Topic: Gillanders WD - WWI letter 1917 March 31

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Transcript of a letter written by William Duncan Gillanders after fighting Turks as mounted support for the "Tommies".

Egypt
31.3.17

Dear Ken,
I got your very welcome letter last night dated fourth February & glad to see you are all well. Thanks for all the news. Well I don't know but I think I have missed the last mail & you probably would not have got a letter at all but it wasn't my fault as we have been fighting again & had no chance of posting a letter. I had one written addressed to Lal but I had to keep it until now. We have had a pretty hard time this last week. It has not been so hard on us as on the horses. They have had the harness on them all the time for three days & nights & most of the other days as well but there was plenty of grazing where we were so they are not looking so bad on it Well I expect you have seen in the paper about the fighting round Gaza & know more about it than we do, but I believe the infantry lost pretty heavily. Our Loss was very light, but we were in reserve & not supposed to go into it at all unless the Tommies could not manage. We also were at the back of the Turks to cut off retreat or reinforcements and did not go into it until four o'clock even then we would have carried the day if we had a couple more hours daylight.

I have come through alright so far, & am fitter than ever I was although we have not seen anything but bully & biscuits & jam for seven days except a young bullock we commandeered & cooked among ourselves. Well I must stop & get this letter posted as I can't miss another mail. Tell Ac, never mind about a watch as you can never keep them clean in this country & I am getting on goodo without one. I have been thinking for the last three or four days of different things you would like to hear about but when I start to write I forget what they were.

Well dear folk I sincerely hope this finds you all well & not worrying too much.
Best love to all
Ever yours
Bill

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