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  • Author: Jim Smythe
  • Date Posted: Thursday, September 30, 1943
  • Category:
  • Address: Borg El Arab Egypt

1 Wednesday

Played Troup cricket. E.Troop V F. Troop. E.Troop won , I made 6.

2 Thursday

Wrote no 11.

Wrote to Frances and Harry, doing very little to-day

3 Friday

Eighth Army land in Italy unconditional surrender. Four years war.

4 Saturday

Went to play cricket at S.A camp. Played 23 Reg, we made 114 and they made 117-4 wkts. We had Sat night dinner and tea we then had a party, drinks etc. We went to bed at 2359hrs. They had a dance band. Hillbilly, and a ventrilquist also a tenor who was very good. Met H.Watt the springbock footballer, he is a good chap.

5 Sunday

Played 6th Field Reg S.A.A we made 71 and they made 87 all out. I took two catches behind and made 8. Yesterday I made 2 bowled both times. We had dinner at their mess, rost veal, roast spuds, egg, fruit, greaps and tin peaches, cream. This Reg seems to feed better than the 23rd Reg. Left their camp 1400hrs had tea in cairo back camp 2030hrs.

6 Monday

Wrote to Frances 12. Striped Quad of engine. Done other small jobs also had a lazy day. Out of tobacco.

7 Tuesday

Another lazy day done some writing, played table tennis with Alec and Frank Allen, went to the pictures, wrote to Mother.

8 Wednesday

Wrote to Frances 13

Wrote to Mrs Allen. No engine yet – no work. Wrote all after-noon. Very hot to-day 100deg all day. Armistic with Italy made known. Come over the raido at 9pm news M.E. time I was lying on my bed thinking of my dear wife at the time

9 Thursday

A very quite day. I would have been 10 years at A. Farrars to-day.

10 Friday

The boys came back, our holiday is over. I got landed for the Baty runner job. We got free beer this week. Mr Harvy gave it to us, it was his birthday the officers talked him into it.

11 Saturday

At 0855 (IT RAINED) Our engine came at 1700hrs so work at last. Got terrible pains in the stomach thought it was apendix. Seen the doc and he said I never even had a slight touch of it. He said it was wind.

12 Sunday

Had church parade. Got another pair of boots and another blanket. I have 2 pairs of boots and three blankets now. New engine arrived. Still out of tobacco.

13 Monday

Put new engine in quad. Worked in the sun from 0900hrs until 1700hrs. Started engine, engaged clutch and found it was useless. Sabatarge, for when clutch plate was taken out it was old and rusty, replaced new one, seems alright now

14 Tuesday

Engine going alright have not run it yet though. Tobacco still short

15 Wednesday

Went on guard at 1200hrs after being held up on parade ground for 1 ½ hours.

16 Thursday

On guard, wrote some of a letter to Frances Went into town this afternoon bought Frances a table center with 6 mats. I also bought Mother and Hilda a silk hankie each. The whole lot cost 120 Akers which is 1 pound 4/- Met Pat Patterson, we went around together.

17 Friday

Started to get ready to go into action again. New tyres, all the trucks painted dark grey, rifles etc issued to different chaps. All drivers got one. Loaded 24(?) rounds with charges into Quad also we got tins for petrol, kero, grease , oil etc. Threre is not going to be much space left when we arae fully loaded

18 Saturday

Finished letter no 14. Wrote letter no 15. Sent Frances the Task(?) system. Done more to the quad. Loaded camel tank, spare limber wheel, long net and one or two more jobs, don’t know where we will finish up somewhere in Europe. We know that alright. The boys are leaving tomorrow afternoon the trucks wont be going till Wednesday

19 Sunday

Just mucked around put our base kits in wont to see them for quite a while. We are going 97 miles from here to a place called Burgel Arab it is 30 odd miles from Alex. Worked on truck most of the day 20 Monday Boys left Mardi Camp for Burgle Arab at 1445hrs. They will stop at Meana which is the other side of Cairo from there they will march 14 miles a night for 7 nights. We lined up the trucks ready to take off . We leave to-morrow at 0600hrs having a rest to-day just odd jobs are being done

21 Tuesday

Jusst a few odd jobs are being done again to-day. Went to the pictures and seen “Seven Days Leave” Funny me seeing it for the last letter I got from Frances she said that she had been to see it. Very hot to-day. Went to pictures seen (Tommy Egcan) Robert Taylor on piquet from 11 – 12.

22 Wednesday

Wrote to Frances 16. Left Mardi at 0600hrs , going to a place near Aamien(?) . Traveled 157 miles landed at our camp at 1730hrs. We are bedded down at the same place as the chaps were this time last, it is about 12 miles from Alamein it might be wet soon, as where we are is the wettest place in Egypt.

23 Thursday

Just fixing things up today. The food is not to good but to-night we had a good tea. Went to the beach and the sand is very fine, round qutze stone. It is pure white, there are small balls on the beach, they are made of weeds, they look like pieces of horse hair all tangled up. It is getting cold at night now.

24 Friday

We left this camp at 1900hrs. We are going to a place 28 miles from here, we are going to do it in the dark. 2230hrs had a crash. I stopped my quad and the one behind ran into it. I was able to go away under my own power but the spout of the hun pushed the front of his quad right in the spout even pokeing through his steering wheel.

25 Saturday

Had gun inspected , have to take it back to B.Arab. Made the trip back in 1 ¾ hrs. It took us 6 hours. Last night we got to bed at 1.30am. This morning took the guns into possition at 1900hrs tonight, 6 miles away. Came back in the dark again and got to bed at 11.30 very heavy dew, will be wet in the morning.

26 Sunday

Wrote Frances No 17

Breakfast at ——– It was wet this morning our blankets were wet through. Wind and sand very trying getting into everything resting at the wagon(?)lines. Are going to pick the guns up tomorrow and then back to B.Arab for I don’t know how long. Stacks of flanel shirts and B.D.s there now.

27 Monday

Came back to Burgle El Arab for good until we go overseas anyhow. Went to Alex on leave, a far cleaner place than Cairo, more white people. Things are very cear worse than Cairo. Sent Frances 3 cards and 1 Christmas card.

28 Tuesday

Got the Needel to=day. Tet, Proh III and T.A.B.III. Was very ill got a high temp, got to bed at 19.15 hrs. Got issued with B.D. scarf, jerkin. Another blanket, wollen underware,——– and a pair of gloves, K Drill with leather fronts. We now have two sets of clothes, summer or winter

29 Wednesday

Got another needel to-day, thypus III so as far as we know no more for a year. We are going to Italy I think but don’t know when.

30 Thursday

Very Quiet.