News from Egypt AND an Oriental Circus – 100 years ago

Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of this time in 1915, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society:

NEWS FROM EGYPT – The following interesting letter has been received by Mr. & Mrs. G. Walter of the local Post Office, from their son Clem, who is with the Australian troops in Egypt: –

Mena Camp, Pyramids
Cairo Egypt

“Today our 3rd Battalion took part in a huge ceremony in Cairo, the taking over of Egypt. There are twelve Battalions here and only two were required to attend the procession, so you can imagine how proud we were when our colonel told us we were chosen, the seventh was the second choice. The remainder were very much cut up about the selection. We left camp at 6 a.m. and went by tram to Cairo, 10 miles.

On our arrival there we were lined up along the street for about a mile, one line on each side with fixed bayonets and 20 rounds of ball ammunition. There were thousands of spectators on top of buildings etc. We presented arms to the Sultan as he drove by in his magnificent carriage …After the ceremony we marched to the Barracks where we received light refreshments and a few minutes rest, then we marched back to Camp on an asphalt road, which made our feet very tired. We march to Cairo again on Wednesday, the whole of the Australian Troops 27,000, so it will be a fair sized procession. Richie and I go on leave tomorrow, we will do the block and procure a few curios, photos etc…

Monday, 21/12/14. This morning we paraded as usual, and were all very pleased when our dear old Colonel told us he was exceptionally pleased with the way we behaved yesterday at the procession; also he granted us a day’s leave to-day which of course made us all smile, and we had a day in Cairo. Rich and I rode donkeys half way and then caught a tram, you would have laughed had you seen us on the donkeys. We made beasts of ourselves in Cairo. We had two helpings of steak, fried potatoes, broad beans, two rolls of bread and beautiful date jam, tea etc. We visited a general store kept by a Greek. It was very interesting, there was an interpreter there and we had a long conversation.

We saw 15 different kinds of cheese, Egyptian cheese is pure white, not at all pleasant to taste. Whilst we were talking a chap came in, quite a young fellow, he could speak English, and he said he was a butter manufacturer. He asked us to see his factory which we did and were much amused. The educated Egyptian is a very refined gentleman and all like to converse with us and show us around; the Egyptian lady is exceptionally sweet.”


3rd Battalion AIF
3rd Battalion AIF

EXPERIMENTAL FARM – Messrs R. Heffernan and Sons have very kindly supplied us with the four samples of potatoes grown on their Experimental Farm at Yarragee, which are “Satisfaction,” “Early Manistee,” “Manhatten” and “Up-to-Date.” Each variety is of large size and a decided credit to the farm. When we have sampled the lot in the pot we will give our opinion as to the best variety for the table. 6/2/1915

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 2.28.40 pmCIRCUS – On Monday evening, Miss Kemp and Raphael’s circus and buckjumping show opened to a good house. The circus includes some novel and clever turns. A couple of bucking cows produced amusement, while among the horses a substantial reward is offered to the rider who can sit Ding Dong. This horse is a marvel, and can do anything within reason, including telling the time by a watch, adding up figures and dividing the total by a small number, and many other feats…. 6/2/1915

Seventeen 100 years ago booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1914 are available ($5 ea) from the Society’s rooms. Copies of local newspapers from the 1860s to date can be viewed at the Society’s Family History Research Centre (Ph 4474 3224) situated at the rear of the Pioneer Museum in Campbell St. Moruya (

Our latest publication entitled Kiora Kith and Kin, by Shirley Jurmann is also now available from the Society for $20.

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