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


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This page contains a single entry by Dick published on April 23, 1916 11:59 PM.

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23 April 1916

Posted by Dick on April 23, 1916
Leave up today, much too soon in some ways, but just as well in others as Cairo is not exactly a cheap place to stay in. I left Cairo by the eleven o'clock train and arrived at Kantara at three. It was a very pretty journey through well cultivated country. We had our own horses meet us at Kantara.

We hadn't been in camp for more than half an hour before an order came in that the brigade was to stand to, as the Turks were reported to be attacking Hill 70, which is about six and a half miles away. About two hours later an order came in to saddle and harness up and go over to the east bank of the canal, and to my great disgust I've been ordered to stay behind tonight, issued with ammunition, and told to guard the camp stores and all the horses and men of the brigade that are left behind. So I've been flying round mounting guards and picquets and at present don't know whether I am standing on my head or my heels.

Kenning has just come back with the report that our outposts at Katia are cut off and the enemy have captured a whole brigade of our cavalry. He seems to think that I shall have to come on to them with all that's left tomorrow.

Not much sleep tonight I don't expect.

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On Easter Sunday, 23rd, at 3.30 p.m., an order was received for one Battery of the Brigade to "stand by". The honour fell to the West Riding Battery. It was rumoured that there had been a serious reverse at Katia, and that artillery assistance was needed. Half-an-hour later the whole brigade was ordered to harness up and proceed to the East bank of the canal. The Brigade stood by all night.

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