Archive for April, 2016

Anzac Day

Posted: April 27, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

Well everything went off successfully the other night. We caught a steam launch, and travelled up to Ismailia. It was a pretty trip, only about 10 miles. Ismailia is a very pretty place from what I could see of it. The place is wholly French, and they specialize in gardens and trees. We had our dinner at the Ismailia Club. It is a very fine place, up to date in every respect. Altogether from the Brigade there were 48 of us who landed. We had a very good dinner and finished about 2.30a.m. Coming home we opened out and travelled at 18 knots per hour.

Ismailia is built on Lake Timeah. It is a pretty fair size, about 3 miles across. There are quite a number of boats there. Last night we all serenaded Beevor – headed by the C.O. too. We gave him “We are Beevor’s little lambs!” I will send you the words later.

Things are pretty brisk along here now. Engagements every day or so, and in force too. One this morning at Ismailia. We heard the firing. Can’t give you details now.

This is s copy of our menu:-

ISMAILIA CLUB —– 25th April 1916.
In commemoration of landing at Gaba Tepe on the 25th April 1916.
Soup a la landing
Fish bombed (Brighton Beach) Anafarta Sauce.
Unbullied – Fray Bentos Sauce
Roast Abdul – Allah Sauce
Fritze Taube Savoury – Armistice Ice Cream – Sarpe
Tiger’s Tooth Lone Pine – Deakins The Mighty Atom
Olive Grover Coffee
A Wee Drappie
Launch 2300

Whilst we were dining up there, our residue had a dinner down here
50th Infantry Battalion
13th Infantry Brigade

First Annual Anzac Dinner Serapeum 25th April 1916.
Soup – Adelaide (Oh to be there)
Fish a la Suez
Beer – Whisky
Bouef (Fray Bentos) Bully
Beer – Whisky – Wine
Poultry Allah Enuer Pasha
Beer – Whisky – Wine – Stout
Asparagus Fromme de Tin
Beer – Whisky – Wine – Stout – Liquers
Sweets a la “Seung Bee”
Cordial – Aerated Waters
Fruits ex Garden of Eden
Water (Members to provide their own water bottles and contents)
Cheese – Biscuits – Nuts (from Beachy) Raisins (the Dickens)
Drinks (ad infinitum) A
sprin 0500  26th April (at Dispensary)
Loyal Toast         Vice President
Overture        The Padre
Toast 3rd Brigade    President
Item            Lieut. Blake
Response        Lt.Col. Hurcombe V.D.
Solo            Lt. Bowden
Toast            Those who fell
Chorus            Ode to Alcohol
Song            Capt. J.C.Douglas
Song            Lieut. M.Gore

Stretcher Bearers will be in attendance at rear entrance of Mess at 0100 26th April.


Prince of Wales

Posted: April 26, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

I wonder what you people are doing now, you have some big celebration on I bet. We have had Brigade Sports this morning, and we will have Divisional this afternoon. I had a windfall yesterday of about half a dozen letters from you all, and I have to answer those dated 12th, 13th, 19th, 21st and 22nd of March, besides others.

We stand a good chance of getting Capt. Jeffries here as M.O. I hope he comes, he is a good man.
You make my mouth water with your “nice bright morning, with the dew sparkling on the grass”. Our feet get burnt with the sand here. The flies drink out of our eyes, and the glare burns your eyes up.

A lot of the Australians have gone away, some are in France, and others “rumoured” there. We will follow somewhere I expect in about a month’s time. That quotation “Boots, boots, boots etc” fits very aptly. It was so yesterday, we were out all day at that lagoon or oasis I told you of. It was a terrible day, men short of water, and not a breath of air.

I am getting an Anzac magazine posted to you. It was written by men in the Australian Army, whilst on Gallipoli – Bean is the editor. They are being sent from London. There was a picture man at the landing, but he was blown to atoms, before he had been in operation very long.

Things are getting very active between the Turks and ourselves along here. Our planes and theirs go on little bombing expeditions. Also our light horses here have brawls every now and then. We are looking out for a Turkish plane now. Dropped bombs at Kantara, travelling this way.

Some of the 16th Battalion got that bank’s parcel. This morning we had a church parade in memory of those who fell on the 25/4/15. The parson had a splendid subject, but didn’t rise to the occasion.

Afterwards I was swimming in the 120 yards for Officers. Didn’t do any good, managed to climb in third. Believe the first and second are ex State Champions of W.A. and S.A. There were fancy boats and fancy dress etc., but it was too hot and dry for my liking, so I hopped off.

I believe the Prince of Wales is going to be in attendance this afternoon. He seems to like the Australians, he is very popular here, with all our people. I am sending some photos and programmes etc. We have a piano , gramophone and violin in our mess here. We have a dinner at Ismailia tonight.

GOIC inspection

Posted: April 22, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

Things have been progressing lately. Thursday we had an inspection by the G.O.I.C. which means General Officer Commander-in-Chief. There were Generals galore. Generals Murray, Codlee, Cox, and about four or five Brigadier Generals. The Prince of Wales was amongst those present. It was quite a circus, there were about 40 on Murray’s staff, and they were galloping all over the show, like a race-course gone mad. All we had to do was go for a routine march and look pretty.

In the afternoon we had a mounted officer’s race, and I enclose a programme. Jean was hot favourite at 6 to 4 on Beachy Bill started at 3 to 1, Calamity Jane 4 to 1, Mr Booze 20 to 1, and Hippo was scratched. Half way over the course Jean stumbled and fell turning a complete somersault, Capt. Loutit was thrown and sustained scratches and a bleeding nose. I was trainer to Calamity Jane which finished a close first, followed by Beachy Bill. It was a good race and provoked much enthusiasm throughout the brigade. After that we had battalion swimming sports to decide the men entering for the brigade affair. I won the officer’s 120 yards sprint by a couple of lengths with plenty in hand.

I represent the battalion on Tuesday morning. Permission has been given us to wear ribbons on Tuesday. A blue ribbon for those who landed on the 25th and a red for those who served on the Peninsular. I still have both. The ribbons are to be worn on the right breast. There are very few here now who can sport both. Had a ride on Calamity  the other day – tried him in the prelim. The first ride for nearly two years.

Well I must close as I am very busy.

So long, Lots of Love, Lance.


Notes: the programme


(value 4000 Milliemes)

To be run on the Course North of camp.

This afternoon


About three Furlongs. To start at 1400.

(Horse permitting)

Captain Loutits br.m. (imp) JEAN. (Out of Bounds by order)

Captain Seagers ch.g.         BEACHY BILL (ped. Out of Krupps by Turkey)

Captain Fowlers b.g.           CALAMITY JANE (Out of Bed by Reveille)

Captain hancocks bk.g.      MR BOOZE (Out of condition by No Beer)

Captain Armitages br.g      HIPPO (Out of Elephant by Tidy)

Good Friday

Posted: April 18, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

We are getting plenty of dust and work. Friday will be Good Friday, I don’t know whether we will get a holiday or not. The 9th Light Horse had a stunt the other day, they are camped at Rail-head, and a party went out about 60 miles under Major Scott, and came across a party of Arabs and Turks sinking wells. Our chaps killed and wounded several, captured thirty odd including an Australia Lieutenant, only two got away – being wounded. We had one corporal killed. It was quite a successful little affair.

I received that parcel of Spirit Stoves. I can see myself having Bovril early in the morning.

On the 25th there is going to be a big sports meeting here. There have been company sports and the best men compete in battalion sports, and the best men then compete in brigade events and go on the Division if any good. There are a variety of races. I am going in for the Officers event of 120 yards. There is a 440 yards, but I didn’t fancy the distance. It would be “some” thing to win the Divisional event. In the evening all the officers who landed are having a dinner at the French Club Ismalia.


Posted: April 16, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

Received several letters dated 24 and 25 February, also parcel containing sox, tobacco, and chocolate.

We have been having awful weather here lately – dust storms day and night. One started on Wednesday night and has continued for about four days. Thursday afternoon my tent blew down, and all my property went scooting across the desert. I lost a lot of letters that were in it to be censored. Of course the place wasn’t in a mess.

Murray Fowler had received his Captaincy, and is my O.C. at present. I get on very well with him. Friday (yesterday) we went out due north from the camp, paraded to the canal, and about two miles out we came across an Oasis. The ground rose into small hills at one point. There were palm trees, bushes, reeds and a lake of brackish water. It was most peculiar, but very delightful. We camped there and had dinner. Today we have been out to some ranges, and did a little shooting.

I have a stretcher now, so far I have paid 25 pounds for my outfit. In Australia the same thing would have cost about 15 pounds.

Our correct address is “B” Coy. 50th Infantry Battalion, 13th Brigade, 4th Division, A.I.F Egypt.
So far I haven’t heard of the Christmas tin yet. It seems that there are a few people still knocking about with cold tootsies – and —- two in particular have no intention of joining apparently. I believe Frank Beaurepaire the swimmer is in charge of a Y.M.C.A. at Heliopolis.

Jack Clarke has been transferred into the Artillery. He is camped across the canal from us. I am seeing him tomorrow. I am sending some photos in which I figure. Jonah is O.K.

Some letters were damaged, as such there is a small section of text missing from this letter as indicated by —–

a horrible dusty hole

Posted: April 7, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

Did I tell you I was in “B” Coy under Major Herbert? He was taken to the Hospital today. I am living with Pat Auld. We have a tent to ourselves, and are very comfortable. Between us we have dug up a couple of tables, a camp stool, and a deck chair. We have our books and photos laid out in joyful array, and “everything in the garden is lovely”. I have a reinforced fibre trunk, and one of the officers is buying me a stretcher in town now, altogether my gear has cost me about 20 pounds. This is a horribly dusty hole. Dust is blowing in clouds at present. It is only a habit of the place though- about every hour a whirlwind blows through the tent.

There is going to be a big flare up on the 25th I believe. A dinner for all officers who landed, to be held at the French Club Ismailia, and aquatic sports for the men here.

I received part of a mail today – received some tobacco, also a letter from the young lady whose Billy I received. Got a letter from Bill Kelly, he is quite well. How do you like our regimental paper? Rather hot eh!
Had a swim in the Canal tonight, it was very fine, but is such a long way from the camp – about two miles over soft sand is no joke after a long swim.

Received two Sunday mails today. Don’t know when we are off to Europe.

Goodbye, Lance.

parcels and drills

Posted: April 5, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

Have just received a parcel containing chocolate, sox, medical stuff and some soups, the other day I received the one containing chocolate, tobacco, coffee and milk, not omitting the “Winning Post”. It is a source of great interest to all the crowd.

We are on pretty solid drill now 6-8.30, 9.30 – 11 o’clock, 3.30 – 5.30. It takes some getting up in the morning I can tell you.

The chief objects of interest here at present are dust storms. These we get about every half hour – a great life this. Have been censoring all the evening – a dead crook sort of a job. I met Teddy Parkes, Adjunct of the 16th last night. He used to work with me on Waste Books at the Bank.