December 7th 1942 – Cairo

We drive up to Cairo on Saturday afternoon to see a tank demonstration on the Sunday. We stay at Pension Stanley as all the hotels are full. A nice bed and a bloody breakfast for 55 piastres – expensive. A few drinks at the Continental, dinner somewhere, then Henry and I go about asking dragomen about “a nice place”. Everything closed by the police but a woman sitting in the shadows on the Continental verandah will oblige for £3 – we decide nothing doing and so to bed..

I see Cleaver and Murdoch – ex-Habbaniya. Sunday morning to Abbassia barracks and we clamber over Matilda, Valentine, Generals Grant and Sherman and “Honey” or General Stuart tanks. A doze in the afternoon and drive back at 5pm, with the usual stop at the “half way house” for coffee, an establishment put up by Messrs Thomas Cook, half way along the Cairo-Suez road.

Thomas Cook Half Way House on the Cairo-Suez Road
Thomas Cook Half Way House on the Cairo-Suez Road

Everyone in Cairo seems to have a girl, uniformed or not, and I get a bit depressed at the sight, as I know no one and have no opportunity of striking up acquaintances, being in Cairo for the odd day only. I fire off the ‘8’ guns over Sinai today. (JDW: 8 x .303 inch bore Browning machine guns, four in each wing,)


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