Volume 2: Letters written on active service, M-W, 1914-1919 - Page 16
seven miles out. Turn about in the firing line. It was very hard work lying out in the sun, advancing, retiring, with only one water bottle per man a day.
There were usually a few casualties every day. The horses were well managed & only a few got wounded, but it was very hard on them. It was usually about thirty hours without a drink & often a stiff gallop through loose sand sometime in the day. Having to keep them saddled in this heat plays up with their backs.
We looked after them as well as possible but it was not a time to study horse flesh. So long a horse could carry a man & a man could sit in the saddle they stuck to it. By night there were three officers patrols left with three men each to keep in touch & report any movement. It was a case of when they came forward we had to hop just far enough back to watch, & listen, & if they went back to follow & see.
I was the second officer for the Regiment for the job & all passed off well. It was rather thrilling on two occasions when we found their patrols between us & Romani; the moon & thick sandy hillocks with brush on them made the job rather difficult. One officer from the 6th was shot dead one night, & the morning before they were attacked McQuiggan
[Lieutenant William McQuiggin, a farmer of Rylstone NSW, joined the Army on 16 February 1915 and embarked from Sydney on HMAT A9 Shropshire on 17 March 1915 with the 1st Light Horse Brigade, 1st Light Horse Regiment, 3rd Reinforcements. He was killed in action in the Battle of Romani on 4 August 1916.]