Thursday, May 20, 2010

Zeitoun, 26/5/15

[Continued from last letter]

I am continuing this somewhat disjointed epistle from camp. We dropped anchor at Suez about eight o'clock on Tuesday morning but our Company did not disembark until about 6 pm. 'B' Coy had gone on by an earlier train. We left at about 6.40 and arrived at Cairo at 1 o'clock and here at 2.30 am. The Country at the Suez end is desert, but as we came higher up canals and water races became thicker and the ground cultivated. Our camp here at Zeitoun is right on the edge of the desert, nothing but sand. The heat is intense- the Red Sea was nothing to it. The parade timetable has been modified to suit the climate now that the summer is coming on. Reveille blows at 5 am, morning coffee at 5.30, parade 6 to 9, breakfast 9.15, indoor parade 10.30 to 1, then dinner and parade 4.30 to 6 pm, lights out 10.15.
We will not be here long about 10 days we think when we will go on to the Dardenelles to join the Main Force. The New Zealanders who are working in with the Australians have lost heavily but have been doing great work. We hear some great tales of their doings there. It is likely that when we go forward we will join our various regiments in that case my address will be 2nd Canty Infantry Regt but I will advise you further as to that. We have not quite found our feet yet here but the natives appear for the most part to be a dirty lot. Well, I will post this now.
Best love to all,

29th May, Saturday

We have now been here four days and the heat has been terrific, 118* in the shade on Thursday, the local papers are commenting on the heat. The evenings and mornings are cool however and one lies low for the few hours at midday.
I have not been able to see much of the country yet and as we will be leaving earlier than was expected (tomorrow morning at 6 am) it is not likely hat I will see a great deal yet awhile.
We have done a little drill here on the desert the dust is fearfull.

[* 118 F is 47.8 degrees Celsius]

Note: There is some interesting information about the camp at Zeitoun, and some photos at the Digger History website, here:

Here is a map of the Zeitoun camps, just for interest.

1 comment:

  1. Think the locals still are 'a dirty lot'. Was just passing on the family folklore of Ken bringing home that skin mite from Egypt and sharing it around. What was it called? Actually story of the week is how I cut Ken's hair when he was younger. Boys cannot believe he allowed it. I believe tears may have been shed, tears of laughter on my part from memory.