WITH THE FORCES IN EGYPT.
AN EX LITTLE RIVER VOLUNTEERS
Mr "Bobbie" (RA.) Young, the well known and popular Mount Cook guide, and formerly of Little River, and well known among Peninsula athletes, who is with the Canterbury Mounted Infrantry in Egypt, writing to a Christchuroh friend from the Ex peditionaiy camp early in January, teils how they sett!' 1 down after a "a grand and inter eEting trip over,'- Incident liy, bo iiays: — "The train journey of ninety mile* from Alexandria'to Cairo' was most interesting. Wn expected to fee nothing but desert, and to our great surprise we had not seen land in any part of New Zealand to equal tha land which is to be seen the whole way along the the Nile Valley, with great fields of cotton, barley, Indian corn, and most wonderful fields of lucerne, and all growing to perfect-, ion. The land is owned by a tew wealthy Egyptians and leased in very auaall blocks.
Tha sailing value is from £150 to £200 per acre. They have no cattl i here, but_ large herds of goats and a few sheep. Carting to the railway is done chiefly by camels BDd mules. We arrived nt Cairo at 7 o'clock and Zeitoun, our camp at 7 30. very tired. That night it rained. The first rain for two years. "During our voyage on the Tahiti w« on ly lost three houses. Altnoether we left Nev Zealand with just on 3000 horses, and only lost 72 on the voynge. The Lancashire bpvs had 3000 leaving Knprland for Egypt, and it .only took them thirtfen days to come noross and they lost 75. Tbe troops berp rould no?. understand our horses behig in tuch grand condition sfter a trip of night week* on board Bhip. On arriving nt Alpxandria we disembarked that afternoon and took them throush town and stabled them for the night in the market yards. "We have camped with us twe"ty thous, and Lancahire lnda, the New Zoalanders from England, and also the Geylo.n Tea Planters, and two regiments of Dragoon Guards. . . Heliopolis is a nioe, clean town only twenty minutes' walk from camp "and a very fine plane it is, all new buildings. The Palace Hotel is the largest ho'el in the world. Last winter they bad two thousand five hundred tourists there. This season it is olosedjdown on account of the war. In- ' deed, only for the troops beinnr here Egypt j would be having a bad timn. But the troops ' more tban make up for the absence of tour ' is'B, for I see by the papers here Hint the troops are spending at the rate of £7000 per week in Cairo alone
"Things are fairly cheap hero, clothes, ate. Fruit we get plenty of. Oranges we get thirty for a shilling. We get new potatoes twioe daily and plenty of cabbage. Butter twice a week, plenty of good bread, and New Zealand jams. So you see we are fed well, aod are doing no harm. Indfled the New Zealand Government deserve grnat credit for the way they sent nt away. We shall have plenty of good warm clothes, and it is grand to see our huge slack of provisions for ourselves and horses piled upon the camp ground here, and to think it all oame from our dear little country.
Tcnight the New Zealanders from England are giving a concert in the V M.C.A. rooms and have a crowded bongo On the ground we have quite a township, several restaurants, barbers' tepts, tailors, bootmakers, all Egyptians and good tradesmen they are, The Hon. Thomas Mackenzie is at present in Egypt. He visited our oamp last week and inspected the troops, He left on Friday last for Upper Egypt and Karfcum in company with tbe Australian High Commissioner and will return here on Saturday. Our first mail arrived here Christmas week and all bands were delighted at receiving letters from parents and friends. Tbe "Weekly Press" was in great demandi I think the Christmas number is splendid. The fine views of the Southern Alps, by Mr Otto Fr'md, made me almost wish I were back among the mountains again.
Tha English paper printed in Cairo is small. Of course thera am very few English speaking people in Cairo, and until the troops arrived here there was no demaud for tbe paper. They print five papers here, one each in English, French, Egyptian, Greek, and Arabic. By the time you receive this note I expect we shall be in the firing line ourselves, for we have been told we may leave here in three weeks. I think there ib a big chance of us going to Palestine. But I hope when you hear of us in action that we will bo doing good work, The boys are all very been to get going."
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WITH THE FORCES IN EGYPT., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3403, 5 March 1915
WITH THE FORCES IN EGYPT. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3403, 5 March 1915
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