2nd Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment

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Transit Camp
Extracts from an unpublished book
L/Cpl. William Joseph Lowe 14640525


.....On the Friday morning, we were paraded on deck and told that we were going to a Transit Camp. Here we had our first journey on the Indian Railways, and met the Cha Whalloer and heard that common cry of ‘Buckshees Shab’. After about 8 hours we reached our destination, Deolafe, at 6 o’clock, just as it was getting dark. We had to walk about 5 miles to our Camp, and did the sweat pour out of us. On our arrival we were given our Mosquito nets, and taken to our tents: 10 to a tent. Did we have a game that night, putting up those nets in the dark? Then we went down to dinner for our first sample of food that we were going to get out there. Next morning, we paraded to vaccinations and inoculations, and all the following week for one thing or another.

.....A fortnight later about a hundred of us were sent to Training Camp about 95 miles away by Gharrie (a two wheeled cart). A very rough as the country roads out there were very poor. On the way the scenery was very good.

.....On arrival we were allotted to our tents, and told to make a bed off the floor as the place was alive with ants. Dinner was a very poor affair, Bully Beef boiled up in a bath, and some rice cooked in the same way, and tea that could not be tasted owing to the chloride in the water.

.....Next morning we got up as usual, and went for a wash only to find that the nearest water was just over 6 miles away down the hill. So after breakfast, under the leadership of an ex-Commando who had been in China and Burma, took us down for our wash and shave. At about 11 o’clock we started on our way back up the hill. When we reached the Camp we felt dirtier than before we left. After 8 days of this, a lot had dropped out owing to illness and, of course, the usual leg swingers. The officer in charge of the Camp had us all on parade and asked who would like to go on a Map reading patrol. Only 12 of us volunteered to go, including 2 Sergeants, and 1 Corporal.




L/Cpl. William Joseph Lowe
L/Cpl. William Joseph Lowe

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