Topic: GW - 11 Nov 1918
11 November 1918
Celebrations for the Armistice
2825 Private Peter William Kerr
[From: Wynn, NI, Behind the Lines, p.1.]
Narelle Wynn writes: "This recording of his stories took place in July 1983, 6 months before he died in February 1984, while I was home from England for 3 months. Spoken by Peter William Kerr and written by Narelle Wynn,
Wynn, NI, Behind the Lines, Brisbane 1997, p. 46:
More military discipline, you not supposed to be sick. We didn't last long before they put us into a couple of barges and sent us off down to Port Said to our own hospital. The morning after I was discharged out of GBH, that was the morning Armistice was signed, 11 November 1918.
And we were about half way across the canal in a rowing boat, about 4 of us in this boat with a Egyptian going over to the convalescence camp in Port Said. We never got any news we didn't know what was happening. Not like today, you get the news before it happens. There we were half away across the canal and holy sailor, the whole of the canal went up. Shotguns were shooting, guns were roaring, whistles were blowing. We said. "What the bloody hells going on?" We thought that a sudden attack occurred. We didn't know what the hell had happened. The old Egyptian didn't know whether to jump over board or not. He didn't know what the hell to do. We didn't know what had happened until we got to the other side. It was quite a step across the canal there, it had been widened out, we found out afterwards that the Armistice had been signed "
Our convalescence camp was just in the suburb of Port Said. We were just on edge, just off the main street just a couple of yards. And we were poor as crows and hungry as dogs.
Wynn, NI, Behind the Lines, Brisbane 1997.