Archive for March, 2016

orderly officer

Posted: March 29, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

I am orderly officer today, and in consequence have not to go on parade. The rest have been on a ten mile route march, and it is very hot. So far everything has gone well, I have Ralph Claridge for my platoon sergeant – he is an old P.A.C. I received your cable alright.


Tel-el Kebir

Posted: March 27, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

The school broke up on Saturday. We had a couple of exams, the results of which we are waiting on. Up to date I have an average of over 90%.

Saturday afternoon I went through the Mahomet Ali and Sultan Hassan Mosques, also the Coronation Mosque. I think I described them all at length to you about fourteen months ago.

Saturday night I stayed at the National Hotel, and came down here by the mid-day train on Sunday. We had dinner on board in the dining car, it was very good. Here I received a parcel of chocolate, note book and sox, also letters 23/3/16.

I suppose your hot weather is about finished now, ours is just starting. All the men have been issued with Khaki drill and helmets. I have been posted to “B” Coy. No 6 Platoon. I tried to get back to “A” Coy., but couldn’t do it. Major Herbert is my O.C. Went on parade this morning and did about a five mile route march. So far in this battalion commissions have been given to Beresford, Auld, English, Hoggarth, Baynes, Jose and myself.

Commissions – Second Lieutentant

Posted: March 21, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

Letters arrived today, I sent my batman down to Tel-el Kebir and I scored six. Lieut. Heritage is a 10th Battalion man. Private MacKenzie was in my platoon after we left Lemnos. I saw Jack Clarke for about four days, he is looking very fat and well, still a second Lieut. You can bet we had lots to talk about. He saw Jonah too. Billy Kelly is back with his regiment now. The bank’s parcel has not come to light – the letter arrived but no parcel.

The course finishes Saturday, I have got a fairly good percentage. Musketry oral 88 and 96, Written papers 93 and 80, Company Drill 92. We have several more to pass.

Today our Commissions came through. I am rated as Second Lieut. I advised you of my promotion by cable today.

I saw Denis Jones a couple of days ago, he was looking  very well and fat. Jose, Beresford, Hoggarth, and myself were promoted in the 50th, and Kinnish and Sandland in the 10th. There is a big move of troops on, but as usual we know nothing.

Fed up with Cairo…

Posted: March 11, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

We had another exam today, a written one this time. I think I did fairly well. This afternoon is a half holiday. I had to go to Cairo about some business, and came back as soon as I had finished, am absolutely fed up with Cairo.

I invested in a fountain pen today. Tried for an Onoto but couldn’t get one. Managed to get a self filling one made by the same people, a “reliable”. It doesn’t seem a bad one.

I believe our commissions are only a question of days now. The pay office have been advised that they are coming through. This is all I can think of.


Officer’s School of Instruction, Zeitoun

Posted: March 10, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

Well I am settled here all right. We are kept pretty busy, going all day fairly solidly, and at night writing up notes. There are about 400 men here for the Officers School, most of them are Officers. We live in huts, 3 or 4 to a hut, and have batmen to look after us. We mess at the rate of 12 Piastres a day, so you see we live pretty well. I am with Bill Christopher, and a couple of other fine chaps. We have reveille at 5.35, morning tea 6a.m., parade 6.15 – 8.30, breakfast 8.30, parade 10.15 – 12.30, Lunch 12.30, parade 2.15 – 4.30, tea 4.30, dinner 7p.m. Good enough eh!

The N.C.O’s. taking the course are treated exactly as officers. We have our first Musketry exam this afternoon. I got 88 out of 100, should have done better but messed up several very simple questions. It takes 75% to pass. The course is for three weeks.

I have just about completed my kit now, all I want is a trunk. Am afraid leather is out of the question – too dear – only about 12 pounds, here – the size I want. I fancy a sort of fibre with wood and brass slats at about 4 pounds. It is strong enough to jump on with both heels, so ought to do. Have to shell out 4 pounds for a suit tomorrow, have already paid 2 pounds for one. A valise was another article 4 pounds. This is a waterproof sleeping bag and kit combined.

I can’t spare much time to this letter I am awfully busy. Two thirds of the officers here are from English Regiments. I believe there is a big move of troops on now, and a rumour says the mails will be held up for six weeks – hope it isn’t true.

Hotel Metropolis Cairo

Posted: March 5, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

Jose and I left camp yesterday morning for Cairo with 25 pounds each in our pockets. We have leave till Sunday when we have to report at the Officer’s School of Instruction by 3p.m. We have a very nice room on the first floor of this hotel. It is right in the centre of the city.

Yesterday and today we have been flying around getting some sort of a kit together. It is a pretty expensive game, and I expect we will have a difficulty in making the 25 pounds spin out.

We went to the Kursaal last night, it was very good. They have a Revue on entitled “Smile up – keep on smiling”.

Last night I sent you a cable re change of address, hope you receive it all right.

2 March 1916 – commission

Posted: March 5, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

I was paraded before the Brigadier this morning and recommended for a Commission, and have been accepted. We had to give particulars of our previous experience and education. Education plays the major part. Dill Jose, Bill Beresford and Bill Hoggarth were paraded also. Jose and I leave for Cairo tomorrow on leave and a course of instruction. We were lucky to get the chance to attend this school too. Only two of us can go up. We will be away about a fortnight I think. We will get a grant of about 15 pounds to buy a kit with. I was recommended before in the 10th, but this move upset it all. I expect to be gazetted in a couple of days.

Well goodbye,
Lots of love,