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Gallipoli Diary


Tuesday Dec 1st 14

Anchored at Suez 8 am.
Fine day northerly breeze.
Suez is pretty & picturesque

page 40

Orders received here to
proceed to Alexandria and
disembark. German prisoners
were transferred to HMS
Hampshire, which ship proceeds
to England. We entered the
canal at 1 pm followed
by other NZ ships then
the Australians. Disembarkation
orders from Lt. General Sir
Jas. Maxwell commanding
forces in Egypt received at
Suez. We go into camp at
Zeitun near Cairo and
Australians at Mena — a
few miles distant. One staff
officer from each brigade
proceeded by rail, Suez to
Cairo to arrange camps.

Canal is picqueted every
few miles mostly by page 41 Indian troops, who
exchanged greetings as we
passed. In consequence of
the recent disturbance by Turks
in vicinity of Canal we
have armed guards on duty
and an 18 pr Q.F. field gun
mounted on boat deck, besides
2 machine guns ready for action.
Bright moonlight for trip
through Canal, & pleasant passage
with possibility of being fired
upon just to make it interesting.

Each ship is fitted with a
searchlight in bow for navigating
the Canal, which is barely 100 yds
in width in many places.

Wednesday Dec 2nd

Arrived at Port Said
12-30am & commenced
coaling by natives.

page 42

Went on board Maunganui
9-30am. Three French warships
and two British (“Swiftsure” &
another) in port and a
large amount of merchant
shipping. Gurkha & Sikh
Regiments in camp ashore

No sign of enemy through
Canal trip. Left port
for Alexandria 3-30 pm
amid scenes of tremendous
enthusiasm when passing
Warships & Transports.

Port Said pretty place
& interesting to a visitor

Fine day and weather
now much cooler.

Thursday Dec 3rd

Arrived off Alexandria at
dawn & moored at 10 am page 43 berthed alongside quay
at 2 pm but will not
disembark until Saturday.

Great deal of shipping here
and about 25 steamships
captured from Germans and
Austrians since war began.

Went ashore this evening
to Club de Anglais of which
we have been made hon.
members. The best quarter
of the city is very well
built and very fine at
night when all lit up as
I saw it tonight. But the
native areas about 2 miles
of which I passed in a cab
going to the wharves, have
narrow streets, most evil
smelling, and cafés, saloons
and open bars etc galore. page 44 The work of unloading
horses & military stores goes on
and trains for Cairo leave
every hour or two.

Friday Dec 4 th

Showery day but rain does
not last long as only
about 2 inches fall during
a year. Unloading of stores
& troops goes on. Ruahine
Coy & portions of H. Bay Coy
with reg'l camp equipment
entrained for Cairo during
afternoon. I went into city
in evening & visited the
Khedivial Club, a splendidly
equipped private institution.

Also went through town this
morning and lunched at
English Club.

page 45

Saturday Dec 5 th

Unloading of stores and
transport continues. I
went into town this morning
& expect to entrain for
Zeitun camp in evening.

Showery morning but
cleared up before noon.

On leave afternoon and
drove round the city of

Sunday Dec 6 th

The remainder of our
reg't. entrained at noon
for Cairo. Morning was
occupied in entraining of
stores & equipment from “Arawa”

Arrived Cairo at(121 miles)
at 5.30 pm and at Zeitun
page 46 (6 miles out) at 6.30 pm and
marched in to camp (about
1 mile from station).

is situated on a desert
waste but just bordering
on the suburbs of the city
with train & electric tram
service within a few minutes
walk from camp. The trams
are very luxurious, fast &
silent & the finest cars
I have seen. There are two
classes & soldiers are charged
only 1 piastre (2 ½) 1st class
& ½ piastre 2nd class for the 6
mile run. Train fares are
also very reasonable and
concessions are made to troops.

We carried our blankets
from the station and page 47 bivouaced in the desert the
first night as transport
for tents was not available

Monday Dec 7th

Day was occupied in
pitching camp and
settling down. As far
as one can see looking
to the East (away from
the city) there is nothing
but desert. This is our
training area. The ground
is a gravelly sand just
loose enough to make
walking heavy going &
not a vestige of growth
to be seen. A large force
of English Territorials are
camped close to us and page 48 have been here nearly three
months. They expect to go to
the front any time now.

They are Manchester & East
Lancashire Regt's. Infantry &

Tuesday Dec 8th

Easy day to allow men to
settle down. Prohibition of liquor
in camps is now done away
with & canteens are established
as in English camps.

Railways here are run on
English lines & seem to be
splendidly organised. A double
line runs from Cairo to Alexandria

Visited Cairo “Kursaal” Theatre
in evening. The men are
allowed leave everyday from
5 pm to 9.30 pm

page 49

Wednesday Dec 9th

Heavy showers of rain
fell at intervals, and is
very welcome but we may
now have no more for
months as this locality
is practically rainless.

Began training in earnest
again today & the battalion
is shaping very well indeed.

Thursday Dec 10th

Fine weather again but
nights here are very cold.

Training as usual.
News of destruction of
German warships, [unclear: Sharnhorst]
Gniesenan & Leipzig at Falkland
Is. by British squadron under
Vice Ad. Sir F. Sturdee.

page 50

Friday Dec 11th 14

Company training. —
Coy. of Ceylon Infantry
today attached to our batt'n
and are camped with us.

Saturday Dec 12th 14

Brigade Training in morning and
easy afternoon in camp.

Sunday Dec 13th

Divine service 9 - 30 a.m.
general leave from 11 am. I
visited Pyramids & Sphinx. Lunched
at Grand Continental & dined at
[unclear: Sanlths]. Very interesting day &
pretty drive from town to Pyramids

Monday Dec 14th

Battalion training — I have
bad attack of influenza and page 51 remained in camp.

Tuesday Dec 15th 1914

Quiet day. Taranaki Coy being
on brigade fatigue duties. I
am still nursing the influenza.

Wednesday Dec 16th 14

I stayed in camp owing to
severe cold. Coy did usual
training in the field.

Thursday Dec 17th 14

I remained in camp.
— Usual battalion & company
training was carried out.

Friday Dec 18th 14

Went out on company
training. News received of
shelling of Scarboro' & Hartle-
by German warships
several hundred casualties
on British coast.

page 52

Egypt proclaimed a British
Protectorate. Prince Hussein
Kamel Pasiha as Sultan.

Saturday Dec 19th

Platoon training to noon,
half holiday as usual from
1 pm. I visited Cairo
Zoological Gardens which
I very much admired.

Dined at Shepheards' with
Harston Rawson & Jardine.

Sunday Dec 20-14

Wellington Battn' with
other troops left camp
[unclear: 6] - 30 am & entrained for Cairo
where we lined the streets
for the procession and
ceremonies of formally
proclaiming the Sultan.

Marched back to camp
(7 miles) arriving 12-30 pm

page 53

Sunday afternoon free.
Stayed in camp for a rest
this afternoon. Proclaiming
of Egypt a protectorate seemed
to be taken kindly and
with satisfaction generally
by the population.

Received first letters from
home since leaving NZ.

Monday Dec 21st

Usual fine weather and
company training was
carried out.

Tuesday Dec 22nd

Taranaki & Ceylon coys.
marched out to “Virgins Breast”
hill & took part in field
operations of English brigade.
returned via Heliopolis
after marching 7 miles each
way to the training area.

page 54

Wednesday Dec 23

N.Z. Division & the
Aust. Light Horse route
marched through Cairo and
saluted General Maxwell
at the Opera Square. Returned
to camp at 3 pm. The
city was gay with bunting
and we were well received.

Thursday 24th

Company training on
the desert until 2 - 30 pm.

Attended a dinner at
Shepheards' Hotel of [gap — reason: illegible]officers &
former officers of 7th Reg't
Captains Glenhill & Acton of
our allie[unclear: d] reg't, the Royal
Irish, being present.

Cairo city was a very
animated & lively spectacle
on Xmas Eve —

page 55

Dec 25 – Xmas Day

Church parade 8 - 45 am.
dined in cap & had a
quiet day. glorious weather
general leave & most of men
& officers gone sight seeing.

Dec 26th. Saturday

General leave today. I
lunched at Grand Continental
with Ceylon Officers & then
attended English Territorial
sports at grounds of the
Khedivial Sporting Club
a pretty spot on the banks
of the Nile.

Pvte Cooper of Hawkes Bay Coy
died in hospital of pneumonia.

Sunday Dec 27 - 14

Church parade 9 - 45 am
Generals Birdwood & Godley and
Hon. T Mackenzie attended

page 56

Monday Dec 28-14

Company training.
(company in attack)

Tuesday Dec 29 - 14

Company Training (attack
and defence) – 8 am to 12 noon
and Night operations 7 pm
to 11 - 30 pm on open country
towards Suez Road Tower.

Wednesday Dec 30 - 14

The N.Z. Division complete
was inspected and marched
past Generals Birdwood and
Godley in front of Zeitoun
camp. Hon T McKenzie was
present. Returned camp 11 am
Marched out at 1 - 15 pm and
practiced entrenchments.

Rec'vd. 2nd mail from N.Z.
letter & 16 th Nov from Rita.

page 57

Thursday Dec 31st - 14

Company training 8 - 10 am
dined in town in evening
and saw New Year in with
honours. Returned to camp
2 am by train. Paraded
at 3 am for night operations
in the field. Night march
& attack at dawn, returning
to camp 11 am No holiday
was observed on 1st Jan.