Miss Mary McNaughton, cousin of Mrs. Will Delaney, in writing from Alexandria, Egypt, August 11th, to the latter says:
I wrote you before and the letter was taken off at Malta. We are now at Alexandria, have been here since early morning, lying in the harbour. No 1 Stationary and No. 3 Stationary hospital are going on to Lemnos Island, which is about 50 miles from Gallipoli. No.5 (Queen's) stay here at Alexandria. They are just unloading the baggage and hospital equipment now. We stay on board until the morning.
I am glad that we are going to be left here. They say this is a wonderful city and it certainly looks so from the harbour. The Harbour is immense and full of shipping. It has been very interesting all day just to watch the boats come and go.
We can see palm trees and the Khedives Palace quite plainly. It does not seem possible that we are actually in Egypt.
The trip down the Mediterranean has certainly been wonderful. The water is the most beautiful blue and we have sailed along in beautiful sunshine every day. It has been a lazy experience, sleep and eat. I imagine it will be a different proposition once we land and get to work for the heat is intense. It has been just ten days since we left Southampton. We were six hours at Malta, but did not land. We could see the fortifications and the guns distinctly from the ship.
We did not fully realize the power and might of England until we travel around a bit, and see the Union Jack on almost every other boat. To-day it gave us quite a thrill when a big transport went by flying the Canadian flag. Some of the men recognized her as the Royal George of the C.N.R. Line. She had been painted Battleship grey.
Just as I had that much written I was asked to go ashore, so you may know I did not need a second invitation. We went in a sail boat manned by two Arabs and walked up through the native part of the city until we came to the trains and got on one and rode up to the post office and a big square. I bought some post cards and am enclosing a couple, also our dinner menu for to-night, so you can see we are not starved.
Alexandria is a great city, very cosmopolitan. We saw the natives in all sorts of garb, and the dearest little brown children you ever saw, all wearing silver anklets, Australian, New Zealand and English soldiers, also Egyptian soldiers. The native part of the city is very dirty and smelly, but no worse than the French village of Etaples, where we were. The houses seem so small and little bits of donkeys carry heavy loads.
The latest rumor is that we are to be sent to Cairo. Time will tell. In the meantime will you still address all mail to London, care of Matron Macdonald, 86 Strand. Everyone says the natives will soak us for all they can. First of all I am going to get acquainted with their money. They charged us a shilling each to take us one way to the dock, about the length of Cobourg pier.
Evidently they are not afraid of bombs here, for the city and harbour are quite well lighted, so different from Bonlogne and London. Write often.