Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sunday 28th June 1942

News: “AXIS DRIVE INTO EGYPT SLOWS DOWN”

“Enemy about 15 miles from Mersa Matruh”

This afternoon, an English lady welfare worker came down from Cairo to see us. She brought us various comforts – sweets, cakes, books, fruit and what not. In response to our pleas, she gladly sat down on my bed and gave us all the gossip. There was a real panic on, in the capital. (What, among the Europeans, Madam?) Yes, especially among the Europeans – Greeks, French and English too. Many of “the natives” (with typical and delightful Imperialistic arrogance she classed Bedouins and high-bred Egyptian Arabs as “natives”!) didn't care, in fact were hoping the Germans would come.

She herself had sent all her valuables out of the country. Many people were packing to go. She would stay on; there were so many sick and wounded, still in the country.
There had been a terrific run on the banks and the Bourse had to be closed for two days. Two elderly princesses, the only pro-British members of the Egyptian Royal family, were flying to Nairobi in a few days time. The population of Cairo were in general excited and hostile. She didn't know how things were in Alexandria.

Oh, we had lots of interesting information which one doesn't get in the papers!

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