Feeling the heat in Egypt


Royal Engineers at the Pyramids in Egypt

Like the 'Medicals' these local men of the East Anglian Royal Engineers were in Egypt.


The following interesting letter has been addressed to the Luton News by Cpl S. B. Burgoyne, 1841, 1/1st Eastern Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance, whose home is at at Brache Street, Luton, and who is serving with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. He wrote:

I thought I would send you just a few lines to let you know the 'Luton Medicals' are still knocking about. I don't suppose you have heard much about us since Cpl [Edward 'Teddy'] Grice left, so I though perhaps you would like to hear.

Well, we are still in ------ [Egypt], and on active service again, but it's much different from the [Gallipoli] Peninsula. Up to the present we have not seen any fighting, and we are having a fairly good time bar, of course, the heat. It is impossible to do much work in the middle of the day, and the other day it reached 118 deg [48 Celsius] in the shade, so you can imagine what it is like.

We had a fairly good time at Easter. On Easter Monday we held sports between the medical units of the division, and our chaps carried off 10 prizes - three firsts, three seconds and four thirds, so for a small unit we did remarkably well. That is not all. We have got a fairly good football team, thanks to the ball we received from Mr Ansell and the Luton News Football Fund. We have played about 11 matches in all and only lost three, so you can see the Luton boys haven't forgotten the old game.

Now, Sir, I must ask you if you would kindly thank the donors to out Comforts Fund. We received another delivery of cigarettes on Easter Monday, and I can assure you we were very pleased with them.

I read your Luton News that reached me here last week, and I saw all about the YMCA hut and its opening. I must say Luton ought to feel proud of having the presence of Princess Victoria, and also proud of the donor of the hut. Luton could never have entered into a better cause. No one knows how we away from home appreciate them, and it doesn't matter where you go you can always find a YMCA centre.

[The Luton News: Thursday, May 18th, 1916]