World War II letters and cards, Howard Kippenberger

Dear friends [Cairo] : Image 6 of 6

Image of Dear friends [Cairo] 21/6/40

  • Title Dear friends [Cairo]
  • Creator Howard Kippenberger
  • Date 21/6/40
  • Image 6 of 6
  • Notes Letter summary: 752/2. 21 June 1940. "Dear Friends, There is a lot of dirty work going on. France crushed, Italy in for the jackal's work, Britain bracing for terrific times, Egypt cut off from the world and [?]. You will imagine us on the Libyan frontier, sweltering in the desert, close to action." Not at the moment. Doing important work but living in near luxury. Occupies part of old Khedivial Palace. Meals on balcony over looking the Nile. Three afternoons in a week played cricket. Not a demoralising life. Hard to write without offending censorship requirements. Due to isolation there is a drop in mail in recent weeks and no hope of getting home even if wanted to. Have heard that the second Echelon has arrived in England. A little envious of them purely as we maybe seeing fighting before them. Hear this new lot is a better quality "(a good many of us did desert our wives and families it's true. 30 of my 40 officers in one unit alone)". Feel entitled to be the first to fight. "We really did think better of the Eye Ties than to leave us alone like this for so long - 10 days I suppose it is." Italian Lieutenant General captured. "He has been moaning like a bull at his perfectly good treatment...has been hunger striking and generally acting like a goat." Expect the Italians, with the help of the Germans, with have a very good crack at the country before long. Will provide plenty of fighting. Tells of the men's reaction when Italy declared war. "In an instant every man was on his feet and there was a spontaneous roar". Tells of the official photographs that had just come out. Have had 4 months good training. Details of this. "Best thing we've done as a battalion was to put up the camp for two British battalions". Troops acquiring a very good reputation. Detail of activities and desert. Called away. Thought might start business, good to see the men appeared ready. But nothing came of it. People seem to be leaving Cairo. City seems dead compared with a week before. "Alexandria was well bombed last night and again this afternoon." Mail arrived and was very welcome. Letters have high morale value". Talks of a lecture he gave last year on how some armies were inefficient and other weren't "I can say I told you so". Weather is hot and getting hotter. Everyone at Maadi camp has own private hole to go to. Very little leave and no sight seeing. "Our parcels and a lot of mail is in England with the 2nd Echelon.
  • Source Archive 752
  • Parent Collection World War II letters and cards, 1940-1945.
  • Parent Collection Description Howard Karl Kippenberger (1897-1957) was born in Ladbrooks, south of Christchurch. In 1916 he served at the Somme, where he was wounded and discharged. He trained as a lawyer, practising in Rangiora. In 1922 he married Ruth Isabel Flynn in Lyttelton. In 1939 at the outbreak of war he was given command of the 20th Canterbury/Otago Battalion. As these letters show, he served in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, rising to the rank of Major General. In Italy he stood on a land mine, losing both his feet. He became an administrator, in charge of the relocation of prisoners of war. Back home in New Zealand after the war he was appointed Editor-in-chief of the War History Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs. Service numbers: WWI 11682, WWII 7128.
  • Collection Location ANZC Archives
  • File Reference CCL-C81111945-010

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