Topic: 1940 - a gold train out of Egypt

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SSgt Jim Seymour wrote the following to Des Anderson, President of the Official Newsletter of the 6th Battalion (Hauraki) Regimental Association in 2009. It was published in the 66th Newsletter (Feb 2012) shortly after Jim's death in November 2011.

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1940 Convoy Note

December 11th 2009

Dear Des

The November (2009?) Hauraki News was of great interest to me – thank you for recovering my memories. Firstly the article on Passchendaele is of very great interest to my family as my late father was wounded there and carried out of the line by Gordon Coates (future Prime Minister) and secondly my late mother’s brother was killed there with no known grave.

In 1940 10 Platoon of B Company (Hauraki) under Second Lieut. Sutton escorted 70 railway trucks of arms and stores plus a truck full of gold bullion which a bank was getting out of Egypt for safety. My position was behind the engine on a flat truck – my 1st section and I were the front guard. The distance we travelled was 1200 miles to Khartoum.

Loaded up at Abbassia 13/06/40 where I signed for 7 trucks of arms and a total of 110 tons – I have still got the convoy note. We travelled to El Shellal where the Ammo etc was loaded onto barges which were pulled by a riverboat and sailed up the Nile 500 miles to Wadi Halfa then entrained on the Sudan Railway to Khartoum. At Wadi Halfa the British Commissioner had invited us to a lunch where word came through that France had fallen.

At Khartoum we were inspected by Major General Platt who was in charge of the Abyssinian campaign. On our last night a New Zealander who was a bank manager for a Khartoum Bank and his wife farewelled us with a dinner.

Jim Seymour 1940During our stay in Khartoum we were camped in the barracks of the Yorkshire Regt – taken to the site of the Battle of Omdurman and also saw where Blue and White Nile meet which were both in flood and reached Cairo 4 weeks afterwards.

This is just a brief account, I hope that you can understand it -I have 4 photos of the trip.


Kind Regards

Jim Seymour

Ken Graham attended the funeral of Jim Seymour and commented in the 2012 02 newsletter: 

I attended the funeral of SSgt Jim Seymour in Paraparaumu yesterday. It was well attended with a strong military content. His service as a "Proud Hauraki" was mentioned during the eulogy given by his son Col (RTD) Ray Seymour and again during the RSA tribute. My Hauraki shirt drew a number of favourable comments in regard to its appropriate presence on the day.
Ken Graham


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1940 - a gold train out of Egypt