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.
Went into town to meet Norm but he never turned up so I walked around town by myself. I bought two watch straps and a combe for 15 Ak, 3/9, so I did not do bad there I think. Was on Prowler Guard from 2000hrs until 0600hrs was very tired after walking around town all day.
In M.East 3 weeks.
Made a carrier bag for the parcel. I thought it would be best so to keep the parcel from being knocked around for it has to go 9000 miles. I hope it does not get damaged for it will be a great thrill to Frances, I know.
Went to the pictures, not bad. We seen (Keeping Company) a love story, it took our minds away from the work. Started to write to Frances. I am going to finish it by about Tuesday so I haven’t forgot anything. I am getting sick of this place now and I would love to be home right now.
This is a quite day in camp. Church parade in the morning and that is the end. I sent a cable to Frances. I want to get it home by the 20 July for the wedding anniversary. I hope I am not so far away from home this time next year. Right inside our place will do nicely. We had a sand storm today.
Not so hot today either. The heat has not come yet but I hope the heat stays where it is. This is the coldest summer they have had for 23 years so we have struck it lucky. I think I will be posted on wed or thur to the Div so we are getting somewhere after all.
Done my washing to-day. Took my shirt off and the sun is sure hot too. I will have to get a bit brown sometime for I will look funny going home with a white body around all the other boys but I will have to take it easy until I get a we bit brown for blisters are easy to get here
Going to Meana tomorrow to join the 6th Field Reg. We will be all broke up this time for we have all been put into different regs. So now I have to put my best foot forward and learn fast. We are going to Meana by truck. Have had no mail yet but there was some in this afternoon but we will have to wait.
Went to Maadi Camp to stay. We landed here at 1445hrs and had our names and things taken down. I am now in the NZ div and 8th Army so I am here at last. It is hotter here than Mira(?). We don’t get the wind so much I went and looked up Norm and Ray. Ray was out. I am sleeping next to A Coliway(?)
From today I am the driver of E4 He used to play cricket for east Chch. He is also a Brabham Shield man, so I am not so bad off so far. I am sleeping in tents 6 man tents. Should get my first mail within two days. Norm is camped about one mile from where I am. I have come to the right place for cricket. The know all about me and ready. Going to see Norm this afternoon.
Very hot to-day temp at 10pm 93deg. Just sitting around . We are going to start work on Monday .Up at 0515hrs and finish at 1230hrs then the rest of day is own, just as well too. Got my first mail to-day. No 43-44 also one from Gran. The letters I got from Frances were dated 17 May the first for nearly two months.
The letter from Gran was dated 15 May 1943. We had a Reg church parade this morning in the Lowry Hut which is about 150yds from our tent. It is not a bad place either. Went to see Norm this afternoon and we had a talk over three bottles of lemonade that is the main drink here.
Up at 0515hrs worked until 0805hrs then had breakfast then worked until 1230hrs and that was the finish for one day. It seems silly making the boys that have been fighting for 2 ½ years do one step two and relli drill by numbers but they don’t crawl. It is just another day for them.
From now on a cup of tea will be brought around the lines at 0530hrs and it is alright too. It is not as light over here as it is at home at 0515hrs so that’s one thing we can beat them at. Got a bit more bronzy on today. I am starting to get a bit brown now. Away from home 4 months.
Went into town first time for three weeks, was to meet Norm but he did not turn up. Went for a hours route march 3 mile. Got home about 2400hrs ,it takes about 20min run for truck into Cario barracks did not buy any presents short of money for one thing
Done some washing and went to the pictures at night. Seats 3,5,7, Akers which is 7 ½ , 1/ ½ , 1/5 ½ , open air and hard seats starts at 8.20pm and finish at 10pm.
Five weeks in Middle East, to-day very hot around about 95 deg, sweat coming freely but in the best of health. 6th Field Reg played 5th Field Reg at cricket and we won the game by 30 odd runs. One win for the 6th the Reg. Received the medal of St Crist. From Frances.
Letter No 5
Posted a letter to frances enclosing a poem taken from the Ships Mag which the fifth reinforcements made on the boat, had a very quite day, done nothing in the afternoon or evening. There was a concert on at the Lowry Hut but I did not go, the boys said it was just fair.
Went to church and said my little prayer for Frances. Was going to see Norm but I had to go on guard at 1700hrs so it sort of put a stop to my visit so I will go and see him after I come off tomorrow night. He has two bottles of orange cordial for me. Got 2 pairs shorts. Good ones and a ————-
Here I am on Guard the wind is like a Westerly but what a wind it is just like the desert breathing on you. I am on ———- 3 – 5 and then that is the finish for about 18 days. I have not played cards since I have been in the M.E. not for money I own(?)
Three years married to the best girl in the world. One year in the army and two years at home. I hope Frances got the cable in time
Received 3 letters 2 from Frances, 1 from Gran Burkha Picquet. Crossed over a pontoon bridge. When we crossed the Suez Canal . Did not see much was driving at the time. We have been going across the Sinei Desert since 1400hrs there is a road all the way.
Received 10 more letters 1 from mum, 1 from Gran, and 8 from Frank. Was told I was going to a place called Hefa it is near Palestine it will take about 7 –8 days there and back . We are getting up at 0400hrs tomorrow morning and are starting off at 0500hrs. I had to work till 2030hrs to-night in the sargents mess
Started out at 0510hrs. It was just light we were on our way about an hour when I got stung on the thigh by a bee inside the Quad. We were lucky we had no mess ups at all .the distance we went to-day was 243miles. Dinner we had toast,-Tea, stew, bully ,onions , beans. Bedded down for the night 2130hrs under the stars.
Still crossing the desert . Up at 0630hrs. Breakfast, saugs, beacon, chips, fried bread, tea. Started off 0730hrs, traveled for 50 miles and had to stop, they would not let us further, they said there was too much traffic on the road. Stooped at a filling up station at 1015hrs . Can’t leave until 0600hrs to-morrow. Bought 8L tins of peaches at Haifa 100miles. Which is 2/7.
Stopped at a staging camp at 1515hrs. Shall pick up our guns tomorrow morning. ½ of the chaps are going on leave now, 2 tomorrow. Bought some beer at the Naffee. Week but plenty of kick. We are 6 miles from Haifa in Palestine. It is a great place just like NZ the climate is I mean.
Went into Haifa on leave . Went up Mt Carmel seen Haifa from about 2500ft up and what a sight A place they call Carmel Forest is the place we were at. It is right on top of the hill City as you will know is all jews. Had some beer at a cabaret and the places are not dirty like Cairo. They are very clean and the girls are very clean. One came from Germany and one from Vienna just before the war.
There is a ship down in this port too. Went on leave tonight again got a pound this morning but this was soon spent. We pasted the evening in the Kings Bar, Haifa. Got home last night at 10pm to-night at 12pm
172 miles. Left the Staging Camp this morning at 0515hrs, my turn came when we left the flat and I done all the hills. I done all night to. We arrived at what they call the sand bowel at 1605hrs, 10 ½ hrs today. It is 450 miles by road from Mardi Camp to Haifa. We leave again to-morrow morning at 0500hrs We hope to be east side of Suez Canal by to-morrow night
Started off this morning at 0515hrs. Will do about 170miles across the Sinei Desert. Arrive at Suez Canal at 0604hrs got petrol and a good shower. Shall be leaving again to-morrow morning. There is not much in this camp. It is just a staging camp. 170 miles
0645hrs. Left this staging camp on the last stage for home. Drove over the canal bridge again so I did not see it again, a terrible mess up in the convoy. 3 others joined in , all Pagoes of course. Arrived at Mardi Camp 1330hrs, so 8 days 7hrs, 15 min. we went to Haifa and back 920miles. It was a great trip. Oranges, grapes, melons, bi——–.
Came back a day to soon. A Div Arty Parade this morning. Arch Galloway 3 stripes to-day. Received four parcels yesterday, two cakes, 1 biscuits, 1 tins(?) of stuff Went to the pictures with Norm. Wrote to Gran and Mum
Did not do any work again, to hot, just sit around and swet. We must all be losing weight. Bed bugs still around some more chaps lost there bunks yesterday. Clocks back ½ hr makes 6 ½ hours.
Still very hot. New Amsterdam left us was convoyed by the light cruiser just as she was going away another ship was sighted on the horison. Very well worked out we thought. The time was 1400hrs. The ship that we seen was only a armed Merchantman, so I hope we don’t meet anything , expect to reach land Monday
Clocks back 1/2hr. Still don’t know for certain whether the Art is going to M. East yet. Will be on this boat another 10 to 14 days yet past over the line at 1000hrs or there abouts don’t know yet the exact time. Going west now time 1700hrs. Seen no sharks yet but hope to soon.
Escort left us at night. Wind very strong. Clocks go back ½ hour. Right down to 2/- again. Won 30/- again playing pontoon. Expect to be in port Sunday or Monday our letters will be droped there. Having a cold bath every night (salt water) Getting a ration of Lime juice twice a day. Received a voucher for 8d from the Pat board.
3 weeks at sea. Sea very rough and wind strong. A monsoon. We will move out of it soon we hope. Some of the boys not feeling so good. Received so far from the pat board 3 pac cigs, 2 apples 3 pears 2 cakes of soap.
Clocks back 1 hour. Clocks now back 8 ½ hrs..
Sighted land 1350hrs. Arabia. Pulled into Aden and dropped anchor at 1630hrs. Seen our first Camel. It was walking along the street. We could see from the ship buildings are all grey stone and a lot of them have flat roofs . It is great to see the blacks. We have to get oil here. Can see the ———– Hotel, but ¼ mile over water have to go dry. Some of the natives are black as coal (——– up until tie up) Freemantle to Aden 14 days 23hours 30 min. Aden built on solid rock.
Left Aden 0900hrs no escort . Two other ships came in about 0600hrs. Tommies were on them. The blacks selling mellons 1/- ea. Bananas 12 for 2/- green and soft. Heat still bad on the boat. Entered Red Sea very calm like a lake. Land on either side. Dolphins very plentiful. A hot wind like a north west at home.
Sea a bit rough today. Seen first shark one about 7 – 8 ft long , first one so far. We are now within range of the enemys planes long range, A lot of chaps have got the runs. The doctor said the water is the cause that is the water we got from Aden. Canteen closed up. Expect to land Friday 11th.
The weather is a bit cooler now, the last two nights have been alright. Paterson —– and I started a board 1 – 6 and threw the dice. We made about 10 pounds between us. I have now got 8pound again. The clocks went back ½ hour that makes 91/2 hours behind NZ. Got 2 oranges, 2 pks cigs, 1pk tobacco 4 apples, 1 cake chock from the Patriotic Fund.
Port Tewfick. Landed 1330hrs out in stream. There were a lot of boats there. Had our first look at the Wogs. They are very dirty and very black. We came ashore in fighters about 100 per boat. It was great to see some of our own boys and are they brown. We seen all sorts of ———– too. Went through Cairo 1930hrs. Great buildings.
Our first day in Egypt. We had tea at 2130hrs last night and then to bed, up at 0530 this morning, it does not get hot until about 0900hrs and then until about 1700hrs. After that it starts to cool down, it is very cool at night and it never seems to get dark at night. We can see the three pyramids from our camp. Our camp is Mena Camp
I think Dad was in this camp last time. So far our food is very good. The glare of the sand is very bad.hard on the eyes.. Got paid today 1 pound equale to 1 pound and 7pence. The water here is pretty good but it is very warm. I suppose we will get used to that. Have not seen Norm yet for he is in Maadi MC about 14 miles from here.
Got payed 100 Akers (?) for a bottle of drink 31/2 A/C 8d Large cake choc 20/A 4/- 6 sticks gum 4/A 10d. There are some wonderful things over here to buy but we would have to be getting 5 pounds per week to get all we wanted, somethings are cheap and some are very dear. Sunglasses 4/- about double our price.
Went to Mence (?) and seen the grounds and sphinks, they are very interesting and old. It cost 20 Ahkers for 5 of us for a guide. We got some orange drinks which were very cold and we seen our first girl and what a beautie. Went into a shop and it was full of tinned salmon and other things we have never seen at home for years.
Marched past bridge and then had talks on health . We have not had any leave yet. There has not been any cards been played here yet, reason, money very short. Things aare very dear here. Got oranges again.
Went to Mena again got a guide half-way in but had to walk home 3 miles. Had my first wiskey no good don’t like it. Have not had any beer here yet. I don’t think it is much good. 6 of us went to Merva (?) House one round 53 Ahkers equals 10 shillings 7 ½ pence. Got home 2200hrs.
One week in Egypt. Done squad drill all morning in the hot. I am getting very brown about the arms and legs. Morning tea this morning, tea and watermelon, for dinner tonight we had oranges chopped up into boiled rice, we got orange for lunch again with other stuff besides of course. We get 50 Cigs and two matches every week free.
Getting used to the weather a bit already. In Cairo there are hundreds of tailor shops all hand done. Seen some good purses around 150Ak will get one next week when I get some more money. Had an Ice cream first since I left NZ with fruit. 4AK about it cheaper, about double.
Had first leave into Cairo went in by trucks we had to ware longs for at night the are marlaria Mossccators about, we were pested with boot blacks they are just kids but they can sure polish shoes. Went to Globe Cabaret 5AC to get in. Went into some dark streets to see some of the low class and are they dirty.
No more rout marches for a week M.O. said that we had been getting too much for one week and that it was the wowwrk that we were doing that was upsetting us, for we are far from used to the climate over here yet so they cut it down a lot. Expect to be posted to the Div. in about 3 weeks.
Went in on leave just went around town with some chaps. I have got a bit more sense now and did not get————– but they got mixed up with some bootblacks. Seen some more wonderful things to-day. We went to the Bazaar, that is the place where they make all the shops for the shops but the prices high.
The chaps are going down like flies . We have 40 in hospital out of 220 so you see what the climate is like, nine went into town into the hospital tonight. One or two dust storms are passing through our camp and are they a curse . Everything we have gets covered in sand our ears a good catcher to, not so bad on the eyes.
Received a letter from Norm. Had to fix up leave, change Fridays for today meet him at 2.45 outside NZ Club. It was great to see him again, he has aulted very much. He said I seemed to himjust like a kid he told me some great tales. We had a great day together I left him at 9.45. He wants to get home.
Not feeling so good. Have got a small pain in my tummy I don’t know what it is yet. I hope it is not the runs. There is a lot of disentory amongst the boys . There is only 3 out of our unit not had them yet. Changed 1 Aus pound got 68 Ahkers for it have got one more note left, but have got about 25/- in silver
Still feeling funny I hope it does not come to anything. Sold a NZ shilling to a chap for 5 AK made ½ AK. The weather is getting a bit hotter now. Our camp area has now been proclaimed a malarias area. There are 4 in hospital with malaria now we have to ware our long pants with shirt sleeves rolled down.
Went to Cairo Zoo, seen my first live snakes, python also. There were mostly beasts from Africia, birds also. We traveled 20 miles in the tram for 2 ½ d very cheap. Have seen no gambling going on yet since we landed. We had ice-cream and orange drinks 8 ½ Ahker each at the——– a open air sort of grill or tea rooms.
Got my C.Hat changed this is the first change I have had since I first got it., so now I got a pommy’s hat a bran new one now. Still getting plenty of water melons nearly every day. Had no oranges for about a week. For dinners we get a lot of tomatoes, melons, fig jam to. Puddings getting a wee bit worse lately
Had no mail yet but I suppose I am expcting to much to soon. I am hoping to get a cake with our first mail. The heaat is not so great yet but the worst time is at mess times when we are having lunch and tea. We sweat very bad for there is so many in such a confined space.
Pay day again. I had to get some this week as I never got any last week. I am trying to get some more credit in my pay book in case I want some money in a hurry sometime. No cricket this week we played last week, a Essex Reg team. I made 12. I hope to be playing in two or three weeks.