Our Boys at the Front.
Harry Dowsett has been little heard of since he enlisted. He was at Sing- apore when war broke out, and was one of the first to leave to join King Edward's Horse. On arrival in Lon- don, however, he was ordered to re- turn to Australia, where he was trans- ferred to the 8th Battalion. Writing to a friend in October last year he said - "We had an extremely wild and woolly time in Cairo, and were sent to the Dardanelles before we got too
much out of hand. It would take me
at least till midnight to describe the doings in Cairo, or to tell you all we saw, in Egypt from Suez to Alexandria. On arrival1 here, at Lemnos, from Alexandria, we transferred* to a very fast little boat for the last stage to Gallipoli. The landing was quite solemn ankK it wjas a relief to stand! on terra firma. We were straight away marched! off to a steep rugged valley, and after some healthy climbing reached the ,8th Battalion just as day- light broke. That morning was Fri uay, 6th August, and if you look up the newspapers of this date you will read the happenings onward for the five weeks I was pver there. My ex- periences, I suppose, were mucn the same as what the average chap had» during August and September. The effect of shrapnel fire is terrible in the extreme, and' it is indeed a matter for wonder how one can stand the sights, í really think a prospective soldier should1 serve an apprenticeship at an abbattoirs.
Through the Rest Camp every day come rumors of where the 1st Aus- tralian Division is to go next. These rumors are always known as "Din- kum Oil," and according to them our destination, which one day is Khar- toum, is the following day altered to Jerusalem. A couple of days later a genius sets forth details that he re- ceived from some General's batman of the plans re our landing at Dede Agatch. But this is belied within a few hours by a large shore party from H.M.S. "John Bull," who will bet all comers 5 to 1 that at this time next week the whole crowd are in 'Salonique.' And so with drill in the morning and the afternoon spent wandering about amongst the pretty Greek villages, we wait orders."
Dowsett Was seen by Sid! Lauder at Anzac, but for some time nothing has been "heard' of him. Writer would be glàdfto know if any. Darwin friends Shear of him. His address is: No.
1822, H. Dowsett, Pte., No. 6 Pla tjopn, "B" Co., ' 8tih Battalion, Aus- tralian Imperial Fprce, Egypt.
The Giles family has done its duty
co, "the Empire splendidly, reiix,
/hfo, nas lived in Aüeiaiue for some ejars, arid is npwj a JViajor, sailed, with lia nrst contingents. Leslie lett here ,ith the,, flrst, official contingent, and .o,w the youngest brother is about to au. Letters tram the Major and Leslie are lull ot interest. Writing under date .Dec. 20th, Leslie t»avs: -
'i wrote ijasc trom hospital butvli liüvo. been discharged now nearly three weeks, and am in this camp (, overseas ijusej Ghizireb, Cairo; winch is on Jid tramline on the road to the Pyra- mids. All those men who lia ve been over to the peninsular and discharged 'from hospital are sent to this camp, ;so ^you can imagine we are a very, mixed lot representing, u* we do, every battalion which has lett Aus-, 'tralia. I am titter now than i Have ever been as we arc well ted and o,ur duties are light. 1 have been issued equipments again, and don't care how ppjonj I rejoin my, unit which.
. l<dfrdi not ge£ into the Pay Corps as they oniy take ß class men ^i.e. men not, quite fit to return to active service).
We, had a great time yesterday. Mis. Anthony Hordern issued the bill yeans to us. Mme contained: - bmjall plum pudding, cards, chocolate, handkerchief, a tin of salmon, cigar- ettes, etc., andi it made Christmas much more real for it would; not have
been Christmas without a plum pud- , 'ding. Afterwards two of us visited the citadel which crowns vhe Mokat tan Hills on the east bank of the Nile
(Old Cairo). We descended Joseph's Well, which is nearly 300 feet deep and got a big perspiration up; then climbed on the walls and followed the battlements round and saw the Tur- kish prisoners, some of whom were officers, and we were struck by their superior manner and apparent £ood* breqding. TheyL seemed happy enough and well treated. t ^ |t| \
1 have seen a good deal ot Cairo and as I ki\a(wrf, it better pne appiecidtes the. more^ beautiful and historic spots,
lief (ore 1 was discharged from hospi- . tpl 1 was sent to¡ He^ouan ( 16 miles up the Nil¡e¡) qo a convalescent home the AhchUyah Hotel-a very fine build- ing, where i remained three days. The famous sulphur baths are here. I played tennis m the atternpon and tried to get fit again 4s I have put f)n about two stone since 1 lett Anzac. 1 was nevei so, iat belt ore, and I, fcnpw it by my clothes-round the waist.
IiJh}ave'm,et qujitp a (number pf Terri torians wjhopf 1 -had' not the least idea Were in the Military. I saw a copy of the."Observer" to-night (Nov. 13) Und 1 saw my name and alspi that of ¡pppr Lanyon whom ¡you will remember |died pf wounds over three months ago,. 1 knew he was wounded and got
quiitq a sjijock to leam he was dead. <
,_ I cannot make out where my bet- ters are going as Ï have not received a single one, since i lett lurkish soil, and what is stiauger oiill I got two parcels since I arnvecii in Egypt but nio letters. I am anxiously awaiting news pf Felix. I know he left the Peninsular safely and! I hoped to meef
him in Cairp at Christmas and we could send you a joint cable- He may, be, still at Lemnos ; anyway we will send ,yjo\u a photo when we meet, if in Cairo. Of course I expect to be sent away any day; one never knows the moment he must go. I met Jim Cain one. night in Cairo and a couple 0/ others who have been here 12 months. I hear Lewis has been made a Major since I left and is O.C. of D. Com- pany. I hear Ryder Stevens has en- listed! and is on his way over.
We actually, had some rain Christ- mas Eve, heavier th'an I ever thought it rained in Egypt. Thb nights are fairly chilly with yery heavy dews and! fogs, and the shower is cold. I had to give up sleeping outside, the blankets got so wet."
Major Felix Giles writes under date Tel-el-Kebir, January £: "Leslie is campedl about a mile from our regi- ment;" fee is very, well now and1 has
quite got over his attack of jaundice, which he got at Gallipoli, after he was wounded^ This is an historic place; the battle field of Tel-el-Kcbir (fought
33 years ago) is about half a" mile further into the desert than where we are camped. It is interesting to us for Wjß can still see the "lay-out" of the trenches that were used, and, to a certain extent, compare the methods of the natives with those of our modi-" em days."
Leslie writes again from No. 2 Australian General Hospital, Ghezireh Palace, Cairo, January 28.
"Fejix has been to see nie, and1 has just lejtj he managed io get 14 days' leave and they made him take it out as sick leave and he is at Halouan Convalescent Hospital Home. Of course there is nothing wrong with him only he thought he was entitled to a little holiday, after t 17 months
of continuous service-8 months of that i>n Gallipoli trenches-and I rec-* kon he doe^ if anyone does. He brought some_ letters he had received from home for me to read, and he wants inepto answer some of them. 1 suppose, h« thinks V have more time in hospital, and he is about right, for 1 have nothing to do but lie in bed and read books and newspapers, and wait for meal times. I have been here a fortnight yesterd'ay and have
not been out of bed once. I am ex« pecting.the doctor to let me get up at any time now, andj I won't .be sorry when he does.
Felix looks very well and strong but needs a holiday, and a decent bed to sleep on. I hope to be out before he goes back and we will get our pho- tos taken together. Your letter writ- ten on thtes 5th December is the latest and quickest letter I have ever re- ceived1. Of course any letters for me ¡will be at T¡eJ-el-Kebir and I 'won't glet them unless someone brings them along. One must be thankful foi small mercies in the Army. Felix tried) to tejí m(e I would be sent back to Australia because I had a lo¡uch of
typhoid1, but that's all bunkum. The^ 'd|oi send ¡piatients back for threei months to Australia, but I don't want to go until I go back for good; have not finished fighting yet. I want to go to France yet, and have a shot at the Germans proper, and Would not mind going to England for a change. I have been reading books on Egypt, ûridf havte a splendid guide book; have
read two novels-"Cairo," by Percy White, and "It happened in Egypt," by the Williamsons. Also "The Land of Veiled Women," by, Foster Frazer, but it deals with T¡|unis and Algiers, etc., and! I have not been there; it is north West from here. I know you
would' love to wander round Egypt. * I could take.you Ito the Island of Roda near here, where Pharo's daughter found Moses in the bullrushes. Think
I told! you we went down Joseph's Well in the citadel: it is nearly 300 feet deep1 and you walk down a wind- ing passage in the side. lit is a very large op^ning^ round, the passage is ¡very 'dark in, places, and» it hhs a funnyi old! wheel at the top, and one half way down. Of course it is not the Joseph's Well we read of in the Bible
although the guide will tell you it is. . But 1 frill tell you about all the won- derful things in Egypt and I will be quite a glorified1 guide book and rattle
off all the traditions of the ancient
kings and .Cleopatras, etc.
Some of the soldiers who had been in Malta brought back coins, bronze, smaller than a threepenny bit. They, are. worth one third1 of a farthing and are English coins. They use plenty, of them' in Malta. The Egyptian quarter milliene is worth about the same. There are ten milliens to a piastre^ which is worth about 2^."
There is a discrepancy which can- not at present be accounted ' for in Leslie's letter of December 36 air' that of January 28. In the first he says he is out of hospital and1 in finq health, arid yet his letter of January, 28th' says he has been a fortnight in 'bed!. There is pro'ba*bíy a letter miss-
ing, explaining that he had to return , to Hospital.