Partial letter



Partial letter


Describes train journey through Egypt and Palestine/Transjordan. Detrains at Kantara (El Qantara) Mentions seeing Australians, Transjordan and Palestine police and that country is cleaner that Egypt. Leaves train at Lydda and describes activities including lunch in a cafe he had visited previously. Describes cafe owner and pianist in detail.



Two-sided handwritten letter


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[underlined] 3 [/underlined] [underlined] 3 [/underlined] [sic]

The dinner served French fashion is most enjoyable, almost worth the 30 P.T (6/-) we each have to pay for it, almost!. We return to our seats just prior to Ismalia being expectant of the influx of passengers we pick up at this pretty Canal town, we wish to make sure of our seats. [missing word] converation [sic] with our fellow passengers we learn that the New Chums would much prefer to be [inserted] in [/inserted] England despite air-raids etc., rather than this “dusty hot [missing word] hell louse bound country” (their words). They have only been here a few weeks, both are Londoners hence they prove interesting with their first hand account of war-time London also very reassuring.

Detraining at Kantara we cross the Canal by the ferry and manage to obtain a couple of seats in the train on the other side, there is a hours wait and we then pull out of the station. We obtain a “possie” on the floor, a couple occupy the racks, two on each seat and a couple in the corridor and thus we sleep the next 5/6 hours untill [sic] dawn. We have left the Sinia [sic] desert stretch behind and are now passing through cultivated country, orange groves, vinyards [sic] etc. Pulling into a fairly large town we are greeted by the usual quota of [deleted] Ab [/deleted] Arab hawkers and newsboys selling the “Palestine Post” one also see’s a number of tall lean Aussies around the place and a springling of Transjordan & Palestine Police, the later are nearly all [deleted] ex [/deleted] British Army men and are selected for [deleted] bl [/deleted] build & intelligence thus ensuring a very efficent [sic] organisation capable of meeting the difficult task of maintaining order under sometimes trying conditions.

We note with satisfaction the cleaniness [sic] of the country compared to Egypt, even the lower class Arabs seem a much improved type. We have the train at Lydda at approx 930 AM and go along the N.A.A.F.I. where have a snack and change a few pounds Egyptian into Palestine money which is about 6D difference in the £1. We then strike a couple of chaps who are also Tel Aviv bound so we hired a taxi and [missing word] the nine or so miles in 15 mins or so passing through the Arab town of [missing word] en-route. Selecting a hotel [missing word] the sea-front

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Dump our haversacks and make for a hairdressers for a shave and generall [sic] clean up (incidently [sic] you are amazed to see girls shaving and cutting the hair of the chaps) followed by a hot shower and change at the hotel. Being lunch time we stroll along the front to one of the numerous cafe’s have a whiskey & soda and a splendid lunch. Remember me telling you about this cafe? I stayed there a few hours when I spent a night in Tel Aviv last Oct.

It is owned by Henri a young German Jew, he was studying chemistary [sic] at the Cologne university when he had to get out of the country in 1935. His wife, a Belgium girl, came out with him sacrificing her family & country to be with him. Thelma, the pianist, is a Russian who married a German only to be divorced within a couple of years. Having thus lost her nationality she was a German by marriage, but not liking the country she made a trip to the States but had to leave within six months and take refuge in Palestine. She is now earning her bread playing the piano for 5/- per day having to work a 70 hour week.

She speaks English better than I do (result of two years in a London college) and has a command of French, German, Arabic Polish, Hebrew, and of course her native Russian. Karl a fellow student of Henri in Cologne, hails from Vienna he is absorbingly interesting, having travelled through almost every country [missing word] and a few months in the States, he maintains that much as he admires the cities of Paris, Berlin, London Naples, Rome, New York Vienna is the most beautiful city he has ever been in He earns his living working in the canteen at one of the Aussie [missing word] camps. Now for a stroll around the town, how clean it looks, what a nice shopping area – not so big as [missing words] course but very chic all the same. What is that building on the right with the modern tiled dome? just one of the synogoges, [sic] that tall building is the Jewish Nater [missing words] Everywhere we



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