Home The Great War Stories from the War Soldier – Shaw S. – From India To Egypt

Soldier – Shaw S. – From India To Egypt

September 1918

Mexborough and Swinton Times September 21, 1918

From India To Egypt
Houghton Cadet’s Impressions

The following is an extract from a descriptive letter home by our former Great Houghton correspondent, Cadet S. G. Shaw, who is with the Royal. Air Force in Egypt, describing his Voyage from India to ‘Egypt:

Orders issued last night included a warning for 46 Cadets, including myself, to hold themselves in readiness to proceed to Egypt on Saturday. Yesterday (Palm Sunday) found us tearing across the Dusty Sind Desert. First class accommodation was provided, and, though. slow travelling made it monotonous, we had quite a comfortable time.

Sind Desert is not what I pictured it (a barren waste of sand), but is pretty’ well covered with rough shrubs generally, and only a few bare patches. if you look on the map you may trace our route via Wazirabad, Lahore, Reti, Rohri, Pad Idan and Hyderabad. At each decent-sized station we had food (fairly good, but well on tile expensive side), and. with tinned meat and fruits, and biscuits., etc., which we bought at Sialkot, we kept alive.

A very dry breeze blows over Sind, and ,causes almost unquenchable thirst; very little rain fans over Sind (at Siallkot the last week was filled with thunder, lightning, and flood). On arrival at Karachi we had breakfast in the Rest Camp; three of us took a  run round the city. We visited the Roman Catholic Church and climbed to the top where we had an excellent view. We boarded the Karagola this afternoon, a very nice clean boat. A. native regiment comes on board  to-morrow. We are due to sail tomorrow afternoon and my only regret is to leave our captain at the Cadet College.

He has brought us down from Sialkot and throughout as acted like a father to us.

We have now been at sea 48 hours and have travelled about 700 miles, until this afternoon the sea as presented the appearance of a lake, and even in this little tub there is hardly any rocking. There plenty of amusement, music and indoor games, and a small room, and plenty of attendance and cooling drinks.

Last Easter I never dreamed of ever seeing India, and yet this Easter finds me nearly half-wav home on the return journey after seeing West and. South Africa and spending eight months in India. Yesterday sports were held on deck, and to-day the finals take place.   Obstacle ‘races, Jug-of-war, pillow-fighting (astride a long pole fixed over a tank of water, in which the fight usually terminates) blindfold fighting, draughts, chess and whist. Europeans first take part, then Indians

Yesterday we had a rough sea running against us and it is hotter to-day, so I don’t feel any too fit. Until this morning the lifeboats were swung out ready for any emergency, but now they are secured on deck, so it looks more like safety.

We expect to make Suez on Thursday, then a  day’s journey by train to the RAF school

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