WITH THE NEW ZEALAND FORCES
EXPERIENCES FROM \ P NIN6ULA VOLUNTEER
Heliopolis Camp, December 24,
I daresay.you will be warning a few more lines of netys. . We have all quite settled down to camp life here, and are beginning to stay at home a little more io the evenings We still get off every evening till 10 o'clock, and also from two to ten on fcaturdays and Sundays, Seventy-five per cent, of our men get off. Our men are beginning to look up the many places of historic interest nowI The zoo and gardens are well patronised too. 'Will write you later re these places. Christmas to.morrow, but V6ry iittle interest has been shown so far. The Egyptian Christmas was about five weeks ago. The officers of our squadron have subscribed, and are putting on a Christmas dinner for us tomorrow. A number of our chaps are going out to the Pyramids for the day. We are ' riding our horses every day now. We have ! been doing a lot of grooming lately, and our I horses feoats are all like silk. The exercise I too is making them stand on their toes. Am I forwarding you papers re the ceremonies in } connection with the appointment of the Sultan of Egypt and the Proclamation of j Egypt a British Protectorate Tbe British flag was hoisted in Cairo at the Citadel • n Saturday last On Sunday morning most of the infantry were marched into Cairo to take part in the ceremonies. Sunday was really the biggest day. Yesterday the hole of the Australian and New Zea and mounted troops were taken for a route march through Cairo. 1 here were 10 000 horses altogether, so we made rather an impressive sight, I believe the whole thing was done to impress the native people. Flags were everywhere, the Union Jack predominating, with a good number of French flags. We rode through tbe principal streets and the little, narrow, dirty,. stinking, alum streets. We met with a good reception everywhere. At Shepard's Hot"!, where a number of notables, and a crowd of English and French had gathered, we met with a grand reception. At the cross streets a few yards further on was the saluting point A band was playing, and an enormous mixed crowd of people had gathered. For once in their lives our chaps sat straight up like soldiers, and turned their heads c mart!y to the right as we passed the saluting point. A civilian told me to> day the whole thing was magnificent, He had special praise for the C Y.C. horses, Our ride through the slums will be lorn? re" membered by us all. I cannotgive you a description. All I can think of is the many nasty smells we encountered there. Am sure we won't get our clothes sweet and clean again for months. We had a great day, and came home tired and dirty. Baths were in great demand in the evening. We are getting very solid training now. The carrJps in; New Zealand were just child's play compared with what we are getting here, and I quite realise now what a rosy time we had in the annual training camps. You are up on the mat here for very little. I had the bad luck to be up for coming in late and having dirty buttons on parade, and got six day-,' leave stopped. I thought myself lucky at getting off co lightly. Tonight is my first evening out since I have been detained, and, as it is Christ" mas Eve, I daresay there will be something doing. Camp arrangements are perfect to the smallest detail, Natives are employed to clean up the rubbish and latrines, and the issuing cf rations and fod' der for the horses is most complete. This is a very healthy place for Egypt, and so far there are very few men ill in the hospital. I . have to get my gear polished up for to-night so will stop now. Best wishes for all. You can think of tbe Peninsula boys spending CbrintmaH Eve, 1914, in Cairo, and all having a merry time. Am sure our thoughts will travel back to you some time to night.
Camp, 6,30 p m. Sunday. Dec. 27, 19U
I Am at present seated in our tent all alone, writing, ivith a tucker box for a table, Eighty per cent, of our chaps are off to-day 1 from 2 tilli 10 to-night I nave been off tbe last two days, so had to stay in and do a i little work today Xmss here was not [nearly so quiet as we expected. We all had leave on Xmas Eve. The party I was with was a rather wild one by the time we arrived home again. We had a good time in the early part of the evening, a rocky ride home on donkeys, and a hell of a row when we arrived in cdmp, lies It, up on the mat; but got off with a caution Some silly fool must have played a trick on me when I was asleep, because when I woke up in the morning I had my boots on and the rest of my clothes off. Suffered from swelled head too, and a chronic throat. Trie latter, however, was a God.send, as good beer is easily procurable here. • Reveil c was the usual time on Xmas morn ing -5 30. We wtre all paraded just after breakfast, and were told by our Major that seventy five per cent would have leave all day. Several cables from New Zealand wishing us "Merry Xmas," etc, were read to us, and after a few minutes' c at we were all dismissed.
A special train had been arranged for men who wanted to go to the Pyramids. Our tent made up a party, and we fell in with a large number of other troops and marched half a mile to the station. We steamed out at 9 o'clock, and arrived in Cairo at 9 10. Trams were here to meet us, and most of our chap 3 went on to the Pyramids. A goad number remained in Cairo. The whole trip was free to soldiers. A huge crowd of people gathered in tha railway square at Cairo to see the large number of holiday making soldiers. 'An hour's glorious ride, and we were at our destination. I cannot say how many men wore with us altogether, but there : seemed te be an endless line of tram cars to convey them.
On the way to the Pyramids we saw some grand private residences and gardens, The train line runs through a beautiful avenue of trees for at least C miles. Soldiers were everywhere—in taxis and carriages, on buckboards donkeys, camels, motor bikes, and Arab ponies—and all seemed to be making the most of Christmas in a strafe land, and were all bent on having a good time.
(To be continued).
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WITH THE NEW ZEALAND FORCES, Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3475, 5 February 1915
WITH THE NEW ZEALAND FORCES Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3475, 5 February 1915
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