Sigmn. Moore J.,
16 Area Signals.,
Feb. 10 1946
Just a few lines before tea. It’s a grand day, the sun has been really hot. It seems very changeable though, on Friday it was bitterly cold.
Thanks very much for Dad’s letter (and the Land Girl’s photo!) which arrived on Friday.
We have been confined to barracks on and off since yesterday morning. You might have read that there have been demonstrations in Cairo and Alexandria, so the town has been out of bounds to us. Apparently the Egyptians are protesting against the “presence of foreign troops (us) on Egyptian soil”. I’m sure none of us particularly want to be here! I’m afraid if we did pull out of Egypt a lot of the people here would find it hard to make a living. Still it’s pretty obvious that no matter how much they protest we will never leave the country because we have so many interests here – the Suez Canal particularly.
I told you we went on the rifle range a week or two ago. Well yesterday they had an Inter-Section shooting competition each section entering their four best shots. As I did fairly well last time I was in the team. Our team didn’t do too well but, although I say it myself, I did very well. First we fired five rounds what they call “grouping”. That is the nearer all the shots are on the target the higher the score. All my five were in a circle 1” diameter so I got the maximum score of 25. Then we fired another five and that’s what let me down because I only got 14 out of 25. Lastly we had to fire ten rounds in 45 seconds. You can guess that is pretty rapid. My rifle jammed halfway through and I only had time to fire nine shots but all mine were in the centre circle scoring 27 out of 30. I’ve heard rumours that they are going to form a unit rifle team to shoot in tournaments but I don’t know if anything will come of it. I can’t understand now why I couldn’t hit those crows when I was on leave!
We sneaked out the back way this morning and sat on the sea wall in the sun. It was really grand and here were quite a lot of people out for a walk, making it look something like an English sea front. But you’ve never seen so many different nationalities in all your life. There were Egyptians, French, Greek, Italians, English, in fact nearly everybody who went past was speaking a different language. I once read in a book that no other place in the world has such a variety of languages and nationalities and I can quite believe it.
We had a bit of a shock the other day when it said on orders that “it was not expected Group 38 would leave the Middle East before the end of October ’46”. This caused a big drop in morale but in the very next morning’s pair we saw that somebody had asked the War Minister if he was aware that such a notice had been published. The War Minister replied that he was making enquiries to find out who had issued the statement, but that it was untrue and was not authorised by the War Office. So the good rumours are in circulation again!
That’s about all for now, so once again I’ll say,
Lots of love