Grandad’s WWII Diary – Tuesday May 13th (cont.) – Friday May 16th 1941

May 14 - May 16

Click here for diary entry for Thursday May 8th (cont.) – Tuesday May 13th 1941

… Harbour surrounded by barren hills except for gap for Suez Canal.  Could see town in distance.  Most of the boats had come from Greece.  Hard glare came off sand.  Many dhows sailing about.  Did not land.  Got paid £1 Egyptian about £4.10 NZ.

End of trip on Mauretania.

Wednesday May 14th

39 Day

Paraded to go ashore 2.30PM  Went into big steel lighters at 3.30PM. Lighter very high could not see over top.  3 were towed ashore together.  Took 1 hour to be towed to wharf at Suez.  Was just landing and sand storm came down on us.  Sand terrible. Whole sky was darkened with it.  Hard to stand up against wind.  Had to stay on wharf until midnight waiting for train.  Carriages very roomy only wooden seats but better than at Perth.   Natives working on wharf shouting whole time.  Lot of gear from Greece still on wharf.  Indian soldiers from Bombay guarding wharf.  Were supplied with tea about 8 o’clock.  Pulled out wharf at 12AM.

Thursday May 15th

40th Day

Travelled in train all night.  Passed through Cairo and landed at camp about 10 o’clock.

NZ Thank You Monument at Maadi Camp
NZ Thank You Monument at Maadi Camp

Maadi Camp – 8 miles outside Cairo.  Can see the Pyramids in distance.  Country very bare.  No growth at all.  Most of the buildings we saw were flat topped and all seemed to be half built and then left.  Passed many camels and donkeys in native camps on way.  Women wear black with veil over faces.  Many ruins on way.  Our first view of Maadi not very encouraging and everywhere very hot.  118F in shade.  Huts scattered not in any formation.  Saw Johnny Evans at night.  Black out every night.  Saw a Corp who knew Keith.

Friday May 16th

41st Day

Reveille at 6AM Breakfast 6.30 Parade at 7.30.

Went for routine march until 10AM.  Ground soft, hard to walk on.  10-10.30 morning tea.

10.30-12.30 Parade.  2PM-4.30 Siesta.

In quarantine canteen only opens 1/2 hour a day for each company.  Beer 3 piastres.  Letter from Mum (or Mima)

Click here for diary entry for Saturday May 17th – Friday May 23rd 1941



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