Monday 1st March,
On parade 6.45 a.m. for roll call, had five patients in hospital today.
Dawson asked me if I could mend some of our stretchers which were broken
I could, he told me to get on with them. Could not find any tools at all
to work with
but managed to improvise sufficient to take them to pieces. I could not
together again as I had no bolts, so had to leave them. After dinner I
had nothing to
do so started to darn a pair of socks which for my first attempt I considered
well. I also sewed some buttons on my clothes. This kept me occupied till
after which we had a short game of euchre and then I did a little writing
Tuesday 2nd March, 1915
On parade 6.45 a.m. and went for physical drill till breakfast time. We
Heliopolis and had some physical drill on a square in the town then returned
for breakfast. After breakfast I went into the hospital till dinner time.
After dinner we
were all issued with sun helmets and puggarees. I spent the rest of the
putting my pugaree round by helmet, it was a bit awkward at first but
managed it to my satisfaction. I did not go out after tea, so settled
down and did
some writing after which we all yarned in the tent till bedtime when we
turned in early
as we are expecting a long march tomorrow.
Wednesday 3rd March, 1915
Reveille at 5.30 a.m. this morning, breakfast at 8.30 a.m. We marched
off to take up
our positions for the divisional manouveres. We marched to "Abassia"
the rest of the 4th Brigade. At 9.50 a.m. the light horse moved away and
followed at 10 a.m. Our manouveres for today consisted of protecting Cairo,
was supposedly being attacked by 30,000 Turks approaching from the Suez
Our forces moved very quickly and covered an extensive area from what
I could see.
Our corps marched along the Cairo-Canal road for about 4 miles, then we
and prepared to receive wounded as in real battle. We had just got things
when we received orders to move 4 miles further on, just got camp broke
we recieved further orders to stay where we were. Remained here till 4.45
Arrived back at camp 6 p.m. Did not go out again, went to bed early having
marched about 15 miles. I believe those manouveres were very successful.
Thursday 4th March, 1915
Reveille at 6.30 a.m. with no parade till 9.30 a.m. This was to give us
a little extra
rest after our exertions of yesterday. My shift on the hospital has been
today and I am going on duty at 11.30 p.m. to 7.30 a.m. tomorrow so I
today to myself. I spent the morning reading till dinner time and after
arranged for an interview with our Lieutenant Dentist who has only been
Corps two days and who is to attend to the teeth of the 4th Brigade while
he is with
us. I heard he was only staying with us three weeks so got in early. At
3 p.m. he
started on my teeth and filled one in the lower jaw. I have to see him
at 2 p.m.
tomorrow about some more. Did not go out of camp at all this evening.
duty at 11.30 p.m. Three patients in hospital so not much to do on our
shift till 7.30
a.m. in the morning.
Friday 5th March, 1915
Came off duty at hosital at 7.30 a.m. and after breakfast I turned in
for a sleep till
dinner time. At 2 p.m. I attended again at the dentist and had another
stopped. We had another full marching order parade at 3.15 p.m. and were
inspected again by Surgeon General Williams. Everything and everywhere
camp was inspected and I think we shall be leaving here shortly. After
we were not allowed to take any of our kit off as we were under orders
to move off
on a march at any time Headquarters notified us. We lay about our tents
9 p.m. rations were issued. At 10.15 p.m. we had orders to fall in and
marched off at
10.30. We marched about four miles and bivouaced on the desert for the
about 12 p.m.
Saturday 6th March, 1915
Our bivouac finished at 3.45 a.m. this morning when we had orders to get
was a very cold night and I dont think anyone slept much. We had no blankets
our overcoats. Set out for camp at 4 a.m. and got back at 5.30 a.m. We
dismissed and turned in for a sleep till 7.30 a.m. when we were up again
breakfast. I felt pretty tired and as I have to go on at the hospital
at 11.30 p.m.
tonight until 7.30 a.m. tomorrow I spent the rest of the day lying down
After tea three of us went to Heliopolis and had a good hot bath cost
us 5 piastres
(1/0½) but was worth it. Had a look round Heliopolis and called
for our photos,
which were not finished. Was back at camp at 8 p.m. and on at the hospital
Sunday 7th March, 1915
Finished my shift in the hospital at 7.30 a.m. this morning. We had no
patients at all,
so things were pretty easy. I had a sleep after breakfast till dinner
time. After dinner
I lay down and read till 3.30 p.m. when I went in the hospital again as
changed shifts. We had one patient who had come in during the morning.
the afternoon I wrote some letters and after tea I settled down and had
a good read.
We had practically nothing to do but still we had to remain in the hospital
in case any
other patients should come. It has been a beast of a day fairly hot and
a very strong
wind blowing the sand about. I finished my shift at 11.30 p.m.
Monday 8th March, 1915
Was up at 6 a.m. this morning. It has been a terrible day, the wind blowing
hurricane and the sand has been blowing along in clouds like a fog. I
full of sand, it seems to get through the pores of one's skin. I loafed
the day away in
my tent till 3.30 p.m. It was too bad to go out and plenty bad enough
in the tent. At
3.30 p.m. I went on at the hospital, we have one patient who came in at
is a doctor and is the medical officer for the 16th Battalion. His name
MacGregor and he is suffering from a severe cold. The wind dropped this
and we are having a lovely night. I wrote another letter after tea and
shift on the hospital at 11.30 p.m.
Tuesday 9th March, 1915
Slept in the hospital over night as we only had the one patient Captain
who has a touch of Bronchitis. Was up at 6 a.m. this morning and after
lay down and had a sleep till dinner time. Just before I went on at the
3.30 p.m. I had a good shower bath, it has been very hot today. Still
only the one
patient so not much to do. I was writing nearly all this afternoon. Everything
very quiet today, the only excitement being caused by the rumours as to
are leaving here. We were paid this evening and I drew 156 Piastres. Could
out tonight again and didn't want to, so did a bit more writing and turned
in at 11.30
Wednesday 10th March,
Slept in hospital again overnight, expect to get some patients today.
orders this morning about 9 a.m. to go to Cairo with Sergeant Henderson
to do some
shopping for the dispensary and for Captain Dawson. We arrived in Cairo
a.m. did our business and then had a good look round. We visited the Citadel
was most interesting, the walls are of great thickness and altogether
it is a
remarkable building. We had a look through the armoury in the Citadel
some very ancient arms and armour, also all the rifles which were captured
off the Turks on the Suez Canal about 1200 rifles. We then visited the
Hassan Mosque which is another remarkable building. It was hit with 45
balls when Napoleon conquered Egypt, some of the balls still being in
made and we saw them. Napoleon robbed the mosque of most of its valuables,
there is one door which cost £14,000. We also saw the chair which
used to be the
coronation chair for the sultans and in which Saladin of Richard Coeur
de Lion's time
was crowned. Also we saw the Sultan Hasson's tomb. The building inside
remarkable. One floor being laid with fancy slabs of which no 2 are alike
whole place practically is, or was, before Napoleon and in some parts
still is inlaid
with pearl and gold. We searched all the shops we could find for presents
home and returned to camp at 10 p.m. and I had to go on at the hospital
Thursday 11th March, 1915
I was up at 6 a.m. this morning and after breakfast we had orders to strike
and load them and our kit bags on the transport wagons and to clear our
ready to move off. We had everything cleared and loaded before dinner
did not know if we really were going to move off or what we were going
to do until
after dinner when we were told it was only for practice and we had to
fix up again.
We expect to move off any day now. I came on duty in the hospital at 3.30
had five patients including Captain MacGregor. It has been a very bad
especially for striking camp, the wind has been blowing very hard and
clouds of sand
with a very close atmosphere. Things went on very satisfactory and I finished
hospital at 11.30 p.m.
Friday 12th March, 1915
Reveille was at 5 a.m. this morning as there was a divisional march and
on. I did not go out as it was our sections day on at the hospital. Our
marched out at 7.30 a.m. I had a walk about Heliopolis about 11 a.m. and
some letters I had wrote. I had a look round for some presents to send
home but did
not succeed in getting them yet. I arrived back at camp about 1.30 p.m.
on duty at hospital at 3.30. We have more to do now as the hospital routine
been altered today. We have our three sections and each section has to
days on hospital and 6 days off. The 6 days we have to put in at the Wagon
means for 3 days we have 3 hospitals to look after instead of having one
I am on A Section hospital today with 7 patients. Turned in at 11.30 p.m.
Saturday 13th March, 1915
Up at 6 a.m. this morning and our fellows struck the tents and packed
putting everything on the transports. About 9 a.m. I had word from Captain
to go into Cairo about 11.45 a.m. and went to a shop H.Blank & Co's
and ordered a
steriliser according to my specifications, it is to cost £5. After
finishing business I
had dinner at a restaurant and then took a tram to "Abbassea"
to see if I could find
my cousin who is in the 5th Manchesters C Company. I found him in his
tent and he
was pleased to meet me. I stayed to tea with him and his pals, who made
welcome and then after a clean up the two of us went into Heliopolis for
an hour or
so. I arrived at camp about 10 p.m.
Sunday 14th March, 1915
As there were no patients in C Section's hospital I slept there overnight
and did not
get up till 8 a.m. this morning. After breakfast I did a little writing
and reading till
dinner time. I should have gone on at the hospital at 3.30 p.m. but as
my cousin J.
Rick came over to see me, the other fellow who is on duty with me said
manage alone, we have seven patients today. My cousin stayed and had tea
us and we had a good yarn, after which we went into Heliopolis and had
round together. I saw him on his car about 9 p.m. and was back at camp
9.30 p.m. Went into the hospital and stayed on till 11.30 p.m. then turned
Monday 15th March, 1915
Did not get up for early morning parade, had breakfast and turned out
on parade at
9.30 a.m. Am not on hospital today as it is B and C Section's turn for
a few days.
We struck tents and loaded them, also our blankets and kits, on the transport
wagons. We unloaded them again and put our tents up just before dinner
After dinner we had wagon drill, loading stretchers and unloading them.
interrupted this afternoon in our drill by rain. This is the first rain
since we have been
here. It rained intermittently all night. We had a motor wagon added to
today. Went into Heliopolis after tea to post my letters and took my washing
in, I am
having it done by a Belgium woman who is a refugee. Went to bed 9.30 p.m.
Tuesday 16th March, 1915
Reveille at 6 a.m. this morning. Went outside the tent and saw a very
stormy looking sky. The sky has been cloudless and clear every morning
this. We had Physical drill at 6.45 a.m. till 7.45 a.m. and breakfast
at 8.15 a.m. It
started to rain during breakfast time, also thunder and lightning. After
had stretcher drill and first aid till 12 noon when we knocked off for
again at 2.30 p.m. and went out with the wagons on a march. We marched
miles and arrived back at camp for tea. After tea another of the boys
went to Heliopolis to buy presents to send home. I bought two cushion
brooches and a maltese lace doyley or table centre. Was back at camp at
Wednesday 17th March, 1915
Reveille at 6 a.m. and parade at 6.45 a.m. I did not go for Physical drill
as I was tent orderly. We paraded again at 9 a.m. and were issued with
shirt, 2 pairs underpants, 2 pairs socks and pair laces. At 9.30 a.m.
we started on
our morning drill, which consisted of first aid, stretcher drill and wagon
lasted till 12 noon. After dinner ten of us and the Colonel went out in
a wagon about
3 miles with picks and shovels to an old Egyptian burial ground and started
for curios. We dug till 5 p.m. but found nothing but bones, so returned
to camp for
tea. After tea my cousin came to see me and we took a walk out for my
which is being done by a Belgium refugee. Back at camp at 8 p.m. and wrote
letters, then turned in.
Thursday 18th March, 1915
Reveille at 6 a.m. and parade at 6.45 a.m. Physical drill till 7.45 a.m.
at 8 a.m. Parade again at 9.30 a.m. with stretcher drill, wagon drill
signalling till 12 noon. There was a route march this afternoon but I
did not go as I
did not feel too well. I lay down in the tent and wrote a couple of letters
and read the
paper till tea time. After tea I received a visit from a chap who worked
with me at
Newport named MacPherson. After he had gone I parcelled some presents
which I had bought to send home and took a walk to the post office and
them, also posting my letters. Returned to camp about 9 p.m. and went
Friday 19th March, 1915
Reveille at 6 a.m. and parade at 6.45 a.m. There was no Physical drill
as we were striking camp. We struck camp and loaded and the boys marched
was left behind to do picket round the camp. I was on from 11 a.m. till
3 p.m. and
will be on again from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. in the morning. I have not been
leave camp today, none of the picket are during their 24 hour guard duty.
to sleep and loll about in the guard tent during the hours we are off
undress ourselves as we have to be ready to turn out if needed at a moments
notice. The boys arrived back at camp about 5 p.m. and fixed up the tents
has been very warm today.
Saturday 20th March,
Reveille at 6 a.m. parade at 6.45 a.m. with Physical drill till 7.45 a.m.
At 9.15 a.m. I
was sent with three others to the New Zealand Headquarters at Zeitoun
with one of
our wagons for some medical supplies. Arrived back at camp at 12 noon.
dinner, I had a pass to go to Cairo, so I set out for Mena to look up
and some other friends. Arrived at Mena about 4 p.m. and found W. Hill
leave. I then looked up S. Cohen who I found in his tent. We went to the
and sat talking till 7 p.m. when I left and set out back for camp which
I reached at 10
p.m. Had news today of the loss of 3 battleships by the Allies in the
Sunday 21st March, 1915
Went on duty at 7.30 a.m. at the hospital. We had fourteen patients today,
serious. I remained on duty till 3.30 p.m. when I went to my tent and
had a read. My
cousin out of the 5th Manchester Regiment stationed at Abbassia came to
just before tea. After tea we remained talking till about 8 p.m. when
my cousin left to
go back to his camp and I went to the tent used by the dentist as his
did a couple of hours writing. I wrote till 10 p.m. then went to my tent
and turned in
just before lights out blew.
Monday 22nd March, 1915
On duty at the hospital again at 7.30 a.m. Only two patients today. There
was a big
inspection of our brigade this morning at Zeitoun. I was unable to go
being on at the
hospital. The boys arrived back at camp from the inspection about 12 noon.
inspection was a great success and the troops were complimented on their
appearance. Came off the hospital at 3.30 p.m. and after tea finished
my letters and
went into Heliopolis and posted them. Arrived back at camp about 9 p.m.
the Colonel of the 16th Battalion address his men today and he said they
with the British troops inside of a fortnight.
Tuesday 23rd March, 1915
On at the hospital at 7.30 a.m. We had seven patients today. Nothing very
interesting occurred today except that a mail arrived from Australia,
but there were
no letters for me, still there is more mail to arrive tomorrow. The rest
of our corps
went out on a route march and fixed a dressing station, they left camp
at 9.30 a.m.
and arrived back at about 5 p.m. I finished my spell on the hospital at
3.30 p.m. and
after tea paid a visit along with one of the boys to the American Mission.
missionary is leaving tomorrow for a fortnight, so she gave me a testament
expect to be away before she gets back. In camp again before 9 p.m.
Wednesday 24th March, 1915
Reveille at 6 a.m. Physical drill at 6.45 a.m. till 7.45 a.m. At 9.15
a.m. we fell in on
parade and marched off along the Suez road taking our midday meal with
marched about 4 miles then pitched our tents for hospitals and went through
manouvres as if we were really in the fighting line. We arrived back at
camp about 4
p.m. and were paid. I drew one pound. After tea a mail arrived from Australia
received 2 letters one from Mother and one from Daisy. Mother sent me
a photo of
herself and one of my sister Dorothy. Four of us then went into Heliopolis
as it was
pay night and had a feed of bacon and eggs and salad, with bread, butter
cost us 4 piastres (10d) each. Back in camp by 8.30 p.m.
Thursday 25th March, 1915
On the hospital again this morning at 7.30 a.m.. Had 9 patients today.
a.m. I had to go to the general hospital (Palace Hotel) with a patient
who was rather
bad in the motor ambulance. After dinner 14 of us had leave as we were
football match at Abbassia against the Khedivial school. We had a hard
made a draw, 2 goals each, I think we would have won had we had a little
practice together. I scored the first goal for our side. I arrived back
at camp at about
6.30 p.m. had a shower bath then settled down to some writing. I received
tonight from my cousin Miriam from Crewe.
Friday 26th March, 1915
Reveille at 6 a.m. and paraded at 6.45 a.m. The orders of the day were
read out to
us and then we started to take the tents down and packing up the whole
our transport wagons. After breakfast we finished packing and then marched
taking our midday meal with us and all our transports leaving our camp
marched to Abbassia about 4 miles from our camp and started to pitch a
After erecting the tents and making everything ship-shape in the new camp
lunch. These are the operations we will go through when actually in the
3 p.m. we pulled down our camp again, packed up and proceeded back to
camping ground, pitched the tents and made the camp as usual then had
dinner. Stayed in camp tonight writing my letters.
Saturday 27th March, 1915
Reveille at 6 a.m. parade at 6.45 a.m. After breakfast we paraded at 9.45
had tent striking and pitching drill till 11 a.m. when we had a kit inspection
man having more than 20lbs weight of kit in addition to what he wears
and carries on
his person was instructed to get rid of the surplus. After dinner three
of us took a
tram to Cairo and from there to a native village called "Choubrah",
it is just a mass of
mud houses and shops all jumbled together and very dirty. We returned
after having a look around the village and had a look at the Sultan's
having tea we went to the "Kursal", Cairo's Tivoli or variety
show. It was fairly good
and finished at 8.30 p.m. when we took the car back to camp, which we
about 9.15 p.m.
Sunday 28th March, 1915
Reveille at 6 a.m. It was our (A. Section's) turn on the hospital today.
I am on the
midnight shift from 11.30 p.m. till 7.30 a.m. in the morning. I put the
afternoon in by writing my letters. There was no church parade this morning
violent sandstorm was on and lasted about 2 hours. It calmed down about
and the rest of the day has been very nice, with a beautiful evening.
After tea a pal
and myself walked to Luna Park and sat in the gardens listening to the
band of the
4th Manchester Regiment which was playing there. We returned to camp at
p.m. and I turned in till 11.30 p.m. when I went on duty in the hospital.
We had 11
patients, none serious.
Monday 29th March, 1915
Was on duty at hospital overnight till 7.30 a.m. this morning when I knocked
after getting some breakfast I turned in and slept till dinner time. I
only have one
pair of boots, my first pair having been worn out some time ago. The pair
badly needed repairing so I took the opportunity of giving them to our
to repair today while I slept. After dinner I arranged my kit bag and
contents as near
as I could, to bring it down to the weight (20lbs) we are allowed to take
with us when
we move. I had about 40lbs but have fixed it up. I then did some more
writing till tea
time, after which I went to Heliopolis and posted my letters, returning
to camp and
bed about 8 p.m. It has been very windy today and the sand has been flying
Tuesday 30th March, 1915
Reveille at 6 a.m. this morning. I did not go on parade for Physical drill
as I wanted
to see Captain Dawson about my boots which the cobbler had not done yesterday
as he ought to have done. Captain Dawson lent me a pair of his own while
were repaired today. At 9.30 a.m. we set out on a march along the Suez
after going about 5 or 6 miles we pitched camp, then proceeded over the
another mile and fixed up an advanced dressing station and our men were
off, just as in actual warfare. They collected the supposed wounded and
them in and we fixed up and retired to the camp further back. About 3
loaded up and set out back for our camp at Heliopolis which we reached
p.m. It has been a fiery hot day, the heat of the sand could be felt through
Wednesday 31st March, 1915
Reveille at 6 a.m. Parade at 6.45 a.m. Our camp was struck and the boys
and pitched again at "Abbassia", moving from Heliopolis at 9.30
a.m.. I stayed
behind as it is our Section's day on at the hospital. I have not to go
on duty till 11.30
p.m. tonight. I spent the day going through my kit again and reading and
received a paper by post this morning from my Aunt Louisa from Manchester
was very pleased. The boys arrived back from their day's manouvres about
p.m. and they looked very tired, it has been a very hot and dusty day,
depressing. I had a shower bath this afternoon which greatly refreshed
me and I
had a couple of hours sleep after tea before going on duty at 11.30 p.m.