1st April, 1916
Reveille 6 a.m. and on parade 6.45 a.m. for roll call and orders. Inspection
by Major Welch at 9.15 a.m. and sick parade 9.30 a.m. Got our patients
away on 10 a.m. hospital train to Ismailia. Should have left here this
morning on march to Ismailia, but have to wait for more troops till tomorrow.
Troops arrived about midday, only a few, knocked out and on sick parade.
Went down with our horses at 3.45 p.m. to water. Few stragglers keep coming
in. Got my kit ready to move off in morning. Had game of cards and turned
in at 9 p.m.
Sunday 2nd April, 1916
Reveille 6 a.m. on parade 6.45 a.m., roll call and orders of departure
read out. Commenced packing at once. Contradictory orders flying round.
Had to cut our breakfast in two and strike camp, sent patients to station,
cleaned camp and marched out at 9.30 a.m. Very heavy going through sand
most of first ten miles. Halted for dinner, bread, jam and tea at 1.30
p.m., rested till 4.30 p.m. when started out again for last five miles.
Went single file along edge of canal, better going. Marched into Moascar
Ismailia at 6.30 p.m. tired but in good spirits.
Monday 3rd April, 1916
Bivouaked last night, reveille 7 a.m., on parade for roll call at 7.30
a.m. and dismissed for breakfast. About 10 a.m. boys went swimming parade
to Lake Timsak. I went with the horses, had good time swimming the horse
and myself, feel much fresher. Back for dinner, had leave from 2 p.m.
to 5 p.m. so took Harry into Ismailia and had look round, showing him
the prettiest places. Had dinner, 5 eggs, potatoes and tomatoes for 5
Piastres (7/0 1/2d) before going back to camp for 5 p.m. parade when orders
for our departure were read out. Been hot day. Bivouaked tonight at 8
p.m. Page 19 of 69
Tuesday 4th April, 1916
Reveille at 4.15 a.m., packed our blankets, loaded wagons and had breakfast
at 5 a.m. Fell in on parade at 5.40 a.m. and marched out at 6 a.m. Very
heavy marching nearly the whole way to Serapium which we reached about
11 a.m. and got to our camp across the Suez Canal about 2 miles at 11.30
a.m., absolutely dead beat, each step being up to tops of boots in loose
sand and total distance about 12 to 14 miles. Am saturated with perspiration,
my outer clothes also, ten minutes being longest rest we had. Had drink
of tea and bully beef cold for dinner. Put up tents this afternoon and
unloaded wagons. Turned in thoroughly done up at 8.30 p.m.
Wednesday 5th April, 1916
Reveille 6.30 a.m., on parade 7 a.m., roll call, orders and general fatigue
till 8 a.m. After breakfast more fatigue, tent pitching etc. then fixed
up our dispensary. After dinner fixed up two tents for hospitals, am in
charge of tent division as Cpl. Chisholm is sick. Do not feel too bright
today after yesterday's stiff march. Pretty hot again. Learned that during
our 8 months on Gallipoli our corps attended to approximately 15,000 sick
and wounded and that of this no. almost 8,000 were put through by our
A. section. Have not had time to look round here yet. In bed 8.15 p.m.,
lights out 9 p.m.
Thursday 6th April, 1916
Reveille 5 a.m., on parade 6 a.m., roll call and orders then general fatigue.
At 7 a.m. called out to attend at sick parade. More sick parades after
breakfast then had to fix up hospitals to receive patients. Kept very
busy till dinner time. Water (fresh) is very scarce here but managed a
wash this morning. After dinner went to Canal about a mile and half away
and had swim, very strong current running but enjoyed it. Have our hot
meal at night 6 p.m. then wrote couple of hurried letters. Lights out
Friday 7th April, 1916
Reveille 5 a.m., tea and hard biscuits at 5.30 a.m. and on parade 6 a.m.
for roll call, orders and gargle, then on hospital duty. Still in charge
of tent division so am kept very busy till dinner time. We had a couple
of scraps of salt bacon for breakfast, tea, bread and jam for dinner and
stew for tea. Have twelve patients in hospital today. Went for swim again
this afternoon, weather very hot. After our 6 p.m. meal wrote a letter
and had a yarn will lights out at 9 p.m.
Saturday 8th April, 1916
Reveille 5 a.m., on parade 6 a.m., roll call, orders and gargle then had
to attend at sick parade, lot of venereal cases reporting. Up to my eyes
in work till 8.45 a.m. when managed to snatch little breakfast. Kept just
as busy till dinner time. Major Welch told me ought to have shave, have
gone 2 days without one. Told him I would when I had time. If he had to
do my work he wouldn't get a shave every day by any means, would have
liked to have told him he had a damned cheek. Had swim this afternoon,
this place no good except for the swim. Had read after tea and lights
out 9 p.m.
Sunday 9th April, 1916
Page 20 of 69 Reveille 5 a.m., on parade 6 a.m., roll call, orders and
gargle then on hospital duty. Cpl. Chisholm resumed his duties in charge
of tent division today so am relieved of some work. Cleaned up after breakfast
for inspection by O.C. then gave out medicines, did dressings etc. New
Capt. attached to our section today, Capt. Hill, seems jolly fellow. Cleaned
up after dinner and then went for swim in Canal, two large ships passed
through, one French transport mounting 7 guns. Did some writing after
tea and in bed for lights out at 9 p.m.
10th April, 1916
Reveille 5 a.m. and on parade 6 a.m., roll call, orders and gargle. Attended
at sick parade at 7 a.m., admitted several patients to hospital. Inspection
by O.C. at 9.15 a.m. Col. Barber who is A.D.M.S. paid unexpected visit
of inspection about 7.30 a.m. Dressings etc. this morning. After dinner
wrote some letters till tea time. Hot day again but lot of Willy Nillys
today making sand rise and almost choke us. Received couple of letters
this evening. Made a Will tonight leaving everything to my Mother, Mrs.
M. H. Lycett. Did some more writing tonight and in bed for lights out
Tuesday 11th April, 1916
Reveille 5 a.m., on parade 6 a.m., roll call, orders and gargle, then
on hospital duty at 7 a.m. After breakfast at 8 a.m. cleaned up for inspection
by O.C. at 9.15 a.m., then did dressings etc. Also did little washing
this morning. Very dirty place this, never feel clean, hard to get sufficient
water for washing. Cleaned up after dinner and off duty at 2 p.m. Did
little writing this afternoon. Had friendly game of bridge after tea and
quiet yarn till bed time and lights out at 9 p.m.
Wednesday 12th April, 1916
Reveille 5 a.m., on parade 6 a.m., roll call, orders and gargle, also
compulsory wash out of water bottles with Pot. Permang. Cleaned up after
breakfast for inspection by O.C. at 9.15 a.m., also inspected all our
mess tins, knives, forks and spoons. Last night peculiar break out of
pains in stomach amongst our men, suffered slightly myself, cause not
yet known. Dressings etc. kept me busy till dinner time. After 2 p.m.
was off duty. Tea at 6 p.m. Wrote letter but had to cut it short on account
of violent wind and sandstorm. Light went out so turned in before lights
Thursday 13th April, 1916
Slept splendid despite terrific wind until about 3.15 a.m. when a more
violent Willy Nilly caught our tent and lifted it clean off us. Too windy
to do anything so put my head under blankets and went to sleep till 5
a.m. reveille. Wind not so high this morning so after 6 a.m. parade managed
to put our tent up again. After inspection and dressings which we bustled
through Major Welch gave us lecture from 10 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. when wind
suddenly rose again blowing terrible storm, sand like fog, hardly breathe,
eyes sore, buildings and tents levelled like match boxes. 13th Batt. man
run down by engine alongside our camp, light railway, his arm severely
mauled. Wind dropped about 8 p.m.
Friday 14th April, 1916
Woke at 12.30 midnight by wind which had risen again, fortunately not
quite so violent so went to sleep again. Reveille 5 a.m., on parade 6
a.m., roll call, orders and gargle and on hospital duty 7 a.m. Cleaned
up after breakfast for inspection by O.C. at 9.15 a.m. then gave out medicines,
dressings etc. Lecture by Major Welch at 11 a.m. till dinner time, subject
bacteria. Off duty at 2 p.m. Received some Page 21 of 69 letters today.
Inoculated against Para-Typhoid at 5 p.m. Lieut. of 13th Batt. injured
on thigh by bomb while at practice. Wind rising in squalls all day, disagreeable.
Turned in 8.30 p.m.
Saturday 15th April, 1916
Reveille 5 a.m., on parade 6 a.m., roll call, orders and gargle. On hospital
duty at 7 a.m. Inspection by O.C. at 9.15 a.m. then dressings, of which
there are quite a number. Very busy till dinner time. No. of our men knocked
out by inoculation, quite well myself. Off duty 2 p.m., pleasanter day
so went for swim in Canal, several ships passed through, the "Orsova"
being one, no passengers. Back for tea at 6 p.m. Heard some of our Light
Horse captured 32 Turks and Austrian Officer 60 miles inland from here,
our men went out to destroy Turkish outpost and well. Our casualties 1
killed, 2 or 3 wounded. Turned in 8.30 p.m.
Sunday 16th April, 1916
Reveille 5 a.m., on parade 6 a.m., roll call, orders and gargle. On hospital
duty at 7 a.m. After breakfast cleaned up for inspection at 9.15 a.m.
Orderly officer Capt. Hill inspected today, then went on with medicines,
dressings etc. till dinner time. Off duty 2 p.m. so went to canal for
swim, strong current running but enjoyed swim being hot day. Turkish prisoners
taken by our Light Horse brought in today and sent on to Cairo. Spent
evening reading and talking, turned in 8.30 p.m. Lights out 9 p.m.
Monday 17th April, 1916
Reveille 5 a.m., on parade 6 a.m., roll call, orders and gargle. Will
be on night shift this week so have the day to myself. Inspection of tents
at 9.15 a.m. by orderly officer Capt. Powell, vice our O.C. who have not
seen for two or three days, probably on shikkar or getting over a shikkar.
After dinner went for swim, very hot day, swim most welcome. An American
steamer passed through canal, remarks to crew from crowd of bathers (Aust's)
not very complimentary. Rumours of our embarkation in about a fortnight
about today. Went on duty at 9 p.m. Things quiet.
Tuesday 18th April, 1916
Patients all quiet during night so wrote some letters. Wind rose a little
about midnight but died away again. Hoisted A.M.C. flags at 5 a.m., took
temperatures, swept out hospital tents and generally cleaned up. Off duty
7 a.m. After breakfast went down to canal and put the morning in swimming,
pretty hot day. Some of our men up before medical board today. Had rest
this afternoon till tea-time, and after tea did some more writing. A new
Captain attached to our section Capt. Bentley. Played patience for an
hour and went on duty 9 p.m.
Wednesday 19th April, 1916
After fixing things up for the night everything quiet, 25 patients in
hospital but all slept well. Hoisted flags, took temperatures and cleaned
up ready for day shift relieving us at 7 a.m. My brother Harry is on with
me. Had breakfast and tent inspection by O.C. at 9.15 a.m. Had rest this
morning till 11 a.m. when Major Welch gave us lecture till 12 noon. Gave
orders for 3 Anzac Magazines to be sent home. Had sleep after dinner.
Large number of medical details expected to arrive tonight, tents pitched
for them today. Went on duty 9 p.m.
20th April, 1916
Page 22 of 69 Was very busy after going on duty last night, packing and
arranging our panniers ready for active service, kept at it till 1 a.m.
and spent rest of night writing letters. Hoisted flags 5 a.m., took temperatures
and cleaned up hospital before going off duty at 7 a.m. 200 odd medical
details arrived last night mostly straight from Australia. Inspection
this morning of hospital and general ambulance equipment by A.D.M.S. Colonel
Barber. Also Gen. Murray inspected the division while at their general
training. Had swim this afternoon. Troopship of East Surreys passed on
way to India. On duty 9 p.m.
Friday 21st April, 1916
Was very tired last night as had not had any sleep all day or night previously,
so after fixing up patients none of who had much wrong with them, I turned
in by the hospital and snatched a few hours sleep. Was up at 4.30 a.m.
Hoisted flags at 5 a.m., took temperatures and cleaned up. Off duty at
7 a.m. It is Good
Friday but no cessation of work on that account. After inspection of tents
and lines by O.C. at 9.15 a.m. went for swim. Very hot day. After dinner
had couple of hours sleep. Most of new details have been sent on to other
ambulances. Very nice night. On duty 9 p.m.
Saturday 22nd April, 1916
Very quiet night, no serious cases, so after fixing up for night, managed
to get few hours sleep. Hoisted flags at 5 a.m., swept out and cleaned
up hospital before going off duty at 7 a.m. Tent inspection by Capt. Hill
at 9.15 a.m. O.C. away in Cairo. After inspection had couple hours sleep
till dinner time. Very hot day again. This afternoon went to Canal for
swim, back at 4.15 p.m. and at 5 p.m. was inoculated for last time at
present against Para-Typhoid. Couple of hours reading after tea and went
on duty at 9 p.m. Three or four pretty bad cases in tonight.
Sunday 23rd April, 1916
Had to sit up all night with the bad cases, one serious, suspected Cerebro-spinal
meningitis. Did not cause much trouble, so wrote some letters to pass
away the time. Hoisted flags at 5 a.m., took temperatures and cleaned
up. Case not meningitis, much better this morning. Off duty 7 a.m. After
breakfast had sleep till dinner time, weather very hot. After dinner went
to Canal for swim, very nice, hundreds bathing. Spent evening reading
and yarning and went on duty at 9 p.m.
Monday 24th April, 1916
Very quiet night, no one very sick so got few hours sleep. Hoisted flags
at 5 a.m., took temperatures and cleaned up. Off duty at 7 a.m. Went for
swim after breakfast. On duty at 2 p.m., afternoon shift this week. Did
foments and dressings at 4 p.m., took temperatures, then did foments etc.
again and gave out medicines at 5 p.m. Tea at 5.30 p.m. for 21 patients
after which cleaned up and at 7.30 p.m. made cocoa for patients, washed
up again and tidied, fixed up for the night and off duty at lights out
Tuesday 25th April, 1916
Reveille 5 a.m. Anniversary of Gallipoli landing. On parade 6 a.m., orders,
roll call and gargle. Ribbons given out for day by divisional orders to
those entitled. Red for landing, blue for campaign. I received both. Could
not attend Memorial Service at 6.30 a.m. Very sorry. Very hot day again.
On duty 2 p.m., dressings, foments, med. etc., tea for patients 5 p.m.
Old members of corps held dinner Page 23 of 69 4/- each, in honor of day,
at 6.30 p.m. Old officers present, splendid dinner, very nice evening,
toasts, speeches etc. O.C. said would be leaving for France within 2 weeks.
Closed 10 p.m., lights out 10.15.
Wednesday 26th April, 1916
After extension of lights out last night and dinner, O.C. gave us extra
hour in bed so reveille was at 6 a.m. and parade 7 a.m., roll call, orders
and gargle. Terribly hot day, very hot wind almost scorching. Went on
duty 2 p.m., dressings, foments, medicines etc. kept very busy all afternoon,
23 patients. Tea at 5 p.m. after which cleaned up, then dressings and
medicines again. Made cocoa for patients 8 p.m., cleaned up and off duty
at lights out 9 p.m. Had news today of small engagements with Turks few
miles away, enemy slightly active.
Thursday 27th April, 1916
Reveille 5 a.m., on parade 6 a.m., roll call, orders and gargle, also
had our water bottles washed out with Pot. Permanganate. Inspection of
tents and lines by O.C. at 9.15 a.m. Between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. could
hear sounds of heavy firing both guns, machine-gun and rifle. Believe
an engagement in progress between Ismailia and El-Kantara. On duty 2 p.m.,
dressings, medicines etc. and at 5 p.m. tea, dressings etc. again. Gave
send off to Capt. Jeffries tonight, held smoke social in mess room. All
officers present, some good speeches and good wishes to Capt. Jeffries.
In bed, lights out 9 p.m.
Friday 28th April, 1916
Reveille 5 a.m., on parade 6 a.m., roll call, orders and gargle. Breakfast
8 a.m. Very hot day again. Did some writing till dinner time. On duty
2 p.m., dressings, medicines etc. Medical inspection at 3.30 p.m. Did
not go up for it as have been bit off colour few days. Spoke to Major
Welch instead and after questioning me, ordered me off duty for a spell,
till I feel right again. Am not really sick, laid my bed straight after
tea and turned in. Lights out 9 p.m.
Saturday 29th April, 1916
Reveille at 5 a.m., parade at 6 a.m. Did not have to turn out as am off
duty, so did not get up till 7 a.m. when aired my bed and after breakfast
laid it again and lay on it, resting myself thoroughly. Inspection of
tents and lines by Capt. Bentley at 9.15 a.m. Slept little before dinner,
after dinner wrote a letter then lay on my bed reading till tea time.
Received several letters this evening, read them then had game of cards
and turned in about 8 p.m. Lights out 10 p.m.
Sunday 30th April, 1916
Stayed in bed again this morning till 7 a.m. Was going to start work today
but Major Welch came to see me after I was in bed last night and told
me to keep quiet again today and not to start work till he saw me again.
After breakfast wrote letters till dinner time. Flies almost worried me,
they are a perfect nuisance. Had lie down after dinner till 4 p.m. then
read till tea time, 6 p.m. After tea did some more reading. Rumours afloat
of our early departure.