7 August 1915

Friday 7-8-15
Mustaffa Camp
Near Alexandria

Dear Mum & Dad & Brothers & Sisters.

Well we are in Egypt again – at Alexandria this time. Arrived here last Monday & disembarked & came here on Tuesday. It was funny the day we let the boat some of our boys shook a cask of beer from Q.M’s stores. Of course it was missed & traced & just after we’d got off & were waiting to be marched off up comes the ships Adj & words our officer who of course asked the men concerned to own up & pay for it & nothing would be done. No one owned up. Then he said. “All men who had any of the beer own up”. Still no response. (nearly all of us had had some) so he said “Well I know for a fact that the Austns had the beer so you’ll each have to pay 6’” So we all had to part with a tanner[?] including myself tho I never even saw it, much to the amusement of the Tommies. As we marched off the Tommies cheered us & then someone shouted out “Who stole the beer” & one of our boys replied “we all did”

I went into Alexandria & made you a further allotment of 2/- per day so from the 1st of Aug you’ll draw 6/- instead of 4/- per day. The extra ought to come to light about the same time as this letter. That leave me 2/6 per day which is plenty.

I’m still waiting impatiently for a letter but have not received any yet. It’s a pity that here was not a bit of business management in this military P.O.

Well we’ll all be into it again very shortly. We were to have left tomorrow (Saty) but have now to wait till Monday.

This camp is not too bad. 8 miles from Alex & right against the sea so we have plenty of surfing or rather sea bathing. The surf is very poor owing to rocks & seaweed breaking it up some distance in. The sun is too hot to bathe in the middle of the day as we can’t risk sunburnt shoulders & back when we have to tramp off soon with full kit up, so we bathe in the morning & at night & loaf about during the day. There are a lot of all sorts & sizes here. English, French Australians N.Z.’s etc. We who have been to England are termed “The tourists”.

There is a big fellow here who lived in Jd years ago & knows you Mum & Dad quite well. He used to have Clarks billiard room & often had ham & egg at our old place. He’s name is G.S. Smith. He’s had a very narrow squeak. A bullet hit his cap badge just above the crown & yet didn’t hurt him.

Viv & Percy in your roaming round Ryde did you ever meet a chap named Brett. He’s lived in Ryde for years tho he doesn’t know you. I thort you might know him throu your telephone faults. He knows most of the G.L. tennis club. I heard from him that Wal Parke & that other tennis player – can’t think of his name – have enlisted in the 6th reinforcements. I will most likely bump them over there some time or other. If you know what Bn they are going to let me know.

Dear Mum your birthday will be probably about the time that the extra allowance reaches you so please hand the back pay to Viv to buy you a birthday present with or if you want something particularly & are afraid that Viv will choose something else perhaps you’d better spend it yourself.

I wonder how you all are getting along. I hope your trouble with the DOMG[?] was got over OK Percy. You know the last I heard about it was from Ida who said you were in danger of losing your position. It will be pretty rotten if you do over such a trivial matter. I hope that you are getting Vernies letters O.K. How proud you must feel of him. I am looking forward to seeing him again. Am going to dazzle him with a really brilliant salute _ _ _. Well I don’t spose I’ll be able to write again before we leave. Keep up a good heart. All will be well in the end your loving son & brother Bert.






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