Aden: ‘hot sun, endless sand’

This is one of many letters sent by staff of the Great Western Railway Audit office at Paddington who had enlisted to fight in the First World War. (RAIL 253/516)

H. Beaumont, 2 March 1917, Aratia, Yemen. Born: 17 October 1873, Regiment: 1/6 East Surrey Regiment, Regiment number: 2297, Rank: Quarter Master Sergeant, Died: 1952


Dear Bertie,

Many thanks for your long and interesting letter, which has now reached me, I will to it at length at a more opportune moment.

As you will see by above address I have left India. The regiment left the N.W. Indian frontier in January where the winter had been bitterly cold and embarked at Karachi after a three day’s train journey, then six day’s most pleasant voyage to Aden where we landed and now join part of the Aden Field Force. I have been stationed with a strong detachment on the desert in close proximity to a Turkish force who frequently shelled us, but without any material damage. The heat after the cold winter in India is very trying, scorching hot sun, endless sand and myriads of torturing flies. Life is very different here as compared to India. I never pictured myself riding across the Arabian dessert on a camel. Am pleased to say I am splendidly fit and well, but should be glad when the struggle is over and hope I shall be amongst those who return home safely.

Trusting you are well. Best of wishes, kind regards to the remnants of the Audit staff. Yours most sincerely

Harry Beaumont

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