Topic: Gillanders WD - WWI letter 1917 April 12

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Transcript of a letter written by William Duncan Gillanders writing near Gaza in Palestine.

April 12th

Dear Ken,
And the rest. I got your conjoint letter last night of Feb 18th & 25th I see you got your bush burnt all right & hope you got a good take both there & on the fern land. I am glad the cliff paddock hung out so well it evidently pays to make a good job. I expect you will have sown the grass sad by now for sure on the burns at any rate. I am glad to hear the show was a success & that the Valley was well represented. You did not say whether Hardy had anything in or not but I don't suppose he did. You also forgot to say if Mam's socks got first, but I specs that would be quite unnecessary. Mr Smith did alright with his mare didn't he did he have his grey in, but I will see as soon as I get the cattle dog you are sending. Hard luck Meg you didn't land the cup, but we will get you a flash show back when our ship comes in. But I will be looking for a few prizes in the H.I. prize list. How did you get on with those five jersey steers I suppose you would have sold them for your price easy enough once the weather broke. How are all the young pigs progressing. I will likely be home to sample the one or two you are fattening for our selves so see and make a good job of em. I am also considering whether I shouldn't finish in time for that row of peaches on the pantry shelf. I am glad the bees can make enough honey for to keep themselves now adays but I expect they will all die out in the winter.

I was a long to a lecture by the Divisional Major chaplain last night on Gaza & surrounding country. He says this is supposed to be some of the best land in the world & there is no doubt it is very good. Abraham lived in Gaza for a long time & so did Sampson. He is a splendid speaker this padre nearly half the brigade were there to hear him. There is a big missionary meeting house in Gaza (the Turks have still got Gaza) & when some of our boys captured a gun one of them had a bit of an idea how to work it so they managed to load it somehow & pointed the gun at a house where a machine gun was working & as one of the chaps said they cut a new street through Gaza. Anyhow when they told the padre about it he had a look at the map & from the position of the gun & the description of their whereabouts, the padre reckoned that much to his disgust he finds that this new street was cut right through the middle of the mission house. It was very funny the way he came out with it although it might not sound so funny in writing.

I got your cable yesterday, it had been over at headquarters for nearly a week, thanks very much. Well we are having bonsor weather here just now we are mostly all getting into shorts again, but it is not nearly as hot yet as when I landed in Egypt, but I don't think we will get the extreme heat here that we did on the sand. Since starting this letter last night I got two pcls one from you tobacco & soap & another from Owaka which were very much appreciated but we are much better off now than we were for soap & tooth paste & stuff like that as we have now got a brigade canteen of our own.

I had a great business the other day, a trip to Kanunis six miles away for orders from the canteen there, you can understand the worrying out I had to do when I came back to get the change straightened out specially as there were some gave me Egyptian money & others English but I did manage to get it right in the finish.

Here is the orders I don't know if you can make it out or not. I read in the weekly of the Rev Shore of Hamilton being killed in a motor accident is that Rev Shore from Hawera. I thought it would be. How is Rod getting on is he still at home or has he started teaching. I am enclosing a snap of some of our horses & mules grazing in a crop of barley, it looks alright doesn't it. I got this from Stan Burrows a Hawera boy they used to live opposite the school somewhere. I don't remember him but he knew me but he had left school when we were going.

Well I think I have just about run dry so had better come to a stop, hoping this finds you all as well & fit as I am from ever

Your loving son & Bro Will

P.S. I am just going to wash a shirt with your sunlight soap.

P.P.S. Do not be anxious if any time I don't catch a mail as next time we get on the move we will probably keep moving &. get no chance of posting anything so hurrah from

Dear Lil
Thanks for letter inside pcl it makes it twice as good & nobody would ever think of opening up a pcl that is all sewed up like that.
Love from Bill

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