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Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

Wednesday 9th September 1942

During the past month much has happened to me and fro the most part they are events which I would rather forget. We left Egypt almost a month ago and came by sea to Basra in Iraq. The voyage I want to forget as soon as I can because I never believed the British Government could treat its troops in such a shameful manner. The ship, a Norwegian passenger was filthy from stem to stern and we were packed so tight that we couldn’t have been better off than those people in the black hole of Calcutta. The weather was so hot that even when on the open deck the sweat poured out of us all day and at night it was stifling. Down below it was unbearable and I only used to go down for meals which were the best part of that nightmare voyage. Goodness knows how I should have managed if I hadn’t had such a darling wife to think of and give me inspiration.

Basra and district, the only part of Iraq I have seen so far is much the same as Egypt although it is much hotter. The natives are the same dirty disease ridden people as those in Egypt, and on top of their many other vices they are experts at thieving. As before we are in a desert camp miles from anywhere and we are much worse off here than we were in Egypt. Water isn’t easy to get, we have no entertainment, the food is lousy and the only bright spot is that we have got a small canteen where we can buy lemonade, tins of fruit etc. Our money has had to be changed to Iraqian, 1 English pound = 1 Iraqian pound which is divided into various amounts of ‘fils’, 960 of these fils are worth an English pound and 1000 an Iraqian pound.

Very soon we shall be moving to our gun sites and it won’t be long before I get back on to my own job. And now I must record the best news I have received since I left dear old England. This month I had my first three letters from my darling Evelyn. and they have made me so happy that all my worries and discomforts vanish into oblivion. I am so glad to hear that she is safe and well and happy. Also that my allowance is through and it appears now as though our only bar to perfect and complete happiness is the war, and I pray to God that he will bring it to an end soon.

Darling I love you more than ever for those lovely letters and I shall always look upon them as my first ray of happiness out here in this foreign country

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