I have just heard we have made Peace with Turkey and of course I am overjoyed and thought I must write you a few lines – It is a fine thing to get Turkey out of the way – she should never have come in against us and I must say she has fought well – Now – the question is what will happen to us? I have had no orders and am carrying on my job here at Haifa – all my plans are practically completed and I think I should be able to forward my report tomorrow – and then in a few days I hope they will let me go back to the Regiment – I am sorry to be away from them for Peace-night – but it cant be helped.
No English mail yet – I am very fed up – there must be a good many letters about somewhere
The summer still hangs on here – it is as hot as the devil still – I must go down and have a bathe in the sea tomorrow it looks so blue and tempting.
Cheerio dear girl – lets hope Austria & Germany will soon follow Turkeys lead
My dear old Elsie
No letters have come from you for simply ages – I am longing to hear from you again and to know what you think of our great victory out here. I cannot understand the delay in the post for your last was dated Sept. 16th six weeks ago. I hope my letters have reached you. I wrote you quite a long one the other day. My poisoned hand is better but still tied up and I am really very fit now – at present I am bitten dreadfully by mosquitoes!
I am away from the Regiment again and temporarily on the Staff of the Division – there has been so much sickness and nearly all the Staff Officers have gone to Hospital so they have borrowed me for a week or two only on the stipulation that I return to the Regiment as soon as possible I should simply hate to have a staff job and it would be a disappointing finish to the war – I never want to be away from the Regiment
My job at present is finding billets and camping sites for the winter for the Division. I am at Haifa where we shall probably spend the winter unless we are suddenly moved to another front – it is very nice here but very malarial1 at this time of year and the mosquitoes bite like the devil. I am living on top of Mount Carmel in what was a large German Hotel. It has the most delightful outlook I have ever seen. The sea is perfect blue and Acre across the bay looks charming. The feeding at present is very bad but one can put up with that – I have had a real hot bath today the first since last January!!
The Regiment is 30 miles or so south of Haifa but will be coming along as the railway progresses – Our cavalry have got on splendidly havent they! I hear Aleppo has been taken today and I suppose Alexandretta will be next and then we shall have the whole of Palestine. When things settle down I hope to go to Damascus & Beyrout both of which are very interesting I hear – but of course it is very difficult to get about this country. I have been to Nazareth & the Plain of Esdraelon – Caesarea – Kishon River and several other interesting places.
I have heard no recent war news from France but it is all a wonderful advance and I am always wondering how long the Hun will hold out!
We seem to have quite finished our little war out here and unless we go to another part of the World I suppose I shant see another shot fired – the great thing now is to keep out of Hospital almost every one gets ill and I am looked upon rather as a ‘wonder’ to have kept fit all the summer and without leave too! This will probably reach you about Xmas so I will start wishing you a happy time – I shall be thinking of you all the time – I shant be able to send you a present which grieves me very much but I will get you something when I get to Cairo next. It seems so funny to write about Xmas – I was hoping so much the damned old war would be over this year. I hope you keep fit dear old girl – how I wish the post office people would get a move on,
Best love dear girl
1 A bacteriologist explained his wall chart to Gen. Allenby: ‘these charts are the seasonal incidence of malignant malaria in the Plain of Sharon and I think that is the reason why Richard Coeur de Lion never got to Jerusalem . . . he came down the coast in September.’ AP Wavell Allenby op. cit. p.195
My dear old Elsie
A cablegram came from you today – it has taken a long time partly owing to dreadful delay in the offices during all the fighting and also from the fact that cables are only sent to Alex and then forwarded up the line by post.
I should send you a reply but I cant do so except by posting it with the money to Cairo or Alex
Many thanks dear girl for your good wishes – I am afraid you have been anxious about me and my letters have not reached you
I must say I spent a very funny Birthday this year but I really think this is the last I shall spend in khaki – on Sept 22 this year we were mopping up the old Turks in a most exciting way. Your last letter was dated Aug 23 so lve no news of you for nearly two months – It is a shame there is so much delay but I know there is a huge mail at Port Said that should reach us in a few days now. All the news is really wonderful and I do think the old Hun has shot his last bolt the air is full of rumours of Peace – I may spend Xmas in dear old Blighty but that’s too good to contemplate and altho Im very optimistic I dont think we can have peace for a few months yet I hope the Powers that be will not make peace until the German Army is quite destroyed and she surrenders unconditionally
We are in a strange position here with no enemy to fight. The few thousand Turks remaining have fled up country so fast that even our cavalry can’t find ‘em – I wonder what will happen to us – they are almost certain to send some of the Divisions to another front, at present we are working feverishly on the railway. It is still very hot – what a long long summer it has been- I used to love the sun but now I long to feel the rain on my face and a bit of mud under foot – We have had perpetual sun since April. I am better but still very tired and want leave badly – I shall try to get down to Cairo or possibly Luxor when the weather cools a bit – My hands are tied up at present as I got into the Turkish barbed wire in the attack in the semi light and the scars got sceptic [sic] – I have to have hot foments 3 times a day which is such a nuisance I dont mind much so long as I can keep out of Hospital – I had enough of Hospital in Mespot & India I wonder what you people at home think of our little show out here – I am longing for your letters and the home papers which will have the account of the Palestine fighting
I hope I thanked you properly dear for the last parcel you so kindly sent me – my birthday one I mean – it arrived just in time for the attack and all the little things came in ever so useful – even to the Boracic ointment The soup squares were delicious because for two or three days we were very short of rations – Now I think of it dear girl will you please send me a nail brush for Xmas- I hate to ask for things but you always tell me to and I simply cant get a decent nail brush in this country. Do you remember the pair of ebony hair brushes you gave me – I have always had them with my kit and use them every day in the little bit of hair I have left!!
Old Urwick has gone off to Ceylon – he sent me a farewell note – I hope he will come back soon but Im afraid it will be quite two months before we see him – I do miss my old pals – poor old Banes – Milsom & I used to have such happy times – It is going on for a year ago since that dreadful fighting for Jerusalem & poor Banes was killed Nov 22nd I have long letters from Milsom – he is still on crutches and has a small house at Worthing – he has his wife with him and is supremely happy but very fed up to be inactive and away from the old Regiment – My last letter from home came a long time ago but the Pater seemed well except for his lumbago – I think the Babe is expecting Karl home on leave soon – it is a shame if he gets home before me – he has seen no fighting and has had a cushy job away down at the Base – but thats the way of the Army!