Hi Brian John and Frev
Thank you all for your appreciation of my typing this all up and yes Frev the RSI is coming on nicely thanks. Thanks for the insight into Major Stephen Trowbidge Brian, you seem to know your history and are doing your bit to educate me !! Meanwhile here is the next installment which I have been typing fo the last three hours 9th Installment folks
Practised bayonet fighting and charging. Parade 8.30am, dismissed 11.15am. Orders received to shift goods and challets? On to the hill about a quarter mile away and bivouac there, on account of the flat on which the camp is situated being unhealthy. Went to lecture by Dr McKinnon at the YMCA. He was for 31 years in practice in and around Damascus. A good speaker and an interesting subject viz “his experiences”.
vaccinated in morning. Parade at 3 pm, marched about 4 miles, had tea and bivouacked.
Up at 3 o'clock in the morning and marched on a position in the usual way, viz night attack on a position in the usual way, viz night attack formation, arrived at the position about 5.45, then formed up and marched back to camp, arriving there 6.45. Parade 9.15 am dismissed 11.45. Saw Captain Coulter this afternoon and he told me we were moving off Wednesday next.
Sunday Feb 28th
Orders out to the effect that we are to be ready to move off at 24 hrs. notice, it is to be hoped that this time next week we shall be out of Egypt. Church Parade 9 am, dismissed 9.45, snoozed around for the rest of the day. Went tot a lecture and song service by Chaplain Miles and enjoyed it, the hymns were splendid and the lecture embodying the story of the Union Jack is very good. The Union Jack is made up of the crosses of St George, St Andrew and St Patrick, Red blue and white, standing for courage truth and finity?.
Monday March 1st
reveille 4.45 am. Parade 6 am. Smartening up drill, dismissed 11am. Sgt Keddie resigns his position as a sergeant in D company and joins the ranks. 3rd brigade left here last night from unknown destination. Parade 5.30pm, dismissed 7pm.
parade 7.15. Platoon field firing, our platoon did not shine although the company as a whole did well. Arrived back after a swift march at 12.45pm. Divisional-in-line picquet. Went up to the sergeants tent and listened to a yarn of old Pat Jordan s about the American evolution in Nicaragua in 1911-12 in which he took a prominent part. He is a man who has seen a good deal of adventure.
parade 8.30 am. Bayonet fighting and charging sandbags. The Brigadier has been rousing about the 8th Battalion, says they are a lot of loafers and must straighten themselves up. He will get nothing out of them until we are out of this frightfully monotonous sandy country. The fellows have lost all sense of pride and don't care a button. Dismissed 12 noon. Pay day, about time too as the majority of us have been broke for considerably over a week. The system of paying is rotten. Battalion-in-line picquet.
parade 9am. Practised fire control on a hard landscape. Dismissed at noon. Parade 1.30, attacked position about a mile away in short rushes. Good going for a hot day. We are fast becoming a rag time army, and it is to be hoped we are shortly shifted away from here, when we will doubtless smarten up. Expect to go away from here any day now. Dismissed 4.30 pm. Caught a rotten cold last night. Went to the pictures which we fair excepting for the explanations on the films being in Spanish.
Spelled? in morning. Parade 2 pm for divisional training. Skirmished for three minutes and then had tea and rested till 9.30 am when we moved off and roamed about the sheep till 12.30. Camped on the top of a hill 5.30 (-cold). Defended the position against attack. Returned to camp 8am.
Mounted guard 9.30am, pretty tired and sleepy. Battalion whole day holiday. New guard mounted 5pm, very easy guard.
Second issue of kit. Church parade 9am in the picture show building which is a great improvement, it holds 1800 men comfortably. Chaplain Miles conducted the service. Went to a song service tonight and enjoyed it.
Route march through the irrigation canals, practising fire control as we went, and back through the sand. D company was paraded before the Brigadier before parade. The company was too rowdy and he had overheard several insulting remarks concerning himself. He had lost confidence in us but we could regain it in a week if we wished, if we did not, he could never entrust us with any responsible work in the field. The Colonel however in the afternoon told us that he was proud of his battalion and considered D company to be the best fighting company in the battalion, but we had the misfortune to live alongside the Brigadier. He said we were a little too demonstrative. Arrived back in camp 3.45. It was frightfully dusty along the banks of the canal. Jack Flynn was buried today out of D coy. He was a young and practically newly married man. Went to lecture in evening on Jerusalem by Professor Fullerton from New York. He had been all around through Palestine since before the war started. A good lecture.
Holiday today as I was on guard the last battalion holiday. We have been in Egypt three months today. The battalion went out at 7am and returned at 4 pm. They rested till noon and dug trenches till 3.30 pm. Been very industrious today what with washing etc. Went to service in the YMCA tonight at which Mr Stephen Trowbridge spoke.
Parade 7 o'clock. Repetition of yesterday's work, fortifying the position with earthworks, very hoy, very dusty, very tiresome, although we did not overwork ourselves. Got back to camp about 4.45. the brigade was working together. Turned in about 8.30 and at 10 o'clock Sgt Smith came along and told me I was wanted immediately for guard as one of the Hospital guard had been arrested for talking to one of the inmates. I had to go and did not enjoy it.
I was on from 1am to 3 am with rifle loaded and cocked, absolutely the worst guard I ever did in my life. A sandstorm blowing all day. The Battalion marched to the Zoological Gardens and got back about 6.30 at night, just half an hour after us.
Parade 7 o'clock. Another brigade day, to the position we prepared 2 days ago. Got back to camp 12 noon. Spelled? In afternoon. Parade 8.15 pm. Night attack on the 1st brigades entrenchments. Imagine it was a failure, although it was realistic, blank ammunition, flares etc. Back in camp 11pm.That's all folks, keep the comments coming all welcome.