Topic: Gillanders WD - WWI letter 1917 September 30

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Transcript of a letter written by William Duncan Gillanders in 1917 after returning to Egypt from leave.

4th A.M.R.
N.Z. Brigade

Dear Folk,
I got a great pile of letters last mail, first was a pel & letter from Lai & Frank, two letters from Ken & one from Alick, Rod, Kath, Jack & I have spent nearly a week trying to make up my mind who to write first so I am writing a general letter in the meantime & try & answer the others later on, so don't think I don't appreciate them. I am still at the training camp at moascar near ismaiiia but I think I will be put into the 4th waikato this time when I go out.

I don't know how you thought I had left the ambulance I had been in them right up till now but you can miss out att. to ambulance as I am pretty certain to get into the troop. I am glad too as the ambulance is far too risky for my liking although I never said before it was far harder going up through the shells etc with the ambulance than taking an active part as you cannot get down & take cover like the ordinary Tpr. It is absolutely the worst job there is when there is a battle on but the best at other times as we had no guards or fatigues to do but I was glad to get out of them. I don't know when I will be going out again there has been three drafts gone up since 1 came here but I might very likely get a trip back to Cairo to the school of instruction for a course of hatchkiss gunnery but I am not quite sure yet.

Peter Leslie has still got a touch of rheumatics & it has affected his heart a bit. He is wiring to go before a board of doctors & is almost certain to reach N.Z. by the next boat so don't get a surprise if you see him walking in to the kitchen in a month or two.

Well since I started this I have got my marching orders & am going up the desert again for a bit of a spell. I have been away from the brigade now for about seven weeks not bad for a start is it. I am getting to be a very poor letter writer I can't settle down my thoughts on one thing.

What lot is Alick in. I hope he can come here. But it will be nearly a month yet before I can know how is all the machinery running you will be flash with your sawmill & everything but see that it is only wood you cut & don't run up against the saw yourselves. I will be putting in an application for the post of chief engineer one of these days do you think I would have any chance of the job.

Arthur Mussen is in the same camp just now but he has gone into one of the Wgtn regiments as he wanted to stay with a mate of his. Jack Troup is a sergeant here & young Starre was here as a corporal but he has gone up to the brigade again. Lall tin of cheese will come in very handy going up on the train tomorrow. Well with that love from
Your son & brother Uncle Bill

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