The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918
The Port Said Rest Camp and No. 14 A.G.H. held a Combined Aquatic Carnival on June 22nd., in the dockyard basin beside the hospital.
Many visitors from Port Said crossed the Canal and the gathering presented a fine sight, the hospital "blues" making a pleasing contrast to drab khaki, and the snow-white dresses and flannels of the civilians present.
The fourteen events attracted 215 entries, and the swimming was of a very high class, especially in the long distance race, which Staff-Sergeant Joyner won by about three lengths, with a like distance between second and third. The most interesting event was the Relay Race, in which eight teams faced the starter, one of them representing the Italian contingent. Tpr. Walker, of the "Box-ons" team, won with plenty in hand; but the fight for second place was very keenly contested, not more than a length separating the competitors in second, third and fourth places.
Both the Red Cross and the Y.M.C.A. erected marquees and served refreshments to patients and visitors. The Rest Camp Band played selections during the afternoon. In the evening a concert was given by the "Whizz Bangs", the Rest Camp Concert Party.
Following is the detailed list of the winners:—
100 yds. Convalescent Ward and No. I Rest Camp: Tpr. F.B. Walker, 1; Cpl. B. Burry, 2.
220 yards Open Championship. All ranks. Army and Navy: Tpr. E. Watson, t Tpr. A.B. Leyland, 2; Tpr. H.G. McCrae, 3.
Neatest Springboard Dive. Hospital and Rest Camp: Tpr. Kirkwood, 1; Capt. Luxmore, 2.
100 yards Championship. Rest Camp Leave Party only: Tpr. J. S. Kean, 1; Tpr. C. J. Haynes, 2.
Novelty Race, (with lifebuoy). All ranks Army and Navy: Tpr. H. Thompson, 1; A.B. Chettleborough, 2.
100 yards Officers' Race. Hospital and Rest Camp: Major Arnold, 1; Capt. Luxmore, 2.
Relay Race. 490 yards. All ranks Army and Navy: "Box-ons", 1; "Sydneyites", 2.
Greasy Pole. Hospital and Rest Camp: Tpr. Reading.
Hospital Staff Handicap, 100 yards: Pte A. Adams, 1; Pte I. Boyd, 2.
Best High Dive. Hospital and Rest Camp; Tpr. T. Watson, 1; Tpr. Cochrane, 2; Tpr. E. Watson, 3.
Fancy Dress: Lieut. Ward.
Long Distance Race. Rest Camp and Hospital: Sgt. Joyner, 1; Tpr. McCrae, 2; Cpl. Free-mantle, 3.
Dive and Longest Underwater Swim. Rest Camp and Hospital: Sgt. Mc Willi am, 1; Major Arnold, 2.
100 yards. Rest Camp and Hospital: Tpr. J.S. Kean, 1; Tpr. F. Smedley, 2.
Horse Show At Ismailia.
The Military Horse Show held at the Sports Ground, Ismailia, on June 12th. and 13th. proved to be one of the most successful exhibitions of its kind yet held in Egypt, and it is doubtful whether horsemen from so many different nations (Allies against a common enemy) have ever competed against one another at a similar display in this or any other country.
Tall trees surrounding the ground afforded spectators a pleasant shade from the sun's rays and the cloudless sky seemed to be intensely reflected in the blue waters of Lake Timsah, in the distant background. Bright flags fluttering in the breeze gave a carnival air to the gathering, and the whole setting was picturesque. From early morning until well on into the afternoon, cars, lorries, gharries and various other vehicles were used to convey visitors from far and near to the scene. The ringside was thronged early each day by those who did not want to miss any of the features of the programme.
Officers and men of British, French, Australian, New Zealand, Italian, Indian and Egyptian Forces were present; but although khaki was the predominant colour, it was relieved here and there by the dresses of ladies, the bright red and blue uniforms of the Spahis, and the white summer garb of British and French sailors. Much interest was taken in the band of the Chasseurs d'Africque, which enlivened the show at intervals throughout the day, with martial music drawn from cavalry trumpets and quaint key bugles to the accompaniment of deep rolling side drums. The lion's (or should it be kangaroo's) share of the musical part of the proceedings, however, fell on the shoulders of the 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade Band, which, under the able leadership of Lieut. F.O. Boyle, played popular selections, and contributed in no small manner to the success of the Show.
Interest chiefly centred in the performance of those bizarre troops, the Spahis, who won plenty of applause with their fascinating "Fantasia." To the accompaniment of weird music, these troops, mounted on grey Arabs, dashed into the ring, and we had a display of "Parthian" shooting, and various other kinds, which involved the rapid handling of two carbines by each man, who could sling them as quickly as they were fired, to make way for fierce looking sword-swinging tactics.
The mule race for Allied Naval riders caused uproarious excitement. At times during this event the ring seemed full of plunging, prancing mules. The sailor men couldn't get any steerage way on at all in some cases, and even when they did, it was only a matter of a slight prop on the part of the mule, and the rider metaphorically bit the dust for a little while. The judges had their work cut out to decide who to place in this event.
The Show was held under the Patronage and in the presence of Major General A.R. Hoskins, C.M.G., D.S.O., Colonel J.M. Arnott, C.M.G., Commandant A. & N.Z.T.C. & D. Camp, Major C.S. Reynard, Administrative Commandant, Ismailia, and Colonel Lebon, Commanding French Cavalry.
Brigadier-General Peck, C.M.G., D.S.O.,R.A., was the most indefatigable official on the ground, and his unflagging energy and personal supervision of practically every every were largely responsible for the success of the exhibition. Co-operating with Bgrdr.-General Peck on the Committee were Major S.E.B. Grimwood, A.L.H., Major A. B. Paterson, Australian Remount Depot, Major E. R. Tomlinson, D.A.A G. A. & N.Z.T.C. & D.C., Major Brooks, D.S.O.. A.L.H., Capt.Pichon, Chasseurs d'Africque, Lieut. A.C. Pigou, N.Z.M. Rifles, Capt. R.N. Cadden. A.L.H., Capt. CJ.S. Clarke, D.G., Capt. A.J. Chauvel, A.L.H., Capt. Broadley, AL.H., Lieut. Land, A.L.H., Capt. Moyle, A.L.H., Lieut. C.E. Hughes, A.L.H., and Capt. P.P. Buckland,
A.L.H. Both prior to and during the Show these officers worked assiduously.
Results of some of the principal events are as follow:—
Best Officers' Charger (Light-wright): Brig. General Beatty's; Lieut.-Colonel J.C. Dunbar's, 2.
Officers' Charger (Heavy-weight): Capt. Joynson's, 1; Capt. A.J. Chauvel's, 2.
Officers Pony: Capt. A.J. Chauvel's, I; Major Foster's, 2.
Light-weight Troop Horse & Turnout: Pte. Helme (Lancers), 1; Tpr. J.D Raine (A.L.H.), 2.
Heavy-weight Troop Horse and Turnout; Tpr. Gould, (A.L.H.), 1; Sgt. Dore (I.D.A.C), 2.
French Officers' Charger: Lieut. Zimit's. 1; Capitaine Guichard's, 2.
Best G.S. Waggons: Australian A.S.C, 1; New Zealand, 2.
Best Limber Turnout:— Battery R.F.A., 1; A.L. Horse, 2.
Officers' Charger Jumping: Capt. Knight, 1; Capt. Joynson, 2.
Troop Horse Jumping: Corporal Belford, 1; Sgt. Solomon, 2.
First Mule Race (Allied Naval Riders); Stoker Udey (British Navy), 1; Yeeho (French Navy), 2.
Second Mule Race (Allied Naval Riders); Benicasse (French Navy), 1; Stkr. Udey (British Navy), 2.
Best Humorous Turnout: 3rd L.H.T. Regt, 1; Aus. Remount Depot, 2.
Amateur Frolic Company.
Concert parties are the rage in Palestine, and one of the best is the A.F.C. Amateur Frolic Company, which gave an entertainment on June 29th. last, somewhere in the Promised Land. The stage was erected in the interior of a hangar, and the scenery was the work of A/M A.R. Betteridge. The Company has a fine orchestra, many of the players having been professionals before the war, and great praise is due to the conductor, A/M G. Hampton, whose untiring efforts have brought it to its present state of perfection. Perhaps the best vocal item in the first half of the programme was the song, "Night Dreams," rendered by A/M Dagwell. A/M's Luxton and Lander received much applause for their duet "The Battle Eve." An acrobatic turn by Cpl. Clutterbuck and A/M Shiers, a rag-time selection by A/Ms Dawes and Gilberg, and Cpl Taylor's song "Friend of Mine," were all highly popular items. The second half of the programme opened with a musical farce entitled "Fortune Hunting." The two concluding songs "The Australian Rag" and "For me and my Girl", were sung both by the Company and the audience. Praise is due to the stage manager, A/M. C. Dawes, also to Sgt. O.H. Coulson, who designed the unique programme cards. The Frolics are now preparing a new programme, which will be staged at an early date.
Australian Commonwealth War Savings Certificates are in great demand with the A.I.F. in Egvpt and Palestine. During the months of April, May and June, 1918, 140 applications were received at the Staff Pay Office, Cairo, totalling £12,400. Apart from the fact that by investing their undrawn pay in this manner, the troops are helping to finance our share of the War from Australian sources, the investment is a very attractive one. The return is 41/2 % compound interest, free of all taxation; and there is no doubt that, after the War, taxation will of necessity be much higher than, ever before.