Posted: January 5, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

The day after I wrote my last letter, we arrived in Alexandria. By midnight we were all packed on board trains, when we disentrained again it was at a place called Moaska Tel el Kebir, not very far from Ismalia on the Canal. We are on the edge of a desert again. It is very much like Mena. The nearest town is Zagazug, a fair sized town about 25 miles up the line. It is very neat and clean for an Egyptian town. I was up there on picquet a few nights ago. It was certainly very nice seeing a town again, but it was rather off patrolling round nearly all night.

The next day I went up again buying stores for the company and had a very pleasant time up till 9p.m. The last train leaves for Tel-el-Kebir about 7.30. I couldn’t get my goods before 9. Things looked a bit blue for a time until I found that a troop train was expected about 2a.m. Then ensued a pleasant wait of five hours on a cold station. I got home at 4a.m.

The last few days we have been swamped with mail – parcels, papers, and letters. I have lost count of the actual number that I received, but it was something like 30 letters, 10 parcels and 22 papers. So far I have only had time to skim through my letters. Most of the parcels seem to have arrived. I have got the waistcoat, rug, 2 tins tobacco, sox, handkerchiefs, chocolate, coffee, books, shaving soap, towels, and many articles I have forgotten for the moment. I sent a cable with Denis the other day 1/1/16. “Season’s greetings, all well, love Denis, Lance.”

Leave is granted to go to Cairo – Jonah went the day before yesterday, and had a very good time. Cairo is over 90 miles away, and it takes 3 to 4 hours by train. He met Witcomb up there. We are camped on the battlefield of the 1882 stunt, when the British attacked the Egyptians here. About half a mile out from here there are the old original trenches which the Gippos used.

Mr Rowe and major Hurcombe came back a couple of days ago from England. Mr Rowe is looking well. He say Coffey in England.

So far I have received 33 letters dating from the 31st October – two from Mr J.J.Sharp.

The maltese language is a mixture of French, Egyptian, and Spanish, but mostly Egyptian. All the boys are well – Jonah, Fordham, DuRieu, Lieuts. Fowler, Clark and Capt. Loutit. I saw Jack Angus the other day he is quite well. I heard from Mr.Logan through one of our fellows lately. Also received letters from Frank Goss. The rug I bought off Fordham is in Tom Whyte’s kit bag. You needn’t worry if you don’t hear from me for a month at a stretch sometimes, as when we are moving our mail is held up. Received a letter from Jack Clark, he was off to Tripoli. Well I must close now as I am very busy.

Yours with love,


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