ON DUTY IN THE DESERT.
Trooper F. B. Campbell writes to his mother, Mrs. J. M. Campbell, Kensing- ton, Russell-street, Toowoomba : —" We shifted from our old camp about a month
ago, with all our horses, and are now on desert patrol work. We expect to get into touch with the enemy at any time. I was out with our chaps on Saturday, about 20 miles through terribly heavy sand, with occasional oases with date palms growing, and water at a foot or two, so managed all right, could not send any mail lately, as we were moving camp so often. Can see the canal from here. We have a high camp, and there is a fairly cool breeze all day. I have a fine New South Wales horse in great condition, and he needs to be, as we ride about 18st. here, vith our gear on. I am keeping well ; in fact, most of us stand the heat well. The tucker is pretty good, and with the 2/ a day, and a canteen we make a 'do' of it. Received your parcel with silk shirts, socks, &c, which were most acceptable. We went out about 3 a.m. on Saturday. It was warm, and I only wore a singlet and breeches. Beyond a spell, from 8 to 10, we were not out of the saddle for more than a few minutes. Got back at 8 p.m. Some were sick from the water, which was a bit sweet, but all were right after a day's spell. Our horses stood the heavy sand marvellously well. Mine danced for two miles, when on the way home. I had to fall to the rear with a covering party, and with the rifle and ammunition he gave me a rough time, but once in the troop again he walked well. We have mess-sneds here, also travelling cookers, so have a fairly good camp, with double tents to keep the heat out, but I think the summer is about over now." At a later date Trooper Campbell writes :—"Moved to another camp last night. I received your second Too- woomba parcel. The eatables are most acceptable, as we are out every second or third night, and unless we have cash we must eat bully beef and biscuit, as bread is not on hand. A hostile 'plane flew over yesterday very high up, but did not lay any eggs here, although it did at other camps, I believe. I have been un- able to send any mail away from our regiment for weeks, so am trying a Geld
1 post office here. Had as impromptu con- cert here last night in the Y.M.C.A, tent. We were lucky about five weeks ago to receive a lot of gift stuff, mostly from New South Wales—all handy things, nearly all eatables."