Private WH Elkington

Dear Mother,

I am now in my new scope of adventures and am not sorry to leave Egypt.  I did not see anything of that land as well, I was not granted leave and were situated in the desert a good way off from any sights worth seeing.  Burt Allen is another of my pals he was lucky enough to get a day off and went to Cairo and managed to see the pyramids etc. but then only had about 8 hours there so could not see much.  We were in Egypt about 3 weeks and then we received our marching orders about 10 days ago.  We have entrained the goods train one trip seemed about 100 miles in open wheeled trucks and experienced the roughest, coldest, cramped ride I have ever had on a train however we survived the ordeal and finally arrived at the port of embarkation about 4.30am.  We went straight onboard, our transport had sailed about noon that day.  We had about a week in the transport and were jolly glad when we landed as we did not fare too well for tucker and on occasion I had to take several holes in my belt as I began to get thin.  We got (Burgoo) for breakfast and bread and margarine constituted the biggest packet of the menu.  We got a piece of meat about as big as your thumb about once a day.  It was a scratch ship you see, the admiralty only allotted 1/3 a day to feed the troops when being transported from one place to another which may account for the microscopic feasts we used to have.  While in Egypt I came across Finkernagel from Bingara who was using the name of King for the present as it seems the old name cumbersome.  He is with the engineers to try to get into the aviation corps if he can as a mechanic.  I forwarded some post cards of Egypt to you I hope you will receive them, we had calm sunny weather all the time during the day and had a couple of frights from submarines which turned out to be from Wales.  Our mob used to spend most of the time on the Oak deck lying down in the warm sun.  I saw the place where Charlie was taken when he was wounded first and I must say it is a beautiful place, very imposing.  Well we landed in France a couple of days ago and are now placed in our old base a place of retirement.  The quarantine camp because some silly asses went and caught fever on the boat.  I suppose we will be here a fortnight or after that I can’t say what part we will be sent to.  It doesn’t seem very long now from when we will be tearing into Square Heads in the trenches.