Item 02: Henry Frederick Wallace Tucker diary, 1 January - 31 December 1916 - Page 95
Thursday 13 April 1916
Very sultry – Thunder Storm came & settled atmosphere.
Regiments on parade.
Letters from Home dated 4th March, also one from M. Sarginson.
Once the men get settled in any Camp the days at times become monotinous & all & Sundry get a tired feeling & sleep is the only relief.
It is most difficult to imagine at times that we are at War; nothing of any consequence is seen or heard & "Latrines" or Rumours become the only interesting news that floats our way.
Friday 14 April 1916
Orders out that only Anzac men are allowed leave.
This order means a lot of friction
with between men who were compelled to stay in Egypt & the Anzacs. I suppose it is understood that those who stayed behind had many more priviledges than the others, & in consequence they are supposed to take a Lion's share of the work now. In any case only 5 per cent are allowed Leave, & some time will elapse before all have 48 hours off.
Saturday 15 April 1916
Clearing up Camp, Officers out Riding. Col. Fuller & Capt. Stracker out Shooting. The Death of a Muslim of respectable rank always calls forth much activity on the part of the mourners who believe in much outward show. Just before Death the man is washed all over thoroughly, & repeats the creed namely, There is no deity but God; Mahammad is God's apostle. In traveling on long journeys these people generally carry their grave clothes with them in case they die before their return. If crossing the desert one of the number is about to die, He digs Himself a shallow grave, puts on His Grave Clothes, covers Himself as much as possible just leaving His Head uncovered & then waits for Death, hoping that the Wind will complete the covering after He has gone. If the man dies in a House, there is much wailing for about an hour, by His friends, after which the "Washer of the Dead" comes & prepares the corpse for Burial. The company chants the following, There is no deity but God; Mahammed is God's Apostle, God Bless & Save Him. The Body is placed on a Bier & covered by a red or Kasmer Shawl.