"I'll come home before I get hurt."
I feel quite in luck's way for last week I got five letters, went to a funeral, played at the Palace Hospital, slept three nights down at the rifle Butts and know I have just had my Sunday diner, stew, rice, and bread and jam so what more could a soldier wish for.
Also I mustn't forget it but I can now part my hair again for which I am truly thankful, although I haven't got much in front for a barney but still there is no mistaking the parting.
I hope you got the photos alright last week, I am sending some more this mail, just views we took around the place.
I received your welcome letter last Tuesday 18th, it took almost five weeks to reach me, which seems too long as a month seems ample to my mind, also it was five weeks after we left that it was written and our Colombo Mail hadn't reached you. We expected that it would have been delivered in about three weeks and so it should have, because it only took us three weeks to get to Colombo and we travelled only three hundred miles a day and the mail steamers do fivehundred. But by the next mail we expect to hear that you got it alright. Also I have been writing to you every week so let me know if any have gone astray. I am not counting the younkers cards and things.
I got the Colombo letter last Monday also one from Mr. Goble posted 17th of May, where they have been all this time I do not know, for Mr Goble's was addressed to Egypt and should have arrived a month ago. Also our proper mail arrived on Tuesday I drew three, yours and two from Camberwell.
Last Sunday I was one of a party who travelled down to the ruins of the ancient city Memphis which dated from 1400 B.C. But there is not much to be seem there now except a few half buried remains of palaces and two statues of Rameses, and a Sphinx all in a marvellous state of preservation. I took a photo of the Sphinx and one of the statues, but the other statue has been built around and a platform like the bridge of a ship just over it, so as to enable visitors to see it properly.
They were only discovered a little over two years ago and had to be dug up, they also date from 1400 B.C.
A little further on we came to the Pyramids of Sakkara where the Step pyramid is. It is the oldest stone building in the world, 2, 900 B.C.
We also went through some of the tombs of the ancient kings: all that can bee seen from the surface is desert, but once you crawl through the enternance, you would think you were in a palace, except for the darkness (we all carried candles though) for there are vast halls, pillars, passages all in a marvellous state of preservation and what interested me most was the old Egyptian picture writing, carved on the walls (I remember it was all explained in an old “Sunday” of mine) depicting the life of the people from the king down to the labourer, fishing and shooting parties down to where the king is having his hand manicured and his toe nails attended to. The poor old queens don't get much attention and are drawn on a small scale standing on the kings foot this fashion (there you didn't think I was an artist did you?). I tried to take a photo in a place that had plenty of light but it turned out a failure.
Coming back my donkey fell over a stone and I came such a cropper just as we were passing through a native village and I was pleased to have been able to provide some entertainment for the locals, very pleased.
We went to the Palace Hospital on Tuesday to liven up some of the poor chaps there and whilst in the middle of the grand piece of the evening the blessed electric light went out and absolutely spoilt the effect but still the chaps were very pleased at our visit and want us to come as often as we can.
Whilst at the Butts I had a turn at marking, and my word, the bullets do make a whizz over your head and I was thinking that it will be too dangerous at the Dardanelless, so I'll come home before I get hurt.
The yarn as gone around that the 24th are going to Suez as they are having a bit of trouble there but it doesn't do to take any notice of things we hear but now that we are nearly finished our shooting we don't know how soon we will get a move on.
We have got tired of this place with its desert, heat, flies and so on and don't care how soon before we are sent off.
They have just had a sale of the belonging of the chap that died last Sunday, selling his kit to the other fellows for a few pence each.
We played Chopin's Funeral March last Monday at the cemetery, at his funeral.
Well I don't think there is any more news at present. I hope you are still quite well and none of the younkers are bad. I wrote to Olive and Mabel this mail, also short notes to Mr. Bradbury and Mr. Dennis. So I'll now close with love.