Writing to his mother in Birkenhead, another local soldier says:
“I expect you are wondering where I am. Well, at present I am at —–, described in a ‘Birkenhead News’ as one of the most ancient of existing cities. We were amongst the first troops a week or so ago to enter this place, which stands very high, and is hidden amongst the hills which are most picturesque in their wild state, covered with great rocks and boulders, and it was a fine sight to see the troop marching along the road, as it winds down hills through the town. Of course, all the inhabitants lined the main thoroughfare as we rode through, and seemed quite surprised to see us.
By jingo! We are having realy Blighty weather. To start with wind and rain, then cold and dry, with a frost in the mornings, so we feel a bit after the warm weather. Still, we were jolly glad to get rid of the flies, which were a dreadful nuisance not so long ago.
However to-day we struck lucky, and got several rooms as billets in an empty house, which I believe was a school in the pre-war days, so we are well off for the present. The other day I had two magnificent views; the first was from the hill that looks down on the place where the first Christmas was celebrated, with the buildings of —– to the left. The white stone buildings and minarets looked fine as the sun glistened on them, and I took a snap of the whole view, but though quite close I did not enter the town, as my job did not take me any further. I had ridden some 12 miles, and wanted to get back before night.
The second is only a mile from where I am now, and I just got a glimpse of it as I stood in my stirrups. Along the road, a big valley of great expanse stretching right away to the sea, which stood in the background. When I tell you we are quite 30 miles from the sea you will have some idea of the height we are above its level. The natives are pretty industrious round here, and plough every bit of ground that is possible to cultivate, and the soil is very good, and does not require much ploughing, while you often see a donkey and ox team.
Thank father for sending the paper, also the Birkonian. I have finished reading Lloyd George’s fine speech at Paris: it certainly is a remarkable one, and he has a wonderful way of sharing a few facts.”