Topic: Gillanders WD - WWI letter 1917 or 1918

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Transcript of a partial letter written by William Duncan Gillanders in Egypt describing an engagement with the Turks across the Jordan.

(first pages lost starting at page 7)


...passed, the turks in the gully must have got a terrible shock to see us galloping past them & then the other squadron that was cleaning up right on top of them one big mob were all backing up & having breakfast with no look out or anything so they were nicely interrupted.

All together we got a 100 prisoners & 9 machine guns & only 4 of our men wounded. One of our troops had a go with some German cavalry & got right in & pulled them off their horses using those rifles club wise, & counted for 18 of the crack German cavalry so I don't think they will be looking to meet the men with the felt hats again in a hurry. At first the turks didn't realize that we weren't some of their own men when they saw us riding about as they did not know we had crossed the Jordan but when they took a tumble we had to go for our lives, as we weren't out to fight only scouting & it was marvellous we got out as we did the number of bullets & shells that were whistling all about us but they couldn't get a good view of us with the scrub & a galloping horse is terribly hard to hit but it must have been real funny to see us galloping for the shelter of the jordan every man for himself & you can imagine the mix up we were in when we got there.

Well it is not all such good fun as we had that day, but I will have some great stories to tell you when we get sitting around the old fire in the dining room & the war all finished, & listening to the rain on the roof with a nice warm feeling. What oh! This is not a bad place but there is no place like home. We had no rations issued for ourselves or our horses for three days owing to the state of the roads but we managed to hang out for two days on the extra bully we had accumulated but our poor horses felt it on only the bit of grass we could find time for them to graze on. We were well enough off for water at anyrate as it rained most of the time we kept warm by cutting down Turkish telegraph poles & keeping a big fire going all night.

Well I hope everything is getting on all right on the old farm. It is good of Mc Adam to give you some of his surplus grazing it will help you along a bit you will be having a slacker time when you get this, in the milking line I mean, that is if my letters take three mths to get there as yours do to get here. I have not had a letter from Aunty Doll for ever so long but might get one any time now. Well I must stop now hoping you are all keeping in the best of health & best love to you all & Mr & Mrs Comet who I expect are with you now.

from ever your loving son, bro, & uncle Bill

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