The 1916 war diary of 2nd Lieut. Dick Willis Fleming


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This page contains a single entry by Dick published on March 14, 1916 11:59 PM.

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14 March 1916

Posted by Dick on March 14, 1916
Took the men for a route march this morning, it was very hot. We brought them back by a banana grove, and it was interesting seeing great clusters of bananas growing. I saw a hoopoe there, the first one I've ever seen alive; he came and pitched fairly close to me and put his crest up - he was in glorious plumage. We saw hundreds of lizards of all sizes basking in the sun.

We had all our men and ourselves inoculated against Cholera this morning, there should be a second dose in about 10 days or so but I doubt if we shall be here. I've now been inoculated against Typhoid and Cholera and also vaccinated so ought to be everything but bulletproof.

I went up the town with Bradley this afternoon and changed a cheque at the Anglo Egyptian Bank. Met a most entertaining old rascal of a native who talked English quite well; he took us to an old native friend of his who tattooed a snake on my arm. It will be a lasting reminder of Egypt and the war, but I am a marked man if I'm ever "wanted" - but I hope that won't be. The old boy gave us his card and showed us various testimonials given him by officers who had engaged him as guide to the Pyramids, etc. If ever we get any leave I think we must engage the old knave to show us round.

We had tea at the Mohammed Ali Club. Went back to camp and walked down by the marshes to the shore. I've never heard such a row as the frogs were making; the place was alive with them, having a grand concert. We didn't stay down there long as the mosquitoes were thick.

Bradley's servant brought us in a piece of bread (chapatti) made by the Sikhs in camp, it was disgusting eating - just like eating the sole of your boot. We could hear the bombardment of Sollum going on tonight - it is a Senussi stronghold. I believe the fleet are bombarding it, and by the sound of the strafing I shouldn't think there would be much of it left. A most glorious sunset tonight.

I was talking to one of the subalterns of the Herts Yeomanry tonight, they are just back from the Western Frontier, and he showed me some of the bullets the Senussi were using against them. They were bullets for an elephant rifle, and they made them flat-nosed by cutting the ends off. He also had a silver ring which he had taken off a dead Senussi - he found some jackals devouring the fellow's arm, and went up and found this ring on it.

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