WITH THE NEW ZEALAND FORCES.
EXPERIENCES FROM A PENINSULA TROOPER.
THE CANAL FIGHT.
Heliopolia Camp, . Zeitoun, March 11, 1916 At time of writing all are in perfect health. Tho Peninsula boys are all .very well and fit. Tbey are getting tanned by tbe hot sun, and are all more or less putting on weight. Old Reg Birdling is a picture now. He is putting more weight on every day. If Reg Birdling is any criterion, Birdling's Flat is equally good for turning out fat men as well as fat bullocks. We have been doing very solid work for tbe la3t three weeks, so are all j getting fit for anything. When tbe infantry went to the Canal to deal with the Turks, we mounteds expected to fellow within a few days, and I can tell you we were very disappointed when our services were not required. We got word in tbis camp nearly every day, giving us news of onr chaps at tbe Canal, so we knew they were not having a very bad time, Tbe whole of the infantry who were away came bock to this camp about a week ago, and, needless to say, we mounted's were only too keen to bear personally how they fared. It appears that February 3rd was tbe biggest day's fighting, tbe 12 _ N.Z Regiment being tbe ones ] mostly in the thick of it. Of course, most of the men were under fire more ' ot less, and tbey seem to have liked the experience. Several Canterbury boys of the Ist Regiment, whom I know, eaid it was quite interesting to watch the shells bursting. Some of
fijb uitn came back with pretty tun yarns of tbeir experiences. Anyhow, tbey were all lucky to have bad the ebance of seeing it all. Most of tbera came back quite tannod by tbe sun, and with more condition on than when they left as, 00 when they told u-i it was quite a picnic we believed them. I believe there were only two 1 N.Z. casualties after all. One man was shot through tba neck, and eventually died of his wounds, and another wa9 bit on the shoulder by shrapnel, but I hear he is quite well now. The Turks bad a bad time I believe. At leaat, one thousand were killed, and another thousand prisoners taken The Turkish soldiers were very badly equipped, excepting for their rifles, and 1 believe these were newer and much better than ou _. I had a yam to Con Taylor and Percy Arnold, of the Canterbury Regiment, both of whom are well knono in Akaroa. and tbey seem to have had an excellent time at tbe Canal. TOUR ROUND CAIRO, A party of us had a grand tour round Cairo city a few Sundays ago. We bad a guido to pilot us around, and he certainly did" make it an interesting day for us. We entrained Helmieh Station, which is close to our* camp, to Cairo, and tbere got into tbe carriages which were waiting for us. We,'bad a very nice drive through tbe English part of Cairo, and saw some grand buildings and residences of English people. We then drove to the River Nile, which we croesed hy boat, and then went to an island where we visited several historic places which are mentioned in tbe Bible. Two places we visited here were—the home of Pharaoh's daughter and tbe place where Moses was picked up in 1 tbe bulrushes. At leapt tbe guide told us tbey were tbe places, but I would not swear to it myself. Per Isonally, I.think.tbe guide bad us all by tbe" leg. We rejoined our carriages and visited tombs of great kings of long ago, and mosques by tbe dozens. These places were very beautiful, one of tbe tombs costing £2600 alone. One of tbe most interesting places we visited was a little Greek church, wbicb Christ was supposed to have visited very often We drove through ' the ruins of Old Cairo, and then out to a hill in tbe desert, from where we had a fine view of an Egyptian sunset. From here we drove past the citadel, Sultan's Palace, and then came back to Cairo via the slums. An excellent dinner wa9 ready for us at the Bristol Hotel, and afterwards 1 some of tbe party went to tbe Kursaal Theatre, while others bad a roam through the streets. We came back to camp well satisfied with our day's outing.
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WITH THE NEW ZEALAND FORCES., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3453, 23 April 1915