Ross Smith, image courtesy State Library of South Australia B6101
Smith, Ross – February 1918
Feb. 1st. to 10th. In Cairo. We all stayed at the Continental & generally had a good time & went to several dances and dinners. Brown was married in Cairo.
Feb. 11th. We got back as far as Belah by train & found that the bridge over the Wadi Guzze had been washed away & no trains would be running for 48 hours. I rang up the Major & he sent the 2E down by Haig who landed on the old aerodrome at Belah. Haig was going on leave so I flew Mustard back to Mejdel. someone else was also going on leave so he took the 2E back to Belah & Addison & Fysh flew it to Mejdel. Drummond brought a SE5A from Alex.
Feb 13th. Escorted a bomb rec raid to Kutrain, on the Hejaz railway, east of the Dead Sea. It was a very cloudy day & only 2 \bombing/ machines reached the objective. Maughan had engine trouble on the way & in trying to fire a light the pistol went off & the flare hit his instrument board, fell onto his seat & then onto the floor & burnt its way out. He was very lucky not to be set on fire. Had the flare gone an inch lower it would have gone through his petrol tank & set it on fire instead of just smashing the instrument board. Fraser went out to Maughan & found him crashed & he also crashed in landing beside him. It was a muddy bit of ground where they landed & we and it took us about a week to get both machines in again.
Jan 14th. Capt. Hurley arrived at the Sqdn. to take some photos for war records. He was with us for several days & took film of all sorts of things. I flew him about a good bit, he fixed his cinema camera onto the Scarfe mounting & took other machines in the air & also films of Jaffa & Jerusalem.
Jan. 15th. Paul had just landed a Martinsyde when it backfired & burst into flames. Paul got away safely & Hurley was soon on the spot with his cinema camera.
Diary entries cease about halfway through the Army book.
(Note: The final two entries appear to be transcription errors, and should read Feb. 14th and Feb.15th.)