Friends of the Hocken WW1 Transcription Project – Diary of Dr William Aitken 1914-1915, MS-1334/001.

This is a transcript of the first of five World War I diaries of Dr William Aitken, which detail his daily activities as a member of the Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance. This diary commences in October 1914, with preparations to leave Wellington on board a troop transport (the Arawa) as part of the large convoy of ANZAC ships to Eygpt. Aitken describes the route via Hobart, Albany, Freemantle, Colombo, Aden, the Red Sea and Suez Canal to Port Said before disembarking at Alexandria for Zeitoun Camp near Cairo in early December. An incident at the Cocos Islands involving the German ship Emden is described.
Aitken describes treating soldiers for various ailments and injuries, vaccinations for several diseases, visits to local archaeological sites. He spent a period of time nearer to the Canal in Gare when the Turkish forces attacked the area.


William Aitken

Lieut. N.Z.M.C.

N.Z. Expeditionary Force


[end of page]


Sept. 23.

Reveille, struck

camp.  Left for Palmerston  N.

at 8.a.m, arrived there

and entrained at once, but did not

leave till 10.30.  Arrived Wellington

3.p.m.  Detrained men & horses

and marched to wharf, where we

embarked on the H M.N.Z.T

“Maunganui”.   Given a

cabin with Bryan, Wellington

Infantry, Milne, and I myself.

Fled the couch, slept

comfortably in bed the first time

for six weeks.


Sept. 24th.   In afternoon

attended inspection and

par send off at Newtown

Park.  Inspected by Earl Liverpool.

22,000 people present.

Marched back in the rain

& reembarked.

[end of page]


Sept. 25th.   Orderly medical

officer for the day, had

nothing to do, but examined

a man with ped. pub.

We were expecting the Governo

General to come aboard at

eleven  and then depart; other

transports were waiting in the

stream.  However General

came aboard, and announced

that we would not sail for

three weeks.  Mounted men

& horses to go ashore on Monday.



Sept. 26th.   Was officer of

the guard, and

officer in charge of the

Gangway.  Guard consisted

of Sergeant Goodrich,

Corporal Hadler [?] , 1 bugler, and

fifteen men, was on duty

24 hours.

[end of page]


Sept. 27th.   Was orderly officer

for company.  attended

divine Service at V shed.

Wrote a lot of letters.

Ambulance quarters are on in

the Smoking lounge, on the

boat deck.


Sept. 28th.   Again orderly officer;

got into trouble for not

being up at six. a.m.

However it all blew off,

nothing happened.

Horses were taken off the

ship up to the barracks.


Sept. 29th.   Tuesday.  Sent

out to the Mirimar [sic]

Camp; as Medical officer for

the Otago Mounted Rifles

7th & 12th Regiment Squadron.

Malone [?] was sent to barracks.

[end of page]


Took with me Corporal Fitzgerald

Privates Foord & Flintoff.

Arrived Mirimet [?should be Miramar] at 4.30.

and reported to Captain Glendening

Adj.  Met several old High

School boys; shared a tent with

Wilson, Machine Gun section

Otago Infantry.


Sept. 30.   Mess in a marquee,

very different from the

Maunganui but rather glad to

get away from Brass hats.

At mess Colonel Bachop talks

& the stinkers listen.


Sept. Oct. 3.   Sent a case of pneumonia

into Wellington Hospital

  1. Naylor; had only a

slight temperature 101.

Also set in Sethford, who

received a kick in knee.

[end of page]


Oct. 4th.   Sunday  Went for

a walk on the Seatoun

Heights, and saw the South

Island, across Cook Strait.


Oct. 6th.   Went with the

Regiment on a Field

day to Happy Valley.  Rode

Dr. Builasen’s [?] horse.  Came

back through streets of Wellington

a very enjoyable but dusty ride.

Sent another case of pneumonia

into the Hospital.


Oct. 8th.   Spent most of the

day at rifle range during

musketry practise:  Did some

shooting myself, made an

insignificant score, but hit

the target every time however.

Sent man to Hospital,

complained of epigastric man

[end of page]


pain, tenderness in both iliac

fossa; cleared up in five

days, thought to be abdom.



Oct 10th.   Sent man to ships

Hospital on Hawke’s Bay

suffering from pleurisy.

Expeditionary force, about

5000 men, marched to Lower

Hutt Racecourse, inspected by

Governor, and then marched back

again.  Had a rough

mount to ride, very hard to

hold, was the Horse presented by the

Albany St School to Bringhers [?]

Covered about 30 miles; a

terrible windy & dusty day,

when we got back to camp

found all the marquees and

some tents blown down.  Mine

was up however.  Near [sic] got

[end of page]


blown off my horse, rounding

into Evan’s Bay; also nearly

lost my hat & puggaree.


Oct 11.   Spent the day in camp,

in Evening went with

Captain Hammond C.Y.C. [Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry]

to visit his friends in Te Aro.

Found them out, and waited

till they came from church.

Had a good supper, but missed

the last car Home, to Mirimar [sic],

& had to tramp it, 7 miles

Held medical inspection 500 men of the camp

& got five cases; four were discharged.

Oct. 12 [corrected from 13]th.   Sent a man into the

Hospital, with pneumonia.

All the tents were taken down

& all straw burnt up.  Hospital

tent left up.  Two Japa

H.M.S. Minotaur, and the

Japanese War armoured cruiser

Ibouki [sic], arrived in Harbour

this afternoon; came from Chinese

[end of page]


squadron.  Attended a child

that had been injured some-

how or other by a horse.

Found it had 2 teeth loose and

abrasions of the lower lip, and

black eye; Parents were Danish

named Dahl,   and had to

ask the child my questions in

the Danish language although

it could speak English.

Men bivouacked in the open

Slept on the ground in Hospital

tent along with MacIntyre,

McCurdy; Howie sat up all

night writing letters.

Great excitement during the

night, patrol sent out to

capture Germans, who were

signalling at Island Bay out to

Sea, returned two hours later,

Had seen nothing, but empty

motor-car at on roadside.

Found a man with ip- [?] history, but

murmur, & skin trouble, discharged.

[end of page]


Oct. 14th.   Day of Embarkation

First lot of Otago Men left

Mirimar [sic] at 4.30. a m for the

Hawke’s Bay; next l[o]t 6 o’clock,

& last lot at 8 o’clock.

Camp was all cleared up then;

& I left with my three men

boarded a tram-car – for the Wharf.

Went aboard the Arawa, and

reported to Captain Home; have

a cabin on portside, along with

Home & Webb; got my trunk

shifted from Maunganui,

and then went for a final walk

upon up town.  Dined up town.

Got Doug & Pete a present.

Came back at and and

examined some men from

the battery; then went aboard

as it was near sailing time.

The Arawa left the wharf at

  1. p.m. great crowd on the

[end of page]


wharf; band played It’s a long

way to Tipperary.  Enthusiastic

send off, many women in tears.

Arawa anchored off Evan’s

Bay among the other transports.


Oct. 15th.   Lay in the stream

all day, nothing doing,

wrote some letters home.

Am in the second mess.

There are about 1400 men aboard,

including 70 odd dor officers.

There are 200 odd horses aboard.


Oct. 16th.   Just on six oclock

the armoured Cruiser

Minotaur, from the Chinese Squadron,

followed by the Ibouki, Japanese

Armoured cruiser, next the Psyche,

3rd class cruiser, came steaming

down the Harbour, followed by the

Maunganui & ^4^ other cruisers


[end of page]


Next came the 3rd class cruiser

Philomel, and the Arawa

followed her and the remaining

four transports followed next.

A fine sight though it  [to] see

the 14 vessels in line passing

down the harbour.  We

cleared the heads, and

made through Cook Straight t:

Once through the transports

went in two lines of  a^by  file^.  The

Maunganui leading the

starboard line, and the

Arawa the Port line.  The

Minotaur keeps ahead of the

fleet, the Ibouki on the

starboard side, the Philomel

on the port side, & the

Psyche in the Rear.

A lovely day, and the sea

was very calm.  Last we

saw of N.Z  was Farewell Spit

just before dark.

[end of page]


In the afternoon lectured to the

men from the Grand Hotel and

also from the Clarendon from

3.15 to 3.45.  Lecture was on

personal ship sanitation and

lectured in the Clarendon Hotel.

My first appearance before the

public; very doubtful about

how it sounded to them;

but they listened intently.


Oct. 17th.   Sea was pretty rough

and the ship heaved a lot.

My turn for sick parade.

half way through I felt very

queer, and soon had a

good vomit, and felt better.

Nose bled at same time.

Had a good breakfast, but alas!

was good anyway I had not

to make a rush from the table.

best luck.  After that lay down

[end of page]


& took my Mothersills capsules

pink & brown [?] according to the

directions.  By eleven oclock

I left felt all right, and had

my dinner just as usual

at and also the meal at

night, with no further results

Oct 18th    First Sunday at sea.

Attended physical ex drill

in the morning 7 to 7.30 am

Very rough sea, & vessel

rolled & pitched.  Did not

go to church parade.  A great

sight to see the other transports

rolling & pitching &

shipping the water, but I

suppose we look just as

bad to them.  Met Winkie

Austin, one of the Mounted

Signal troop:

[end of page]


Oct. 19th.   The sea was calmer

today.  No fatalities

among the horses yet,

they all seem as if they

were fool [?should be fed] up of it already.

Lectured in the Clarendon Hotel

this afternoon on Personal

Hygiene.  A great uproar when

I came to washing, said

they get no water.  I am

sure it is not their fault

if they can’t get a wash.

Sighted a school of whales, saw plenty

of spouts, but they were far off.

Oct. 20th.   Capt Home observed

a case of German Measles

amongst one of the men that

was transferred from the Arawa Waimana

Have got him isolated along

with four contacts.  Have not

seen him yet.  This

afternoon was washing day,

a great collection of clothing

is hanging up to dry.

[end of page]


Oct. 21st.   Sighted land just

about six a.m.  Very

large six sick parade; entered

the Derwent Estuary about

7.30. a.m.  Passed the Organ

Pipe Rocks reminded me of

the Giant’s Causeway.

Very glad to see land again,

wooded hills, scattered

farm houses, and fresh green

cultivated patches amongst

the bush.  Very nice

harbour; passed the slit [?]

tower.  Hobart is about

fifteen miles up from the

sea, arrived there the

starboard line went along

side the wharf to take in

water, and the men went

ashore for march.  The

port line lay off Belle Rive

During ean afternoon had

[end of page]


boat race.  Won by Artillery

men, Colonel Johnston, Cox

easy first; Mounted second

Colonel Meldrum Cox; Infantry

third Colonel Malone pulled

stroke, next came the Staff

sergeants; & the machine gun crew

last.  A good race, for second place

Hobart looks a very pretty place.

There is a German steamer, a

prisoner of war, lying in the

stream.  At 6 p.m the

starboard line came out to the

stream, all except the Maunganui

and 7. p.m we moved up to the

w Ocean pier Wharf.  No one

allowed off.  Warships are

coaling hard.  Colonel Chaytor

& Captain Thoms came aboard about

  1. p.m. Surprised when Capt McDonnell

came & hunted me up, and took

me along to the orderly room to

[end of page]


Colonel Chaytor.  He asked me

about my batman; told me

I did not report when I came

aboard the Arawa, however I did

both to the acting O.C. and the orderly

room.  He asked why I did

not bring aboard my military

record sheets & Huddocks.[?]  I had

no orders about them.  However

I had to wait and go with them

to the Maunganui for them.

Waited an hour for them to get them

& then they told me to get them myself.

Hunted up the record clerk he was

in bed; processed my papers

allright [sic] & arrived back on the

Arawa at 11.30 p.m.  Everybody

seemed to be recovering from a

very severe seasickness on the


[end of page]


Oct. 22nd.   Reveille 5.30.a m.

breakfast at 6.30.  Started off

on march from sup ship at 7.30 a m.

all the men from the portline of transports –

a very good turn out.  marched round

the botanical gardens to Cornelian

Bay  – halted there by a “beautiful

garden of roses”  and was given some

beauties by the lady.  (they now

adorn our cabin – carried them back

in my hat – real beauties.)     marched

round in a circuit; pace was pretty

stiff and the roads were rough.

Hobart town looks well from the

harbour, but is a ditly dirty

place, poor buildings although

there are some very fine buildings

& residences.  The hotels took

my fancy – seemed to be all

bar and small places like the old

English days inns, most of them looked as if

they were descended from the convict days

[end of page]


Troops were inspected by the G.O.C on

the way back.  People of Toms Hobart

were very good, brought out apples &

biscuits.  Arrived back on the

ship at 11. a.m.  Nob  No one was

allowed leave, although Webb

got ashore to get some drugs.  He

got a new glass in my watch – best

luck.  Great crowd on the

wharf to see us off.

Some Tre men were doing a

great trade in selling apples

& crayfish.  Many ladies bought

cases of apples & threw the

apples on board to the men, real

sports most of them.  Bought a

case of apples myself.

We left the wharf at noon

and went back to an anchorage

off Belle Rive.  At 4. p. m

the Minotaur & Ibouki left

their got under way; the

[end of page]


transports soon followed, all except

the Waimana which was having

some repairs to her anchor hoisting

gear carried out; she left about

two hours later  We arrived

at the heads at before dark,

and waited there until darkness

had set in before moving out

to sea.  Early next morning was

awakened by the fog signals about

3.a.m.  The Arawa was using both

her whistle & fog siren, ship was

rolling heavily, and I thought I

might roll off my bunk at any

minute, several  large crashes, from

falling crockery.  Byt

Forgot to state that all lights are

covered up at night, & only the

masthead lights & port & starboard

lights are shown.  Attended lecture

on Military Etiquette by Colonel

Johnston, was amazed [?] his high

opinion of the N.Z.Troops.

[end of page]


Oct. 23[corrected from 21]st [sic]   Fog had cleared when

we got up. 6.15;

started reading practical anatomy.

at  temporo-maxillary [?] region

in the morning.  In afternoon gave

a lecture on the “Care of the

feet”.  got some very curious

questions afterwards about corns,!

use of French chalk as a preventative!

Now bound for Albany

across the Australian Bight.

distance 1500 miles.


Oct. 24th [corrected from 22nd].     Musketry practice

on board; ship drew

out from the rest; target

was drawn behind.

Lectured on “Water” in

the afternoon.  Attended

a lecture on Field


Having very good weather,

Ibouki now on the port side.

[end of page]


Oct 25th .   Attended divine service on

the boat deck.  First edition

of the ‘chorus” published

“We are but little children week [sic]

Our tumy aches [?] are not strong

And when the ship doth roll

and creak

We can’t contain it long.”

Record run yesterday 274 miles

A roan horse of the Amm. Column

died & was lirsted [?probably hoisted] over to its

watery grave.  Sighted a whale

spouting this afternoon.


Oct. 26th.   First burial at sea

of a N. Zealander.  Corporal Gilchrist

in the Ruapehu.  The Ruapehu

came into the centre between the

two lines for th service at 3.45 p m

In the morning was standing

talking to Mrs Johnston on the

starboard rail, watching a

[end of page]


school of whales in the

distance, when suddenly one

came up to the surface about

20 yards off the Arawa, it went

off at a great rate.  It was a

small one, and had a vertical

dorsal fin.


Oct. 27th.    Having a very good

time aboard, good weather.

Lectured on Clotting and colds

In the evening listened to a good

lecture on Machine Guns by Captain



Oct. 28th.   Sighted land about

morning was rather misty,  as we

got nearer land we could make out

a large number of vessels lying

in the Harbour.  About ten

o’clock, we cleared the Heads in

two lines, and proceeded into

[end of page]


the outer Harbour, where we dropped

anchor on a gun being fired from

the Minotaur.  On our way in

we passed the H.M.S Melbourne.

Our convoy with the exception of

the Ibouki, went into the

inner Harbour, along with the

Maunganui.  There are 25

Australian transports lying at

anchor here in Albany.  They

look a miscellaneous collection,

not being painted in the

regulation war paint like our

transports; some are very large vessels,

two vessels funnels, the Orvieto &

the Militiades [should be Miltiades], others are sma a

great deal smaller.  The N.Z.

fleet  looks a long way ahead

of the Australian fleet, & more

business like besides bearing the

H.M.N.Z.T. while the Australians only

have A L.  The H.M.S Melbourne

guards the  entrance at night.

[end of page]


In the afternoon, the Philomel,

the Pyramus & the Ibouki left

for f Fremantle.  We had

another boat race, the same crews

as before competing, and the

Field Battery again showed

their supremacy – Col. Johnston – Cox.


Oct. 29th .   Lay at anchor all day,

idly swinging in the tide;

only thing of interest was the arrival

when a tender came alongside

& came Colonel Will, and Captain

Thoms came aboard. Lovely

evening, and the W.I.A band

played, very a one on the top of the Grand Hotel

Galley.  Wells Linematograph

silene [?] hauled or lead by

Commander Newton. R.N. said  a

at Got a case of appendix; in morning

had pain at umbilicus, no temp, saw

him at 4.30, complained of pain over appendix

slight tenderness; pulse 80. temp 99.8.

at 11.30 pm His pain was worse, p 106. temp 101

[end of page]


the lad had same kind of pain

three weeks before  Captain Home would

have operated right off, had we not been in harbour.

Oct. 30th.   Appendicitis man sent

ashore in a tender in the morning

Temp down to 99; patient slept

don most of the night.  Captain Home

went with him.  Colonel Fenwick,

Major Newton & ambulance squad

came out in the tender also to

attend patient.  At present it is

very warm, and we are having a

lotus eaters existence, lying

idly at anchor; spend most of the

time  gazing at the Australian

transports.  At night took a splinter

of wood ¾ inch long out from under

a man’s small finger nail.


Oct. 31st.   Another hot day.

The Arawa is not going up to

the wharves  to worst luck, and we

will not see the town of Albany.

I shall must say that Australian land looks

very uninteresting from here.  Man

with finger complaining of severe pain

in it.

[end of page]


Nov. 1st.   At six. a. m the

Minotaur, followed by the H M S

Sydney, came past us, heading

for the sea; next came the

Orvieto, and after her

followed in line 26 of the

Australian transports.

The N.Z  Fleet got under

weight [sic] at 8.25 a.m,

and proceeded out in their

two lines, and the rear was

brought out up by the H.M.S.

Melbourne.  The Australian

fleet formed a very long

line curving out to sea

and we could just pick up

the leading vessels with the

naked eye.  Once out at sea

the Australian fleet took up

their positions in three lines,

they are well spaced out.

The N.Z. Fleet brings up the

[end of page]


rear, in two lines, and in the

middle line with the middle

spaces.  The Arawa now

leads with her line on

the Starboard, followed by the

Athenic, Ruapehu, Orari & the

Waimana.  The Maunganui

leads the portline, followed by the

Hawke’s Bay, Star of India

Limerick, & Tahiti.

It is a beautiful day, and a

glorious sight.  There is great

speculation as to which is to be

our next port of call, some

favour Colombo, others Cape Town.

We seem to be following round

the coast.  Saw three flying

fish.  Divine Service was

held at. 10.30 a m.   A

beautiful day and a lovely

evening.  Man brought into Hospital

with severe abdominal pain.  Had eaten

a tin of salmon on his own!  atropine gr 1/50.

[end of page]


Australian Transports.






Clan Macquorkadale [?should be Maccorquodale]




Noroo [?should be Karroo]


Saldanu [? should be Saldanha]

Natuna [?should be Katuna]


Star of England

Star of Victoria

Port Lincoln



Kororata [should be Hororata]

Narere [should be Marere]

Rangitira [shouls be Rangatira]

[end of page]




Lenalla [should be Benalla}


Armidale [?should be Armadale]


Militiades [Miltiades]

[Note from checker: I have used spellings of ship names listed in]


New Zealand Transports.





Limerick [should be Limmerick]

Star of India

Hawke’s Bay

Arawa [?should be Arana]



[Note: checked against list in]

[end of page]

Escort [s].

H.M.S. “Minotaur”.  armoured cruiser

14,600 tons displacement; 22 knots

4 – 9.2 in.    10 – 7.5 in.    16 – 12 pds

5 maxims, 5 torpedo tubes.

crew. 850.


H.M.S. “Sydney”.

Second class protected cruiser.

5,480 tons displacement  25 knots

8 – 6 in.    4 – 3 pds.

4 maxims, 1 boat gun

two torpedo tubes


H.M.S. “Melbourne”;

same class as above


“Ibouki”, Japanese Cruiser

Armoured cruiser.

147, 620 tons displacement ;  22 knots

4 -12 in,    8 – 8 in.

14 – 4.7         3 – 1.8

4 maxims;  2 boat guns,  crew 820.

[end of page]


“Nishin”,  Japanese Armoured Cruiser.

7,630 tons displacement,  20 knots

4 – 8 in       14 – 6 in.

10 – 3 in         6 – 1.8.

Two maxims;   4 boat guns.

crew 500.


S.M.S.  “Emden”

3,600 tons displacement.

25 knots speed.

10 – 4.1 inch

8 – 5 pounders     4 machine guns

2 torpedo tubes

Crew 321.

[end of page]


Nov. 2nd.   Lectured on Value of

Physical exercises.  Lovely

evening and beautiful full moon.

Im  Case of tonsillitis with a rash.

Australian fleet is slower than

ours; day’s run 222 miles.


Nov. 3rd.    Sea rather rough, and

a stiff head wind is blowing.

Still much speculation as to

our route  & destination, we are

still standing well off the coast of

Australia, heading North-west.

The bush lawyers, etc are hammering

out this question in the Grand Hotel.

Joined by the West Australian transports

& Ibouki. Pyramus passed us

in the. port, on her way back.

Ibouki on the starboard; Melbourne

brings up the rear.  Lectured on

Typhoid & Dysentery.  Started at

French class.  Great spot to

see the other transports rolling in the

heavy sea, especially the Anglo-Egyptian.

[end of page]


Nov. 4th   Still heading nor’-west,

looks as if were heading

for Colombo, although the captain

said he had sealed orders for

Cape Town.  Lectured on hygiene

of the Mouth.  Reported that

there was an appendix operation

on the Maunganui; she stopped

all the morning, & did not get

her position again till near six.

Wrestling match on the boat

deck, between Robinson ^W.M I.^ ex

champion of Scotland &

& [sic] Hine, W. Infantry, middle

weight champion of –

for a purse of  £10.  Robinson

secured the first two falls

A very good match, & the winner

generously divided the purse with

the loser.  Sent two cases of

German M. [easles]  into infectious hospital.

One of them “Dr [“] Perrin.   These were the

first cases since our first case.

[end of page]


Nov. 5th.   The Minotaur came

down the lines today &

signalled we were going to

Colombo.  She also signalled

the N.Z Fleet.  “Station keeping

and general attention to convoy

orders, especially as regards

lights, very creditable, sorry

cant say the same of the


Some of the Australian fleet are

a blaze of lights at night,

while it is very hard to

make out the N.Z. fleet; they

are invisible at 3 miles.

We are 2465 miles from

Colombo; at present we are 24°.S.

& 106° E.

Lectured on Venereal diseases.

We are now in the tropics,

crossed the tropic of Capricorn this

afternoon.  Awnings are up

& it is getting hotter every day.

[end of page]


We are sleeping on deck at

night, but they have to get up at

3 a.m, for the crew hose the decks

down then.  Concert was held

on the boat deck this evening;

a great success.


Nov.6th.   Five more cases of

Rotheln [German measles] to-day; infectious

hospitals now full, looks as if

were in for an ship epidemic.

Starting lecturing to the

Brigade Ammunition Column

in the Hotel Cecil; subject

Camp sanitation.

Hoisted a horse overboard this

morning, the third so far.

Tonight we are well up within

the Australian lines

Yesterday afternoon the Orient liner

fo Austally Osterly, passed close to the fleet.

[end of page]


Nov. 7th.   Too true we are in

the tropics; today they held

an inspection of all ranks in

full marching order!, after that

ships sports were held; some

good boxing.  Ship’s captain

calculated that it was 5 ½ miles

from the first Australian boat in

the fleet, and to the last New Zealander

in the rear, and abo nearly 2 miles

across the three lines.

The subs. held an indignation

meeting after dinner to night;

resolved that Purdy, B.A.C.

approach the O.C. ship.

At Colonel Johnston’s lecture at

night it was simply stifling

subject,  German, French, English

Artillery.  Dry canteen doing a

roaring trade in iced drinks.

By G.O.C [General Officer Commanding] orders, officers are allowed

only to wear white clothes only after 4 p.m.

Had a military hair cut at ships Barber

[end of page]


Nov. 8th.   Appears as if something is

doing in the naval World.  The

Minotaur steamed down the lines, and

after signalling the Melbourne, went

off at full speed in a S.W. direction

The Melbourne then took up her position

at the head of the convoy.

Divine Service held in the morning.

Mightily hot during the day, fog came up

at night in afternoon; concert held on boat deck ;

first rate; we evidently have some

first class performers aboard.


Nov. 9th.   Great excitement.

At 6.31 a.m. MacLennan, a N Z. trooper

on duty in the wireless room of the Arawa,

heard S.O.S. repeated once among the

different messages that the warships

& convoy were sending.  He awakened  Daw,

wireless operator, at once; who tuned

up his instrument for the message, &

recognised it was the Cocos Islands

[end of page]


calling.  He says he could tell by the

spark [?speech], that it was them, for he has

often talked to them before.  He got the

S.O.S. repeated about fifty times,

and this message also, “a strange

warship appeared early this morning

at entrance to Harbour”. Daw

states he could tell that the operator

at Cocos Islands ^by his^ hand, was trembling

with excitement.  All of a sudden

the messages stopped from Cocos;

he only spoke for about five minutes.

Evidently our escort had not got

this war wireless message for they

were communicating with each other

and had their instruments set for it

and  5 mile radius.  Out of its 41

vessels, the Arawa was the only

one to pick up the message.

We passed the Cocos Islands at

midnight 40 miles to the East.

Daw called up the Maunganui

[end of page]


by un wireless, but could not get her,

but he ultimately got her by semaphore;

he only wirelessed the Melbourne.

Within 40 minutes the H.M.A S

Sydney left for the Cocos Islands

at full steam.  This She was on

the port side & nearer to the Cocos.

This was about 7.10 a m.

Daw states that at just after

nine o’clock the Sydney

signal wirelessed the Melbourne

& Ibouki to come at once.

Evidently she was within sight

of the messages enemy.  The

Germans as soon as the Sydney

starting [sic] calling, did her best

to th  confuse the messages

by sending stopping anything [?] at their

keep key [?]  Daw explained

that the Sydney must have

had a stronger plant, for

they got her call after a while.

[end of page]


The Melbourne and Ibouki

left at once, steaming at full

speed on our port for the south.

The former signalled, “Decks cleared

for action; convoy full speed

ahead”.  There was great excitement

& speculation aboard, but no alarm.

However, in about an hour, we

noticed the both the cruisers

had stopped, and wer had

turned & were moving ^ahead^ with us

on our port side.

About 11 a m.  we got the

following signal.  “Emden

ran aground to save sinking

from the Sydney; after this

another one, saying Minotaur

full speed for convoy; am

chasing collier Sydney.

Then another.  Emden done for

2 deaths 13 wounded on Sydney.

Daw considers that the wireless

[end of page]


[line written across top of page]

Contin of fleet at noon.  11°S. 97°E.


station was shelled just after

He the Cocos Operator had sent his message? ?

Great performance for Arawa & the N.Z.

who played an important part

in the catching of the Emden.

Evidently the Germans Emden

had not meant to attack the

transport, in fact had no

idea of our presence.  Cocos Islands

had has heard her & the collier

using the telefunken system;

they communicated this to the Minotaur

The Emden thought she would do for

the Cocos wireless station, but &

this brought about her capture.

The wireless operator at Cocos

must have been a brick.

Tonight there were special orders

about lights, and it was is very

hard to make out the different

transports.  It is thought there is

another German cruiser about,

the Konigsberg.

[end of page]


9th Nov. 1914.

6.31am. 10/777 Pte. W.P. Falconer on

duty picked up from Cocos Island

S.O.S. and strange warship at

entrance, sent repeatedly  He woke

wireless operator Daw.  In a few

minutes Emden tried to block

out messages by continuous

interruption.  Daw tuned his

instrument differently & managed

to keep Cocos Islands messages

through Emden’s  Block.

Immediately reported to the

Naval transport officer & tried

to get the Maunganui & Melbourne

but other stations working

blocked the messages

6.45am.   Waimana said,  Signals

quite good, but could not get

the Maunganui

6.50.   Signalled successfully to

[end of page]


the Maunganui, by semaphore.

7.4.    Maunganui got message

through to the Melbourne.

7.10.   H.M.A.S. Sydney, left

for the Cocos Islands.

9.32.a m   Sydney sending code

messages.  Emden trying to block

by working at the same time.

9.47.   Everybody ordered to stop signalling.

11.7.  H.M.A.S. Sydney to H M.A.S.


“Enemy beached herself to save sinking.”

11.27.   Sydney to Melbourne.

“Pursuing Merchant collier

11.28.   H.M.S. Minotaur spoke

asking for movements of enemy.

11.41.a m.  H.M.A S. Sydney to all


“Emden beached & Done for”

noon.   Casualties 2 killed & 13 wounded

(on Sydney.)

[end of page]


10th Nov. 1914.    H.M.A.S. Sydney reports

No further apprehension re Emden,

ashore on North Cocos Islands.

Foremast & Three funnels down,

& she has surrendered, while

Sydney is intact a & proceeding to

Direction Island.  Do not know

when she will join convoy.

She is remaining to take off all

guns & will probably land

wounded prisoners on Direction

Island.  She is also to report on

condition of cable.

[end of short page]


Nov. 10th.   Last night Ruwo Daw heard

vessel using the telefunken

system, but for a few minutes, but

it was not repeated.  Thought to

be the Koningsberg, but do not know

where she is.  The Nishin is

steaming far ahead of the fleet.

Very hot today; many men

parade without tunics, & with their

belts; some in pyjama sl suits,

light shirts, some only with trousers.

Canteen doing a great trade in iced

soft drinks.  The horses we now

exercised in the Shelter deck; they

have sacks tied round their hoofs;

they walk up and down, just as

if they were on terra firma.

The exercise run brings down the

puffiness of their legs, especially the

draughts and ½ draughts.

Ship run 250 miles; the best

we have done since we joined the

Australian Fleet.

[end of page]


Nov. 11th.   As the water in the bath-

rooms is very warm, owing to the

water being used as a cooler in the

engineroom, the officers had a

hose down bath on the shade deck at

six. a. m.  It was grand, although

the water was slightly warm.

Announced that all letters to

N.Z. will be censored.  Will save a

lot of writing.  Lectured to the

  1. & C. column on “Water Supply”.


Nov. 12th.   At sick parade,

man with appendicitis; his

fifth attack in 9 months.  T 102°. P 80.

Operation at 6.45p.m. in first

class smoking lounge.  Webb

gave the anaesthetic, Captain Home

operated, & self assisted.  Present

also were Dr Linklater, Captain

Dobson & Corporal Mulligan.

Patient went off very well.

Passed Empress of Russia, auxiliary

steam cruiser steaming South.

[end of page]


in the afternoon  Late in the night

the Empress of Japan, passed south


Kidd’s incision;  caecum very

hard to expose owing to retro post caecal

adhesions; gentle pulling loosed the

retrocaecal tissue, & caecum

came forward; the appendix was

pointing directly upwards, behind the

caecum, and bound down to the

adhesions by caecum by adhesions

all along its length to the caecum

With  As it was being pulled forward

it burst, & pus escaped on to

surrounding tissues.  Appendix

was with difficulty seperated [?] all

along its length; the caecum was

deeply grooved where the appendix

had been; this area, with stump

of appendix was closed in by a

double line of purse [?] string

suture.  Op. took 1 ½ hours:

Drained  pasteurily [?]; fats marbled with H2O [?]

Patient did very well after operation

no vomiting.  Boat kept going;

very steady. Position 1°S.     E.

[end of page]


N.Z. transports & H.M.S. Hampshire, went

ahead of Australians & the Ibouki.  Faster boats.


Nov.13.   Crossed the Equator

A proper ceremony had been

arranged, but it was postponed till

the next day, on account of the wet

weather; however the men took a

thing in their own; and started

ducking each other in the sail that

had been put up, between the

middle hotel and the horse boxes.

They were throwing each other in, also

off the horse boxes.  The sail

was on the deck, with about three feet

of water in it.  I got chased, from

the top of a water tank, via top of

write wireless house to boat deck,

to officers quarters; escaped but was

at last caught in the orderly

room, then taken along and ducked.

Just after this, there was a man

injured his knee on the hatch,

had him removed to Hospital was

examining him, when Captain Hudson V C [?]

[end of page]


[line at top of page]

Position 1°N           time. 3.40

rushed in, saying that Webb

had broken his neck; rushed along

& found him lying on the hotel.  He said

“I have lost sensation, I am paralysed

my neck is broken”, repeating this.

Captain Home  arr arrived at once,

had him removed on stretcher to our

cabin; only diaphragmatic breathing,

exparaltitis [?]over around at upper

part of thorax & shoulders; ^ upper and lower limbs paralysed^ conscious.

Reported to Maunganui & General

Godley sent Colonel Fenwick &

Captain Bell across immediately.

Operation deemed inadvisable.

Watched Webb all that night; ( thus

was not up with appendix man.

Morphine gr ¼ well every three hours


Nov. 14.   Webb continued in same

condition.  During afternoon got only

low.  T.106°.  P.68.  Repentic [?] 10.

Rallied towards midnight  T 101.  P 76.

[end of page]


When it came to Webbs turn, he

was taken on to the top of the Horse

boxes; and instead of having the

others duck him, he said he

would dive in himself, and he

pushed the others aside & dived.

No blame attachable to anyone.

Medical enquiry & also military

enquiry was held.


Nov. 15.   At reveille we were in

sight of Ceylon; a joyous sight

after being a fortnight at sea.

Came up to Colombo at 9.30 a. m

& went inside the mole.

Colonel Thomas, & Captain Hercus

with a stretcher squad came

aboard to help with the removal

of Webb.  He was in just about the

same condition.  He was slung

very gently over the side on a litter hatch

to a tender.  He was taken to the

[end of page]


Colombo General Hospital, and

operated on that afternoon.

Operation performed by a local

native doctor.  One of the lamina ^6th ^

was found to be fractured & depressed

it was removed.   Seemed to

fracture interiorly, & no injury

to the cord.  Came through the

operation very well.  Captain

Home was present.

Some of the men got leave

in the afternoon: did not

get ashore myself.

H.M.A.S. Sydney arrived

from the Cocos; also the

Empress of Russia, with

the German prisoners.  Sydney

only shows one hole in her

starboard side, well above

the waterline.  Wounded

were taken ashore.

There is also the Melbourne

[end of page]


& a Russian armoured cruiser in

the harbour.  The Russian was

chased into Colombo, by the Emden.

She ran away, rather than fight.

The Australian fleet arrived in

the afternoon.  A great scene

in the harbour; the shipping is

great; cannot count all the

vessels here.  The real orient!

natives in boats & canoes

ba[r]tering around us.  Taking

on water from a barge.  The

warships are coaling hard.

Spent the afternoon watching

the jabbering  Cingalese [sic];

Sleeping on deck now.


Nov. 16th.   Went ashore with

  1. M. Macdonald. First took a

rickshaw out to the Hospital

2 ½ miles, the native said.

Found Webb in a very low state

[end of page]


Temp. 107.  did not recognise me

Very fine Hospital.

Next went off to the

Cinnamon (Victorian ?) Gardens. I

The gardens are very beautiful

the flowers are magnificent,

it was too hot to walk

about.  Next went off to

see The Temple.  A dirty

broken down place, they

wanted us to take off our

boots, but we were not

having any, so we came

away, only getting a glimpse

inside.  The rickshaw men

sweated like horses.  Children

run along side singing [?]

to-ra-ra -a boomde-ay or

Yip –i-addy in i ay; &

beating their chests with

their elbows.  Plenty of

beggars about.  Passed

[end of page]


the Native quarter.  The streets are

very clean, but the natives houses

are rather ramshackle.

Arrived back in Colombo.  did a

lot of bartering with the rickshawman,

wanted to charge 7/- for the ride.

beat him down to 5/-.

Went with to the Hotel Bristol

for Luncheon.  Met Glasgow

Barnett there.  After Macdonald & I

wandered round seeing the sights.

Some very fine buildings; streets

very clean.  the bullock waggons, &

yaks; motor-cars, tram-cars,

rickshaws.  Bought some post

cards & posted them home.

As the boat left for the outer

harbour at 4. p m we made

our way back to the wharf about

  1. p. m, Had a very good day;

and plenty of “Master”, and

holding out of their hands –

[end of page]


Colombo – Aden         2100 miles

Aden – Suez                 1307    “

Suez – Southampton  3150    “

Total     6557  miles.

[end of short page]


Many other boats report that

they first heard the Cocos message

& reported it first; but they

didn’t; they heard the Arawa’s message

to the Maunganui & Melbourne; for

they reported in their messages, “strange

warship approaching entrance”,

while the original message was

“strange warship seen at entrance”.

The former is what the Arawa reported

to the H M S. Melbourne; & they

picked it up.

[end of short page]


[continues from before the two short pages]

“No fatha, no motha, me very poor

hungry” but all the same they

looked very well nourished.

Captain A.V. Short N.Z.M.C.

came aboard just before we


We have German prisoners aboard.

from the Emden. 1 engineer lieutenant

two warrant officers and 30 men

The men are mostly stokers, very

few gunners remaining alive.

Went outside the mole and

anchored at 4.30. p.m.


Nov. 17th.    Great fleet of catamarans

out fishing.  They sail very fast,

the natives keep the sail soaked

in with water, making the sail glitter in the

sun.  The Australian and N.Z. transports

left at 11.30, with the exception

of the Australia starboard line of

10 vessels, fast boats & they

remained behind to water

[end of page]


Escort. H.M.S. Hampshire.

The German Engineer lieutenant

gives a very glowing account of their

experiences.  They had a party ashore

when the Sydney arrived, with 4 maxims

They destroyed the wireless station &

cut eight callers.  This party

eventually escaped on a schooner.

German casualties 130 men killed,

30 wounded.  The fire of the

Sydney was deadly; her shells

exploded accurately, and the  picric

acid fumes killed ^a^ great many men.

The german gr shells did not explode

when they hit the Sydney, & some of

them were thrown overboard.

The Sydney opened fire at 10,000

yards, the German guns were ineffectual

at this range.  The germans were

asked to surrender, but would not.

The Sydney went into 5000 yards &

the duel commenced. (Lasted 1 hr 45 mins


[end of page]


The Emden was riddled with shells.

The gunners on the starboard gave

it up, mutinied & threw the gun

blocks overboard.  However the some

say the Captain ts could not

surrender, for the fire had

destroyed the ropes & they

could not haul down their

own flag to hoist the white

flag.  The Emden caught fire

& was finally run on to a

coral reef to save sinking.

Nearly all on the decks were

killed, only three gunners escaped

death. The Captain, & the Crown

Prince escaped.  The stablehold[?]

hands & Engineers came off best.

The Sydney came of went after

the collier, which was scuttled

by the crew to avoid capture.  The

crew went off in the boats.  As

she heeled over, the Sydney put

a broadside into her, to make sure.

[end of page]


The Syd survivors put in a terrible

night; no water; and there was great

agony; the wounded were taken off

by the Sydney next day

The Germans aboard ^ the train[?]^ seem

very happy & contented.  They

do most of the fatigue work.

When one of them was told

that the Ibouki & Melbourne were

goin ready to go into action

against them, he said “Mein

gott, I am glad it was the

Sydney and not the Ibuki [sic].”

Most of them aboard the Emden

were getting very tired of their

buccaneering life; they could not

get fresh water, the food

was bad, & the engineer says

many of them were suffering

from shock.  They all have

great respect for their captains

cleverness. (Von Muller)

[end of page]


A mild exp epidemic of

sickness, colic, vomiting &

diarrhoea has appeared on board,

thought to be due to the new

water.  Of course I did not

escape, had a very rough

time in the evening  took Ol Ricini

3 p; felt worse after it.

In the night Carrington along

with the same trouble, had

to get up to attend to him.

Several other officers, men &

some of the crew are bad also


Nov. 18th.   Feeling better

but stayed in bed till

dinner time.  Was rather weak.

Aubry Sho has an attack of

tonsillitis, in bed also.

Appendix man, has done very

well –  both wounds healed first

intention; got up today.

[end of page]


Captain Home started the typhoid

vaccinations on the Machine gun

section & some of the officers

in the afternoon.  Wilson &

Lepe were very bad, also a

great many of the men!

Started going to lectures on map-



Nov. 19th.   Started inoculating.

About one dozen objectors,

Captain Home spoke very forcibly

to them –  only made it worse I

think.  Did about 2/3 of the troops.

Short still in bed, but

better to-day.  A short

memorial service was held for

Webb, who died on the previous

day at 2. p.m.  The G.O.C.

Colombo, wirelessed this out &

also that they were giving

him a military funeral.

Let Captain Home vaccinate the officers.

[end of page]


Ships carried out fog practice

this afternoon.

The men are not so bad

to-day after the vaccination

as they were yesterday.

The sea is very calm, even as

calm as the proverbial mill-pond

It is not so warm now.


Nov. 20th.   The Ibouki with the

rest of the Australians

came up early in the morning.

The Maunganui & Star of India

(starboard line) & the Arawa

and Athenic  line (port line)

left the rest of the N.Z transports

with the Australians, and went

off to with the Ibouki for

Aden.  Eleven fast ships from

the Australians are following us.

Tried to dye [corrected from diye] my shirt khaki

with pot[potassium]. permanganate &

picric acid.  Created a new colour

[end of page]


Did no inoculations during the

day but in the evening did Mackenzie

& assistant, the Martin, MacDonald

& Morgan.  Then I was vaccinated

by Short.  Clarkson, who happened

to be passing, rushed off to bring

all the subs, but they arrived

just too late.  No doubt they would

have liked to see me done.

In the evening a mock court-

martial was held.  It was funny

at times, but rather slow.

Could not laugh much for the

pain at the site of Inoculation,

slight swelling, and felt

all right except for the pain at

locally.  Motto for the Day

“War is an affair of inoculations”.


Nov 21[corrected from 20] th [sic].   Collision between two

of the Australian transports,

Shropshire & the Ascanius.

[end of page]


No details to hand; evidently

the collision was not severe.  Two

men said to have jumped

overboard.  Funeral this

morning on the Maunganui

death of Lewis of the Mtd Field


Felt rather rotten all day.  Home &

Short wer vaccinating.  Started

wearing a Cholera Belt on the

at night.


Nov. 22nd.   Attended Divine Service.

After that inoculated a small

number of men; also talked

seriously to some objectors; only

reason they would give was that

“They objected; they didn’t believe

in it”. etc”. [sic]

Ship run 292 miles.  The best yet.

Attended one of the German prisoners;

great experience, trying to find out

if he was constipated – [two words illeg. ?have flask?]

[end of page]


Nov. 23.   Passed the Island of Socotra

this morning – famous for its

bitter aloes.  Inoculated a few more

men, & some obje converted objectors

also.  Writing letters home.

A most glorious sunset, couldn’t

describe it.  Got a cold, feeling

very stuffed up with in the head.

Had a yarn with Lieut. Haas.


Nov. 24th.   Beautiful sunrise 6. a m.

The sea was calm & still, not

a movement of its surface; the sea

was all colours with golden &

fiery colours, reflected from the

rising sun.  The Sky was

beautiful, a most gorgeous scene.

Sighted land during the

afternoon Southern Coast of Arabia.

Vaccine objectors set to work

picking rotten, stinking potatoes.

Two changed their minds & were done to

night.  Ships run. 296 miles.

[end of page]


Nov. 25th.   Reached Aden 6. a. m.

Shot fired across the bows of the

Arawa, to make her change her

course; anchored just past the forts.

Some of the Australians went inside

to coal; including the Shropshire &

Ascanius, the latter badly dented

on her port bow; the former a bit

smashed up astern; nothing severe.

Ten English transports in port here

taking English Territorials to Bombay.

No leave granted; spent the day

watching the boatmen & gazing

at the rugged short shore.  Very hot.

Aden is described as the “Whiteman’s


Rest of the fleet arrived 4. p. m

& anchored outside.

[end of page]


Nov. 26th.    Left Aden 6.a.m.

Escort H.M.S. Hampshire.  Parted

from Ibouki, who has escorted

us such a long distance safely.

Have great confidence in the Jap’s.

She accompanies the English Transports

to Bombay.

Sailed along the Southern Coast of Arabia,

rough rocky mountains, partially

covered with sand, glimpses of the

desert; a thick haze makele spoils the

view.  N.Z. section arriving ahead

of the Australians.

3p.m.   Passed the island of Perim,

Straits of Bab-El-Mandeb

(Gate of Tears).

Now in the Red Sea.

8.00 7.30 p.m.  Excellent concert on boat deck.

9.30.  Steam pipe burst in Engine room,

Arawa stopped, & we were sent right

back on the Australians.  However we

were going at full speed to gain our

position when I turned in at 10.15.

[end of page]


Nov. 27.    Passed Twelve Apostles 5 a.m

was not up early to see them.

Short & I helping Lieut. Mackenzie,

dentist to examine & report on each

mans teeth; do about the  150 men per hr.

Some mouths in a very bad state,

the owners should never have passed

the medical exam.

Passing several English transports

going in the opposite direction.

There are 40 (?) Indian transports

following behind us about 100 miles

in the rear.  One is greatly impressed

by Englands power & reserves at

a time like this

Lieut. Haas teaching his German

sailors (the prisoners) English.

Short & self had a yarn with

Haas in the evening.  He says there

were two engagements when the

Emden was sunk.  The morning

after the Emden was sunk &

[end of page]

when the Sydney came back from

the sinking of the collier the the

Emden was fast on the coral

reefs & still flying the German

flag.  The Sydney signalled her

in semaphore which she  Emden did

not understand; the Sydney then

opened fire: the aim was

deadly & it was this last

engagement when the greatest no.

of the Germans were killed.  The

Emden hauled her flag down.

At the opening of the fire many

of [the]  Germans  jumped overboard &

they were cut very badly on

the coral  Haas is very sore

about this.  His best friend was

killed during this shelling.  One

of the yo Emdens doctors jumped

overboard & broke his leg, he

reached shore, but died.

[end of page]


Nov 28.   Red Sea full of small

Islands.  Said to be the second

Hottest sea in the world, and it is

also said that it never rains over

the northern part of the Red Sea.

Passing English transports all day

long.  Since leaving Aust N.Z.

we have passed only one

steamer that was not a transport,

the Austrerly [does he mean Osterly?] the rest have been

either warships or transports.

Great excitement, unexpected


“Prepare for probable disembarkation

on Tuesday”

The Orvieto & Maunganui

have gone on ahead to make


The Arawa is now the N.Z Flagship

& has taken the Maunganuis position

in the starboard line

[end of page]


Nov. 29.   Started the inoculations

against typhoid this morning

(second injection 500 milligm

same as he first dose.)

Some of them are worse this time

than previously.  Did not affect

me near so much the second

time as it did the first time.

Were inoculating all day, and

also for one hour in the evening.

Saw a guard (over the prisoners)

playing draughts with a German,

while on duty.

Continually passing other steamers,

the Red Sea must be a great


Kit inspection; serving out

identification led discs & mess


[end of page]




Nov 30.   Helping Mackenzie to

examine the mens’ teeth all

day; would I think I wouldn’t

care to be a dentist for nuts

Feeling allright after my inoculation

yesterday.  Wrote letters home.

  1. p.m. Entered the Gulf of Suez,

can see land on the starboard

also to port.  The transports are

now in line ahead – one long

line with the Arawa leading.

Saw Mt Sinai in the distance,

a rocky looking peak.  Padre Green

very excited, says he has a fine

inspiration for his sermon on Sunday

  1. p. m. Passed the Deathless

Lighthouse to starboard.

A stiff head wind blowing –

getting colder.

Still getting cases of German measles,

the type is getting severer; men come

complaining that they have influenza

very like it, but for the rash.

[end of page]


Dec. 1st.   Reached Suez 7. p a. m

dropped anchor about 9. p a. m.

visited by a great many officials

& also native boatmen, & merchants.

Later in the morning we dropped

back to where the H.M.S. Hampshire

lay & transferred the German

prisoners aboard her; and also some

N.Z frozen mutton & beef.

Came back to our former

anchorage.  The country south

of Suez is very different to what I

expected.  High mountainous country.

1.p.m.  Pilot came aboard &

we entered the Canal, the Arawa

still leading the long line.

The Southern entrance to the Canal

is very pretty – Tewfik– looks

an ideal place.  Further on

the canal runs through sandy

country & sandhills; here & there

there are rows & patches of trees

[end of page]


and on our port for a great deal

of the way there is very green

vegetation – along the fresh water canal.

The ‘Gares” [?] are very picturesque.

Continually passing dredges.

We have a guard, served wit with

ball ammunition, and also an

18 p.q.f[18 pound quick firing gun] & a machine gun mounted

in case of any Turkish sharpshooters

on the  banks.

The Canal is guarded by Indian

Troops; we ha passed Royal

Engineers, 126 Baluchistan Rifles &

Gurkhas’s camp.  They have their

posts well trenched & barb-wired.

The Indian soldiers cheer us, and

ask “who are you”.

Passed through the little Bitter

Lake, an[d] at 4. p. m. the

Great Bitter Lake.

  1. p. m. Wrestling match between

Lieut. Murray Urquhart of Toko

[end of page]


Taranaki & Trooper Robinson

who won!  Weather rather cold

Beautiful moonlight night, &

we are gliding through the canal.

Searchlight in our bows to show

the course.  Looking out through

the porthole, I thought the

ground was covered with snow,

not being  accustomed to the sand.

A beautiful scene at night.

7.30. p.m.  Excellent concert on the

boat deck.


Suez Canal, 87 miles long.

(66 miles actual canal; 21 miles

the course runs through Lake Timsah,

Great & Little Bitter Lakes.)

Width average 320 feet.

Missed seeing a great part of the

canal, owing to us passing through

most of it at night.

[end of page]


Dec. 2nd.  Dropped anchor in Port

Said at 12.45 p a.m.  We

only took 12 hours to come through

the canal; we did cut it out.

Was awakened about 1.a.m. by a

terrible screeching & jabbering.

It was the natives starting to coal

the Arawa.  Got up & saw what it

all meant; & then went back to

bed & slept throughout all the din.

Up  Up at six a.m; vessel finished


Maunganui lying on our starboard

& in about 7 the Burmah from

Glasgow came in & anchored on

our port.  She had English passengers

for Rangoon.  The ladies aboard

seemed very interested in the N. Zealanders.

Bumboatmen flocking round; great

fun watching some boys fight

over a handkerchief; very

quick at diving for pennies.

[end of page]


There are three British warships here

(one a dreadnought the “Swiftsure”) &

also three French cruisers, & three

British Torpedo Boats.

The scene in Port Said is one that

would always be remembered.

No one allowed ashore.

Watched the natives coaling the

Dumcree; they work very hard at

it, running up the plank with a

basket of coal, dumping their load, &

then whooping down the return

plank.  Their chanties are very weird.

  1. p. m. Got going again.

Great cheering as we passed the

warship especially the French –

did not think they could cheer so

well; passed the Euripedes

& Wiltshire, more cheering.

The Northern Entrance to the canal

is also a fine one; very fine buildings

along the canal; monument to De Lesseps.

Bound for Alexandria to disembark.

[end of page]


Dec.3rd.   6.a.m.   Laying off

Alexandria, looks a very large

city.  The Arawa lay outside, while

the remainder went in; finally the

Arawa, also steamed in, and

we anchored in the basin at 10.15 a.m.

very near to the Limerick & Star of India

(Saw a great many old Varsity boys)

The largest port we have been to yet;

there is a large number of German

prize vessels in this port (Their

value makes up easily ^& over^ for what the

Emden done [sic] to our merchant vessels.

  1. p.m Arawa steamed up to the wharves.

The Limerick & Star of India are the

only N.Z. vessels not discharging.

Started discharging.  What a scene

of bustle & apparent confusion there

wharves is to be seen th on the

wharves.  Men are entraining

from the Maunganui, Orvieto, Euripedes

& Athenic.  The natives, appear to

[end of page]


be composed of all sorts.  They

flock on to the wharves, but are

driven away by Sudanese policemen

with whips.  Am not able to make

out the different races; can only

recognise the Sudanese who are

very dark skinned, & the Turks who

wear the Fez & pantaloon arrange-

ment.  They fight each other on the

slightest provocation, but it is rather a

tame sort of fighting.  The native

conjurers are very clever.

The horses that pull the cabs &

lorries are very light & scraggy.

There is a continually stream of

lorries laden with sacks of cotton

seeds going by all day.

7.30 p.m.  Went ashore with Short.  Drove

in a cab up to the square.  The horse galloped

all the way there, for half an hour.

At first we went through some

dark narrow streets, and I  wondered

[end of page]


where we were bound furd for.

We turned & twisted about in

the narrow streets; very tall buildings

4 storey on either side.  We gradually

got into the shopping area; but

the shops were new & old  little cafes

or cigarette shops, or fruit shops,

The square ^of Mahomet Ali ^ is a very fine place;

very fine & tall buildings there;

& large shops.  Mostly French.

We left the cab & walked around

the square; afterwards aH met Major

Saunders & Capt Mackenzie with a

guide, who took us off to a

“decent cafe”  Met Baight [?]

who said “he was filling his uniform”

Took a motor ca car back to

the docks; she did fly through

the sho narrow streets.

Arrived aboard just on ten oclock.

The ride we had up to the Square,

was the most fascinating;  absolutely


[end of page]


Dec 4th.   Went aboard the Maunganui

in the morning.  Ambulance

company went to Zeitun [should be Zeitoun] the day

before.  Met Captain Hercus, the

only officer left.  Adr

Spent the rest of the day, watching

^from the ship^ the throng of natives, all very

new & fascinating

German measles cases sent into

isolation Hospital ashore.

  1. Company Wellington Infantry

entrained & departed at 2 p m

At night went ashore with

Ma Aubrey Short again.  Met

Hugh Short, Hunter Will, Garf

Mitchell & Cameron in a café;

then we had a walk around

came back to ship early as

they had to be aboard the

Star of India by nine oclock.

Native quarter smells abominably;

so do the natives; can always

tell when one is near.

[end of page]


Dec 5th.  Clahan [?], Clayton,

Godfrey, Lepe, McDonald, Johnstone

& Nielson transferred to the Athenic

which is going straight to England,

taking the N.T.O’s & Mrs

Braithwaite & family.

Short ordered back to the Star of


Brigade Amm. Column & the Battery

left entrained in the afternoon

& left at 4 o’clock.  Col & Mrs

Johnston left by the same train.

Very little to do except gaze

orver the  at the crowds on the

wharf from the ship.

One of the ships crew got caught in

th a winch – attended by Dr Linklater

fracture of right femur.

At night went ashore with

Captain Short, Q. Mc[?], & Lts. Urquhart

& Wells.  Went to the Keral [sic- Kerala] &

the Moulin Rouge music halls,

everything in French; Je n’ai pas comprends.

[end of page]


Dec. 6th.   Entrained at 11.30 a.m.

& left at noon.  Officers had

a first class car, very fine.  We were

very fortunate in travelling

up during the day, for it was

a delightful trip.  A lovely day

– Sunday.  I never pictured Egypt

as being so fertile – of course we

were travelling through the Nile

Delta – fields of ripe Indian corn,

which they were cutting & gathering;

cotton fields & green patches of

young lucerne, & other green crops,

just through the ground; the

different kinds of gr greeness [sic]

of everything was wonderful;

every inch was cultivated, & what

also drew our attention was the

black soil.

The fellaheen  seemed very

friendly to us all the way; they

ab collected in crowds at the stations

[end of page]


and viewed us with great interest.

  1. p.m. Saw the Pyramids of

Ghizeh, far off in the distance –

rather misty.

5 p.m.   Arrived in Cairo, just on

dark, looked a fine Plat city.

Shaidil  Then went backwards along

another line to Humideh Helmieh (two

stations past Palais de Koubbeh,) &

very near to the camp.

  1. p.m. Detrained & then marched

into camp about one mile.

Found the camp situated on the

edge of a desert very close to

Heliopolis (place most

fashionable suburb of Cairo).

Served out with a cup of cocoa,

a bun & cheese; very good –

Then went off & reported to Colonel

Thomas – found I would probably be

transferred to the Wellington Infantry

Regiment – me & the other Mtd Fld.

Amb. Officers.

[end of page]


During the evening I also came

across Major O’Neil who

introduced me to Colonel Batchelor

& Colonel Begg. & Capt Murry.

At 9.a.m went with Haddich

down to the station to get our

qu kits & my sleeping bag.

Old Jehu charged me 4/-.

No tents were available so

we had to do bivouac on the

desert sands.  Turned it [in] at

eleven.  It was very cold during

the night, a heavy dew

& the desert very heat [?]. – at th but

I slept very sound.

[end of page]


Dec. 7th.  Reveille 5.30. a m in the dark.

Spent the morning having a

look round.  There are close on

20 thousand British Territorials (Manchester

Regiment camped at the same place

as we N. Zealanders.  They have been out

here three months.

The camp is just at the edge of the

desert which stretches away to the

South, & to the North is the Heliopolis

Oasis, which is a residential area

Got a tent with Capt. Home in the

Officers lines attached to Headquarters

(C Company).


No medical stores arrived yet.

Went into turn town with Mackenzie

met an English Gentleman in the

Car, M de Chamberlain, who told us

were [where] to go in Cairo.  M. de Sault’s cafe,

the Kersaal [sic: Kursaal], etc & pointed out the various landmarks

We went & saw Shepheard’s Hotel, walked

through, after that we went to the

Kersaal [sic] music hall started at 9.30 p m.

took the train home at midnight.

[end of page]


Dec. 8th.   Living on Army Rations –

bread very good – half white &

half brown.

Spent the day in camp fixing up

the tent, & getting the floor

hard hardened up.

Dec. 9th.  108 men on sick parade

at 6.30. a.m.  Mostly influenza.

1 man sent to Hospital with pneumonia

& another with German measles


In the afternoon went to Cairo,

met Withers & Jory,  L who has

been appointed L M.O. to the

Field Artillery Brigade, at Zeitun.

Went into Cairo together.

Took six spools to the Kodak Co.

for  development.  Returned at 5. p m

met an Armenian gentleman in the

train, who remarked that the physique

of Australian & N.Z. troops was better

than the English Territorials

[end of page]


Dec. 10th.   104 men on sick parade.

influenzas, colds, sore throat, coughs

In the afternoon, went over to

the remains of a ruined city ( its granzoid [?]

to hunt for relics of the past;

found enough beads for a necklace,

thought I had something good, when

I unearthed an urn, but it

had been broken across in half.

About Large amount of human bones

lying about.

We are encamped over the site of

the ancient city of Or

(Heliopolis); Wher where

Moses received his education &

where Joseph got his wife,

4000 years ago.

In the evening went to the Modern

city of Heliopolis for postcards

& stamps.

Wrote letters home.

[end of page]


Dec. 11thOur Our tent was

shifted further up the lines.

Wet canteen has been opened for

the N.Z. men. General Godley was

opposed to it, but General Maxwell

said it was for  men soldiers, and not

for school-boys.  A very good

thing; prevents to a great extent

the men going off to Cairo for

liquor; & no danger of them

drinking to excess here.

Saw  a p.[ost] m[ortem] on a horse

which had died from a twist

at the ileo-caecal valve;  (thought

to have died from eating sand.

Stayed in camp, this afternoon &




Dec. 9th. contd.

Notice of my transfer ^to W.I.R^ in Divisional

Orders, to take effect from this


[end of page]


Dec. 12th.  In camp all day,

but in the evening went into the

Cairo to the Kodak Company for my

developed films & photos.  Charged me

40 piastres for 48. (six rolls.).

Most of the photos turned out fair,

but bad luck that most of the ones

of the warship were spoilt

(however we were supposed to take

no photos on the voyage of warships

or transports)


Dec. 13th.  Sunday.

Infantry Brigades attended

divine Service, at 10. a. m.

The G.O.C was present; afterwards

inspected the troops.

Stayed in camp in the afternoon

& evening.  Captain Home went to


[end of page]


Dec. 14th.   Marched out with the

Regiment at 8.30 a.m. six miles

across the desert; had a ration with

us; che went through some exercises &

returned at 2.30. p.m.

Pretty tiring marching over the desert.


Dec. 15th.   Marched out again,

across the desert.

The Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps

has been attached to the Wellington

Infantry Regiment.  They arrived

in camp today.

8 officers & 220 men.

Previously they were encamped at

Abassin [sic: Abbassia] for six weeks.

[end of page]


Dec. 16th .   Went with Mackenzie

to see a neighbouring

ostrich farm.   Got some of very

fine photo snaps.  The old Arab

in charge informed us that the

ostriches for the. Auckland [?] ostrich

farm were bought there, & that

his son had been in N.Z. but

it was too cold & off he had

to return.

Teaplanters on sick parade, some

with leech bites; tropical sores


At night went into Cairo with

Mackenzie.  Visited a curio shop

got them to show us some fine

things but did not buy any.

Went to  Pathé Frères Pictures &

later to Sault’s Café.


His Highness Prince Hussein Kamel Pasha

eldest living Prince of the Family of

Mohammed Ali

[end of page]


Dec 17.   Marched out to parade


Today all those unfit for

service were sent back to New

Zealand on the Athenic.

Got rid of a great many

dodgers & wowers.


Dec 18.   Sick parade now held at

6.15 a.m.  Very many of the

Ceylon men are suffering from boils.

One man has a bad boil ulcer on

his leg; he calls it a low

country  tropical sore – many

others have leech bites, which are

very hard to cure.  Three of them

sent to field hospital with

malaria; & one with a bad


Today Egypt was proclaimed

an English Imperial Protectorate; Turkeys

Suzerainty was thrown off.  The new Sultan

of Egypt is  ←

[end of page]


Dec. 19th.  Started for the

Pyramids with McColl, Urquhart,

Morgan, Narby at 1.15 p. m.

Went into Cairo & hired a motor

car from Shepherd’s Hotel.  We

simply flew out there, the fastest

I have travelled in a car.  We

hired a guide at Mena House for

a shilling each – first went to the

Sphinx and then to the Sphinx temple

The old Sphinx seems in danger of

being covered over with sand again

In the temple the blocks of granite

& alabaster are great, & the way they

are evenly fitted. They were brought

from the quarries at Assuan [sic – Aswan].

Paid Arab 3 piastres to light a

magnesium ribbon in a ^dark^ tomb.  The

tomb was empty, but the blocks

were very large in its roof.

Had a camel ride up to the Pyramids

Nearly fell off when he sat down.

[end of page]


Engaged a gaffir [sic: ghafir] to guide us up

for sixpence each.  Off we started

we soon reached a difficult part, &

the guide remarked it was very dangerous,

& tried to raise his price to 1/-, however

we made to set off without him, &

that fixed him.  The ascent is easy,

but rather a bit of an exp exertion.

We climbed up Cheops.  470 451 feet high.

Had a magnificent view from the

top & also a cup of Pyramids

coffee, which was very refreshing.

Pyramids are built of limestone

brought from the Mokatam [sic: Muqattam near Memphis] quarries

across the Nile.  The stones of which

it is composed are sufficient to

make a wall four feet high & 1 foot

thick round the whole of France.

This is from Cheops alone.

The descent is rather difficult, one

has to be very careful so the gaffir

said, to some say it is worse

[end of page]


than going up, but I do not

think so.

Unfortunately the motor was

waiting for us, for we had

spent too much time admiring the

view of the Nile Delta & Cairo

from the top of the Pyramid & had

not time to enter see the interior.

Arrived back in Cairo about 5. p.m

Went to the New Khedivial

Hotel and had a hot path.

bath.  Had dinner at 7.

and then after a stroll down the

large train streets, which were just

thronged with people we took

the train to Zeitun at 10. p. m

Received my first mail from

New Zealand. one letter

[end of page]


Dec. 20th.   The Otago & Wellington

Battalions left at 7.a.m

& went by train to Cairo to take

part in the procession.  They lined

a part of the route.  Home & I

missed the rain, & later I went

in with Mackenzie & saw the

procession from the top of the

Grand Continental Hotel Bus at

the Opera Square.  The Procession

was a short one; the new Sultan

was well received by his subjects.

They did not shout nor cheer, but

there was plenty of handclapping

Returned to camp at 11 a.m &

stayed in camp that evening &


[end of page]


Dec. 21st.   Out with the regiment

drilling again.


Dec.22nd.   Marched out again to

parade ground in the African desert.

More letters from N. Zealand.


Dec. 23[corrected from 24]th. [sic]   Australian Light

Horse & the N.Z. Division went

on a route march through Cairo.

Left Camp at 9 a.m & marched to

Cairo through Abasia [sic], then along

the Sharia Abbas to Pont Limoun, &

then down the Sharia  Hamel; the

troops were reviewed by General

Maxwell, while passing a spot

between the Grand Continental &

Shepheard’s Hotel.  Just as the W.I.R

came up to the saluting base, we were

stopped by a native funeral.

General Maxwell stopped the troop

to allow the funeral to procede

[end of page]


down the Sharia  Bulac.

Great crowds turned out to see us.

the C.P.R.C [Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps]  came in for a

great reception from the people, marching

very well.

We next were marched along through

the native bazaars & native quarters –

out on a route march, but very

evident it was to impress the

inhabitants – 10,000 troops; each

man with 20 rounds of ammunition.

We wound around through the bazaars.

It up & down narrow streets thick with

natives of different races; & suddenly

came out on the road to Abassia [sic].

Halted at 1. p.m on an empty section

for dinner.  Had ten minutes for

lunch & then had to set off for camp.

Marched through Abassia [sic] back to

camp along the Sharia [sic] Selim el Awal

Reached camp 3.p.m; having

marched about 16 miles.

Sore heel & blistered toe, worse back.

[end of page]


Dec. 24.   Had to stay in camp

because of foot, which feels easier

today. Printing & fixing photos to send

to Neil.

Xmas Eve.   Slept in camp; beautiful

starry night.


Dec. 25th Xmas Day.

Church parade at 8.15 a.m.

Last night the NZ. contingent

arrived at 9.p.m from London.

After church parade, McColl, Mackenzie

Wells ^Hunter^ Narby & self set off for

the cle Citadel.   Took train to Cairo

& then by cab up to the Citadel.

The view from the terrace on the southern

rampart is very fine.

English Territorials & Indian Soldiers

occupy the citadel.

Visited the Tomb Mosque of

Mahomet Ali, very beautiful

& often called the Alabaster Mosque

[end of page]


but it is said to be a copy of a Mosque

in Constantinople.  Mehemet [sic: Mehmet] Ali’s

tomb is here.

The Guides tell some awful lies

about their mosques  Josephs Well

(really Sabahedin well – Saladdin [sic: Salah ad-Din])

Had to put curious old slippers  over

our boots.  The Mamelukes were

murdered by Mehemet Ali close on


Went back to the Opera Square, & then

took a motor car back to camp.

Christmas Dinner.   Turkey, green

peas, cabbage, potatoes, plum pudding

& fruit, at our own mess.  The

turkey & pudding were excellent.

had returns of each.   Knight laid out.

In the afternoon went to Cairo [?visit] again

& took motor-car out to the Zoo.

Very interesting & wonderful.  did not

see half & must go back again.

Returned to camp at six p.m.

Feeling very tired.

[end of page]


Dec. 26th.   Boxing Day.

Stayed in camp all morning,

Capt Home & Colonel Malone went

off to the Pyramids.

In the afternoon McColl and I

rode over to see the Virgin’s  Tree &

the Virgin’s Well.  The guides swear

it is the identical sycamore that

the Holy family rested under when

they fled from Egypt, but the

guide book says it is the actual

spot, but the original tree has perished

Also in  The guide told us that

the well was a  sour till the Virgin

tried to drink it, and it became


Also visited the Obelisk; the

most ancient obelisk yet she

remaining in Egypt.

Took a ride around a native

village.  Horses went to

market over the camels.

[end of page]


Dec 27th.   Church Parade for the

Infantry Brigade.  General Birdwood,

General Godley & the Hon T Mackenzie

were present.

Very hot day, & for the remainder of

the day stayed in camp.

Wrote letters.


Dec. 28th.

Dinner now at 6. p. m.

Mess, army rations & 2/- per day extra.

After dinner went to  walked

to Abassia [sic] with Capt. Home.

The men from out regiment were all doing well.

Met Fraser & Foord, both patients

also Andy Begg, who was

night attendant in a ward.

Abassia [sic] Hospital very fine &

good operating Theatre 200 beds

  1. Zealanders lucky to have

such a hospital to go to.

[end of page]


Dec. 29th.   Pte Pollok   Ruahine Hawke’s Bay Co

sent over to Fld. Amb. with smallpox.

Saw him on Xmas morning, when he

complained of a sore throat, difficulty in

swallowing; both tonsils were enlarged &

inflamed  Temp. 104.

Next morning he felt a little better

  1. 100; but in the evening he had

a morbilliform rash on the exterior

surfaces of the forearm, and also

about his ankles (none on the body)

Took him along to Captain Home –

decided it was probably a

rash accompanying the tonsillitis.

Next evening there were two or three

pimples (what they looked like) on

his face; next day patient w felt

allright tonsils still enlarged & throat

still inflamed.  Patient ang complained

of only slight pains in his back.

Two or three pimples were to be seen

on his back.

[end of page]


Next morning the back pimples on

his face & back had increased in

numbers.  Some had also appeared

on his arm. They were small &

very discrete, not no marked inflammation

around them – Probably a varioloid form.

Patient was taken away from Fld. Amb.

by Egyptian authorities.

Galloped out to training ground for

the contacts, who are were sent to Fld. Amb.

for isolation

Capt Bell died at Abassiah [sic] Hospital

Had gone there to prepare for operation.

Dec. 30.   Whole of N.Z. Expeditionary Force

marched past in line.  General

Birdwood & the Hon. T. Mackenzie.

A fine performance & credit to N.Z.

Was not present having to look after

some cases to go to Hospital.

Fld. Ambulance seems to be

dive the boat [?].  Sent over a case

of scabies for admittance; would not

anoth admit. Capt Home wrote Colonel

[end of page]


Will, who ordered them to admit him

Also went over to obtain lymph for

vaccination, would not give me

any although they had 2000 tubes of it.

In afternoon went to Mtd. Fld. Amb.

to relieve their officers, who had

gone to attend Capt. Bell’s funeral.


Dec. 31st.   In camp all day

also at night.  About midnight

the boys started to get merry,

marching up and down with

the bands playing & singing –

showing what good spirits they

were in.  However it was disturbing

the O.C. sleep.  He charged out

in his pyjamas, seized a

trombone off one man, who

took no notice of him & was

playing a march on his own.

This rhetoric & reasoning distressed

the [illeg. word] & quietness reigned, till

[end of page]


Ruahine Company marched in at

3 a.m back from a night

march, with bagpipes.  This

brought forth another charge from

the O.C. (evidently a bad sleeper,


Jan. 1st. 1915.

Parades as usual.

Went to Cairo in the afternoon

& returned to camp for dinner.


Jan 2nd.    Had to attend

orderly room to give evidence

against a pioneer, who

refused to obey a sergeant.

He got 14 days C.B.

Lieut McCallum came to visit

us & stayed to dinner.

Mail from N.Z.  Received

six letters.  no less.

[end of page]


Jan. 3rd.   Church parade 9.45 a.m.

After luncheon went to the

Egyptian museum with McColl

& Narby.  The museum is said

to [be] the largest & also to contain the

most valuable of ancient antiquities

in the world.  Saw the mummies

of Rameses II & Menhotep [?should be Amenhotep] &

many others.  Jewellery & statues

very fine.

Went for afternoon tea to  Groppi’s

The French pastry got a caning.

Wrote letters home in the evening


Jan 4th.   W.I.R. commenced

Battalion training.

Met Ritchie & Scannell.

[end of page]


Jan. 5th.   Received letters from Uncle

Will & Will Johnstone from Royal  Henley.

Uncle Will says he is attached to the

Lancashire Fusiliers stationed at

Sutton Hull.  Says he is fed up with

the British War Office for sending

him there.  Went to Cairo in evening &

got my developed films.


Jan 6th.    Went out with the

regiment to do attack practise.

Got terribly dusty at the end.

Rode Captain Homes Horse.


Jan. 7th.   Khamseen started to blow

from the South West.  Clouds of

dust & sand sailing by the tents,

luckily the wind is not strong

enough to blow the tents down.

Very disagreeable outside; while

inside everything is covered over

with a layer of sand.  Parades off

all we can do is too[sic]  sit inside

the tents.

[end of page]


Jan. 8.   Left camp at 8.a.m, the

whole batallion [sic] parading at war

strength; &marched for three

hours along the Suez Road.

Were inspected at 11. a.m. by the

Brigadier.  Left for camp at

1.p m.

Very windy & dusty again,

welcome rain fell at at dark, but

did not last long.

Rumours that we are going to

be shifted to Suez next week


Jan. 9th.    Sir Thomas MacKenzie

addressed the N.Z. Force this morning

He said he could assure us that

we would go to the front when

we were fit.

Generals Maxwell & Birdwood also were present.

In the afternoon went into Cairo

with Urquhart.  Afternoon Tea at

Groppi’s & then went down the

[end of page]


Mousky – Sharia [sic] el Mousky.

Visited the bazaar, bought two 1

cushion covers. one 42 piastres, the other

& a ladies scarf 70 piastres.  Bargained

for the two of them; bazaar [?]

owners gave us a cup of tea

while we were bartering.

Had dinner at new Khedivial Hotel.

Then went to Picture Show and

at 10.30 went to the Mille Nuits.


Jan. 10th   Captain Home & some more

officers went off for the day, going

from Ghizeh to Memphis on


This afternoon Wells, Narby, & self

went for a ride over towards the

Nile.  Horses are not taking

gue  kindly to the camels yet.

[end of page]


Jan 11   Three Companies started

musketry Practise at Abassia

Range.  Rode out & there all

day.   Came back with Captain Rose.

Fired 10 rounds

  1. p. m Started Vaccinating

Did 250  247 men before 9 oclock

247 men in 1½ hours.

Jan 12th.   Rode out to the Range again

There all day.

Vaccinating at night.  Taranaki 50

60 Ceylon privates po received

commission Indian Forces & leave

for the Canal tomorrow.


Jan. 13th.   At Range again.  Walked out & back.

Made 14 (out of 20) at 500 yards

“Daily Mail Plum Pudding at

Mess Tonight”  ozs IV each

Vaccinating Ruahine Co.


Other M.Os say they can

only do 100 men in 4 hours

[end of page]


Jan. 14th.   At Range gain [sic].

Made 12 (out of 15) at snapshooting.

& 9 at the running target (3 hits).

Vaccinating at night again.

Got Sewell to buy a pillow for me.


Jan. 15th.   In camp all day.

Vaccinating at night.


Jan 16th.   Vaccination seems to

be taking very very well.

Very fine arms.  Many men,

who boasted that they had been

four or five times without

taking, have taken beautifully

Very good lymph, this Egyptian

stuff, better than N.Z Govt. Stuff.


Jan 17th.   Vaccinated some

more men.

Two cases of Herpes Zoster today.

Went to Luxor Park at night.

Scenic railway very thrilling.

[end of page]


Jan 18th.   Most of the men

have beautiful arms.

Rode with Narby over to the

Abassia Hospital, & then

through the nature lands over

towards the Nile & arrived

back in camp at 5.15 p.m.


Jan. 19th.   After great representations

to the Colonel & Brigadier, the

battalion parade was ordered off

The men were not in a really

fit condition for parading.

Only a few have not taken

Those who have taken well &

complain of headache,

pains in the back, chilly

feelings, feverishness.

Temp. 100°- 103°.

Some complain of sick-feeling

vomiting etc.

Vaccinated the Colonel!

[end of page]


Jan. 20th.   No leave allowed to

troops until further notice.

Busy attending to men

complaining of the results of

vaccin atin ation.

Thermometer went down to freezing

point last night

 It Vac. seems to affect stout [?] people the most.


Jan. 21st.   Very dull day,

threatening to rain all day

but did not.

A “Gypsy boy” helping at the

officers mess.  Wants to learn

the language, working for no pay

“A khnut.”


Jan. 22nd.    Heard Artillery fire

for the first time today; our

batteries practising.

Captain Galbraith C P.R.C  met

with serious motor car accident, this


[end of page]


Jan. 23rd.   General Godley

addressed the officers of the force

at 8.30.a m this morning.

Touched on several matters of

importance.  Said we might be

called on to move to the front

any time now.

Went down the Mousky with Wells

Took a guide and visited

a mosque, silk bazaar, shoes

bazaar, spice, & scent bazaar

Very interesting to see them

grinding lals [?] to make spice

(also adding dried orange peel &

other refuse) & working at hand

looms making silk.

Returned to camp & let Captain

Home off for the evening

Was vaccinated at noon.

The mosquitoes seem to love me.

[end of page]


Jan. 24th.   Left Cairo at 9.30 a.m

for Badreulen [?],  Party consisted of six

other officers, and  Suliman, the guide

who had everything arranged, tickets

donkeys, lunch backsheesh. Morning

was very misty, but as neared

Badreulen [?], reached at 10.35 a.m, the

mist  lifted, & the sun came

out.  We then mounted our donkeys,

& set off for Memphis, which we

reached about half past eleven; here

we saw the ^two^ colossal statues of Rameses

II & the Sphinx of Memphis.

Very little ruins of ancient Memphis

are to be seen.  Next we went

on to Sakkanh.  My donkey was

called Ginger beer, other names

were Angelica, Whiskey & Soda,

Roosevelt, Automobile, Telegraph.

Donkey riding is very comfortable & Easy

Passed through the native village of

Sukhart [?], & then came out on to the sand

[end of page]


and up into the hills.  At  Up till

now we had been travelling through

fertile country & villages – fiel

feddans planted with clover, cucumbers,

tomatoes, melons.  Arrived at the tombs [at Saqqara] at 12.30

First visited the Tomb of Mera and

his two sons.  The tombs are now

underground temples, consisting of

chambers, and passages, with

paintings & sculptures on the stone walls

In the tomb of A – Isa (?) which was

evidently a temple where nursing

was taught, for there were drawings

showing obstetricians delivering a woman

In the tomb of Mera, Mera was

shown playing chess with his wife.

We next went up to Mariette’s

House, & had lunch there. Suliman

produced a hamper, and we had

2 fowls, ham, ^roast^ meat, boiled eggs

bread butter, & oranges, pears, apples &


[end of page]


After lunch we visited the

Tomb of Thi, where the sol

sepulchral chamber is reached by

going down steps, & then down a long

subterranean passage.  In this

tomb the colours of the paintings are

wonderfully preserved.  Next we went

to the Serapeum,  the mausoleum of

the Sacred Bulls.  This was wonderful.

The large subterranean passage,

about twice the size of a railway tunnel,

cut out of the solid rock, underground;

It contains 24 granite sarcophagi.

Went inside one of these sarcophagi.

No remains of the bulls were found in

any of them.  We each had a candle

& it all felt very eerie  The

sarcophagi built of ^single^ blocks of granite,

and each stands in a chamber off the

main passageway.  Weight of sarcophagus. 75 tons

Next went on to the tomb of Pth

Ptah-Hetep, where the drawing of the

[end of page]


animals is excellent.

Passed close by the Step Pyramid, which

Mariette reckons to be the oldest

historic building in the world, for it

was built to King Mnephes [nowadays attributed to King Dioser].

Also saw the Pyramid of Uras.

Left for Badreulen [?] at 3.30 45. &

went back by a different route.

Caught a train at 5.5 p. m and

arrived back in Cairo at 6.15. &

then went on to the Zeitun Hotel

for dinner, & then donkeyed

back to camp.


Jan. 25th.   Went down to the Royal Grand

Hotel at Zeitun for a bathe,

and just after I got back, word

came out that the Turks were

advancing, and that the N.Z.

Infantry brigade was off in the

morning.  The news spread

rapidly round the camp,

[end of page]


and cheering & Maori Haka’s broke

out at once.  Excitement ran high,

and very soon the bands started

playing Rule Brittania [sic], & other patriotic

tunes.  Even the N I R band got

its tail up & played Tipperary &

Everybody’s doing it.

Many thought it was a rumour,

but soon after dinner out came

the orders to pack. & the serving out

of ammunition

Did not get to bed till midnight,

had to pack up extra gear


Jan. 26th.   Up at 4.30.a.m.

Breakfast six a.m. & marched

out of camp at seven, with

N.W. Co & Bay Co & p ½ of Ceylon.

Marched to Palais de Koubbeh &

entrained but did not leave till

10.20.  The rest of the Batallion [sic]

did not leave till 12 30.

[end of page]


Arrived Zagazig at noon and had

lunch at 12, arrived at Mehatet

el Kubri [may mean el Mahalla el Kubra] at 4.30 p. m & found

part of the Otago Batallion [sic] there

before.  Went into Bivouac opposite

the station, about mile and ½ from

the canal.  Noticed three warships

in the canal.  During the night

was awakened by shots, machine

gun, & occasional gun fire.

Did not last long however  3.30.a m


Jan. 27th.   Kaiser’s Birthday.

Cox prophesies that it is his last.

Marched out of bivouac at 8.30 a  m

for Canal Bank, a little over 1 mile

distant, arrived there the men

took up position on banks of canal,

in what trenches were there, and

also set to making new trenches

where required.  Battalion taken

up a line on canal bank over

[end of page]


nearly three miles long, reaching

from Shaloufa [?] (station on Canal) to

Captain Home be about 5 miles from Suez.

Captain Home established two

regimental aid posts, he taking the

one at  headquarters, and I the other

at above the ferry at Kubri, at the

Taranaki Headquarters.

Rained for one hour at lunch time,

^got^ very muddy.

The Indians tell us that the Turks

came up to within 300 yards

of the trenches last night, & they

judged they there are about 200 of them

Taranaki Co is in position just north

of the Ferry at Kubri, on the left of

No 3 fort, on the west side of the


Aubrey had established dressing

station very close to us.

Getting bully  fr beef & army rations

Slept very comfortable.

[end of page]


Jan 28th.   No disturbance at night.

Patrol of Indian Lancers ^Imperial Service Cavalry^ went out

& report nothing seen of enemy.

No. 3 post seems very strong from

this sight; manned by Indian ^Punjabis^ troops

& two searchlights, one in the post

& another on dredge.  Bomb proof.

2 Otago platoons went over last

night as reinforcements.

Nothing doing during the day.

Had a swim in Suez Canal.


Jan 29th.   Submarine, first I have

seen,  went through the canal this

morning.  Travelling Fast.

Australian & N.Z Transports, 15 of them

went through the canal this morning.

Great cheering when the N.Z  mounteds

went  through, the infantry were

loaded at Suez & entrained up

to Zeitun last night.

Two gunboats now patrolling up &

down the canal.

[end of page]


Jan. 30th.   Alarm at 4.20. a. m.

while battalion concentrated at

Kubri Ferry.  Turned out to be

only practising alarm movements.

Very pretty to watch the searchlight

playing in a semi-circle, along

the sand ridges in the distance.

Returned to camp about six o’clock.

Men spent the day improving

the trenches.

Some  Two more transports went through,

one the H.M.N.Z.T.10 (Knight of

the Garter) Prolonged cheering.

Several passenger & cargo boats

went through.  The Persia &

the Orseva were crowded with

passengers & gave us a warm

reception, just chucking

tins of cigarettes overboard, which

our men swam out and got.

Saw an aeroplane for the first time

flying east for observation purposes

a very pretty sight: very graceful,

[end of page]


Jan. 31st.   Sunday.   church parade held

at 8.30. a.m.  after that the men

were started off on improving the


Last night the sentries of the

Wellington West Coast Company

were fired on by the Turks from

the opposite side of canal, a

few hundred yards south of

of [sic] Post No. 2; our men did not


The “Arabia” passed north,

looked f very inviting, offering

all the comforts of a home.

“Hullo, Johnny,” the greeting between

New Zealanders & the Indian

troops.  The Ghurkas are wonderful

little chaps, and in military

significance are just ‘it’ as regards

drill & smartness.

Reported desertion of four Punjaubis [sic]

from No. 3 post, last night.

[end of page]


Feb. 1st.   Men still at work on

their trenches, they all make

excellent navvies.

Mounted Patrols of the Imperial Service

Indian Cavalry go g out morning &

afternoon & have nothing to report.

After tea was sent down the canal

to No. 2 post as M.O.  Went over

in steam launch.  Post commanded

by Major MacLeod, & composed of

Ghurkas, two platoons of Otago men

& two platoons of Taranaki Company

Slept in behind the trenches, ^400 men altogether^ rained

a little slightly but soon passed

off.  Night was dark, and ^an^ attacker

was expected but did not take place

Turks are supposed reported to be 12 miles

off this post at Bab el. Bir Mabeink

with outpost at Bir Gemel Gebel Bur [Gebel means hill or mountain]

Gebel Raha is the name of the

range in our front.

[end of page]


Feb. 2nd.   Went back to headquarters

in the morning, and was sent down

to the gare opposite Post No. 2.

Blew terrible sand windy.

Stayed the night at the Gare, slept

in the maltese Cart[?].  About 12.20.p m

the Turks started firing, thought

it was at No 2 post, but it was at 3

at Kubri.  They fired for almost 1 ½  hours

and did no damage.


Feb 3rd.   Wellington Battalion

went out of the trenches, back to

camp Alimento, and Otago went

into the Trenches.  Taranaki Co went

into Kubri Post & Ruahine went

into  the Shaloufa [sic] Post.

In the afternoon received orders to

proceed & stay at No. 2 post.

Got back there just before dark, rowed

across canal by people of gare (attended sick

men there night before.

[end of page]


Feb. 4th.  Rained for almost 2 hours

last night, got put my oil-proof sheet

over me, but got slightly my

blankets wet.  Slept through it all

North Otago Company and a double

company of Ghurkas in No. 2 post now.

2nd Battalion of 7th Ghurka Rifles

Capt Statham discovered footprints

of three men and a dog on the left

flank out towards the canal bank &

also marks where they had been in our

dug trenches, thought that the marks

are made by some of the Baluchi deserters

& a Turk,  retant [?] dogs are being used

to carry messages from behind our

lines to the enemy.  About midday

two officers shot a dog, on the canal

banks east side.  It was in very good

condition and made off towards the

Turkish position.  I bled harness marks

behind the foreleg, on the brisket.

At night several intermittent lights

[end of page]


were noticed, and judged to be

coming from an isolated house far

back from the railway.  House under

Observation.  Captain Statham,

his butler [?], Mathieson & two Ghurkas

went out at night to catch the

owners of the footprints but returned

& reported nothing seen.  Reported attack

at Ismalia yesterday  Two N.Z. wounded.

Canterbury & Auckland batallions [sic] were in the fight

Feb. 5th.   Had a professional talk

with Mean Jan, sub assistant surgeon

Indian Ambulance, it is [this] morning.

He aired his views & knowledge on

pediculosis & bacteriology.

Late in the day went ^walked^ over to Camp

Memento and had dinner there, rode

back again about five.

During the day reconnaisance made

from Kubri post.  Party consisted of

2 platoons of Gurkhas, 2 platoons Taranaki

Hyderabad Lancers & ^Battery of ^ Marilet [?] Territorials

Advanced up to the Turkish position

[end of page]


where they were shelled.  They returned

again to Kubri ^for all the Turks cleared out^  One Hyderabad Lancer

was shot through the head.

Lights seen to be signalling again,

also a light replying from the Turkish



Feb. 6th.   Sent a man off to Fld Amb.

with Tren Barbas[?].

Took a few snaps

Nothing to be seen of the Turks


No lights signalling at to-night, party

sent to surround the place.

Captain Statham, Hickley, with several

Ghurkas went out just after dark

to try and catch the blighter, who

spies on this post; and who leaves

his footprints so clear.  They stayed

out allnight [sic],  but their plans were

spoilt by one [of] our patrols firing two

shots at them ending the night

[end of page]


Feb. 7th.  Sunday.

A party of 5 Ghurkas and 2. N Z.

went right out to the enemies

trenches, but could see nothing of


  1. M.S. Triumph went North

through canal this afternoon. (Tsingtao)

The Ghurkas greeted her with British

cheers, and the tars replied – then the

New Zealanders cheered & ^gave^ hakas

It was wonderful to see how the Ghurkas

cheered; showing their loyalty, &

also admiration for the Triumph.

Got a tent up at our bivy, Major

Mitchell, Severo [?] guns Wilson & myself

in it.


Feb. 8th.    Aeroplane reports

nothing to be seen of Turks

at their position at Bir – Gemel,

left a number of prepared trenches

behind them.

R.M.S. Majola passed north today

[end of page]


Feb. 10th.   Quiet day.

Crossed the canal, and went

for a stroll up to Kubri. Ferry.

Met Sid Fitzgerald & Bell at Amb.


(Feb.9 [corrected from 10]th)   Padre Ross, Hickley & Wilson

went down to Suez for supplies

& a days outing.

The Warwickshire came through

to day, chucked about a dozen tins

of cigarettes & tobacco overboard.

The Ghurkas now are swimming

for the tins; great delight of the

others when one Ghurka fell in

off a boat with his clothes on.


Feb. 11[corrected from 12] th.    Mean Jan and his

ward orderly were transferred to

Suez this morning, and his

place was taken by Kishan Lal

sub-assistant surgeon, 135th Ind. Amb.

and one a.b.c. man.

[end of page]


This ends my “Sherlock Holmes”

stunt for the present

Had a swim in the canal.

Diarrhoea rather prevalent just

now, attribute it to clay &

dust getting into the food.

Afternoon.  Went to Campiemento [? nearest NZ camp was Ismailia]

took a short cut across country,

across land which was very

mucky, being tidal covered.

Kept going in a straight line

till I came to the Sweet water canal.

This blocked me, and I had to

walk along its bank, for a taking

me out of my path, finally I

for ^came^ to a boat & got a native to

row me across.  Reached camp

& got two letters from Home,

written during Xmas Week.

Was introduced to General Mellis,

and also to Captain Home’s wife,

who is going as a nurse in Suez

hospital.  Could not stay long – Had to walk

back before dark

[end of page]


Feb. 12th.   Sewell, Broad, & Perrin

came over from Campiemento

this morning, for a day’s outing

& swim in the canal.

Sewell thoughtfully brought me

a change of underclothing &

clean towels (his own that

he had not used)

Tur[k]ish Horsemen seen just at

dusk, watching our position


Feb. 13th.    Tracks of two horses

found this morning up to within

500 yards of our trenches; fresh

tracks & must have been Turks.

came straight up & turned back.

Steamers are now passing through

the canal at night (don’t know why)

Major MacLeod still investigating

the lights signalling in our ^rear^ late;  they

 dis  have dropped off of late, & the

enemy are not showing any lights

in our front now.

[end of page]


Feb. 14th.  Sunday.   Church Parade 9.a.m.

About eleven o^c^lock a dead body

was noticed floating north up  the

canal; the mail boat picked

 it up, & then handed it over to

the gate-keepers who were ordered

to take it some distance north

from our post.  The body had

been over a week in the water;

there was a bullet wound in the

lower part of the back close to the

spine; one the right leg was

missed ^ing^; taken off clean just below

the knee ( very evidently ^done^ after it had

been cast into the water.

The gate-keepers said it was

the body of a Syrian, & we

came to the conclusion that it

was one of the enemies men, who

had been shot in their attempt to

get pontoons across the canal; (but

I could hardly see how it f would

[end of page]


float so far south (about 30 miles,)

& then be floating back again

The clothing was not military, & there was

absolutely no means of identification

only a knife & an empty purse being

found on the body.

Major MacLeod had it buried at

once over the north from the post.

Great excitement this afternoon.

The Ghurkas had a lot of rum

served out to them.

I noticed some of them going back

for a second lot.


Feb. 15th.   Post was inspected by ^five Generals

Generals Douglas, Bingley & Younghusband.

by General Wilson & General Mellis

& staff; seems they decided to

keep up this post; not to abandon it.

The place was full of brass hats.

200 Turks done for down at

Tor by Ghurkas & Egyptian troops

last Friday morning.

Paid some mess bills this evening [written over correction].

[end of page]


Feb. 16thThree Two passenger boats

from India went past this

morning; both had a large

number of women & children

aboard, presumably officers wives

& families.

Very near I sunset the

Ghurkas did a Limbu dance,

in our honour.  This is the native

village dance; which is danced

by the men and women, when

gathering the rice in November.

They linked arms, and went

through a lot of different steps

with all the time making a

peculiar noise in their throats.

Very neat footwork.  A  subadar  [sic]

explained to me that they did

not do it very well, for the

men were from different villages

& each village had a dance

of its own.

[end of page]


At the finish our men gave

a Maori Haka, which they

enjoyed & handclapped.

Later on in the evening the N.Zers

song sang popular & ragtime songs,

while & the Ghurkas sang

native songs alternately.

This evidently because of the North

Otago Company going out of the Post

tomorrow.  A very close friendship

seems to have sprung up

between them.

Kishan Lal informs me (that

when I asked ^what^ his decoration was for?)

that he was with Colonel Younghusbands

expedition into Thibet.  He went

as far as Gog Gangati (?); 100

miles from Lharsa [sic].

Fresh dog tracks are seen on canal

banks, so about 500 yards north of Post

every  morning, & sometimes accompanied

by fresh human footprints.  Major MacLeod

has asked me to procure some strychnine for him

[end of page]


Feb. 17 [corrected from 18]th.    North Otago Company

went back to Campiemento this

morning, & the Otago Company came

here to take their place.

In the afternoon I walked into Suez,

went across the mud flats, and then

through the native quarter.  Took

me a little over an hour.  Made

several purchases for the mess

in the Price [?] Colmar.  At the English

Groceries asked for ½ doz packets of

rolled oats.  Could not get native

to understand me, “Roll of sanitary paper”

he says.  After visiting some English

chemists, and also the Public Health

office (where the clerks were very aggravating)

I finally got some Strychnine Sulphate

at a Greek Chemists.

Suez is not a very inviting place

by any means

Caught a train at 5.30 p. m for Kubri

& than walked down to No. 2 Post. then

rowed across canal in boat;  & reached here 7 pm.

[end of page]


Feb. 18th.   Sentry noticed two

men walking in from the hills

about 1 ½ miles out at 11 a.m.  Major

McLeod at once sent out a patrol

of Ghurkas  under Hickley.  The

Ghurkas doubled out nearly the whole

way, as the Hyderabad Lancers

had been sent out from Kubri

to bring them ^in^ also.  The Turks

made towards our men, who

just got round them as the

Lancers galloped up.  We had a

fine view of it with the glasses.

They were deserters, one a Turk (?)

who wore khaki trousers & puttees

rest native dress; & the other was

a Beduin [sic].  Both were thin, & the

Turk had two wounds; which I

judged were caused by a scimitar,

a small wound above the left knee

& a scalp wound on the back of

the head.  He had them dressed

with a piece of paper next the wound

[end of page]


Both Septic

& part of his own clothing for

a bandage.  The Beduin [sic] tried

to make out he was friendly, but

they were both sent down to Suez

under a guard at 4.30 on the

mailboat.  I was surprised to see

how quick the Gurkhas were

to carry out water & chappaties [sic] &

rice to where the prisoners were kept.

In afternoon walked up to Kubri

Ferry to Wellington Headquarters, as

they are now defending the west bank

of the canal.

Reviewed a Witness from Aunt Lydia


Feb. 19th.   Rather misty today.

Gurkhas versus N. Zealanders

at a game of soccer football

won by N. Z.  Afterwards the

  1. Z. gave an exhibition of

Rugby, which delighted

the Gurkhas immensely

Huge yells of delight, whenever a man

went down in a good collar, or a scrum.

[end of page]


At 5.30. p.m. went out with

the major & a Gurkha

to lay the poisoned meat for

the dogs.  Sent  Set four lan baits.

Major showed me the marks &

signs on the ground; & also where

they had spilt oil on the ground

in two places.


Feb. 20th.   None of the four baits

had been touched – no marks

to be seen about.

About 3 o’clock got orders to

go back to Wellington Regiment

at Headquarters at Kubri,

Scannel being sent down from

Campiemento to take my place.

Left the post about 5.  Sewell

meeting me with Cart to take

my stuff up.

This morning a body consisting

of Bikaner Camel Corps  & a two

company of Baluchis went out

[end of page]


300 camels


into the desert; intending

to go 40 miles out to east to

establish a depot for petrol

for the aeroplane, to allow her to

go out another 60 [corrected from 40] miles.  Thus

reporting over 100 miles east of canal.


Feb. 21st  Sunday.

Rather warm; went for a

swim in Canal.  Practising

overarm stroke.

Canal at Kubri is 200 yards wide


Feb. 22nd.   Aeroplanes flying

by about every hour; seem

to be two of them very busy


H.M.S. Ocean went north

through Canal this morning,

on her way to take part in

the Dardanelles bombardment.

[end of page]


Feb. 23rd.   Shifted up to Wellington

West Coast Company hd. qrs.

to establish dressing station there

They occupy west bank of Canal

from Kubri to Shaloufa.

Took Bastings & Broad with


During afternoon, scouting party

came back.  Infantry went out

15 miles, & camel corps out 35

miles, while aeroplane covered

about 100 miles, & saw enemy

retreating, about Nelhl [?],

dropped a bomb amongst them

to hurry them up.

Also saw several dead camels.

Reports state that the Turks

are quarreling [sic] amongst themselves.

[end of page]


Feb. 24th.   Took a stroll

along sweet water canal,

wonderful how irrigation

turns the sandy desert into

rich fertile land.

Fourteen years ago they say there

was no vegetation in this region

but now there is a strip of

cultivated land, trees & palms

on each side of the sweet water



Feb. 25th.    Making preparations

to leave Canal.

R.M.S. Orontes passed

through Canal this


[end of page]


Feb. 26th.   Up early, marched

to Kubri Ferry & then to

Kubri railway station, arrived

there at 9.a.m; & entrained

at 11.15 & left at 11.30.

General Mellis & many English

officers came to see us off.

Captain Home went by an

 ent earlier train at 9.30. a. m.

Between Neficha and

Zagazig we passed the

battlefield of Tel-el-Kebir,

I saw the earthworks thrown

up by the Egyptians; & also

the Graveyard where the English

Soldiers were buried.

Arrived Zeitun about 5.30p.m

each detrained, and

marched off to camp; &

found tents up ready for us.

Thankful when I saw my

trunks & kits, allright [sic].

[end of page]


No signs of a to meal

forthcoming for the officers, so

Narby & I went over to the

Grand Hotel at Zeitun and

had dinner at 7 o’clock.

Returned afive after eight

& after visiting the military

picture show, went to

bunk, after a long day.

Put on a new pair of boots

in the evening, & took the

skin off one ot  of my heels


Feb.27th.   Had breakfast

at the reinforcement officer’s

mess; very strange but was

sitting next to one of the

Hardies, and did not know

  1. Later in the day he came

along & spoke to me, for he

heard my name, & knew I

was with the force.

[end of page]


Very dusty & windy in Zeitun

today.  The camp is very large

now, for 2 Australian Infantry

Brigades, & 1 brigade of the

Australian Light Horse, are camped

over at the Aerodrome.

Now in tent with Morgan & Lee.

Captain Home sharing Major Hert’s



Feb. 28th.  Sunday.

Dusty & windy.

Stayed in camp.  Messing

with Shepheard & Narby.


Feb. 29th.   March 1st.   In afternoon went

to Cairo with Narby; visited

several shops but bought very

little.  Had tea at Groppi’s

about five o’clock – fashionable

hour here for tea.  Then strolled

round; t the  had dinner at

[end of page]


Saults – went to pictures


March. 2nd.   Ninety-seven

men on sick parade.


March. 3rd.   Divisional Training

of the combined Australian &

New Zealand Division.

Left camp 8 a. m. & returned

at 7.15. p. m.  Put in some

solid marches, hot & dusty

    ran by  all water ran out,

& we had a terrific thirst

My regimental number is

changed to 10/159A.


March. 4th.   Examined & wrote

reports on 13 men to be

invalided back to New Zealand,

also examined 13 8[corrected from 7] men for the

detention prison.  George Gooch

came along to see me.

[end of page]


March. 5th.   Shepherd, Narby, &

self went to Cairo, where we met

Major Charters, and we drove up

to the Citadel –  drove through the

Abdin quarter, where I had not

been before.  Found Egyptian

Stores closed; then drove round &

back of Citadel to Arsenal,

but Shepherd coul could not get

pistol ammunition.  Had lunch

at Groppis & then took train

back to camp.

Divisional training night manoeuvres

being carried out tonight

Division leaving camp at 8.30. p. m

Am remaining in camp to

look after our sick.


March. 6th.   Regiment returned

at 9.30. .a.m.

Appears we have about another

week to spend in Egypt.

[end of page]


Printed photographs for Neil.

Attended medical board to give



March. 7th.   Sunday.

Brigade Church Parade,

General Birdwood & General

Godley attended.

Went to Luxor Park in evening.

Very windy & dusty.


March. 8th.

Very dusty & windy

Out on night manoeuvres,

Infantry Brigade Training

practising night attack


March. 9th .   Divisional orders

contained notice of my promotion

to the rank of Captain; dating

from the 20th November.1914.

[end of page]


March. 10th.   Brigade training.

A scorching day, with a dry

hot wind; out on the desert

towards the third tower.

The water in our water bottles

became very warm, & it was

unpleasant to drink.

Returned to camp at 3 30.p. m.

Attended orderly room to give

evidence; poor beggar got 14 days C.B.

A terrible thirst

In evening went with Narby

to Helmieh Military Picture Show,

Along with four other about four

other officers to judge the singing

of some of our troops


March. 11th.

Very Dusty and Hot.

[end of page]


March. 12th.

124 men on sick parade.

30 returned to duty.

70 light duty.

18 excused duty.

6 men sent to Hospital.

Divisional Training   Did not

go out stayed in camp.

In evening went to Gault’s for

dinner, & spent evening in Cairo.


March. 13th.   Obtained an order

for horse from adjutant, &

went down to Headquarters to

get it signed by Major Reid. D. A Q.M.

Saw him & he said he did not

need to sign it; advised me to

take it to the A.D.V.S.

Could not find it him.

[end of page]


March. 14th.   Went down to the

Abassia Remount Camp, taking

Sewell with me.  Found Tayler

who is the vet down there, and he

showed me around.  Told him I thought

him I thought it would be best

to get my order signed at Headquarters

first before picking the Horse, but

he thought otherwise, & said pick the

horse first.  He showed me a few

he picked out.  Satisfied he is no

judge of horses.  We then went to an

Australian sergeant major, and he

said he could lay me on to some-

thing good.  He brought out a

beautiful chestnut, and they put

the saddle on him, I went to

get on him, but I changed my

side mind, for just [when]  I went to

swing up, he reared & started

to buck & kick.

Next they brought along another

[end of page]


chestnut, whom they said was

quite quiet.  He looked it, but

as soon as they put the saddle

on him he tr tried to buck

the saddle off.  Went to

market a treat; but Sewell

rode him with the saddle off,

& then I also had a ride on him

bareback.  I told the Sergeant

major, I wasn’t a buck rider, &

to come off his game.  One

of his men said, Its suicide

to ask a man to ride that

horse, & he was promptly told he

would be sent back to the

Infantry.  I judged these horses

were brought off the ranges in

a mob & sold to the Government

in Australia.  However I finally

picked a black beast, nice

& quiet; & then went up to

headquarters to sign for him.

[end of page]


But they told me they would

not issue him to me, for they

had no orders to do so; &

before I t could get him I had

to get the signature of the O.C.

Australian intermediate Base, & then

get it countersigned by a Colonel

in the Kair-el-Barracks.

Arrived back in camp at 2 p.m.

Went to pictures in evening with

Shepherd & Narby.


March 15th.   Went down to Colonel

Young, A.D.V.S. about my Mount;

Captain Home gave me a mount note

to take to him.  He gave me the

choice of two horses that he out

the dozen he had there; and I

chose the black mare, which seemed

to be the better of the two.  The

vet wanted me to take the other,

but I didn’t like the look of one of

[end of page]


one of [sic] his hoofs, & he seemed

very seedy & low in condition

Sent Sewell down to get horse ^No.2697^  Reg No.9.

Lookarded very threatening all the afternoon

and about four-o’clock it started

tow to rain, & it rained heavily for

a quarter of an hour.  It cleared

off, but we had another short heavy

shower at night.

About 7. p.m. a man broke

his rit he right leg, both bons

bones just above the ankle.  He

was wrestling with another man

& each had the toe hold on the

other.  Attended him, applying

temporary splint & sent him

off to Abassia Hospital by

Motor Ambulance.

[end of page]


March. 16th    Thundered good oh

about nine o’clock and

rained very heavily for quarter

of an hour, and  then cleared

off altogether.

Captain Home & wife leaving

for Luxor by tonights express.

He has obtained four day’s leave.

Reveille was at 4 oclock

this morning. (Morgan reminds



March 17th.   The High

Commissioner for Engl Egypt.

inspected the N.Z. Camp

at 4.p.m. this afternoon.

At 5.15 the Infantry Brigade

marched out to Bit-el-Shatt, &

on the way was joined by the

Australian Brigade.  We

bivouacked about eight oclock,

& at two next morning an

[end of page]


attack practise & trench digging

was carried out.  Slept very

well on the ground.


March 18th.   Arrived back in

camp. at a quarter to seven.

Spent easy for day in camp.

Drew pay in evening.


March. 19th.

Went for a ride on new

horse; went along  very

nicely, not afraid of camels

or donkeys.

Got cover and nosebag for her.

In evening went to picture



March 20th.   Captain Home &

his wife returned from Luxor.

Went to Cairo in afternoon.

First went out to the Egyptian

[end of page]


State Railway workshops with

Shepherd & Narby to inspect

transport which was being

repaired there.

As usual went to Groppis’s

confiserie [?], and then to the bazaars

down the Movsky.  Bought

some things in the brass bazaar.

Visited a scent & perfume dealer

& he would persist in dabbing

scent all over us.  Bought some

narcissus scent.

Dined at Gaults & then went

to the Kursaal.


March. 21st.   Sunday.

In evening went with Narby

to St Andrew’s Church, Shaun [?]

Bulac.  Rev. Mr. Gillan preached.

Swarms of locusts flying about –

like flocks of sparrows – they are large

& fly slow; not very high; yellow &

canary [?corny] colours; all seem to be flying out

over the desert.

[end of page]


March. 22nd.

The Combined Austr  New

Zealand & Australian Division

was reviewed by Sir A. Mc. Mahon

& General Maxwell.

First an inspection was held,

& then a march past, which

took some time.

Caul  Could not see much for

dust & also for swarms of

locusts.  I was riding my

horse, and had a bit of a

joy-ride, for she was not used

to the movements of the infantry

& did not like them flashing

their bayonets at her.  She

neighed furiously, went when the

generals & staff went rode by.


March 23rd.   Swarms of locusts

flying through the camp all day.

The Padre imagined it to be a plague.

Went to pictures  in evening.

[end of page]


March 24th.

Brigade training in outpost

duty on a canal north of the



March. 25th.   Thursday.

Left with party from W.I.R

at 5.30. from Matariehfor

Cairo.  Party consisted of 72 men

& eight officers – Major Brunt,

Captain Cox, Captain Green,

Lieuts. Morgan, Wells, Hugo, Wilson

& self.  We were bound for

Luxor on an excursion, arranged

by the Egyptian State Railway.

Cost for officers 275 P. T.

Left Cairo at 8. p.m. on the

Cairo-Luxor Express.  We had

a 1st class coach; & were

very comfortable; getting a

a [sic] good sleep.

Distance Luxor-Cairo 450 miles

[end of page]


March 26th.

Arrived at Luxor at 9.10. a.m.

& were driven to the Luxor Hotel

where we had a tip-top breakfast.

At Luxor railway station it

seemed as if the whole population

of niggers had turned out to seek

see us.

The men were formed into three

parties; each party having a

dragoman for it, and they went

and did the Temple of Luxor

in the morning, while the officers

with their dragoman Ameed, went

& saw Karnak,  Avenue of

Sphinxes, Great Pylons; the

columns of the Great Temple

and Hypostyle; Obelisks of

Thotmes  [sic] and his daughter,

Sacred Lake of Karnak, &

the various smaller temples.

[end of page]


At noon we drove back to the

Hotel and had dinner.

At one oclock we left for the

Western bank of the Nile.

We crossed the Nile in a

sailing boat, & found donkeys

ready  of for us; and off we

set across the Libyan Plain for

the Hills.  We were accompanied

by an official of the sleeping car


We first rode to the Valley

of the Tombs of the Queens, &

first visited the Tomb of

Queen Nefertari  Mienmut [?Meritmut],

wife of Rameses II; who was

considered the most beautiful

woman of those ancient times.

next the Tomb of Queen Amenochops –

for (wife 0f Rameses III)

The paintings & colouring in these

temples are wonderful, considering

[end of page]


they are said to date from 2000 B.C.

We also visited the Tomb of the


Next we went off to the

Temple of Medinet Habu

built by Amenhotep & Rameses III.

Decorated with great battle scenes.

On our way back we visited

the two Coll Colossal Statue

of Rameses II [question mark above name].  One of which is

called the Vocal Memnon, from

for it is said to have emitted

sounds when the rising sun shone

on it.

We crossed the Nile again,

& arrived at the Temple of Luxor

about a little after four

o’clock.  Luxor ^Temple^ is not so

large as Karnak, but the colonnades,

& its obelisk of Rameses II

are very fine.

[end of page]


We reached the Hotel at 5. p.m.

had tea, and then drove off

to the Station.  Train left at

6.10. p.m

We were all very tired  Hugo

and I got an apartment to

ourselves, and soon were fast

asleep.  The train journey seemed

very short that night.

The men all seemed satisfied

with their trip, & the arrangements

made for them.  It cost them 167 ½ PT.


March 27th.

Arrived Cairo at 7 oclock a.m.

Took our films to Mitris,

and then went for breakfast

to Groppis.

Caught train at 9.30 for Camp

Yesterday the 3rd. Reinforcements

& Maori contingent arrived

On our marching into Camp we

were better [?later] for reinforcements

[end of page


Maoris are encamped nearly

opposite to us.  Their camp is

an object of great interest, &

there are a lot of people come

to see them & very curious

to see the Maoris.


March. 28th.  Sunday.

A very dusty and windy day

& Church Parade had to be

put off.  In the afternoon

the wind died down somewhat

& great swarms of locusts

started to swarm over the camp.

The air was positively black

with locusts.

One man got a bite in the

back  form from a scorpion.

He reported at once; and there was

 great considerable swelling at the spot, & pain

I rinsed it & washed well with

pot. permang.  Swelling went

down almost immediately and man did


[end of page]


March. 29th.

This afternoon the Combined

New Zealand & Australia

Division were inspected by

General Ian Hamilton; then

there was a march past.  It

was terribly dusty; the worst

dust we had ever been in.

General Birdwood also was present.


March. 30th.

Brigade Training.  Started at

6.30. a.m.

Working in conjunction with

Field Ambulance.

Had 10% casualty.  30% being Serious

Returned to camp at noon.

Very hot day.


March. 31st.

Very hot.

Went to Demeradache in evening

[end of page]


April 1st.

Reveille at 4. a. m.  Left

camp at 5.30 in a route march

arrived back in camp at noon.

Infantry brigade day.

At 5. p. m. the General & some

friends  arrived in the Maori Camp,

where they were entertained by

some hakas, and maori singing.

Narby and I went over & got a

very good seat (right behind the General)

The Hakas were very good, so

was the singing.


April. 2nd.   Easter Friday.

Lee,  Wells,  Narby & self, went

out to the Barrage after dinner.

Gardens there are very pretty;

very hot, and we viewed the

gardens from a trolley, shoved

along by two niggers.

Had dinner at Obelisk, & then

[end of page]


went to picture show, when we

came out we found out there had

been a riot broke out.

We got back to camp as soon

as possible.


April 3rd.   Went into Cairo

this morning to arrange to

send money by the bank to N.Z.

Came back to camp & found

all leave stopped till further



April. 4th.  Sunday.

Very dusty and hot.



April 5th.   Very dusty & blowing

a gale.

Native celebrations of Sham-el Nessim

(supposed to be the day of cool


[end of page]


Maori Contingent left for

Malta via Port Said this


Divisional orders today contained

notices that I was to remain at

the base.

Sent in a protest right away,

so did Captain Home & Colonel Maloni



April 6th.

Force making preparations to

leave.  Appears the Mounteds are

not going for the present.


April. 7th.

Departure of Battalion postponed

for 48 hours.

Very disappointed at not

getting away with the battalion

Went into Cairo this afternoon

with Shepherd.

[end of page]


April 8th.

Infantry & Artillery making

preparations for leaving.

The Mounteds are not going

at present.


April 9th.

In afternoon went and

reported to Colonel Thomas

Senior Medical Officer at the


Taranaki & Ruahine Company

Marched out of camp at

11.15 for p.m. for Pont de Koubbeh

Railway Station.  At 12.30 Padre

Green & I went down to

see them off & say goodbye to

them.  Then we returned to

camp, & had just time to

say Goodbye to the W.West Coast

& Hawkes Bay Company before

they marched out of camp at 2.a.m

next morning

[end of page]


April 10th.

Something felt wrong all

day today; the old camp

had quite a desolate appearance,

for they pulled down all the tents

except the officers

Went to Cairo in evening.


April. 11th.  Sunday.

Shifting camp this morning.

Our new camp is down nearer

headquarters, where the Wellington

Infa  Auckland  Batallion [sic] was

encamped before.  All the

infantry reinforcements in camp

here.  Have a tent to myself,

and Sewell has arranged

everything very nicely.

Met Honey Bishop & Ralph

Abercrombie today.

In evening went & saw Connor

& also met Widdowson.

[end of page]


April. 12th.

Mail arrived today, and

it brought me four letters,

four Otago Witnesses, and

one copy of the Otago Daily Times


April 13th.

Very hot winds blowing today.

At noon, Padre Green’s

thermometer showed the temp.

to be 114°F in the tent!

Gee, it was hot.

Joined reinforcement Battalion

Mess, which has just started.


April 14th.

In morning went for a walk

round to the site of ancient

Heliopolis, where the Obelisk

stands, for a snap photo of an

stone grinding  old stone grinder.

[end of page]


April 15th.

Giving Widdowson a hand

with the sick parades of the

Base Details, along with



April 16th.

Weather much cooler now,

very cool breezes blowing

from the north.

Went over to Heliopolis with

Hartnell in the evening.

Did the curio shops, but

did not buy anything.


April 17th.

On duty today.

Received news that the

N Z. Division is still at


[end of page]


April 18th.  Sunday.

Australian 4th Reinforcements

arriving.  They are coming into

the Zeitun camp; & are

encamped on the sites of the

Otago & Wellington Old camps

In afternoon went over to the

officers marquee to  write letters.

Got started, & then Captain

Bush King arrived; a few

minutes later Father Richards

arrove [sic], then came afternoon

tea, & later another padre came

in, Green.

Result only one letter written

the whole afternoon.


April 19th.   In morning

engaged writing reports of

men to be boarded.

Army form B 179  (form for

invaliding) requires to be

[end of page]


filled in  ^in^ triplicate in

medical officers own


I was kept going.

Ceylon officers came to say

goodbye – they are off  home

for Commissions Major Hall Browne

going to the Surpilais [?];

Captain Blair to the Lancashires

Ferguson to the Worcesters.

Berge left 2 weeks ago with

the remainder of the C.P.R.C.

over a platoon or so to form

General Birdwood’s bodyguard.

The C.P.R.C. who got

commissions have been attached to

the Australian Reinforcements


April 20th.

Wrote reports on a

few more men.

Went to pictures in evening, and

then down to the Otago officers mess

[end of page]


April 21st.

Very hot day.


April 22nd.

Lovely and cool morning.

Went on a visit with

Padre Green, ^& masters [?]^ to south old

Cairo.  Engaged a Dragoman,

Moses at Port Limoun.

Went out there in the car.

First we went to the Nilometer

on Rhoda island, crossing

the Nile, on a boat.

Obtained a lovely view of

Ghizeh from Rhoda Island.

The Nilometer, is a column

about 30  feet in height, built in

the middle of a well like chamber.

It is in the Southern end of the Island;

& the well communicates with the

Nile.  Average nine of them.

Nile is about 26 ft at Cairo

[end of page]


We then crossed to Old Cairo

again and went off to visit

the Coptic Churches, which are

situated with the walls of the

old Roman fortress – the

old only remains of it, being its ruined

walls and strong gates.

First went to the ^Coptic^ Church of El-Adra,

next to the coptic church Alore Sephin [?]

Here there was were beautiful wood

carvings, mosaics, & screens; also

a mummified Arm of St Maconius [?],

used in faith healing.

Abu Singeh [?] was the next church

In its crypt, the Virgin Mary &

Child consoled [?] themselves after

their flight to Egypt

Next we went to the Mosque

of Amni [?Amr], the oldest Mosque

in Cairo; but it is partly in

ruins – contains over 200 pillars

Here we saw the pillar which

[end of page]


transported itself from Mecca

to Cairo, on being struck by with

a whip by the Caliph Omar.

The next object of interest to this

miraculous column is the

Needle’s eye.  Two columns close

together, through which only men

of the highest lumite [?] can pass

through.  Our guide I managed

to squeeze through twice,

& proudly sho told us he was very

good man.

The start of the aqueduct of

Saladin begins at old Cairo.

It carried water to the Citadel

about three miles off

We finished our sight seeing

about 12 oclock, then took the

tram back to Cairo & caught

the 12.30 to Zeitun.

[end of page]


April 23rd.

Went to Cairo in evening.


April 24th.

Very warm.

News of the landing of the Allies

at Bulair and Eros.


April 25th.  Sunday.

Spent the day in bed, having

had vomiting and diarrhoea

early in the morning.

It was unbearable the heat.

lay in my pyjamas & singlet

simply perspiring all day.

Considerably better at night,

although feeling very dicky

on it.


April 26th.

English officers, are for

training battalion arrived

[end of page]


to supervise training of men,

and also to instruct officers.

They have all ^just^ returned from

the front; and they all speak

with hesitancy about the position

in France.  They evidently have

had enough of France.


April 27th.

Colonel Will has returned from

England; he is still A.D.M.S.

N.Z. Exped. Force, & is taking

charge here again.

Dearsley, Green & self went

into Cairo to get some photos

in evening.

[end of page]


£9 – 4 – 0   articles obtained from

Govt. Stores in Wellington.


December 12th  drew                 £5 -0 – 0

January.      16th  “                       £5 -0 – 0

February.       1st                          £3 -0 – 0

March.            1st.                         £5 -0 – 0

March.           18th                       £15 -7 -9

April.              2nd   (5522 pay)  £56. 12.9



April              16th.                        £8 – 0 – 0

July                                                £3 – 0 – 0

Sept                                               £5 – 0 – 0

Sept                                               £5 – 0 – 0

Oct.                                                £7 – 0 – 0

Oct                 20th                          £10 – 0 – 0

Dec [?Nov]    22nd                         £2 – 0 – 0

Dec.                 13th                         £5 – 0 – 0

Dec.                 22nd                         £5 – 0 – 0

Jan                   11th                          £5 -2 – 11

[end of diary]


Anna Blackman

Any views or opinion represented in this site belong solely to the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the University of Otago. Any view or opinion represented in the comments are personal and are those of the respective commentator/contributor to this site.