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