to us into huts for the night. These huts are long sheds in pairs as at Liverpool, but here made of reeds tied together as used to be done in Fiji & attached to a wooden framework of the house. Roof is of similar material but we had heard that they only get rain once in 7 years in Egypt. Floor simply bare ground, here quite solid & gravelly, in places shingly, the water-worn pebbles as far as yet noted being quartz or quartzite.
A cup of tea & biscuits were ready for the officers, but for none of us were there blankets & we had to spend the rest of the night as best we could: I had taken the precaution to bring my sleeping bag, but as the orderly had nothing I gave him the rug, waterproof sheet & air-cushion & managed with greatcoat in the sleeping-bag but with little success. A good deal of time was first spent in trying to get the men settled down, & very soon after dropping off myself reveille went at 4 am for a part of the battalion that was moving down to Tel el Kebir, & when daylight came none of us had had much sleep: one of the officers was so chilled to the bone that he was confined to his bed for 3 or 4 days afterwards: "influenza" was the doctor's verdict.
We had breakfast in the mess & very hungry we were. The morning was clear & sunny, & we were quite glad to get in the sun. at 10 o'clock a parade was held & the units inspected by the C.O. of the battalion, (known as the 1st (N.S.W.) Training Battn) who is Major Hurcombe V.D., one of