Three Australian officers at Gallipoli, identified from left to right: Lieutenant Roy Kernot of the 1st Division Engineers; Lieutenant Edward Stanley Whitehead of the 3rd Field Company Engineers and Lieutenant Louis Willyama Avery (later MM) of the 1st Division Engineers. The three friends were all associated with the Silverton Tramway Company in Broken Hill and survived the war. image courtesy Australian War Memorial P00244.001
Avery, Louis Willyama – March 1916
March 5th. & 6th
Actually went out to some friends place for tea in Heliopolis. These people were most kind to me when I was at No 1 General Hospital. Our Ward is really a huge shelter, the roof is rough matting, & covers 3 tennis courts. There are 400 of us in this shelter. There are no sides to the structure & it is cold at night.
A list of those who are to be discharged for duty when fit has been placed on the notice board. My name is among them. Good bye Australia, I wonder when I will see you again now, if ever. Am now feeling very well & much stronger, & can even do one hour’s drill each day. We have a Regular Army sergeant from the Black Watch. He was in the Retreat from Mons & he told me that men were punished for being out of step during the retreat. That is discipline if you like.
Have been notified of my transfer to a Convalescent Hospital at Alexandria & we leave tomorrow morning.
Left Cairo at 9.20 & arrived at Alex. At 1 p.m. The name of the Hospital is Ras-El-tin. We are near the sea. All mails have been cancelled until further notice. Something doing. We are given leave from 2 to 6 p.m. daily & every fourth day to 9.30. This is the life.
Ras-El-Tin is a school which was built about 1830. There are 14 in my class room. Our windows face the back of a wealthy Egyptian’s residence & we often waste our time admiring the veiled ladies of his harem. They also are interested in us, & have gone so far as to lift their veils for us to see their faces. They have milk white skins & are jolly good lookers. So are we. So near & yet so far.
We hear that there are big movements of Australian troops & suspect that they are going to France.