Australian English Genealogy

Descendants of Samuel Gilbert

Notes (Page 6)


332. Ronald Best

Ronald Best Writes of Parramatta Boys.
Tells of Things in Palestine.
Trooper Ronald Best, son of Mr. George Best, of Seven Hills (who has been fighting with the Light Horse Brigade in Palestine) writes interestingly to a school mate from hospital somewhere in the East:- — 'During the lapse of time between my last letter and this I have seen stoush, done a lot of hard riding, and generally explored Southern Palestine, ending up by getting bowled over by a hand grenade, which inflicted many, scratches and a few impressions, but none of them were serious, and I am pretty well right again now, though still stiff and sore. I reckon I am lucky, as the thing hit me on the shoulder first, but the fuse was badly timed. It was sizzling along side my head, and I made some sort of a wild spring as it went of,, knocking me about 10 yards. It also winged two men on either side of me. The Rev. Stacy Waddy is up in Palestine; I have not seen him myself, but Sam Finlayson ran across him for a few minutes. What interesting lectures he could give of the historic places we have passed through! Palostine is a fine agricultural country, aud there are some fine orange orchards, with some very good oranges on the trees, too. Just imagine what they were like to us, after, existing for weeks on bully and biscuits .Everywhere you hear remarks that they are Absolutely the Best Oranges Grown in the World, and I saw it mentioned in a paper that the Jaffa oranges are the best in the world; but, all the same, I. am sure that the Hills districts can easily hold their own, and I have tasted both Jaffa and Parramatta oranges. . .When .we got into the fruit growing districts we passed through many Jewish villages, where we managed to buy bread, butter, jam, honey and milk. After bully beef these things were a treat to us but, 'together with, the oranges,' evidently too rich, and made most of us sick for a couple of days. Clive Capel and Jock Bird, are in hospital here. They were caught by shrapnel a couple of nights after I left, at the same spot, while engaged raiding, a Turkish post, under cover of artillery fire, they had the bad luck to be too far ahead, and got caught by our own shrapnel. However, our fellows successfully raided and bayonetted all the Turks in the trench. Bob Finlayson is also in hospital with septic finger, which had to be operated on, but he is almost right again now. Sam was all right the last time I, saw him, which was just before we made a rush through a prickly pear hedge. As I was taken away soon after, I did not see him, but he came through alright. "We are Saxons. You have killed our major. He was a Prussian. Thank you. ' ' These words appeared on a German notice-board, hoisted above the trenches.

Source: The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate 23 Feb 1918