Posted: February 21, 2015 by saraherhodes in 1915

We started Brigade work on Monday. It means that instead of only a battalion, we are drilling with 4,000 men. We did attacking scheme over about four miles of country. I suppose you have heard all the details of the attack on the Canal, we don’t know very much, but boiled down it is this. The Canal was defended by about 6,000 British, mostly Gurkhas. There were about 3,000 casualties with the Turks, and about 200 with the British. The Turks brought water in drums, the drums were to be used for making rafts, also big iron boats, there were eight boats and they were filled with water and dragged on sledges over the sand by the soldiers.

The Turks are buried in big pits with anything from 20 to 30 in each grave. In some cases they are buried so shallowly that their boots can be seen sticking out of the sand. We got this news from the Brigade Major.

On Tuesday we had a light parade. Went out and carried out attack quite close to the camp, and then came in to dinner. We had the afternoon off on account of having to go on parade again at 7p.m. We went out and conducted another attack in the dark. We had to march miles over the hills carrying out all sorts of movements. It was 3.30a.m. before we got back. We were not allowed to carry great coats or blankets. We didn’t get a chance to have any sleep. To balance this we had all the next day off, so it pays to do a little night work at times. Most of our training now takes the form of attack.

We were paid in the morning and then those who had not been successfully vaccinated were done again for luck. We were afterwards given leave from 2p.m. to 10.30p.m. As I happened to be orderly corporal I was not allowed to leave the camp. I will also lose a full day’s leave on Saturday, but will redeem it next week I hope.

We are being fed very well now, although our only meat food is stew. We get a pound of meat and a pound of bread per day from the Government, and we are allowed 6d. per day mess allowance with this our Quarter-master buys anything necessary for the Company, such as jam, porridge, and vegetables. Our menu is stew with porridge about twice a week for breakfast, sometimes a couple of hard boiled eggs for a change, also tea without milk. Dinner – bread, jam, and a tin of fish among three men. Tea – another dose of stew, bread, jam and tea. We can generally toast our bread if we like. Our mess puts in 5 paistres per week, which keeps us in butter at the rate of a pound per day of best Australian at the price of 9 paistres per pound. You will think we are getting on pretty well, and so we are I think, but we don’t dare let the Authorities know it.

There was a lacrosse match played between a couple of Territorial teams the other day. We saw the notice of it in the paper, and wrote them re. a match and a loan of sticks. One of our fellows saw their Secretary, and found that they had about sixty lacrosseurs with them, and could put practically a full International team in the field. They are loaning us their sticks to find out the best twelve men in the division, with a view to an All Australian v All England game. Last night we had a meeting of lacrosseurs of the 10th Battalion, and formed “The 10th Battalion lacrosse Club”. We had a very successful little meeting, there being fifteen present. We elected officers, and chose a team to play the 9th battalion. We decided on All Blue for our colours, blue sweater, and dungaree trowsers. We played that match this afternoon. We were short of sticks to begin with, so played a scratch match with Queensland. We absolutely walloped them. At half time more sticks arrived and we played a match – two quarters of 15 minutes each. We lined ‘em up to the tune of 11 goals to nothing. It was like playing with the old North Adelaide’s again, there were so many of the old players. We played within 300 yards of Cheop’s Pyramid. Today we completed our recruit-ship. It is six months today since we joined the Military.  It seems longer some times doesn’t it?


Notes: This letter appears to be from the 18th of February 1915.

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ColoniesMap1914 19141208


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