18 April 1916


Dear Homefolks,

Things have moved very quickly since my last of the 22nd of March. Was warned for draft to Egypt on 36 hrs notice. It was no use writing on the boat, & this is my first chance since arriving in Egypt on the 5th. Left Plymouth Saty 25th March. Had very rough weather on the Bay & I was more sick than I’ve ever been before. Had nothing to eat till the 3rd morning. A day after passing Gib ran into an awful storm. We had to leave our course & head into the wind. For a while we only did 2 miles an hour. The waves smashed both ends out of our washhouse on deck & of course I was standing under one of the hatches – all of which were batterned down – when an extra large wave, which she’d dipped her nose into, broke along over the deck, and smashed the hatch in like an egg shell, & poured down on us underneath. It was up to our knees in no time & it seemed it would fill the boat before it was finished. It stopped at last tho & then ran out of the scuppers quickly. The old tub pitched & tossed & rolled something awful & I made sure we ##, & all be drowned like rats ##. She’d roll right on to one side & unless you happened to have hold of something substantial you’d be sent tearing across to the side, & then before you had time to get someones equipment out of your eyes, you’d be sent back to where you came from. One night I slept on the promenade deck about midships, & altho the night was rough thort I’d be OK as I was sheltered from above. But no. About midnight I discovered I was in about two inches of water. You can imagine the state my bedclothes were in _ _ _. Had to retreat down below & at that late hour had the devils own job to find another possy. The ship was shipping a lot of water, & it ran down along the promenade decks. We had a rather merry time of it with the tin fish. We were ordered never to go anywhere without our life belts, & the old ship was skilting [?] and waltzing this way & that, like a zig zag railway. The second mng before reaching Alex, we were told that two tin fish had chased us the previous night. The gun crew stood to the guns all night & the submarine guard was doubled. But anyway we got away. Have no earthly chance of rejoining the 3rd, & at present we are in no particular Bn. Probably get into some Bn over the nineties. Have a big batch to write this week so excuse short letter. Love from Bert.






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