February 15th, 1916

Dear Mum,

Just a few lines to let you know I received your welcome letter number 4 yesterday. That is second I have received. The others must have gone astray, I hope you are getting mine, also the parcel I sent you & registered at Heliopolis P.O. It's about time the pay office sent my allotment money home. I made my allotment the same as all the others so there must be something radically wrong with the works. I suppose you have written about it, but if you haven't I think the best way would be to write to the pay office, Victoria Barracks giving my number, name & the unit I left with all my particulars about being transferred etc. & if they don't move then I'll find other ways of moving them. Damn them, they have had enough out of me already. We will most likely be shifted from here in a couple of days, in fact it is almost certain. Claude Newton is down the canal somewhere with the 3rd Rfts. & Steve was here but I haven't seen him. I think he is in the Details, that is, men who have been in the hospital & missed their coy. etc. I was expecting Snowy & Don to be with the new mob that came in here last week, but I see by your letters that Snowy got the measles. Is he a baksheesh corporal, that's what they call the acting corporals here. Of course when the Niggers want anything for nothing they say, "Gib it baksheesh". Frank & I went through the Cairo Museum last Sunday & the Citadel the Sunday before & zoo the sun. before that. They were all worth getting to see especially the Citadel & the Mosques. The Citadel was used by Napoleon as a fort while in Egypt & there is the marks of six cannon shots & a cannon ball sticking in the side of a ruined Mosque opposite the Citadel. The big Mosque which is now in use is absolutely the grandest building I have ever been in & is about 900 years old. We saw Jack Macfarlane of Jumbuk on Sunday in Cairo. Angus his brother was at Gallipoli & was slightly wounded & Aleck went over with the artillery but never landed. Jack saw Don & Bob Andrews at Broadmeadows before he left I think. Our hut won a prize for the tidiest hut last Sat. & we all got a packet of cigarettes & a handful of biscuits each out of it. I have been writing this letter in semi-darkness & so have missed the lines but that won't matter as long as you can read it. I didn't receive any papers with your letter. It's funny how they go astray. Dave Cook tells me he never receives his either. We all had a long route march yesterday. It was supposed to be a test of endurance & hell it was. We all had our packs full & 220 pounds of ammunition & marched across the desert. Our packs weighed over 70 pounds each. About 40 of the coy. dropped out before we got to the turning point. I managed to stick to it although I never had much to spare but I was a long way better coming home than going. It was light drizzling rain most of the time which made it more unpleasant. I think we went about 12 miles all told but of course it's up to 25 miles now by some in the coy. They say they used to do 20 odd miles here before but all I've got to say to that is that they must have been a damned site better men than is here at present & I don't think they were. I am enclosing a snap shot of the inside of a very old church not far from here. It's over 900 years old. In the grounds is the old tree under which Christ rested & well from which he drank.