Loaded the Quad up with Ammo 36 H.F (?) 8 A.P. 48 Charges
Received two letters from Frances 72-73 still to get 74 – 75.
Went on trail run 30 ml to run in engine, it was so tight that the starter would not turn it over. We have had it out twice in two weeks. The boys had a trail pack. Think they are going tomorrow sometime. Painted a name on the Quad – Frances
The gunners, driver, M— etc left at 10.00hrs this morning. Tom had to go to. I am on my own now. I will not see him until I get the Quad, timber, gun over to where ever we are going. We wont be going for another two weeks yet.
Cleaned up the camp . Done a few small jobs, went down to the beach pretty rough surf. Went down for a spot of shooting with Rifle, Tommy and Bren. Hurt my shoulder in fact it is all skinned.
Wrote Frances No 18
Senet her Xmas card also one to Harry and one to Gran. Played F. Troup cricket, they made 109 we had to finish to dark. Will continue tomorrow night, we have 4 down for 22 we put the tail in first because of the light.
Worked a little harder today on the truck. Played cricket against F. Troup, made 62 Played on. Boys left Alex for Italy, did not know this until the day we seen them again which was the 9th November
Battery was flat when I went to start the engine this morning, one cell was no good. Got another one, swaped it for one from Arty tank. They are going to use it for a Raido. Played cricket against F. Trp. Made 23 we was beaten
Baby Wotton born. Played crickeet against H.Q. trp. 32 N.O. We won. Went to Alamein Cemerety seen about 3,000 graves. There were S.A., German, Ity, Aussie, Brisish and Kiwis mostly our chaps. It will be a great place when it is finished, all boarded around with white stone walls, chips of the stone on top and they are in very straight rows. Lt Cols Capt Pte all mixed up.
Played cricket to-day. 30 – 29 Bty . we won by 110 runs. I made 24. J. Hatchard 86— Repainted all the signs on the Quad. Got another pair of sandshoes. Have had no cig, tobacco for 5 weeks, hard to smoke pipe tobacco
Wrote Frances No 19
Painted the Caugf(?) in places over the Quad. We aare now grey and black. Still at Burgh El Arab. Don’t know when we will be going to join the boys. They have been away 1 week. To-day is very windy and the dust is thick, not so hot as the wind is coming from the sea 500yds away
Baby Wotton Died – 7 months
Played 48Bty cricket. We made 116. I made 34. We got them out for 74. I got two for 8. Fifth Field are receiving quite a lot of mail but we will have to wait until we get to where ever the boys are. It is not fair in one way. The wind has died down a bit it is not bringing the sand now which is much better.
Wrote Frances 20
Having a rest from cricket. A bit browned off, will start again about sat. Still waiting to move
Italy declared war with Germany. 3rd Div in action
Playing basket-ball. They have started a comp going. It is 7 months since I was in Chch
Wrote Frances No 21
Had a very easy day to-day. Have had no leave for five weeks
Wrote Frances No 22
Started the last letter will leave it until I am sure everything is in it which I wanted to write about. It is five months since I left Wellington.
Left Burg El Arab at 12.30 hrs wenet 80 miles and stayed the night at Wadi Natron. Arrived there at 1730hrs expect to leave at 0700hrs in the morning . Will be going to Port Tufick. Now we have no idea where we are going, might be India. Done 81 miles
Left Wadi Natron at 0700hrs went through Cairo at 1200hrs. Arrived at Port Tufick at 1720hrs we done 140 miles to-day, the Pongoes cooked tea for us , all we got was a plate of stew and a mug of tea which was almost sickly sweet. Will be here for a while I think they told us so anyway
Wrote frances No 23
Went to the pictures, seen The Little Foxes, not much. Otherwise we done nothing at all
The same to-day only we shifted the trucks into there lines. My line is P.Z.L which is the code name of the ship in which I am going in.
Went to the pictures, seen Tin Pan Alley, had see it before. We put our Quads on the whart just left them there because the boat was not there. Came back to our first camp for tea. Received 1 bottel of beer and at 6.50pm we went to the transit camp and then went to the pictures
Up at 0700hrs Breakfast 0800. Doing nothing at all, played cards for money for the time since I landed here. Lost 80 Akers. The ships in which we are going in aare fairly big about 10,000 tons by the looks of them. Pictures again. Seen Victory.
It rained this morning at 0230hrs woke me up and I had to turn around making me sleep with my head where my feel were and then I got wet. There was lighting and thunder. The lighting struck an petrol or oil dump and set some of it alight and it was just like day
Wrote Frances No 24
Went to pictures seen North of Klondyke, not bad. Rained again but notmuch. Think we will be going tomorrow.
Left transit camp at 1330hrs Got on the same sort of lighters as we did when we landed in June. Got on Lighter at 1435hrs got on ship at 1530hrs. We are sleeping down the hold, 1st deck. The ship is The ——– of Delhi. There are about 2880 chaps on board. Just one lamp (electric) lights up the place but it is 400L.P
Left Port Tufick at 0620 hrs went through Canal about 90 miles ,passed through Port Said at 1715 went straight out to sea and away so this is my Labor Day. I spent it passing through the Canal. We have about five boats and a destroyer in the convoy so far. I will see tomorrow.
Won 10/- B.MA at pontoon. Passed out into the sea and arrived at Alex at 1630hrs. We berthed. I don’t know how long for. The food so far has been poor. There is a baloon tied to us now for protection from planes. There are three hospital ships in and also plenty of war ships. We have traveled 320miles since we left Burg El Arab and we aare only 20 miles from there now
Nothing much to-day just being left in the harbour. Played cards. Was told we would be leaving at 0730hrs in the morning. We was told at 2000hrs.
This is Fridays also
Left Alex at 0800hrs. Went straight out into the sea and stopped at 11.45 to form up . there are some fighters over head but only about 4. Every boat has a baloon up above it.We are still stoped, it is taken a long time for the convoy to form up for the biggest part of the boats are very slow.
We are away again but have not picked up speed yet. The reason for me not putting to-days entry in yersterdays space is because I thought to-day was the 28. It shows how we think every day is the same, it is too, no Saturdays or Sunday. The time is now 2125 so to bed. Go on gun stations at 2400hrs off at 0400. I am in a 12LB Gun team
Wrote Frances No 25
Tired to=day. On guard at the guns and resting, had no sleep until 0430hrs this morning. Had a alarm tonight at 1745hrs. Planes supposed to be near at hand, each boat and there are 32 in the convoy, let off two smoke bombs each one at either end and set up a smoke screen. We had four fighters over head but nothing happened . Thank God !
Still at sea and will be for the next week or so. At about 0200(?)hrs this morning we passed through an electric storm. The lighting struck a ballons setting them alight. There was plenety of rain and thunder also. I was on guard at the guns. It is one weeks since we got on this boat. We are going to Bari via Malta, will see Malta tues sometime.
Played Troup cricket. E.Troop V F. Troop. E.Troop won , I made 6.
Wrote no 11.
Wrote to Frances and Harry, doing very little to-day
Eighth Army land in Italy unconditional surrender. Four years war.
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.
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.
Wrote to Frances 12. Striped Quad of engine. Done other small jobs also had a lazy day. Out of tobacco.
Another lazy day done some writing, played table tennis with Alec and Frank Allen, went to the pictures, wrote to Mother.
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
A very quite day. I would have been 10 years at A. Farrars to-day.
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.
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.
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.
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
Engine going alright have not run it yet though. Tobacco still short
Went on guard at 1200hrs after being held up on parade ground for 1 ½ hours.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wrote Frances No 17
Breakfast at 0700hrs.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.
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.
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
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.