Marsh letter diary, 14 January-2 March 1917 / Henry James Marsh - Page 15

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[Page 15]

and they have to work very hard too as the warders are watching them with a loaded rifle and fixed bayonet etc.

If any of the money was dropped overboard in the water the niggers would dive for it every time and come up with it always, there was many a fight amongst them for it. Tomorrow, Saturday there is a fancy dress carnival on board, so there is bound to be some characters amongst all. I have seen some very good fancy dress carnivals n Wynnum, but this one took the cake, even a rickshaw nigger was in it, he looked just like one of them from Durban.

Well, we arrived at Cape Town at 5 a.m. on 22nd January. We arrived in the Bay at 3 a.m but had to anchor outside until daylight. There was another troopship in the Harbour the "Persic" A. 34 with troops on board from all states
In Australia, 1,700 men all told. There is a nice band on her in the motor column, it seemed to liven up things while in port. Every day at 2 p.m all our boats are marched into the city and dismissed there, and marched home at night at 11 p.m, it was about 2 miles from the wharf into the city so the march was a bit of exercise to us as we were feeling pretty stiff. There are mostly blacks at Capetown, but they are looked down on by the whites, if a white person is seen speaking to a black of any sort there they are done for as no white person shall recognise them after they have disgraced themselves in that way. Before we left the boat we were cautioned about speaking to any coloured with a penalty attached to it, many a soldier got detention and fined for speaking to black women, there

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