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[Page 210]

we could see Bedouin women and kids with a goat or sheep under one arm and donkey under the other going for their lives poor beggars, so the square-heads nicked off and we started back for El-Arish, leaving a small force to protect the party clearing up.

We did not go back that night but camped for a few hours at Shiekh-Zourit and then got back to El-Arish next morning feeling very tired, and hungry, but very thankful to God for sparing us through it, though he took a few men out of our number and it made a chap feel pretty sad to see the empty saddles and the lead horses whose owners had been killed or wounded doing their bit.

It was a wonderful experience, but again it was an awful one.

Well we had a sleep for the rest of the day and next morning I managed to get over and see Lieutenant Jack McDonald who was wounded through the upper leg, not very bad but bad enough and also saw a lot of my own comrades who were there in the field hospital wounded. They were all bearing their pain like brave Australians do.

The next day we were lined up and had a lecture from our old General and he explained everything to us about the fight, and finished by saying he was perfectly satisfied with our work and that he was very very proud of his old Brigade. He is now Major General of our Division and he thanked us for doing our work so well over and over again and our own Brigadier General said just the same, that he was proud of us and to be an Australian.

Then before that the General over all the desert forces, who was an old English Cavalry General came and thanked us and said he had served many years in the British Army and he had never read, seen, or heard of mounted men to ever take on such a bit of work, let alone make such a complete success of it. He said he had the greatest confidence in us and thanked us and left.

So things are going along quietly for a fair while and in the old style, so I hope to have a little more time to myself, though I hope we push on for I feel interested in this old little country.

We are not allowed to say about certain things and it makes it a very hard job to write at all.

I am sending a snap of my dear old brother Joe's resting place.

They are going to erect a large monument on the banks of the Canal in memory of the boys who fell fighting for

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