The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918
Catering and Comfort
Catering and Comfort.
Every arrangement had been made for the comfort of spectators. In the officers' enclosure the seats were planks laid on sand bags. N. C. O's and men had a grandstand composed of G. S. wagons, placed end to end. There were two or three score of them, and each was crowded with happy warriors. It was a fine idea to utilise the wagons thus.
The catering left nothing to be desired. The A.L.H. Canteen was one of the busiest centres of the ground. At the eleventh hour, it was found that the original arrangements could not be carried out; but the—th Regt. A.L.H. came to the rescue, and by dint of day-and-night labour, a record-breaking trip to Cairo, and return, by an officer and a certain number of other ranks, to procure supplies, the untiring efforts of the regiment's quarter-master and staff, the morning of the 9th. dawned with the big job practically completed. Throughout the day, tea, cakes, and all the "trimmins" of a first-class refreshment booth were dispensed to a very hungry, very dry, but most appreciative clientele. No small amount of the kudos are due to Canon Garland, who, as representative of the Church of England Australian Comforts' Funds, came forward with 5 cwt. of cakes.
At intervals during the day selections were played by the band of the—th. A.L.H., in charge of Lieut. F.O. Boyle, and that of the—th. A.L.H., bandmaster, Sgt. H. Gentley. Both bands played excellently, and their music was a very pleasing feature of the day. Corp. E. Flint and Tprs. E. A. Black and R. E Deanison, of the former, and Tpr. A. Colles and F. L. Thorpe, of the latter, contributed delightful solos. Bookies, of course, were in evidence laying the odds at the double, and they did a brisk business. One chap had fashioned his money bag from a Turkish Camel pack, captured in the Beersheba stunt.
It would be easy to fill pages with description of the sports, and it is certain that those who watched them have vivid records etched on their memories. The programme was entered upon at about 09,00, and finished just as twilight came stealing down the hill slopes. There" was a suitable interval for luncheon, of course, but otherwise the hours were packed with stirring events, and no spectator had the slightest chance to feel bored. Dull minutes were cut right out.