I have had a real hot bath today the first since last January!!

Oct 29 1918
no address

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

From Stan

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

Next letter Oct 31st 2018

These letters have been published as
Engaged in War – the Letters of Stanley Goodland 1914 – 1919
Twiga Books, ISBN 978 09528625 2 9 £9.50 + p&p
Available from http://twigabooks.co.uk/ or Amazon
https://www.facebook.com/EngagedInWar/

Advertisements

spend a very funny Birthday this year

Oct 15 1918
No address

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!

Cheerio & best love dear girl

Next letter Oct 29th 2018

These letters have been published as
Engaged in War – the Letters of Stanley Goodland 1914 – 1919
Twiga Books, ISBN 978 09528625 2 9 £9.50 + p&p
Available from http://twigabooks.co.uk/ or Amazon
https://www.facebook.com/EngagedInWar/

we are on the eve of great events out here

18/9/18
[no address, envelope enclosed in another with the green cross – & addressed in careful writing and signed Fred Stoodley1]

My dear old Elsie
First of all let me tell you dear girl we are on the eve of great events out here and long before you get this letter I hope all the world will have had good news from the Palestine Front. You will probably have gathered from my recent letters that there was “something doing” out here – I have had a very heavy time and a lot of responsible work and I only hope all will go well.
I cannot stay to write more than a few lines tonight – but I must send you my best thanks my dear for the most delightful birthday parcel which reached me quite safely yesterday – just in time for these operations and all so very nice and useful You must choose all the things so very carefully and it is so sweet of you dear My birthday will be spent again this year in the thick of soldiering – next year Im sure I shall be in dear old England
I was so pleased to hear you enjoyed the last part of your holiday so much and that you were quite fit & well I am much better – I think excitement and hard work can cure most things
Best love dear girl, Goodbye – or rather au revoir dear old girl
From Stan

36 Fred Stoodley was Assistant Quartermaster of the Battalion, for many years after the war, Stanley and Elsie received from him an annual parcel containing asparagus and lilies of the valley.

Next letter Sep 25th 2018
These letters have been published as
Engaged in War – the Letters of Stanley Goodland 1914 – 1919
Twiga Books, ISBN 978 09528625 2 9 £9.50 + p&p
Available from http://twigabooks.co.uk/ or Amazon
https://www.facebook.com/EngagedInWar/

I was taken to see the House of Simon the Tanner

Sept 14 1918
no address

I am sending you another short letter to let you know I am safe and well
The last time I wrote I was on the Auja – I have since been to Jaffa and am now back with the old Regiment once again
Jaffa was very nice – I got a lovely bathe in the sea and what pleased me even more got some real fresh butter and a fresh egg – the first since last January!
The town & port are very much mined now but at one time it must have been a very fine place – of course I was taken to see the House of Simon the Tanner!1
I am so glad to be back with the battalion again and I hope I am fixed for a time – we are very busy with preparations for something I may not write about but you can probably guess by my letters and by my movements the last few weeks – Things are likely to be very strenuous and that is why I am writing a short letter when I can. No more has come from you since one dated July 28th – it is a shame and it makes me feel so cut off from the world and everybody
I do hope you keep well the news from France2 must thrill old England with joy – of course we are all delighted beyond words and we long for detailed news
Best love dear girl
from Stan

1 ‘And it came to pass that he [Peter] tarried many days in Joppa [JaffaJ with one Simon a Tanner. (Acts 9.43) whose house is by the sea side’ (Acts 10.6).
2 August 8th was the German ‘Black Day’ when the Allies launched their greatest and last offensive.

Next letter Sep 18th 2018
These letters have been published as
Engaged in War – the Letters of Stanley Goodland 1914 – 1919
Twiga Books, ISBN 978 09528625 2 9 £9.50 + p&p
Available from http://twigabooks.co.uk/ or Amazon
https://www.facebook.com/EngagedInWar/

in camp on the banks of the River Auja

Sept 9 1918
no address.

My dear old Elsie
When I wrote to you last a few days ago I had just returned from a tour of duty of reconnaissance Work – I was only with the Regiment a couple of days when off I went again on another joy ride for special work. I am now in camp on the banks of the River Auja1 – it is so strange to be in the plains again after about 10 months  spent in the Mountains We get a glorious bathe in the river before breakfast each morning and for the rest of the day I am in the saddle riding about over an entirely new country to me – it is all very interesting but these are hard days and I am very tired at the end of the day. I expect to be here 4 days then I have to go on to Jaffa for one day then back to the Regiment.
I hope my special work will soon be over as I dont like to be away from the Battalion so much as I have been lately – This part of Palestine is very much like the old Gaza district of a year ago it seems simply years and years ago when we were in those trenches. I wonder how you are and if you are safely back in Minchinhampton – the mails have been very lazy again – your last letter was the one dated July 28 which is 6 weeks ago – I am feeling better now but there is such a lot of sickness in this country now and a whole lot of our officers and men are in Hospital most people go down with sand fly fever but I think it is probably the Spanish Influenza which seems to be going the round of the World2\
I will write as often as I can but for abit my letters will be written under difficulties
Best love dear girl
from Stan

1 The River Auja flows into the Mediterranean just north of Jaffa.
2 This pandemic is believed to have killed more victims than the total number of casualties in the Great War.

Next letter Sep 14th 2018
These letters have been published as
Engaged in War – the Letters of Stanley Goodland 1914 – 1919
Twiga Books, ISBN 978 09528625 2 9 £9.50 + p&p
Available from http://twigabooks.co.uk/ or Amazon
https://www.facebook.com/EngagedInWar/

the pipe is a beauty…

July 18 1918
[Envelope readdressed to Gwynant, Park Rd., Hale, CheshireJ

My dear old Elsie
After waiting a long time I was delighted a few days ago to get three letters from you – the latest dated 25th June -many thanks dear girl for them -I also received the parcel quite safely it gave me the greatest possible pleasure to open it and the contents are lovely -the pipe is a beauty and I am smoking it hard already. The tins of things are a very welcome addition to our stores. I have been seedy the past ten days and on the verge of going into Hospital -the weather has been terribly hot and my old Mespot fever has turned up again – I have dosed myself with quinine and hope I shall get fit soon but I get a rotten temperature every night and get a sort of shivering ague I want to hold on for in about 2 weeks time we go into rest again for a short period – we have had a long trying time in the line now The Turk has been very active lately – he attacked us very stubbornly a few days ago – the Colonel was away on duty at Jaffa and Major Watson was still in hospital so I was left in command of the Regiment – It was very exciting for a few hours but our fellows did splendidly and the Turks did not succeed in getting further than our wire -considering that he fired more than 1600 heavy shells at us we had very few casualties.1 Major Watson is back now I am glad to say and is very well again – poor old Urwick is still at Alexandria – he has been away nearly 3 months now
You will soon be off for your holidays and I do hope you will have good weather and a real enjoyable time
I shall be thinking of you and wishing I was home on leave
Please write and tell me exactly how Gretchen is and little Christine too
With much love
From Stan

1 One officer and three other ranks were wounded in this bombardment which consisted of ‘1600’ shells (Stanley’s letter) or ‘600’ shells (Battalion War Diary)

Next letter July 25th 2018
These letters have been published as
Engaged in War – the Letters of Stanley Goodland 1914 – 1919
Twiga Books, ISBN 978 09528625 2 9 £9.50 + p&p
Available from http://twigabooks.co.uk/ or Amazon
https://www.facebook.com/EngagedInWar/

Its the longest 4 years I’ve ever known

undated, post mark 3 July 19, no address.

My dear old Elsie
My best thanks dear girl for the book you sent me & which came a few days ago – I havent had a chance of starting it yet but it looks very exciting I am looking forward ever so much to the parcel you mention in your last letter – you are simply too good to me I wish I could be in England now – it must be delightful – but my home leave seems impossible just now – and even 10 days in Cairo is out of the question for some time Major Watson has gone to Hospital with fever and poor old Urwick is marked ‘Base 2 months’ – this makes me Second in command of the Regiment and I shall be an acting Major for a little while but for goodness sake dont address my letters as ‘Major’ as I shall be down to Captain again before very long. We are in a fairly comfortable part of the line now but of course the heat and the flies are very trying and we are passing through quite the worst time of the year just now I get very cheerful letters from home still except that the Pater has a touch of lumbago! I havent heard from Gretchen for ages & ages but I guess all her time is taken up with little Christine – Excuse this scribble I am very short  of candles and the wind keeps blowing this little bit out I get very cheerful letters  from Milsom he is still in Hospital & on crutches but his wife has joined him now from New Zealand so he is delightfully happy -she was torpedoed in the Atlantic and lost all her kit and had a good swim1 -I wish you could meet them We are very bucked with the news from Italy2 and long for further details of what seems to be a great victory for the Allies. The Colonel keeps very well indeed and we are the greatest pals -he feels the loss of all his original officers -Do you know – of all the officers who went to India with him originally only T. Moore & myself are left at present -out of about 30 It is very sad isnt it
Hope you keep fit and by the time this reaches you you will be thinking of packing up for your holidays -I do hope you get good weather
Its the longest 4 years I’ve ever known
Best love dear girl
from Stan

1 The ship in which Mrs Milsom sailed was torpedoed off Ushant on May 19th 1918. She was rescued by the destroyer escorting the convoy. There was no swimming involved because the skilful destroyer captain laid his ship alongside the sinking vessel. But her wedding presents (and golf clubs) were lost. (Information from SFC Milsom, 1996).
2 The Austrian offensive had failed in June.

Next letter July 18th 2018
These letters have been published as
Engaged in War – the Letters of Stanley Goodland 1914 – 1919
Twiga Books, ISBN 978 09528625 2 9 £9.50 + p&p
Available from http://twigabooks.co.uk/ or Amazon
https://www.facebook.com/EngagedInWar/

I enclose a twig from Mount of Olives

8 June 1918

My dear old Elsie
I wrote you a letter from Jerusalem and I am now back with the Regiment – I have sent you some photos of some of the places I have seen – it has all been very interesting and I should have liked to have stayed longer.
I spent a day taking the colonel over El Jib and the battle fields of last November. It all brought back wonderful memories – I found poor old Banes grave and tidied it up and put a wall of stones around it – it was a very sad day in many ways.
Of course we went to the Mount of Olives and I enclose a twig1 from one of the Trees – it is supposed to bring good luck. We also walked through the Garden of Gethsemane and on to Mount Zion where we were shown the Tombs of King David and Solomon & also the place of the Last Supper. I really know more about Biblical History than ever I did before altho I fancy I got a prize at School once for an essay on the ‘Life of Christ’! The mails are still very disappointing and I havnt had a letter from you for ages again – I hope mine are reaching you better now We go into the line again in a few days time – everyone has enjoyed the rest & change but of course it has been much too short – I wish it would all end – my leave seems further off than ever but I always hope to be allowed to get away some day. The Colonel has been awarded the D.S.O. in the Kings Birthday Honours – we are all very delighted about it – I am longing get another letter from you & hope you are very fit – Best love dear girl
From Stan

1 The twig survives in the envelope with this letter

Next letter July 3rd 2018
These letters have been published as
Engaged in War – the Letters of Stanley Goodland 1914 – 1919
Twiga Books, ISBN 978 09528625 2 9 £9.50 + p&p
Available from http://twigabooks.co.uk/ or Amazon
https://www.facebook.com/EngagedInWar/

Nov. 1st 1917
no address

My dear old Elsie
Very many thanks dear girl for your two nice letters received today. You don’t seem to get many of mine – Im sure Ive written you every week for the last two months and I sent you a cable too when I was on leave in Cairo Theres nothing I want for Xmas dear you have sent me so much that you mustnt really spend any more money on me The book Thirtynine Steps1 came today and Im sure I shall enjoy it when I have time

At present we are all excitement the third great battle of Gaza has already begun – and in a few days time Im sure old England will be ringing with the good news from Palestine. This will probably be the last letter I shall be able to send you dear girl for a little while but I hope you wont worry too much about me Everyone tells me Im a lucky soldier and Ive a sort of feeling that Ill get back safe & sound and well meet again in the glad days which will follow this awful war we [have] been going through some thrilling experiences these past few days and I shall have heaps & heaps new excitements to tell you all about when we do meet again.

We are all full of confidence in our C in C & are looking forward to our advance up through the promised Land Goodbye dear girl with best love
from Stan

1 The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan, published 1915.

Next letter 17th November 2017
These letters have been published as
Engaged in War – the Letters of Stanley Goodland 1914 – 1919
Twiga Books, ISBN 978 09528625 2 9 £9.50 + p&p
Available from http://twigabooks.co.uk/ or Amazon

A week’s leave!

TELEGRAM dated 14 Oct 17
HYDE HIGHCROFT MINCHINHAMPTON =
AM ENJOYING WEEKS LEAVE CAIRO
GOODLAND =

Sent as weekend telegram, via Eastern Telegraph Company Limited

14/10/17
Turf Club. Cairo

My dear old Elsie
I am enjoying a weeks leave in Cairo and its a really delightful experience after nearly six months of Desert life.
I sent you a wire so that you would know that I am out of range of the shells & bullets for a time and I know you would realize that I’m having a real good time.
Milsom is here with me and we are doing ourselves just proud and tucking in like school boys to all the good things one cant get up in the fighting area –  like butter – fish –  fruit. We’ve got a big double room at the famous Shepheards Hotel1 and its got its own bathroom with one of those white enamel baths & of course we spend hours in the water and it’s such a joy to feel really clean again. I found out Karl Jones2 yesterday and he is coming in to lunch with me this morning and we are going to a most wonderful Zoo later on. Karl looks very well and no one would imagine he has been in hospital nearly six months and I think it will be a long time before he can do any marching or hard soldiering for the muscles of one of his thighs are quite perished a[t] present but he is now passed B3 and will get some clerical job I expect until he gets quite strong. The Regiment came out of the line just before I left but goes back in a day or two – a month in and six days out – it’s very wearying work and I long for it all to be over.

Dear girl – you will be pleased to hear that the Regiment got such a lot of kudos out of the Night Raid and did I tell you the C-in-C sent a special wire of congratulation!3 I dream about that night still and I think those of us who were in it will never forget our experiences. I wrote home a long letter to the Pater with a fairly full account of it all but I’m rather afraid the censor will destroy it – I shall be [interested?] to hear if it ever fetches up. We certainly put the fear of God into the old Turk that night and he simply screamed for mercy –  Allah! Allah! I can hear them now. When I get back I take over the duties of Adjutant – my appointment has been approved by Headquarters from Oct 10th so now I shall have my hands full. I am looking forward to finding letters from you when I rejoin for it seems some time ago since the last mail came – something went wrong with our mails back in August & early Septbr every one was grousing at home but I hope my letters have reached you better lately.
I hope Mrs. Brown is much better now and that you dear girl are keeping fit – with best love
from Stan

1 Then and for many years the leading hotel in Cairo. It was burnt down during the anti-British riots at the time of the Suez Crisis in 1956. En Suite facilities were only to be found in exclusive hotels in 1917.
2 Karl Jones, engaged to Stanley’s youngest sister, Babe, served with the Glamorgan Yeomanry. Invalided from Palestine to Egypt, he later became Chief Cipher Officer, HQ EEF Cairo.
3 General Allenby.

Next letter 25th October 2017
These letters have been published as
Engaged in War – the Letters of Stanley Goodland 1914 – 1919
Twiga Books, ISBN 978 09528625 2 9 £9.50 + p&p
Available from http://twigabooks.co.uk/ or Amazon