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TOUGH WORK AND GAY LIFE

TROOPS IN EGYPT. '

Letters from soldiers in Egypt indicate that there is no monotony in the life around the Pyramids. A private of the Australian First Battalion, writing home, says:— "We are at Mena camp, ten miles from Cairo, and we reached' it at 4 p.m. on December 5. We had to sleep on the sand for two nights, and the only food we had was hard biscuits and water. It was very cold. We all felt it a bit hardi Still, we knew that it would be harder before we were through. Things have improved one hundred per cent. We have tents to sleep in, and the food is better. For breakfast we get fish, bread and butter, and tea; for dinner, stew and plenty of vegetables; for tea, we only get a cup of tea, but by that time the majority of us are in town ha zing a big feed at a swell cafe. Leave is granted twice a week, but there is no trouble to get out every night if you wish to. There are always about 10,000 troops in the city. , "The New Zealanders are at Girza, three miles from Cairo, the British and Indian troops are stationed at Cairo, file New Zealanders are very popular. Cairo is full of life. There are many beautiful French women,, and they know how to dress. The city does not wake up till 11 p.m., and' then things do fly. There is one cafe, 'The Grand Egyptian,' which seats about 400. The troops frequent it becaus-5 of the splendid music, and, I suppose, good ale. Every night the band plays 'The Marseillaiso,' 'God Save the King,' and 'Tipperary' (which' is very popular here)* Then the Silver Fern boys, about 100 of them, let go with a war-cry. It stirs one up, I can tell you. "The climate is very much like a New Zealand spring—a dry heat and very cold at night. I have neier been m better health. Can you wonder at it, seeing that we have to march' miles through loose sand, with full packs on? Then we dig trenches 4ft. deep, besides going' through field drill. I can tell vou, dad. it's tough work, but we are fast, getting into condition, and soon it will not worry us at all # , "Unfortunately there a , fair amount of sickness. Some 700 out of 30.000 are in hospital. There have onl'been two deaths since we arrived._ I received a letter from my firm, stating that they would keep my billet open, and also grant me full pay while on active service, irrespective of what flip military is giving. Isn't that splendid of them. "Evervbody seems pleased that the Union Jock 'is flying over Egypt. On day there was no madheaded excitement, hut evervhodv showed in some way lio'.v pleased they were. Tliev say we are to leave vn three months' t'me —but whither. We think it will be Francs—a day's march nearer the front." ■

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/DOM19150203.2.29

Bibliographic details

TOUGH WORK AND GAY LIFE, Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2375, 3 February 1915

Word Count
501

TOUGH WORK AND GAY LIFE Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2375, 3 February 1915

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