January 13th 1916

2nd Lieut. Leslie de Sélincourt has written to say that he has been transferred from the Hampshire Regiment in India to the 1st Battalion of the Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.

The Battalion itself is currently besieged at Kut and he is to join a provisional battalion at Ali Garbi to be part of a relief force.

Leslie is about to set off from Basra for Amara and he is currently doing battle with jackals and flies:

de Selincourt L5/1/16  “We are plagued by jackals who howl in the most dismal fashion round the tent at night. One came in last night and swallowed this morning’s breakfast while we all slept…

We are driven crazy here by flies. In spite of the cold – frost at night – they are as thick as… as…well, as flies. We have an admirable plan for catching them. Just a drop of methylated spirit in a glass which you hold under the fly as he sits on the roof of the tent; fuddled by the fumes, he immediately drops in. I caught 250 in 14 minutes.”


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