng Dunbar & Goodchap re pro ex. also tent pitching etc.
No Aust. mail yet sent appen in for pe. Vermin making appearance. 6th L.H. Chap isolated.
24th – Off Colour. Lt. Col. & Capt. Buchanan off to Heliopolis in morning. Surgeon Gen’l
24th – Williams visited Camp about 6 pm. Result S.Sgts Phillips & Wilkinson, making out requisition 4 or 6 week’s supply drugs etc. Lt Col cut it down as usuals. Whole
coy contingents expect to move out of Egypt within 3 weeks. Corps exam
25th S. Sgt Phillips went into isolation hospital with measles. Some Privates had exam, drilling squad, stretcher drill. Major Croll said Hsptl have theirs later on. Concert on in evening at Cinema tent. Good performance. Half a section screwed, Missed Hat, pinched out of dispensary.
26th – Anderson down to it Influenza poor boy. Sloan also went to isolation at night. Linton & Wecker acting instead of them. Transport div & Ambulance wagons left at daylight & took wagons into Cairo for general overhaul. Returned in afternoon. More of a section screwed & in Guard tent.
27th – Drunks up before beak. Brought 5 £ & 21 days. First offenders 1£ & 21 days. Rotten wind & very fine dust. Chap under anaesthetic for
impetigo on impetigo. Face scraped. Got pc’s etc to send to Grandma. Molly Souvenirs of Egypt. Wrote Aunt Jack.
28th – Two operations, Impetigo & Abscess in Groin. Intended apply for leave all day, but operations stopped chances. Off in afternoon. Caught 1.38 pm train. Chaot amp; I posted letters at GPO & went to Heliopolis. Got out just as "Stables" blown & did not see Dave until after 4.30 pm. Said they expected to leave about the 7th inst. Destination unknown, but
[Note in margin:] Sunday Infantry on move
28th – but general opinion, would be Dardanelles. Some infantry from Mena left today. Met Chaot again at 5.25 pm. Had an apology for tea at "Allies’ Restaurant" & caught tram back. Early in afternoon called at Palace Hotel. Could not get in. Had no pass. Saw Rufus Raabe, did not get chance to speak to him. Had another tea in Cairo & missed train at Bab-el-louk by two minutes. Waited there till 10.30 pm train. Little excitement at Turkish Prisoners Camp. Three suspicious characters seen & challenged. No answer. Fired on, missed, run away, & chased, some of the 7th L.H. given 20 rounds & sent down. Territorials did not get them. Fired about 20 shots in all.
[Note in margin:] Molly’s birthday
1st - British cruisers destroyed forts & swept four miles of Dardanelles for mines & bombarded inner forts. Took hat over to Indian tailor to get pressed & done up. Another batch of L.H.F.A., got fined 3 days’ pay & 21 days CR. Took Australasion down to Sgt Phillips Capts Pitcher & Macdonnell started lecturing etc in dispensary. Darn nuisance.
2nd - Rec’d word had to take & treat all patients (Isolated & others) from
3rd - Busy filling stock bottles & fixing up "Bungalow" supply of dry stock medicine etc. Word rec’d
[Note in margin:] Wrote Dad
3rd – that C O’s of regts & units would be held responsible if regts etc not ready to move at a moments notice. Capt Pitcher told us, thought it was only matter of hours before we got notice to get ready.
4th – Cyst cut out from under tongue of chap. Patients moved to "Bungalow". A Sectn tent division excepting self moved down to take it over. Some of transport men went to get some wagons etc back. Boxing opened at Stadium at night. Word rec’d that no landing place in Dardanelles, hence our departure date indefinite. Went & brought drugs etc from Bungalow part of B sectns half of months supply.
[Note in margin:] Marriage in ranks
5th – Cut growths out of Greek’s eye Greek ex H.Qrs, also another go at Cyst at 4 pm. Went to 2nd Bgde Hd Qrs to ring up Major Barrett, for Capt Pitcher. Had warm bath at Bungalow & took washing to Armenian agreed to take part in stretcher bearers race at sports tomorrow. Yesterday a lance corporal of the 6th L.H. married an Aust or English young lady in the lines Capt Tubman officiated. Cheered by some of L.H. on his departure in a cab. Young Lady, sposed to have money. Went over to Indian Tailor for washing etc. Met Garbutt & went to French shops, result
left a bought two silk blouse pieces & table centre & handkerchief to send home.
7th – Church parade. Absent from it. Went over with two patients to citadel Hsptl in motor ambulance. Saw where alleged cannon ball of Napoleon stuck in a wall. Magnificent ceiling. Some Queensland nurses there. Returned
[Note in margin:] Third Brigade arrived Sunday
7th – about 3 pm. Motored round to Prisoners camp on way home. Dave came out in afternoon. Went back about 7 pm. Said they had routine order stating they were going to a cold country on Tuesday 16th inst. etc. Yesty’s sports a success. B section won SaB race. They collared our haversack. Also got two letters from Molly & one from Mater. Also 2 Mails & 2 Qlanders from Molly. Posted letters in Cairo at G.P.O.
8th – Brigade route march over desert. Whole brigade went about 5 miles out. Gene Birdwood inspected & displeased with it. Strong rumours that it will delay our departure. Rotten trip. Self as wagon orderly. Wind fairly strong & dust chewed from start to finish. 6th & 7th L.H. had bayonet charges etc. Third contingent L.H. Bde arrived at Alexandria.
9th – Usual biz. Had cold for about 3 weeks. Influenza developing. B sectn practising loading wgns etc. Capt Pitcher said, he had asked that I be transferred to B section. Our reinforcements expected tonight. Third contingent L.H. Bde going into camp at Mena Camp. Egyptian suffering from burst ear drum reported it. Heard later that Skelton was man who banged him.
10th – Got 68 piastres 2
11th – Capt Fraser orderly officer. Capt Pitcher arranging re court marshal Scott. Whole unit out in afternoon. Col Major Croll, Capts Buchanan Fraser & Macdonnell out also. Supposed to be Colonel’s inspection. Had rotten
11th – luck as usual. Struck four jibs.
12th – Got big mail 2 letters & 7 papers. Letter from Aunt Hannah. Court martial Scotty on. Major Righetti & Co waiting dispensary all day. Wrote Molly & Mater
13th – Busy all morning. Inspection of corps by Surgeon Gene Williams & Genl Fords. Everything went off without a hitch. Colonel gave couple of wrong orders, nothing unusual. Had bike on parade. Belier is satisfied with turn out. Court martial finished in morning. Verdict not given.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
14th – Unusual church parade! Busy in dispensary. Went out to Citadel in afternoon. Visited four mosques & saw tombs of various Sultans etc. most elaborately done up. Some silver & gold or Carved wood (ebony) etc. also massive silver cups on each side. Had take boots
14th - off in big mosque. Wonderful domes. Contains over 3000 electric lights which only lit twice a year. Natives here praying to stone pillars or something that style. Also on battlements & through hsptl. Went to Heliopolis. Dave not there but. Heard 4th infantry were to leave Tuesday. Back by 8.15 train Bab-el-louk.
15th – Letters from Molly also papers. Busy all day. Capt Fraser operated on man
16th – Usual routine of work. Registered letter (passed by Censor) received from Dad. Mater’s also enclosed.
17th – Scotty escaped Guard tent again lst night. Hauled up in Cairo 2 brought back. Got more stores etc. Splendid (??) purchasing etc. by Col.
18th – Got issued knives etc by authorities. No Lanyards. Also got roller dressing, Triangular bandage & 2nd field dressing
18th – Writing Mater. Got fowl coop bedsteads for camp use. Dirt traps.
19th – Straw to fill bags arrived Lyons & Holcomb got orders to take up duty on Hospital Ship at Alexandria – destination unknown. Presumed take certain cases back. Wrote Aunt Hannah, replying to her letter also Aunt Jack.
20th – Breakfast 7 am. Fall in 7.45 am. Full dress marching orders. Inspection by Colonel Ryrie. Goodness knows what for. 9 am Whole brigade moved out in desert. G.S wgns loaded with panniers etc. too much for horses. Wagon fell out & rejoined later. While waiting Inspn, hundreds of locusts flew overhead, making for Maadi. Back at noon Niggers followed us out selling oranges etc.
Yank took different photos of divisions while waiting inspn Got word had to go to Bungalows. Lyons & Holcomb left.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
21st – Heard that "Ulysses" had left Alexandria with 800 aboard. Church parade 10 am. C/8 held at Maadi Tennis Court. Lt Colonel there (Right Turn one pace step fwd etc.) Bishop of Jerusalem preached. Mac Innes or some such name. Nothing startling about his preaching. Millions of locusts in huge swarms filling the air & tackling anything green. Green
22nd – Woke up at Bungalow, floor harder than desert. Wagon for panniers etc up here. Barbat shot off his horse, (bruised hip) Bancroft 2nd Sig Troop
[Note in margin:] Monday
22nd - & man from 7th got knock on head by rifle (stunned) Nigger boy about 8 run over by military motor car & base of skull
slightly badly fractured, kid taken to Cairo. Doubtful if live. Later. Scalp wound & fractured jaw.
23rd – 1st & 2nd Contingent L.H. sham fight. 1st, 2nd, 3rd L.H. & NZ Rifles etc. camped at Maadi overnight. Arrived about 4 pm. Out on a four days’ trek. Did not see Dave. He called at camp, but I could not get down. Cleaned bike
up Three chaps of first contgt, brought into Hsptl 2 Influ 1 ptomaine. Sent Dave a note by some of 2nd L.H.
24th – 1st Ctgt moved on to Helouan. 2nd also out with them, part of way. Passed Bungalow. 8.30/9pm. Pay Day. Got the usual 68 piastres.
25th – 1st returned from Helouan. A section out making Dressing Stn. Helping Bob in Cook house. Called at 2nd L.H. lines about 7 pm. Missed Dave by 5 minutes. He called at camp & then went to Bungalow. Got on B. Sectn bike & caught up with him. He said their Col. Told them that all Austr & NZ troops would be out of Egypt after first week in April & that Destn was Dardanelles. Saw Wally Barrett & Charley Scott also. Rows at Canteen. Beer Barrels tapped & beer galore. Wires cut etc. Armed Guard put over barrel of beer (Bayonets fixed)
Another dressing stn drill etc. As we were going out, Cinematographic photos taken. Believe first Contgt taken also. Lined up near Turkish Prisoners camp & Lt. Col took photos. Also gave permission others to take them. 1st Contgt left for Heliopolis. Took their sick with them.
[Note in margin:] Saty
27th – Usual routine work. Nothing doing. Wrote Mater.
[Note in margin:] birthday Sunday
28th – Left by 1.38pm train for Cairo. Visited Museum & Zoo. Saw Mummies 5000 yrs old mummified seeds wheat date spuds & statues galore. All ancient Egyptians & Romans. Saw their jewellery weapons etc, also sacred bull skeletons. Saw all sort animals in Zoo. Met Bob Thompson at Café de la pais. Spent remainder of night till 10.30 parading streets etc. Posted letter as G.P.O. to Mater. Speaking to South Austrn L.H. Got into Rly carriage through window. Had been locked but door soon opened.
29 – Got letters from Dad & Molly, also batch of couriers. Ops for
4 5 discharged 8 admitted into Hsptl. Started letter to Molly.
2nd – Good Friday. Held as Sunday throughout Militia. Couple of operations in morning. Got letter from Labor party re voting etc., also couple of couriers from Molly. Went for short ride on bike at night. Big Row in Cairo last night Red Caps & Austrn & NZ troops. Rumoured 4 injured (wounded) & others by flying bedsteads wardrobes etc. Troops called out to quiet riots. About 50 troops arrested & to be dealt with under military law. Reported pianos wardrobe & furniture thrown out of window. Fire brigade turned out, also Ambulance. Nothing exciting. All leave to Cairo stopped on a/c of last night’s riots. Wrote Ede & Dave. Some of sig troops (wireless section) left last Thursday. Destn unknown. More rumours about going.
[Note in margin:] Easter Sunday
4th - Easter Sunday Went to Communion 8.45. Capt Tubman spike to celebrants after service stating in consequence of an order from Gen’l Birdwood, he had been forced to resign. His congregation objected & matter left in Capt Stanley’s hands. Report of Friday nights riots, from Army Hdqtrs, in daily papers. Sent cutting home to Molly. Today supposed to be the day from which winds change. All winds to be warm in future.
5th – Cyril Campbell sent Heliopolis. Gave Geo Goodchap letters to post for me. Three operations & 606 injections this morning. Warm wind blowing in afternoon. Passed by this weeks mail, Daily Mirror, War Budget & What to know about Egypt’ to Grandma also same book & book on Egyptian museum to Molly.
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
6th – Shifted camp from near 6th L.H. to near Cinematograph Tent. Cyril Campbell’s operation postponed. Opened some of Red Cross Goods Pyjamas, shirts, sox, pillow slips. Towels, handkerchiefs etc. First batch received. Brought on Car from Heliopolis Lucas & Co arrived.
7th – Pay Day. Cyril Campbell operated on for Double Hernia. Got couple of newspapers & a letter from Molly. Letter said Allan had volunteered for Flying Corps. Only 28 required. Not known if selected as yet.
8th – Still on fatigue. On for a week. Got about five papers & 2 letters from Qland. Wrote Jeannie & nothing exciting.
9th – Same as usual. Got 2 motor Ambs. out from Cairo, attached to our Corps. Went for bike ride to Toura & back.
10th – Same as usual in morning. Hurley nearly tossed a seven Artificial respiration for about 15 mins before regaining breath.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
11th – Miles & Campbell went out to tea. Saw Wally Barrett of 2nd L.H. Reg’t. Said they were going on a 5 days trek. Son of Right Rev. Dr Robertson made himself known to me. Worked till 9pm assisting Stockwell. Wrote to Mater.
12th – Operation for Hernia in morning. Very interesting. Capts Buchanan & Pitcher explaining everything. Capt Fraser gave anaesthetic Rough kit-bag inspection in afternoon. Heard today that we were to go to Alexandria very shortly. Got shirts sox, handkerchiefs out of Red Cross Goods sent out by Surg. Gen’l Williams. Posted letter Mater & Jeannie.
[Note in margin:] Wednesday
13th Usual duties. Rough up kit inspection in afternoon by Capt. Buchanan & S Sgt Phillip. Aust Mail delivered. Letter from Mater, & batch of nine papers. Dressing stn practiced today as well as yesty. Went out & assisted. On Returning got word of man hurt & my wagon with Trew & Pallet drivers & Macdonnell B men went out about 2 miles other side of Napoleon’s large fort. Man brought home round road. Came on to road village beyond
12th Miles accompanied unit for D Stn practise Sgts Choat & Kavanagh attempted rig up tent.
16th – Usual Routine worse
17th – Usual routine worse
Saturday Got letter from Molly same date as Mater’s rec’d Tuesday.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
18th – Arranged to get leave but Dave arrived here about Noon. Had got day off. Did not go out. He caught 7.15pm train to Cairo. Posted papers to Grandma ‘Sphere’ Land & Water & photos from Dave enclosed in them. He also sent some to Molly & Mater.
[Note in margin:] Monday
19th – Got L.C. from Jeannie & letter from Molly. Molly had got my letter containing description of trips. Went out dressing stn practice in morning. Petrified wood & shells in galore also plenty mica under surface of sand. Working 5.15am to 7.55pm
20th – Got Bulletin, mail & couriers from Molly. Wiggins in bed crook. Very busy, no time to look round.
21st - PAY DAY Case of pneumonia & chap very high temp, put into special ward upstairs. Detailed to look after them. Sgt. Choat on
21st – Brigade Police Duties. About 11pm a man from 6th L.H. sent to Heliopolis suffering from acute appendicitis. Worked on till 12 md Anderson relieved me.
23rd – More of first contingent arrived. About 11 in all here. Pascoe of Reinforcements sent here to assist us. Bicycle missed & discovered at Nile Café. Cheine up before Harold Preliminary enquiry. Maadi picnic held for soldiers widow & kids yesty. Few fm here went to it.
24th – Got letters from Mater & Dad. Gave evidence of identification of bike Brought it up from café & gave receipt for it. 2 more first Ctgt brought in.
25th Heard S.Sgt Phillips made W.O. All seem pleased with his apptmt.
26th – Dave arrived ex Helouan. Came to write letters. Went back about 7.30pm train. Wrote Dad at night.
27th – 1st Contgt Light horse arrived back about 11.30am camped Maadi. Posted Dave’s & my letters to Mater Dad Molly Jeannie. Dave sent photos.
28th – Sixteen (16) of first Contgt discharged & went back to Heliopolis. Detailed for night dity. Cleaned bike up thoroughly. Got p.c’s of 2nd L.H.F a camp &
[Note in margin:] Australians first fight (Infantry)
29th – Report Received of Allies landing at D’nelles General rumours indicate heavy losses to Austns. Rumoured 600 killed 2000 wounded. Some of wounded arrived Heliopolis today. Queenslanders reported to have suffered most. 3 Pontoons sunk by shrapnel & shell fire. Seems
pretty as if it is correct to a certain extent. Locally nothing published about allies losses. Got issued with helmet & cardigan jackets today. All doors & windows rendered fly proof by gauze doors.
April & May
30th – Goodchap & Ducket sent to Heliopolis to assist in
unloa transporting wounded. Some of wounded brought blood stained bayonets back with them. Very cheerful & humorous crowd of them. Specially fitted Hospital trains conveying them. Some did slipped up to Shepheards Hotel & brought back by Guard. Territorials in ecstasies over Austn wounded. Qlanders reported to have suffered most, had place of honor & led the charge.
May 1st – Wounded arriving all day. Some sent Mena, some Heliopolis & some Kasr-el-Aini & Luna Park also filled up with 2000 beds. Miles Stockwell Campbell "A Sectn & Anderson (Cpl) Anthony & Strachan (B) went. Also Capts Buchanan & Macdonnell & Major Croll.
2nd – Slept till 11am, then went out to see wounded if possible. No pass, so couldn’t get in.
No Went on to see Dave instead. No truth in
2nd – Colonel’s yarn about leaving next day. Their reinforcements had been asked for volunteers for field Amb. Presumably to replace 3rd F.A. (Qland) which blown to pieces by shell fire. Got photo taken 3pm & collected them same night. Dozen pic’s. Posted letter to Mater. Met Bob Thomson in town at night. Jimmieson, Mick (Cook) with him. Back by 10.30 train. Lt Col. Took over Dr B’s hospital work. Roaring a treat on Choat & Wiggins.
3rd – On Day duty again. Wounded still arriving. Still no official list or names published. Orders for 12 men wanted at Alexandria.
4th – Capt Fraser & bearers left for Alexandria to assist transferring wounded from boats to trains. Also Ward (A.V.C.) & others left for Suez docks to go back to Aust. Lt. Col. did dressings, roaring a treat at me getting in his light & laughing
4th – at him. Got about 8 newspapers from home & Molly. No letters so far. Mail still being sorted.
5th – Wrote Aunt Amy & Aunt Hannah sending photo to each. Got letter from Molly.
[Note in margin:] Thursday
6th – Got letter from Mater. Had Stuart’s there for Easter. Nothing doing almost got a Q.T. Same old routine work. Colonel still mucking up the work.
7th – Friday L.H. asked if would volunteer as infantry. Decided Yes. First also volunteered. Got orders to be ready to leave Monday later on, altered to Wednesday 25 % to be left behind to look after Horses. Great joy in camp.
[Note in margin:] Saty.
8th – Tried for pass but too late. Choate & Wiggins in first. Mine put off till tomorrow. Dave left by 9.30 train enroute to D’nelles. All were as infantry.
[Note in margin:] Sunday Dave left
9th – Went out to Heliopolis & saw wounded. Saw explosive bullet wounds. Had a look at Cairo stn. Enquired & found Dave had gone. Found Regt had left at 9.30pm previous day, gone enroute to Dardanelles. Lucas with me.
10th - Took part copy of contents of panniers. Slept in afternoon. On night duty.
11th - Heard definitely in camp that we were to leave Saturday. List of ‘likely to be discharged patients taken. Packed kit bag & rolled coat.
12th – Started on home letters probably the final from Egypt. Wrote Joe & Dad. Camp making preparations etc to leave.
13th – Wrote Aunt jack Jeannie Molly Mater. On night duty. Sleeping. Heliopolis crowd. Capt B & Co. came back.
14th – Heard that Lt. Col. Bean relieved of his job as CO. & that Major Macdonald
[Note in margin:] Friday
14th – of
All Nearly all packed. 2nd L to F.A. leaves Maadi Mid at 15th, Cairo 5.30am 16th expect arrive Alexandria noon & embark straight away SS Menominee. Major Croll in charge not Major Mac.
15th – Completing packing & taking "Bungalow" stuff to camp in morning. In afternoon Brigadier announced to L.H.F.A. that transports were not to go. Great disappointment for them. Bearers wgn orderlies & tent division & 5 officers going. Also time of leaving altered to 8pm. Cheers etc before leaving all happy cheering & singing "Tipperary" & other songs on way to stn. 5th Marched from Bab-el-Louk stn to Cairo stn also singing & cheering any white girls we saw. Wishart, Guthrie & another dropped out on a/c of pace.
[Note in margin:] Left Maadi
15th – 5th Regt first leave Cairo stn. 6th & L.H.F a next, then 7th L.H. Some of L.H.F.A. including self stood on our dig & wouldn’t nor be imposed upon & pushed anywhere so missed our train & travelled by goods in cattle wgns. Fun with officers at Cairo stn over stretchers & embarking. Eventually we hunted some off the platform. Stretched out on paper later & got about 1 ½ hrs sleep. Wilkie, Geo Goodchap &
[Note in margin:] Alexandria Sunday
16th – about 6.15am, unloaded & reloaded equipment on boat. Breakfast about 9am. Cooked our own (Rob did). Had snack at J.W.C. Assn on wharf. English people there. Enjoyed it. Duffy & I wandered around looking at boats & Territorials etc. Dinner 7pm. No leave granted. 5th 6th & 7th L.H., 2nd L.H.F.A., some of 3rd L.H. Bde & NZ Red Cross on board. Boat packed like sardines. Standring & I camped
16th – in Dispensary. Boats left at 5pm. Only two with troops. Deserters on board supposed to be twenty or thirty of them. Bed about 8pm. Dead beat on a/c of no sleep for week.
17th – Reveille six am. Fall in after well deck 9am. Very dirty boat the Lutzour. German throughout & crew chiefly Greeks & Italian. Spattering of others also. 2046 troops aboard, packed like sardines. Guard of troops armed on look out fro submarines. Busy in dispensary all day. Sick parades etc. Dispensary dirty NZ men previously using it. During afternoon, passing through Greek archipelago. Supposed to go to Lemnos, there to get instruction. Rumours of large army landing there.
18th Passed jagged rock about 9am. Large sick parade again. Kept going all day.11am parade for stowaways. Allotted to different units & regts. Passed cruiser about 5.30 & empty transport
[Note in margin:] Firing
18th – Heading for land about 5pm. Flashes of fire from guns plainly visible on twilight. Twilight till about 8.15pm. Anchored about 8pm midst large number of transports. Heard artillery fire later on & distant booming of guns. Also saw flashes & illuminating rockets late on in night. About 4 to 5 pm. Passed high white cliffs also saw several aeroplanes hangars & tents of camps. Aeroplanes apparently returning after reconnaissance.
19th – "Reveille" (Silent) at 5am. Another transport swinging with wind & being empty scraped side of our boat the ‘Lutzour’ with her nose, smashed starboard gangway & scraping
cleaning paint off. T’port F. 18 French boat which did the damage.
19th Raining lightly. First rain since arriving in Egypt. B’de orders . Fall in 6am. Breakfast 7am. Disembark. Anchored off Cape Helles.
19th – Playing cards after dinner. Throughout day desultory firing by land batteries & in afternoon
hearing French cruiser about qtr of mile off, sent few shells into Turks & Turkish Village. Flash & roar of shells very plain. About 6.15pm shifted from mooring about 15 miles further up Gallipoli Coast. Saw where Austns had first landed & made bayonet charge. Other transports also there waiting. Bed early. Hearing Machine gun Rifle Maxim 20th – Balloon went up from a boat a boat
[Note in margin:] Lighters Reindeer & Clacton – used for disembarking
Disembarking commenced about 1pm two tugs or transports each holding about 200
20th - & which had been hit by warships but battery always disappeared. When in punt or pontoon first shrapnel shell passed overhead & burst 100 yds further on. Marched up to position about 7.15pm & commenced digging Dug-outs. After turning in about 9pm were called out to unload barge of Equipment & to bring pannier etc up to
as our camp. Guide lost his way so did we & doubled on our tracks. Firing very heavy all time & when unloading mules etc. & returning shrapnel shell in quick succession burst within 80 or 90 yds of us. Same time the beach was shelled & several hit. Sentrys advised us to get out of valley as hundreds had been killed & it was known as Death Valley. However we returned to Camp & met others coming up with stretchers of blankets & G sheets. Hard find way again. Eventually we got there & were turned out again by the Major to fix our dugouts which were not shrapnel proof. Turned in at 5AM midst heavy howitzer & rifle fire howitzer fire shaking hill on which we
20th – were camped. Up again at 7am
[Note in margin:] Friday
21st – Digging Dug-outs all a.m. & shifting panniers & other stuff from beach slept in afternoon. Firing not so heavy throughout night. Aeroplanes overhead. Big shell exploded in hill not far off camp, covering us all with dirt.
22nd – Raining lightly in morning, made grey clayey soil very sticky & uncomfortable. Preparing for building hospital this afternoon. Went down to beach & brought all our equipment up & left same at foot of Gully. Sgt. Morgan & Cpl Webb, slept there.
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
23rd – Wrote military p.cs & letters to Mater & Aunt Jack. Dead man named Jones of 4th inf. (Vic) found over hill. Identification disc taken. Relics bayonets, cartridges, belts etc found. Went for swim on beach & drew rations in afternoon. Arrangements made for shifting camp to near 3rd Fd. Amb Started Dugouts
[Note in margin:] Italy declared War
24th – Digging our dug-outs in new position. Armistice to bury dead arranged between Austns & Turks. from 9am to 4pm. Visited trenches about noon Gruesome sight. Hundreds of bodies Turks 12 to 1 lying about unburied. Cartridges & equipment galore. Some found with trench tools in hand having started dugouts when bowled over. Capt Robinson told me they had found Lieut Roberts’ (Alf’s cousin
brother) body. All or most of Austns buried, estimated about 2500 or 3000 Turks dead. Hills took wind out of us, climbing them seemed impossible to charge up. Top like plateau & Austns scattered over it killed whilst charging, some riddled with bullets, skulls perforated. Sleeping in dugout with Miles & Wiggins. Sniping after armistice over. Austns in splendid & almost impregnable positions. Seems as if big movements of troops pending. Rumoured big fort (supposed Kilid Bahr)
24th - Undermined & Turks given 24 hrs to surrender. (25th only Rumour)
[Note in margin:] H.M.S "Triumph" sunk by torpedo.
25th – All on Fatigue in morning fixing fireplace for cookhouse & getting brambles for burning. Finished Dug-out today. Rained fro time in afternoon. Most & heaviest so far. Battleship HMS "Triumph" torpedoed by German subm. just off beach. Sank in 35 minutes. Saw her turned over & boilers burst. Looked as if she was firing to the last. Turned on her starboard ® side for about 20 minutes then slowly sank. All tugs out to rescue of crew. Destroyers flying round trying to ram or locate submarine. Could not & submarine evidently escaped. Triumph was an old battleship & came from China seas to Mediterranean after Kia-chau fell. Third visit of submarine first time she scored. Destroyer (or Triumph) missed her when firing. Triumph only about 2 miles distant from us. Big crowd
[Note in margin:] X Bob Thomson &
25th – watching her when Turks sent shrapnel at us. As usual missed & no one hurt. Tugs etc. also shelled by shrapnel, apparently from fort (Kilid Bahr). Triumph sank about 12.30pm. During afternoon piece of shrapnel shell (ring of nose) flew between half a dozen of us missing us by less than a foot, just brushing past Eddie Miles’ nose & Pat Kelly’s head. Whilst shifting
goods equipment etc & waiting for donkeys to come, two bullets cut insulation of telephone wire four feet above our (x) heads. L 7.15pm Chap passing by, said he had heard from Hd. Qtrs. That they got Submarine half an hour after Triumph sank. Neither confirmed nor denied. Dug-out comfortable.
26th – Went round to see Scott. Missed him by ten mins. He had left for the trenches on Pope’s hill. Sent him note & home letters by Spr Robinson. Passed the Hell’s gates & up to Death trap, doubling from shelter to shelter several chaps on beach killed & number
26th – wounded shrapnel on beach. One with mail bag blown to pieces. Shrapnel again bursting over us. More narrow escapes. 17 sniped in morning at Death Trap. Fourth reinfmts & first repairs of those first landed arrived. Two killed & 10 wounded in process of landing. Wrote Jeannie
ag today asking her to fwd letter to Mater, when read. 2 ozs tobacco or cigarettes & box matches issued weekly to troops, also rum to those going to trenches of wet nights. Sir Ian Hamilton & Genl. Birdwood visiting Austn positions today orders prohibiting men leave camp without pass issued. Got newspapers Sun & World News this afternoon, should have got same before leaving Maadi. Chap killed at our own water tank. Evidently spent bullet.
[Note in margin:] Thursday
27 - Wrote p.c’s & letter to Jeannie. HM Battleship "Magestic" torpedoed but that they managed to beach her & she
27th – could still use some of her guns as a shore batty. In afternoon Bob Thomson & I walked over to 9th Battn of Infantry, met Dave Darke, Reg Brooker, Steele & few more of his friends. Brooker told me he was near Jack Roberts when he fell. Said he was as game & brave as any & fell with revolver in hand, leading his men & that dozens of Turks round about where he had fallen. Also went into trenches & had look thro periscope. Saw town of
Gallipoli Krithia & Turkish trenches also Turkish snipers outfit thro same, also machine guns & fort. Got five rounds of Turkish ammunition from one of them, gave field dressing away & fixed up chap’s hand with Iodine. Wigg made risoles out of bully beef & biscuit & biscuit pudding. Good tea of same. Three chaps wounded by shrapnel while in swimming off our camp. Camp named "Anzac" (Aust & NZ Army Corp). Saw good shooting by our 18 pdr. About eight or ten shots, put into a Turkish trench. Trench blown up.
27th – for about 50 yds. Reported that Turks blew up part of one of our trenches on left wing, killing two & wounding eight. Same was expected as preparations for same visible. All enjoying life thoroughly. Enough of bullets & shrapnel flying to make dodging a sport. About four still dead scared of it. Amusing the manner in which they keep to their dug-outs. Samson (aviator) dropped two bombs on Turkish position yesterday & also dropped one from his bi-plane again today. Futile shots fired at him also M.G. firing. Three boatloads of mule carts drifted on to beach near Turk position. Turks went to capture same when destroyer opened fire on them & cut them up. Chaps of 9th said they thought Turks were putting 7 new guns in position. Couple of Armenians
captured surrendered, who gave valuable infmtn, & enabled our gunners to blow up Turkish gun.
28th – Splendid weather continues. Shrapnel rather more frequent & beach shelled.
[Note in margin:] First Casualties
29th - [Note in margin:] Our unit’s first casualties caused by shrapnel this morning. Pettinger, pellet thro arm & entered body near liver. Serious. Duffy, flesh would in forearm. Moran pellets thigh & arm. Ashby, humerus
arm broken (compound). Last night, bullet whizzed past nose & buried itself in ground Hospital ship in port (? Port) M.G section of one battn of inf passed by at night.
29th – From about 2.30am to 8am. Turks pouring shrapnel into our valley. Some of 5th L.H. & infantry winged by shrapnel. Turks blew up part of our trenches & occupied them. More anticipated & when occupied two MG’s opened fire & not one escaped.
Either 2nd L.H. or 15th inf. occupied trench, also charged & captured Turk trench & retired. About 150 casualties our side, very heavy losses to Turls. Dug further in, for cookhouse. Shrapnel too frequent & close for safety. Whole valley shelled – evidently trying to get at
29th – of their bread. Seemed tough & indigestible. Went for swim in afternoon, Captn Mac, came with us, he did not stay long no sooner in, than out & home. Turkish snipers (2) caught last night, also about 20 prisoners captured. Enquired at office of clearing hospital for name of wounded. Not there so far. Reports that Turks silenced one of our battys, also large number of troops to reinforce. Report about batty not confirmed. Out men captured an M.G. last night. Turkish snipers in
most awful condition, been there for weeks, when captured, been there for weeks, when captured, one attempted to sing out & attract attention but was quickly silenced for ever. Our men crept up on them in darkness.
30th – Grandma’s 85th birthday. Morning very quiet. About 12.30pm. Our guns started firing quickly. A Ruse to draw the enemy’s fire so as to assist N Z’s & perhaps some of 2nd L.H. on extreme left wing
captured three trenches & two MGs also partly filled in one trench & left part open & allowed Turks to occupy. Directly Turks
open occupied, our MGs poured in upon them a terrific enfilading fire & annihilated them. In afternoon 1pm to 4pm shrapnel burst & poured down upon our valley & dug-outs in torrents. About 3.15pm it stopped for few minutes & at 3.30 we got out of our dug-outs & looked round when shells shell burst on hill ahead of us & stray (?) pellet hit E.A. Wiggins on the head & went through his brain (Compound fracture). Poor Wigg died at 4.35 & was buried with others in burial ground in shrapnel fully about 8pm. Col. Green senior chaplain read service. Did not go, had only under trousers, others soaking. I was on outside Eddie Miles on other in side of him, his head on a level with my nose. He seemed to stand up for about ten seconds before falling staggered & fell back over
30th – Eddie. He was very pious & sincere. Read his bible all morning & tried to get Eddie & I to join him in singing hymns. We joined in some. Dugout like a butcher’s shop. Slept with Sgts Stratford & Choat, Eddie with Mr Campbells Shells & parts thereof picked up later. Overcoats, blankets, G Sheets, panniers, pints & almost everything outside perforated. Heaviest fire so far. Two men from howitzer also injured (not serious). Wrote Alf Roberts, about Jack’s death etc. Aeroplanes flying round all day long. One of our 18 pdrs had sights damaged & temporarily put out of action. OK later on in evening. "Mauritania" off Cape Helles with troops. News received that British Subm. went out on a 12 day cruise, & sank. 4 Turk gunboats & two T’port. Penetrated as far as Golden Horn.
[Note in margin:] Report "Goeben" sunk. Making respirators
31st – Captn Pitcher brought news that Goeben had been sunk in Sea of Marmora by Austn. Subm. AE2. Said that her
supply of torpedoes had exhausted otherwise would have done more damage. Reported to have got within 40 yds of Goeben. Nothing confirming same so far. Busy making respirators all afternoon. Piece of lint placed between a piece of flannel doubled over it. Lint afterwards dipped in solution of hypo sulphite of Soda. Expected that Turks will use poisonous gases tomorrow (June 1st) & forewarned is forearmed. Bon took flowers & placed on Wigg’s grave. Few sleep on beach about that time, otherwise quiet all day. 7th L.A. camped where 5th LH had camped. Something doing in bay, evidently enemy Subm about. Destroyers very active & aeroplane flying & hovering around. Supply ships shifted out further. Went thro Wiggs kit etc. Took
list inventory of same & sent his personal effects to Hd Qtrs to be sent home. Cleaned up & deepened our dug-out
1st – Very quiet morning. Our artillery did little firing. Turks did not reply evidently conserving their ammunition. Gave our valley a short but thick dose of shrapnel in afternoon. Went with party for rations. Reported that British & French had taken part of big hill (Eski Kene ??) & suffered heavy losses. Nothing during night occurs in trenches. Three of 7th L.H. smothered during nights. Dug out fell in on them.
2nd – Not found till morning. Buried at 9am. Troop marched (with arms reversed) to cemetery. Issued with trousers (Khaki slacks) today. Went for a swim in morning Rocky bottom. Took in our first hospital patients one (influx) kept in, other two sent to clearing hospital. Pat again troubled with donkeys walking on his dug-out. Wrote Cliff Stockwell. Reported that British aeroplanes damaged wharves & killed troops in Constantinople.
[Note in margin:] Wednesday
2nd – Dug Howell from 9th inf, here in pm. Indians brought some japatti (or Gypatti) round. Dug Howell confirmed George Walker’s report of 50 of 9th who volunteered & took Turkish trenches. Turks run at sight of them. Got six others got too great a start. Shrapnel very near, one burst right on us, marvellous that on one hurt, another burst close & shrapnel rained down on panniers. We all ducked in time. Enemies signals (patrol) understood. Where light means, patrols have reached destination. Two red lights mean, patrols returning in haste & enemy charging. Reported that O/C 5th L.H. read out :-
Qtr master Sergt Major Gunner of NZ’s made to dig own grave & make it comfortable & was shot as a spy, also that Lt/Col Beitz of 10th L.H. arrested as spy. Also spy in 5th L.H. Actions suspicious & when they went to arrest him he was missing.
3rd – King’s Birthday Capt Pitcher x’ferred to 3rd Battery to replace M.O. who was wounded on beach. Pauley went with him. Wrote military pc’s to Ede & Mater, also wrote Dad, Molly & Aunt (I) letters. Went to beach for rations
yesterday. Whilst there saw that Turkish forts had were shooting at an auxiliary supply ship. Fired about 15 or 20 eventually putting one in her stern deck. Do not know extent of damage caused her to move out. Very erratic shooting. Got about half gill of rum (first issue) on a/c of King’s Birthday. Saved mine in case of necessity arising for its use. Crow Dance called to see me.
4th - Eddie Miles & I went up to 2nd L.H. Regiment saw Scott, Charlie Scott Rufus Raabe, Walter Barrett, Muir, Thompson & others, also enquired of Bob T’s friends all OK. 2nd L.H. came out of trenches last Wednesday morning & this morning shifted camp to place
formerly camping at, so as to make room for 2000 reinforcements which arrived in a.m. Also speaking to Major Logan & Lockyer lads. Saps cut most of way up. Very little danger comparatively speaking to what it was before. Dave looked well & had had couple of narrow escapes, being in trenches when blown up by Turks. Had got a mail. Did not see any as he thought I had got mine & passed papers etc on & destroyed letters. Warships started bombarding forts near Cape Helles & Narrows going all day from about nine a.m. & continuing most of day. Rumoured big attack by our troops. Watched bombardment part of
after noon, Although about 7 miles away could clearly see clouds of dust raised by shells. Reports say that one fort blown up in morning (not confimed). Also reported that British had landed two or three 15" guns & traction engines at C. Helles. Road for
4th – same supposed to be already prepared. Geo Goodchap cut my hair, military crop. 9.45 pm. Bombardment still on distant booming of guns plainly audible. Fixed up two breaks in telephone wire. Break caused by a Sergt & mules. Might mean a lot to our troops, especially if attack made. Did not know termine of the wires. Two hospital ships handy in gulf. Officers sent their valises back. Transports fired on by fort. No damage done.
5th – Officially reported that NZ’s & Austns on (15th inf & 1st L.H.) on left wing captured two trenches but doubtful if they can hold same. Also that British Subm. sunk Turk Xport while loading troops at Constantinople Wharf & that troops
5th - up on hill near left flank. Early in morning shrapnel galore falling on camp. Piece of shell fell near my feet & just ducked in time to miss shrapnel. Lively time cooking breakfast but by acute hearing &
excellent Lightning ducking, got it finished unhurt kept in dug-out till about 10am 6ft. Howitzer & other guns lively during night (period of attack). During yestys naval bombardment 2000 Indians landed, south of Kaba-Tepe & towards C. Helles. Austrns & Nz’s took about 40 prisoners & large number wounded. Acorns Pine & holly trees (small) growing on peninsula. All small, apparently large trees have been cut down. Few acorns (nuts) lying round. Poppies finished blooming & few wild flowers out. Swimming stopped as Casualty corner. Other names of places etc "Shrapnel Gully, Howitzer Hully, Explosive Hill, Valley of Death, Dead man’s Valley, Cemetery Corner, Machine Gun siding
5th – Hell’s Gates, Death Trap, Suicide Gully, Courtney’s Hill, Quinn’s Post, Pope’s Hill Cross Rds, Walkers Hill, Colonial or Q’land Hill, Razor back, Hell’s pit. Our corps taking over sanitation of part of camp. News of war read out by W.O.
6th – Very quiet all day, perhaps quietest so far. News read out by W.O. Kitchener made K.G. British Subm. sunk German x’port in Sea of Marmora. Got letter from Ede, dated Jany 10th 1915. Add. L.H.F.A. 2nd Q’ld Exp. Force A.I.F. Melbourne. Rather vague, but letter very welcome, being first rec’d at Anzac. Chap with appencitis x’ferred to No 1 clearing hospital, beach, Anzac. Eddies Miles saw Dave on beach, had been in swimming. Could not get up here,
7th – On fatigue carrying water for cookhouse. Went for swim. Missed Dave by few mins. He had been down swimming. Got first Austrn letters since leaving Maadi. Recipients greatly pleased & in good humour. I got none from Mater.
[Note in margin:] Monday
7th - Rec’d some from Molly, Aunt Amy & Aunt Hannah. Great letter from Aunt Amy. Wonder what home people would think if they could see us in our dug-out, shrapnel & bullets raining outside while we inside are reading our letters & are as happy as old Larry. All disappointed no papers being received. All hope papers yet to come. Eddie Miles had letters from Holcomb, he being aboard the Hospital ship Sicilia working between Alexandria Lemnos & Malta. Rather quiet thro’out day. Beach raked by shrapnel in morning. One slightly injured. Rumours very current about peace conferences & ultimata with Turkey being discussed at Constantinople. Nothing official concerning same. Also rumours of Austns being sent either to France or German Africa. All seem certain that Turkey cannot last long & seems done up. News of
7th – Zeppelin raid on London & good news of Allied & Italians advancing rapidly.
8th – Went over to 9th inf with Bob Thomson heard there that allies had advanced 12 miles & surrounded 300,000 Germans & that 65,000 Italians had landed at Maidos. Officers report but no confirmation rec’d. Results of Zeppelin raid on London. Three fires started & 1 man, 1 woman, 1 child or baby killed. Zeppelin’s only reached outskirts. Result of bombardment of 4th. British & French advanced about 500 yds but both flanks owing to severe enfilading fire had to retire, centre only retaining captured ground (official press). Had letter card from Jeannie, dated Good Friday. Had not been well, run down looking after baby. Rumor about some of dredges being stopped after
Easter June. Bread & fresh beef to be issued every second day, in future if possible. Bakery (
8th – Extreme Right flank report that Turks visibly retreating at C. Helles.
[Note in margin:] Put Cross on Ernie’s grave
9th – On Sanitation committee again. Tonight, our forces (probably NZ’s & others on left) going to attack Quinn’s Post. 11th inf
& 22nd L warned to that effect. Sgt Choat visited beach, got cheers on leaving & our dug-out cheered him on his return. Somebody put notice on notice board mentioning his visit. The W.O. took him His first visit getting quite game now!!! More news about Subm E 11’s feats in Sea of Marmora. Last couple of days practically no shrapnel but about 4.30pm Turks fired about 15 over our Valley. No one hurt. Our guns had been trying to draw their fire all day. 6" Howitzer men shifted dug-outs further down Eddie M roared at by Major for going out before shrapnel finished. (Reckless exposition) Twilight till 8.40pm. Still playing cards by twilight at 8.40pm.
10th – Attack on Quinn’s Post did not take place owing to leakage of information regarding same. Went for swim in a.m. rather cool but enjoyable. While out on inspection of camp sanitation, we were shelled with shrapnel. Rather too close to be comfortable; nevertheless no one hurt. Sauntered over beach morning & afternoon. On a good wicket. Valley shelled both early mng & afternoon. No casualties. Saw Brown ex Sig Troop. Their section is on extreme Right. Reported seven bomb throwers (Jap) landed. Sent Military pc’s to Mater Jeanne & Aunt Amy. Also wrote Mater.
[Note in margin:] Friday
11th – Went over to 2nd L.H. Regt. A Squadron were in Sniper’s trench. Saw Dave. Looked well & fat. He expected mail today. Showed him letters from Molly, Aunts Hannah, Amy also from Ede & letter card from Jeannie. On Hospital duty. Nothing to do only one patient in. Wrote Molly & Aunt Jack (conjointly). About 2pm a Turkish 6" shell lobbed about 15 or 200 yds.
11th – away. Lot of soil sent flying & base of shell lobbed a few yards off our dug-out. Driving band was made of lead, proving the scarcity of copper there. No damage done. Evidently aimed at Indian mountain battery. Another dose of shrapnel about 6pm. Ross Burrell had narrow squeak. Pellet made flesh wound on temple. Sent
on to away for few days. Gilson also got arm grazed by same shell.
12th – Big mail arrived for our corps. Got letters from Dad, Mater Cissie (for Mater) & Molly also large batch of papers, about twenty in all, including about 3 weeks Couriers 3 Mails 3 Qldrs, 2 Suns 2 World News. No scarcity reading matter in camp. Latest date was "Sun" May 2nd. Gave names of wounded officers but no names of privates or N.C.O.’s or totals. Dad sending registered pcl (pencils). Don’t suppose I will get same. Spent afternoon reading letters & papers etc. Dad said in letter that Miss Mollie Gunn had been up.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
13th – Day opened with 4 funnelled cruiser bombarding Turkish Right wing. Went up to 9th inf & into their sap. They said that the cruiser was the Dublin same type as the "Sydney" & was practically her first bombdmt. Said they were shelling Turkish Hd Qtrs. H.M’s cruiser "Bacchante" also sent few shells on to Kaba Tepe. Other boats also bombarding down at C Helles. Went into sap cut by 9th but did not get to end of it. A Major in way & blocked our passage. Had peep thro’ look outs, nothing to be seen. Read papers all afternoon. Aeroplanes flying very low. Dropped 3 bombs on Turkish positions. Reported that first did damage. Distinctly saw bombs released. Aeroplane on returning flew directly overhead scared a couple of chaps into dug-outs.
14th – No work to do. Read Q.T’s from W. Saw a/c of tablets unveiled in All Sts Churchs Marburg. Colin Campbell & I went for swim. Sea running
14th – very high, highest I’ve seen. Also rather dirty. Mick Gunn turned up at our camp. Destroyer bombarding near Olive Grove
supposed Thought to be Turkish transport of supplies. Fort returning fire, shooting wide at times, some fairly close. A Lieut who knew me but whom I couldn’t place, called to see poor old Wiggie, he got shock when he heard he was killed. Came from Bismarck same place as Wigie.
15th – Hydroplane flying round the supply ships etc in the bay, evidently watching for
the a subm. Ammunition boat probably there. Got long letter from Jeannie, ackg receipt of blouse. Had got muslin one instead. Postal or Custom had evidently mixed up two labels & sent wrong parcel – "Mrs Fitzgerald Warwick" was on back of label. Wrote Jeannie a fairly long letter. Back of paper label (
[Note in margin:] Barrels of Wine washed up on beach
15th – Two or three casks of wine washed up on beach. Possibly off "Triumph" A.S.C. fell to & got dixies full etc. Our corps missed it. Somebody shook tin of tobacco from dug-out early yesty evening. Was tin I was keeping for Dave.
Later Chap passed by with about 7 or 8 gallons of wine. Several of us went down to beach & saw military police wade into water & smash a cask (100 gals). All wasted. About three or four on beach emptied. Another cask coming in. Waited a while but seemed too slow, so came home. Those who waited got it. Reported that 19 down at Kaba Tepe all drifted in. Number of chaps fairly full. Bob T’s friend got kerosene tin full & brought him a bottle & Ebenezer Bateman brought jam tin full. Wine was splendid claret. Thought to have drifted or come from a Greek transport that was sunk in their attempt to land here some time ago. Rough weather appears to be breaking up vessel. One killed & five injured of 7th by shrapnel. Str. Bearer killed
[Note in margin:] Hoax that America declares War & Advance at C Helles by
16th – On hospital duty. Capt B. returned to dug-out. Heard that Burrell in danger of losing his eyesight. Shrapnel fairly perished all day. Reported that troops at C Helles advanced a mile, losing heavily thereby.
Officially The W.O posted up that America had joined the Allies & that Major Charley had left for England with 3 inventions. Bomb thrower, trench drainage, & camera obscura for rifles, also mention of kite & bomb releaser. Officially (?) announced that English had advanced 1 ½ miles their side & the French 1 mile on other side past Aka Baba & that our cavalry were seen advancing & were fired on by Turks & their rifle fire & cheers could be heard by our right flank. I heard cheers but think they must have been our men giving answering cheers. Also said that the Turkish positions in front of Quinn’s post are to fall within 48 hours!!! & that very good infontn is to be rec’d within 3 days. Speaking to a chap who was
16th – formerly on
Bd Genl Birdwoods H Q staff said he saw it in black & white that Kitchener orders are that all fighting on Peninsula must be over by July 3rd & that if all goes as expected, we re-embark on June 29th. Doubt strongly authenticity of it. Geo Goodchap, Webby Horsely, Bob T. & others including self had concert (?) in cookhouse singing paradies mostly. Saw Sergt Major Ruddle of A Squad. 2nd L.H. Reg’t who called in.
[Note in margin:] Report that "Canopus’ (?) sunk
17th – filled tin with water. Picked up larger Turk shell, about size of 18 pdr. Went down to beach for a walk filled water bottle same time. Bob T. saw cask of claret with about 70 galls in it near Turk Trenches at Kaba Tepe. Had a drink & at night time, he, Sgts Morgan & Stratford started out water bottles but owning to searchlights of warship did not reach it. Urquhart of 5th L.H. said that they saw from the trenches. H.M. Battleship "Canopus" (?) sunk by Subm. Appears true but nothing
official yet. Another report says she was beached.
[Note in margin:] Friday
18th – Went up 2nd L.H. to see Dave. He had come out of trenches at 4 am & was in supports & was asleep in dug-out. He & Bill Bailey. Gave him Jeannies letters to read & got a few later Couriers & English paper from him. Saw Rufus Raabe also. Took patient
of back to 10th inf. Btn. Bob & Co. got no claret last night. Searchlights from boat playing on them. Turks landed 4 percussion shells few yards in front NZ Hd Qtrs. No damage done. Jim Burns & I went for swim. Water very clear & calm. Concert in 7th LH lines in evening. Some of our corps attended. Few shrapnel in evening. Geo Goodchap took list of orders for canteen ship. Mon 6th howitzer shelled Kaba Tepe. Sgts. Wilkie & Stratford, Cpl Guthrie, self & couple of others went for swim in morning. Water nice & clear. No hospital patients. Turks landing few 6th percussion on hills above us, also few shrapnel. Aeroplanes dropped & bombs Turk trenches.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
20th - Fairly quiet in morning. Wrote Mater & posted same in afternoon. Dug Howell came round. Toast biscuits issued Church service (informal) by Col the Rev McLeay or some such name & few sang songs after. Not bad Service started at 8 & concert finished 9.30. Held at 3rd A.M.C. Capt Buchanan x ferred to 12th btn infantry yesterday.
21st Filled tin at Indian Well. Indians pumping dry. Wrote Molly & Aunt Jack (conjointly) fancy it missed today’s mail. Big mail in on beach. Reported 291 (?) bags landed. Got letter from P.R. Mail not all sorted, more to follow. Cox & I went down with Q.M.S Morgan to canteen on beach to draw our shares. Got very little. Scored bottle of pickles & one of sauce (to get). Warships bomb’d’g Aka baba again. Destroyed also tuning up Quinn’s Post from near shore. Saw a number of what appeared to be X’ports going between two islands. Called out at 11.15 to take colitis patient to beach (6th L.H.)
22nd - Went for water in morning. Pump leaking very badly. Long waiting. Sent Dave tin tobacco & went up to 9th inf yesty. Saw Crow Dance. Warships bombarding Turkish trenches. French captured two or three & their artillery fire is plainly visible. Went for swim about 8 pm. All lights put out at night. Zeppelin had been seen & a raid expected. Made our slush lamp out of fat & rag. Serves purpose well.
23rd – Took patient back to 7th L.H. On extreme right flank. Scouting for water on beach. Whilst there; Shrapnel landed in amongst us & killed two, wounding several others including Sergt. Grice of clearing hospital, who had arm blown off. Swam ashore with it. Reported that two German aeroplanes passed over our trenches in morning. Our aviator chasing one & forcing it to descend. Concert held at our cookhouse at night. Some of 3rd F. Amb. Assisted in
23rd – singing etc. Lasted about two hours. Time passed rather quietly. Saw a/c of casualties (8th list) Austns 113 killed & 580 wounded. NZ’s 28 killed 480 wounded still coming in. In telegraph for May 8th was Corpl. F.H. Smith 9th batn. Taken for me & the notes made by Editor gave my details.
24th – Saw Major Croll about above report in Telegraph. He understood to show same to D.M.S. & have cable sent rectifying same. Scott came over to see me; had dinner here. Showed me home letters etc. had come out of trenches yesterday for spell which means fatigue sapping etc. Said Turks were undermining their trenches. Burn’s fountain pen for occasion dad unable read pencil. Saw Sydney mail of May 12th contained photos of few of casualties.
25th – Got good mail. Letters from Mater Molly (2) & Hilda Hudson, also got military pc from Dave, dated May 17th. Had gone to Egypt. Molly’s letter explained report of my being wounded. Mater got centre & Molly got papers also got unusual papers. H.M. Battleship "Lord Nelson" bombarding either trenches near Achi-baba or Narrows. Reported by Capt Pitcher, "Chanax" in flames. About 7pm, we got orders that we had to embark at 3am next day for Mudros Lemnos Island. Had take patient back to extreme right & pack up etc. Packed shells in box. All ready by 10.30pm. Slept
till about an hour & went down to beach 2am. Barge came about 5am, when small tug took us to larger tug & that took us to transport "Prince Abbas" Boarded her about 6am. 3rd L.H.F.A. also there. Reinforcements brought by her who went back with barge. Also had some mail. None for us.
26th – Unloaded equipment & put on to "Prince Abbas". Did not leave Anzac till between 5 & 6pm. During afternoon, our tub went alongside Hospital Ship & took about 100 patients on. Arrived at Lemnos Island about 9pm. Hospital ship "Gascon" also arrived overnight. In morning we x’ferred our patients to HMHS "Rowa" & about 11am. got orders to disembark.
[Note in margin:] Arrived at Lemnos Island
27th – Went in for swim off boat’s gangway. Water splendid & deep. Unable touch bottom. High diving done. Tent division & some of the bearers went ashore before equipment. Others came with it & all unloaded same on pier. Erected Hospital & dispensary tents in afternoon. At night Eddie Mills, Colin C. Bugler Williams & self, had walk down through village of Mudros. Got "London Times" of June 12th paid 4d for it. Village building mostly mud & few stone. Nice Church building. Plenty of windmills & flour mills. All grind their own flour. Some of buildings rather quaint.
27th – All sorts troops on Island including French Indian Egyptian, Zouaves (Algerians) Camped out in open at night.
[Note in margin:] Choat Guthrie & 19 men sent aboard ship.
28th – Reveille 6am, Parade 6.30. Breakfast 7.30am. Water fatigue. Got ten patients (wounded on stretchers) about 11am. Had had nothing to eat for 24 hrs. Given Bovril & cornflour. Throughout night another 25 arrived. Most of them territorials ex Cape Helles. Allies making another attack. Large number of wounded arriving. All reports point to attack being successful but heavy loss owing to heavy redoubts & strong trences. Krithia occupied & evacuated owing to being too far in advance of the line. Nr of (MG) guns & several large guns taken. Reports say that Austn 3rd Bgde had been sent down to reinforce.
29th – Assault still developing successfully. Austn 3rd Bgde in action. Another 31 wounded arrived in afternoon. Went for swim about 8pm. Sudden wind blowing with hurricane force sprung up about 8.15pm. Had to strike our marquee tent to save
June 1915 & July 1915
29th – it from being blown away & had to reinforce pegs & put extra pegs in hospital tents. Dust in thick clouds made mess of everything. All slept in No. 5 Hsptl.
30th – Bearers assisting in Hsptl work. Doing dressings
hospi in dispensary all morning. Patients taken to seaside for wash in afternoon. Rotten headache & cold. Another batch patients, chiefly Medical arrived about 4.30pm. Hospitals full up. Went for walk through Mudros at night. Saw them threshing wheat, by throwing up & the wind blowing dust & straw out of it. Grecian beauty helping. Back about 9pm. Erected Marquee for sleeping in. Patients dressings done in dispensary.
July 1st – Took patients for wash on beach. Wrote Mater in afternoon. Bought box writing paper 1/3 & packet rotten envelopes. Could distinctly read thro’ them. Guthrie & party returned through night. Had been on "Prince Edward", used as hospital boat. Had been at Cape Helles & saw bombardment.
2nd 1st – Tom Stafford & I went for swim. Saw wounded ex Anzac arriving Austn R wing had made "demonstration" feint attack. Captured Kaba-Tepe & evacuated it same night. Demonstration enabled British troops, (first of Kitchener’s oversea army) to land other side of Kabatepe, drawing their fire. Officially estimated 250 casualties. 5th L.H. led attack & 6th 7th & 3rd Bde Inf followed. 5th L.H. had 105 casualties. Most of stretcher bearers wounded.
2nd – Still off colour. Xferred some of our patients to base hospital. Taken to Alexandria. Wrote Molly in afternoon & got Dave’s letter back (censored). Repirted it same night. Heard that Turks had again attacked Quinn’s Post & were repulsed losing heavily. Reported 15 Austn wounded by same.
3rd – Same same. About 11am got word that we had to embark & take charge of hospital ship. W.O went over & when he came back said ship was very dirty & no accomdtn
3rd – endeavouring to get another ship. Supposed to be aboard 3pm. W.O said "Stand fast" until further advised 3rd L.H.F.A. taking over our patients. Later About 6pm we got down to wharf & all equipment loaded & all ready in boats, to move off, when Major Croll brought orders for us to disembark again. All doubtful as to whether a joke or not. However it was true & all got out, not one knowing what to do next, an English A.M.C. having taken over our tents & patients meanwhile Major Croll running round tried to get orders one way or another & abt 9.30pm we were told to bivouac for night & await orders in morning . All camped on beach.
4th – About 11am, we got orders to unload boat of panniers etc & on another boat which was due in few days time. Parade 3.30pm all men having to shave for the occasion. Capt B & Pat Kelly rejoined unit overnight.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
4th – At 3.30pm parade, Major Croll spoke about manner of dressing when on board shop being tidy etc. In evening Ted Miles & self went over to Mudros P.O. & got some Grecian stamps etc. Got couple of pc’s local views also. Bivouacked again on beach.
5th – Major Croll again went over to H’Qtrs on HMS "Aragon" & brought back word that we had to return to our former camp on hill. Still dilly dallying all afternoon, the R.A.M.C. that had taken over our camp evacuated it 4.30pm W.O QM’s gts visited storeships & got some stores including light khaki uniform slack trousers, & shoes. 1st L.H.F.A. arrived in afternoon. They had been doing gawk-act as well as we & had been on lo less than 15 different ships, besides losing trace some of their men including their Lt/Col. Our gawk-act still in progress 6.15pm, still waiting on beach. Carried all our luggage excepting panniers up to former came about 7pm Slept there
all at night. Brought up our
[Note in margin:] Monday
5th – box of shells etc. It felt light & we suspected it had been opened. On opening, we found that all tops excepting mine which was badly knocked about & sure to be recognized had been taken. Had four complete shells & only one remained. All three others spoilt thro’ thief. Have suspicions but absolutely nothing concrete to go on. Capt Fraser returned had not been out of harbour.
[Note in margin:] Report of Naval battle
6th – Cleaning up our old camp after R.A.M.C. men had left. Went for hospital water saw
men sailor off H.M.S. "Bacchante" Said "Bacchante" had fired over 500,000 rounds on peninsula during first week. Also said that they had got word by wireless naval action in Nth Sea. German fleet appeared off Middlesbrough. Our fleet chased & sank two (?) & third boat behind be "Seydlitz" disappeared off over horizon on fire fore & aft. Called later in evening & scored half a pound of tobacco for Scott. Said they had no further news re naval battle.
6th – Got issued with shoes, & light khaki uniform, also shirt & couple pair sox also cord
straits peninsula. Possibly going to force landing on straits’ side. Wrote Molly in afternoon. Got last letters from to Mater & Molly, returned as contg too much infmtn. Advised to post same at a base first opportunity.
7th – Wrote Mater in mng QM Sgt Morgan & party again went to store ship for stores. Went for Cook’s water. Went for swim in evening. Saw Pain of Allora ex No 1 Staty Hospital in water. Handed in paybooks.
[Note in margin:] Paid £1
8th Hospital duties. Got paid in morning. Two 10/- notes, issued by "British Imp Govt. (War issue). Nos Z 010223 & 4 kept Everything ready to go. Expect go on boat tonight. Yet no one taking it
8th – seriously previous experience, "once bitten twice shy" expected. Went down village in afternoon, sampled Greek wine Wine not bad. Crew of eight rowed Major Croll over to "
9th – Up at usual time. All ready at pier 9am. Took more wounded for ‘Ausonia" on barge. Arrived on "Ausonia" a cunard liner of about 15 000 tons at 11am. Took up work directly on landing. R.A.M.C. Corps went ashore. About 700 patients aboard. Saw Paine on board eye trouble. R.A.M.C. disembarked at 3.30pm. Teddy M & myself & Andy on C&D sectns. Left about 6pm. Passed boom at 7pm saw H.M.S. Cornwall, Royal George & nr of other warships.
10th – Very busy all day. Dressing & patients generally. Passing islands of Archaepelago all day. French Auxilliary Cruiser Lorraine, apparently patrolling
10th – came over & exchanged signals. Camping on deck. OConnor ex 5th L.H. told me Maurice
[Note in margin:] Alexandria
11th – Busy all day. Everything now in working order & good swing. Young Cassidy from
12th – Passed breakwater, & anchored at Alexandria at 6.30am. Fair am’t shipping in port, including
[Note in margin:] Ashore
12th – Mine intact, save for best tunic & breeches boots & hat taken, probably to replace wounded’s clothing. All same although others missing things. Wrote Molly & Mater in morning & gave to Red Cross people to post. Wrote Dave & Jeannie in afternoon & posted at night. About fifteen of us slipped over side of boat & went ashore in a sailing boat. Shops closed so could not get what I wanted. All restaurants & hotels closed at 10pm. Military picquets came up just as we were returning. Walked streets all night. Buildings & city far more Europeanised than Cairo. Barbar & Horsley returned about
13th – Left Alexandria for Malta at 8am. Water choppy & boat pitching a little. Not as good as "Borda". Nothing of any importance happened. Had an hour’s sleep in afternoon. Number inclined to be seasick.
14th – Same work over again. Capt B. still off colour. Sea calmer. Boat cutting out about 14 knots. Hot during day, lower wards ptclarly. Decks crowded with sleepers overnight. Cool wind blows all night, sometimes cold. No boats passed at all.
15th – Passed Cunard Liner "Mauretania" four funnels, between 6 & 7 in morning. Took gauze out of chap’s foot, gave him whiff of ether to do so. Started writing Dad. Light sighted off port side about 9pm. Speaking to Chief Electrician re landing on peninsula etc. Passed several smaller steamers during day.
[Note in margin:] Malta
16th – Malta in sight at daylight. Tug came up & gave us our orders re entering harbour etc. Entered at 7am and tied to buoy about 7.30 in morning. French cruiser four funnels passed into naval harbour or dockyard. Large town right on shores. Brick & stone buildings mostly. Some very large buildings, military barracks etc, being prominent. Entrance looks well fortified, big guns standing on hills overlooking mouth of harbour. Inner harbour very secure, narrow entrance & breakwater. Guns also commanding same. About half a dozen small steamers including "Dominion". "Inghoor" "Ruic", flying Quarrantine flag, tied up near entrance. All looked deserted. Hospital near beach. Started getting rid of patiens at 9.15 & all except R.M.L.I. away by noon. R.M.L.I. off in afternoon. Folded all blankets, tidied & swilled
16th – out down below & directly after tea all got leave to go ashore. Town of Valletta very picturesque. Three of us engaged a cab for 1½ hrs before dark & saw some of the outlying town. Numerous small gardens which looked like huge conservatories scattered over town, often surrounded by concrete moss covered wall 30 feet high. Holyander trees lining streets, prickly pear also cultivated as a food.
cactus Articles very cheap, postcards from 2d a dozen upwards. Cabs for 1/- an hour. Town of Silema not far distant. Motor ambulances plentiful, likewise donkeys. Milb Military band playing & judging by crowd in streets, must have been either a "Friday night" or a "Sunday night" in town. Large number of French people in streets. Maltese are rather a fine race, inclined to be dark but good featured.
[Silema (Malta) – actual name Sliema]
16th – Greeks & Italians also plentiful. Town clean & far above Alexandria. More like a European city & people are civilized. Some very fine buildings including "Opera House". Town decorated on a/c of celebration of some special days of giving bread to the poor. Went thro’ St Joseph’s R.C. Church. Very intelligent kiddie about 6 yrs old following us & explaining their customs. Number of people in church praying. Soldiers not allowed to sit down in a restaurant & not supposed to enter hotels. Both can be done if worked properly in outskirts of town. Landed back at "Ausonia" at 10 pm after spending a thoroughly enjoyable time in Valetta.
17th – Packed blankets in bundles to be sent ashore to be cleaned & sterilized. Maltese came aboard & thoroughly scrubbed & disinfected berths. Wrote in afternoon.
17th – Also posted post cards to Grandma Jeannie & Molly. All excepting 6 of corps went ashore about noon. I was one who had to remain. Left at 6pm. Had good feed Apple tart at Duke of Connaught’s home for soldiers. Home is a fine building erected for use of soldiers & sailors Boyle & Pauley went their own way "Bill Adams" & I went ours. Inspected several bookshops etc. searching for ink tablets. No one seemed to have any. Eventually we found a bookseller who had two 6d each, but who could not open them. We offered him 6d for the two & after consultations ‘tween him & his manager, he accepted. Guess we well get the open. Bought several maltese lace collars & crosses also pc’s at 2d a dozen, good p.c’s at that. Took every dealers & shopkeepers card, promising to recommend him to our friends. Had a cup of coffee
17th – glass of water & a bun or cake for 2d each. Everything cheap. "Onoto" fountain pens 10/6 each. Landed back by 10.20pm.
[Note in margin:] Floriana Barracks
18th - Leave granted for church parades 9am to 12.30pm & 1pm to 4pm. Half staff for first & half for second parade. My usual luck chose the latter & about 10am word rec’d that boat was to go to England & all leave cancelled. Later orders were for us to disembark at 6pm. Cook’s procrastinating re tea. Eventually we got it in two lots, some 6pm & others 6.45pm. 200 wounded arrived on board about 7pm & barge took our equipment to beach. Had two Maltese carts (1st & 2nd class carts) to take it to barracks. 2nd Class drivers receive 1/10 & first 2/6 per day. First class have wagons with two mules in Got finished about 11pm & had cup of tea in Floriana barrack.
18th – Few Austn nurses in boats in harbour visiting various ships etc. No trace of our shells, suspect they have been taken by same man who took caps off them. Broke filling (Gold) out of my front teeth in morning. Kept filling. Posted batches of Maltese pc’s to Grandma.
19th – Rough tumble up for breakfast, but thanks to our cook, we scored butter jam & tea, in addition to the bread & boiled eggs. Large number of R.A.M.C. men here, also wounded of all sorts. Making hospital out of barracks. At 10am we went down to unload wounded off hospital ship, but no ship there. Some went swimming instead. Back 11.45. Mixed party of Austns & territorials lolling about when two officers passed one of terries who called party to attention, terries obeyed Austns took no notice of
19th – them & one officer remarked "Oh they don’t care who passes, they’re Austns." Barracks fine building built 1911. Some of Maltese buildings built in 15th century. Austn mail supposed close today. Cap pinched off boat. No word in afternoon. Fell in at 4.45pm. Major Croll gave us more soft soap re our work on H.T. "Ausonia" General leave except for those on duty from 5 to 9.30 pm every night. Went into Valletta & thro St John’s R.C. Church. Magnificent building, costly painting all round wall & marble monument including life-size one of St John baptising Christ cut out of one solid piece of marble, near high Altar. Church has altars of worship for catholics of all nations. Floor has about two hundred tombs underneath, supposed to
represent or contain the bodies of all the knights of Malta. Also saw the Silver gates, in the sacrament chamber. Napoleon had same painted black.
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
19th – Had tip beadle or give "something to the cause" Went out with Bill Adams & Hayes on
20th – Fell in at 8 AM & went down to wharf to unload about 700 wounded off Hsptl ship "Gloucester Castle". Finished about noon. Local ladies assisting in providing Lemonade, chocolate & biscuits. Saw Lord Methuen. He visited Hsptl ship. Posted parcel (Cigar box) containing Turk cartridges, shrapnel,
lace collars of Maltese
20th – lace, couple of silk handkerchiefs & brooches, all addressed to mater. Saw "Urso" the dentist, in strada Forni
street off Sda St Lucia. Wanted 10/- to put filling back. Told him I might call again. Went to cinematographic pictures with one of our A.M.C. men who came over on "Ausonia". Saw blind cripple in street. Gave him 6d & several others followed suit & gave him money. Poor beggar, all in tatters & coat patched with calico etc. Wrote Aunt Wrote Mater long letter.
21st – Strong rumours re fall of Achi-baba floating round. Nothing official so not believed. In afternoon about ten of us sent down to load stories for R.A.M.C. Qtr Mr Lieut. Linton full. Went down to see Martin Sda Forni in afternoon, not in, visits Silema in afternoon. Gave my coat to woman to wash. Posted letter to Mater last night describing trip & Malta etc. Speaking to chap out of R.E. who recommends Martin as Dentist.
21st – Saw Hastings Garden also view of city from parapets of
one old guns. Back about 8pm. Wrote Aunt Hannah. Bit of a row ‘tween patient & Pat Kelly in evening over patient putting light out.
22nd – Good bath in morning. Wrote Aunt Jack long letter & posted card of St John’s Cathedral, describing same. Got tunic back & gave breeches to be washed. Went to Martin’s Dentist Rooms after five. Again missing Went down to Rly Stn thro’ tunnels & followed Main Ditch down to beach. Picked up with lance jack from HQ. concert in evening by lady named Mrs Sweetman & young kiddies. Kiddies very good especially in tableau representing Britain, her allies & colonies. Needless to say "Australia" was cheered. Concert for benefit of wounded, finished about 9pm. Thompson & McCarthy had a scrap at night time. Posted letter to A.J. Austn mail supposed close tonight.
[Note in margin:] Friday
23rd – Went over to "A" block to see "patient" Dentist re filling of tooth. He turned out to be Cpl Kemp "B" Sqdn 2nd L.H. Said he was only supplied with forceps etc & did not do fillings. Saw W.O. re visiting town. He said Major Croll was endeavouring to bring our unit under same conditions as British Government had made with Dentist, therefore best wait awhile. Wrote Mrs Fletcher & posted it & a copy of "Malta Daily Chronicle" & "Evening Herald" to Molly. On Guard duty at night which means "not going out" Dark about 8pm here. Next month August, considered the hottest month in Malta.
24th Wrote Jeannie in morning & posted at P.O. Bill Adams & I went for walk in afternoon. Passed W.O. & Co. Went thro Chapel of Bones & Armoury in Royal palace. Chapel of Bones interesting yet gruesome. Lined with the bones of the Maltese who fell in the Two yrs Turkish siege 1565. Skulls arranged
24th – in rows & arm bones & pelvis bones arranged like a flower. Thigh bones packed together On Right hand side of altar is skeleton of French
Gener Admiral & on left hand side that of Italian lady who conducted the siege opened the first hospital for wounded. Bodies exhumed and church line about twenty yrs after the siege. Skulls of five men (with bullet holes in forehead) shown in a row. They were of men who attempted to foment a revolution. Saw all sorts of armour & ancient heraldic shields & crests in Armoury. Also saw the original writ issued by – in 1159 (? 59) giving the Knights of St John of Jerusalem freedom of the island. Also old mortars, field cannon & field breech loading guns with steel barrel, 8 ft long on tripod 400 yrs old. Also saw big stone balls about ten inch diam. which were fired by mortars. Various types of rifles, very long & very short barrels & all types of revolvers. Also ancient gilt carriage of a monarch. Gilt worn off. Carriage very heavy & wheels thick & made of pieced tyres
24th – Large painting of Knights in armour also displayed & several glass cases Sicilian pottery & cannon of various ages. Saw the Council chamber & valuable tapestries. Tapestries about 16 ft square & all colours & animals eyes so worked that they were on you which ever part of room you occupied. Govr & Lieut Govr’s seat also in room. Council (Legislative) consists of nine men. Splendid paintings
pf in both rooms. Back about 4.30pm. & at 6pm went for walk down to beach & walked right round & came up Sda Mercanti & home. Saw St Pauls church. Very fine building. Too far to walk out to Saluting base. Got Riding breeches back from washer woman.
25th – Up at 5.30am had shave & bath. Breakfast supposed be at 6.15 & "fall in" at 6.45. Cooks not warned therefore breakfast not ready until 7AM. Arrived at wharf to unload wounded at 7.45am. About 500 taken off including large nr of stretcher cases. English officers in charge hence their (Body of R.F.A. brought ashore)
25th – Method of unloading & work done slowly in consequence. One officious captain with raucous voice, always putting his frame in Finished after 1pm. Had dinner at barracks. Word received that we were to equip hospital first & then await orders. W.O. Phillips & Cple of others visited place while wounded unloaded. Lots of stuff pawned last few days, shortage of cash cause thereof. All kits & swags put on transport wagons & shifted over Tal Ballal & all fell in at 6pm & walked about 3 miles. All happy, whistling & singing "Inkie Pinkie Parlevous" & any other song. Bugle going first time since leaving Maadi. Arrived here about 7pm Camp on cultivated land deep red loam or more of a chocolate red & inclined to be heavy soil. Folding spring bedsteads for blankets only, in a tent & as usual we pinched one each. Tommies remarked that if they had pinched same they would have been stopped. Camped outside all night. Beds very comfortable. Wounded came off Hospital ship "Neuralia" & said
[Note in margin:] Sunday
25th – that preparations were being made for reception of large numbers of wounded & that Lemnos was being cleared of wounded & that charge of Achi-Baba (final) expected very soon. Tal-Ballal either 1040 or 1400 beds. Fine lot of Kichener’s Army (R.A.M.C.) there, increased our opinion of Englishmen 100%
26th – Up at 5.30am, breakfast 6.15am. Some of men 16 under Sergt Sim & Cpl Guthrie left to load some of equipment for hospital at wharf. Cleaned up our tent etc & awaiting arrival of equipment. Peaches, nice large ones, sold here three a penny. Unloaded about 1000 bedsteads in afternoon & about 300 mattresses & stacked same in tents. Went for swim in evening in St Julian’s Bay. Deep water & spring-board. Nugget B. broke spring board. Walked round Sliema after a swim. Seems to be residential qrs of English people. Some fine buildings Hayes’ got
27th – Went with fatigue party to lad mattresses at
Custom Wharf (Marina) ordinance stores. Loaded about 800 in hour & half. Very hot work 9.2 (?) guns still in shed, evidently awaiting re-rifling. Finished loading 10.30 & went round town. Inspected fruit market & sampled everything we bought & somethings we did not buy. Fruit not cheap. Had dinner with Andy at Blackleys. Saw & made an app’tm’t with Martin, dentist re teeth etc. All met at Portal arch at 1pm & took cabs t Tal-babal to within 100 yards of camp, then marched in. On arrival heard of orders to be aboard at 8am tomorrow. Got paid balance of pay (allocation). At 5pm all excepting equipment, guard etc marched to Floriana Barracks. Several of crowd merry. Arriving there had good bath, then went down street. Got more envelopes for Dave. Rumours of an early return to Anzac current
[Note in margin:] Wednesday
27th – Sent Mater p.c. Bought couple of English papers for Grandma & Also more p.c’s from near Barracca Lift for her. Back 9.30 Fight between Lancashire & Welsh men about 10.30pm. Stopped fight owing to different methods of opponents.
28th – Breakfast 6am & loading pannier etc before 7pm Scarcity of wagons or drays delayed us. Did not get on Hospital Transport "Karoa" till 10.40am. Seemed a nice boat. About 5000 tons had been cleaned & had only been used as a troopship for a couple of months. Reported that was Indian troop ship. Number of sore heads this morning. Pain, again on board seem to be following one another. Large number (approx 600 or 700) troops aboard, all going to Alexandria to be refitted etc before returning to D’Nells "Isis", fast mail steamer. Brindidi Port Said in port. Karoa seems to be able to cut out speed as well. Left at 12.40pm. Passed small steamer 4pm, Malta bound
28th – Anniversary of Declaration of war by Austria on Servia. Does not seem like twelve months ago. Went to bed about 8pm unable to sleep. Karoa Indian troop ship
29th – Roused at 5.30am. Indians holystoning deck [scrubbing wooden deck with sandstone]. Karoa looks to be about seven or eight thousand tons & was only commissioned
built last March. Speed of 16 knots yesty afternoon. Reported enteric getting bad among the troops. St Andrews Hospital Malta being used for enteric patients. Imtarfa, Blue Sisters, Foriana & other hospitals being used for other cases. Lady told me Malta could accommodate 10,000 cases. Wrote Mater & Molly in afternoon Sea got rough & boat being light, pitched & tossed a lot. Hundreds seasick. Slight touch of it myself, nothing to speak of. Our crowd singing in 2nd Class Smoke Room at night.
30th – Nothing of any moment happened at all. Wrote Jeannie in afternoon & got few photos of a group taken at Anzac & sent one to Jeannie Molly & Mater Report that Light sighted at night. Couldnt see it
[Servia – 28 July 1914, Declaration of War by Austria on Serbia]
July 1915 August 1915
31st – Alexandria in sight at day-break. Dropped anchor about 5.45 AM. Hospital ship "Glengorm Castle" & two funnelled Cunard liner followed us in & about 9 AM Hospital Ship "Soudan" arrived. Rotten tucker as usual. No orders so far re disembarking. Everybody seems to be suffering from itch. Some blame minute sandflies but I doubt it, nothing to be seen. All meal utensils collected & 24hrs rations drawn at night. No arabs allowed to sell at boat.
Stil Kept on all night. Orders to disembark at 9 AM tomorrow.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
August 1st – Disembarked at 9.30 or 10am. Equipment sent on motor lorries & we walked to trams which took us out to Mustapha Barracks. Barracks built by French during their occupation of Egypt. Built close to beach & handy for swimming. Rough-up dinner. Had dinner & tea at canteen which was also very poor & dear. Fruit & book stalls on ground
1st – Also Y.M.C.A. C/E & RC. Churches together with ordinance stores etc round the barrack square. C.E also have recreation rooms etc. Wrote Dan & added to Mater’s letter in afternoon. On Baggage guard
2nd – Parade 6 AM & 8.30am. Roll call only. All men off "Karoa" ordered leave same day to rejoin their units. At about 10.30 we got orders to be aboard a hospital ship at 12 o’clock. As usual impossible & time made 3pm. All on barge at 2pm & it was not until about 4.30 that boat came for us. After cruise or tow round harbour we were put aboard the French boat "Formosa" French crew but R.A.M.C. men. Suppose to drop us at Lemnos & then go on to Peninsula. French stewardess
** image and are duplicates
2nd – on board who waited on us. Good Table. Perhaps best since leaving Aust. Several tried get ashore but pinched by W.O. My name among them, he evidently saw double.
3rd – Attempted escapees lectured only. Issued with bottle of beer or wine for dinner but had to pay 4d for it. About 2.30pm we weighed anchor & dropped the pilot outside bar Sea rough & nearly all sick. Cabins lively, so a poor attempt at disinfection made under R.A.M.C. men. Nearly all camped on deck.
4th - Sea moderated to great extent. Scored good cap & khaki shirt from ordinance when at Alex’dria Also nearly whole corps got infantry packs etc. Also sent letter to be posted at Anzac to Dave. Most of our chaps playing cards & reading all day. Sea very calm in afternoon, no doubt due to islands - etc
4th – A year ago today Gt Britain declared war on Germany at 11pm. Speaking generally, not satisfied with military matters but no doubt,
of when munitions problem solved, & Dardanelles forced, matters will vastly & rapidly improve. Germans more than holding their own in Europe Advancing on Eastn front & holding Allies on westn front in check. Naval situation splendid, no interruption at all.
5th – Sea still calm, doing about 12 knots. All day yesty head winds delayed us & rough weather the day before. Expect get Lemnos this afternoon about 4pm. Wrote Mater & Molly in pm. Anchored inside boom about 5pm & about 6pm entered, & anchored about centre of harbour. Went in for swim off boat. Got down a rope. Did not enjoy it much as water too dirty & had been churned up by reversal of propeller. Had fresh water bath after it. Put bob in each for fund for tips for stewards & stewardesses.
[Note in margin:] – Friday Mudros Bay
6th – Orders first thing in morning saying 38 men & 6 officers to return to Anzac. Kit bags to be left behind. Later an N.C.O. & two men extra to be taken as baggage guard. Bill Adams as usual one. Reports say large number troops landed at Kaba-Tepe. Number given as 80,000 Also stating that Maidos was expected to be Austn HdQtrs within a week. Rather sceptic about same, although its evident that some more is on Nine inch shells falling on beach very frequently. Camp of 3rd L.H.F.A looks deserted, evidently they have also gone. Bought some tobacco off Frenchman for Dave. Choat & Co. not sighted yet, no word of them since leaving. Party went ashore in afternoon taking surplus baggage G.S. Panniers etc Choat & Co had been on island since day after we left. Got filling in tooth replaced. Nr of our chaps ex Maadi on the island. Colonel came aboard & joined us. About 5pm had mail distbtd. Got 8 letters & 1 paper. Must be lot more
6th – somewhere. About 6pm we xferred on to ‘Prince Sicilian’ & left about 7pm. All went well until 1.30 AM when "Crash. Crash, Crash! We ran into another boat about 40 ft from stern. Took few troops that were aboard her off & sent couple of boats she seemed to be settling slowly when we left but do not know if she sunk
7th – Was a X’port of about 3000 toms. Hole made in our bow. Not much water made. All troops ordered starboard aft. We disembarked at day
light dawn. & greeted by the usual shrapnel at us. Went up to the 3rd Fld Amb, had sort of breakfast & started stretcher-bearing at 7AM & finished 10PM. Left about a dozen & equipment aboard to come off later. Heavy bombdmt region of Quinn’s Post 4 to 5AM. Appears to have been an attack all along our line & three lines of trenches taken. Believe one lost all in afternoon. Bombed out by Turks. Attacks & counters thro’out day. Hard to say what we have gained. Big counter (?) about 8.30 on left. About 40 000 Tommies & Ghurkas landed further up nearer C Suvla
7th – reported with the intention on running across the island & cutting off supplies etc from Achi Baba. All sort rumours etc. Heavy casualty list of ours M.O’s & bearers working day & night, tending & removing wounded. Practically no dinner or tea & no sleep previous night. Wounded must have averaged 12 stone each & heavy carrying over & down hills. Worked in three sections to the beach. Our left wing advanced a few days ago capturing crest of hill. About 500 Turks captured, some wounded. Boyle & Freudenberg (L.H.F.A.) also very slight wounds. Wounded say our trenches full of dead & dying & wounded. German officers’ dug-out very elaborate. Electric light, cookery, pictures etc. Col Brown 3rd Bdnr wounded & later reported dead. Saw British Aeroplanes force Taube to descend. Taube
8th – Colonel who with 20 men 6 days ago caputured trench & who unable to let them know where he was, brought in with broken thigh, half face half arm off & legs injured. Kept his wounds washed
[Note in margin:] Sunday 8th
8th – therefore aseptic. 20 men all killed. All day long Jack J’s lobbing on hill in front, not many burst. One burst near tanks & got half a dozen. One had clothing burnt, two legs blown clean off arms face also injured & he remained conscious to last. Terrible agony struggling to get off stretcher. Not quite as many wounded. Advanced trench lost & retaken again at night. Ours bombed out of it
Terribly Our men wonderfully brave, brave no name for it, held trench in face of certain injuries by bombs. Bombs terrible. One fell another took his place. Bomb wounds chiefly face hands etc, look ugly but mostly superficial. Our men unable to retaliate with bombs. Our corps assisting 3rd A.M.G. (field Amb.) in bearing. Col. making his presence felt. Capt Pitcher up in top dressing stn. Several wounded Turkish prisoners brought in. Seemed quite pleased to be captured. Shrapnel also bursting over making it dangerous for the bearers, who nevertheless kept going. Couple of dangerous spots. Webb hit with
8th – shrapnel pellet. Flesh wound in thigh Sent away. Over 2000 prisoners taken Reports as to numbers very conflicting Also reported about 80 MGs & 3,000,000 rounds of ammunition. Kitchener’s army, Austns NZ’s & Ghurkas on left reported doing well. Bengal lancers & British cavalry at work. Hill 971 source of trouble. Navy bombarding it. Made scratch dug-outs, owing to report of howitzers going to fire shot per minute & heavy shrapnel expected. Dug-outs roughly made.
9th – Started 8 AM. Took over Nr 2 dressing station. Capt Fraser, Sgt Stratford & self in one, Capt Buchanan Sgt. Wilkinson & Sloane in another. Early in morning few cases but slacker during day. Guard party of "Abbassia" (Prince Sicilian) arrived, also Sgt Hammond, Inglis, Merritt Dyke, Askin & Burke from Maadi. Wired for from Alexandria or Mudros. Eddie Miles, whilst stretcher bearing hit on ankle by nose of shell. Badly bruised but skin unbroken. Being sent to Mudros. Went down to beach
9th – at night & tried to see casualty lists. Too busy to see them. Said they were about 4500 to date since the beginning of action. Went for swim in front of A.S.C. Enjoyed it as it was first wash since arriving Rum issued again Howitzers busy again.
10th – Considerably slacker, not much doing still we had to be prepared for any emergency. About noon Capt. Fraser got advice to go to the 6th L.H., vice Capt Verge. When going up in morning, a nine inch shell evidently from a howitzer fell in gully below us only a chain away. Wind
passed of shell passing knocked me over. Vince Barbat & Boyle also there. Another mail at night. Got five papers & two letters from Molly, one from Mater Dad & letter card from Bert. During afternoon, Bill Adams & I visited trenches. Had a pot shot at Turks. Had shoot over parapet, hence lost no time. Turk also had pot shot at me. Later on, so reports say, hyperscope shattered & men slightly injured in same spot. Good chap’s report. Saw Capt
[Note in margin:] Aeroplane chase see under date of 15th
10th – Pitcher. Pauley directed us to place. Well hidden & secret. Dead still in front of trenches. Colonel telling people yarn how 9" shell passed thro his legs. Everybody laughing at him.
11th – Wrote Mater, Molly & sent couple of p cs to Georgie Gibson. Had p.c from her asking me if I was going to keep my promise. Don’t remember promising to write. Colonel took photo of dressing station. As usual forgot take cap off & had to take again. Asked him if I could go up to left flank. Told me everybody blocked from going up there. Took it for what it was worth. Very slack. M.G. firing in afternoon. Think they are practising using the Turks M.Gs. Our chap collecting bayonets (Turkish razor as Souvenir. Capt MacKenzie, Salv. Army. Chaplain paid us a visit. Relating what he had seen. Said he saw our guns shelling our side of Achi Baba. Also relating his
11th – experience of prisoners. Said Germans strongly objected to being put in among the Turks. One chap who came off the "Breslau" & manipulated an MG. had his nose shot off whilst turning M.G. on our men. To add insult to injury, Indian guard put in charge. & big Sikh enjoyed his task & with piece of biscuit box put them in place. Also said our chaps had to retire a little from hill 971 Went down to beach & saw few names of casualties.
12th – Up at 5AM & went up to see Dave on Pope’s hill. Just going to turn in. He had not had mail since June 11th, Gave him mine of June 26th. Things quiet on left. Had made a charge few days ago. Major Logan & Lt Hinton hilled. No
other officers returned all killed. Early in night, Dave got hit by piece of bomb & laid out, hence not in charge. Spoke re transfer. Yes he w Said he would see the adjutant. Saw our W.O. he’s going to see the Major not the Colonel. Told Brennan. Saw Charlie
12th – Scott. Got much thinner than before. Saw where our chaps had
taken charged Turks on Walker’s ridge. Hundreds of them killed by M.G. fire. Lying thick in front of barb wire entanglement. Austns Tommies & Ghurkas in charge, so reports say. Turks landed shell among 7th batty. Injured four, gun O.K. Saw Rufus Raabe on water fatigue. Had shave in morning, first since arriving. Turks throwing shrapnel at Balloon. Cap pinched yesty. Monitor dropped shell short, no one injured. Reports say that Turks communications cut, & that Rly line blown up & engine derailed. Our lads about 4 miles in Recently barge with 200 bags mail sunk. Got away from pinnace, & got water-logged. Saw Dug Howell ex 9th. Resting
Wrote Mater Went up at 8AM. New arrangements for working. 12 hrs on & 24 off, Came back about 9AM Making dug-out during day. Collected various bags off beach & filled same with sand
13th – Beachy Bill again speaking. Had evidently been silenced by our guns during last two days. Turks also seem to have two new guns in position more towards centre of our trenches. Firing overhead at sunken barge. Beachy Bill hitting biscuit boxes etc. Also shelled five chaps in swimming. Went up to see Scott again. He had not spoken re Xfer. Took him up Qlanders’s tobacco, pair sox, tin milk & pencil. Short of handkerchiefs. Gave him large one. Keeps flies off when sleeping during day. Lieut Steele said they were expecting an attack that night & flares issued. About 9pm, heard rally of rifel & MG. fire also saw flare of flares so expect attack
am Several rallies during night.
14th – On duty again at 8AM. Very slack thro’ out day. Made trip for dinner.
Al When down heard H.Qrs were inquiring for competent telegraphists & saw notice re same at 3rd Fld Amb. Went & saw Brownie of 2nd Sig Troop re same Did not know about it
14th – Am going to make enquiries at H. Qrs re same. Went in for swim with him. Big shell had landed alongside of wireless stn & burst two tins benzine spraying it about & setting fire to same. Narrowly missed sight of Sig Troop. Clothing burnt etc. Wrote Dad & Jeannie in afternoon. Brennan said W.O. had told him that Major & Col wouldn’t hear of any of our corps transferring except Wright. Rumoured further success on our extreme left. N.Z’s advancing.
15th – Heard that half hill 971 taken at very heavy cost. Turks M.G’s & bombs playing havoc with our troops. Indians description of shrapnel & Austns rather funny. Said. One shrapnel, ‘Englishmen go into dug-out, two shrapnel. Indian go into dugout Three shrapnel Austn turn round at Turks & say "You –" Tommies greatly amused at description. During recent attack Maoris got Turkish H.Qrs Brownie said he visited them. Some got
15th – few relics. Maoris got Eider down quilts etc. Evidently harems had been kept there as signs of womens clothing there. That night he had also been in touch with Aeroplane & directing our fire. Night of 11th. our aeroplanes chased Taube over Turkish lines & firing at her. Second Taube appeared & so as not to be caught between two fires & shrapnel, ours retired. Hair cut again. Not quite so short. Flies a nuisance. Wake everybody at daylight. Made enquiries re notice at 3rd Fld. Amb. Went up White’s Gully to Administative H.Qrs. Sergt Major McCutch said only five req’d & already 16 in for same. Also said they could get as many as the wanted from
15th – on Lone Pine. Our men did not shift & had one killed & four injured. Turks cut down. Few reached parapet.
[Note in margin:] Wrote re parcels Monday
16th – Bill Power up at Pope’s Hill. Said all the dead from in front of trenches had been buried. Pinched sand bags & widened dug-out in morning. Rumour that one of our troopships torpedoed by German Subm. between Lemnos & here Our aeroplane up every day, doing good work scouting etc. As many as five up at once one day. Found Jimmieson with my cap. Didn’t forget to tell him about it. Heavy MG. fire on left during night. Letter to Dad returned Censored. Crossed out 2nd L.H. & returned.
On Letter again returned & "Anzac" cut out. Wrote Military Postmaster Maadi re parcels sent & also Jeannie.
17 – On at 8AM at dressing station. Commenced using our own stores & replenished what we used of 3rd A.M.C. Few cases in morning. Military Pcs & an
17th – official envelope contents of which not censored rightly but may be at base issued. Wrote Mater. W.O. said HdQtrs confirmed that troopship "Royal Edward" sunk by Subm & that 600 saved by hospital ship. Reported that either 2000 or 3000 tommies aboard Turks shelled our trenches at Lone Pine partly destroyed otherwise no damage. Major Davidson 1st Bde inf, hit by shell on shoulder, just missed artery.
18th – Noise early in morning like Aeroplanes flying low. Some thought steamer in bay, cause unsolved. Arthur Sloane & I went for a walk along beach towards extreme left. Tried to reach supposed captured Turk. H.Q but no one seemed to know definitely. Our chaps seemed to be well inland & during night three 5" howitzers from bear our bivouacs shifted also those from extreme right reported to be shifted & NZdr said that Austn.
18th – infantry were on Maidor Road & that Narrows could be sighted from our trenches. Hill 971 had been captured but Turks attacked in force & Wilts cleared out & Austns & NZs had also to retire as our batty by mistake put three shells into their trench Hard Luck Hold ridge alongside of same. Expect get 971 next attack. Last night Taube dropped bomb near new landing place N.Z. Field Artillery chap said they were evidently meant for T’port which had guns aboard. On Q M fatigue. Beachy Bill not quite as noisy. Killed two & winged three yesterday. Firing right into batch of men & mules but without effect Wonderful how he missed them. Four of our planes flying round evidently looking for Taubes. No sooner had they gone than two Taube appeared & dropped three bombs on beach where few were landed in AM. Shrapnel poured on spot by Turks. Apparently no damage. Warships fired at Taubes (shrap
18th - & seemed to put one right into plane but Taube kept going. On duty 8pm
[Note in margin:] – Thursday
19th – Off duty 8AM. Took rest of tobacco & matches up to Dave. Said things were very quiet. Sgt Major Ruddle off sick but had got commission in 9th Inf. Had tried to get for swim previous day but not allowed & while I was there an NCO. said that an NCO & 3 from each troop could get down every day. Met them near junction of saps to beach. Took pair slacks & flannelette shirt several handkerchiefs, Germicidal soap & few Hyd. perchlor tabs for him. Had only one singlet left & that worn out. No shirt either. Word rec’d that Kavanagh Choat & Co from Mudros due to arrive today but up till 5pm had not arrived. Heavy Rifle & M.G. rally on left during night. Few drops rain also. North wind blowing in afternoon. Got quite cold. Shrapnel shell burst & spread over our valley. Several narrow escapes. Pellet thro Inglis’ shirt. Aeroplane on beach near
Cape new landing TAUbe 3 bombs no damage
20th – Duty 8AM Coming down for dinner gave my ankle a twist, made it uncomfortable. Plenty of shrapnel in camp & dressing stn from Beachy Bill. One of 3rd Field Amb hit. Capt Pitcher returned from trenches early in morning. M.O. resumed duty. Colonel again taking photos, evidently has stack of films judging by number he takes
[Note in margin:] Saturday
21st – Heavy & continuous rifle fire on extreme left early in morning about 1AM About 1.30pm, two cruisers lined up near point & about 2.30pm, all our artillery & they opened fire. 3pm. rifle fire started. Some of our chaps who had been up at Quinn’s heard that our chaps were to attack at 3pm. Rifle & M.G. fire still going strong at 4.30 with an occasional small rally at Quinn’s, Pope’s & Walker’s Shell from one of our boats landed short (defective) & at the Hd Qts of Quinns Narrowly missed a major & up-ended an MG. smoky haze in afternoon.
21st - Wrote Aunt Hannah in morning. Total absence of any news, plenty rumours afloat on duty 8pm.
22nd – Off 8AM Jim Burns & I went
for out to the extreme left & to the 4th Field Amb. Also got into the trenches captured from the Turks previous afternoon. Saw village that was burnt also "W" Hill. A lot of ground taken & two ridges in front Hill "W" Supposed to have been five charges. Moon got too high to allow of charging Hill "W" which commands the railway. All sorts Turkish clothing etc. also cartridges, pouches, & different kinds of relics. Brought home bayonet front, pouches, & a pair of Turkish wire cutters. Did not get up to hill 971. Advance expected to continue tonight. 5th Bde of inf participated, only arrived night before. 1st & 3rd L.H.F.A. on left. Bob T & Sgt Hammond went out in afternoon. Got book of "Infantry training" Our hillside raked with shrapnel about 5pm. Fell all round me, Sgt Morgan hit by pellet. Just missed thorax & right lung
22nd – We carried him into dug-out, Capt Mac. dressed & sent to base. Collings who missed boat in Sydney arrived with 5th Bde inf. & came into our camp in pm. Hourihan discharged. Mick Gunn also turned up. Bob T & Co nearly got over to Turkish village, troops within ¾ mile of it Turkish women & two kids captured. Weather getting cooler. Went for swim at night. Saw casing either of Turk mines or large bombs in A.M. Order out re dress for going to dressing stn. Colonel again!!!
23rd – Kavanagh Choat & party from Lemnos arrived overnight & here at daylight. Brought all equipment kit bags etc with them. Price & I went up to trenches about 2.20pm from Drsg stn. Went into captured trenches at Lone Pine. Saw Mick Gunn there. Also went along trenches up to right flank, to M.G. of 5th L.H. Back about 5pm. Colonel had Collings arrested for deserting in Sydney
23rd – Mail in. Recd letters from Mater Dad & Molly also 2 lots couriers Q.T. & Sy. Mail & Q’l’dr. Molly said sent
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
24th – Going thro’ kit bags with Hammond, another of Colonel’s weird acts. Storm passed, out at sea only few drops rain here. Extreme left seems quieter today, warships also quiet Queen Mary’s gift of 5 packets
"3 castles" cigarettes rec’d today. Started relieving dayshift at 7pm instead 8pm.
25th – Inoculated second time for Cholera about 6.30A.M. Very quiet, occasional rifle shot heard & German 77’s passing overhead. 6" howitzer also speaking. Started writing to Rev. Teddie also wrote Molly & Dad. Rumours about all drivers & T’port men being sent back to Maadi. Went for swim at night
[Note in margin:] Reported Capt Luther killed Thursday
26th – Duty 8AM. Had a visit from Dave. He had been off colour & in rest camp. Brought Register with him. Went back as far as our camp. Gave him razor, cholera belt etc. & couple papers. Also scored bottle bovril & two tins meat extract from panniers. Commenced writing long letter to Molly. Intended give same to Hammond to post in Egypt. Turks attack reported to be at Lone Pine & MGs from Walker’s playing on them. Destroyer also busy firing on Walker’s. Suspect something doing at Walkers Red & Green lights visible.
27th – Got our canteen stuff. Not a bad lot. Managed to score a pkt of Candles 6d a lb, tin tooth powder 6d & tin Cafe au Lait 1/- 4 tins chicken & ham pate 1 ¼ each. Went up to see Dave for few minutes. No further word of them being relieved, so far. Beachy Bill firing at a transport which came close in, as usual rotten shooting. Imshi T’port. Destroyers (2) & a cruiser bombarding positions on left & about
27th – 4pm heavy rifle & MG. fire started & continued during night. Dave came over. Gave him some Anchovy paste, Cafe Au lait etc. Duty at 8pm. A.D.M.S. enquiring if we have 2 Bearers & tent sectns with us Got a bulletin & Mail yesty.
[Note in margin:] Saturday
28th – Got tin of salmon, potted meat, & few cigars this morning. The W.O & Bob T went out on left wing. Reported that Conn. Rangers assisted by Austns. Etc took 200 yds of new territory previous day. Conn Rangers too a trench, lost & recaptured it. Did not attain their objective. Too many guns
etc Turks etc in front of them 15 Btn again in it. Not feeling too good. Anzac complaint. 29th Horsley & Power sent to base. Power suffering from ulcer on liver. Piece of 75 shell hit plank sitting on.
29th – On Dressing stn 8AM. Very quiet except for 75’s which seemed more sudden than ever. Caught a chap near 2nd Bde H.Q. blew him to pieces. Peninsula press said Germany asking Bulgaria what her attitude would be in event of her wanting send army
August 1915 & Septr, 1915
29th – to assist Turkey. 11th L.H. arrived today. Sqdn passed over as if going to 5th L.H. Went & heard parson’s sermon at Rest Camp. Capt M. went up to 3rd Bde as R.M.D.
[Note in margin:] Monday
30th - Still off colour. Dave called. Gave him couple packets lemonade powders, tin salmon, & 5 cigars. Said that 1st & 2nd L.H. had got a sqdn each of 11th L.H. to reinforce them. Few of 11th hit last night owing to being new to game, some also got lost in trenches. Reported that Capt Dodds hit last night. Chest wound, not serious, went out to see wounded man & hit. Got a new pair boots this AM Austn make, others got NZ & English boots. Warships firing thro’ night & monitor again using big guns, sounds like 9.2 inch Colonel taking shifts at dressing stn. Beach again sending few across. On at 8pm
31st – More troops landing thro’ night. Gun I took to be Beachy at 11pm was warship in near Kaba Tepe firing over us on to our left centre. Gibson who went round to new
31st – anchorage (Anafarta Bay) said subm. net placed across its entrance said that "Bacchause "Blunderbuss" & "Venerable" there. Last two seem new names to me. Saw some of 11th L.H. at beach. No one I knew. Wrote Mater also Jeannie Green
Sept 1st – Duty 8AM. Very slack time dragging. No Austn mail yet. Wonder what happened to it. No reading at all. Got back-dated Sydney mail. Guns bombarding positions on left front, near Cape Suvla, off Anafarta Bay. Teed Lyons got a nr 2 series map of Gallipoli from Tommy Map now obsolete. Got an issue of fresh meat this morning. Cooked it for ourselves. Rigged up fireplace in evening. Went for swim. Water fine.
2nd – Improved of/n fireplace. Merritt sent to Mudros. W.O still crook & very thin on it. Nothing doing all day. Duty 8pm. Beachy Bill putting in good practice at a tug. Tug had no steam & another had to rescue as Bill shooting very close.
[Note in margin:] Friday
3rd – Word received that an Austn T’port had been torpedoed by German sub. but that T’prt reached Mudros under her own steam. Few lives lost. Number lost & name of T’port not mentioned. Nugget B, Hayes & I went away round to Anafarta Bay About 6 or 7 miles & all sandy & rotten walking. Disappointed with walk, not much to see. Had fine swim off beach. Had few English blackberries on way. Melons also had been grown, small vines still there no fruit on. Thousands of Turkish bullets lying on ground, spent & fallen there. Saw some of 1st L.H & M.G Sectn of 2nd L.H. 2nd L.H. shifting round to left tonight. Gen’l Birdwood came up & spoke to us a couple of times, also spoke to Gurkhas. Seems free & easy going sort & seems popular with men. Rather tired when we got back. Mail expected tonight. Capt Pitcher up at 5th L.H. vice Capt Dodd’s. Tommies say that big attack expected in a day or two as large numbers of fresh troops being landed nightly. Cold getting troublesome.
3rd – Taube flying very low over Victories Gully. May be the Belgian aviator who is reported to be here & using a Taube. Achi Baba bombarded again in afternoon.
4th – Very quiet all day. Playing nap for matches to fill in time. Left about two mins early to come home, Colonel hauled us back. Destroyer with searchlight evidently watching road for Turks sending provisions to Achi Baba. Dave called at camp, went up to dressing stn 8AM so missed him. W.O. & Pallet sent away.
5th – Men started on digging hospital etc near Cookhouse. Another weird act of our Colonels. As he was passing, he tried to run the gauntlet of the shovels of dirt & stopped one fair on the back of the head & filled his shirt with dirt. Kept him out of the way for some time, in fact did not come back at all. On beach fatigue scored a good box for keeping odds & ends & tucker in. Up at dressing stn at 7pm Later Jim Burns came up & said
5rd – that they had orders for the T’port men to return to Maadi. Came back to camp & finished letters to Molly & Rev. O. & gave them to Jim Burns to give to Hetherington to post in Alexandria.
[Note in margin:] - Monday
6th – T’port men left 5.30am. Digging for hospital tent etc again to-day. Mail arrived but that for 2nd L.H Bde sent to Maadi & not here. Went for swim & ground biscuits for porridge. Indication & rumours point to some of the Austn divisions being relieved & sent away for a spell, probably Imbros Island. Saw dentist on beach, re replacing gold inlay. Beachy Bill very quiet all yesty & today. Did not fire a shot on beach.
7th – Dressing stn 8AM. Only 3 squads went up, remainder assisting in hospital digging etc. Capt B. on dressing stn. Saw him re hernia. Said he would report matter. Very quiet. Taube or a German aeroplane flew over & dropped a bomb near clearing hospital on beach. Seemed newie & not like
7th – a taube. Appeared to be made of Aluminium. Started in hospital
that at night. On duty all night only five of our own men in it. Got Courier dated June 14th.
8th – Went round to Nr 3 outpost to see Dave. Went to 2nd L.H Regt but they could not tell me definitely where he was. Searched Water tanks & A.S.C etc for him but had to come away without seeing him. Slept for about 1 ½ hrs in pm but flies too bad for sleeping. Wrote Dave short note. Cool wind blowing in evening. Hospital duty at 7pm.
[Note in margin:] Thursday
9th – Pilcher sent away in early morning. Off colour again. Slept nearly all day. New rule for bearers giving them extra work twelve hours on & twelve off. Cool wind blowing. No mail yet. 6th Field Amb relieved 2nd F. Amb. During last few days also 6th B’de relieved 2nd Bde at Lone pine. Gang of new arrivals on digging at foot of valley of our camp. Very noisy & lively crowd Beachy quiet evidently no ammunition.
[Note in margin:] Friday
10th – Dinner time, orders received to shift camp to Victoria Gully. Hospital staff not included, appears as if we are going to do all cooking etc for them. Gang preparing place for stores etc. in gully, also making road for tramway. Sounds as if bomb fight on near Quinn’s Post. Turkish bombing party approached our trenches last night, none returned. Bearers etc shifting camp. Brennan remained behind as Cook to Andy. Standring & I who have hospital duties etc. Still keeping tent on. Bob T. hit on wrist with shrapnel. Slight
11th – Everything end-up. On night duty as usual. Went round to camp, no sick parade. Remainder of stuff taken over. Got mail last night. Letters from Dad, Mater Molly, & Aunt Amy. Dave called in morning, told him my intentions re hernia etc. He approved. Told me where his dug-out was. Gave him tobacco etc. Slept for couple of hours in afternoon. Got a Qlder, Bulletin two batches couriers & two QT’s last night. Previous
11th – week’s mail missing. Dave had not yet got his, but got parcels of chocolate sox etc & writing pad Molly sent. Mine not yet arrived.
[Note in margin:] Monday
12th – Saw Captn B. again at 9AM. Said he would see Colonel again & see what was to be done. Bob. T. sent away to Mudros. Wrist looking well & healing etc. Beachy Bill firing all afternoon. Got 4 men & five mules that I saw. May have got more. One mule killed outright. Wrote Mater. Reported that Beachy Bill got 23 today Two of Engrs killed. 23rd Btn stacking biscuits etc.
13th – Day broke showery. Several light showers during night. About 10 pts in all. Strong rumours afloat that Lt Col Bean is to be C.O of 3rd Fld Amb Hope its true. Wrote Molly (green env.) & posted same. Also military p.c. to Dad. Dug Howell (9th Btn) came round yesty. Looks little the worse for wear. Armanasco sent away suspected typhoid. Captn B
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
13th – thinks effect of inoculation wearing off Phillips, Goodchap, Filcher, Anthony, & Armanasco all suspected cases. Threatening rain at night. Beachy again busy. Unable sleep during day.
14th – Saw Capt B also Colonel. Col said hang fire for day or two then go to base. Beachy at it early. Anderson crook. High temp Gave Sandring hand at meals. Wrote Dad (Green Env.) Got Qldr Syd Mail & two lots of couriers, all back dated. Tiny Edwards made few scones etc, not bad, considering circumstances. Appreciated anyway. Also had pea-soup. Delicious although not perfect.
15 – Got Bulletin & two "Couriers" also back dated. Anderson sent away. Men paraded before Col. about Kavanagh as Q.M not getting bread etc, also about possibility of putting a T’port L/c over bearers. Heard that our remaining men & reinfm’ts from Maadi sent for. Unit only about half strength owing sickness wounds etc. Cpl Guthrie
15th – taking Anderson’s place. Went down on beach in AM. with 5 x’ferred patients. French 75’s evidently H.E shells going into sea, sending water about 100 ft high. Some thought shells came from Chanak. Taube dropped bomb on hill near shrapnel Gully. Tried to get a gun Another mail. Got Q’l'dr, & letters from mater Molly & Jeannie
[Note in margin:] Thursday
16th – Taube tried to drop three bombs on stores on beach. All fell in sea. Letters from Aunt Jack. Washed clothes etc fresh water & couple of showers of rain wet same in afternoon. One of our own Taubes flying around during afternoon.
17th – Took patient to clearing hospital in AM. Orderly said that M.O’s on ship always fixed destination of patient Slight shower of rain at noon. Couple of tins of chicken pinched by patients during night Had a camp in morning Shells from long distance, evidently Asiatic coast forts passing overhead dropping right out at sea.
18th – Wrote Mater Molly & Aunt Jack. Had good dinner, McConochie’s rations [stew in tin]. About 5pm Colonel sent men round to shift our camp over to Victoria Gully. General mix-up. Men having their tea. However we remained overnight to look after gear & clean up camp. Had cocoa 9pm.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
19th – Good steak for breakfast. Paraded again. Colonel snapped, then walked away & changed his mind. Took batch of men down, then packed my kit etc, taking everything necessary. Left parcel for Dave with Jim Burns. No time to go & see Dave, posted letter to him. Hospital ship left at twelve thirty. No room on her. Arrived at beach 1.30pm & no hospital ship in. Crowd waiting. Had rough up tea. About 7pm. H.M.H.S. "Guildford Castle" (7996 tons) arrived & about 8.30pm we
went got aboard. Saw Pain on beach. Had been here about a fortnight & now attached to Casualty Clearing Hspol. Given a drink of warm milk. on boat Camped on mattress on deck about 250 came aboard
20th – Cold wind blowing thro night. Glad I brought my own blankets. Staff of ship Comprises, R.A.MC. Indian & Austn Drs. Also R.A.M.C. Austn & Canadian nurses. Seem a very fine crowd. Sister Desbard or Despard or some similar name in charge deck ward. Showed me a fine berth in smoke room. Chairs & table (corner) also provided. Sick & wounded coming aboard all day. Laden with about 600. Boyle & Christopher included. They brought my mail aboard, letters from Mater, Dad & Molly also half a dozen papers. Tug reported Mudros full.
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
21st - Left Anzac about 11A.M, destination unknown. Evidently going to Mudros for orders. Writing Aunt Amy in afternoon, also wrote "Bystander" I Arrived in Mudros Bay about 3pm. Calm trip. About 6pm shifted up into harbour HMHS’s "Dongola" "Seang Choon" & couple of other hsptl boats here.
22nd – Some of patients x’ferred to "Dongola" leaving about 520 aboard. My name among them but managed to get a change. Others on "Dongola" going to Malta "Guildford Castle" to go to Alexandria. Alex’da suits my purposed better. X’opher on Dongola Barge that seemed specially built for purpose of X’ferring took them over about noon. Nothing exciting happening. About 5pm we weighed anchor & left for Alex’da Saw hole in steamer "Southland" as we passed out of harbour. She had been torpedoed & reached Mudros under her own steam. Large number of French. British warship in harbour. Sea fairly calm. Hope to get rid of kit bag soon
[Note in margin:] Thursday
23rd – Passing thro Aegean Archaepelago. Weather very wind & sea rough. Boat had good roll on, practically no pitching & tossing. Number sea-sick. I was not. Had
my all meals. Weather too rough to have them on Port side Occasional seas splashing on deck.
24th – Seas moderating. Wrote Molly & Mater in morning. Very quiet aboard. Speed reduces at night. Not being able to get into Port until sunrise. Off colour a little.
25th – Arrived in Port about 6.30am. Egyptian Gazette said Bulgaria & Greece mobilising. About 9.30am all Austns went off & across to hospital train Tried to get left but owning to luggage etc couldn’t Left about 10.45 & arrived Cairo 2.20pm only stopped once. Had chicken & bread & butter for dinner also Bovril. Nurses, 4th L.H.F.A & Indians waiting onus. Motors took us to respective hospitals. Arrived Gezeira Hsptl about 3pm. Had warm bath & got into pyjamas & had afternoon tea. Hospital formerly Gezeira Palace. Well fitted out & run by Nr 2 Genl. Staff Adelaide & S.A. nurses & Drs in our ward, Captn Mayo being M.O. Saw Capt Pitcher in afternoon & he called to see me about 8.30pm. Advised me what to do Said he wants see Capt Mayo also. Said that capt Verge had died & that Phillips (W.)) was bad. Gave him latest from camp re the
[Gezeira – Gezira (a palace made into a hospital)]
25th – Col. running hspl etc. Weather warmer here than Anzac. Had only sheet as covering. Felt cool. Gave my letters to 6th Inf Bde man to post at Alexandria
26th – Had bath about 5.45, breakfast 7am. Everything quiet in wards. Nothing doing. Looked up list of patients. Pallet & Payne here.
27th Capt Mayo said I was to be boarded
27th – Tried to post letters at P.O. but they wouldn’t change English money. No public phone in Gezeira either. Posted letter to Stockwell in Hsptl P.O. Got issued with Convalescent suit. Also saw dentist at hsptl re teeth. Offered to fill with amalgam, told him I’d wait & get done with gold. Supposed to have gone on a river trip but owning to late tea due to Col’s late inspection, too late to go. Wrote Stockwell & posted same.
28th – Watch stopped thro night. Evidently pivot worn or dirt in it. Saw Dr re getting leave. Wrote Dad Dave & Burns Stockwell came round to see me. Looks well. Speaking to Capt Pitcher for about an hour. Told us that
28th – H.Qr’s would neither deny or confirm rumours re Runic & Morea. Said he was going to England.
29th – Wrote Mrs Fraser giving her Major Croll’s messages etc. Went into Cairo about 1-15pm called at P.O. posted letters etc & saw jeweller re watch. Did not leave same owing to uncertainty of leaving. Went out to Maadi, saw the usual crowd. Bob Thomson not in. back about 5.45pm. Attended lecture by Rev. Rolland on "Unknown Australia" Interesting but not brilliant. Illustrated by lantern slides.
30th – Very quiet all day. Took run into Cairo & left watch with jeweller in Opera square. To call for it Saty noon. Had look Ghezireh Sports ground. Today Amy’s Birthday, also Arabic Xmas called the "Kiswat". No celebrations. Some Arabs not working & according to a Soudanese (Sambo) should stay in side all day. A Public ceremony held & Sultan makes presents to give the poor etc. Generally foodstuffs.
[Note in margin:] Friday
1st – Concert at 5.30pm by people from Cairo, singing, recitation & card juggling. Pass away time went to it. Previous to concert, parson went round different wards asking men to patronise it. Nothing to do, & time passing slowly Papers (Austn) announced over 13 mills had been subscribed to C’wealth 5 million loan.
also Q’land Aust Day fund expected reach 100,000£ Went into town about 12.40 & caught 1.50 train to Maadi. Guavas & grapes in season. All land round Maadi under maize, in tasselling stage. Ground irrigated. Water melons also in. Saw P. Office re registered pcls, evidently sent to Base P.O. Cairo. Stockwell came into town with me. Had tea at Pyramids café. Got watch from watchmaker. Sister of Webb’s nursing here.
3rd – Sister
3rd – on furlough. Saw Capt Pitcher re same. Said he could only see Capt Mayo. M.O. Bob T. had been sent by C.O. "Bungalow" into horse lines. Kicking about it. Joes B’day
4th – Did nothing but read all day. Hospital got orders sent 200 to Mena & to expect 200 tonight & 300 or 400 next day.
5th – Orders to go to Mena. Got hat boots sox & puffies issued. Left at 2pm No wounded here so far. Tried to get boarded before leaving but again put off. Mena house fairly comfortable. Not as good as Ghezireh.
[Note in margin:] Wednesday
6th – Mosquitos bad last night. Capt Connelly (Ward Dr) came round 10 AM Did not like the idea of boarding me England. However after argument, he decided to do so, but said he could promise absolutely nothing. Got issued with shorts in lieu of Conv. Suit. Also fibre soled shoes. Went up to Pyramids & thro same in afternoon. Saw King’s & Queen’s chambers also places
6th – where sarcophagii of King & Queen
(Cheops) lay. Coffin of King placed in his chamber so as it could be inspected. Huge piece of granite 10X8X5 ft placed alongside of it. Very solid Queen’s not quite so elaborate. Ventilators had been cut so as to allow of access of air nevertheless very hot in them. Capt Connolly speaking to me again in afternoon coy of another M.O. re board. Said they knew nothing re boat. Seems to be bit of mix up over it. Did not know when board was to sit. Greek Premier Venizelos again resigned.
[Note in margin:] Thursday
7th – Nothing doing in morning. Took tram to Ghezireh in afternoon. Saw Capt Pitcher. He said D.M.S. told him that boat was to leave in few days (Saty.) & that he would be put in charge provided navy did not object. Tale about wounded to arrive, only a ruse. Capt C. talking to Levi & I. Said Major would see us re board. Not anxious for it.
8th – Patients given pay. Big majority only got 1£ few others got more. No leave granted. Major Grey evidently busy or out all day.
[Note in margin:] Saturday
9th – Very slack. Papers announce that Bulgaria had broken off diplomatic relations with
triple Quadruple Entente. Rang up Stockwell at Bungalow. Said that letters for me had been stopped. None arrived here so probably held at Maadi. "Bungalow" has now got phone (Nr 13)
10th – Allied Ambassadors withdrawn from Sofia Austro-Germans crossing rivers into Servia Greece declares neutrality. Looks as if they are likely to make things hum on peninsula. Rumoured that Austns to leave on Monday to catch transport at Suez./Saw Major
11th – Grey. Capt Connolly mixed things up. Went into Cairo 1pm tram called at intermediate base P.O. No parcels there. Saw Capt Pitcher looking better. On return informed I was booked for Helouan 8.30am tomorrow. Got letters from Dad & Hilda H. Had been readdressed from Maadi. Went out to Maadi. Bob T. said
11th – that he & five (5) others were going to leave for peninsula shortly. Skelton Trew. Lucas. Munro & McCormack other five.
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
12th – Caught 8.30 tram & then train to Helouan Arriving Helouan about 11am. Good big building formerly "Al Hayat" Hotel now rest camp. Managed to leave belt with 32/- in it hanging on nail on wall. Had disappeared
five mihalf an hour later. Reported matter. Don’t suppose I’ll get it again. Men here rush meals like dogs at a bone.
13 – Roll Call at 8.15 followed by MO’s inspection etc. Two MO’s at it. Told Capt Grodall ptclars etc & he said he’d board me. He took ptclars at 1.30pm, boarded me 2.30 & was told I would be done in
Aust England. Tried bit of bluff but did not work. Told some they would have to see Col Ryan. Expected him tell
8th – me the same but he didn’t. Wrote Dave saying I was not anxious for trip.
[Note in margin:] Thursday
14th – Asked L/Cpl in office re board papers & he said mine had been fwded to H. Qrs & that I was boarded for England. Rang up Capt Pitcher in p.m. to see if he could do anything to help me catch first boat. Said he was leaving for Alex’da almost immediately for duty on a hosptl boat but said to see Col Martin re same. Put in appln for leave to Cairo & spcl appln for pay. Got paid 10/- here. Pictures at night. Fair show. Went down Helouan today. Nothing to be seen worth mentioning. Got letter from Aunt Hannah.
15th – Refused spcl appln for pay. Get even with them. Went into Cairo 9-45 am train Sgt Plant of Engrs with me. Went out to Ghezireh & Hd Qtrs. Saw clerks re papers for board. Said they would be put through. Saw Boyle there. Went out to Maadi 4-15 train
15th – Sisters Webb & Moore out there for tea. Had tea there & caught train to Helouan.
[Note in margin:] Saty
16th – Hannah & Jeannie also lt Col Bean telling him fwd my letters to Maadi.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
17th – All boarded patients paraded before Col. Manifold. About half at least put on L/C. duty Self included. Wrote Mater, Molly, Dave Aunt Hannah & Lt Col Bean. Told Col. re Manifold’s decision. Also sent about dozen pc’s of Anzac to Mater & sent few Egyptian mails to Dave. Church parade ten a.m. in mess room.
18th – Went into Cairo without leave. Went up to H.Qrs. saw Capt McKenzie re Col’s decision. Advised me what to do. Heard that 4000 Austs. In Greece. Also saw a nurse from nr 2 A.G.H. Said they expected to get word to move to Greece very early. Caught 12.20pm train to Maadi. Drew 3 £ on my pay. Saw Capt Goldstein & he said
18th – to follow Capt McK’s advice. Back O.K. at 4.10pm. Got letters from Mater & Molly. Letters had been returned from Mena. Noticed different colours lantana white. red. yellow. & red with yellow centre. Look very well as ornamental shrubs. Planted alternately & kept trimmed. Told Capt Macdonald re operation. Pictures at night.
19th – Told Capt Avery re Col. & he said better wait & see the Col again. Went into Helouan in afternoon. Rang up. Hd.Qrs & Maadi Mail expected Thursday morning. Usual sing-song at night. Demonstration of hypnotism also by one of soldiers. Put several under hypnotic spell etc.
20th – Told Capt Grieves & Capt McD. Again re operation. Nothing doing in matter. Advised wait day or so. Unsatisfactory & uncertain. Sgt. Duckett brought message to me from Capt Goldstein. Declined for present. Awaiting events. Rang up H.Q Cairo re T’port etc. My name in list for disch. L.Din Egypt
21st – Left at 9AM for Base details. Zeitoun Arrived about noon. Rough up dinner etc & general mix up. Went into town at
2.3 2pm. About ¾ hrs walk across desert to tram. Went out to Maadi for mail. Got letters from Dad. Mater & Molly also Qldr. Mail, couriers & also "News of the World" from Aunt Hannah. Got Bystander map also. Back in camp about 8.30 PM. saw Wilkinson at Bungalow.
[Note in margin:] Friday
22nd – Cissie’s Birthday. All new arrivals paraded before Dr. Dr rather caustic & austere. Told me I had no right to be here & sent me to No. 1 Gen’l. There saw Capt B. & Phillips. Imshied [cleared out] on to Luna Park. Was going to send me back to details but I raised objection Luna Park seems good place, but not like Ghezireh. Wood head in Heliopolis. Stratford also left Peninsula. Capt Pitcher back at Ghezireh. Had to wait five hrs for car from Details to No. 1 Genl Capt "B" now on staff at Helopolis.
23rd – Doctor did not examine me this morning. Judging from reports received, seems not to be in a hurry. Am supposed to be boarded again. Saw Capt B & Phillips (W.O) again. Capt B said he would see re Xferring me to Palace. Asked me to go out to Maadi for mail. Got three letters, from Mater Molly & Dad. Should have got them at Malta. Dated June 11the. Also got the pcl mentioned in Molly’s letter of Sept 15th Brought mail for those at Palace.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
24th – Capt. McKillop said he would see Capt. B again. Lt Col Embling also sent for me. Wonder who next? Went out for about an hour in afternoon. Capt. B. out. Methodist parson holding forth in Mess Room at 8pm. Not a bad discourse. Wrote Dave, again.
25th – Wrote dad Mater & Molly also sent War map to Grandma. Capt Teague
told arranged for my transfer to Palace. Arrived Palace about 7pm
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
26th – saw Capt B. Said he would arrange re boarding me. Asked me to go out to Maadi for a parcel for him. Caught 3.20pm train returning 4-42pm. No mail for me. Brought his mail & parcels for Phillips Sent Dave (registered post) box of 25 cigars.
[Note in margin:] Friday
27th - Capt B. did not come round, evidently crook. Saw Woodhead, seemed & looked bad. Loafing & reading all day, deadly loafing.
28th Woodhead said changes had been made in unit. Allen & Dunn a/Cpl. Standring & Sloane. L/Cpls!!! Amusing the old man’s ways.
28th – Nothing at all happening. Usual routine.
29th – Phillips sent to Helouan. Told he was not now going to England.
Nurse Sister Nagle of Downs night sister of ward 7. Good sort. Orderly a nuisance. Wakes patients up at 5AM to make beds.
1st – Went out to Maadi 1-50 train. No mail. Caught 7-17pm train back. Another nurse being sent out there.
[Note in margin:] Thursday
1st – Saw Major McLean he advised me get done soon. Boarding not allowed. Not particular whether done Egypt or not. Turned down trip to Aust
2nd – Told Capt Knight I was ready soon as he was. Said he would see Maj. McLean. Probably be done tomorrow. Rang up Stkwell in pm.
3rd – Number of men left here en route to Aust. All sorts & conditions of wounds. About 6 or 8 sisters also Operated on about 9.30AM. Came to about 11-15 or 11.30. Effects ether soon passed. Not allowed tucker. Put in nr 8 ward. Back & Head-aching at night. Temp 100 Reading most of day.
5th Dressing renewed. First bread & butter given me Unable get off my back so far
6th – Same routine. Brawl outside palace ‘tween Military Police & Artillery chaps. Evidently prearranged. 1 Officer & 6 men admitted into hospital & several had dressings applied. One chap rather knocked about. Red Caps & others
[Note in margin:] Sun.
7th - 200 arrived by train to Cairo. Chiefly sick few wounded. Nothing doing of any consequence. Turks had attacked our extreme right & made demonst’n along whole front. Four attacks repulsed.
8th – Wrote Dave & gave same to be posted. Two English girls paid room a visit. New arrivals to Egypt.
9th – Same routine. Acute Appdcts case admitted to room.
10th – Maclean Murphy & I shifted back to our wards. Mac to nr 4 Making room for more
[Note in margin:] Thursday
11th – Austn mail closed yesty. First mail I have missed.
Assyr Syrian girls called again. All as visitors generally bringing cakes or periodicals.
12th – Capt. B. not yet back from Helouan. Capt Knight said would take stitches out tomorrow. Caught out of bed.
13 – Stitches taken out. Papers say conscription Bill for single men eligible for service to be introduced Nov. 30th
13th – Phillips brought mail over for me. Four papers & 13 letters. Some of letters had been returned from peninsula. Several from Molly Mater Dad & also from Dan Dave, Alf R. D.S. & Mag Pat. Dave had a slight attack of typhoid & was just allowed to sit up. Letter from St Andrews Hsptl Malta dated Oct 15 1915. Expected trip home. Phillips said Col, Choat Strachan & several others had come back.
14th – Wrote Molly & Dave (2 add’s) Sent Molly her Dnelle’s letterette reply. About 60 from peninsula arrived last night.
[Note in margin:] Monday
14th – Wrote Mater. Sgt Church of DAC ex Borda called to see me. He is to be boarded for Aust. No 6 ward made into Med Ward & patients brought into No 7.
16th – Capt Brown in charge of Ward 7 now Sisters say he keeps all op. cases in bed a month. Fancy I’ll not last the month.
16th 17th 18th 19th – Not supposed to sit up even. Wrote letters during afternoons. Wrote Aunt Hannah, Dan, & several others Xmas mail closes Nov. 24th Cairo 5.30pm. Believe another mail in.
20th – Mail for Aust closed here today. Posted letters Mater Molly & Jeannie. Final to reach Aust before Xmas. Large number of troops going down the canal. British cavalry gone & Light Horse (chiefly rnfents to various regts) are to leave 4AM tomorrow. Stockwell came to see me.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
21st – Rumoured that large body of inf. Had arrived in Egypt & left some time ago all men including drivers being made gunners.
22nd 23rd 24th – Same routine. About 120 sick & wounded arrived from peninsula. Weather getting cold & sea rough. At times too rough to load wounded who have to wait for several days. Wrote Robbo on 24th Cmcl blockade of Greece.
25th – Wrote asking Stockwell to readdress my letters here. New arrivals from peninsula said Kitchener had been thro trenches at Lone Pine
about a few days ago.
26th – Capt Brown said he would let me up tomorrow. Time dragging very slowly. 24th day in bed. Mrs & Miss Forrest (Qlndrs) visiting hospital few days ago. Thorough Austns both in word & actions.
27th – Got up early. The Sister I/c told me to wait till Dr. came. Chap from camp admitted to this hsptl said that authorities feared an uprising by the natives & notice "that 40,000 bombs had been stolen in Cairo & each man ordered to hold himself in readiness to report himself to nearest military centre upon signal or first sign of an uprising being given" was read out in camp orders. All soldiers given 200 rds of ammun. Town picquet doubled. Wrote Grandma
Novr 1915 & Decr 1915
28th – Capt Brown said I could return to my unit at Maadi on Tuesday. Rang up "Bungalow" told Pacoe.
29th – Wrote Dad, went down to Luna Park re kit etc. Left it there. Saw Woodhead, he had para typhoid.
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
30th – Leaving here about 4pm. Supposed to go to some sort of detail camp or conv. Place at Ghezireh. Nobody seems to know much about it. 5pm Arrived at Aust Overseas’ Base. & slept with about a dozen others in a tent. Base at Giza, not Ghezira & very dirty with fine black dust. Only men fit for service accepted.
Decr. 1st Reveille 6am. Parade 630am. Paraded before the Quack for classification etc. Result sent back to hospital, Ghezira this time. Tried to work the oracle & get sent back to my unit but Capt. Stoker (admitting Officer) said "Can’t be did" so I’m imshied into nr 5 ward. Here, Dr Letherbridge said he would try & get me sent to Maadi. Dr L. is a Qlander &
1st – was a frequent visitor to Southport. Related to Nimmos & McLeans. Knew quite a number of Cable Stn lads, also school boys, seems good sort. Saw Choat here, wandering round. Doesn’t seem much wrong with him. Capt Morgan name of A.O.B. Quack. Weather getting very cold. Last few days inclined to be
cold dull & cold. Wrote Molly long letter.
2nd – Applied for pass to go to Maadi. Greece according to papers refused Ententes’ demands re military situation. Anzacs & Canadians upset & changed tone of Anticonscription meeting in London. Went out to Maadi 1.50pm train. Got about 10 letters, including from Mater, Dad, Molly, Jeannie, Dan Joc & Ede also Dave. Big batch of papers & a parcel (Biscuit tin) also rec’d. Came into Cairo with Cliff Stockwell, Bill Power & a Tommy, had tea at Groppi’s. Saw Strachan at Camp. Returned about 8pm. Gave Inglis receipt for pack store equipment of mine at Lunar Park.
3rd – Ede’s letter said Alf R. engaged!!! Went out to Luna Park & brought my kit over to Ghezireh.
4th – Changed to room No 28. No further word of being sent to Maadi. About 30 from No 2 A.G.H. left fro Anzac Capt Mac. had typhoid & sent to Aust. Phillips & Boyle returning to Anzac. Corrie & Carson going with them also Shillito O Neill & a few others of P’lts.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
5th – Batch from Anzac arrived in hospital. Quite a number with frost bitten feet. Gilson of our unit among therm. Ted Hayward called to see me. Told me that Jim Burns had lost one of his legs. Hit on knee by shrapnel & turned septic. Skin hardly broken.
6th More from Anzac, Arthur Sloane among them. Stray bullet hit him base of neck. Gave me latest details. Men now on Quarter rations & ¼ water allowance, Beachy Bill having again distinguished himself by putting
6th – two 6" shells into our condensing plant. Got discharged & Xferred over to Maadi 5pm. Camped in Bill Powers’ tent at night. Got letters from Mater. Dad Mrs Fletcher & FG. Springall
8th 9th 10th & 12th Rfls of 5th 6th & 7th L.H. Regts arrived at Maadi about 870 tween them. Lt Bill Patrick in charge of 10/5th L.H.
7th – Called to see Bill Pat. Not in his tent. Goldstein nailed me for hsptl work at Bungalow. Started there about 10am. Transferring etc now takes up a lot of time. Wrote Mater & Molly, Mail closed before I could write more.
[Note in margin:] Wednesday
8th – Fairly busy. Feet sore through unusual exercise etc. Gave nigger washing etc to do for me.
9th – Same routine
1oth – McCarthy arrived back in camp. Saw Strachan, he was leaving for Port Said in morning. Cliff S. & I caught
[Note in margin:] Friday
10th – 4-42 train in to Cairo. Went to Ghezira Saw Sister Webb & couple of others Arthur Sloane Gilson & Linton sent to Mena. Ghezira had orders to prepare for 1000 cases, At Alier increased it capacity from 400 to 1200, all others emptying & putting in extra beds. Luna Park putting up tents also. Helouan discharged 400 Conv’s. Rumour & speculation very rife. Rumours state that Lone Pine trenches blown up as well as other positions & that our chaps are getting a bad time. Speculation is wondering if that’s true or if our chaps are withdrawing or have assumed another offensive. Hope it’s the latter. Convoy expected tomorrow (Saty) Lost 50 Pt at Babel-louk stn.[Bab-al-Louk]
11th – Very Busy til 9pm. Goldstein got orders to proceed to Ismailia tomorrow. Overheard same on phone. Unit is thankful for small mercies. Anaesthetic given for should’r dislocation & repeated next day.
12th & 13th – Heard old Buffers’ contingent had arrived to look after horses etc. WroteDad & Mrs F. at night. Knocked off at 2pm, resuming at 8pm for night duty. Went into Cairo in afternoon back by return of train.
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
14th – Posted letters. Heard mail had closed by not left Maadi. No notification of closing given. Expect same be reopened for later letters. Got issued with singlets (2) Drawers (2) Sox (1) Tunic (1) Cap & Towels (2) from Dunbar Q.M.S. Called to see Bill Pat. Not in. Left message for him. Rumours of scrap on Canal. Wrote Mater & Mollie at night. Bill Power sent to hospital. R
15th – Greece giving away. Allies to hold Salonica. All Greek troops to be withdrawn. Some of out L.H, a composite regiment had scrap with some Bedouins a few days ago. Rumoured that three German Subs captured in consequence. Hardly seems feasible.
16th 17th & 18 – Nothing much doing. Aust Mail in on 18th letters A.J. Mater Dad & P.C. from Mrs P. also batch of 16 papers same mail. Had gold inlay replaced in tooth by Lieut Lambert, dentist who has commenced here, being attached to our staff. Two others with him. Capt Wornarski crook. Ikey the Jew returned. Wrote Joe Mug from F.I & Mater. Morgan Bob Mack & McCarthy back in camp. Reported that Hayes is in one of Cairo hospitals.
19th – Connie’s Birthday. Last night of duty Week finished. Wrote Molly.
20th – Regulations re franking letters before posting came into force. Posted some unaware of rule. Do not know how letters fared. P.O. Officials said that they would be censored in Cairo. 2nd Aust Rem Unit arrived in Cairo yesty. Heard that Burman ex 6th A.S.C. was W.O. i/c of Vics. Stockwell & I saw him. Had been spinning yarn re being wounded etc. Put his acid on
21st - Learnt that letters were to be censored at Bde HdQtrs. Wrote Dad & Molly to that effect explaining in case others did not pass. Heard 1st L.H. Bde at Zeitoun. Wrote Dave addressing it there on off chance of it getting him.
22nd – Bde HdQtrs got a wire saying Capt Buchanan was dead at No 1 A.G.H. Had died from G.S.W. in head at 11-45am 21st. Stiff luck for him & for unit. One of best men unit ever had both professionally & personally Bde sent firing party & lot of our men went to funeral.
[Note in margin:] Thursday
23rd – Heard that the 2nd L.H.Bde were returning to Maadi; our unit also. Wonder how things will pan out. S’posed to be 568 officers in Bde. Sister Proctor returning to Ghezireh on Monday.
Last nights papers published a message from Reuters’ saying that Anzac had been evacuated, all guns etc being safely withdrawn
24th – Allan’s Birthday. Received two letters from Molly. Nothing but drought & bush fires in Q’land. Caught 2.43 pm train to Cairo. Went out to Heliopolis, passing 4th Artillery who were en route to Maadi. Inquired at hospital for Standring – not there. Slight drizzling rain for hour or so & Maadi streets slippy. Returned by 7.30pm on train. Hospital decorated by Capt Wornarski & Sister Proctor. Looked well. Unable to locate 6/25th battalion Xmas Eve celebrated in kitchen
25th – Xmas Day, all busy. Good dinner for patents. Soup Turkey ham, roast spuds, tomatoes pies, onions, & Xmas puddings. Beer & claret also plentiful. Large number of men in camp screwed. Xmas Billies distributed in early morning, also another little tin box. My Billy contained, Pudding
two tins tin tobacco, cream, sardines, Zam Buk [a herbal balm], soap, cheese chocolate, writing paper & pencils, also a letter from Miss Gladys Lukin, West Guildford W.A. Box had tobacco, 50 cigarettes, Envelopes
25th – pencil cards & chocolate. One man in hospital got a safety razor & spare blades one of 5th L.H. got 1 £ note. Amusing the expressions on faces on opening billies etc. Goldstein & a couple of others full at night.
26th – Very little doing. Chaps had been for dinner otherwise nothing doing. Advance party of some of our Bde Regts arrived, gave details of evacuation 30 pf each regt & battn left also M.G. section. M.G.S. of 6th L.H. last of our b’de to leave, all got away quietly, & no casualties.
[Note in margin:] Monday
27th – 5th 6th & 7th L.H. returned. Our units whereabouts unk. Saw Bolstadt of 7th also several others. All looked better than when I left. Sister Proctor left & Sisters Crosby White returned.
28th – Major Croll, Capt Fraser & our unit or its remnants returned at 7.30 AM. Looking a little the worse for wear. Major Croll & Goldstein had a tongue scrap. Major soon asserted his authority.
29th 30 31st – Unit reorganising "B" section taking over Bungalow for a time which only lasted few days. New Sister came over vice Sister Proctor Lister & others returned to camp. Took tunic into Cairo, to get altered. No New Years celebrations. Very strong police piquet in town Shepheard’s strongly guarded, owing to rumour of intention to burn same.
1st – Major Croll made a/Lt Col. Fresh batch of N.CO’s, a lot of transport men appointed. Dirt rubbed into "A" Section. Staff sent up to Hsptl. Bit of a mess up. Light Rain.
3rd – Maters Birthday. Showery rain still continuing. Wrote Dad, Mater & Milly also acknowledged Xmas Billy.
4th – Letter from Cecil Fletcher to hand coming to see me Sunday afternoon.
5th – Went into Cairo by car. Missed train & 8 of us hired car. Saw Standring, he is to be boarded. Shook up the tailor re fixing tunic. Got table centre at Indians place in Opera Square. Back by 8.15pm train. A section with exception of Sim & Strachan taken over hospital again.
6th – Roy’s Birthday. Various other alterations in staff changing & rechanging. Sloane back in camp. Had letter from Dave, dated Novr 17th. He was in "Bungalow" Block 3rd Western Gnl Hospital Newport Monmouthshire
9th – Cecil Fletcher called to see me. Had tea etc, caught train 6-15pm
re Called at Remount depot to see his friends & Uncle.
10th 11th 12th 13th – Quite a number returned to unit for duty including Sloane, Linton, Loughman Choat & others. Barbat succeeded in getting Xfer into Engrs. Got my tunic
14th – back from tailor, he made a good job of it. Paid him 15 P.T. A soldier (Graham of 7th L.H.) killed
on by train & another got leg broken by hanging legs on steps. Also two natives killed thro’out week. One brought to our hsptl with fracture skull, dying on way into Cairo. Had letters from Dad & Miss Charlton last Thursday & usual batch of papers. None from Molly & Mater. Letter from Molly written in Sydney last Octr only received to day (15th). Posted parcel to Grandma about a week ago, registering same. Had rotten cold running high temp, temp now going down still rotten cold.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
16th to 23rd – Plenty rumours re early departure. Same routine of work. Had rotten cold in larynx. Voice failed me altogether. Got two letters from Mater & two from Molly, usual batch of papers. Capt Wornarski left on
16th to 23rd – Jany 20th for Suez on route to Aust. took letters of mine and Mater Milly & Jeannie. All sorry to lose him. Capt Appleford, Anderson & Jamieson & Gibson taken on our strength. Major Croll made Lt. Col & Capt Fraser given a crown. Lister bad with pneumonia, but getting better. Sister Morton resumed duty. Sent some p.cs to Mater, Molly & Hilda Hudson. Strong censorship restrictions now in force. Posted letters in Cairo & also sent notes thro Unit Censor Capt Appleford taking on the hsptl work vice Capt Wornarski Muleskicks not quite so plentiful. Broke nib of fountain pen. Unable to get a good one in Cairo.
23rd to 31st – Plenty of rumours re brigade moving. All men at Bungalow medically examined & all passed. On Thursday 27th orders received to pack all kit bags & send by car
Febru Jany 1916
23rd to 31st – to Ghizeh for storing. Kits all ready when word received cancelling all orders & postponed departure indefinitely. Looked like the commencement of another gawk-ack. The 4th L.H.F. Amb. Arrived at Maadi & made preparation to take over "Bungalow" transport & Bearers
taking going thro new syllabus of training. Appears as if syllabus is our own & founded on the past experiences. Training likely to be more useful & practical. Previous training such as stretcher drill, only farcical & mostly spectacular.
1st – Got a new fountain pen nib in Cairo. Went to "Kursaal" in evening. Some very good turns on. Went out to Base Med. Stores with car for more drugs etc.
2nd – Went for donkey ride over to Napoleon’s Fort with Alston. Enjoyed ride.
Saw Came back accompanied by an English officer
2nd to 7th – who was in volunteer forces & who was formerly a solicitor. Seemed good sort of chap, had tea with him near Turkish soldier’s prison. Wrote Jeannie.
2nd – No mail in. Capt Gibson taken over "Bungalow" & made a clearance. Only 11 patients in yesty morning, formerly rarely under 30. On 7th "A" section tent subdiv. Went down to camp & "B" section taking over Bungalow. Camped in dispensary & took up duty there. Nothing like as much work as previously. Sick parades also very small.
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
8th – Whole brigade went for route march to Helouan, bivouacking there at night. Camoed near Tewfix Palace Hotel Concert in evening, fair but nothing startling.
9th – Wakened about 3.30am by a nigger chanting in the dawn. Liked to have
9th – had bricks to throw at him but bed was too comfortable so I endured it; others likewise. Reveille at 5.45 AM Left Helouan on return journey at 9am, walking horses most of way both journeys, arrived home in camp about 12.20 pm. Had good tucker at Helouan extras being provided by our own mess table. Trip considered good all round far better than expected. Pay-day. All back money of mine withdrawn. Bought Koday Vest Pocket Camera. Went in with car to Abassia, mump cases.
[Note in margin:] Thursday
10th – Sports on near 4th L.H.F.A. Heats run off in morning. Our team beaten by 6th A.S.C. in tug-of-war. 6th A.S.C. had the advantage of being fresh. Ours having just beaten the 5th L.H. & were tired. Got 3rd in Wagon driving comp. & won the wrestling on horseback easily. Sports fair. Took some snaps with camera. Left same at Kodak at night. Came
10th – home thro Dead City. Not much to be seen at night. Saw building that had been uncovered. Had mail on Wednesday. Letters from Mater, Dad also Molly & photo of Jeannie’s kiddy as well.
11th – Wrote Mater & Molly, posting
12th – same thro Col. Wrote Dad & Scott having same posted in Eskeriah Gardens Cairo. Wrote Miss Charlton also. Half the unit drunk & mess room kept lively. Signallers also full.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
13th - Not much doing. Too busy at time to go
on church parade Wrote Sutton at night.
14th - Not much doing. Same routine
[Note in margin:]
15th - of work, Lectures of a pm. Got mail. letters from Molly Dad & Mater Usual batch of papers
16th – Went into Cairo by Car in pm thro old Cairo to Abassia, thence
16th – on to Med stores Base. Called at Kodak for photos. Got Sister White’s only. Others not done. Went to Intermediate Base concerning letters for Dave. All mail & parcels now kept at Alex’da. Wrote Alex’da to same effect. Back by 8.15pm train
17th & 18th – Nothing exciting. Capt Appleford called for my photos. Not yet done.
19th – General clean up. Tents being pitched for the officers. Football match 2nd L.H.F. Amb. V 4th L.H.F. Amb. on 4th L.H.F.A’s ground. Scores 9 – 9. Their team had better combination due to practice but our team had better individual players. With a little training, should beat them easily. Got snap of forward & following on. Wrote Molly & Dora S. Rec’d Souvenir of Blue Mts from Hilda H. Wrote
Molly Mater & Dad.
20th – Went Church with Brigade. Rev. Maitland Woods holding forth.
20th – 2nd L.H.F.A. v 4th L.H.F.A. 2nd Football team played. Our team lost.
21st – At 9.45am our unit moved off on a route march to Nile Barrage. Stopped at Kasr-el-Nil barracks to feed horses & get dinner moving on again about 1.15pm arriving Barrage about 6pm. Took snaps of niggers unloading cane at wharf. Rode bearer’s horses nearly all way. Felt little stiff after first hour or so that was all. Interesting trip. Barrage between 25 & 30 miles from Maadi.
22nd – Held our own sports in a.m. had our own fun, donkey races etc. Damietta locks & others also, splendid work Saw small boats (nigger’s sailing barges going thro’ gateway also small. Suspension bridge working.
22nd – Gardens looking splendid & director of Irrigation sent niggers to assist in camp works. Took photos of prisoners working etc. Went thro "model museum" Saw
models map of old Cairo in plaster of paris. Hills valleys & buildings streets etc being shown. Also the irrigation scheme & system of working dredge & other big works. Evidently models on which works were constructed. Speaking to Tewfik Chaker an official of company had coffee with him in hi office. Impromptu concert by men in evening. All camped under mountain tents of wagons.
[Note in margin:] Wed
23rd – About 8.15 am started on return journey. Amusing ourselves over niggers on way home. Arrived Kasr-el-Nil about 12.45
[Note in margin:] Wed.
23rd – Had dinner there. Colonel appeared & told us he had orders
for to move off next day (Thursday) Waited till 3.30pm for him & then moved off again, arriving Maadi at 5.30pm. Taken all round, most enjoyable outing & everyone satisfied. Camping under trees & in their shade took everybody’s fancy.
24th – Busy packing & loading up all day. About 6pm unit holus bolus with
kit bags tents etc ready to move off & did so. Kit bags & blankets went with ASC about midday. I went into town by 6.18 train & collected photos. Also saw Lister, wrote Molly Mater Jeannie & Dave posting same in Esbekia Gardens. Speaking to Sister Lehman (No 2 AGH) for about an hour. Large number of No 2 AGH nurses going to No. 3
24th – Auxilliary. Arrived & met unit at Abou-el-ela about 10pm. All horses loaded, wagons remaining till later train. At 11.30 pm train left. Holledge drunk & making a nuisance of himself. & King & M Wilson also helped to keep us awake. Had several "few minutes" of broken sleep.
[Note in margin:] Friday
25th Arrived at Serapeum on Canal at 4.30am. Detrained & thro out morning shifting equipment etc to our camp about 500 yards away. Station of Serapeum is two small one-roomed buildings, offices in fact & is situated about a mile
s on Egypt side of canal. All sand but sand moist just below surface. Filtered water brought from Ismailia about 13 miles away. Fresh water canal along side
25th – of Rly to water horses. Pitched dispensary tent about 4.30 & got few drugs & dressings ready for emergency. Went to bed about 8pm & slept sound as a bell. Patients (mumps) as soon as we arrived.
26th – Got dispensary in order during morning, sick parades & everything O.K. Some busy sinking well & all busy getting camp in order. Not many initial difficulties. Campaigning makes perfect & all old hands know what’s what. Quite a number of newie’s first experiences. Got snap of Bengal Lancers
[Note in margin:] Saty
26th – 7th L.H. Regt arrived & detrained during day. 5th L.H. left Wednesday night 6h & our unit Thursday, 7th L.H. Friday. Caught pidgeon at night. First bread issue tonight, previously bully-beef & biscuit We evacuate patients to No. 1
27th – Rode over to Canal for swim. Water cold. Wrote Mater & Aunt Jack, giving same to Pascoe to post it in Cairo P.O.
announced Letters dated & headed Serapeum. Censor may get them. First operation here performed this morning Bubo. Wind & Dust galore.
28th – Pascoe & Dunbar went to Cairo for drugs etc. Windy. Camp picquet last night. Farce
Feby & March 1916
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
29th – Went for swim in Canal in afternoon. Every afternoon, bearers go over. As a rule I manage to get over every 2nd or 3rd day. Sgts Dunbar & Pascoe in Cairo over drugs & stores. Expected back tonight.
1st – Swam across Canal. Water very cold. Met boats in mid stream.
Also got some photos of men swimming etc. Should be good.
2nd – Rotten windy & dusty day. No parade 2.30pm on a/c of dust. Did some printing of photos. Wrote Mater &
Molly Aunt J, posting same regbly
3rd – Windy etc again. Not quite as bad. Wrote Molly also enclosing photos
[Note in margin:] Saty.
4th Wrote Dad, sending photos. Went up & saw Bill Patric 5th L.H. for few minutes. Sgt Wilkinson went to Ismailia for drugs etc. Red Cross goods requisitioned by Major Fraser arrived. About 260 camels went out this side of Canal today
[Note in margin:] Sunday
5th – Church service at B.H.Q Rev. Maitland Woods skiting. Did not go, too busy. Mech. T’port passing Suez direction, large numbers of troops being moved about. Trainloads of new arrivals passing daily.
6th – Fairly hot. Went for swim in pm. Sgt Wilkinson returned from Ismailia with drugs. Trainload of artillery passed going towards Suez. Finished letters to dad, mater Molly & Jeannie. Letter from Hilda H.
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
7th – General clearing up. Shifting hsptl stuff out of dispensary. Bell tents replacing wagon tents. Military hair cut. Verdun battle still raging
8th – Printing & fixing photos.
9th Went to Ismailia with Bob T. Not a bad little township, boulevards & splendid avenues. Troops camped in between trees, all sorts of troops, Indians Anzacs, Tommies camped there. Met some C.P.R.C. soldiers seemed good sorts had dinner with them
9th – Not a bad dinner. Amused over Native woman & baby & Pt"s baksheesh etc. Took several photos. Saw Soccer Match twist teams from H M’s Cruiser "Euralyus" & Monitor No. 2B Balloon (observ.) up & Aeroplane byzzing round. Went to pictures at night. Passable. Reported that one of our aviators went out from Canal & up till two a.m. had not returned. More Turkish Peace rumours emanating from Washington. Caught late train home. Train supposed to leave 9.30pm but owing to breakdown left at 11.40pm Number of mixed troops ex Port Said train, boarded Serapeum train en route to their respective Camp. Talk about running our own canteen. Meeting to be called. Also notification re "Anzac Book." Gave order for one to be sent to Grandma.
[Note in margin:] Friday
18th – Went up to see Bill P. in 5th L.H. Straggling mail in. Got two bundles of couriers, very recent date, apparently new mail.
11th – Good mail in. Letters from Mater, Dad Molly (2) & Mag. P. also usual batch.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
12th – Went to ‘other denominations’ church service, don’t know pilots name, wouldn’t go nap on him. Too much Gertie about him.
13th – SSgt went up to Ismalia for drugs taking Disprose with him, Provo Colonel collared Dip out of 2.30 pm train & told piquets to book him. Ridiculous charge of being in 2nd compt on 3rd ticket. Dip. missing till afternoon of 14th when escort brought him back needless to say, he was acquitted. Understand Colonel taking matter up.
[Note in margin:] Wednesday
15th – Corps order issued saying Everybody must attend 2.30 pm parade in drill dress order. Quite unnecessary. Doesn’t it hurt. Large movements of troop’s
15th – apparently taking place. Five steamers passed up canal within an hour & troop trains ? running all night. 6th A.S.C. being split up & turned into Div. supply Co. & their Tports being allotted to Bde regts. Rumours very prevalent saying all Austn mail to be held in Cairo for six weeks. Understand we are to be put on bully beef etc from tomorrow. Everyone wondering if L.H. are to be left behind or not. Popular belief is that all the infantry are going to France. Maybe only 1st & 2nd divs. They are certainly going somewhere. Weather getting decidedly warm. Posted letters to Mater Molly. Dad & Ede. All mail up to date.
16th – Usual routine of work.
17th – A. Section went to Salt Lake. Swam horses & had good time. Windy all day, so I stayed at Serapeum. No wind at Lake.
18th – Worst day of all so far. Wind & dust continuously blowing. Dispensary
tent gave way at pole so we had to shift into "reception tent" pulling down old Anzac tent. Eyes mouth ears & everything full of sandy dust. Brigade taking over "Inner Line of Defence" & squadron from each regt, going over canal taking tents etc with them. Our tport wgns also went over. A.S.C. being split up.
19th to 24th – 19th Busy morning. Couple of minor operations. 20th Bde got orders to be ready to move at shortest notice. Excitement for newies. Old ones too used to it. As usual all sorts of rumours afloat in conseq. Believed we were going Port Said, thence embarking. After Wedn. Excitement somewhat subsided. Pitched E.P. tent for operating tent. Best tent of all tents. Rec’d mail from Mater Dad, Molly & a dozen papers. Several QTs. Got spool of films back & sent one to Kodak with Lister. To be registered & posted.
[Note in margin:] Saty
25th – Heard about Lt Col Bean returning & being made C.O. of 3rd L.H.F. Amb.
26th – Passes now being issued for 48 hours leave to Cairo. Quite a rush in consequence.
27th – Hot & glare off sand terrible. Got cricket bats & balls from B.H.Q.
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
28th – Left for Cairo by 9.15 am train from Serapeum. Left about 9.35 arriving Cairo about 2 pm. Light dinner at Saults, went to Intermd’t Base, re xfer to inf. Btn. Unable to do anything & advised me to see the A.D.M.S. at Tel-el-Kebir. Went out to Maadi, "Bunglalow" closed & staff imshied, supposed to Marsielles. Saw Field & Corrie. Tea at Maadi Soldier’s Club. Went to Y.M.C.A. in Esbekiah Gdns. Had hot bath Slept at Russell Soldiers’ Home. Stretchers provided, uncomfortable ones at that.
[Note in margin:] Wednesday
29th – Bought all the commissions I had. Got photos from Kodak & left spool to be developed. Nos 1 & 2 A.G.H. gone & 1st & 2nd Aust. Divs, supposed to be in France. S.S Minneapolis torpedoed in Westn Mediterranean 6th inf bde, supposed to be aboard. All except 11 saved, & they were killed. Various rumours concerning same afloat. Caught 11 am train ex Cairo for Tel-el-Kebir – arriving there ‘tween 1 & 2 pm. A.D.M.S. not there.4th Div A.D.M.S. gone Ferry’s Post & other at Serapeum. Time dragged while waiting for train. Jumped a goods about 5.15 pm & after shunting etc arrived at Ismailia about 7.45 pm. Had tea at dago shop. Caught 9.30 pm which as usual was late. Got to camp about 11 pm. Pat Kelly & Harold arrived at 3rd L.H.F.A. Weather very hot.
30th – Hot & muggy & occasionally dusty storms. Rumours that 50,000 Tommies replacing all the Austn, also stating that all the Austns were to be out of Egypt in less than three weeks. Camels supposed to be attached to our unit for Transport also being issued with shorts helmets etc. Does not appear true. Rumours very conflicting. Pr of Wales still in Egypt. Saw Genl Murray’s train at Ismailia. Restaurant saloon & two other cars also special luggage van all bearing crest.
31st – Rumours of an early depture next week. N.Z.M. Rifles arrived back at Serapeum saying we, the Anzac Mtd Div. were going to concentrate about 20 miles from Zagazig. Lt Col H.K. Bean put in an appearance at the camp. Some cheered him. Looking well but greyer. Flies pestilent.
1st – Football match against 5th L.H. ended with no score. Voluntary swimming parade only. Printed photos from V.D. Barbats collection. Wrote Dave & Molly registering letter Mollys had Barrage pcs & Dave’s "home letters". Wrote Dad & Mater also Molly sent some Canal photos in each. One of
letters photos returned. So far, no notice of Censor’s restrictions of Canal photos.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
A.D.M.S. over inspecting patent sledge stretchers. Took photo of them A.D.M.S. told Adjutant that we would be moving on Tuesday morning.
3rd – No official written orders rec’d until about 2.30 pm on Monday. Nevertheless we were on the "Qui Vive" Packing all pm, all stuff excepting tents had to be at station that night Loading up till about 8 pm.
4th – Finished loading & pulling down camp etc. Tent subdiv. All brakesmen
4th – spare drivers etc travelling by rail Light T.S. wagons going with unit others by rail. About 12.30 pm 5th L.H. led brigade out, other regts following. After camp cleaned up we went to Serapeum stn & loaded rly wagons. About 7 of us sent with first wgn of stuff, the rest of tent subd. went by passgn train.
[Note in margin:] Wednesday
5th – We left about Midn’t, arriving Zagazig about 6 am. & Salhia at 1 pm. Rotten ride, jolts galore. Passed thro splendid country, all irrigated. Date Palm groves for miles along line, Slept at stn overnight. Brigade arrived in p.m., camped at Ismalia overnight, had fair trip. One of R.E. officers informed us that our wgns would never get thro. Got thro O.K. horses changed every 3 hrs. Also had 15 camels with them.
6th – Teams down early to unload. Had walk up to our camp for dinner.
[Note in margin:] Thursday
6th – for 6 of us. Camped on good ground. Mess rooms & canteens being provided. Understand N.Z. M.R. leaving Serapeum today for Salhia. Father Mullins of 7th L.H. said, that as far as he knows we are only to be here for a few weeks, then to France (!!!) Not inclined to agree with him. He probably knows more than I do. Flies very bad here also. Went up to camp about 2.30pm. Pitched E.P. tent. No E.P. prep so had to improvise.
7th – Arrayed panniers so as to protect our drugs etc. Sun very hot. About 4pm managed to erect another E.P. which had to serve as dispensary, orderly room, Sgts mess etc. Bde of N.Z.M.R. arrived from Serapeum about 11 am. Worse off than we are as regards equipment etc so all their sick parade here.
8th – Getting things ship-shape. Rumours prevalent saying another more very shortly. Wrote Mater & Molly letters to be posted in Cairo. (details of trip) Grant Ritchie & Gee returned to unit from Ismailia hospital.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
9th – Weather getting hot, in fact is hot. Church parade at 9 AM Balance of our equipment supposed to arrive at El Salhia today
10th to 13th – Nothing of any consequence happening. N.Z’s got going & took their own patients also going to take all Med & Surgical cases we keeping all infectious cases. Rest of equipment wagons etc arrived.
[Note in margin:] Thursday
14th – Rotten strong wind (Khamseen) sprung up about 9pm last night, dust galore, winds at Serapeum nothing in comparison to it. Chap from R.H.A. brought in, suffering from acute appendicitis. Abscess had burst.
[Note in margin:] Friday
14th – After consultation, M.O’s decided to operate as last chance. Worst day imaginable for it, still it had to be done. Very busy preparing for it & all possible antiseptic precautions taken. Operated on about 3pm. Came thro op. O.K. but case almost hopeless. About 9pm another R.H.A. (Somerset) chap brought in with bullet wounds thro both feet, caused thro accidental firing of a rifle during change of piquet. Another anaesthetic etc to enable thoro’ cleaning of both wounds. Turned in about 11pm only to be roused an hour later for hypodermic injection etc.
15th – Cleaning up. Wind not quite so bad Patient (append) rather low in morning but better in evening.
16th – Squared up again. Patient took a bad turn in night & died about 6.30 AM or just after "Reveille" had sounded. Engers made coffin etc & he
[Note in margin:] Sunday
16th – was buried about 4.30 on rise ‘tween water tanks & railway line
Big Big mail in about the 12th. letters from Dad Molly & Mag. P. & letter from Joe, (saying he intended resigning) on the 16th also letter from Aunt Hannah. 9th L.H. had scrap & captured Turks & Austrian Officer at Jiffjaffa. Inspection by Maj. Genl Chauvel of camp. Indications point to a move very soon & to it being a place called Qatia or Katieh, almost due east of Port Said & 23 miles N.E. of Kantara. Kantara being about 12 miles from here. Some seem to think we will have to go by boat. Latest rumours say 1st div. in Cyprus & 2nd in France. Katieh is on the road to Jerusalem which is less than 150 miles away. Wrote Joc at night, also sent Bulletin to Dave
[Note in margin:] Monday
17th – Hot winds blowing & making things unpleasant. Speaking to Bill Pat at night. Heard
18th to 19th 20th – W.O. & Sgt Croll with others of regt went out riding presumably to inspect proposed line of March. Brought back two young (8 wks) goslings running them down at one of the swamps. Received mail of newspapers only. Others got letters. Wrote Mater & Molly & Jeannie’s returned failed to pass Censor.
[Note in margin:] Good Friday Sent photos
21st - Good Friday Treated or observed as a Sunday. 5th L.H. got orders to move at 5.30 next day. Beer galore. Sent packet of Anzac photos home, also films of
21st - & usual papers.
[Note in margin:] Sat
5th L.H. moved off about 6 am, their wagons etc going by train. About 2.30 pm we received orders to pack up etc. Busy till about 6 pm when orders to stand fast received.
[Note in margin:] Salhia
22nd – 6th & 7th L.H. & B.H.Q. moving off. Evidently no rolling stock for transporting our wagons etc to Kantara. Understood our transport section are to follow us later on. Last night bearers had an exam on first aid etc. & wagon orderlies today. All drivers who were previously left at Maadi & who had not been to the peninsula given the opportunity to revert.
23rd – Easter Sunday About midday the 6th & 7th L.H. & B H Q etc moved off. Rumours re 5th L.H. getting 40 knocked floating round. Appears almost impossible & highly improbable. Very hot & glary. Tommies took steam disinfector away. Number of our
23rd – men in Cairo on leave. All black kit bags sent to base yesty morning. Gave Bill Inglis letter to post in Cairo. Expect orders any time. All seem look forward to scap with Turk. Brig. Reported to have said that we were being sent out to do what Yeomanry had failed to do. Rumours say that Yeomanry are being driven back & that hostile aeroplanes have bombed Kantara & Port Said. 5th & 6th & 7th Sgts canteens selling all their wine & whisky etc.
23rd – About 6.30pm N.Z. M.R. bde – their F. Amb got orders to move off
at in an hour. Rumours galore re Turks being in force of Kantara. Some say 8/10,000 & some 3/5000 driven in & our L.H. & the M.R. called to hurriedly reinforce. Sgts Sim Watson. Capt Gibson Lt Lambert & others returned from Cairo during the early hours after m’dn’t. Had been stopped
23rd – en route & sent on to Kantara & returned from there. Reports of Russian troops passing up the canal.
[Note in margin:] Monday Posted letter to Kodak Co.
24th – Still in semi-packed up state awaiting orders. N.Z. F. Amb. also left behind. Somerset R.H.A. attached to division went out for fire practice. First shots fired from their guns. Our sleigh stretcher contrivances sent to Kantara with men & horses by morning train. Evidently is some scrapping there. Rotten day, hot nothing to do & flies galore. Flies evidently concentrating on us as regiments gone. Tried new hose at N.Z. water tank. Good. Four reinfmts reported here. Regtl rfts also arrived. Farcical exam held. Sposed to be for all hands
25th – Anzac Day. Request rec’d for our tonnage equipment & orders also rec’d to be ready to move at few mins notice. Result of exam. Dip F. & I qualified for higher rank. Rather amused at getting one V. Seems to be a
25th – certain amount of bitterness over it, which is nothing unusual. Things may go anyhow.
[Note in margin:] Wednesday
26th – Hot wind blowing. Orders recv’d for us to go tomorrow. Got a sand tyre Amb. Cart for each section also two Maltese carts & another G. S.
for each. Fancy the big Amb. will be replaced by lighter carts. Sand tyres about 6" in width. Wrote Mater. About 3.30pm orders received to move off tomorrow morning. Completed packing & struck camp after tea, shifting stuff to station.
[Note in margin:] Thursday
27th – Reveille 5 a.m. Remnant of equipment taken to Salhia Stn. All left by train at 10.15 am arriving Kantara about 12.30 pm. Here the camel-act started about 1.30 pm they turned up about 77 strong & it was 3.30 pm before we moved off. Sudanese camels & appeared to be wild, some showing a very strong objection to getting down to be loaded.
27th – Several spills when camels rising. Everybody highly amused. Two had to get on some of the camels & only pack saddles on them. Bob Carlyle shared my camel, he occupied the rear sharp nob of the saddle. Crossing Pontoon bridge over canal one of the pontoons were very rocky & camels doing the feet sliding act. Ours threatening to slip side-ways on, several times. However we managed it. Although very sore from the saddle, we had fun on the way out, the camels showing a strong objection to anything in the shape of a motor-car, bike etc. Had trotting competitions, we being handicapped by sharp edges etc but we lobbed or jig jogged home first. Arrived at the Otago M.R. camp about 6.15 pm & there unloaded & camped. Number of Tommy Engrs there. Heard of 5th capturing prisoners & bringing them in & report of our brigade capturing a M.G. section.
[Note in margin:] Friday
28th – Reveille at 3 am camels etc loaded & after a snack of bully beef biscuits & tea we got away about 5.15 am, this time one man to a camel. We also had saddles packed with our blankets etc therefore we were fairly comfortable altho mighty glad to get to our destination. An escort of NZ. M.R. accompanied us. The first part of journey & nearly all the way out to Railhead
way was good going. Camels walking fair pace. Country or desert was hard & a kind of short salt bushy growth on it. In places we crossed the beds of dry lakes or swamps. Towards Railhead (15 m from Kantara) the desert got sandy & heavier travelling. Had dinner (usual bully etc) at Railhead, stopping about an hour. Canterbury M.R. camped at Rlhd Travellin During morning, escort sighted 5 horsemen & four of them set off full tilt to see who they were. Turned out to be the 5th L.H patrol
[Note in margin:] Romani
28th – 5th L.H. being camped at Bir-el-Duidah. Passed several empty Bedouin camps or villages. They were built of palm leaves. Small Oasis’ seemed fairly plentiful towards latter end of journey. Canterbury Lt lost his bearings & got a little bushed. However we eventually landed at Romani which is between 30 & 40 miles east from Kantara & Quatia or Qatia several miles S.E. of us. We are about 5 m from sea & Quatia about 7 m from sea. Large dry swamp ‘tween Q & sea. Water covered during wet season. Arrived at Romani ‘tween 5.30 & 6 pm. very glad to get off the camel.
29th – Roused at 4 A.M. to "Stand to Arms". Brought Anzac memories back again. After roll-call we set to work pitching hsptl tents etc. About 7.30 am British aeroplane flying very low passed over camp dropping a message. Lowest we have seen. Message acknowledged
[Note in margin:] Saty
29th – by forming a ring of camels ten being minimum nr. Learnt of recent happenings from Rev. M. Woods & also the other
Wowser Cong. Parson. Reports conflicting on certain points. Appears that last Saty (22nd) & Sunday, a well armed managed equipped force of Turks made a swoop on the British (Gloucester) Yeomanry. Yeomanry Patrols had evidently been slack & they were taken by surprise & practically wiped out. 1350 killed wounded & missing. Circumstances & indications point to the Turks having made a swoop down on Gloucesters surrounding them. Yeomanry evidently made splendid fight (all reports agree on that) but were vastly outnumbered & probably out officered & at Quatia Lord Elcoate being surrounded, told his men that he intended to surrender & if any of them wanted to make a bid to escape they were at liberty to do so. 18 tried, 13 got through 5 killed. At Duidar 70 dead Turks & 20 dead Tommies were
[Note in margin:] Saty
29th – buried. 5th just missed Duidar by an hour. They captured a number of stragglers & also parts of an M.G. They pursued Turks for about 6 m. Some reports say that Turks are only 12 m away & others say they are back at Elarish or Elharisch or some such name which is their base. No of Bedouins being rounded up daily & as prisoners of war are being sent to Kantara. Turks evidently had made reconnaissances & knew all detail as simultaneous attacks made at several points. At Bir-el-Duidar, R.S.M Randall (Camel T’port Corps) said, Turks got to within 12 yards of Tommies surrounding them, 800 Turks to 104 Tommies. Also Worcesters annihilated. Congregational padre said he heard that some* of the Gloucesters were sent for,
said came in
* (Later heard only 26)
[Note in margin:] Saty
29th – saying, "The Turks will be here in half an hour" & they all cleared for Kantara, leaving their comrades to be annihilated. 5th L.H. captured a German Officer on 23rd or day of scrap. Egyptian Papers press bureau reports state that British victory over Turks on 23rd. That 70 dead Turks were buried & wounded & a few prisoners brought in. Also stated that a LH Regt had been called up to reinforce. Understand British Gen’l & staff escaped leaving beer, whisky & lots of stuff of their officers mess behind. Our chaps collared it. Later after Turks had cleared out, & the Staff returned, they sent over for their whisky etc & they got the reply that ‘it was wanted for the wounded whom they cleared out & left.’ Wounded were very sore over being deserted. Makes one’s blood boil to think of such crass incompetency & neglect costing
29th – so many brave lives & the heads escaping. Turks were humane & left water beside the wounded but those devils of Bedouins were like scavengers after an army, they took all food & water that had been left & in many cases killed the wounded & according to the parson the features of many of the dead were mutilated beyond recognition. Believe in course of a couple of weeks the Anzac mtd division will all be here & our artillery supporting, we will advance clearing the Bedouins & Turks out of Elarisch & district & we may eventually land near or in Palestine. Turks had artillery supports, our men had not. Even now we are greatly inferior in numbers etc to Turks. They seem to have a very healthy respect for Austns. Some expect another swoop & others
[Lt W.E.L. Seeward (actually William Eric Louis Seward, MC (1891-1975) – the exploit mentioned on pg. 174 of this diary is documented in a painting held by the Imperial War Museum: Concise Art Collection Title: The Seward Exploit]
[Note in margin:] Saty Romani
29th – do not, I don’t think they will. Fancy we will advance first. Rumors of attacks at Ismailia & other places at same time. No papers obtainable so have not had war news for some time. Yesterday we passed what evidently had been a hurriedly evacuated camp, tins, rubbish letters & papers lying all round. Horse rails & tank there also. Today our men paid it a visit & collared all useful stuff. Our lot rather good at that game. Several up before the C.O. tomorrow for taking sand bags from defences. Serve – em right. Understand that 1000 niggers hard at it pushing railway out here at rate of mile a day. Would not be surprised but what Tommy General Wiggin or some such name & his staff get
public military medals & D.S.Ms VCs etc. Court martial nearer the mark & far more suitable. No one to contradict them
[Note in margin:] Saty Romani
29th – Orders received regarding hostile aeroplane if it appears in sight Some of New men to active service greatly perturbed over it & believe that it will appear early in morning. Randall, 3 Soudanese 62 Gyppos & 108 camels attached to us for future use. Expect our artillery will be with us in course of a week or so. Very cool in evening. Heavy dew in AM.
30th – In charge of fatigue party from 4 AM parade. Sgts Cav & Dental Sgts paraded. Got snaps of Romani Camp. Hd Qtrs got news of Gen’l Townsend surrendering with 3000 Tommies & 6000 Indians. Only to be expected after about 5 month siege. Seems a pity he could not be relieved after fighting starvation so long. Other news was French regaining some ground at Verdun & British successes in Belgium. Russia doing well. Suppose above successes mean a couple of yards or so. May be like this success (?)
[Note in margin:] Sunday
30th – Bedouin women who were prowling in & out of camp collected & understand they are to be sent to Kantara. Only proper to do so. Conflicting reports re Bedouins. Some say Bedouins looked after wounded Tommies etc. Turks neglecting them. Don’t think the Turks had much time to look after any wounded. They had to imshee too quickly. the 5th being on their tails. Tails of aeroplane bombs being found in fair numbers. Fantasse is name of water containers used & Cacolet name of coffin shaped box used for stretcher cases. Bugler Wms went in to see about a mail About 1st Sunday we have been in a fixed camp without Church parade. Brig Genl Ryrie & a couple of other Genls & escort floating round on horses. Posted letter to Mater. Believe the day before yesty, our patrols or outposts sighted Turk patrols. Six Bedouins brought in at night about dusk by L.H.
April May 1916 Monday
1st – Bedouins from Qatia district searched. One chap had Tommies’ tunic, silver cig. case, field dressings tobacco etc on him. Some very evil visaged among them, two especially so. Got couple of photos of them. Aeroplane dropped usual message about noon. Believe she reported about 40 Turks in tents about 12 miles distant. Considered it is possibly a trap. Gen’ls moving round again. Anticipate an early move. Rumoured that an inf division are at Railhead. Rumour only. Hope the whole Anzac mtd div. come. Heard that English papers are full of reports of the L.H. to the rescue etc. Eight hour day, not observed here.
2nd – Bints rounded up & sent to Kantara. Mail in. Letters from Mater (2) Molly & L. Card from Jeannie. Also from J.G. Alston saying
bag pcl left on or about Feby 28th & no receipt given. Also got two spools from Kodak Co Cairo. Wrote
2nd – Molly & posted same.
3rd - Bags of newspapers arrived. Tommy officers here enquiring after kit etc. Like their chances of getting it. Went for short ride on Freudenbergs horse, collecting palm leaves from a grove over the hill. Not a bad nag. Nice & fresh. Aeroplane lost.
[Note in margin:] Thursday
4th – 7th L.H. patrols last
ed night sighted Turks about 12 miles out. Turks 20 to 1 so our patrol retired. No shots exchanged. Two squadrons of 6th & 7th left about 2AM to look for aeroplane supposed to have fallen about 5 miles other side of Qatia. Yesterday two ‘planes passed over about 4.30 am another at ten & 12.30. Message not dropped till about 4.30. Evidently our man who fell. Took photos of Cacolet & double stretcher on camel. Pitched two tents in afternoon. Issued with 2 green envelopes, first for about 6 weeks. Col W.O. & Sgt. Croll, out
4th – riding found four Tommies’ kits. Brought sleigh load of it into Camp. Testing water in AM. For A.D.M.S. "Stand to Arms" altered to 3.45 am & horses to be saddled etc with feed on by that time & to remain so, till "Carry On" at 6 am. Standing to at 3.30.
[Note in margin:] Sent photos with Edward
5th – "Standing to horses 7 – 7.30 on account of urgent wire reporting "Two hostile aeroplanes over Kantara, travelling eastward." Did not put in an appearance understand ours up after them. Sent two spools of V.P.K. [vest pocket Kodak] to Cairo with Edwards (evacuated) also letter to Mater to be posted at the P.O. Our patrols out 15m. Indications point to a "move on". Fantasses [10 gallon tanks of water, used in pairs on mules] of water being saved & stored & inspections of camp sites etc.
[Note in margin:] Saty
6th – Wrote Jeannie, going to give to Sambo, of C.T.C. to post. Aeroplane reported about 12.30, volplaning [making a steep controlled dive] from a great height & distance to camp.
May 1916[Note in margin:] Saty
6th – Only half ration of water today. Eighty fantasses to be stored up out of day’s supply. Four Tommies & 2 extra Sand carts arrived & taken on strength. Turks reported to be at Oghratina.
7th – Early in morning rumour of move thro-out the day, & about 11 am orders received that Brigade would move out to attack Turks at Oghratina during course of p.m. We with about 20 camels, sleighs s-carts & bearers left at 1.30. Covering party with us. Main body did not leave till 5 pm. N.Z.MR. delayed it about an hour thro’ non-arrival. We arrived at Qatia, 6 miles distant about 3.30 pm. Bde arrived 6.30. Had a look at Qatia battleground. All dead soldiers buried, dead horses & camels still unburied. Some of dead, half uncovered by wind blowing sand off, one Turk p’t’clarly so. Saw some of 5th L.H. Lt Stanfield & a troop there, had about a dozen Bedouins, chiefly women rounded
7th – up. Had caught same at Qatia 5th supposed to stouch a few Turks at Haminish. Took snap of Tomb of Shiek-el-Muzzai part of ruins of Qatia. Qatia many hundred years B.C. was principal resting place of travellers from Jerusalem to Egypt. We likewise rested or waited for Bde to come up & it was 8 pm ere we moved off again. Few unexploded bombs etc lying about. Aeroplane visited us but did not drop any message. Understand B.H.Q got message from her before leaving Romani that no Turks within miles & all Turks gone from Oghratina. Bde left at 8pm & I shortly after leaving, distinguished myself by falling off a camel. Nothing serious happened, I was sitting side-ways on & must have fallen asleep as first I remembered was camel shying & half leap-half running fwd. Regained my balance from shy by leaning right back but the leap fwd set me rolling & I touched the ground at camels heels. Rather
7th – a steep roll but I was sufficiently awake to arise quickly & escape the fairy tread of the camel’s feet. At any rate, we arrived at Oghratina about 11.30pm,
[Note in margin:] Monday
8th – We separated from the Bde here, the bde going on to Bir-el Abd. & we returned via Qatia to Romani arriving about 9.15 am. Oghratina is about ten miles as the crow flies & about 12 by trek from Romani. Old telegraph line runs from Qatia to Oghratina, evidently trans
arabian Sinain desert telegraph line Dead tired Very glad to get back & get a hot drink. Bde returned about 6pm bringing 2 Bedouins, one young, & had Turkish rifle, very old Schneider type, ammunition & English tunic etc. Very likely he helped the Turks in last scrap. Dropped rife when caught. Got mail before leaving Letters from Dad, Mater Molly, Miss Charlton & young Hensley at IR. Understand
8th – A.D.M.S. visited camp & dissatisfied. Understand C.O acted contrary to his orders. Were supposed to prepare to receive 500 wounded, & only few bearers to accompany regts However Turks had flown. Believe G. boats off coast few days previously. Rumours about infantry landing up coast. Sgt Sim returned. News confirming naval action in N. Sea in which the "Tiger" was sunk & eight or nine German cruisers sunk. Also said that Jap. Troops had passed thro canal previous day & also a Dutch boat seized in or near canal. Also news of scrapping S of Ismailia & at Suez Off railhead near Serapeum 3rd L.H.B. got about 150 Turks as prisoners.
9th – Getting dispensary ship-shape again. Very hot. Slept for couple of hours. Some of advance party of Engrs camped close by, surveying route of railway. Line in sight to pass via Qatia to coast. Rumour of inf.
[Sinain Desert – Sinai Desert]
9th – being landed at Jaffa.
10th – Rumours of large number of troops (15,000) & about 1500 camels arriving in day or so. Wrote Molly Dad & Mater.
[Note in margin:] Thursday
11th – New camps appearing round about us. Infantry supposed to be camped close to sea. Troops
of on both our flanks. Hope we soon get a move on.
10th – Rumours of L.H. being sent to Alex’da during summer. Very doubtful. Heat here very great. Hope we push on to El-Arish. Troops beginning to be discontented over inactivity. Absolutely nothing for us to do. L.H. Regts doing patrols.
13th – Garbutt & Bateman with tents etc arrived at Romani. Regts getting tents also. Tents for men pitched on hill overlooking camp. Scored drum of kerosene from Sig Tr.
14th – late in evening all hsptl tents moved up hill. We managed to score an E.P. for
14th – dispensary. Got niggers to work carrying stuff.
[Note in margin:] Monday
15th – Settling again. At 1pm N.Z.M.R. brigade & 6th L.H. went out to hill 220. Expect to meet with few Turks. Both bearer sections, Jim & R.R.T & four officers & transport went. Anniversary of our leaving Maadi May 15th 1915 we left enroute to Gallipoli.
16th – Hottest day on record so far. At 9 AM 102 degrees. At 11 AM 108 & at noon temp was 112 as high as clinical would register. Swear it was not under 120 in E.P. tent which considered coolest of tents. Regt. Returned at night. About 60 or 70 cases went down to sunstroke. Last of cases brought from Qatia arrived about 2 AM. Some delirious & raving. Couple not expected to live.
17 – Very hot in morning about 108 at 11 am but after that wind changed
17th – blowing from the North & sea breeze tempered heat considerably. All heat stroke patients evacuated.
18th – Warm but sea breeze again to the rescue. About 4 a.m. 6th & 7th L.H. & squadron of N.Z. moved out to Bir-el-Abd on another stunt, bearers accompanying & our tent subdiv. made an advanced dressing station at Qatia. Nothing doing & they spent the time digging up stuff left by Yeomanry (Wor). Some got swords & pistols, saddles, fishing nets & all sorts of small paraphanaelia & brought it home. I was left
ye behind, was not extra keen on going but, seeing what panned out, I was sorry I did not go. Dick Watson got silver mtd & inlaid flint lock pistol evidently left by Yeom. Must have been a family relord relic or else left or captured from Bedouins. Aerial & warship bmbdmt of El arisih.
19th – Squadron of L.H. who were left behind to see if Turks followed, lay in waiting but after dark two fires evidently as signals to Turks sprung up. Turks evidently send out small patrols who hide in small hillocks sniper fashion. A few days ago, signallers who were left behind on hot day were fired on by Turk Patrols & pack horse shot. When squadron returned, Turks had imshied. Anniversary of our landing at Anzac. 1st L.H Regt arrived yesty. Understood 1st Bde coming out to relieve the 2nd & the 2nd L.H.B. going to hill 70. Men & horses in good condition.
20th – Wrote Molly & Mater not posting same. Big Aust Mail arrived. Letters from mater Dad Molly & Mag P. Learnt that I had to go into Kantara & Hill 40 by 6 AM train ex Railhead tomorrow
21st – Caught 6 am train at R’lhd Tom Brennan with me. Got into Kantara about 8am. had rough up breakfast, did a little biz & went out to transport camp at Kantara West. Had good swim in canal in afternoon. Large French t’port (empty) "Paul Lecat" double funnel 4 decker passed Suez-wards evidently going to pick up more Russian troops.
22nd Bought all canteen goods etc & messed about generally. Did all I had to do & then acted as hanger on.
23rd – Did lightning act of hopping on metre guage Rly train when going full speed. Guard very obliging & made especial trip with engine to take me to Hill 40. Saw A.D.M.S. who informed me that store had been collected. Caught Romani train by another act of lightning. Tommies stared at me.
23rd – Arrived Railhead about 3pm & it was not till 5.30 that camels were loaded.
Anniversar A year today was Armistice. Wrote & posted letters to Molly & Mater. Men out on a stunt last day or so. Got a Turk, seven or eight escaped Turks very cool discharged rifle at aeroplane & waved hands then off on camels. They know country too well.
25th – Rumours of 6th moving back to Hill 70 at 3am tomorrow. Kavanagh gone Kantara after stores. Sergt Croll going to get horses & men from depot to reinforce us tomorrow. Using a 1 % solution of Sodium Arsenite for killing flies.
26th – 6th L.H. moved out at 3 am & 3rd L.H. arrived at Romani. Rumours re 2nd L.H.F.A remaining behind at Romani.
27th – 2nd L.H arrived & 7th L.H. left in early morning for Hill 70. Speaking to Bill Handley & Rufus Raabe in pm. Regt in fairly good nick.
28th – saw "Pixie" Ebelana’s offspring. Not looking too bad, not taking to the water. Chap named McLaren riding her. 2nd L.H. had a fair spin, up round Luxor way. At places called Minhia & Soag or some such name.
29th – Nothing doing in AM. Another stunt commenced. NZs, 1st L.H. & our bearers leaving at 10pm. Expect to camp at Oghratina at 3am. WE Anderson returned to unit.
3oth - Grandma’s Birthday. 3rd L.H. left in morning & 2nd L.H left at 10pm to reinforce if necessary. Issued with helmets again.
[Note in margin:] Wednesday
31st – News rec’d of small scap with Turks. 15 Turks killed, 1 wounded & 1 prisoner. Our casualties two slightly wounded. Preparing to receive wounded. Caught
May 1916 & June 1916
[Note in margin:] Wednesday
31st – a chameleon & keeping same in dispensary. Going to try & educate him. They are not unlike a lizard in shape, "Charlie" being about 8" long. Can change their colour to whatever colour of background they are on. Have eyes independent of each other & can look both ways back & front at same time. One eye does not affect the other. Live chiefly on flies & insects. Fairly common on desert.
June 1st – Did not finish with Turks op. etc until about 2 a.m. & I was not inclined to get up when 4.30 came. Glad I did & got things a little ship-shape. Between 6 & 6.15 am. Taube appeared over camp & dropped bombs. Did not see her until almost over lines. First bomb hit wireless aerial but otherwise no damage. Second lobbed right amid a troop of 3rd L.H & horse & human flesh scattered to the winds
1st – Was the only bomb out of eight to do damage. 3rd killed a camel others went wide. However it was enough. Four killed outright, three died shortly afterwards & another died after leg had been amputated. Leg in frightful condition knee cap & thereabouts shattered into fragments the largest being about an inch. Another had half jaw & face blown off, another had deep wound in buttock, breaking pelvis & injuring internally. May be peritonaeum only or may have been intestines. Rather pathetic when putting him on operating table. Poor beggar, with a very poor chance of living said, "Don’t lose my tunic, Matey its got a photo of my wife & children in the pocket of it" Hope he survives. In terrible pain. He & man with face not expected to live. Treated 21 with anaesthetics & about three without Number of compound & complicated
1st – fractured & some very bad wounds. They were all nasty & some hit in about eight or ten places. One chap was hit on top of head, both arms R. side of abdomen, thigh & below knee. Had two operating tables going hard from 6.15 am to 5.30 pm. Long operations in the morning. Did not get any breakfast & by good luck managed to get a drink of poor tea & some bully & bread. Kept the sides from touching that was all. Cleaned us roughly after tea. About 40 horses killed & reports say about 60 wounded but a V.C said they had only 13 to treat. Probably others slight wounds only. Scattered in all directions. Bomb that killed a camel & bowled a nigger over fell about 100 yards off camp. Evidently tried to bomb NZs,
only also & missed. Turned MG on to Railhead as well as our camp. Did no damage with it. Antics of some of our men very funny
1st – Colonel & W.O. on seeing it was a Taube, cleared for redoubt on top of hill. Bob T & I were together & did not shift except to lie flat
as when bombs fell. Not quite sure if I got photo of explosions of 3rd bomb or not. Heard a bomb hissing thro the air before I got view finder on it & am not sure if I pressed lever or not. Time will tell. I fell flat & Bob T. followed suit quickly. Saw first bomb leave aeroplane. I was the only one to try & get snap. Large number of horses missing. Various reports say 100, 150 etc.
2nd – Report saying that 100 of our horses arrived back at
Salhia Pt Said. Don’t believe it. Early next morning (2nd) we shifted camp about 300 yards further back. L.H. also scattering & spreading out. Rather a severe lesson to them. Camp a good one but believe it to be only for a few days. Expect to be moving to Hill 70 on Sunday. Every thing cleaned up & spic & early in afternoon.
2nd – Had a letter from Dave. Said he expected to go to Conv. home at Pothcawl in day or so. Letter dated April 19th Y.M.C.A. arrived at Romani day or two ago.
3rd – Rumour re Taube being sighted at Qatia in afternoon. Regts stood to horses. New camp in good position.
4th – Packing up early in day, preparing to move to Hill 70, replacing 1st L.H.F.A. & they replaced us. Bearers left about 4pm & we caught train leaving about 5.15. Hill 70 19 miles from Romani. Left kit & equipment at stopping place & had to march about 2 miles, mostly on formed road so good walking.
5th – Found we had made a bad exchange. They took all, leaving nothing except a dirty camp. Dispensary & Dentist running together in a QMs marquee tent. Heard about naval battle off the Categatt. British losing, Queen Mary, Invincible, Indefatigable (BC)
5th – the Defence, Warrior & Black Prince © & eight destroyers. Ten German ships known to have been sunk, & more very probably also sunk. Total of 15 believed sunk. B.C. squad. Engaged German High Seas fleet, when they attempted to break the blockade & fought it. When our Battle fleet appeared Germans imshied & evidently chased on to their own minefields as some (2) of their best boats blown up. Aust main in. Usual letters papers etc.
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
6th – Busy squaring up. Wild rumours of another big naval battle. Germans supposed to have been enticed out of Elbe & rushed on to their own minefields losing 50 ships more or less. Nothing authentic. Letter from Jeannie & Bert yesty. A letter of mine recently sent thro P.O. blocked & returned. Consequences amusing.
7th – Heard that man with
fractured shattered jaw from Bomb wound died. Inoculated again. Paratyphoid this time. Wrote Dad Mater, Molly & also a baksheesh tart in Tasmania, a Miss Henry of Ulverstone.
8th – Rumours re Kitchener being drowned, heard very early in morning & reports later in day confirmed it. Supposed he & his staff aboard cruiser "Hampshire" & she sank off Orkney Islands. Kitchener enroute to Russia. Feared all lost. Our luck seems dead out. News appeared to be incredible & men absolutely refused to believe it. Rotten end for one who had such abilities & had done so much. At present, nothing known as to what caused cruiser to sink. Nothing official yet received. Hear that B’de thought my letter amusing
[Note in margin:] Friday
9th – News re K’s death confirmed by papers. Also state that Genl Sir W.R. Robertson takes his place. Hearsay only. The question here now is "Are we going to France" or not? I am inclined to think we will be there before long, but indications point both ways, understand N.Z.M.R. kit bags have been sent to England & the L.H. kit bags are at Port Said. Heard that the Col. trying to get ours here. Don’t want mine. Too much of a nuisance. 7th L.H. seem to be building stables. They had their felt hats withdrawn & helmets issued again. 5th L H’men said that a lot of English infantry now at Qatia. Another batch of paratyphoid inoculations put through. A couple of our men & sandcarts at Dueidar. Paid yesterday.
10th – Quiet nothing doing
[Note in margin:] Sunday
Wrote Jeannie & Bert green env. About 2.30 pm surprised by a visit from a Taube. Observed flying very high going to Kantara but not identified. Dropped four bombs on Kantara, & killed a few mules & returning turned machine gun on our camp slightly injuring two horses. Our ‘plane in pursuit. Our ‘plane returning, flying very high was fired on. Was reported as hostile. Arabs (Egyptian Lab. Corp) as usual crowded together & flying white handkerchiefs cloths etc. Church parade 1815 (6.15 pm) Rev. M. Woods skiting. Compared K’s death to that of Nelson etc & referred to Gyppo & white flag.
12th – Very quick Russians hunting Austrians & giving Austrians crook spin. Large movements of troops going out towards Romani & Dueidar
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
13th – Very quiet. Motor wagons used for stone transport working on road just opposite. Sanitation Committee inspected. Could find nothing wrong.
14th & 15th – passed nothing exceptional happening. Wrote Dave & Aunt Hannah. Letters from inf. say that France is like one huge picnic grapevines fruit etc growing amidst trenches. S Sgts W. & Croll went to Cairo.
[Note in margin:] Friday
16th – Arab had a slight argument with motor wagon & came off second best. Result I had to put about 15 stitches in foot. About 17 men from here exchanged with 17 men from Kantara. Capt Anderson sending S Sgt Pascoe away sick. Inoculated men from details.
17th – 23rd – Nothing of any moment happening. Same routine of camp life. Russians still doing well & papers report Sheriff of Mecca had risen against Turks
17th – 23rd – claiming independence of Arabia. German officers recalled to Germany about the 17th, we saw ten of our aeroplanes fly over about 8 AM. Bombed El Arish, getting eight hostile planes & destroying all hangars. Lost two of our ‘planes in consequence.
23rd – Packed up & loaded eight camels & they went with camel T’port (Indians) accompanied by the 6th L.H. to Bir Et
Amala Maler, the camp of the NZs. NZ’s coming to Hill 70 & our brigade going to relieve them. S Sgt Pascoe & Pte Hayes evacuated sick. Both had tuberculosis. Sent some photos to Dad during week. Sent watch with S.S. Wilkinson to Cairo for repairs. Sent spool of V.P.K. photos to Cairo.
[Note in margin:] Saturday
24th – heard evacuated (Rheum). Not expected back again. Finished packing & loaded panniers on camels. During night at 2 am bearers moved out. 7th L.H. also going out same time.
25th – Remainder of baggage sent down to loading bank. Train filled with niggers on trucks picked up luggage etc. Bir Et Maler about 1 ½ miles from Railhead. Very good camp & everything looks comfortable. Plenty of E.P tents, shade water etc. Fairly square by night fall.
26th – Taube visited us early in morning. No bombs dropped. Ours came over later but Taube had imshied Our plane waited but too late.
28th – Rumour of a stunt on Friday.
29th – Misty. Taube heard & advice of same received from Oghratina. Not seen from our camp but about 7.30 Taube & our plane both sighted. Ours had advantage of elevation & we thought the Taube was a goner as our chap volplaned towards him. Both M.G.s were rattling at each other, the Taube appearing to do the more firing.
29th – First air duel (decent) that we had seen. Taube seemed to be the faster & seemed as if our ‘plane had outmanoeuvred it. Taube drew away from ours. Later we heard news which was confirmed that our plane had been brought down at Hamadieh & also stated that taube appeared very warbly & flying low & seemed as if hit. Not seen to land so nothing definite known as to its fate.
Fa Our plane brought to Railhead & it is said had 53 holes in it, the petrol pipe being broken.
[Note in margin:] Friday
Reports say that our plane hit by our M.G. Everything getting fixed up for the stunt. Bearers & camels expect to move out ‘tween 12m & 2 am Parade with iron rations. Only two had them, self & Strachen. Paid today.
1st – Big parade of NZs here. RMO’s gone out on stunt. Capt Gibson in charge of camp. Received watch from Cairo by post. S Sgt W also got his.
2nd – Men returned from stunt about 7 pm. NZ advanced scouts reported seeing Turks.
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
3rd – Left for Port Said to get Anti diptheric serum. Caught train at Railhead about 11.40, Kantara at 2.00 arriving at Port Said after 4pm. Stayed at Hotel De La Poste. Executed several commissions in evening. In morning arranged to collect serum, had a couple of hours in water & finished biz. Went over the French battleship "Jaurreguiberry" French sailor very obliging, did not understand him nevertheless. Then went over British China Gunboat "Aphis" Understood the middy OK.
3rd – "Aphis" only draws 4 ft of water & armed with two 6" guns & two 12 pdr & antiaircraft. Collected serum & talking to chap named Moles of No 5 Base Med. Depot
4th – Caught train at 8 am. Had a good swim in canal & had to wait till
5th – Wrote Dad & Molly. Nothing doing. Squared up a/c.
6th – Wms brought packet from Kodaks. Had print of bombs exploding at Romani. Not a bad photo. Only one seen so far. No other like photo obtained. Received orders galore for prints. Lt Terry took
phot film to Kodaks Cairo & getting
[Note in margin:] Friday
7th – Wrote & sent photos to Mater. Another stunt commencing at 3 am.
in morning on 8th. Big prepo. & everybody expects there to be "something doing" We are forming an adv. dressing stn at Hod, el debabis or thereabouts, possibly further out. L/Cpl Sleeman of A.V.C xferred here & starts his duties as St Sgt Compounder vice Pascoe. Taube manoeuvring over camps yesty AM apparently taking photos. Bombs expected on one of the camps some day soon. Understand different tactics to be employed on stunt this time screen to be differently formed. Our 18pdr fired shot at Taube yesty. Good elevation & not a bad shot. Rumour says that our plane had been fired at by 18 pdrs. On 6th one of our planes forced to descent in a hod about half a mile from camp.
7th – Exhaust valve & socket blown out Took several photos. She got off the mark again, same afternoon Askin Sort, Jimmison & reinfmts arrived yesterday pm. Hackett returning today. Received apples from Red Cross. Plenty for hospital & about 6 given to each in unit. Issued with shorts, also got jack knife.
8th - Majority away on stunt. I had to remain to initiate S.Sgt Sleeman into his new duties.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
9th - Word received during day of L.H. engaging Turks. 6th LH. supposed to drive Turks (about 60) on to 7th & 7th got bushed & Turks cleared leaving two dead & two prisoners. One of prisoners proved to be an E.L.C. Arab who had twice deserted. Troops returned about 6 pm. Lt Terry brought back photos of "Bomb exploding on Romani Camp" Sold all in few mins. Want to get 250 more Lt Lambert returned with him.
[Note in margin:] Monday
10th – Made a swap with the Colonel for a set of his, showing all dead horses etc. Also got a couple of prints of one of Tom Kennedys.
11th – Kit bags brought out here from Base. Intended to be kept for few days only. Wrote Lawrence & Mayo re Watch & saw Major re censorship of photo.
[Note in margin:] Wednesday
12th – Jeannie’s Birthday. Taube visited us yesty & gave us a look that was all. The A.A. banged twice twice at him.
13th – Nothing doing.
[Note in margin:] *
14th – Paid today, nothing else doing. Wrote PR at WR. also registered letter containing photos of Bomb stunt to Molly. Censored by Major T.
15 – Papers report that Turkey is suing for peace. Suppose its same old rumours. British offensive developing slowly but surely. Letter from Hilda H. Long brought photos from Port Said. Rotten prints.
[Note in margin:] Sunday
16th – heard old wowser skite at 6th. L.H. lines at 6pm.
17th – News of another stunt in sight.
18th – Leaving next day. Mail in, letters from Aunt Amy, Mater Dad Molly & Bert also flynet & papers from Molly.
19th – Brigade left at 4pm. In evening word received that 7000 Turks at
OghratinaBir-el-Abd. Bearers of A section in readiness. Believe only our b’de out.
20th – Hsptl cleared & orders received to be ready to move out at a moments notice as an Amb. Busy packing etc. Aeroplanes busy. Report saying Turks entrenched at Oghratina. Later news received that ours & Turk patrol had clashed no casualties. Various reports as to strength of Turks. Reported to about eight or ten thousand encamped about Bir-el-Abd. Oghratina & surrounding Oases.
20th – Aeroplanes very busy Taubes bombed Suez. Reports state Turks entrenching at Oghratina (a mile or so this side & our troops dug in about two miles distant Narrow escape of our unit. Stationed Qatia all day. B’de unprepared & attack was expected ‘tween two & three am brigade prepared to retire as enemy far too strong. Rfts being rushed up & artillery being brought out. Redoubts being built & manned by inf. About 11 pm, brigade returned, having evacuated Qatia. Qatia too exposed to be held by either side. Hot reception awaiting Abdul. Few prisoners capt. NZ patrol narrow escape.
21st – Aeroplane reports Abdul busy German officers being in charge. About 4000 camels. Few odd prisoners brought in who seemed pleased to be captured. & seem to be in underdressed & underfed. They report
21st – that Turks number 8400. Twelve regts of 700 each. I’m inclined to doubt their statements. Seem fishy. Looks a put up job. Believe Brig. giving them great kidstakes. Prisoners report that eight field guns with Turks & that Turks are only advance guard & a Turk division. Don’t believe it. Personally I think is only an attempt to draw large British forces from Flanders. Aeroplanes report Turks going toward sea Dueidar. Attack
feared expected from that source thro night or early morning. Two Taubes over camps. First time two have appeared. Regts moved out about 1am beares accompanying Tent subdiv remaining behind. Tried hard but no go.
[Note in margin:]
Stretton returned having left my photos at a Dago’s shop. Not satisfied with name of place
22nd – Only hope it turns out well. Another farce of exam in view. Nursing Sergt this time. Regts returned about 11 pm. About a dozen prisoners taken including a German Sergt or officer. Reported that two 2nd L.H. Sgts captured, horses done up. & one of 1st L.H Regt killed. Taubes again.
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
23rd – Another air duel. This time above clouds but within hearing. Our plane hit engine stays, & MG. & pilot & aviator slightly wounded in shoulder & wrist. Chased German to Bir el Abd & left him then returned at leisure when the German Aviators stole up on him. Various conflicting reports regarding duel. Their machines evidently superior. All hostile planes called Taubes by us. Good shooting by A-A gun at Taube splendid range & elevation, bad line. Nothing fresh about Turks, evidently trying to draw us out. No hope in life. L.H. doing good work
24th – Regts out again. Taking turns with 1st Bde left 1 am returned 11 pm. Our artillery fired 80 rounds into Oghratina, supposed to have been good shooting. Turks replied with a mountain gun or some such type. Wounded two & killed a N.Z. by trapping them & turning Mach Gun on them. Only one prisoner taken.
25th – Taubes very active, ‘Tween 7 & 11 am passed over camp four times. A A gun doing good shooting. Two S.R. from Mohamadiya told us that a hostile ‘plane was hit by a gun out there & fell after one of our ‘planes tackled it, crashed to the ground in front of their trenches. Taube dropped a message reported to be that she was going to drop bombs tomorrow & to distinguish all red cross, ambulances etc for protection. At present too indistinct. Another report said Turks were going to attack & shell the camp & to distinguish red cross etc
[Note in margin:] Tuesday
25th – Our machines do not seem too keen on duels. May not be so but looks like it.
26th – Official infmtnn & orders received re message from Taube. Red Crosses all over now. May be bluff & may not. Just as well to be prepared. Regts went out last night returning tonight. Reports say that four of our men at No 2 Outpost captured. Aeroplanes scarce, not even our own. Got photos that Edward
27th – Rode over to Railhead re drugs etc. Sent them up on a sandcart. Rode over in shorts & got sunburnt. Taube over in morning. Good shooting by a Mtn Gun. Just under ‘plane. Regts going out again. Report of Zeppo having been seen. Fun over Cold-foots
28th – Regts at it all day. Incessant light fighting twist. Qatia & Oghratina. Our chaps retiring trying to draw Abdul on. Turks advancing slowly digging in as he does. Dressing stn evactuates Qatia. Our casuals very light. 3 or 4 NZ’s killed about 4 of ours & the NZs wounded slightly. Believe our artillery tickled Abdul up. Good shooting. Wounded sent thro us. Orders rec’d about 10.30 am pack up, ready to go at very short notice. 1st
29th – Lieut Pearce 6th L.H. killed while at listening post. Appears he & his section rushed by Turks, he wounded in chest & unable to go further, sent his men on. Found dead in morning.
[Note in margin:] Friday
29th – His men (3) turned up at Hill 70 in morning. Our new plane (tail like butterfly over in A.M. Has taubes & other deutscher planes beat. Lieut Pearce’s body brought in sand cart. Mail in. Letters from Jeannie Mater, Molly (2) & Dad. Usual papers. Also received photos (300 from Mitrys Cairo. Well printed. Regts again taking their turn tonight. Artillery fire seemed closer tonight. Tried again to get out on stunt. No good, give it up as a bad job.
30th – few of first Bde hit, two missing Turks came in a little. Our planes dropped few bombs on enemy position.
31st – Three hostile ‘planes bombed Romani Railhead & vicinity. About two dozen bombs dropped, some were perhaps hand grenades. Do not know what the correct list of casualties were
July & August
31st – Supposed to be 10 killed & about 15 wnded various other reports. R.W.F. copped it. No material damage. Darts also dropped. One bomb went near 1st L.H.F. Amb. also darts around near flag pole.
1st – Regts out again. Nothing doing. Monitor or French boat bombarding Oghratina & Bir el. Abd. Our planes also bombed same places in pm. Taubes visited us breakfast dinner & tea. Very cheeky.
2nd – Taube appeared after out patrol planes had descended. Finis dates details etc.
3rd to 12th - Turkish attack on Romani Regts had been out as usual. Turks getting in closer & on the morning of the 3rd were entrenched this side of Qatia. Our artillery kept them lively & from all appearances they must have suffered heavily. Evening of 3rd our men came in whistling & singing so as to
3rd to 12th - Turkish attack on Romani etc give the Turks a lead into a trap. 1st L.H.B. as usual, relieving them. Shortly after m’dn’t the Turks began the attack with rifle fire & about 1.30 am. the Bde Major roused us to stand to horses ready to move out at a moments notice. Desultory firing till day break when rifle fire increased & their shell fire started. About half a dozen taubes or hostile planes bombed camps & tried to get the artillery as it was moving out. Not successful. Artillery not far from us & Turks mtn battys tried to get it. Also tried to get L.H. column as it passed our camps. Shell bursting a few yards passed our camp & had they burst a few yards shorter would have got over 100 wounded etc & all staff as their target. Our men moved out at daylight & were greeted with shrapnel, Bob Macdonald being the only man hit & he slightly. Wnded came in early & fast. Bombs dropped all round us. About ten A.M. firing eased & their attacks ceased. Our men attacked & drove them back in afternoon, cutting their front & getting in a flank move. Hundreds surrendered. All thro’ night a big gun probably 6" howitzer firing on railhead & at a hod about 150 yds distant. About every half hour she would put in about half a dozen rounds. Two operating tables going hard all day. Difficulty in getting w’nded away by train so that were left on our hands. Worked till daylight began to peep then half an hour’s snooze & up & at ‘em again. Prisoners began to pass in droves of about 200 coming from all quarters. Couple of Turkish field ambulances captured & one was attached to us treated Turkish wounded.
Battle of Romani Aug 1916
3rd – 13th – About 125 Turks treated. They were given Dental tent & three or four bell tents for their winged. All thro day of attack & night following spent bullets by hundreds fell in & around tents. Two wounded, hit by them, flesh wounds only. One fell in doorway of same & some passed thro tents. Tipped
somebody one of us to be hit by them but our luck was in. One of our men, Hollege killed by one & Blyth slight wound in back. Fairly spent. Hollege hit on back of head & killed instantly. Turks had retreated thro night & all rifle fire ceased for a time. About 7 pm, Turks given a table in our tent & carried on. Rather unique spectacle. We (Austns) treating ours on one table & Turks treating theirs on another table in same tent. Would like to have got a photo but too busy. Turks had retired on Qatia & our L.H & NZs kept in touch. On afternoon of 5th our men charged Turks at Qatia & got within 600 yards but they were too strong & their M.G. fire mowed our men NZ. M.O (Wellingtons) & his Sgt caught by M.G. fire & badly wounded. M.O. died & his sgt to this date (13th) not expected to live. M.O. had compnd, complicated, comminuted fractures of both legs & shock. His foot also badly knocked about below ankle, by piece out of left calf & several M.G. furrows thro buttock. Despite these injuries, poor beggar had to ride from Qatia (6 miles) on horseback. Marvellous pluck & endurance. Several other cases of men with broken thighs riding back. For absolute pluck & endurance I never saw or heard of anything like it before
Battle of Romani Aug 1916
Large number of Tommies also came in suffering from exhaustion thirst etc. Had a bad time. That night we worked till about 4 AM. snoozed & at it again at five. We managed to get fairly clear of wounded about 5 pm on 7th & also had majority evacuated Bulk of Amb work fell on us. Understand 542 casualties passed thro us, some dressed & redressed. Very few deaths (15-20) & some big abdominal operations performed. Fair number of head cases also. Understand Turkish casualties estimated at 7000 & ours about 1000. 3500 Turks captured & the Turk F.A. attached to us numbered about 84. Turks also evacuated their wounded thro Anzac siding. About seven field guns (mtn bty type) & ammunition captured & 15 – 20 Machine Guns & thousands of rifles. From 1 AM on 4th till about ten pm on 6th we got about one hours sleep. Capt Anderson Tiny Edwards, Phil Barbat & self on that wicket. All others had more although not much. Feet sore thro continued standing. On Aug 8 about 2 pm. 1st & 2nd Bdes moved out, travelled all night arriving near Bir-el-Abd about day light. Fought hard all day & while ammunition lasted, gave Turks hell. Both artillery & rifle amm. gave out in afternoon & our bds (1st & 2nd) had to retire a little. Turks shelled our positions very heavily using H.E. & shrapnel. Effect of H.E.’s , slight due to sand. One lobbed in among our bearers horses killing a few, wounding others. Marv. Escapes of our men, none getting hit. Horses reptly hit. We just got wnded away before Turks came up. Rather hurried but we managed it. Watered horses etc at Bir-el-Khirba & we left
Battle of Romani Aug 1916
there under orders to evacuate our wounded to 1st L.H.F.A. at Hod-el-Debabis but on arrival at Hod-el- afein, got orders to return to Oghratina. About 2 AM we arrived at Hod-el-Negilliat (near Ogh.) We camped at Hod El Khirba during early part of day & left in afternoon & our section missed greater part of fight, bearers were in it. Turks evidently had an A.S.C. depot at Hod El Khirba as hundreds of bags of oats, flour, & grain left & cases of olives & a sort of compressed apricot in sheets in cases left, also dates. We made good & put a chest of good tea, case of olives & fruit on a camel Commandeered a good horse & felt safe on it. Felt uncomfortable when on camel. We were such a good & likely target. However we were not spotted. One chap buried before we left. We arrived at Hod El Negilliat about 1 am. redressed
all wounds that required it & turned in at day break. Up at 7 am again dressed & evacuated in afternoon. Very rough on nghalla & cacoleto [a chair/litter fitted on mule, used to transport wounded]. One chap buried at Hod El Khirba. Rested in this hod for a couple of days. 1st Bde being alongside & we tempy att to 1st & 1st L.H.F.A att 2nd Bde. Our bde remained out but nothing doing. Turks evacuated Bir-el-Abd & Yeom. left to occupy it. We camped at Qatia night of 12th arriving back at Etmaler on 13th. Hostile planes reptly trying to bomb Div. Hd Qtrs at Qatia. Turks had made huge preparations for bringing artillery. Planks 12" by 12" by 8 ft almost into Qatia. & stacks
Battle of Romani Aug 1916
& towards evening some of L.H. ran out of ammunition. Otherwise advance all along the lines. Our bde had to retire on that a/c. Tom Ellis of 7th L.H. ex 2nd L.H.F.A. wounded in neck. Bert Larsen also of 7th & also ex 2nd L.H.F.A. recommended for decoration for attention to wnded under fire at Battle of Romani. Laudatory telegrams received from Genl Birdwood & the King. Gypo papers report gave all credit to Yeom. saying Austns arrived too late. Our mtd troops naturally indignant over it as they had been out at it from the time the Yeom got scuppered. Morning of attack of Romani Yeom. did good work but when attack on Qatia Yeom. failed us, galloped into action in three columns & directly M.G. turned on them immediately galloped out & left our flank exposed. Brig. Genl. Royston slightly wounded but refused to leave. Very game & men swear by him. Cols. Fuller & Onslow 6th & 7th also wounded.
14th to 20th – Clearing up again. Most of clearing had been done by Tiny Edwards. Rumours of b’de going to Hill 70 or to canal. Nothing definite. Hate the sound of Hill 70. Rather stay here. Word received that Hill 70 stunt cancelled. Cholera broken out & precautions taken. Inoculations against it, all well water forbidden to be used for drinking or washing utensils. Only two or 3 cases reported up to 20th but on that date eight more from 10th L.H. reported. Leave to Port Said had been granted but only the first nights batch got away. No one allowed West of Canal. 1st L.H.F.A. forming a diarr. hsptl & we are taking all their other cases. Maj Dawson appointed Vice Major Fraser who has been appointed Lt/Col & C.O. of the 3rd L.H.F.Amb. seems a good sort. News of Sgt Moseley of W.MR dying. Regt subscribing for stone & sending balance to his wife.
14th to 20th – Genl’ Chauvel adv. troops one night. Did not tell us anything fresh. Austn mail arrived on 17th
nothin usual letters received. Wrote Kodak, Mitry’s re photos, Velox etc. & also enlargements to p.c. size & also sent watch to Lawrence & Mays with a plain letter about it.
To 24th – On 22nd, Tench treated for cholera. Saline transfusion etc. Some doubt about it but to be sure all precautions were taken. He was sent to Cholera camp at Kilo 47. Result camp moved up on hill. Far healthier & a breeze blowing constantly. No word received yet re Tench. Personally I think it is more like acute ptomaine poisoning. No further important event. Had a letter from Dave saying he had finished his leave & was at Tedworth & posted to 6 mths L. duties Leave had again been granted & cancelled same day.
24th/31st – Learnt that Tench’s case had been diagnosed as choleric-dysentery & heard that he was progressing fairly. News of Roumanias declaration of war against Austria officially received. News maketh the heart glad & a few celebrated accordingly. Wet canteen established. A/cs of scrapping received in London papers. Rumours & counter rumours re Turks. Few strays captured also couple of M.Gs found by 5th L.H. Hostile planes active, bombing foundation Rail head & Bir-el Abd. Reported fair authority that two brought down by our A.A. guns.
Sept 1st – Sent Tench’s clothes over by camel. About 4pm came as a shock to hear he had died. Poor beggar must have suffered during week. All thought he was progressing favourably. About 6pm bearer
1st - & others left to attend his funeral. Capt Jamieson also going. Never saw such a change take place so quickly as on night he took bad. Aeroplanes probably three or four bombed Port Said. Various reports as to numbers of planes & casualties also as to amount of damage inflicted. Peculiar coincidence, Sgt Dunbar being there on morning they chose for bombing. Field, Edwards O.H. Roberts & Heard returned. Had a letter from Dave saying he had finished leave & was in the Qrms dept No 1 Command Depot Perham Downs via Andover Hants. Barbat left to join hospital ship "Ascanius" en-route to Aust. Davis also to go. Gave Barbat p.c. of Carsons etc.
2nd to 8th – Leave to Port Said 48hrs being granted all our bde to get leave before proceeding Bir-el-Abd on 4th
Mail received on 7th. Letters from Dad Mater Molly (2) Aunt Amy & Mag & Miss Charlton. Nothing of any moment happening here. Rumours & counter rumours galore. Salonica this time. Wrote Dad & Mater last night, Molly this morning. Capt Fitzharding taken on our strength. Capt Gibson xferred to 9th L.H.
8th/13th – Papers from mail dribbling in. Evening of 9th had orders to be packed & on train by 8.30 am. on 10th. Bit of a rush. Mobile section going on 11th. Some of tent subdiv i/c of SS Jim & dental unit going by train & going to act as a C.C.S at
8th/13 - For a snack for breakfast, likewise Oghratina for dinner arriving at Hod-el-Fatia about 4.30pm. 5th L.H. camped in that hod also. 6th & 7th L.H. being further on. Pitched about half a doz. bell tents for hospitals, all others building Gunyahs of date palm leaves. Dates here very large, & ripening. Beginning to understand how Turks live on three dates, dry bread & water. Couple of men experiencing discomforts of eating too many. Taube passed by on A.M. of 12th Did not even look at us. Water in hod good as regards usual well water. About 41 camels attached to us, our blankets etc arriving on evening of 13th 5th L.H. again joining up with brigade, having been apart since
8th/13th – etc being found in caves in hills about ten miles out on Serapeum road. Capt Woods ex A.M.D. sig Sqd being reported to our unit.
13th/25th – On 15th about 6pm. our unit moved over to BHQ staying there till m’dn’t when with the regts we moved out arriving at Hod-el-Geila about 5.30 am or 6am. Quite a number of our ‘planes over us & a Taube was sighted. M.G. shots heard. Could see nothing of duel but on returning to camp learnt that one of ours was down this side of Bir-el-Abd, bullet-holed etc otherwise seemed O.K. About 4.45pm we left Geila travelling all night & about 4.30am halted a mile or so, possibly more this side of Hod-el-Mazar where Turks were entrenched & well dug-in. Opinions differ as to whether surprise was effected or not. My own opinion was "Yes"
13/20 – because there were no Taubes to receive us & the 9th L.H. got right round & cut the enemy communications. About 8.30 am Taube appeared but no bombing done. Two or three of our ‘planes very active. Difference of opinions as to strength of Turks generally believed to be from 3 – 4000 & supposed to be 13 a.a. guns. Evidently no field pieces. 5th L.H. 7th L.H. & 3rd bde attacked but did not press it home. Turks considered too strong. Men were quite certain of their ability to take same but Genl Royeston did not consider the benefit to be gained commensurate with the sacrifice of life necessary to take it. Our artillery believed to have put in some good work. Camel corps also there but did not fire a shot. Our casualties very light. About thirty in all. Young Midgley from Lowood hit in knee.
13/20th – Stunt well organised, the distance over 60 miles about forty of which had to be done without water for horses. Some horses got water meant for other horses amp; they had to do without. About 15 prisoners & 6 camels captured. It was about 11.30 am when regts retired & all returned to Salmana by 9pm. Long dreary stunt but caravan route over their side much better than ours & their feat of bringing 2 ,000 across does not (?) appear great. Rumours & counter-rumours as to repetition of stunt. Everybody glad to return. Four battys of artillery with us. No sight of Taubes on way home. They missed a splendid target. Following morning (19th) they bombed working railhead or thereabouts. Bill Pat & Bob Handley out there. Saw them on way back.
13th/20 – On 15th given another stripe, temporarily. Brass will come in handy. Probably last & be confirmed later. Time to talk then!!! Had a dispensary made of palm leaves etc. Great improvements on bell tent. Cooler & much more rooms.
20th – Bob T left for Port Said for canteen goods etc. News of further good victories for Allies all fronts. Newspapers straggling in. Another mail expected shortly.
20/29th – mail came in dribs & drabs of papers, no letters till about 26th. Everyone grumbling at it. Rumours of all sorts flying round. On 29th at 7am Bde moved off & we arrived at Romani about 4.30pm. We came via Qatia, bde followed railway. Collected what would probably be our last feeds of dates from Qatia. Fine dates. Oghratina fairly well stripped of them. Palm leaves also stripped from other hods. Road-making purposes.
20/30th – Took up 1st L.H.F.A. camp. Very dirty. Understand, some of 1st L.H.F.A. remained to strike their tents & clean up their camp.
1/6th – Morning of 2nd left Romani. Mobile Section going
overland on camel & remainder by rail. Did not leave till 8.30 & it was 5.15 on arriving at Hill 70. Gen’l Chauvel gave lecture on 1st & gave D.C.M. to Lt Finley on 7th L.H. earned on peninsula. Chauvel seems to be getting very unpopular & becoming Tommy-ised which troops do not like. Everyone against Hill 70. 1st went to swing bridge Kantara & getting leave to City Beach Sidi Bishr Alex’da. Long while in getting fixed up. Given Operating tent & eventually an E.P. S.S. Wilkinson returned. All sorts rumours & counter rumours
1st/6th – Practically no advantage gained for men in coming to Hill 70. Horses getting fresh water that’s all. Many disadvantages chief of which is dirty sand. All supposed to be doing 4 hrs drill in addition to ordinary work every day. Our men doing stretcher exercises which from a practical or drill point of view are no good to us excepting for physical exercises gained. May mean a move away or may mean nothing.
6/10th – Busy getting ship-shape, into E.P tent etc. made an E.P. into a surgery & put i/c – 8 days leave to Port Said commenced. Turned down first opportunity of going 21 new horses brought out from Moasca. Advice re Alex’da leave being granted. 1 officer & 25 O.R. Told I was one of first selection
11th – All on leave paraded mounted at B.H.Q. at 6am. Arrived at Kantara at 8.30. Got light snack at N.Z.M.R. Rest
camp tent. Train left 9.30 & we arrived at Sidi Bishr (not city beach) at 5pm. Camp near line. Standing orders etc read out, at some of which our men laughed at the Tommy Officer & his orders. Tommies there did look & stare. However the T.O. seemed fairly sensible amp; took no notice of him. Made up a tent of Strachan Bowry Douglas Bourne Fatum Wecker & self no drunks allowed in it.
12th – Inspection & a lecture in Albert Hall in A.M. also swim. During period of waiting for the lecturers, one Aust. hopped on to stage & played the piano. Good lecture by M.O. & seemed to be appreciated by all.
12th – Internment camp close by. Enjoyed dip in sea. Sea about ¼ m. from camp. Camp admirably fitted out & seemed of old standing. Barbers Tailors & other dago shops & of course the Y.M.C.A. No duties for troops whatsoever & the authorities seemed to have done their best for us & everyone appreciates. As long as privileges not abused all goes O.K. Passes permanent granted from 2-11pm, especial passed req’e for all day leave Alex’da supposed to be 7m distant but does not seem more than 4m. Troops have to travel by tram which is about ¾ or 1m away. Five of us went in at 2pm. Had a good time. Visited several places for feeds. Ended by getting a passable one. Had snacks at restaurant after Groppis [a famous tea room] style. Went to Kursaal
12th – at night, poor show, old Cairo stage clique, not one worth seeing again. Landed back in camp about 11pm, tired but satisfied Tucker in camp poor, but plenty of "British Tea Rooms" – "British owned" run & conducted by Greeks under military rego.
13th Had another good dip in sea & fresh water after it. Visited Y.M.C.A. for morning tea. Run on good lines, ticket system. Alex’da again in afternoon. Visited Catacombs & Pompey’s pillar. Catacombs interesting bones of old Romans planted 2300 B.C. Bones very crumbly. Statue of Roman King & Queen. Left photos & negative of bombing at Romani at Kodak Co. to be ready Monday. Went to American Cosmograph Rather good pictures. Had dinner at Windsor Hotel
12th – About eight courses. Soup, fish, pork, roast beef, Pears & whipped cream apples, coffee & cigars, expensive & it needed to be good. Back again about 11pm. Finished dinner about 10 pm. Posted P.C. to Molly. Mail closed 10.30 pm.
13th/18th – Dip in briny in early mornings. No of 1st L.H.F.A. men here. Had one nearly every morning,
go Went into Alex’da about one pm on all exept last day then went in about 10 a.m. Had splendid time. Visited catacombs. Nouzha Gardens, Municipal park, Pompey’s Pillar & other sights including island fort now dismantled outside harbor. Guns lying alongside of gunpits & were made in England 1873 about 9" calibre. Went to see "The Pops" in Alhambra Theatre, best we saw in Alexda. Also went to see the revue "Carry on" in Kursaal on last night.
13th/18 – Not much chop, mostly in French. Work C.O. of R.F.C at Aboukir re pars of application for R.F.C. Tried to get seeds of trees for Dad but could not. Wrote Barrage Gdns re same. Got some good photos. Also saw a procession in street. Not a funeral this time. Returned on 18th, leaving Sidi Bishr about 10.30 & arriving Kautara about 5.30, Hill 70 about 7pm. Tiresome journey.
19th – Another batch left for Alexda. Heard re Applns being called for Aust branch of Flying Corps but not being here, I missed the bus. Too late when I heard of it. Got papers but no letters on return.
19/26th – Nothing of any moment happening. Another batch on leave. & others following at few days interval Aust mail arrived
19/26th – Usual mail. Posted photos to Mater. W.O., SSgt Croll & Dick Watson advised re school of Instn commencing on 30th. Rumours flying round about large force of Turks approaching. Artillery also moving out, seems to lend colour to rumour. Rec’d advice from D.H.Q. re p’c’l in Cook’s containing shell-case, 4 Turk cartridges & 1 of our own & clip. Shows how ridiculous they are. Also letter of mine to C.O. R.F.C. returned. Another piece of ridicule. Gets on my nerves.
21/31st – Got rid of all letter writing even unto Lanefield. Casualty lists include Pettigrew & two Kents killed. W.O. Dick Watson, Sgt Croll left for School on 30th Various acting changes taken place in lieu thereof. Self supposed to be Nursing Sgt but continue in dressing tent. Supposed more resp’bility.
26th/31st – Alexandrian leave finished Sidi Bishr camp being disbanded men going to Port Said in lieu Starting again Septr 1st.
Understand Reported Gen’l Chavel recalled. NZ Brig Gen’l Chuvel recalled. NZ Brig Chater or some such name taking his place. Aeroplane playing tricks above camp. Capt Huxtable M.G.S. supposed to be abroad. Having great fun "with himself" diving (?) into men where a few were congregated. Weather getting cooler especially so at night. Letter from W. Draper Delta barrage Cairo ‘re seeds’ for Aust. Answered asking him to make selection.
1/3rd – Football in full swing, our team unbeaten so far. 1st bde moved out on 2nd. Brought word that Anti-conscriptionists won the day in Aust. Men cursed on hearing it. Shows that the people of Aust. thank those cursed unions again. Camp Cmdt confirmed rumour.
1st/4th – Hope Hughes forces the cold-footed lamp-post leaning crowd to come. War precautions act empowers him. No official confmtn but it appears to be true. Given
rank duties on N.S. whilst three away at School of Instn. Jealousy in store tent.
4/12th – Aust mail in again. Scored well in letters. Answered all bringing correspdce up to date. Nothing definite re conscription yet. Rumour current that we are detached from division. On 11th Capt Jamieson & 20 O.R. left for Abulhoul form a Casualty clearing stn. Indications of an attack pending. Probably on El Arish. Four ‘planes also went over at 5.45 a.m. evidently on a bombing start. Posted home Xmas mail also p c’s from A.M.D. Egypt. Nothing definite about us. Couple sent to Pt Said for Sanitation duties. Bob T. evacuated sick. (Nose).
4th/12th – Work very plentiful. Not much time for anything else. Got No 2 Brownie Camera. Raffling other. Rumour that Chater & Murray nearly caught by bomb a few days ago. Ralph Bourne transferred Engrs. Expects Comman shortly. S.S. Arabia sunk 12 hrs out from Alex’da. All saved bar two Engrs.
12/27th – All sorts of rumours re El Arish prevalent. On 23rd the brigade minus details moved out at 10.30 am arriving at Romani about 8.30. "B" Section bearers remaining & coming out with W.O. Phillips. Rotten riding on camels. Managed to get on horse for part of trip. Night very misty & after cold bully biscuits & water turned in. Most of us woke up in morning with blankets saturated. Spare ground sheet saved me. Gave one of my blankets to some who had none. Left Romani
12/27th – about 10/10.30 am, & arrived at Hod-el-Khirba about 5pm., camels about two hours later. I managed to get ‘Bobby’ Sgt Croll’s horse & appreciated the change. No repetition of previous night’s search for camping ground. Sgts Croll & Watson rejoined at Khirba & Sgt Croll took his horse next day. However it was only a five mile stunt & leaving at 10.30 we arrived at Hassaniya about 2pm. We took over Yeom. F.A. camp above Hassanyia oasis. Palm leaf huts left by Yeom. were occupied by us & improved to taste. All gunyahs we built at Fatir were pulled down & cleared. Fatir hod & 5th L.H. huts also cleaned up. Passed Yeom F.A. on way in. 7th L L.H. near us but 6th went out to Bayoud. Sending our patients to Bir el Abd. School of Instr apparently only for N.C.O. certificates Dick Watson, W.O. & Sgt Croll got
12/27th – 2nd 3rd & 4th positions or places respectively. Good considering there were 60 others, chiefly from combatant ranks competing. Chris Standring rejoined unit bringing a dozen men with him. Lew. Price & about 10 reinfmts. Rather some decent reinfmts in during last month or two. S Sgt Sim had his leave approved of & left en-route to England on 26th. Too excited to speak. Lucky dog.
27Nov/2 Dec – All mail sent by 1st Austn mail arrived on 2nd. On 30th Taube dropped six bombs on 6th at Hod-el Baynd but did no damage. Missed very badly. Sighted her from here, high & distant. Report from Khirba that a number of wounded Lanc. fusileers passed thro’ by train. No definite details given. Got pcls from Molly Aunt Jack & Miss C. on or about 26th Nights getting cold.
2/15 – Still at Hassaniya. Nothing of any moment happening. On Decr 13th, first news of German Peace Proposals rec’d Terms Status Quo ante Bellum excepting Polish autonomy. Foregone conclusion not likely to be considered. Bucharest fallen no doubt urged the prop. Went for a ride to Hod el Baba, Khariit & one or two other smaller hods, saw where the 3rd bde of L.H. had been attacking. Quite a number of graves there also one of a Turk the leg & foot of which was exposed. Horses appeared as if they had been killed while being held. Took a snap of one of graves. Meeting of Anzac Memorial committee held at D.H.Q. when it was agreed that a bronze statue of a trooper mounted & on a pedestal with a plate for each Bde & its details etc. & that as a nucleus each man give a day’s pay to the fund
2/15 – Also that 2 ac. E of Kantara be reserved as a burial ground & all fallen in the Sinai desert fighting be re-buried there. 15th – Sgt JJ Dunb returning from Abd brought rumour that we were to move out on 16th. Nothing to add any colour to it. Not very p’t’clar whether true or not getting beyond that stage therefore treat with indifference. Aust mail arrived today. Usual letters so far, more expected. Had letter from Aunt Hannah telling me Stuart had only stayed three days in England & sailed for Aust in the Malwa arriving Sydney Nov 16th. Bert going to Lithgow after request by urgent wire to report there.
15th/18th – Rumour proved to be rumour altho everybody seems to think we will move directly after Xmas.
15/18 – Rumour that no Alcoholic liq. Allowed until after immediate operations are over then canteens re-open as before. Rauk confirmed on 15th
18/23 – Nothing of any moment happening here. Turks evacuated El Arish & we occupied it without a shot being fired. Dick Jimmieson returned saying that the troops were advancing daily meeting no resistance. Anderson returned from Mazar. Or detachment there moving out to K128. Mazar very frequently bombed. Y.M.C.A. tent being sent sky high.
24 – Report rec’d that cavalry attacked Magdhaba & captured 1130 prisoners & two guns suffering about 70 killed & wounded. Reported that two Turk divisions S. of Bayoud & Magubra had retired & aeroplane failed to discover them. 6th L.H. occasionally see their patrols out there. Party of 12 Engrs E of El Arish captured by Turks
24th – during last week. Red Cross gifts arrived at 5.30 pm. Busy distributing some at night, other remained till a.m. Splendid variety & assortment. Shaving soap, tooth powder brushes, mirrors, chocolate cakes puddings tobacco & cigarettes galore pipes, milk fruit figs jam cocoa coffee, writing pad pickles sauce, nuts muscatels Xmas boxes biscuits, gift parcels & various other articles. Best to hand so far. Also case of Quin. Wine Xmas Eve celebrated. Half of unit very merry, some decidedly so. Capts J & Simp. very merry singing all sorts of songs. "Lead kindly Light" ragtime "whoops lets do it again" & all sorts & to various tunes. Carol singers started at Midn’t & scored several times. Devil of a noise. Couple of sore heads some particularly. Others still merry in morning.
[Magubra – Maguba]
[Note in margin:] Monday
25th – Xmas broke dull. Further distrib. of Red Cross goods. Very merry & sore headed crowd. Quite happy Sobered down towards midday. Issue of puddings from A.S.C. Fairly heavy shower about 1pm say 10 points. First rain of season. Very unusual. Result of storm. Evidently the beginning of the wet season. 7th L.H. held sports horse racing, tugs of war etc.
26th – Held our own sports. Could not get a mount on any but a draught. Had a collision with Barney Allen. No one suffered. Stewart thrown yards. That was in the donkey race. More rain. Average about 10 or 15 pts a day just enough to make everything miserable wet & cold.
27th/29th – Nothing of any moment Light Horse have been consolidating their gains. El Arish formed into a supply base. H. Qrs being there & supplies landed in barges. Few destroyers kicking about.
27th/29th – A few hundred more prisoners collared. Arabs who have a genuine grievance striking. Strike soon settled. Grievance is that they are overdue their leave or service Can’t be helped. Either they stop or we stop. Lot of peace talk flying about. More of Wilson’s notes & Germany’s terms. L.H. & Tommies most decided that peace at present unthinkable. Piece of Germany only thing considerable. First rum issue since Gallipoli. Issue there was 3p. Here rum is much weakened &
29th – Perhaps they expect some. Believe 1st L.H. were screen & were first in El Arish. 1st & 3rd & N.Z. bde engaged in capture of Magdhaba. Got 1400 prisoners & seven guns. Ayrshire battery again to the fore. Good old Ayreshires. We are all proud of you. Real dabsters. Inverness also good. Rainy weather still continues. Days bleak. Letter from Dave saying he thought of volunteering for Egypt. England too cold & wet.
30th/31st – Drizzling rain & wind continuing making all uncomfy Aust mail arrived. Usual letters & papers. Few celebrating New Yr’s eve otherwise all quiet.
1st – Bde sports eventuated. Rotten windy & dusty day otherwise sport very successful. Our unit did not get anything. Last year won wrestling & Tug of War. 7th L.H. scored well. 5th getting the Wrestling on h’back making very short work of the 7th. Three hsptl. tents levelled by wind, rope broken.
2nd – Same drizzling windy rainy weather dust as well. The advantages of hsptls (Genl) brought to memory 5th L.H. (2 sqdns) went to Geila one remaining at Gamal.
3rd – Mater’s birthday. Re-erected tents. Same conditions prevailing Sgt Croll left yesterday for Moascar details having transferred to 7th L.H. Sent cuttings of El Arish serap & Magdhaba to Molly. Mail closing shortly.
4th/14 – Put in time at Hassaniya Varied rumours re shifting & tents coming out. Had tooth filled at N.Z. dental unit Bir El Abs on 8th 1st & 3rd L.H. Bdes & Yeom. moved out from El Arish & attacked a Turkish post near Rafa 30 miles distant. Fighting all day 9th & at 5pm position was rushed & Turks & Germans surrendered, about 1700 in all including about 250 Germans (?) About 600 Turks killed & wounded & our casualties about 500, 100 (?) being killed. Sgts Cowley & Barnes 2nd L.H.R. killed Knew Barnes fairly well. Was with Scott on Gallipoli & was unwounded. Stiff luck for him. Cowley at School of instn recently held in Cairo. Travelling beyond El Arish much improvement on desert. When at Abd saw one train load of wounded go through. Lads said the N.Zs again did good work & Yeom fought this time
4/14th – German officers when captured very proud & tried to be domineering. One got a devil of a shock. When the led horses or held horses were brought up he said "Oh this is my horse" & proceeded to put his foot in the stirrup when the owner of the horse placed such a hefty kick on his behind that he wondered what had struck him. They were also very indignant when their wounded officers had to travel with their men. Of course they got a lot of satisfaction, they always do. Played the usual game, fired on our men till they were only ten yards off & then threw up their hands & would not face the steel. The men say, that next time, there "aint going to be no throwing up of hands" but the bayonet will be used. About 4000 Turks were coming
came to the relief of the others when two sqdns of the 8th
4th/14 – L.H. held them up. Directly they came in touch the 4000 "dug in" & entrenched. They reckon if they had had another reg’t to get round them they would have surrendered, such is their morale. Shows what ours is. Report says that when the German officer got his behind kicked, a Turk rushed up & offered to cut his throat. Report also says that the German’s oppression of the Turks, makes them so willing to surrender. Subm. Busy off Port Said, Russian T.B. torpedoed & the "Ben McCrae"
aeroplane sea-plane ship also torpedoed off El Arish. The "Ivernia" a Cunard Liner of 14 000 tons, a transport sunk in Mediterranean about 170 troops missing. Sgt Sim overdue his leave. Some speculation as to whether he was aboard. Do not think so as I don’t think he had any intentions of returning. Bob T. rejoined unit. Aust mail (letters) in on 12th
14/22nd – Lt Col Croll & Cox left Hassaniya for Hsptl T’port "Euriposes" enroute to Aust. Sent small pcl with Cox for Molly. Lyons from K139 also going. Col. gave farewell speech, usual sayings, not a brilliant orator (?) Surprised when he personally called to say "G.bye" His successor not yet appointed. Three in running Lt Col Fraser, major White (3rd INFA) & a chap from England. Tipping & hoping Lt Col Fraser gets it. Lt Col Fraser said conditions of country at El Arish much the same but 20m. beyond its mostly cultivated. Rotten winds & sand again. Hills form & disappear or alter shapes within course of a day or so. Sent films by reg’d mail to Molly, about 120 of them. Frequent rumours of a move to El Arish. Expect to move in about a fortnight or so. Nothing doing out El Arish. Reconnaisance stunts only. Waiting for rly & a viaduct
14/22 – over Wadi El Arish likely to take a few weeks in building. Kid it won’t be a target for hostile bombs. Tiny Edwards made T/Cpl & Grant T/Cpl vice Garbutt evacuated sick. Got a Bengal Razor.
22nd/1st – Major Fowler of 1st L.H.F.A. recently returned from England arrived & took command of unit Hard to say as to who will be C.O. Rumours say that the 4th LHB being reformed & a 2nd M.D. comprising 2 Y & 3rd & 4th to be 2nd balance 1st
2nd/6th - All preparations for shift made & on 2nd at 6.30 or 7 am we moved off & camped at Moseify about 4.30 pm & at 8.30 am on 3rd we moved off & arrived at Mazar about 2.30 pm. Met Arty & about 60 Sd. Carts [sand carts] returning. Few tents pitched & all settled by night only to again shift by next mng.
Jany 1917 & Feby 1917
2nd/6th - & tents struck. As usual camels delayed & altho only shifting about a mile distant did not get there till 3.30. Again pitched tents & all set when the C.O. wanted an officers mess & altho only staying there for two days had & E.P. tent pitched & all panniers etc had to be put in out of the sun likewise fantasse’s. Altho 2 yrs rough handling panniers never before so treated & fantasses’s [suitcases] never yet put under cover. On 5th
rumour report that 7th had sighted Turkish patrol. 5th stood got ready but nothing doing. Diplomatic relations severed ‘tween America & Germany owing to Germ. subm. policy of sinking all neutral shipping on sight. Opinions differ as to effect on Britain. British civil ration 4 lbs bread 2 ½ meat ¾ oz/lbs sugar per week.
6th/9th On 8th about 8.30 am brigade moved off from Mazar & arrived at Bardawil (Kilo 139) about 4pm. Scored a horse off Geo Crawford & rode all way. Result was I got in early & when camels arrived no time lost in unloading & I scored in the line of wood for fire. Travelled along old Caravan route which is very close to coast & branches on to beach at K139. Wild daisies & poppies growing on side of route & country seemed more fertile as natural grasses showed an appearance here & there but very poor. Horses got small grouters on old camp sites, oats & wheat sprouting. They also got fresh water at night & its only a tale they did not relish it. Some were off colour from dry feed & brackish water
9th – Moved off again about 9.30 am & arrived at Masaid about midday. Only a six m. stunt. Tents & camp pitched in hods. Hods fairly plentiful
frequent near El Arish. Aeroplane likes birds, up all day. Journey made along beach, beach very wide in places two mles of sand. No hostile planes yet sighted on this stunt but expected daily. Believe or expect to be bombed any day. Rumoured 1st L.H.B. bombed on AM of 7th. Various reports as to casualties but believe one horse hit or killed. Camp at Masaid within a mile of sea & surf bathing rushed. No time to visit it yet. Capt Simpson to 12th. Wonder what the next shuffle will bring forth? Every one
9th – to lose Capt J. &
is sorry he is going. Very popular throughout the brigade. Took a few snaps enroute also of ruins of the tomb of Abu Gilban & Turkish graves at Mazar. A Turkish well 100 ft deep & stone walled also there. Mail expected tonight W.O. Capt J. & Gilson gone to El Arish & may bring it back. Saw Bill Pat at Mazar.
10th/17th – Immobile section rejoined unit. No one pleased. Brought a number of tents with them, also equipment & red cross stores. Evacuating patients to Hsp’tl train at K 144 from 149. Football enthusiasm re-started. Inter unit matches & today N.Z.M.R. Bde play 2nd L.H.Bde. Aeroplanes to the number of a dozen bombed Turks & set their camp burning, one man of R.A.C. failing to return & no trace of him. Presumably forced to descend & captured.
10th/17 – Fresh well water being used for all purposes, some of it being excellent Capt Beale formerly No 2 A.S.H. now with us. Leave to Port Said again being granted 48 hours.
17/28 – Capt Jamieson xferred to 8th L.H. Preparations made for moving. Immob. Section left with hospital tents. Moved off about 6.30 – 7am, NZ bde & ours moving off. Camels arrived at Sheikh Zowaiid about 7 pm. At M’dn’t reveille again sounded & all moved out on silent march. Rafa reached at daylight, regts getting there before & had taken up their position about 2 miles beyond. NZs engaged enemy near Khan Yunus while 2nd collected Bedouins etc. Object accomplished, bde returned. Country near Rafa cultivated. Barely being principal crop now in & had been harvested
17th – 28th – Travelling from Sheikh Zowaiid good & fairly fast. Country this side of El Arish great improvement on that of West side & the further east we get the better. Desert practically left behind & we hope for good Camp pitched within 400 yds of sea, in small hod, four bells & Op tent being erected. Major White C.O. throwing bouquets round. Sea being fairly good. Coast rocky in places but good in other. Patronised fairly well by swimmers. Horses also taken in. Several Turkish mines wasted ashore one of which was exploded by Engrs below NZMF Amb camp. Camera fiends there in force. Turks occupied Khan Yunus about 5m east of Rafa & our & N.Z. bde alternately taking stunts & making contact with enemy outpost & acting as a cover for working party 53rd div. inf.
there just beyond. Sheikh Zowaiid & 54th at El Arish
Feby 1917 March 1017
17/28th – About the 28th N.Z.s rode through Khan Yunus, Turks having evacuated it & blown up well gas engine plant etc. Troublesome Sheikh at Raffa taken & interned. Gunyah burnt likewise fingers.
March 1st/4th – Yeom took stunt on 1st & great aerial activity. On 2nd our bde rode thro Khan Yunus. Eggs, oranges etc to be bought. Oranges were beauts, double size of fist. Would only take Turk money but bde Major made them sell at 1d each which is a good price for them. Several of the bearers brought some home. Size of citrons & fresher than those from Cairo. Managed to lose a R.C. watch. Rather mysterious its disappearance. Sent to Cairo for R.R. lens for camera also spools.
4th/9 Recovered Watch. Found near horse lines. Inclined to be windy & sea rough & choppy. Bathing well patronised nevertheless.
[Note in margin:] Bir el Shunnar
4th/9th – Hostile ‘planes over nearly everyday. Shallal evacuated by Turks & reports say Beersheba being evacuated. On 8th Bde moved up to Bir el Shunnar about six m. along coast from Bir el Amthala near Sheikh Zowaiid. Sheikh Zowaiid being on plain 2m inland from Amthala. Two hostile ‘plandes over on 9th. Night of 7th & 8th our ‘planes out all night. Every two hours they went out. Reported one of our battleplanes hit on 7th & up till a.m. of 8th not found. Possibly planes doing some bombing. They report great transport activity at Beersheba. Mesopotamia force pushing on Baghdad, Germans voluntarily retreating on Ancre & appears as if Turks hastily withdrawing to reinforce Mesopotamia fronts. Immob. section arrived at Sheikh Zowaiid. Line out to or very near Rafa. Move fwd past Khan Yunus in day or so
4th/9th – Reported that S.S. Sim coming back. Strachan made S.S. vice Croll Sim returning blocks
9/12th – Two Taubes as a rule come over daily at any hour. Any hostile ‘plane now called Taubes. Chiefly Aviatix & Fokkers. Ruins galore around Rafa. Tons of broken glass-ware pottery & quite a number of coins to be picked up, some with Roman & some with Greek inscriptions in various stages of presentation. Beach too rocky for good bathing. Rocks all smooth & appears as if there once had been a sea wall or breakwater there & rocks thro’ ages had become displaced. Rode over to K 194 to see if any mail. None there. This place called Bir el Shunnar.
17th/19th – Same routine day in & out. Aust mail did not arrive till after 15th too late to answer for outgoing mail. Sent for
17/23rd – Same routine work. Yeom. held sports on 21st. Rafa cup won by 6th Prom. Land Stakes (Major Hercus) Syrian Grand National (by Tommy Officer 6th LH horse falling & losing in consequence. Order Stakes (7th LH) Anzac Gd Nat. St, chase (3rd bde or NZ) Although Anzac Mtd Div. entries very limited they won the day easily Sometimes only one or two in, never more than five entries. Couple of spills in St. chase Big Stunt on. Uncertain as to what it is. Inf well ahead 3rd bde & NZs also gone out. We evidently are supporting & under orders to be ready to move on 5 days stunt at very short notice. Took all horses swimming in surf. They seem to enjoy it.
22nd/24th - Immob. Sectn arrived Rafa, likewise P.O. & dump. Brigade standing to, ready to move out & expecting to at an hour’s notice. Bde travelling light, amb fully
25th – At 2.30 am. bde travelling inland & amb. Along the beach left Abu Shunnar & arrived at Der el Belah about 11 am. (15 m.) Country under cultivation & typically rural. Bedouin houses made of mud & each seems to have its well & wheel for drawing water. Swamp or small lake at Belah. Well water chlorinated before fit for use. One of 14th R.F.C. aviators had engine disabled & forced to land on the sea brought into camp about 1 pm. Brought down the previous day & had spent 4 hrs in the water 20 m north of Gaza & under cover of night had come 30 m. without clothing on & did not stop until this side of Wadi el Ghuzzi. Fairly exhausted but had put up a good fight & won. Fired on while in the water. Name Lt W.E.L. Seeward.
26th – 2.30 am. all moved out but was not till 6
pm am that we got a move on, time spent near camp, troops & artil
[Der el Belah – Deir el Belah]
26th – passing. Halted other side of Ghuzzi from 10 to 12 then about 3 moved off again. Meanwhile took a trip up on hill & watched the guns plugged hell into the big redoubt (Labrynth). Saw troops advancing & fighting seemed to be forced now, both rifle & art. Fire heavy. The L.H. division holding up re’fts arriving from Beersheba did splendid work. However at nightfall, rfts got too many & to save outflanking, div. had to retire enabling Turks to join up. Heavy fog in A.M. delayed action & but for that fight might have ended differently Labrynth only redoubt untaken & Turks heavily reinforced during night & 53rd compelled to evacuate their position. Tommies fought well in face of hellish fire & lost heavily. Early on 26th,
L.H.D. A.M.D. took Gaza & did some splendid work a Sqdn of 5th LH, & sqdn of N.Zs & a troop of 7th, rode through charging with bayonets fixed on h’back. Came across 3 Turkish Guns & guard of 40 men & charged
26th – them killing all & turned the Guns on to Turkish positions. Blew one up & brought two away. Great work clearing thro’ prickly pear streets. Our casualties for day very light, div seventy all told. Campbell C.S. missing, believed captured. Went to sleep before retirement & that was last heard of him. Varied & rather dangerous experiences thro night, humorous to a certain extent. Arrived at Hill 310 about 4 & camp about 5 a.m. received a few patients about 7am mostly of 5th. One man Johnstone A. of 5th abdominal not expected to pull through. About 10 am bde moved up to a barley patch to stand to & did not move till about 6 pm then out on Outpost. Bombardment ceased at nightfall. About 3pm we joined bde on barley patch & at 6.30 moved to A.D.M.S. HQrs & assisted the Immobile section to pitch tents & relieve pressure on Tommies C.C.S. Motor Ambs doing great work, shifting patients to Khan Yunus.
27th/31st – Bdes doing O.P. work & camels rejoined at camp near beach. Stores being landed from trawlers thus relieving congestion. Trawlers here as soon as we were. on 25th or 26th. Fired on by Turk heavy guns on 27th & they came out of range. Never apprec. tea or a wash more than last few days. Good swimming on beach, good surf & fresh water obtainable at few inches depth. Horses get grazing on green fields now & then. Quite a number of sunburnt faces. Turks put a few shells evidently extreme range & tried to find the camp but fell a mile or so short. Mail at Rafa for last several days. Sent for today. Some of regts already having got theirs. Simmy expected back daily. Strachan gone to Imm. Section. Sand carts & bearers smoke bombed & shelled at a couple of times but no casualties at all. Opposing planes seem indifferent to one anothers presence Once ours ascended & chased Taubes.
1st – 6th – Rly going ahead. Good beach but breakers rather dumpy. Got snaps of boats unloading. Also went for walk to West of Village, "Tiger" "Pincher" "Nutty" Taubes over every day. Occasionally one of ours up high chases him but he can run away from them & does it keep very high. A.A. handicapped to a certain extent by proximity of camp. On AM of 4th supposed two btns of Turks attempted to entrench near ours. Guns got busy & reports say inflicted heavy loss on them, 800, no doubt exaggerated. Weather getting very warm. G. OC of division (Genl Chauvel) inspecting bde. Very ptclar re appearances.
7/13th – Nothing startling happening. Taubes regularly visit us three times a day. On 12th they dropped 32 bombs on Rafa, getting a few.
7/13th – Report says two killed. Tried to drop them on hangars. No material damage done. Sent to Koday for 1A K Jr camera Shirras to bring it with him Very long winded in returning A few Jackos brought in, including a cavalry man fully equipped. Very poor turn out. Lecture to all of Bde N.C.O.s at B.H.Q. on Gas etc. Sgt also lecturing 3 p.m. Home mail in. Letter from Aunt Amy. 2nd I.M.D. joining up, Dave’s old Regt also in vicinity.
14th – Jacko started dropping howitzer stuff on railhead, presumably 6" do not think any larger. Tried to get Rly dump & failed. Managed to put five in Ambs. & C.C. Stn killing 14 & wounded 49. Apparently very deliberate. Shirras returned from Cairo.
15th – Jacko at it again after guns this time. Do not know what casualties no guns
16th – Prep to move out. Given horse several times & finally horse given to another. About 7.30 pm Grant slyring Standring & self in carts. Travelling off & on all night & at daylight a Taube spotted us & made off apparently to get a load of bombs. We watered at Shelal about 6-7 am & had halted when advice that Taube flying low & in our direction had been sighted. Bde moved out but not quite so soon enough as our tail end & Q Ms who were warned to remain & A.S.C. & B.H.Q. details were bombed (three bombs) Poor old Bob Thomson as game as ever was, got badly hit, half head blown off, thigh smashed & doubled under him also abd. wounds.
badly killed instantly. "Bobby" his horse had 4 legs blown off & other injuries. Four others killed, Usher A.S.C. Thorpe & Austin & interpreter & one Twist 2nd Sig Tr died at C.C.S. About 15 wounded & 11 horses 8 of ours done for. Our Sand Carts had filed out but sledges & one limber not clear
17th – Apparently most deliberately done as he flew exceptionally low & passed over a regt who fired at him. Ratcliffe Vivash, Geo Crawford Mills (Ser Elliot (limber) of Amb. Had been spkg to Bob. not a minute before & hurriedly left him to get into cart. Cart was not more than 50 yds away. Moved out further, outposts in touch & intermittent rifle & art fire on our front. Inf attacking & met with some success. Plently of rumours but nothing definite as to what was done.
18th - Returned to near Wadi about 9 pm. Rough road & dust too thick to see a yard ahead. Watered up & turned in.
19th - Had a wash in AM & greatly refreshed. Get back in time to move out. Practically the same place as 17th & returned 6 pm. Batty attached to us bombed, 2 killed & 3 wded. No other damage. Our planes also bombing.
19 – About 12 m’d’t we moved off again to ? Harara. About 7 am
Taube Hostile plane flying usual height again bombed us & again most deliberate. First bomb lobbed 50 yds short & behind a hillock & no one injured & 2nd abt 20 yds ahead & a hill again saved us one of the 6th & to horses injured slightly. Also bombed N.Zs. Seems to like us as he pays us ptclar attn. One of their ‘planes brought down & crashed to earth. About 4 pm we pitched dr stn. 30 or 40 passing thro mostly NZs. Our bde fared well & casulaties at a minimum NZ dr stn beside us. Sand carts to & fro trenches repeatedly shelled but luck again with them. Marvellous how they escaped. Varied experiences some trips even into Turk lines. About 11.30 pm we moved back to about a mile or two from W.S Nuran. 5 AM "reveille" & at 8am 1st Bde bombed Lt Sinclair killed about 30 wded & 70 horses
Four of them flying very low passed & circled
round above us time after time while on bank of Wadi made us feel very uncomfortable. but he respected Ground R.C. flag this time. Again at 1 pm shifted further down & on good site & picking off barley for horses. Managed to get a bath or wash again. Good snap of camp. 4.30 pm we moved further in towards Khan Yunus & at 3.30 next day (21st) took over from NZs at Weli Sh Nuran. Nuran was formerly very strong Turkish redoubt Trenched & Tunnelled deeply & closely, in fact
28th – Khamseen [Khamsin, hot dusty dry wind] blowing 25th-28th everybody hot dirty & miserable. Temp 123 ° in shade at Belah. Returned next day & found camp in almond orchard. Dead horses I think responsible for move. Camp decidedly better. 26th inf took couple of redts. Cruiser would rushed in & plant about 60 in 5 mins on the places & the inf. take them Jackos then either dead or buried. Monitors doing good work. One came close in & blew up a Turk amm. dump near Mosque in Gaza. Then a Turk land gun put one right in centre of monitor which only seemed to glide off. Monitor returned & first shot blew gun gunner & all to atoms.
1st May – On May 1st we shifted to another Turkish position in another almond orchard nearer Tel el Fara. Fleas & lice galore. Glad to get out. Bomb proof pits D.O’s for horses & men & all other defences here also. Cactus hedge surrounding.
Owing to – arriving we had to shift about 300 yds away. No shade of any description & no protection. Taubes (Huns) very inquisitive & bombing Wadi effect nil to spk of On night of 4th two days prior to moon being full they bombed Belah, all damage being done to hospitals, no other. Quite a number killed Abt 40 bombs dropped Welsh, 3rd of N.Z. F Amb. immobile sections suffering heavily. Evans our only man & slight at that. "Dud" lobbed fair in centre of our tents. Operation for Appdcto proceeded in Tommy hsptl carried to a successful finish despite bombing. On 5th ours dropped 140 on Turk positions twixt Gaza & B’sheeba Taube again bombed on 6th & 8th doing no damage on 8th & very little on 6th. Hsptls again on 6th killed one of NZ F Amb. only, no other. On 8th had a go at
BM B St Capt. M.
9th/18 – Took photo of graves at Shellal & also the Greek temple unearthed there. Bill H. & Bill P. like "Johnny Walker" still going strong. Nothing doing blankets brought out to us & on 18 we shifted to Sha’uth about 3 m distant.
18th/22nd – Orchard there, 4th L.H.F.A.’s former camp. Khamseen again blowing. Eade & Goldsmith rejoined, likewise Dunbar. Flies in millions. Lecture on Alexdr the Gt by Padre Backhouse.
22nd – On evening of 22nd, Bde moved out. Two divs employed one in mking demonstn & other in destroying bridges viaducts & line. Gd work done. one 18 span, on 8 span & numerous smaller bridges & viaducts blown up also 15m of railway.
June Dix moved in, our bde bivouacking at Marakeb twixt Belah & K. Yunus & on beach. Good camp & plenty of good surfing. 29th Rode to immob & got paraphanaelia from there
1st – Gas demonst’n for us. Instructive but very hot. Abt 12,000 Frenchies supposed to have lobbed here. 3000 adv. Guard in Khan Yunus now.
1st/11th – Stayed at Marakeb till 8th nothing very exciting happening. At 6 am. on 8th N.Z.M.R. bde & we exchanged places. Very sorry to leave but everyone must have their turn. We took over their Amb. camp at Tel el Fukhari & they ours at Marakeb. Considering position camp in orchard not bad, couple of miles distant from Khan Yunus & Immob Section on way there. 6 days leave to Cairo (2 ½% only) commenced
11th/17th – on 13th, Wilkinson, Dunbar, Goldsmith & self exchanged with Sleeman Watson Garbutt, Palmier Shirras Graham of Immob. Grant & Skyring proceeding on leave & then to join Immob. 15th Sorting ordnance & dump stuff & on 16th had to take dump stuff & dump it at 2nd Bde dump at Rafa. Muller with me. Dreary sort of a place. N.Z. canteen handy. Had ride over to beach for swim & got snap or two of dagoes in their camp. Nothing to do & time dragging
19th – Rode over to Mobile Sectn at Tel el Fukhari. Col White informed me I was wired for, so I returned on Engrs limber to Immobile at Beni Sela. Early next a.m. (20th) Immob moved out & took over rest camp from NZs. Good position. First two or three days kept busy, drawing rations & ordnance stores etc.
20th/23rd – About 10 E.P.’s erected. Couple of good aerial scraps witnessed. Two battleplanes sent a taube down in her own lines, observer or pilot in it shot thro head. Another time the monoplane got right on to Jacko & Jacko home for his life. Evidently did not return fire. Monoplane faster. She landed on returning reported her M.G. jammed. Taube had just put in an appearance when the mono sailed into him. Taube getting very little say nowadays. Mail very late this being Saty & no advice yet rec’d. Usually arrives Tuesday or Wed.
23rd/30th – Kept busy drawing rations & ordnance Red Cross Stores etc. Mail did not arrive till 29th ten days overdue. Nothing of any moment happening. Mobile sectn came over to beach on 29th. Short stay only
June & July 1917
23/30th – Wilkinson returned from Cairo leave. 12 Planes went & only seven undamaged returned. Rumoured that monoplane hit yesterday. Capt Joyce went to 6th L.H. & Capt Woods to 14th A.G.H. Heard that at Col Croll had asked for me for Camel Fld Amb., another L.H.F.A. also being formed up. Several men recently drowned off this part. Undertow very strong & treacherous.
1/8th – Mobile Sectn on beach. On 2nd Brennan Hetherington & self rec’d instrns to report to O.C. I.C.C.F.A. & on 3rd we arrived at Moascar & reported. On 5th Col Croll returned from K.Y. & we were posted to our respective positions. So far we are C.B.F.A. & going to train in Cairo but good prospects of being 5th L.H.F.A. Spoke about leave &
Expect to get it tonight. Personnel of 1/8th – C.B.F.A. splendid both in physique tone & very keen & well trained.
Diary returned sent to Aust by Capt Logan who was returning with troops
[Transcribed by Donna Gallacher for the State Library of New South Wales]