Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Frank Valentine Weir letter diary, 1 January-31 December 1918
MLMSS 1024/3/Item 4

[Transcriberís note:
In this diary Frank Weir is a member of the First Light Horse Division in North Africa after having been on the Anzac Peninsula. His diary entries for 1918 are regularly cut out and sent to his mother as in his previous diaries, hence the tape on each page which obscures some of the text. At some later date the diaries have been over-written, sometimes incorrectly, by some person unknown.]

[Page 1]

1 January 1918 Tuesday Moascar
HAPPY if not peaceful new Year!
Last night BANJO PATTERSON came to my Mess for a game of Bridge he has written a few more things but says they are on the comic side & he feels he should wait before publishing.
Still waiting for my Movement Order, [indecipherable] interrupted & send this by a chap called Downes who will post in Sydney
Allís well Love Start my new Diary today

[Page 2]

2 January 1918 Wednesday
I have a tent here at Moascar but the Regt are all in Dug-outs & Bivies
On Court Martial again in the morning, spent last night at N.Z. Mess with Colin McLeish playing bridge- Just got orders to leave for the front in the morning with 500 hundred men, it is cold wet & perishing up there now. Posted Notes by a man going to Australia today envelope will be stamped in Melbourne.
I hope you & Daisy get a trip to Melbourne again- We are all disgusted at the result of the Referendum.

[Page 3]

3 January 1918 Thursday
Just before leaving Moascar I wandered into a Kitchener Hut & was surprised to see in large letters presented by Deniliquin & old Ernie Tim Armstrong from Gunbar in charge. Have asked him to post you a photo of it. Did I tell you the Arra[indecipherable] has been torpedoed outside Alex That was the boat I went to Italy on, every boat except the Malta we travelled on is now down.

[Page 4]

4 January 1918 Friday
Arrived Mejoel 0900
Once more all ranks would like to let the people of Australia know the good work done by Mrs Chisholm & Miss McPhillamy at Kantara Soldiers home it puts a man fit for a long cold journey in an open truck in the rain
Past Romani Gaza & other places of interest, changed trucks at a place near Gath & arrived 10 am on 5th Jany at Regt. Raining hard.

[Page 5]

5 January 1918 Saturday
Found letters from Dolly & Laura & my Horses well- MUD & water everywhere [indecipherable] Jim Ayre is well. Digby Willan came up on the train to one of the other Regts. I think the Regiment is glad to have me back but I am now C.O. of A Squadron but address letters as of old just to the Regiment.
As you will see by the Map- Esdoud is due East of Jerusalem. Raining hard.

[Page 6]

6 January 1918 Epifhany Sunday
Jack Mack came into my Bivy & had a yarn just received PLUM PUDDING from May please thank her for me.
Special Sunday service today Am Field Officer. Raining hard & Church Parade cancelled - The country is bare having been eaten out by the Turks, but grass should grow soon- We get 28 inches in 12 weeks- Jany & Feb wettest month of the year
Letter from wife

[Page 7]

7 January 1918 Monday
Field Officer today.
Everything wet-
Jim Ayre came into "bivy" & had a whiskey managed to bring a bottle with me-
Roads awful but WOOD plentiful & no bombing, we are top dog at present in the air here. Am glad to be back & working althoí a long way from Dolly now- letter from Laura.

[Page 8]

8 January 1918 Tuesday
Raining again.
You remember me speaking of a Capt HURLEY Antartic explorer on S.S. Malta- attached to War Correspondent here, he took Cinema photos of 1st L.H. Brigade today on the march- a pity he could not be on the real job- Hurley a very interesting man to talk to-
We have no candles & the days are short- in the blankets is the best spot.
New forms of WILLS have been issued so my Paybook one is the same viz £ 1500 to MATER any balance to wife.

[Page 9]

9 January 1918 Wednesday
Cleared off & a Parcel mail arrived- Skin trouble still worrying me but better. The whole landscape is mud & Water but Johnny Turk quiet & no enemy Aeroplanes- Gen. Cox has left- I think for good- Col Onslow is expected to get the Brigade- Dayís Bed Soks most useful- have 2 pairs now- Warm weather comes in March
Dont know how mails are going but post this with love to all FW

[Page 10]

10 January 1918 Thursday
Only 4 Officers left in the Regiment who were in it originally viz-
Lt.Col Granville
Major Irwin
" Weir
" Harris
Althoí many Armenians have been killed & forced to work for the Turks the Jews have not been killed as stated & are not starving so far as we can see here-
Usual aerial strafing goes on Huns over daily but no bombs dropped of late.

[Page 11]

11 January 1918 Friday
Pow wow by General Chaytor this morning had a game of Bridge at B.H.Q. last night after a bath in my oil sheet.
Enemy planes bombed a town not far here & some of our anti air craft shells hit a man playing football-
WINE is plentiful here & oranges & the Turks did not behave half as badly as some of the Papers state. I hope to go to Jerusalem in a couple of days after we shift Camp, it is only 24 miles away.

[Page 12]

12 January 1918 Saturday
Shifted Camp to KHIRBET DEIRAN, on the foothills of the Range that runs to Jerusalem- Colder but dryer. Snow fell at Bethlehem
Allanson is here still doing despatch carrying he is a good soldier.
We do not anticipate any fighting for a couple of months, too wet for transport, by that time the war may be over. Absolutely soaked to skin, no bivouacs & no blankets or food tonight as all transport is hung up in the Black Soil-

[Page 13]

13 January 1918 Sunday
Khirbet Deiran
No Transport till 2 oíclock 4 inches rain fell & one of the coldest nights I ever experienced-
This evening in the wind I put my Bivy up it got torn to pieces I am now in a dugout & hope no Bronchitis will result- Joeís leather waistcoat saved me from Pneumonia because water will not go through it-
Feed is growing & soon the wild flowers will be blossoming again- The Bedouins are busy putting in their Crops.

[Page 14]

14 January 1918 Monday.
Much Wine is distilled here & Oranges are cheap & plentiful The Jews sell us eggs, & Bread & Cake sweetened with honey- Many Vineyards & plantations of Gum Trees & Poplars. Naval Guns bombarded Turks all last night, the Enemy only destroyed bridges & works of military value & left all their Camp sites in a very sanitary condition, we have captured a lot of Waggons, ammunition & Stores- but wood is still the great difficulty- At night Jackals come from the Judean Hills & make cries like a pack of Dingoes

[Page 15]

15 January 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
Ras Deiran
Rain again last night
X Figures for past 6 weeks are 800 casualties in ANZAC Divs & enemy losses as follows
138 Officers}
3380 men } only taken by ANZACS
21 Guns } } some of them may be sent to Australia
25 Machine Guns }
Australian Mail is in so will acknowledge letters I hope. X
The country we are now on is not unlike the stoney rises about Camperdown, Victoria.
Enemy planes over & much anti aircraft shelling- We are 2 miles from any Water, plenty MUD.

[Page 16]

16 January 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
X This is Rail head at present & Hors Camels are loaded every morning with Forage & stores for the Trenches-
Your letter Nov 25th & Days & one for Jim Ayre came today, am glad mine turned up safely- I note all your news- I do hope you are able to accept Mary Austins offer & get a trip to Melbourne it does the little Mother good X
This afternoon the Naval guns have been banging away at the Turks line from the sea- In the distance the 800 lbs Shells can be seen bursting from a hill with glasses

[Page 17]

17 January 1918 Thursday (Whole page crossed out)
We are about 7 miles from Jaffa
Did you ever get some good photos from Capt A. W. Pearse editor of Pastoralists Review-
I see in August or Sept issue I think it was 2 of mine- I asked him to send to you after he used them-
1. 1st L.H. Regt Camp at Romani
2. Bedouin Scouts
General Chaytor inspected us today usual routine.
Letters from Mother & Joy December 5th x Puckawid[indecipherable] glad mine turned up O.K. "Venus" is so bright it can be seen all day.

[Page 18]

18 January 1918 Friday
Speaking about Venus I was watching our Shells bursting away two Taubes when the star caught my eye- at midday!!!
I hope you are all in Melbourne now at Mrs Jack Austins
Moved on to RICHON-LE-ZION which means the new Zion- not far from Jaffa.
This town the Jews are shorter for food- NO SUGAR, TEA or COFFEE- Tea is made out of dried figs & sweetened with JAM- Coffee-burnt MAIZE.

[Page 19]

19 January 1918 Saturday
Richon-le- Zion We can see the "Minarets of Jaffa from here, the country between all vineyards & orange groves-
Weather fine again & the POPPIES are in bloom my Pen wont write so I give it best.
Sorry to hear of Mrs Bloomfields death
I enclose you a card from local Jews Hotel.
All nations have settlements here, decent houses, & Jaffa is a modern town but the Turks have pulled up the Railway line- Post this with my love.

[Page 20]

20 January 1918 Sunday second after Epiphany (X to X crossed out)
Went to Church Parade Sermon Text "I AM THE DOOR"
Here the sheep are put in a corral, but no door is used, a Bedouin sleeps on guard, hence simile-
A Taube flew over during service-
This afternoon rode into Richon-Le-Zion & had a hot bath at a Jews house for 10 P.T. 5
Majors Ryrie & Irwin came with me.
X More letters Dec 2nd & 13th & cutting Dairy from Mother also 3 Australasians 1 snapshot of Jack Mathews playing polo- & my usual letter from the little wife, alls well.X

[Page 21]

21 January 1918 Monday
The inhabitants Jews & Christians say the Turkish Officer is a gentleman!!! but not the KURDS or Germans- some think the Germans will be back in strength to drive us back, but it will be a tough job. Hope you are in town by now I do enjoy my letters
The Almond Trees are just commencing to bloom so Winter will soon be over- I hope to get leave to visit Jaffa & Jerusalem this week- I wish old Joe was here, but everyone knows he is doing his best.

[Page 22]

22 January 1918 Tuesday
Richon-Le-Zion is shown on most maps as Ayan-Kara.
Anzac Div. Headquarters are in Baron Rothschilds house in Richon-Le- Zion- Nicely furnished, water laid on, two storied, standing among Oranges & Palms- with a photo of the baron on the wall- He settled many Jews here & the Richon Winery is one of the biggest in the world- The Turks damaged nothing.
Rode 8 miles into Jaffa or Joppa & bought colored book of Holy Land cities in German!! but the colouring is absolutely correct & you will be safe in copying if you can find time little Mother to paint. I searched the Town for this, the only one so hope it arrives safely

[Page 23]

23 January 1918 Wednesday
Jaffa. Had lunch at Jerusalem Hotel run by a German & a very 2nd rate place- The streets are re-named after the Scottish Division, i.e. Princes Street St Sauchiehall Street etc, a town of about 16000 inhabitants but not half here now. A bad [indecipherable] & little shipping, the country surrounding good, oranges & vineyards everywhere. All languages spoken in Jaffa ; but German & Austrian trade circulars in most shops. Turks have bombed it but otherwise little damage has been done.
The Jerusalem Hotel is covered with texts out of the Bible. And the chief place of interest in Jaffa is "Simon the [indecipherable] house where Paul? sister was ill of a fever?

[Page 24]

24 January 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
X Boils under arms and groin strange no sooner than I get out I suffer these things-X
Divisional Sports are coming along soon & football to keep the men fit- Birds here are Crow, Blackbird, Ducks, plover, & Grouse, Gazelle in the Judean Hills, but I have no shotgun now-
Every Evening the hawks chase the Starlings home to roost- the latter fly in large mobs-
X Did I mention seeing General Allenby in Judea- he is not like some Gs who remained in Cairo X

[Page 25]

25 January 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
2nd Brigade Sports today Gen Ryrie An officer amused people of Deiran & Richon with Boomerang throwing. Ours come off soon- as we are resting till railway pushes on- Just heard that Goeben & Breslau have been accounted for.
Beautiful fine weather the last few days- Met Captain McLean the Chairmanís son a tremendous talker.
X Did I tell you I was offered the command of an Infantry Battalion with talk of Lt Col but did not say yes as wife here in Egypt & Im no good at footslogging.X

[Page 26]

26 January 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
X Again bad news if true re French reverse we anxiously await verifying.
No mail from England for a month but X good mails from Australia.
I am representing Brigade at Divisional Sports next month it means a little extra work but after my long holiday, up to me.
Plenty of oranges here & the septic sores are better in all ranks. X My skin trouble still worries me & in the Camel Corps it has become acute. Had a letter from Nowell he had seen the wife in Cairo. X

[Page 27]

27 January 1918 Septua-gesima Sunday (X to X crossed out)
Raining again Church service this morning, but men wont sing when cold blooded.
Busy clipping horses mending saddlery etc & getting ready for our next push.
X Post this with love to you all- & donít forget to tell May I often think of her but do not write. FW X

[Page 28]

28 January 1918 Monday (X to X crossed out)
Thomson Ėcanteen- examine [indecipherable]
Heavy rain last night, the Bedouins told us several days ago that it would rain!
My chest stands much better than I expected really, I weigh 13 stone 7 lbs- X Drink is the trouble in this "wine" country- the Blaspheming at night-time worst I ever listened to. An Officers "Tunic" I gave our QM on the Beach I understand is assisting men to impersonate Officers & obtain grog.
I believe in the RUM issue under supervision- Just found old Dayís message pinned in the Soks- Oct 2nd- Soks OK many thanks Day.X

[Page 29]

29 January 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
Rain again.
An attack by dismounted L.H. practiced today- & for pleasure we had a good view of a real air fight. One of our fast machines engaged 2 enemy GOTHA & drove one down- We are at last top dog in the air here now.
Bought 1000 oranges. 2/6 a 100 for the men X but no bread is allowed to be bought as the Jewish Population is really short of Flour especially in Jerusalem, still hoping to get a trip there this week.X

[Page 30]

30 January 1918 Wednesday(X to X crossed out)
Finer, but very cold only another month of Winter.
Boils still bad under arm otherwise fit.
X Rather sorry to hear from wife that No 14 A.G.H. is being moved to Port Said so she will have to go there.
No immediate chance of me getting a Base job at present, but we are spelling for a month here yet & much may happen in the meantime. X
Mails from England take much longer than mails from Australia at present.
We see no Turks here at present but can hear the Artillery mainly.

[Page 31]

31 January 1918 Thursday
My Pilgrimage to Jerusalem has at last eventuated & I have written you fully re same. I left at 4 AM in Divisional Car & returned at night- along [indecipherable] switchback road.
PEN too bad-
A glorious day & one I shall not forget- if only you could have been with me to tell me more about these HOLY places- I bought a few beads etc just to send Day as from Bethlehem-
Let me know if you get my letter

[Page 32]

1 February 1918 Friday (Whole page crossed out)
Rode to Deiran & had a hot bath & attended Gas Lecture. This country is so much better than Jerusalem was- One here rides for miles between Orange & Lemon groves.
3 Letters from Laura & Papers oldest letter dated Dec 19 & Jan 2nd /18 Also letter from May redirected from England & addressed to CAPTAIN Weir dated 5/11/17 please thank her for me-
One of Lauras was undated. May has never addressed me as Major yet!!

[Page 33]

2 February 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
X In a Tobacco tin sewn up in a part of my sleeve of undershirt I have posted Day 2 Bead necklaces 1 from Jerusalem, 1 from Bethlehem of little commercial value post also to Joe an Olive wood cigarette Case & leather Match book from Jerusalem hope they arrive.X
Am field officer today did a sham fight preparing for our next advance which will not be for some 5 or 6 weeks yet.

[Page 34]

3 February 1918 Sunday
Warm & fine. Field Officer today & instead of Church attended a lecture on Jerusalem-
Good news tonight re Berlin strikers hope it is all true.
Recd. parcel from the wife she has gone Port Said.
Have been busy fixing up mounted sports for the men. Am attending a Topographical course under Captain McLean (who is a Licensed Surveyor) tomorrow

[Page 35]

4 February 1918 Monday (Whole page crossed out)
Letters from Mother Dec 23rd no mention of receiving my cable on arrival Egypt.
Hope ere this you are in Melbourne.
Just had my PAY Book debited half pay during time I was away- did not anticipate this- [indecipherable] thank you & acknowledged muffler long since & am wearing Days soks now- but cold weather nearly over now- I hope Joe got to Warrnambooll Some day, we may go again to the Hopkins. Will post this with love Frank

[Page 36]

5 February 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
Hotchkiss gun.
0900 meeting Raining again Hotchkiss gun trials this afternoon X I am a judge-
Have posted you Notes yesterday & told you Dollys war address
Casino Palace Hotel Port Said. as No 14 AG.H has gone to Port Said. X
Kept busy with Topographical work from 9 till 4 each day leaves little time and work for pleasure or bathing.
Boil under other arm now!

[Page 37]

6 February 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
Regimental Sports
Big football match on this afternoon, it keeps the men fit & well X Had letter from Lorna Hanson & Laura & papers which speak of the riots in Berlin can we believe it all. X
I get a lot of Riverina news from Jim Ayre heís a great letter writer.
This Camp & ground is the sight of a big fight & live bombs & dead Turks plentiful- the jackals dig the latter up & we are constantly burying

[Page 38]

7 February 1918 Thursday
Regimental Sports postponed.
Sports postponed owing to rain inches fell.
Paid all hands, am president of a Court Martial tomorrow & still doing Topographical work under Capt McLean the Chairmanís son- quite a good chap-
Sent a party to collect BOMBS left by the Turks as we donít want accidents on Sports Day- & many varieties lie about with half buried Turks. Our own men & N. Zealanders are reverently buried a wooden cross at their head & Records kept

[Page 39]

8 February 1918 Friday
Raining hard. Last night an Egyptian Camel Driver had been left sick on the road- Our Officers found him about 10 p.m. & forced whisky down his throat & dragged him up to our Picquet, covered him with Bks- this morning he was alive & has gone to Native Hospital
Very cold on these poor beggars they only wear a cotton overall, & their lives are not of much value these times. Brother thou art!

[Page 40]

9 February 1918 Saturday
Still raining & snow on the Hills just heard WADI GHUZZI washed Railway Line away again so rations & horsefeed will be scarcer.
Oranges are now issued in lieu of vegetables.
The horse Lines get ankle deep in mud & weíve not had a decent wash for days-
Rum issue every night. Boils under both arms & Skin trouble little better, only trifles, but not pleasant in the wet soldiering.

[Page 41]

10 February 1918 Sunday (X to X crossed out)
The Mediteranean is not supposed to be rough but above the roar of the Naval Guns we can hear the breakers on the Beach.
We have postponed our Sports from day to day. Just got word to be ready to move in 12 hours
X All sports cancelled so post this with love to all
Your son. X

[Page 42]

11 February 1918 Monday
We are in Reserve the weather cleared with a terrific thunderstorm-
Out all day with Capt McLean surveying well known towns & districts like Lud once Lydda, Ramleh, etc.
Afternoon held long postponed Sports as I have 2 boils under one arm & one under the other. I was only an administrator. The Rain washed away railway in the WADIS so no letter from the little wife for several days- From where we were working SNOW plainly visible on the hills towards SAMARIA Crusaders Towers are good landmarks in our surveying work- which was originally done by HH KITCHENER 1878

[Page 43]

12 February 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
Another fine day & busy on our survey work- The fields are a mass of Red anemonies now- One hold Hill we named "Anemone" Hill & one "Weirís" Hill so in future Maps of the Holy Land our these names go down to posterity- Such is fame?
"Snipe" & "Ducks" are plentiful but I have no good gun.
X PEN bad, pen useless
Another Officer has just left for Australia by getting his Family to apply to the Defence Department for him. I long for the day when I see you all again with Dolly. X

[Page 44]

13 February 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
Out all day today surveying with blank table very interesting work with Capt McLean who is a L.S. No letter yet from the wife [indecipherable] FLOODS . Boils better but another one coming. Fresh meat in the shape of RABBITS tonight. Under orders to move again in 12 hours- All ranks inoculated again for cholera
Divisional football played today but I did not get back till late.
X The 10th IRISH Division were near us for a while & any night after "Rum" issue they sang what they called Patriotic!! Songs about what they would do to England at the next Rebellion.X

[Page 45]

14 February 1918 Thursday [indecipherable] (X to X crossed out)
The Scotties & we are always great friends with - a pity the IRISH question is not settled.
We expect our next camp to be Bethlehem- What a crowd of Tourists there will be when this is over. X An Hotel [indecipherable] of Olives [indecipherable] It sounds Blasphemous but the X Jews, Greeks & Mohammedans look upon places of interest as BAKSHEESH from tourists. In the Jewish new towns every house seems to have a cheap German Piano, & they play well Some german musician lived in JAFFA & taught many

[Page 46]

15 February 1918 Friday
Letter from Nowell & 2 from the wife alls well
We have a BAND for the 1st L.H.B. mounted on little white DONKEYS- it adds to our pleasure in off duty hours- Moving on tomorrow to Jericho!!!
Boils are better but I spend a few hours every day getting them dressed.
13 Parcels from Australian Comforts Fund arrived- Cakes Vegetables Sweets all very welcome. By a strange coincidence my Parcel was from Miss Rose Clapperton of Brookong, I have sent her a Post Card

[Page 47]

16 February 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
Brigade moved off & by clouds we should be well wet tonight.
X Secret orders but as no one save you will see this I hope- we are off to Jericho.X
We expect to be away about 8 days- I left all but what I stand up in at Richon-
X Camped tonight at the Junction of the Turks railway line where the Jaffa & Beershebah lines join before Jerusalem.X
All interesting country Purple iris Almond blossom & Anemoneís everywhere.
Tomorrow we will be among the stones of the Judean Hills.

[Page 48]

17 February 1918 Sunday
We have been issued with STEEL HELMETS & the boys chaff each other by calling out "Have you seen the "
"Orsetralians about chum" pretending they are Tommies.
Moved on another 15 miles over stony rises along the old Turkish railway Joppa-Jerusalem- now in good order again-
We captured many engines & much rolling stocks last STUNT.
Camped at Zacheriyeh along lime stone hills & Caves- On the march I noticed many Cyclamen in bloom, the same mauve color as glass at Carrakoorte.
Did not Zachereyih live in a tree here!!! Somewhere?

[Page 49]

18 February 1918 Monday
Am afraid there are many dead legends drifting slowly bye in the HOLY LAND- such impossible things are shown which our Saviour only made use of as parables- The Cave here & Zachareyih though are certainly wonderful places on the Summit of the Judean Hills.
The men do not like the STEEL HELMETS, complaining of the weight- I wear one & must say, with a gas mask on at the same time, you would not recognize your son.
As I scribble the howls of the jackals echo again in the Hills here, they live on corpses which they dig up.

[Page 50]

19 February 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
X Once more Iím here & more time to let the wonder of our Saviourís birth be reconciled with the present strife of living X- We watered our horses at Solomons Pool (These pools are the water supply for Jerusalem) near village of Khudr, where Greeks had built a Church & in the distance could see the Minarets of Jerusalem.
The Church is built among a village of mud Huts & filthy surroundings, but has a beautiful Dome etc & Clock tower which chimes the hours- As we marched throí Bethlehem some School children sang "Onward Christian Soldiers"
I write from a peak 1723 ft high & the Dead Sea is 1300 ft below only a few miles away.

[Page 51]

20 February 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)+
Turks retreated, a long weary march over impossible country & X held up at end of Dead Sea by their guns X- Just lay on the stones between marches all night- Horses last drink 11 AM yesterday- X We could not bring any guns over the Judean Hills except on roads- & since I commenced to write 2 men are wounded 4 horses killed.X
Soles of my boots coming off & BOILS worrying me, such are the small crosses one bears.
Marched along a goat track along Dead Sea & at daybreak took Jericho.
The land is not so barren along the Jordan River, put up a Hare & feed was good, old man-Salt bush etc:- clover & mallow etc in the Jordan Valley-

[Page 52]

21 February 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
This morning the Bells in Jericho were ringing till the Turks opened fire on it again-
X We got a few prisoners but all stores had been taken- low fogs saved us from being bombed visibility bad- Capt Hurley the Official photographer came with the Anzac Division X- Our horses were 2 days without water
We took Neby Musa, or tomb of Moses, on which place no Jew or Christian has set foot for 80 years.
X The Mohommedanís would accept no fee for the privilege X- Washed my feet in the Waters of the Jordan & camped at the foot of a Greek Rock Cell Monastery where our Saviour fasted for 40 days & 40 nights- These Cells are like Dove cots high in the mountain side.

[Page 53]

22 February 1918 Friday
On Outpost Jordan Valley
Five Taubes flew over, but did not bomb us, clouds too low- Jacko kept his Field guns going last night but seems to have gone this morning- The Infantry are now up & we withdraw towards Jerusalem - The Turks cut the tendons of an Arabís hand, who would not fight against us- we found him in Jericho
Curlew were heard last night & this morning some Native companions flew over- Did not see anything of Jackoís launches which were reported on the Dead Sea- the scenery all round is very grand & impressive- I send you photo of the Cave Cell Monastery on the Mt of Temptation.

[Page 54]

23 February 1918 Saturday
Marched all night back towards Jerusalem, infantry having taken over the line- Jericho was a squalid place, dirty & shops all closed- the Major Mayor was arrested making for enemy lines-
After the low land of Jordan, the high lands of Judean Hills were perishing, Hail storms etc. We reached Bethlehem camp at 5 am perished-
Through Bethany & Jerusalem by moonlight was impressive, the gold minarets showing up clearly- A long zig-zag path by single file for 25 miles, covered with mud, we lay on the stones till daylight, glad to be making back to the warmer though wetter coast- strange to say I have no Bronchitis thoí wet.

[Page 55]

24 February 1918 Sunday
Got permission for parties of men to visit Jerusalem & Bethlehem, as I have been I remained in Camp- rain hard- I do not think that the Holy Land makes the average man more religious ribald jests & filthy language in the most Holy places-
Tucker is scarce in these parts I gave a Biscuit, a piece of soap & 10 pts for 3 eggs- As we left the Infantry were chanting "One biscuit per man, a little Bully
"and no Jam"
The eggs here are a normal size- better than Egyptian perhaps result of country-
The coldest time we have yet experienced

[Page 56]

25 February 1918 Monday
Started back at 5A.M. bitterly cold & halted at 4 pm not far from Junction Station See February 16th Many of the men with sore heads the result of Jerusalem cogniac
Our Field Post Office sent us letters. I got 3 from wife 2 from Laura.
Horses very tucked up from cold & shin sore from stones- I stand these perishes well, fresh air & exercise-
I enclose a pressed Anemone with this- Cyclamen to bulky-
Just heard VERDUN had fallen I mention this to show how rumour floats about.

[Page 57]

26 February 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
Left Camp at dawn, lunched at Akik in an olive grove weather quite warm compared to the Hills- Miles of Barley Crops are now up 6 inches high- Our government are providing the Bedouins with the seed free & all ploughing is done with the old wooden plough
X We will be doing nothing now for some weeks as horses are suffering from stunt.
[indecipherable] on arrival back in our Camp at Richon-le-Zion.
Love to all & I hope this travels safely-X

[Page 58]

27 February 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out
Get Whistle sewn
Posted notes, shaved, bathed, & changed clothes after 10 days without taking PANTS off-
Still broken weather but warmer
X I suppose ere this you are back at Bronte- do send me Auntyís address, I often would write but last I sent to Katandra, was returned.
Nowell wrote me in good form by last mail. Hear today we are likely to go back & let the Australian Division come up- Belah is 4 days march back, may get some leave to see the wife there. Letters from Mother & Day Dec 30th & Jany 6th with cuttings re Sports & Confetti Battle etc.X

[Page 59]

28 February 1918 Thursday (Whole page crossed out)
We are top dog in the air at present, so no bombing-
If you enclosed any of my Diary in your letter of Jany 6th it did not arrive but papers came many thanks.
I cabled you my arrival in Egypt, apparently never received. Hope you all got away for a change this month. I am fit & well I think I asked you before if you knew anything of a Miss Keighan a Melbourne girl who is a Red x Cook at Port Said. Dolly has made a friend of her, & of course I would like to hear something of her.

[Page 60]

1 March 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
Inspection by Gen Chaytor. Windy & cold- The Australasians arrived with local Papers- I notice from one Dec 22, an article about [indecipherable] Grain at Corowa- [indecipherable] lot for the horses & they do well on it, mixed with Barley Straw, the latter is known as Tibbin in Egypt & we did not like it at first, but realize now what excellent fodder it is- X As a result of inspection lost 6 horses they are wonderful animals many been tied up for 3 Ĺ years issued with horse shoes & like Crimea all HIND & no coal to forge them!! X

[Page 61]

2 March 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
Took Squadron to Richon & all washed in public Baths there- We hear another STUNT is on in a few days no leave yet a while. Second dose of inoculations has left most of us pretty sore.
X Papers from Laura & Iíve cut out the bits in Australasians, you marked for me & send back for my Scrap Book- Posted Amber Beads for Day bought in Jerusalem Real amber- and a Bowl of Stone from the Dead Sea for you- they may arrive X

[Page 62]

3 March 1918 Sunday (X to X crossed out)
X Just got orders to go to 5th Wing Australian Flying Corps for 3 days instruction- not to learn flying but intercommunication, soon all C.O. will have [to] make their Reconnaissance by air.X
Weather warmer & we are off on another stunt X over the Judean Hills I join the Regiment as they follow me up- No chance of leave at present-
Enclose Dollyís Grannyís letter an old bed-ridden woman of 75.
All my love to you I send some Gum leaves from the Jordan valley also in box- & grown around a Monastery there.X

[Page 63]

4 March 1918 Monday (Page crossed out)
I would not say anything to Dolly re Beads as she has not got hers yet. FM

[Page 64]

5 March 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
X Arrived last night at No.14 R.F.C. doing Contact Patrols & will have a fly every day for the next 3 days, joining Brigade on the March- R.F.C. Mess very comfortable & a good lot of young bloods. X Am too old to think of joining the Flying Corps-
This aerodrome is at J.S. & I had the pleasure of being up with 6 other machines all nicely loaded with BOMBS for the Turks on the Jordan One can judge country well from up above & someday a manager outback will have a look round before breakfast in his monoplane- All TYPES are here & we are top dog in the air on this front.

[Page 65]

6 March 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
14th R.F.C. (articled)
I hope to send you some photos taken from above the Turks line next mail.
We are well treated here, electric light in every Tent generated on the ground- great comfort after a Cavalry Mobile Brigade.
X The planes send messages by wireless & a XLAXON HORN- We send by a Black & white PANEL on the ground- MORSE.
Men from all English Regts are here quite young men & they treat us well, this is not the Australian Flying Squadron- I send you some photos of Machines-X

[Page 66]

7 March 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
Joined Regiment -Scrap on about 9th soon-
Two men R.F.C. Pilot & Observer ran into the Judean Hills owing to the clouds & were smashed up. X Last night a Bedouin was caught stealing Ammunition in R.F.C. Camp so to save trouble we had a drum head Court Martial, read Kings Requisitions to him any old page chiefly about Decorations I think it was they gave him 10 with Shambok, on his soft parts & let him go. X They are awful thieves & will run the risk of being shot cheerfully.
Marched towards Jerusalem & joined my Regiment on the move- arrived Beithania about 4 pm & bivouaced- quite enjoyed my visit to R.F.C.

[Page 67]

8 March 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
X Bethania see St John St Luke chap XXIV X
Field Officer today at above named place-
Dead Turks, & shells abandoned by them are plentiful. X Strange to relate West, poor Bluey Liddleís man is here in my Regiment and a good man he is too. Can you read this "BLUE" LIDDLE. X
Moved on through very rough country to Rummon bivouaced at midnight & moved again at 2 AM escorting a Mountain Battery- to Taiyebeh

[Page 68]

9 March 1918 Saturday
Every gun we have bombarded the Turks & we watched the Tommies take Pear Hill- At noon we joined in & did our share, killing a few & riding over some desperate country. My horse fell & broke an iron, Outpost tonight the Turks put up a better scrap than expected & we have to fight again - tomorrow- Our rations can only come on Pack Horses also horsefeed- aeroplanes help us & the air is full of High Explosives-
Good patches of feed & plenty of partridges to be seen

[Page 69]

10 March 1918 Sunday
Borrowed a boot from a Machine gunner as mine was worn right through on the rocks-
We were well shelled getting into Camp but the Turks are retiring, we killed a few, but the country as rough as the worst of Switzerland near [indecipherable]- Our own horses are packed for return & it is raining hard-
I still have a bottle flask of whisky to drink now & then. The Bedouin wooden ploughs from the Jordan Valley provide us with wood-
The scenery!!! is grand- but our poor Horses suffer badly from bruised feet- see paper 11th 12th 13th 14th

[Page 70]

11 March 1918 Monday
Maison Lyons Cake Oxford St London L.H.
Raining still, a cake arrived from London isnt it wonderful the Army Postal Service- 2 letters from Dolly also Turks being driven back & we hope to be relieved tomorrow, still raining, 4 enemy Taubes over but no bombs- A Mountain Battery got a shaking yesterday & the men have been passing us all day- We can see Jerusalem behind us quite plainly- it is built on a HILL & we expect to be back that way again soon.
Notwithstanding cold I am fit & well.

[Page 71]

12 March 1918 Tuesday
On Outpost in a Cave. Raining all day. Can see Jackoís fires in front, he is jumpy & fires flares & bombs at intervals- Rather worried over my little wife she has seen a Doctor, who says a prambulator will be necessary in 6 months so the little girl wants to go to her Mother if I cannot get a Base job I hardly like to ask for it but would take it quickly- for the little girls sake-
We have been successful in our stunt here as the papers will tell you- She has written & told you Mother.

[Page 72]

13 March 1918 Wednesday
Still drizzling, we have not had time to bury the dead Turks yet, this hill is littered with Rifles grenades etc etc:- the debris of a fight-
I hope you can read this scribble- expect to go back to Bethlehem tomorrow for a days spell very cold & rough on horses up in these hills.
In your last letter you mentioned cuttings re Diary only Water Carnival etc came, it is of interest to the wife to read, as I only write each day to you & twice a week to her so like to read back what is printed.

[Page 73]

14 March 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
Wadi Auja
The Cave I camped in had been used by Bedouins I am now LOUSY, & not had my clothes off for 1 week
I shall come to Australia when the war ends X even if my wife Dolly goes home. After all my work & expense to get her out through the Red X & I have no chance of going England myself- I understand the little girls wish to be with her Mother under the circumstances but would prefer her to go to Bronte. X No word of going back yet. Collected 214 Bedouins today they live in Caves, Donkeys & all together & are very poor.

[Page 74]

15 March 1918 Friday
Still at the Wadi
Remounts came from Col : Mc Leans today mostly Americans, we did hope to be relieved but no word yet, still cold & wet.
On Outpost again tonight- the Wadi opposite is lined with Jackoís but they leave us alone for the present, it is too cold & wet for any fighting & both sides are so tired out.
We have been [indecipherable] but still have no Bivies, it may seem strange but 20 miles changes the climate here from the warm Dead Sea to the snow clad mountains.

[Page 75]

16 March 1918 Saturday
Left Wadi Auja & marched in the rain to Rummon drew rations & on in the dark to Beitin 4 horses died of cold & the infantry plodded along in the mud.
We could light no fires & had no tucker since yesterday mornings breakfast. 8 Nigger camel drivers died with the cold & wet. They cannot stand the cold like our men.

[Page 76]

17 March 1918 Sunday (X to X crossed out)
Left Beitin in the rain I have never been so cold for a long time 4 Niggers died, however we moved on to a Russian Monastery which the Germans had used for their head quarters- we were thankful to get under a roof & bought Charcoal from the natives & got fires going - X Laura writes my August Notes you sent had been heavily censored so in future please if sending to England run a pen throí any incriminating X

[Page 77]

18 March 1918 Monday
Drying clothes, shoeing horses- just been detailed to stop here & look after Brigade details if they move so I am alright tonight- Bought eggs 3 for 1/-, shaved, & caught lice & felt happier- the menís boots were in a very bad state from the rocks also the horses shoes- This monastery is a very well built place the Germans had used as their Hd Quarters see paper 19th 20th Ė

[Page 78]

19 March 1918 Tuesday
Bethlehem again.
Letters from home Mother Jany 19th I do love to get home news & to know allís well, also Mother & Day Jany 13. Canít understand my Cable not reaching you I sent on Dec 15th from Port Said. Also another letter Jany 28th from Melb:- So glad you are there.
Love to Aunt Louie- Dolly sails again for England end of April I must see her ere she goes- it is hard after all my arrangements, & I wish she had gone Bronte.

[Page 79]

20 March 1918 Wednesday
Move postponed owing to Jordan being in flood, anyway Iím staying here in Bethlehem with detail. We have many sick & the Regiment will be away 10 days still wet, hope you can read will post with love to all. Hope go Cairo or Port Said end of month.
RUM saved the men a lot during the last fortnight.

[Page 80]

21 March 1918 Thursday (Whole page crossed out)
Beit Jala See Copy 21st
Please thank Day for her long letters the last Jany 28th x Melbourne. She is a good girl.
Jim Ayre got parcel O.K. I want Kathleens address please- We are camped in a Russian Monastery tonight I move to a Franciscan CARMELITE Convent about 4 miles away & takeover Brigade details for a week & we hope after this demolition stunt to go back to Richon [indecipherable] Boots have been the trouble some pairs only lasting a few [indecipherable] days on the rocks-

[Page 81]

22 March 1918 Friday (Whole page crossed out)
Bethlehem Also Australasians-3 more letters Mother & Day Feb 3rd & one from May addressed as usual to Captain Weir. I did Cable sorry never delivered.
You would enjoy all these old Holy places, am afraid the average soldier then is past much fervour now here-
One soldier blew an oil lamp out in the Holy Sepulchre that had been burning 2000 years or more. Such is notoriety- The poor give oil to keep the lamps burning in the Tabernacles-

[Page 82]

23 March 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
Bethlehem With Brigade Detail
Rations are short & supply dumps low, but better times are ahead when the railway works well. If anyone wants to know what to send a Light Horseman, a quart pot in leather case, as unprocurable in Cairo. A Parcel arrived from Benduck full of good things I have written in thanks, also wrote Dolly trying to persuade her to go to X Bronte or remain in Egypt I do not like the idea of her travelling in her present condition to England & it may be years ere we are together again.

[Page 83]

24 March 1918 Sunday (X to X crossed out)
Jerusalem Went to Holy Sepulchre Calvary & joined in Greek service, Armenians, JEWS, Catholics all have their own Chapels inside the old Crusaders Temple- Then on to Mahomets Rock at Omar Mosque This time I was allowed to go in after taking off my shoes, or boots.
X Returned Bethlehem in A.I.F Canteen Car. Am sending my sword by Lt James who goes to Australia next week to be left at Wilkinson & Lavenders Sydney- It may reach you later on. I have another -TURKS.X
Had the Military Governor of Bethlehem to mess tonight

[Page 84]

25 March 1918 Monday
Bethlehem Went again to Church of Nativity & the Milk Grotto the latter place crowded with pilgrims with BABIES, you know the legend i.e. no need for Foster Mothers if the Mother goes to Marys Milk Grotto.
Later went to Typhus Hospital run by Armenians the Doctor was at QUINNS POST GALLIPOLI opposite me Aug 7th 1915. His saddle was lost after we evacuated- Pretty Syrian nurses here who had nursed our prisoners in Jerusalem before we came.

[Page 85]

26 March 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
Cold & wet
From what I hear from Armenian Refugees since the Russians have withdrawn from the Northern part of Asia Minor, massacres by the Turks are going on again- It is only fear that makes him play the game.
X Here in Bethlehem the Hospitals have hardly any drugs, little firing & there is a great scope for Red x work. I visited the Infectious diseases & the French Nuns they all tell the same tale of want of necessities- One of our shells had inadvertently hit the former but did no damage.X

[Page 86]

27 March 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
BEIT JALA Local Greek inhabitants call themselves Christians here but it is all a matter of L S D if you pay them they will embrace any religion- very different to Mohammedins or Moslems. Much offends an educated mind, idolatrous absurd customs & grotesque traditions [indecipherable] our men scoff- a good deal. X Bedouins raided our Camp & stole 10 Rifles 2 Horses 4Troughs & a canvas Reservoir clever thieves & slack sentries, double piquets tonight! This is only a Brigade detail Camp others are across the Jordan river.X

[Page 87]

28 March 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
Visited a Monastery called Kremezan away on the Hills for Austrian orphans, winery attached (there always is plenty of grog in these Monasteries) Took Capt. McLeanís gun & had a shot at some partridge but only got 1 they are shy & fast flyers.
X In the evening paid a visit to another monastery supported by the Argentine people & called & close to King Solomons Pools-
These places are mostly deserted now, but the pools are a wonderful bit of engineering, the Pipe line being made of stones to Jerusalem. X

[Page 88]

29 March 1918 Good Friday
Best news Ive had is that the little wife has nearly decided to remain in Egypt another Majorís wife would be with her in a Nursing home.
Went Jerusalem to Holy Sepulchre, everywhere Bells are ringing & the Jews, Syrians, Armenians etc are dressed in their sunday best. Found on arrival at Church we would have to stay for 5 hours, the service being translated into 7 languages so we scratched & went to the Mount of Olives.
4 Guns, 300 prisoners 17 Motor lorrys captured East of Jordan.

[Page 89]

30 March 1918 Saturday
After midnight tomorrow any one of Greek religion or Russian can kiss any pretty girl he meets till mid-night Monday, so long as you say Christ is risen. Our soldiers are looking forward to it.
Just heard definitely the wife cannot get Permit but as a Colonels wife is with her alls well & the event does not take place till Je end of July. Then we may all come home together Love to all- Wild anemone from Rachaelís Tomb

[Page 90]

31 March 1918 Easter Sunday
Went with Capt Andrews a Doctor to Monastery near Solomonís Pools & had lunch with the Monks, 6 courses & 6 different wines, including fizz from France. This Easter is a great time of rejoicing & the greeting is Bon Feie:- they did us well. After, the Military Governor of Bethlehem took us to an Austrian Monastery where they spoke German more wine & cigars here good pictures, good music & no poverty- There are worse jobs than a monks. Turks had entrenched all around these places & made their strong posts.
Tried to shoot a partridge but missed only [one] about-

[Page 91]

1 April 1918 Monday
Carmilite Monastery Bethlehem
Brigade still away but expected back any day now-
Church Bells ringing all night, punctuated by odd shots from the sentries to hunt Bedouins from our Camping area. Cold & wet I am lucky to be in this job. I told you I think we are in a Carmelite Monastery, I borrowed a Piano & at night the men have Concerts. I got an Armenian Doctor who had deserted from the Turks to lecture on the Massacres the same man was opposite us at Quinnís & Popes Hill Gallipoli & is very interesting.

[Page 92]

2 April 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
Fierce fighting in France but we get little reliable news. Letters from Laura say Tucker is a big question. [indecipherable] is loafing [indecipherable] & in London
Went Jerusalem & saw a few places I had missed before most interesting Golgotha hill & the Garden Tomb more like the place of our Lordís burial than Holy Sepulchre, but arguments arise over every place. In German Church saw Hertlingís Coat of Arms Von Tirpiz & Kaisers. X Events over the Jordan are happening fast & I could write much re Military work but am afraid I [indecipherable]X

[Page 93]

3 April 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
X We took 1000 prisoners but the Turks counter attacked & some of our boys are prisoners-X It was terribly cold on the hills across the Jordan but they are all back in Jericho now.
Could hear big guns all night, the Infantry are at it again- Send Reinforcements tomorrow, to our Brigade who are not yet returning & my leave to Port Said indefinitely postponed.
X The Circassians turned dog on us, but we blew up the railway each side of Amman. The N.Z lost a good many Officers & men also the 6th L.H. among them an old friend of mine Major Harold Ryan who was in Africa.X

[Page 94]

4 April 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
Expect to go myself to Jordan valley tomorrow, sent reinforcements today. X We hear the enemyís planes come over & bomb every morning.X Expect to be away 3 weeks so leave chance is small However must carry on I suppose. Great fighting on the West in France, how will it all end, & is it the beginning- X The Brigade remain out after all.
8000 Refugee Christians have come across the Jordan to Jerusalem, fleeing from Turks & Circassians as our operation was a raid on Hedjaz Military.X

[Page 95]

5 April 1918 Friday
Carmelite Monastery. Warmer & fine night made hideous by Pariah dogs which follow our meat rations even into Buildings. I followed one in my shirt tails & fired my revolver.
This afternoon made my adress to the different Monks, & Fathers of the monasteries, & told them theirs was true Christianity when they took us out of the wet & mud- Am told quite hot at Jericho now only 15 miles away & malaria starts there in a couple of months.
Enclose snapshots of Bon Fete, one Father indignant because only took Ĺ his face.

[Page 96]

6 April 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
Carmelite Monastery. Sent another Column to Jericho & now await Battery horses to move the last, X our Regt. are holding Bridgehead over Jordan, but come back in a day or so. X Applied again for leave Cairo on finishing up job here-
Keeping the men away from the diseased women has been one of my big troubles-
I had a special Prophylactic Tent erected at gate, but the evacuations have been very numerous, as bad as Cairo in the early days- enclose you a P.P.C. letter from one of my Monk friends- All rifles have to be handed in now & the monasteries have quite a lot.

[Page 97]

7 April 1918 Sunday
Another week gone, it seems a long time since I walked out of the garden gate 3 Ĺ years ago- Will post this as no leave coming. I may be off to the Jordan tomorrow. No church parade, as all services are in foreign languages. The Protestants seem to be quite in the minority in the Holy Land & have no sideshows like the Russians, Armenians, French, Spanish, Italians etc all Catholics- With love to you all, & hoping soon we may visit once more
Your fond son Frank.

[Page 98]

8 April 1918 Monday
Bethlehem Posted you 3 Easter eggs one each carved in Bethlehem hard boiled real eggs-
Still awaiting orders- to join up or get leave have 150 men here in the Monastery still I enclose French Sergeants letter or certificate that the monastery in his care has been left in good order by me- Among a lot of old Books here I notice a Girls Chatterbox 1882!!! written in English at that date never published for a Monastery in Beth
I have heard Nuns behind spiked grills but never saw one, although a Cake arrived one day for me from their hands- what a quaint thing some people make of religion-

[Page 99]

9 April 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
Most of these Monasteries were self contained before the war- Kept Bees, Pigeons, Rabbits, pigs, grew vegetables & fruit & each had a Winery, often a crucifix on the wall over the biggest cask. Bon Vivants, but French ; English have had a lot of damage done to them- Here all the vines have been uprooted. X One cellar a German Painter had done a disgusting fresco & written Work is work Wine is wine. At Christian Brothers all the best wine had been buried-X
The "Freres" showed me their new Catholic Church - all these good folk.

[Page 100]

10 April 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
Still Bethlehem waiting Horses or leave
All these good folks have heard that I could "playí so those old tunes I learnt Bonnie Dundee etc I play hard while X the monk blows the Organ & finish up with God Save the King. They all take snuff, some smoke.
This afternoon went Jerusalem to Pilates House & Zion Sisters, whence our Lord started up the Via Dolorosa, then I went once more to the Pools of Bethsaida, & on to Garden of Gethsemane & to the Tomb of the Virgin Mary.X
Many parties of soldiers with Padres in charge where going around- I have been lucky in seeing all these places.

[Page 101]

11 April 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
Bethlehem still. Just had to punish a Native, after hearing the case- I ordered 5 lashes having just got permission from the Military Governor X Modus operandi is [indecipherable] given as I count like cat of nine tails [indecipherable]
Glad to hear our planes bombed the Circassians across Jordan who shot our men when returning from last Stunt. X Posted you a Regimental Paper printed in Cairo, & enclose a cutting out of Palestine News BRING YOUR OWN RATIONS TO HOTEL-

[Page 102]

12 April 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
The Scotties who have been with us for so long have gone- I cannot say where but the ANZACS have lost a lot of good pals. X I heard today a house suspected of German propaganda work in Jerusalem was searched 200 golden sovereigns, rifles, & enemy documents, in one room were many beautiful frocks from Vienna & Berlin in latest style, Ball shoes etc- supposed to belong to German ladies-
Another Canvass Trough stolen by Bedouins last night, notwithstanding a guard.X

[Page 103]

13 April 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
X Still Bethlehem Censored 14th-15th
Getting monotonous waiting here for Orders to rejoin- Hear today the Turks attacked our Pontoon Bridge over Jordan- If I cannot get leave, would prefer to be with Regt:- but have had a good spell here in B.X
It is getting quite hot & the wild flowers which have been beautiful are going to seed. Are we to see another summer through I wonder.
Fighting in France is terrific & I see many names of men I knew among the Casualties.
Letter from London C is loafing again

[Page 104]

14 April 1918 Sunday (X to X crossed out)
Making one of my visits to a Franciscan Monastery I found a Monk studying A Desk Book of errors in English here are some- JAG, a euphemism for drunk, to be avoided in society!! LADY, where woman is meant say woman or female!!!
LIP vulgar for impudence etc:-
These good folk rise at 3 AM every day & study this sort of thing- & some speak as many as 11 languages- I speak 1 but have looked on much of the world & now my eyelids are a little weary for the homeland.
X Not a single Protestant Church service in Bethlehem among all the creeds for the men today places ĖR.C. X

[Page 105]

15 April 1918 Monday
Turks attacked Bridge head over Jordan- we buried 300- I was not there but safe in a Monastery-
Big mail arrived.
Mother & Day 9/2/18 16/2/18 27/2/18
Joe 9/2/18 18/2/18 3/2/18
Mrs Cotton, May 25/2/18 Ferrar Laura & am relieved to think Joe cannot come- Still no word of my leave but Iím getting rid by degrees of different details, & we hope to get relieved soon from front line- Am fit & well & post this with love to all- We all hope the big Push in France may be beginning of end- Would like to read my printed notes please

[Page 106]

16 April 1918 Tuesday
Still Bethlehem
No- Dollyís sister-in-law is in England; likes Mrs Cathy F. Only week end Cables bad-
Full rates go, so will know next time, sorry.
Dolly is now in a Pension Rosemore Rossmore House Cairo
Colonel McLarenís wife (a Doctor man) is with her & also expecting a baby about same time so she has company & they get on well together.
Paid all hands today & went Jerusalem in Governorís car 1000ís of old muskets & pistols are being handed in by the population being disarmed.

[Page 107]

17 April 1918 Wednesday
In pickle bottles, I have Cyclamen & wild Maidenhair Fern, Iris, Tulips, Lavender, but summer is coming & all are drying up. Had dinner with the Military Governor a Sergeant Major [indecipherable] of man but at least both speak English. Gold & silver coins are scarce & some of the Jews are very clever at trying to get the former, the Arabs & others never give change say they have not, in fact the first English words many learn are NO CHANGE.

[Page 108]

18 April 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
Still here, I suppose it is going to be a long war X but Iím impatient to get to Dolly-
Just had to flog a native, not allowed by Kings Regulations but the only way to deal with them. My horses have benefited by the spell X & I have the two Harry Austin gave me looking very fit they know all about soldiering, & can tell shell fire as well as I can.
X Had to give a native 15 lashes today he saluted afterwards, its their only punishment. X

[Page 109]

19 April 1918 Friday
Bought 5 Rabbits for 2/- each for Pasteur Institute, Jerusalem wanted for Bacteriological purposes, & the M.G. was sending to Cairo for them
Took them in; many natives being inoculated a green parrot was imitating their yells when the needle went in, awful curs, & no one sort the cleverness of the Parrot. I see a poor old Galah occassionally, natives will spend hours in front of a talking parrot.

[Page 110]

20 April 1918 Saturday
Still Bethlehem.
Just got a Debit note for 52/-/- value of Troughs stolen by Bedouins also a memo:- Saying Divisional Commander General Chaytor considers I did not take necessary precautions!!!
Posting you a General Allenbyís Proclamation on entry into Jerusalem-
Am always afraid Iíll get into trouble with the Censor, so you fill up the gaps in writing in the Book you are keeping for me Mother dear. Will fight Debit Note, expect will pay about 5/-/- though.

[Page 111]

21 April 1918 Sunday
Australasians & Parcels from Mutual Store Feby 5th from Mother arrived safely thank you so much; also Ligmolene from Joe & Mother 2 pots, so am set up now.
Some of our Officers are just back from Australia, they say they were often insulted by loafers, one had a fight on G.P.O. steps & was taken to Military Barracks Paddington, the other a Colonel had a fight in the bar of the "Australia" Hotel Sydney evidently Triumphal Arches are things of the past as I foresaw

[Page 112]

22 April 1918 Monday
The Carmilite Monastery Comedy Coy: (our men) give their last performance tonight viz:- "7 days leave"- as we go back tomorrow & so far I have not got my leave- I went with Military Governor to a Greek Monastery of Saint George where the Priest takes madmen & cures them with the Chain of St George for 4/-/- a month- If no money they die- I asked what the insulators & wires were in each room & the Priest said, to convey the healing spirit of St George from the Chapel in the Monastery- awful old ruffian the British will no doubt stop his business soon

[Page 113]

23 April 1918 Tuesday (Whole page crossed out)
Yesterday sent most of Troops away to J- & I rejoin my Regiment today- very hot in J. Valley & am disappointed about leave & poor Dolly too still it cannot go on for ever & she must be a brave soldierís wife.
I think our Brigade are coming out of the front line for a rest so may get away then-
All my love to you at Home. F.W.
Always glad to read Diary it is a record when printed for me too.

[Page 114]

24 April 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
Land of Moab
Very hot glad to be near the J. Thought I was alright for leave but found I was not. General C. said I had been away too much!!!-after 3 Ĺ years!! & on duty at that. However the war canít last for ever-
Had a swim in Jordan swift current hard water from Mica sulphur gypsum sand it runs through. Not as big as the Edwards but plenty scrub along bank, X donít think Iíll have to pay for those troughs & reservoirs I had stolen now- the Bill 52/-/- was too stiff altogether.X

[Page 115]

25 April 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
Turks fire each night on our patrols & drop a few shells about but nothing serious- Planes come over but drop no bombs lately.
Temperature about 114° Fahrenheit. We are 1300 feet below sea level so no wonder HOT.
X 3 letters from Laura & 4 Papers she is very good in writing each week & I hear from the wife every 2nd day but letters come in Bunches sent from Nowell Forth he is well.X

[Page 116]

26 April 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
Refugees (all Christians) Arabs) continue to pass, as the Circassians & Turks are killing & robbing all who try to come in. Sheriff of Mecca is not far away now, & our armed Motor boats on the Dead Sea cease firing this morning- so we keep on. X I not only have that old affliction of Ezcema but Dobie: itch as well cannot cure without disinfecting under clothing- impossible on A.S. but the water in Jordan & Dead Sea is full of sulphur & good for these troubles- Went out to cover a Troop which was ambushed coming from Madeba.X

[Page 117]

27 April 1918 Saturday
Our 60 lbs Howitzers V Krupp all the morning.
Madeba Troop got in with 3 Horses killed 3 men wounded.
Rumours that we are really to be relieved soon but no leave yet for me- "Many pity women who knew it all before you" & is rough on the wife.
We got a 28 bore Shotgun but cartridges are loaded with shrapnel bullets so not much use on Partridge- The men use shrapnel to play marbles with after a scrap has scattered some about, splendid ammunition for Shanghais

[Page 118]

28 April 1918 Sunday (X to X crossed out)
We have Indian Troops with us now, pd by Indian Princes keen smart men, X but I doubt if as reliable as our lads under fire- Jim Ayre came along tonight said he had a letter from Day- I think he is great friends with Winnie Mills from all he says. X
Attended Church Parade Hymn "Lead Kindly Light" "I am far from home"
Very hot & Jacko sent a few shells over- Jack Mack from the Lachlan came to my "Bivy" for a yarn, he is well-

[Page 119]

29 April 1918 Monday
Moved at 3 A.M.
Recrossed the J & attached to Australian Division for a stunt- We expected to go back for a spell- My leave further off than ever- Tonight we go back & start fighting in the morning- fine Limey soil covers everything with white dust men & horses look like millers-
Donít worry about me we canít go on for ever & I am fit & well-
Love to all
Your son Frank

[Page 120]

30 April 1918 Tuesday
5+ 103= 108 115 Riding + 11= 126
9 Packsaddles ([indecipherable] 12)
2 Surplus =5 Officer Rations 1 Q.M. 1 Spare
9=9 29 + 4 donks =33
+1 = 10 30 +4 donks = 34
Same old thing, march all night, fight at dawn, then lie & be shelled all day till one gets a headache-
I posted you last few pages & I donít want to be found with any writing on me-
Very hot in Jordan Valley now
We donít know how long we are to be out on this stunt but the men want a Spell-
Left a Squadron in position marched all night to E. S---T
Ere sundown the two Australian Divisions may have accounted for a large numbers of Turks, front line of Battle, Cables will tell you.

[Page 121]

1 May 1918 Wednesday
Land of Moab
Much cooler on high land feed green but too interested in a big battle at presents going on- We did our job yesterday so today we are Div. Reserve.
Our horses have not had their saddles off since 10 oclock Monday night.
This diary helps me to keep track of time.
Attacked at 5 p.m. & withdrew at 9 pm
On outpost dys to 3 AM then marched towards River again.
Big strafe going on all around we AMD took 250 prisoners.

[Page 122]

2 May 1918 Thursday
Freezing at dawn but now at time of writing roasting hot as we came off the highlands back towards J. Valley- have not had my boots off or a wash, much less a shave since stunt commenced- Our H.D.C. had a bad time-
Germans Austrians among Turks taken prisoner.
Sleep now if possible-
Marched again all night had to carry a wounded men on foot 7 miles over mountains, as no wheels can come near us, & we have no Camel Cacholets.

[Page 123]

3 May 1918 Friday
Took up an advanced line from C squadron & as usual got shelled. Sole coming off boot, minor troubles worry a man, such as former & never washing for days etc. I carried the Mutual Store Plum Pudding & Salmon till today & then 3 Officers enjoyed it, as no rations have reached us for several days.
On Outpost all night while other Brigades marched in single file down a Bridle track.

[Page 124]

4 May 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
Hope to get back across J- tonight & will not be sorry. Cannot give details of prisoners or anything but we did fairly well, our wounded have a rough time if I get through the next 24 hours I am right. X We are rear guard & we are all near the end of our powers of [indecipherable] A sad sight to see 2 Australian Divisions galloping away out of the mountains on a Bridle track with Turks firing all around & Aeroplanes bombing & machine gunning us X- crossed J- at 0 3 AM & lay down minus kit or Tucker bearded & dirty but alive oh.

[Page 125]

5 May 1918 Sunday (X to X crossed out)
Camped till 6 A.M. & up & on as we just got in anywhere last night. One reinforcement whose first experience it was asked innocently "do we always do this"
I think Iíve lost a stone in weight during past 6 days- but my nerves are still alright- thoí shaken.
X Our casualties outnumber our prisoners & we left some wounded, lost some guns 9! & a whole Field Ambulance Ė completed a black week-X A great surprise my leave granted & I ride to Jerusalem tonight

[Page 126]

6 May 1918 Monday
On train for Ludd, 3 days in Cairo leave- had a hot bath at Fast Hotel bought some Tucker & hope to catch a train tonight at Ludd for Kantara.
Very tired but happy in going to [see] wife. Caught [indecipherable] train for Kantara [indecipherable]. Brought a bottle of Jordan water for the little Trumpeter when he arrives- I had to fight to get it so no more worthy use can be made of it- give the KID a good start in life!!!

[Page 127]

7 May 1918 Tuesday
Arrived Kantara & telegraphed Nowell to meet me at Ishmalia for a few minutes yarn
Arrived Cairo midday, found Dolly well- she met me on the railway station & looks splendid- Has a nice cool pension & looks far better than I expected the event takes place around 12th August-
Did not see Nowell at Ishmalia.

[Page 128]

8 May 1918 Wednesday
Leave. Cairo. Very busy getting Kit etc grand being with the wee wife again- She has made many nice friends. Took her to Doctor, arranged re a Flat & also for room at Anglo American Hospital. Found as usual my Kit had been robbed that I left at Moorcar. Brought some Jordan water to christen the Trumpeter with, Dolly shares the flat with Col Mc Larenís wife, ie Doctor & whose wife was a Sister (Nurse) so she will be in good company.

[Page 129]

9 May 1918 Thursday
Leave. Dined last night at Shepheards with Dolly as that is the place I met the little girl.
Hot in Cairo now but they have cool rooms- The little wife is sitting on my knee now & joins in love to you all, someday we will walk into the old garden gate
Love from F M
Address Dolly to Anglo Egyptian Bank.

[Page 130]

10 May 1918 Friday
Leave. Spent the night on the Nile, cooler & today did some more business for Dolly- an expensive luxury Babies!!!
We go to Dinner tonight at Continental Hotel it is a change for Dolly from Pension & she loves going out.
The "Trumpeter" is well & Iím sure you will be pleased to hear about the event!
How about a name? Ive got real Jordan Water for the Christening!!

[Page 131]

11 May 1918 Saturday Not for printing
Said goodbye to Dolly & caught the 6 oíclock train for Palestine once more, the little girl is wonderfully cheerful & well I am glad to say. Wrote Mrs Ish, Laura & fixed up Dollyís a/cs etc:- Address all letters to the wife to
c/- Manager Anglo Egyptian Bk Cairo as she changes her address.

[Page 132]

12 May 1918 Sunday
Travelled all night Ė Nowell Forth met me on the Platform at Ishmalia & told me of Mardi Ritchieís engagement He was well- Breakfast at Rest Camp Gaza & change trains at Ludd for Jerusalem- expect it will be 3 months ere I go Cairo again-
Got letters Mother 13/3/18
Mrs Strange Day "
&Mr Robertson who manages Cocketchedone now, also Papers & Diary thank you for sending all- My fountain pen bad

[Page 133]

13 May 1918 Monday
Stayed night Fast Hotel met Dollyís cousin a Lt Waller of Indian Calvary, we sat at the same table & he asked me did I know a Major Weir- a nice chap.
Caught a Motor Lorry & reached the Regt near Jericho in Dust and Flies, & found Iíd left my shaving Kit behind.
General Chauvel inspected us today. Did not tell Dolly but had a train collision broke both engines, my teeth, & bruised me a good deal but no one killed- POINTS wrong.

[Page 134]

14 May 1918 Tuesday ( X to X crossed out)
Field Officer today
Usual enemy planes over but no bombs.
X Still a bit sore from train accident, & mouth swollen- Jim Ayre not too well,[indecipherable] gave him Dayís message-
Received letter Joe 5/2/18 written from Warrnambool-
Am glad you were able to stay in Melbourne give my love to Aunt Louie & Kathleen- I forgot the name of Mardis fiance.X
Nebi Musa, Tomb of Moses is close here & a place of veneration strange to say to the Mohommedans!!!

[Page 135]

15 May 1918 Wednesday
Move tomorrow towards our old Camp Solomons Pools- Here we are on the Wadi Kelt, camped on the old Roman road to Jericho near where Elija was fed by the Ravens, Down this Wadi the Christians fled from Jerusalem in the days of their persecution & long before that the caves were inhabited by prehistoric man now by Bedouins.
I see by "Bulletin" May Forth sends Papers.

[Page 136]

16 May 1918 Thursday
Judean Hills. High, wild, hills round about 1 sheep to 7 acres through the summer & watered by springs in Wadiís, Bedouins only occupants at present- very thankful to be out of Jordan Valley at this time of year.
Only excitement here is our own Anti-aircraft shells falling.
Moved at 8 oíclock in evening for near Solomonís Pools again, supposed to be having a rest, marched all night & at sunrise passed Bethlehem once more- These all night marches in the tremendous dust add to the wrinkles- Youíll find me looking older when I reach home again.

[Page 137]

17 May 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
2 Miles Hebron road past Solomons Pools- Climate cooler, but all too tired to do more than pitch camp.
X [Illegible section]
Had letter from wife alls well. Post this today Mother for Australian mails
Love to all FW X

[Page 138]

18 May 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
Hebron Road near Solomons Pools.
You remember the song "I know a Bank whereon the Wild Thyme grows" well it is all around our present camp- also Sage & Maiden-hair fern, quite a treat after the Jordan Valley & if all goes well, we rest here for a month, if Jacko will let us?
X Still fighting the 50/-/- "bill" for stolen troughs etc. & I donít think Iíll have to pay it now.
Am very fit & no trace of Bronchitis only skin trouble, I already thanked you for Ligmolene 2 pots.
Bad news from France!!X
Wood is the great trouble again- I bought 2 Camel loads of Charcoal at 2/-/-

[Page 139]

19 May 1918 Sunday (X to X crossed out)
2 Bottles of Beer per man at 4 PT = 1/-s bottle issue Does the men a world of good & keeps them from drinking local Koniac.
Church parade as usual
X Letter from Dolly including Mothers to Mrs Isherwood which the latter had sent Dolly. X
Yes we will both walk in at the garden gate before many months now I hope.
X My pen sometimes works & other times I have to use pencil Do hope you can read. X
Painful trying to get men to sing at a Church Parade better cut Hymns out if no music - X Stayed for communion-X

[Page 140]

20 May 1918 Monday(X to X crossed out)
President of Court Martial on X man who belongs 1st Signal Troop X
Am afraid I think a prayer more often than say one- My greatest dread is to be a coward in a scrap- coz I do get the "wind up often"
There is a very brilliant Star you may remember me mentioning it in the old Romani days, it rose then over Ogratina- now we are further on it shines right over Bethlehem I often wonder whether it is the same as in the Old Tradition.
X Bedouins stole our Canvas Troughs again last night so someone will be in trouble I am detailed to raid a village in morning. X

[Page 141]

21 May 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
Raided Beit Fejjar, but of course got nothing- Women gave me a bad headache with their yells & clamour- Bought 8 eggs 4 Fowls, 2 Bundles onions some WOOD for 15/-
This village is in Arub Wadi where Pontius Pilate, made an aqueduct from the spring to Jerusalem, & got sent back to Rome for spending so much money about 18 centuries ago- His water channel is now being unearthed & used by British for a new supply to Jerusalem.
X Inoculated again for Cholera tonight.X

[Page 142]

22 May 1918 Wednesday
Had a Bath & lunch with my old friend the Military Governor of Bethlehem.
Then attended a Municipal Council meeting [indecipherable], Bedouins etc: in national dress, the President an old rogue & the Scribe with one eye, Books all "cooked," but very neatly ruled & covered with big seals- written in Arabic, commencing at back of book & like shorthand [indecipherable]. The trouble was Turkish money had been accepted by Municipality in payment of Rates, Taxes after proclamation that Turks notes were not legal tender- Village was swept & we sat in a circle of heavily upholstered chairs full of Fleas- A Gendarme in old Turkish Uniform kept order- Coffee & Cigarettes- all the time.

[Page 143]

23 May 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
Hebron Road
Queenslanders wear EMU feathers so do the Anzac Band in London- A South Australian Colonel of L.H. recently went on leave- to England Ė also has [feathers] An old lady near Regents Hotel asked him- Was he a Qílander on receiving reply "No" She said "Oh! you are a reinforcement for the BAND."
X Received 2 Australasians March 9th & 23rd Ė thank you for posting.
Am Field Officer again tonight, so post this with love to all at home- Hoping it wonít be long ere I see you all again. X

[Page 144]

24 May 1918 Friday Empire Day
Hebron Road Camp
Not many remember the "Empire Day"- We are out of the Firing Line but the Duties are very heavy on the men, also Fatigues Jim Ayre was in my "Bivy" last night he is fit again
Still busy developing "Pontius Pilates" old water ways for our horses We use 2 modern oil engines to pump from the old wells.
The "maiden Fern" I send you in this grows from the rocks of the roofs-
I see "Fife & Drum" in an old "Pastoralists Review" asks "Will we have races in Jerusalem?" Well, we have to clear away the stones to take our Horses to WATER, let alone to a RACECOURSE

[Page 145]

25 May 1918 Saturday
2 letters from Laura I am afraid Charlie [indecipherable] gets on her nerves
Paid all ranks today some spend it on "Two-up" otherís on "Souvenirs" of all sorts at robber prices & again most goes on Tucker, very peaceful here, no Aeroplanes, only distant gun fire.
Enclose some photos of Jordan etc from Jim Ayre- Flies bad big & little, same as Riverina, but Iíve never seen a Blown Sheep, perhaps it is because of the big fat tail they all carry- certainly not more than 7 lbs wool per sheep.

[Page 146]

26 May 1918 Sunday
Had dinner with Father George & other priests at Salesian Monastery Bethlehem, a lot of politics are mixed up with Religion here & ecclesiastics go in for propaganda work like our R.Cs do.
Then saw the St Josephís Convent girls play a Farce for the benefit of a French general & staff rather amusing I enclose you programme.
Sorry to see Studs like Cobran being sold up, I always liked those sheep. Sheep are very healthy here & brown & colored wool fetch big prices for Persian carpets. Camel Hair, Donkey Hair, Goats Hair all used for Clothing by Bedouins.

[Page 147]

27 May 1918 Monday (X to X crossed out)
We have been given foods stuff from Comforts Fund & the AIF Canteen and YMCA all sell stuff but none can help in the wood difficulty- Charcoal from Lebanon is now 30/- a donkey load = to about 75 lbs.
X Received English Papers from Laura- anxious days these- Also Australian Mail- Mother March 19th with enclosures- Lorna Ė May do. and of course the little wife every 2 or 3 days- Colonel McLaren is a Medical man & will be able to get leave to see his wife so Dolly will get good advice too, alls well. X

[Page 148]

28 May 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
Days pass quickly & the Gyppy Labour Corps sing
"How many days & How many"
"nights must pass ere"
"I see my loved ones again"
Am afraid you often have difficulty in reading my notes but pens & ink are all bad in this country.
X I wrote Aunt Louie this morning X The cake from Boomerang Stall arrived safely & in good condition thank you very much for it.
X More letters Mother March 3, May 1st April- Laura saying you will be a great grand Mother if all goes well ere long-X

[Page 149]

29 May 1918 Wednesday (Whole page crossed out)
Mrs Cath Fetherstonehough was very good to my wee wife in Port Said, & the latter has made some good friends Nowell called on her the other day- I do hope Joe uses anything of mine at home, that he can make use of- You will find Dolly a lovable little girl & althoí she has had a gay life content now with ME. I wrote old Johnny Waugh the other day just to let him know Iíll be looking for a job!! ere long if all goes well. Usual Camp routine here, & allís well.

[Page 150]

30 May 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
Field Officer today
Jim Ayre read me letters from many old Riverinaites. X Tom Ayre, [indecipherable] ĖAlma Stevenson, Ronald, & Winnie [indecipherable] etc:- X I donít get half the letters from girls I did before I was married!!!
Posted a weeks notes yesterday all running much the same-
My "Bivy" is comfortable thoí very small cannot sit up straight even when on the ground; Flies are bad, but we have peace & in France it must be HELL-
X Had nice letters from Mrs Isherwood hard to read but send on to you donít tell Dolly I sent it it was to us conjointly, she has read it.X

[Page 151]

31 May 1918 Friday (Whole page crossed out)
I am beginning to realise that as in all spheres of life a man without influence or money is looked upon as a man of "straw" & of no consequence when Decorations go around. I donít say I deserve any but I do say nearly all those who "pull the string" get them- A whole "hide" & peace will be sufficient for my share I think.
We will be at it again inside a fortnight I hear. I hear wrote HLA last mail to let him know the horses are OK. After all Iíd sooner have a good wife & man child than many Baubles.

[Page 152]

1 June 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
X During my inspection of the Guard last night- One man "fell in" (after a great bustle round) & went throí the motions of "Present arms" without any rifle!!! It was dark & he thought I would not notice among 9 or 10 others- This after only 7 mos. not bad for a young soldier!!! when he mislaid his rifle- comprenez! X
Bad news from France taking Soissons! how will it all end.
Rode into Jerusalem Bethlehem, but wherever Cavalry Camp, the dust becomes dreadful & ones eyes suffer.

[Page 153]

2 June 1918 Sunday (Whole page crossed out)
Went Church Parade a new padre Capt Clarke C of E. met a Lecturer from Dunmurry who knows Ferrars & goes back to Ireland in a month- Enclose a copy of letter Tommy Orford recd. from an English officer after last "stunt" (Orford used to be my Batman & comes from theYanko.) Tommy helped to bring a wounded "Tommy" down from the Hills across the Jordan.
Dunmurry man said old Sir Sam has given 25000 to all his relatives in Ireland.

[Page 154]

3 June 1918 Monday (X to X crossed out)
Kings Birthday
X Dolly sent me your letter Mother dear it is so good the way you never forgot any of us- I know poor old Laura often wishes she was nearer to you.X
Procession in Bethlehem & all the Notables around turn out to hear Band & God save the "King" I did not go as am on duty.
X Jim Ayre told me Mrs Moffatt died recently in Melbourne- More letters
Mother Day & Joe 24/3/18
" " " 7/4/18 X
Very erratic the Mail these days- glad allís well

[Page 155]

4 June 1918 Tuesday
Yes I remember Harry Watton carrying me on his horse to Correagh & you greeting me there. A.W. Pearce letter speaks for itself- Thank Day & K for Parcel not yet received- but coming-
Note all your news- Nothing doing here yet so no need to be anxious- Papers coming later on-
Dolly well & happy. Tell me what name you would like for the Trumpeter-
All my love
Your son F W

[Page 156]

5 June 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
X I noticed in your letter all about Home am sure the big "Elm" being cut down will be an improvement & also plenty of wood? the Lawns must be an improvement too. X My groom Ebbatson has just got word that his brother won the V.C. in France & a commission- I must share in the reflected glory & probably lose a good groom, but good luck to him!
X Mutual Store parcel arrived safely, many thanks for vegetables & Oleac- Ill write K later on & thank her I wrote Aunt Louie last mail before I knew re Parcel. X

[Page 157]

6 June 1918 Thursday
March tonight Jalaat-Et-Dumm
Once more we go to the 1st line all night march back to the Valley- We must stick it out althoí many think the 1st L.H. have done more than their share. Had lunch in Bethlehem & saw a "Cow" being milked in the street with a stuffed calf put in front of her & carried along to next house.
Had a "bath" & am all ready for the Heat, flies, & whatever is in store for us. The men are all keen & a good lot but theyíve had a good time with the girls & are quite fresh after the change up here in the hills.

[Page 158]

7 June 1918 Friday
Jericho again
Marched all night again in Clouds of DUST I saw a car with axles deep in nothing but dust- we just blindly follow the horse in front- "Cum-lila-cum-loo" as the gippy sings meaning
"How many days"
"& How many nights ere I "
"See my beloved again"
Very hot, I may have a "figure" again after a month or so down here- still FAT!!- The Priests in Bethlehem promised to say a Mass for me!!! every morning when they heard we were going to Jericho Valley, but Iím quite fit & well- The mere name of the place in Summer frightened them.

[Page 159]

8 June 1918 Saturday
Took over Front Line as INFANTRY once more, same as the Peninsular, our Horses being left about 3 or 4 miles back. We are in trenches close to Johnny Turks who shell if we make any movement- very Hot & many Snakes, Scorpions etc- the Horned VIPER is very deadly & a big brown fellow- In between in No Mans Land are many Hares, Gazelle, Wild Pigs etc:- My Squadron is split into 3 parts situated in Ironstone Boulders on edge of Valley- We expect to be in the Trenches for about a fortnight- Malaria bad, but I am nearly immune now after Portugese & East Africa & Quinine Iíve swallowed.

[Page 160]

9 June 1918 Sunday
Just fired at a Snake with revolver but of course missed him they live in the cracks of the Rocks. Mosquitoes very bad here- I have a dirty old nett am glad to say-
The stillness here 1000s feet below the sea, is like waiting for a thunderstorm that never comes- Bag of snakes today included a puff headed adder- fatal in about 8 minutes, all Jackos carry Snakebite antidote but we have none yet.
Camels bring us Water rations at night time & we show no lights or movements-

[Page 161]

10 June 1918 Monday
Our horses are back 3 miles, 1 man to 4, & we wonít see them again for some weeks
All day shells go over from us & for us, but we are well dug in Australasians of March 16 arrived today!!!
Doubtful if I get the Pastorals Times you mention posting-
No word of Western Battle front reaches us- but I see the results make no difference to Numbers of recruits in Australia.
Am busy digging "posies" & making range charts etc:- but we take off our Hats to the Infantry in France.

[Page 162]

11 June 1918 Tuesday
Mosquitoe curtains issued 1 per 2 men to sleep under as Malaria bad- got well shelled yesterday but "posies" good- Finished off a tin of Australian apricots Iíd carried all through last Es Sault Raid-
The ironstone Gibraltar stronghold has been split by Nature into great square blocks like the Warnambool Breakwater was made of- I sleep under an overhanging mass of many Tons & hope it wonít fall- The medical post a Cave- The Cookhouse between 2 Square fallen Rocks I suppose volcanic & split when cooling- Lava Flats are further North

[Page 163]

12 June 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
Like much Trench life, the front line is the Easiest on the men when not fighting but anyone in responsible positions has a good deal of worry. However alls well-
X Just posted you some of Dolly & her Mothers letters as I know will interest you X- Jacko is using a new shell to try & reach us Ė bursts in the air & then on reaching ground bursts again- so getting behind our Rocks but "Malesh" as Gyppy says, he is doing no harm- Very hot about 115° in shade.

[Page 164]

13 June 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
"Artillery reciprocity" as the cables say- mean for us today all our Telephone Lines were cut- We get little news from France these days- 2 Australasians with PASTORAL TIMES enclosed-X but my letter which I was interested to read was cut out & not forwarded in my letters could you send? Also long letter of April 14 from you all 3- Sorry Dolly only wrote a P.C. she is a lazy young beggar am afraid- X The guns played the devil with the Indian Cavalryís horses, poor beggars were shot down on the lines.

[Page 165]

14 June 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
Very hot
Our washing water is from a Malarial Swamp, sticky, brackish & wonít lather, & scarce at that but we go back to our horses again in 5 days-
I know my writing bad but you will know it is because my pen is so often bad and I scribble under many difficulties at times-
X Joe is good to keep the old home in repair & sorry Day has no one to keep her again in the kitchen I note all you say re old Sir Sam but would not like to take Dolly away till end of August now-
Love from your son FWX

[Page 166]

15 June 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
Front Line Jordan Valley
HOT as H---
Grass fires are burning all around & the smoke hangs in the Valley- fortunately it is not GASS- Letters arrived with our Water last night Mother Day & Joe & 2 more Australasians I could not read till this morning as it is not healthy wise to have lights.
We get a few shells over at different times but have good "Posies"- Snakes a bit too plentiful. X Glad beads arrived- Tell Kathleen Iíll send her some Blue ones, when next I get a chance- Letter from Charlie telling me of his expected son & heir you will be g.g. grandmother. X

[Page 167]

16 June 1918 Sunday
Too hot for even enemy to shell us, no thermometer but it is as HOT as Iíve ever known it to be. Our men are like they were on the peninsular- "Half naked, language appalling, they never salute but they always go on" as I wrote you years ago. Johnnie Turk sent a message he would not attack us as after the summer only a fatigue party would be necessary to bury us! reckoning we had not the GUTS strength to stand the valley but he said that on the Peninsulars. No church possible

[Page 168]

17 June 1918 Monday
Supposed to be relieved in 2 more days- one cannot get exercise in the Trenches- Among reptiles around us is a lizard that makes a noise like a Cabby driving his horses or a Bird, I thought it the latter for a long time- great collection of immense Scorpions Tarantulas etc:- All hands fit & well so far; one man shot a hare another a snake- Jacko is busy wiring his side & so the days pass- We stand to arms at 0320 or in Australian language 20 minutes past 3 in the morning, it is light then the days are long & hot but nights fairly sleepable.

[Page 169]

18 June 1918 Tuesday
Should be relieved today.
We are going to stay another 4 or 5 days here & then go into support not out of the Valley- Shot a snake near my Bivy last night- Many centuries ago the Romans had a stone Aqueduct to bring water from the AuóWadi to our present Outpost which is a typical Stage setting for a Brigands Stronghold all Ironstone Rocks on the edge of the Jordan Valley- the aqueduct is now useless but we use the old Romans road. Turks shelled Jericho itself last night & dropped some bombs this morning on our watering place-

[Page 170]

19 June 1918 Wednesday
We hear now that we remain here for 10 days so will be "livery" by then as we get no exercise at all- A signaller was killed by a shell yesterday & a few men wounded. Very hot, survival of the fittest in this spot. Ordnance have issued mosquitoe nets 1 to 2 men so that is a comfort for them- Shirts & Tobacco arrived from our Comforts Fund, Mrs Lennon is Secretary in Sydney & has done a lot of work for the 1st L.H. I noticed in Australasian of March 2nd = Caravanning by Choco (6 girls went to Mansfield, Sounds like D. Ritc[indecipherable]

[Page 171]

20 June 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
122°Fahrenheit in Shade at Field Ambulance.
The Jackoís dont seem to have found my position in "posie" yet as with Batteries all around us they fire over or wide. We have one of their 77c. captured sometime ago well up in front firing their ammunition & with my glasses I can see one of our own Red X Marquees they captured recently from us- Turks symbol of healing is a Red Crescent
[see Images] or half moon-
1 Officer & 3 men wounded last night
X Letter from Laura & Connie & Capt Aldwyn Isherwood who is at home & been there 12 months X

[Page 172]

21 June 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
Cannot use Clinical Thermometer in the day time- the more it is shaken the higher it goes till it BUSTS
X You mention Fetherstonehaughs Book, I should love to have it but better wait I think will try & borrow from Mrs Fetherstonehaugh later on- if it isnot repulsive Dolly might read it but she is not a very serious minded young lady in the book line. X
Australasian Feb 2 says
"Rabbits within 42 miles of"
"PERTH are causing a"
"great scare" Germans within 42 miles of English Channel result in 1 Recruit at Show.
My Belt is going up hole by hole- I wanted it & may not be so portly after another 3 weeks.

[Page 173]

22 June 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
Still Maskerah Trenches
Just got 2 Australasians & 1 T & C.J. with a/cs of Royal Show. Iím not a Socialist but reading the Sales & Visitors lists it seems rich men dont like fighting, or is it only a job for the poorer man?
125° in the Shade so perhaps Iím feeling a little bitter.
X letter from Laura alls well. Wife also well but feeling the heat very much in Cairo- Iím not very optimistic re coming home but it would be great in August to sail with the family
Love to all F.W. X

[Page 174]

23 June 1918 Sunday
Killed one short thick snake with Black head one 4 ft grey fellow with spots- donít know any names but like Ďem better dead We are too scattered for any Church Parades, & Jacko keeps us apart, grey heat haze all down the Valley & shells bursting in it show red- The pudding-faced Germans with Turks wonít like this heat I know- "Backblockers" stand it better & the nights are fairly cool- Flies start at dawn, the mosquitoes take over duty at Sundown- Re Stand to Arms at 0320 which is 20 past 3 A.M. long days.

[Page 175]

24 June 1918 Monday
Having Conscription the New Zealanders are able to send big batches of men away for a spell & get reinforcements from Moascar by the hundreds. We can send no one & get reinforcements at the rate of 2 per Squadron etc: & these are often patched up men or the regular waster who does the rounds of the Hospitals etc:- never doing more than a fortnight with the Regís- & hoping a new Doctor will be on duty each time he does the round. But we donít have more than 2 or 3 of these sort per Troop Thank goodness.

[Page 176]

25 June 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out but later said by FW to be not scratched out)
Rations are wonderfully good fancy out here getting Australian Frozen Meat it comes with lumps of ice on the cover also fresh Bread baked in Jerusalem, small issue of Limejuice & everything is being done to reduce sickness A fine "Gazelle" came past our Barb wire & we could not resist having a Shot made "Jacko" think we were after something.
X Still very hot, nights full moon make the hills & Valley stand in bold relief- Big guns rumble & echo like a thunderstorm in the mountains, the air being so dead & heavy 1200 ft below the Sea X This is not scratched.

[Page 177]

26 June 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
Horses sent out & [indecipherable] in to a court-Martial, got a splitting headache & 103° Temperature, back tonight again, hope Iím not getting Malarial Jacko has a big gun he gets all over us at present. Dust very bad, men cover their faces & everything is white dust. However all over some day-X [indecipherable] to wait till end of August [indecipherable] but we hardly expect such luck as to go home Ė yet.X

[Page 178[

27 June 1918 Thursday
Last night, Jacko more active, stronger Patrols, Colored lights & a lot of artillery kept us from sleeping- but donít feel so feverish this morning- RAMADAN time of fasting is now over on so Jacko may be feeling agressive. The Water we use for washing out of the adjoining swamp is so salt, a mans shirt is like a board & a thin white layer remains on the SKIN after washing-
1 man killed 3 wounded by Shells today-
Ramadan finishes about 10th July but we are not worrying.

[Page 179]

28 June 1918 Friday
Sending this along, donít worry about us we are all O.K. only very hot.
We are relieved from Trenches tomorrow night- I am applying for leave 7 days in August to be with Dolly. Am not building much on getting leave to Australia; but influence does a lot in promotions, decoration & leave althoí Kings Regís to the contrary.
Love to all Your son FM

[Page 180]

29 June 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
Should be relieved today
Well Jacko did not come after all- thoí he had the wind up most of us- I always remember the lines about "Being safely brought"
"to the beginning of this"
"day" as I see dawn break- Sickness is rather alarming we evacuate 8 or 10 out of the Reg. daily- Tomorrow not today we go back to the Horses & hope a fortnight may then see us make our adieu to the Valley-
X A cable has just come addressed to KHAN YUNUS! & signed WEIR "sailing via America"? & sent from Melbourne on 22/6/18 What does it mean JOE?? X

[Page 181]

30 June 1918 Sunday (X to X crossed out)
X Still wondering what cable means & if Joe has really sailed I shall be sorry if he has for your sake little Mother & how is the Home to go on? & why address to KHAN YUNUS? X
We go back tonight. Iíll miss my Red X stretcher, it is part of Trench Stores, covered with the dark stains of different poor boys blood running down to the stitched eyelet holes at each end, put in to drain.
Anyway it kept me off the ground & let the snakes go underneath- Iíll miss it.
Reached Camp at midnight & the men had a big tail on them marching back per boot-

[Page 182]

1 July 1918 Monday
(Residents abroad should now order this diary for 1919.)
(Wonder whether Iíll want another)
At 0400 or 4 am we were well & truly shelled a nice introduction to our new Camp- Just warned to go out on a Wiring party tonight in front line so must try & dodge shells but a man is never free in this Sector
We remain in support at least a fortnight those that are left Ė evacuations heavy throí Malarial etc:-
Lost 10 horses killed 26 wounded by shell fire- ABU. TELLUL

[Page 183]

2 July 1918 Tuesday
Got well strafed wiring last night- Knees & hands full of thorns this morning.
Expected attack on June 8th now, which is about end of Ramadan. We hear we get relieved after that, those that are left. Very hot & not much sleep.
Very thankful for Victoria Racing Club gift of Tobacco Tucker etc. it helps the men at a critical time-
Got to bury 8 horses now, killed by shells in our lines- mine are all OK still.

[Page 184]

3 July 1918 Wednesday
Usual artillery strafe most of the night, & not much sleep, still am fairly fit but "nerves" not as good as they were- Our second in command gone away to get married- quite a lot of our Officers are becoming sensible in that way-
Dolly writes all well
Malarial here is different to Africa- A man runs a high Temp: up to 104° then goes normal next day- very little SHAKES. "Tummy" troubles are frequent, & a soreness in all limbs I think the weight of air we carry so low down below sea level makes one feel off-

[Page 185]

4 July 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
Small Turks raid, 2 prisoners-
Got some letters from England & Dolly alls well-
We sleep in our Boots & toujour Pres is the order Killed 1 centipede 1 Scorpion in "Bivy" interest has gone for fights with Tarantulas
Will post this as I donít want it to be found by anyone- We go out of the Valley on 13th so worry not mother alls well & I am feeling very fit X considering but in a state of wonder re that "Cable" via America & what you & Day are doing- Love. X

[Page 186]

5 July 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
President of 3 Court Martial cases today & very hot too- X I think there is a sort of War Mania & some of the boys are so tired they are "past carein" & so do things they otherwise would not-X Was out last night "wiring" again under shell fire, all ranks will be glad ! to get out of the Valley- posted notes yesterday- X All this is nothing to what the boys have to put up with in France. Got papers from Laura. She is [indecipherable] am afraid & would be better out of London-
Connieís baby arrives this month she tells me- great grand mother now little Mother-X

[Page 187]

6 July 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
X English Papers give great prominence to the scandal libel Maud Allen action but not much space for Disabled soldiers Conference etc & of course the Papers Know what the people want to read & once the departing soldier is cheered & a few alligator tears shed, his return is a matter of indifference was it not so after S.A.!!? X
Out on a Wiring party again at [indecipherable] Musselabah. but finished the job-
X Please post me Pastoral Times with my A/c of Jerusalem as never recd. by me. X

[Page 188]

7 July 1918 Sunday
Church Service 7.30 pm
Blood Test taken for "Malarial" in the morning- mostly Indians & Australians in the Valley as it is not considered fit for white Troops
Horses still well but Dopey GAS drill again & all the usual duties of a mounted Unit, means more work for men than INFANTRY. Been issued with those wretched STEEL HELMETS again, too hot to handle. The rushing sound of the Farrierís "Forge" puts the wind up some of us now. Good health means good nerves- And Iíll admit Iím scared on some of these night WIRING parties, when Jacko shells heavily.

[Page 189]

8 July 1918 Monday
We had been warned to expect an attack today but it did not come off only an enemy plane over
Blood test very simply taken- prick tip of finger & smear a slide
Have not heard of Nowell Forth for some time His crowd are getting Horses in lieu of Camels.
There are still a good many Partridge around here notwithstanding the shelling & they do drink whatever the "Field" may say about the home birds.

[Page 190]

9 July 1918 Tuesday
Out wiring last night Jacko shelled the adjoining hill pretty badly & made good fireworks, we dont get home to until midnight or 1 0íclock & stand to arms again at half past 3, so can do a sleep
[indecipherable] gone "phut" again- Reinforcements come, stop a week or 10 days & go, evacuated sick, only a few of the hard old survivors hang on & make the back-bone of each troop- permanently my nerves are rotten
Anyway the type being sent from Australia now are a poor lot & donít seem to last more than a few nights wiring etc:-

[Page 191]

10 July 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
Wiring again.
X Hear there is a mail in which I hope will throw some light on the Cable re America.
The Brigadierís FOWLS!!! have gone back to Bethlehem so that looks as though X Hope we were going out of the Valley soon
Sometimes shudder at our Tucker- Flies, dust, rotten meat unwashed cooks, if it wasnít for the Tin opener a man would soon get general debility- a soldier spends most of his money on Tucker We are mostly animals after all.
I bath in a Cake Tin with a Rubber Sponge & Water- 2 quarts.

[Page 192]

11 July 1918 Thursday
So Joe has sailed!! Never mind Mother dear we will all come back soon- Received letters from you April 28 May 5 & May 12 May 19th- & note all your news. Also from May & Joe & Mrs Strange. Note all you say re House Sir Sam etc, it is brave of you little Mother & I cannot advise so far away One thing certain Joe will profit by it. His job is there for him & he needed a change badly will write c/- Laura.

[Page 193]

12 July 1918 Friday
Out again tonight wiring have written you more fully by letter but post this with love Thank you for printed slips I send them on to Dolly now & like to read them myself.

[Page 194]

13 July 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
Life goes on much as usual Wiring every night & a good many F.G.C. Martials by day.
X I feel sure climatic conditions etc have a lot to do with latter & I remember how an officer often feels & he is better fed & gets more sleep than the o/ ranks. I wonder how Joe will stand it one thing as a Soldier he gets good attention medically. X
Killed 2 Scorpions under my Blanket this morning, they live in the stones with their friends Centipedes & triantulas.
We get many rumours about an attack but personally I donít think they will: too HOT.

[Page 195]

14 July 1918 Sunday
I have much to tell you if I could write it all down. GERMANS attacked us & at 2 AM. I galloped out with my Squadron & got into action just in time to save a Battery, we charged them & took 176 prisoners Machine Guns & Automatic Rifles, then we were shelled very heavily by 6 inch HOWS *. All day we got more prisoners: Heat terrific- Young fresh Rosy cheeked boys a lot of them & Officers with "gloves" & gloves & walking sticks Ė Took 3 Officers prisoner & killed a lot. Water was our trouble, we had to stay out all night in the Trenches, the old 1st L H Brigade did very well. We took very few Turks, all GERMANS.
* 6 Inch Howitzers.

[Page 196]

15 July 1918 Monday
Marched in on foot to Breakfast at 0600; lost a few men coming in from Shelling- Our Camp is under direct observation from Turks guns- German prisoners say Turks did not cooperate althoí "they" the Germans kept the Turks without much Water for 2 days to make them keen to attack & get it from our Wadi: NICE!
Busy collecting war material & burying dead. I lost some of my best N.C.O.s The German wounded suffered greatly from thirst but as the Red X is always fired on & shelled by them it is their own fault. Shows how much a man knows in WAR- I was wrong in thinking we had the "WIND UP" unnecessarily.

[Page 197]

16 July 1918 Tuesday
Thank goodness we are relieved tonight- the men are fairly done, half dead with Malarial, they have HEARTS like LIONS. The German prisoners said "You"
"Australians are good fighters"
"we thought we were "
"attacking INDIANS" the latter are good loyal Allies & I donít want to detract from their gallant help.
Since I wrote above a lot has happened the enemy got on to us with 4.2" & blew H--- out of us- Only 1 of my horses left- 62 killed 32 Horses wounded & my 2 I/C Captain Badge killed. However we leave tonight; for a spell of 2 weeks anyway in the HILLS.

[Page 198]

17 July 1918 Wednesday
Talet et DUMM
Marched all night
The war office knew 5 hours after scrap how many prisoners we had taken- it was entirely the 1st LH Brigade did it- with half men down with fever.
Germans "KAMERADED" in approved fashion, but I regret to say they got a lot of the AJC Comforts, but we retook it- One big German had 6 Tins of fruit & 2 bottles of Limejuice on him!
I carried 250/-/- of Squadron Pay in my pockets all throí scrap, the perspiration was so great it was pulp. Itís over & Im alive still but very tired sore & stiff.

[Page 199]

18 July 1918 Thursday
Well we are a much diminished Squadron. I suppose we will go on like the "BROOK" & until each one goes WEST at his appointed time. The German prisoners said if
"We would only fight with"
"then we could beat"
"the world." General Sir H. Chevaul is going to inspect & thank us tomorrow- the prisoners look fresher cleaner & better clothed than our poor chaps- Posting this to let you know ALLs well & my love to all at home.

[Page 200]

19 July 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
Marched out at 7.30 pm or 1930 as an ARMY has it- I am in command of the Regt as the Colonel is temporary Brigadier-
X Gen Sir H. Chauvel spoke to the men, & I was sorry he took the line he did the men were "just at the end of their tether" & he slated them re Saluting Discipline etc poor boys they stood in the heat & nearly dropped- of course he patted them on the back also-X but Many are still going sick & from Shell Shock- I lost many good solid old warriors- Passed Bethany, Jerusalem in the Moonlight again & also Bethlehem.

[Page 201]

20 July 1918 Saturday
Here we are beyond Solomons Pools again for a 14 days spell only a long weary dusty night march- I am acting Regt Commander for a little while as C.O. is at Brigade- We will enjoy the spell of cool weather & absence of Shells but Duties are heavy. Men are still going sick from Shell Shock. All the Huns belt buckles had "GOTT MITT UNS" on the clasp- I wonder!!
Good news from France tonight & letters from England are more cheerful.

[Page 202]

21 July 1918 Sunday (X to X crossed out)
Fixing up Camp & washing- Not much of a Church Parade men too tired.
X Got some papers & letter from Laura & the wife I hope to go down in about 3 weeks.X
Have written to the Mothers of all our killed NCOs & men a job that is a sad one- I feel the loss of my Second I/C Capt Badge as we were good pals- then my horses being all killed after all these years.
X Re my sword- Wilkinson & Lavender Sydney have it- any of your friends such as Ernest Officer might collect it. X

[Page 203]

22 July 1918 Monday (X to X crossed out)
X Recd. Mothers & Joes letters of May 26 & I note all the Contra Temps still Joes cable "sailed" means he has gone. I am sorry in a way- for your sakes. X
Just got marching orders for another Sector nearer the Coast: move tomorrow
X Am afraid Joe will find George Reid a broken REED & a back number in England now as he like old Sir Sam is in his dotage- Hope Joe managed Mardi wedding cake X

[Page 204]

23 July 1918 Tuesday
Moving on again at 3 pm all night march to ENAB
It will not be so cool on the agricultural lands nearer the Coast, but grapes Tomatoes Cucumbers will be ripe & cheap, or cheaper than here. 1/- small bunch local price & they want well washing!!
All night we passed Camel loads laden with fruit going to Jerusalem natives only being allowed to use the roads by night for transport. Men are still dropping off from Malarial & we all hope we have seen the last of the Jordan for a bit.
OLEAC has done me a lot of good thank you for thinking of sending.

[Page 205]

24 July 1918 Wednesday
La Troun. Marched all night again to La Troun, bright moonlight & we could hear the guns in the distance Johnnie has a big one now can throw a shell 12 miles-
I had a letter from the Priests in Bethlehem saying "goodbye" I was sorry not to see them.
As you may be anxious Ill post these notes on arrival at Coast.
Thank you for "Australasians" I get them if pink wrapper is taken off first. Am posting an old Nominal Roll of B Squadron it may arrive & will be glad [indecipherable] to read

[Page 206]

25 July 1918 Thursday
Another night march to Deiran not far from our old camp in the Richon days. Now all the country is changed as the Vineyards are full of ripe grapes- Melons Cucumbers everywhere- In the distance we can hear Jaffa being shelled & enemy planes came & had a look at us.
I am still in command of the Regiment but of course we are doing nothing & our C.O. is acting Brigadier. My chief work now is to get my men mounted again & horses shod up It was bad luck losing so many. Oil engines are puffing away watering the Vineyards-

[Page 207]

26 July 1918 Friday (Whole page crossed out)
Dear old Day I know she is busyier than ever now so I must try & write a little plainer- I have bought to sell to the men 7 hundred weight of grapes & 3 Casks of WINE- better to be supplied with good stuff at a decent price than be robbed & get into trouble.
I wonder what you have done re the old home- Who will clean the Spouts & mend the fence! etc etc:- I only hope Joe turns up in 6 months time again-
Love to you all.

[Page 208]

27 July 1918 Saturday (Whole page crossed out)
Last night a wire came from General Chauvel congratulating me on D.S.O. I sent word to the little wife to cable you- all night Cables have been coming to me & other Officers ringing me up. I am greatly bucked & it will help me to carry on & do my job. Posted notes yesterday & just had time to add the D.S.O. but it will be published in Australia & I will be found in Debretts WHOS WHO etc etc- Vanity all perhaps- but we are but humans. Went to dinner at Cavalry School Mess in Richon once the old Town Hall built by Rothschild, a nice place.

[Page 209]

28 July 1918 Sunday (X to X crossed out)
X Instead of going to Church Parade I had the unpleasant job of taking a Summary of evidence against 5 of our Officers caught out of bounds in Jerusalem-X Not 500 yards from my "Bivy" is a Cement Reservoir used by Jewish Syndicate to water orange groves-
Jackarandah Trees are all around & I bathe there every morning- such a Garden of Eden after the Jordan Valley.
Just received a big batch of Australasians with local papers enclosed, I gave Sullivan the paper re his brothers death X Wagga as he is generally called may get a trip home soon. X

[Page 210]

29 July 1918 Monday (Whole page crossed out)
Tonight I am giving all A Squadron boys a bottle of wine each & the Officers a dinner on the strength of my D.S.O. It is the men who do the work in these things & deserve the credit. Just had a tragedy recited to me. My groom had 7 days leave in Jerusalem to get married to a decent girl there. Provost found him in their house over staying the night, he was arrested & the bride left "waiting at the Church"
I shall marry them here in the Regiment, but all his clothes have been taken & he gets 21 days Field Punishment No. 2 pretty rotten luck.

[Page 211]

30 July 1918 Tuesday
I put my new Ribbon on this morning the medal itself Dolly will keep, I suppose "Grand Champion Rams" etc which used to be our ambition will some day be all that is thought of- Who remembers the S.A. War?
Meteorological Report week ending July 13 1918, True Shade Jericho Plain 110 110 117.5 116 110 107.3, so it was hot work.
You can remember to put D.S.O. on all my addresses now Mother dear- it is correct to do so. Joe will be able to give Laura some good advice re going SLOW her weight is 7 St: 9

[Page 212]

31 July 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
The Commander in Chief General Allenby inspected us today & shook hands with all COs & told the men the more he saw of us, the more he valued us as fighting troops X & for once nothing was said about saluting or discipline. I am sending Dollyís Grand-Mothers letter just to let you see type. Also some green leaves from Richon X
Love FW
Had a letter from Cuth congratulating me

[Page 213]

1 August 1918 Thursday
Still in Camp & alls well.

[Page 214]

2 August 1918 Friday

Wadi Hanein
Posted Notes yesterday with Granny Isherwood letter. Still resting & men who were wounded are drifting back to our base at Moascar where some of our best Horsebreakers are put on WOODEN HORSES & taught to ride by Imperial Instructors!!! just to freshen them up, like!!
I am still C.O. & have been able to get Beer & Wine for all Ranks at a nominal price.
C.O. returned & I go back to my Squadron tomorrow.
Still evacuating sick men, no Officers left in my Squadron at all

[Page 215]

3 August 1918 Saturday
You will have "cable" re D.S.O. by this, it means I wear 3 ribbons now, & the D.S.O. is worth having- I hope to have my leave in a week.
Good news from France.
I wish Joe was here but even if he is allowed to join it will take 6 mos. to train him & ere that it may be all over, let us hope so. Went Cavalry School Richon for dinner & Polo, part of the School itinery is to give young Officers a decent Start. Both English & Australian Officers are mixed up together.

[Page 216]

4 August 1918 Sunday
Went Church in YMCA very close & stuffy-
Many rumours on this front that Germans are leaving the Turks, & that an Armistice may come out of it, this is to be seen ere you get this. Also hear Soissons retaken by us & many prisoners- Just learnt that the facetious telegram from Cairo was a pukkha one & a little daughter was born last Thursday Aug 1st so of course I am off tonight to the little wife poor KIDDY all by herself I think she deserves the DSO

[Page 217]

5 August 1918 Monday
Arrived midday & went to Anglo American Hospital where I found Dolly as lively as a cricket no trouble at all & both doing well She is such a strong girl never felt anything much & never took any Chloroform- I am sleeping at the Flat & go out each day twice to the Hospital.
Cabled you & Mrs Ish this evening. We are christening the Kiddy Kathleen Dorothy- the former after good old Day.

[Page 218]

6 August 1918 Tuesday
Busy in Cairo cabling you & Mrs Ish: going Hospital this afternoon again. I have 7 days leave which will go quickly-
Buying a Pram!!! expensive luxuries Babies- & Cairo is an expensive Place. Mrs Ish sent some lovely things from England, some sunk unfortunately.
Met Miss Maud ? Molesworth who used to be in Warrnambool helping at Canteen at Kantara. She asked for you
Dolly & Bairn well have taken some snapshots when developed will send you- Sent cable August 1st "daughter both flourishing" - on leave

[Page 219]

7 August 1918 Wednesday
Out at the Hospital the wee wife & Bairn both so well- I am very thankful all has turned out so well. I hope you got Cable. Dolly is so good & helping to nurse another Ladyís child here.
I enclose you the Military message I received "in code" !!!
Love to all.

[Page 220]

8 August 1918 Thursday Cairo
The "Package" is doing well I go out each morning & afternoon & do small commissions between whiles. It is cooler down here than last month. I told you am keeping Flat till Oct 15th 1st. An Australian Mail is in but will be out at the Camp.
Had dinner at the "Continental" with a Major man I know as I leave the Hospital at 6 at night.
Enclose 2 bad snaps- Shots of Dolly & the Bairn & the Nurse taken inside to please the Mother, good ones will be sent later.

[Page 221]

9 August 1918 Friday Hospital room.
Am arranging for Dolly to go on Oct 1st to the same Pension as Cuth Fetherstonhoughs wife, Spent day at Hospital. Flying men had a dinner to celebrate arrival of a Squadron which flew all the way from England- A little dog came with them he had a fight in CRETE & was hopping about Shepherds Hotel on 3 legs next day-
Had dinner at Gezireh Sports Club in the open.

[Page 222]

10 August 1918 Saturday
Tom Kidney met me at the Anglo American Hospital he said he had a letter from Miss Mack & of course asked for you-
He drinks a bit too much & looked besotten I expect tomorrow he will want to borrow money- I enclose Photo Everything is going on well at Hospital but Dolly is remaining till about 21st so the Baby will be well looked after.
Went with Cuth Fetherstonhaugh to do some shopping my leave is up on Monday Cuth goes next week too.

[Page 223]

11 August 1918 Sunday
Same routine, to Hospital, allís well
I take Mangoes, Flowers, etc etc:- & today the little lady is sewing!! & sitting up, while Dorothy Kathleen snores.
I wish you could see them little Mother- I sleep at the Flat & generally dine out- no word of any Base job so must carry on, War news is good- Dolly got a cable from her Mother I hope mine reached you. Had a letter from Nowell he is now C.O. 1/7 ESSEX

[Page 224]

12 August 1918 Monday
On train for Palestine again, drove straight from Hospital to train of course little wife very upset at my going but she is a brave little girl & we are very happy Mother together- I think this war makes us all more lenient & tolerant to each other.
Had Baby vaccinated before I came away poor wee soul she is a bonnie wee girl.
I never received the Pastoral Times cutting with my notes re Jerusalem I should like to read it again please.

[Page 225]

13 August 1918 Tuesday
Back once more & got a letter June 16th from Mother & Day glad mine arrived- Re Sword the Officer who took it said it was taken from him by the Government pretty rotten.
Horses met me (new ones) & the dust is bad "Flu" has commenced out here it is always a shock getting back after the comfort of a House Ė Sheets- a Bath etc.
Parcel also arrived many many thanks for same. Sorry my eggs did not arrive.

[Page 226]

14 August 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
Usual training, Posted notes yesterday- Just received word we move on Friday so once more a Mobile force.
X Had letters from Mrs Cotton & Ferrer- Nowell is lending me "after many days" to read. He is now with an English Regt- Australian Flying Corps entertained us with a Travelling X Pierrot Show, very good performance.
X Parcel arrived safely thank you for all good things. Oleac has cured my Skin but it recurs after some months- I have plenty for a long time yet.X

[Page 227]

15 August 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
Went over a the Richon Winery the second biggest in the world- A frenchman from Champagne has come to do this seasonís vintage- for miles around there are tons of grapes.
X Letter from Laura to say Connie has a daughter. Theory about sons in War time is a myth. Letter from Mrs Cotton.X
Just been issued with 80 Argentine Remounts the same ill mannered coarse spring cart type we got in S Africa without any mouth.

[Page 228]

16 August 1918 Friday

Move back to the Jordan Valley tomorrow! it cannot be so Hot as it was but bad enough.
Am arranging for Kia-Ora-Cooee a paper to be sent direct to you.
Saddles (92) arrived at 4 AM & had to be put together & issued, all our old ones were damaged by Shells & handed in at Jericho.
My remount looks upon me as his mortal enemy & flounders along I wonder how they "break in" horses in S. America!

[Page 229]

17 August 1918 Saturday Latron (X to X crossed out)
Left Richon & marched 14 miles to Latron again, very dusty- past many ripe acres of Millet, the wheat has been all harvested
X Did I tell you not to expect my Sword as Military took it away from Bearer on reaching Victoria saying it was Govt. property!! X We are now to be re-issued & all Ranks to carry swords.
X Letter from Nowell did I tell you I have a lot of his X Camel men as Reinforcements to L.H. as Camels "finished"

[Page 230]

18 August 1918 Sunday Enab. (X to X crossed out)
Arrived Enab 12 noon- & camped near Vineyard X hard work to keep men from looting grapes, Melons etc:- one feels knowing what is in front in the Jordan Valley that they should eat all they can but we British are so particular in enemy occupied country- X Bedouins rob us, but we must not even take a bit of wood. The Camel men complain they find Cavalry life harder, too much going to Water, cannot carry same quantity of Kit & have no "Firewood" supplied by their mount- You know Camel dung will cook anything.

[Page 231]

19 August 1918 Monday
Through Jerusalem & Bethany by moonlight once more- I think the Holy places look their best when all is quiet at night.
Camp 3 miles out fed & slept till 3 AM then rode on downhill all the way in a haze of dust to Talat Dumm which I told you of before & means Hill of Blood owing to color of the soil- Jim Ayre is here, & going strong thoí hands bad with Septics. We often yarn about Riverina as we eat your Sweets together

[Page 232]

20 August 1918 Tuesday Talaat-el-Dumm (X to X crossed out)
Spent the night here & marched again at 0400 which is 4 AM for the Valley- Still very hot & dustier than ever but fewer shells about.
The Culverts & Bridges are nearly all repaired again that Johnny Turk blew up- What destruction is going on all over the world. How long??
X I suppose Joe is in England now? Alls well with Dolly & the Bairn. I get letters about twice a week. X

[Page 233]

21 August 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
Arrived once more at Jericho smothered in dust the men would prefer 28 days in the detention "cells" at the "Citadel" to life down here it would do a lot of good to some of the money-grabbing slackers at home.
We go on tonight to the trenches, mostly colored troops down here. X Will post this tonight just to let you see alls well
Love to you all at home. I know how you must miss Joe- but we will all come back some day- FM.

[Page 234]

22 August 1918 Thursday
Put 80 men into trenches again where Germans attacked us last & moved Camp up the Wadi. Dust worse than ever, but certainly cooler.
We are staffing the B.W.I. I donít suppose you know who they are but cannot write it plainer. Posted notes yesterday hope they arrive & ate your PLUM PUDDING on arriving into our new Bivouac area- I have now done 4 years of war = 2 years S.A. makes 6 years active service. I suppose the world will owe us at least a living if we come out & are willing to work.

[Page 235]

23 August 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
X Letters from the wife say alls well, she is moving to the same pension as Mrs Cuth Fetherstonhough is in so will be among friends. X
Here we are camped in a very old Roman village Ė OASIS Banana trees & Lemons grown by irrigation from a stone aqueduct years old. No living soul about, only lizards. Jacko can shell us but so far has been very decent. The Times report of our recent scrap says Jacko thought we were all sick. X Very glad to hear from Laura Joe has arrived safely- No skin trouble at present. X

[Page 236]

24 August 1918 Saturday
*Black Anzacs are what The British West Indians call themselves.
Went B.H.Q. & then around the line- (The Black Anzacs as they call themselves) they are a chattering lot of West Indians. I feel the loss of my horses every time I go out- great lop-eared clumsy brutes we have now, without any pretence of blood. Sandflys & Mosquitoes bad near water but we are thankful for latter.
Papers & letters from England tell good news from France- may it all end soon. Jim Ayre is still alive & kicking, we old dogs seem to weather it better than many youngsters.

[Page 237]

25 August 1918 Sunday
No Church today, but duties are heavy owing to sickness- I have only 1 Subaltern at present so am taking my turn at night Patrol. Our C.O. Col Granville was evacuated today. The Aqueduct here (Roman) crosses the Wadi in a big arched water race of massive Masonry hit by Jackoís 5.9 but no impression made- Brown Trout up to 12" can be seen in the all the streams running into the Jordan & I believe they would take a fly- Near here is 10 yards square of Moasic floor like we found at Shellal- Roman work

[Page 238]

26 August 1918 Monday (X to X crossed out)
X Have just read in the Town & Country journal of May 1st two columns of "piffle" headed Value of Cavalry. It is a pity the editor allows such tripe to be copied from the New York Herald.X
Thank God Recruiting has improved, it would shame many men to see some of the old chaps hanging on half dead with fever out here.
Tried the stream with a Mess Tin for any "Color" but not much alluvial plenty big "crabs."

[Page 239]

27 August 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
President of a Court Martial at Division today, I hate these things but have to take my turn. Hear we are going to lose our Camel Reinforcements- again as more men are now available- Have a touch of my old complaint Bronchitis, aggravated by the dust, but nothing serious. X I wash & clean my teeth, all around my bed to lay the dust & on one side have a funk hole to jump into if necessary X- ones ears get trained to Shells & the lovely language of L.H. troopers.

[Page 240]

28 August 1918 Wednesday
Not much of interest to tell you- enemy planes come over every morning, have a look at us & clear out. Great controversy as to arming us with swords- all the more for the men to carry- up till now we have left them behind. General Allenby C. in C. inspected us again today & presented me with D.S.O. among others made the usual speech it was very hot & boring "for everyone" except the recipients- I told you the C in C inspected us at Richon but did not give decorations only said- The more he saw of us the better he liked us as a fighting Unit. - a quiet way of rubbing in re "Saluting etc"

[Page 241]

29 August 1918 Thursday
Tell Kathleen I have not forgotten her Beads but could not get any last time in Cairo.
Went to our Dental Corps & had a tooth filled. Heat, flies, dust, helped no doubt to make it more unpleasant but it is a godsend in the Field. Coming out a fusilade was opened by some INDIANS, I began to get the "wind up but discovered they were firing at a goat that had got away on the Hills.

[Page 242]

30 August 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
Good news still comes from France & the World should hear some news in this quarter soon-
Visited dentist again & finished now am glad to say- & am all ready for what is in front.
Our sector has been quiet & deserters come in each day 1 or 2 at a time-
X Had no mail from Australia for some time so a lot of letters must be on the way-
Alls well with the wife & Babe- X

[Page 243]

31 August 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
Bronchitis gone & am OK. Have ordered a Book- L.H in "Australia in Egypt" to be delivered to you- not yet printed but on the way- X I am wondering how you & Day are managing in that Big House & Garden all by yourselves & know how you must miss Joe.
All my love to you both & hope you get a good tenant but NO one will look after the place like you have done & it falls to pieces very easily- Your loving son FW X

[Page 244]

1 September 1918 Sunday
AIN- DUK Everything very quiet "Jericho Jane" fires a 100 lb shell now & again into Jericho & a few 77s come along but nothing to worry us.
Went & explored a wild Wadi not far from here, impossible for Horses, saw some wild goats & a species of MONGOOSE. These wadis are rushing streams in Winter draining the higher land into the Valley Am afraid my Notes have little of interest these days we are so fed up with everything down here & only look for the end-
I do hope Joe is alright & gets back inside his 6 mos.

[Page 245]

2 September 1918 Monday (X to X crossed out)
1 man wounded 1 horse killed on Patrol this morning otherwise Normal- Hear a mail from Australia is in- Jim Ayre is in my Bivy now & sends regards. X (Big mail in- letters Mother & Day June 22 June 30 July 6 July 13 also from May July 2. Postcards from Joe X- note all your news & how you are keeping the Home fires burning.
X Yes evidently the EASTER EGGS had a rough passage. Quite safe to burn the INCENSE!! Thank you for cuttings. May I have a copy of my first [indecipherable] X

[Page 246]

3 September 1918 Tuesday
Good news from France, may it ends things soon. Under separate cover I post some snaps of my BABE.
Weather cooler & rains come end of next month. I think I prefer the Heat & dust.
Busy camouflaging "Bivies" with Red Clay & Water.
General CHAUVEL inspected us today with Principal Medical Officer of A.I.F. General Fetherston- to see how the men looked after living in the Valley it has certainly "aged" most of us if nothing else. Shot a partridge with 303 rifle at 200 yards but only one

[Page 247]

4 September 1918 Wednesday
Had mess at Div: Hd. Qts. "Jericho Jane" fired a few wild shells over but we are living quite a peaceful life at present good news still comes through from France. There are Bulbs here that send up strait stalks 6 inches in a single night, growing to a height of 2 to 3 feet then flowering into a white wax string of Bells- very pretty. Jim Ayre has dug some up to send to Australia.
Did I tell you BANANAS grow along the Wadi here & maiden fern? with Snakes & trout in the Water?

[Page 248]

5 September 1918 Thursday
There is no doubt this climate makes one irritable, there are moral & immoral microbes in the atmosphere & it is not good to live too long in the Jordan Valley I have no joy in battle I go through it because I have to. & I hate it
My description of Maiden fern & Bananas may be misleading it is only near the spring in the Wadi. The rest is 17 acre to the sheep country; but "burry"- I noticed the RAM SALES showed no effects from the War

[Page 249]

6 September 1918 Friday (Whole page crossed out)
Censored Wrote 8 letters including Joe- it will certainly be a good experience for him & a pity he was not younger. Am keeping fit with 2 Baths a day in spring water here, Joe has been away 3 months now. How time goes- I hope he gets back inside his 6 mns leave.
Australasians arrived many thanks, with Pastoral Times enclosed-

[Page 250]

7 September 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
Thermometer has been over 100° everyday but much cooler than the past month!
Gift stuff from N.S.W. Comfort Fund arrived today & as we have plenty of water we are O.K. Did I tell you what happened to A.J.C. gifts on July 14: the Germans got them from the 2nd LH & then we took them back again.
X A consignment of BEER has also arrived I am a great believer in letting the men get good "grog" better than [indecipherable] buying poisonous KONIACK of the country.X

[Page 251]

8 September 1918 Sunday
No Church Service no padre- our R.C. man has gone to France-
Turks continue to desert & they all say the Germans take the best food & best jobs & many more would desert if they had the chance-

[Page 252]

9 September 1918 Monday
Went Jerusalem to sit on a Board of Enquiry into the loss of 400/-/- Cash stolen from AIF Canteen-
Road very dusty & "Jericho Jane" amused herself by firing long range shots with her naval gun into Jericho- Camping near Railway Station at Reinforcement Camp was like a Miller on arrival from the Dust- Will be up here for 3 days I expect a nice cool change-

[Page 253]

10 September 1918 Tuesday
Had lunch at FASI Hotel not necessary to bring own rations now- Climate much cooler than the Jordan Valley- which is now known among our chaps as the EXCLUSIVE VALLEY being mostly Australians & INDIANS there-
Had MESS with a mixed INDIAN CAVALRY Camp- Representatives from 10 Indian Cavalry Regts were there some very Rich educated Rajah chaps- real silver on the table etc:- many courses & not much grog- Some castes are allowed to smoke & not drink, others drink & donít smoke etc etc-:
Hindu Brahmin Sikhs etc.

[Page 254]

11 September 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
No ill effects from last nights gourmandising
Opened Court today & carried on till dark may finish tomorrow.
X One witness stated £500 000 had passed throí his hands as Cashier for a section of Canteens gives some idea of the business done.X

[Page 255]

Will post this from Jerusalem finish here today & go back to the exclusive Valley tomorrow- Have enjoyed my change.
Hear several parcels & papers are in the Camp awaiting my return so yours will be among them-
Love to all- & donít worry Mother dear we will all turn up again soon- the War news is excellent.

[Page 256]

13 September 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
Jordan Valley Returned to the exclusive area- X In evidence I found Desert Corps men alone spend between £20 000 & £30 000 a month at AIF Canteens- mostly Tucker- X
During my absence the underlings of our Staff have exercised their ingenuity by making us build dummy horses out of Bamboos & Hessian to deceive enemy aircraft!!! On the road I passed many of Egyptian Labor Corps mending roads & all singing their native love song Cum-Leyla Cum-Low, or something like it meaning How many days & how many nights before I see my beloved again-

[Page 257]

14 September 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
Ain Duk X We ran into one & knocked him down, they are like sheep- but I had to take all particulars it may mean another Board X- Found everything normal in Camp- We drop illustrated propaganda by Patrols etc but as Jacko cannot often read- mostly pictures such as a Turkish cow being milked by a German etc:- Germans tell them we give medicine to prisoners to blind them & castrate them All the same our prisoners are fat & contented.
A Bombing Plane flew over this morning.

[Page 258]

15 September 1918 Sunday
In a letter from Charlie he said he would not have known Joe. Found on my return that a bottle of GIN I had hidden in my Bed Valise had been stolen- great joke but our men are no doubt expert thieves
I have now started my 3rd PAY BOOK, & I hope my last, I seem to have spent a lot of money since 1914 Wedding, Baby etc:- thank you paying Insurance I hope N & A send you Interest on 500/-/- yearly- This Valley is good Test for
(The rest of this page has been blacked out & noted "Censored")

[Page 259]

16 September 1918 Monday
Received a Parcel from Packing Store Sydney with no name of sender contained loaf sugar Chewing gum etc:- I wonder who the donor is? How about asking May what clothes Jack wants & give him some of mine- I think the farther a man gets away from Poverty- the greater the fear of it- if once known.
Letter from Joe Laura 12/8/18 the former will go back soon I think He will be disappointed but I think it is all for the best and that a
(Rest of page blacked out)

[Page 260]

17 September 1918 Tuesday
You will hear of great doings in a few days time in these parts- We are on the Flank & today I rode along a bridle track & could see Jerusalem away in the setting sun & miles in the opposite direction across the Jordan.
Joe writes that Laura looks well I think sometimes she must be a bit of a Hypochondriack Canít spell it, anyway very glad to hear she is well-
Huns over but no plan bombs dropped-

[Page 261]

18 September 1918 Wednesday
Am afraid will get no leave this month now a Stunt is on- I told you I give up the Flat & move Dolly to Villa Montrose Heliopolis where Mardi stayed Oct 1st unfortunately D.S.O. does not mean L.S.D. but we live within our income & Dolly gets 400/-/- certain.
Fever still bad among the men but "morale" good. Paid all hands today & gambling schools in full blast mostly two-up.
Big guns busy on our left this morning shows the game has started, they roll & echo again in the Wadi.

[Page 262]

19 September 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
Offensive started- Cables will tell you- a dog belonging to some Unit has made friends here- I expect my dogs I left at Dungalear are dead or too old to work now Am glad Day has her spaniel. As we may move any day & I never like to carry Diary Ill post tomorrow.
X Donít worry about me your prayers have carried me through so far I feel Iíll come through alright & it wonít be so very long now Mother dear, before I bring my wife & Baby home to you-X

20 September 1918 Friday
No entry therefore no image

[Page 263]

21 September 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
X Leave may be due- written months before alas untrue.
Feel sure the poor old Pater would be pleased to know of my marriage & my D.S.O. Some day I hope to have a son to carry on his name. X
Every precaution is taken to reduce Malarial, all ranks issued with Mosquitoe Nets- Gauntlet Gloves for night Patrols All streams banked up to prevent shallow bywashes etc but evacuations are many.
Great success on left 3500 prisoners & we advanced 15 miles along coast.
Our job is the Jordan side but Cables tell you all this long ere you get my notes- Feel a bit off colour today

[Page 264]

22 September 1918 Sunday
5600 prisoners 60 Guns including 56 Divisional Hd Qts & going strong-
NOON Now 6000 & 95 guns 60 Motor Lorrys etc etc:-
Old BANJO Patterson came around our lines for a trip he is stationed in Moascar Remount Camp I gave him particulars of my wounded horses to look them up & keep an eye on. He looks old but game still & was much interested in the old original horses. Mc L[indecipherable] is sick & at Port Said

[Page 265]

23 September 1918 Monday
21 000 prisoners 190 guns now- Jacko clearing out as usual we rode all night & all day & now expect to go Es Salt way again- Handley Page [plane] flew over us & must put the wind up Jacko. Prisoners are a poor lot, not many Germans- Nights & days merge into one- it is hard to keep count- in one square acre I saw a British West Indian Sikh NZder Australian, Tommy Frenchman Cavalry & a Tartar & a German so I think & hope we have left the Jordan forever, now marching in Judean Hills on Es Salt.

[Page 266]

24 September 1918 Tuesday
Es Salt
Jackoís coming in. They had made great defences here- Our casualties very light, only pack transport single file- Our wireless gear fell down a cliff & killed the horse & finished apparatus- Struck aTurks metalled road at Es Salt littered with dead & dying animals & men- Our planes had bombed them Burnt Motor Cars, capsized guns including our friend Jericho Jane & all ammunition abandoned- A routed Army is a cruel sight. Camped at AIN HERAN collecting straggling Turks en route- tally now 35 000 & 250 guns.

[Page 267]

25 September 1918 Wednesday
Amman 5 1 99 114 + 10 {[indecipherable] Sigs AMC
Moved on at 0600 with Goggly Wogs (British West Indians) & Jew boys in support as infantry- former very pleased with themselves, they speak good English & called themselves Black Anzacs- The climate is beautiful in these Hills of MOAB- attacked AMMAN at 3 p.m. & our Regiment captured 4 3 6 inch Howitzers one 77" gun, much ammunition 2 Motor Lorrys 1 Motor Car 10 Wagons, 100 prisoners etc etc the Anzac Div getting many Held outpost line & every Bedouin proclaims himself one of the HEDJAZ men, & are having a great time among the loot

[Page 268]

26 September 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
Amman Day Post
Good grazing country & Oleanders grow & are in flower all along the Wadi- blew up line & captured one train Lt Morrice wounded Got some fresh mutton for men-
Have not seen any of the beautiful CIRCASIAN women yet, but Bedouins here are nearly white & have curly hair Hair all carry Rifles & daggers & are a picturesque crowd-
Snipers still firing, captured another 100- We are among a treacherous lot of Bedouins X who killed all the New Zealand rear guard the first time we came to Amman months ago.X

[Page 269]

27 September 1918 Friday
Moved North to get touch with enemy who have gone that way- Guns are now up with us- also a motley crowd of mounted Arabs who call themselves Hedjaz Cavalry- rather picturesque in their flowing robes & Turbans- 2 Horses died from eating "Oleander" which grows in thick scrub along Wadi- Heavy dew last night, we are 2500 feet above sea level again & in a country where every one is armed & quite ready to kill his neighbour for a bit of tucker- 400 more prisoners & 4 machine guns
Zerka is full of wounded Turks- wide Pilgrim Road to Mecca.

[Page 270]

28 September 1918 Saturday (X to X crossed out)
Outpost again.
Moved back to water & a beautiful Trout stream, with Bamboo etc:- Oleanders & Black berries , found odd wounded Turks, but opposition finished except from Circassian Bedouins - over 40 000 prisoners now & 300 guns. Thunder storm last night, rainy season commences in a month- We have little Transport & only carry a Blanket & Oilsheet
X Cannot send any letters or receive any from the wife these days but I trust all is well. I doubt if this reaches you it runs many risks but with love I send it hoping the War may end soon- Your son FW X

[Page 271]

29 September 1918 Sunday (X to X crossed out)
Posted Diary yesterday I very much doubt if will reach you.
Wadi Amman
We got some Germans naked, but for their shirts- Bedouins having robbed them & still collecting odd Turks & war material-
Old Sarcophagies, Tombs & Amphitheatre can be seen of the Roman days. It is quite good grazing country & the Bedouins have large mobs of sheep & goats- & cattle-
X Lt Morrice died of wounds & Bedouins shot two of our men so "C" squadron shot 12 of them X Ė
4 Trains 3 Aeroplanes 14 guns 30 machine guns abandoned at Samira & I can see we will be at Damascus ere long, our armoured cars are already there; it is too far from my wee wife!!

[Page 272]

30 September 1918 Monday
10 000 prisoners surrendered to our Division & we had to help protect them from the Arabs. These were cut off south of Amman- A strange phenomenon happened about noon, a distinct earth tremor, I thought at first it must be my head going round with fever- till others spoke about it. We celebrated our victory with a grand dinner- Fish killed with gun cotton- Fowls from village, Blackberries from the Wadi- game is plentiful, gazelle, Hare partridge, curlew, & CANARIES a few snipe & duck in Wadi, but have no gun.

[Page 273]

1 October 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
Big Australian Mail in &
X Mother & Day July 21, 28, 31
Aug 6 & 11
Also from May, H.L.A. & many others such a treat. All of love Aug 4 please thank everybody. Very busy today- read between halts- Also one from Miss Mack & Lorna- Am sorry poor old Day is again without a maid too much altogether- hope you let the house. X Events happening very fast more prisoners X than we can handle, X Aust Div. is around Damascus & we expect it to surrender hourly - Laura writes Joe is on the land!!

[Page 274]

2 October 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
X My WEDDING DAY I hope next anniversary I shall be with the wife & child X
Bulgaria we hear has come to terms, may the rest soon follow- Outpost last night & a Turkish deserter came in, he had no idea what a smash the Turks had got- Quite cold at night & a heavy dew, been getting some fresh mutton from the Bedouins keeps our boilers going- X May again asks for Power of Attorney I sent one- but all the same cannot see what for- No mortgage registered, she can do as she wishes with Cleveland
I hope Whiting & Aitkin send along Interest regularly. X

[Page 275]

3 October 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
Fever still bad- we have never been up to strength this year, althoí reinforcements come in dribs & drabs- I return paper cutting with this re July 14 fight, MINE
"It was the vigorous infantry assault" it should read "dismounted" there were no infantry there.
If Turkey makes peace I hope I shall not be sent out of Egypt- X Dolly has just moved to Villa Montrose Pension Heliopolis- where Mardi stayed. I never met her hubby but she should get one of the best. X I cannot but feel glad that the fighting is over here & I have seen it through from Gallipoli to the Canal & to Damascus

[Page 276]

4 October 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
Wadi Zerka X Had letter from Joe he is harvesting & hopes to be home by Xmas- which is good news- Laura also writes allís well & Nowell Forth has a bar to his DSO X
Went out to bring Circassians in, as Bedouins now murder them if they get the chance- rumoured we return back Jerusalem cannot get on for want of Water in this No mans land- You will see by Map we are on outside edge of civilization East of Jordan. An official photographer took my Squadron grazing at Wadi Zerka

[Page 277]

5 October 1918 Saturday
Outpost Got Fever today Temp 103.5 every bone aches Turkish Soldiers all carried 10 tablets of Quinine & we got quite a lot out of the Hospital here at Ammon. Evacuated all my Senior N.C.Oís today with malarial- regular epidemic- Waiting here Salvaging Locomotives Cars German Motor Lorries etc-
The Circassians are coming in the Ammon for protection against the Bedouins- Hot by day & cold at night.

[Page 278]

6 October 1918 Sunday (X to X crossed out)
Better this afternoon Swallowed a lot of "dope" my attacks never last long- Some talk of 1914 men going back again but as I have been to England & now fairly well expect to have to wait a bit longer still it sounds hopeful.
X Post this with love to all Parcel mail due tomorrow so hope get yours- Cheer up Mother dear X
War news is good & we will all be home again ere long Your fond son

[Page 279]

7 October 1918 Monday (X to X crossed out)
Well the Parcel arrived & I was so thankful Coal Tar Soap especially good Paper mail also on the way X I would not bother Mother about trying to get my Diary printed too many already & its for you- mostly I do it- X
Fever continues men 50% lying around our Medical Cart like wounded after a scrap- Its one long line of Ambulances to the rear & another line of reinforcements coming up but the latter is never enough The men have only overcoat & Mosquitoe nets (no blanket) so as to travel light & the nights are cold now.

[Page 280]

8 October 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
Wadi Zerak Fever still raging had a rotten night, medical Officer wants to evacuate me but will hang on if I can X half the Regiment have gone away with Malaria- the result of camping a fortnight ago on an old Hospital site of the Turks at a place called Fusail Ė the mosquitoes must all have been Fever carriers. It would be a rotten journey back via Es Salt & Jericho so hang on, but feel very cheap- Temp 103.2

[Page 281]

9 October 1918 Wednesday
Still marking time Collecting war material & sending Fever patients away- the earth is not the kindest place when bones ache with fever but I think Iíll beat the microbe yet Got some Ma[indecipherable] from the M.O. Temp 99.4 Swallowing quinine Quinine Amman is full of Armenian refugees without food- they are dying at the rate of 12 or 13 a day with fever etc & want of proper food.

[Page 282]

10 October 1918 Thursday
Medical Officer enoculate me to-day- 1st to Field Ambulance then Amman Rough ride over the stones & the men suffered-
The Hospital is an ex-Turkish one at the foot of the old Amphitheatre to seat 4000 with carved granite Pillars along a drive once 400 yds long-
The Amphitheatre is now occupied by Bedouin dogs-
As is usual I was robbed of my big oil sheet & Motor goggles off my Hat on arrival!!

[Page 283]

11 October 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
Amman Hospital Blood smear taken & Iím not Malignant Malarial still feel my timing pretty bad- but Temp. Normal-
X At my door is a c/- of GLASS window panes in an original package- Case is branded one end YOKOHAMA Pd 223 16: 75: 12 & the other by same Stencil "Made in Belgium."
This is as left by Germans does it mean Japan is selling stuff? to them! X
Fleas in 1000s. We have Turkish prisoners as Orderlies- 2 of our men shot by Bedouins today 1 killed other wounded just come in-

[Page 284]

12 October 1918 Saturday
Move on to Es Salt Ain Hennar today feeling better but weak-
Moved on by Motor Ambulance- the driver on arriving here whispered in my ear
"Any chance of giving"
"me your Revolver" ? It shows what chance an insensible patient would have to keep his Kit-
I am not condeming all-
Muscular injection by Hyperdermic syringe of Quinine well pushed in is the thing-

[Page 285]

13 October 1918 Sunday
Arrived Es Salt- before leaving Amman had a look at blood smears the microbe is easily seen under microscope like small "[indecipherable]" in red corpuscles. Overheard 2 of our old men say- "There goes poor old fat
"JERRY he looks crook"
It is sundown at ľ past 4 now- How different to the long hot days in the Valley-
Roads very bad & had a rough trip

[Page 286]

14 October 1918 Monday
Jerusalem 66° Casualty Clearing Hqs arrived here midday- "Tummy" still on strike but feel better goodness knows where we go next-
Great rumours of peace but I believe nothing- All Hospitals & trains full so stop here -for present-
Heard our Brigade is coming back to Richon way soon to reorganise so expect will join up there later on-
This Hos. overlooks the Walls of old Jerusalem & was a Monastery- SISTERS here.

[Page 287]

15 October 1918 Tuesday (X to X crossed out)
Jerusalem X Temp normal. Feel off- Had a glass of Champagne this morning & good food- only a bit weak now X
Hear Kaiser has abdicated & all German troops gone back to Rhine is it true?
Hope you wonít worry when you see or hear Iím ill Really nothing & soon OK May cable if I go as far as Cairo.
Jerusalem is full of prisoners & captured GUNS & war material I saw some labelled 1st L.H.

[Page 288]

16 October 1918 Wednesday (X to X crossed out)
Put into Red x train & off to GAZA feel A.1. & will get out of Hospital as soon as get Cairo if I do go there.
I hope never to return to this part of the world-
The Train is a London & South Western one & every comfort. X The Hospital is 47 Statesman And X my diagnosis is now MALARIAL M.T. after all
X with a big spleen but feel pretty well- X
M.T means Malignant.

[Page 289]

17 October 1918 Thursday (X to X crossed out)
On Ambulance Train again & in carriage 3 sick HUN officers who fare the same as we do & get a square deal- in fact X 8 of our Officers sit while 2 Huns occupy lying down cots X I asked them what they thought of the Australian Cavalry? they replied "the same as the Turks do" We gave them illustrated papers with some good Cartoons Arrived Kantara [indecipherable] Stationary Hospital at 1500. Some of the Orderlies here are half witted untrained men owing to man shortage-

[Page 290]

18 October 1918 Friday (X to X crossed out)
Kantara W East.
Remained here all today & believe go Port Said tomorrow to No.14 AGH I would of course prefer Cairo & X to the wee wife but must go where I am sent- X
This place is overun with German & Turk prisoners dying like flies from Pneumonia Malaria etc:- they get the same attention as we do-
All sorts of Rumours reach us- Kaiser abdicated etc etc-
X The cutting I asked for was not Diary but my first impressions of Jerusalem I think printed in Pastoral Times.X

[Page 291]

19 October 1918 Saturday
Kantara East
Had a good night & much stronger- Quinine making me a bit deaf- A boat load passed through Canal with 1944 men from France- rosy cheeked & fresh complexioned so different to the yellow looking fever men from here. Still hoping to cross the Canal tomorrow but all the Base Hospitals are full.
Got letters from Mother Sept 1st Kathleen Sept 8 & Jack Forth- glad allís well

[Page 292]

20 October 1918 Sunday (X to X crossed out)
Still here- Kantara East No.24 Stationery Hospital
This place has grown into an immense Canvas town since the days we first crossed the Canal-
No comforts here, Bully beef for lunch!! & black bread the best food goes to the front line which is right-
Our Tummies are upset from Quinine- but we are all much better.
X An orderly put the wrong end of the Thermometer in my mouth & was quite satisfied, another took mine this morning instead of another officer who was being discharged & who occupied the bed along side. X

[Page 293]

21 October 1918 Monday (X to X crossed out)
No.31 General Hospital Cairo
At last we crossed the Canal & in a Red x
Train arrived at what was the old Australian 14 Gen Hos X now the native.
This afternoon the wife came along & told me all about the Bairn I go out to Heliopolis tomorrow to see them. She is fit & well- I hope the Photos arrive of the KIDDY. I am here for a few days & will then get 14 days leave with Dolly instead of going to a Convalescent Home. Cabled you tonight FLOURISHING CAIRO I hope you understand X

[Page 294]

22 October 1918 Tuesday. (X to X crossed out)
31 General
"Tucker" good here & althoí short of Orderlies everything O.K. I hope to be discharged soon as Temp. normal now.
X In my ward are 60 Officers Ė Poor little daughter was vaccinated for the 5th time but she will "not take" neither do I for Small Pox is it because you once had it?
Spent afternoon with Dolly & wife & get 14 days leave tomorrow love- Iíll cable if any chance of coming home-

[Page 295]

23 October 1918 Wednesday
Villa Montrose Heliopolis & your letter 25th Aug just received- Baby is like me Blue eyes & a little pug nose.
Tommy Orford was a Boundary Rider on Big Yanko Jerilderie not Hay.
I hope you will let Bronte & be in Melbourne see my letter in answer to Days long letter of Aug 28th.

[Page 296]

24 October 1918 Thursday
Not much to write you now as I sent you a long letter re Dolly going Home & my arrival I hope early in the New Year but one can never be sure in the Army what is going to happen.
Had afternoon tea with Stewart Brown who was at Mrs Batemans with me in Warrnambool how many years ago.

[Page 297]

25 October 1918 Friday (Whole page crossed out)
Col Loveridge to dinner
Spent the day with Dolly generally go for a drive in a Garry in the afternoon.
Busy packing up not much room in a double room for self Baby & wife!!!

[Page 298]

26 October 1918 Saturday
Not available
Took Dolly to dinner at Heliopolis House- Champagne Band etc she loves this & has not been out since months before Baby was born-
She does look so pretty in her nice frocks of course I like to take her out but the pennies !!!
oh dear,
In the afternoon we went for a drive with the Babe-
3 of us in one room in this Pension & no nurse is good training for the little Lady- She is never bad tempered. I mean Dolly.

[Page 299]

27 October 1918 Sunday
Loveridge not available [indecipherable]
No church but busy packing up to help Dolly when Iím not here. Getting stronger every day but had a bad night with Neuritis in my leg, had to get up & have a hot bath. I enclose Photo of Tom Kidney at the Pyramids.

[Page 300]

28 October 1918 Monday
Allís well & we written you a long letter to go with this
Love Frank

[Page 301]

29 October 1918 Tuesday
Villa Montrose Graham
Went Hospital, 1000ís of Turks are in the Hospital here, & many die from Plague Typhus etc- about 10 000 have gone to Salonika in labor corps- To show how well they have been treated about £700 000 has been collected from prisoners this in gold & silver. German paper money is of no value at all here.
Rumours tonight about Austria
Am getting stronger each day & the bairn is growing.

[Page 302]

30 October 1918 Wednesday
Teeth- Major Douglas Capt Donell
Got parcel today from Hospital will keep till I go back again if I do feel sure of going home about Xmas
Big mail from England Laura Joe, Day very glad Joe on way home he will meet Dolly perhaps.
Took Dolly to dentist she has to go again next week-
Had afternoon tea in Cairo-
Wrote Nowell do not know where he is-
Big mail from Australia.

[Page 303]

31 October 1918 Thursday
Motherís letter with enclosure from HLA dated Aug 18th
I hope you will let Bronte for the summer too hot to take Babe & Dolly there for a start
Very glad to think Joe will be home when I come- canít say anything definite yet
Snakebite Antidote came along safely but no one lives in the Jordan Valley now
I enclose cutting from Times almost verbatim what I wrote you in my Diary re J.V.

[Page 304]

1 November 1918 Friday
Villa Montrose Heliopolis
Dinner off Hughes
Armistice with Turks today- Finish Fight-& demobilisation is the great work ahead-
I enclose Announcement out of Manchester Guardian sent by Mrs Ish.
After all I wonít want any more Diary now.
Am spending a lot of money but as I hope to go into the Bush again Ė it is the only place for a poor man to live.

[There are no diary entries from 1 November 1918 to 20 December 1919. Weir is using a 1919 Diary for the December 20 entry below:]

[Page 305]

20 December 1919 Saturday
Frank Diary 1919 Decbr 21st to Janry 27th.

[Page 306]

22 December 1918 1919 Sunday
Rafa. Here I am back with the Regiment, if you look at Diary about Jany 9th 1916 You may see mention of our fight here & a GREEN TREE
We are now camped within 300 yards of it again. All leave cancelled owing to burning of Bedouin Village but in a few months I hope we will be embarking it has been a great disappointment to all 1914 officers & their people- but Ill save money out here & be able to go strait to Bronte when I do get home-
I have a Doctors Certificate to say I am unfit for active service enlarged spleen but if I may not go home, cannot do nothing so here I am.

[Page 307]

23 December 1918 not 1919 Monday
Raining still but we have a Tent- G.O.C. Allenby addressed the Division at Richon & told them they were murderers & cowards & by killing the Bedouins had taken away the good name of ANZAC- in fact a worse atrocity than any the Turks had counselled etc etc-
Comforts Fund sent each man a parcel of thick Soup but Firewood is the biggest want - All sorts of rumours as to how long we are to be here as prayer goes up "not long"

[Page 308]

24 December 1918 [not 1919] Tuesday
Xmas eve & on duty Field Officer, raining hard & very cold- We are in sight of the sea which is very rough- All the old 1914 NCOs & men have gone- I enclose some snap shots of my BABE, she will be crawling when we do get home at last.
Censor these notes if you print pretty heavily- Nowell Forth gone to France Abyssinian job fell through- He is a great aristocrat these days & looks the part- like Laura I think he prefers to be thought something else besides an Australian- Laura always says young Charlie is not an Australian

[Page 309]

25 December 1918 Wednesday
All hands merry many drunks- Ĺ lbs of PLUM PUDDING, 6 eggs, vegetables & a parcel from the Comforts fund- football & [indecipherable] different officers the recreation-!!! Nearly all the old fighting men have gone & a new lot are here who know not us- Rumours we may leave here soon for nearer the Canal but who knows.
Started an Officers Mess all together many months since we ate together now.
I thought of you all today & only hope we may be together ere long- Just got a Post Card from Joe written in Vancouver I hope he got home safely-

[Page 310]

26 December 1918 Thursday
Australasians arrived safely & letters from Dolly- alls well!
There is talk of the PRINCE coming out to review us- educating a man for a job I doubt if he will ever get- & our men are restless & hard to handle at present, so many are only just joined up & are an irresponsible crowd.
Paid all ranks today. Althoí I cannot dance the recent steps I would like to have gone to Xmas dance when I hear the Band playing.
The wife is one of the best dancers I have seen & everyone in Cairo wrote to say how pretty & [indecipherable] she was

[Page 311]

27 December 1918 Friday
Dining with the CO of Australian [indecipherable] of General tonight
Last night the New Zealanders came to us- about 24 Officers & a lot of Horseplay was gone in for- The men were firing Verey lights about & it was wonderful how the Horses stood the racket-
Bertie Austin wrote me & said he was sorry he missed me in Cairo- & said his wife often spoke of you- I enclose his letter-

[Page 312]

28 December 1918 Saturday
Gen Chauvel inspected us today & said he hoped we would commence being demobilised soon- He avoided the BEDOUIN massacre- it was wonderful how well the men turned out considering their spree-
The Band had no Band Master & let themselves go the tune was awful-
Alls well, but I am hungering to get home
With love to you all

[Page 313]

29 December 1918 Sunday
Recd. Parcel of good things from Kathleen & have written her. I am detailed to write the History of the Regiment from inception- I wish I had my Diary to refer to but it is no use sending it. It would be too late-
We as Officers are still all confined to Camp now as punishment for the outrage against the Bedouins of Surafend the discipline is atrocious nobody cares now the war is over for instance as I write 2 horses are at our "feed heap" & the day stablemen take no notice. I enclose a long letter from a priest who I used to argue much with over Seinn Fein etc etc it reads like a sermon in parts trying it on the dog sort of thing.

[Page 314]

30 December 1918 Monday
Commenced SQUAD!!! drill & rifle exercises again & the men naturally take no interest in such work now, but we must keep them employed- Dolly writes that Mr Bertie
Austin & his wife called on her at Heliopolis- & were very nice I am so glad- As I may get an offer yet throí them especially if they like the wife-
Big dash of "Bolshie" in our men here last night a Corporal wanted to Order men to burn our Mess Tent down etc etc:-
It is not safe to leave any article anywhere but it is immediately stolen & the language is appalling-

[Page 315]

31 December 1918 Tuesday
Rumour today that the New Zealand Brigade were on the point of mutiny- They have decided not to Drill any more & stacked their rifles-
All very sad after the great name of ANZAC but the Generalís Remarks of "Cowards" & "murderers" after the "Surafend" incident with the Bedouins is the main reason-
Tonight I am field Officer many drunken men & Officers about- it is the latter set that upsets the men-
Have a rotten rash all over my body at times I have suffered with 3 different sorts of SKIN trouble- Time I got away really-

[Transcribed by Lynne Palmer and Adrian Bicknell for the State Library of New South Wales]