December 27th, 1915

Dear Mum,

I got your first letter on Xmas eve. I went out to the Citadel yesterday. This is a huge big building covering acres, there is a big Mosque (Moahamadene church) in the middle & the rest is an old fort built by Napoleon. It's built on a hill & the hill is burrowed with vaults etc, there are 3 Mosques, the one in the fortress was built 110 years ago & nearby built 600 years & 900 years ago, you couldn't imagine anything like the inside of the Mosques. The decorations are something marvellous, solid gold & silver ornamentations galore & its about 200 feet high & all the inside domes and all are covered with fancy work & nearly all the pillars are made of alabaster & the praying places have got turquoise (don't know whether that's the way its spelt) & precious stones. There are lamps hanging from the top by the hundreds. Its the best I've seen since I've been here. One of them was a bit injured by Napoleon when bombarding these parts. There are several cannon balls sticking in the side of it but none of them went inside.Napoleon's old fort is used as an Indian Hospital, Egyptian barracks & God knows what. You can go through all the Mosques for three piastres (7 1/2 pence) so its not expensive. We got a tin of things given to us out of the Xmas funds on Xmas day. They were made up of the following, 12 postcards, 2 cigars, 1 tin tobacco, 2 packets of cigarettes. They weren't much good to me being a non smoker. I gave the tobacco & cigars away. Our C.O. Mr Hillard has been made a captain & our sergeant major a 2nd Lieutenant since we came here. It's impossible to have better officers than ours. I am expecting to see Pat any day now, he ought to be here by now but as I don"t know what company he's in there's not much good me looking for him among the thousands here. I don't know whether I mentioned in my last letter that I had seen Harry Green, he was sent back from the front with asthma, he was 14 weeks there. We might be leaving here any day now & we mightn't. Is Snowy & Don still thinking about going. I don't think they will get past thinking. Cows must be selling well to get that price. You ought to do well this year if it's a good season. We are to get a billy each I believe on New Year's day, some of them got them at Xmas & a lot of them found money in them, one got ten pounds, another 2 pounds & lots of smaller sums, I am looking forward with great interest to these billy's. No more news hoping everybody is well. 

I remain your aff son,


P.S. Has that rubbish I sent along arrived yet.