Churchill-Smith, James – March 1916
… Bert Hewish now my batman, Evans resigned. Been a good kid…
Very hot day. Drilling all day.
Received nice parcel from Mum. Warm day.
Nothing doing except training.
Noel’s Birthday. Had fairly good night.
Left by 7.25 am train for Cairo. Doing mess business all day…
Zoo during afternoon with Capt Seager, & Herbert 2/Lt Didan…
… Caught 7.15 pm. train back to Tel–el–Kebir; arrived at about 9.15 pm.
Orderly Officer up to 5.30 pm. Warm day. Recd letter from Mum dated 27th Decr
Men’s Blankets out airing all day.
… Inoculated against Typhoid & Para–typhoid. – arm a bit stiff…
Recd letter from dear Mum, Kate… Sore throat, arm still crook, bad head during morning, but better in afternoon.
…50th Bttn. inspected by Gen. Cox – I was introduced to him & shook hands. Arm aching. Bed early. Recd nice parcel from my dear Kate.
… Heard Capt \Major/ Shaw left as Advanced Party to 3rd Bgde to France.
… Prince of Wales & Gen Birdwood & Staff arrived by special train at about 10 a.m. Inspecting during morning. Rode passed our lines at 10 mins. to 1 o’c, took 2 photos; men gave him rousing cheers…
… Inoculated again (2nd) against Typhoid. Initiated 2/Lts Gore, Dridan, Thompson, Auld, English, Hoggarth & Beresford into 50th Mess.
Long Route March with full marching order on, about 10 miles. Started at 7.30 a.m. & finished at 11.45 a.m. Very hot day – scorching. I finished up not feeling too good, likewise many others.
Very severe duststorm at about 10 00 a.m. Cleared up and sun shone out very hot. Packing up to move tomorrow morning.
Reveille 4.30 a.m.– up soon after. Left Camp at 6.20 a.m. and set off on route march for first stage. Nice cool morning – nice marching. Arrived Mahsamah at 11.30 pm. & bivouaced.
Diary of James Churchill-Smith