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


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This page contains a single entry by Dick published on June 15, 1916 11:59 PM.

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15 June 1916

Posted by Dick on June 15, 1916
Rather a hard day today. Reveille 1:15 am, breakfast at 2 am. We moved off soon after four with ten horses in each team, and they worked splendidly and although the going was atrocious, we got to Bir El Rabah within four hours. When we got there the engineers seemed to have made no effort at all to find any water. The major found a likely looking place and made them dig, and with the help of a pump and a canvas trough within a few hours there was enough water for the horses. It was brackish but they were thirsty and most of them drank it well. The camel transport brought enough drinking water for half a gallon per man so we didn't do so badly.

We didn't get any food from two o'clock breakfast till after four in the afternoon, so the bully went like smoke when we got at it. Towards evening General Laurence came out and said the columns were too far forward and must move back half a mile, and then later orders came in that we were to go to Romani for the night, so it ended with the horses having another very hard three hours work over, if anything, worse going than this morning, and it was a very hot evening. The horses couldn't have worked better and we got here soon after nine.

General Parker came out to see us this evening and told us they are going to give us mules for draft instead of horses, much better for these conditions, and I wonder they haven't done it before, but we shall be very sad at parting with the horses we've had so long now and they are by no means a bad lot.

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