PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM AND ARCHIVE OF A SCOTTISH SOLIDER IN CAIRO

Photograph album containing 48 photographs (two per page, the album full), with ink titles beneath. Original green cloth with gilt titles to the upper board. With eight further loose photographs of Lister and other soldiers (presumably friends and family members); two official printed documents filled out in manuscript detailing Lister's military service in the 1st Scottish Horse regiment and subsequently the Army Service Corps; a typed sheet with manuscript additions detailing his journey from Morpeth to Lemnos, and later on to Cairo; a typed sheet entitled "Translation of a Turkish Officer's Letter to his Wife"; a humorous two page typed prayer entitled "After Morning Parade. Quicunque Vult", regarding the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in Egypt; a humorous typed poem entitled "When", "written by the 'Mess Poet' on being refused a drink at 11.5pm / Savoy Hotel, Cairo, 9-5-16"; and sundry documents relating to his post-war career as a clerk and the birth of his daughter. The album is in very good condition with just minor rubbing to the covers; the photographs themselves with the occasional spot are otherwise also very good. The accompanying documents have a few old folds and the odd small tear, mark, or repair, but are otherwise clean and in very good order.

A fascinating collection documenting the life of a Scottish soldier in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force stationed in Cairo during the First World War. Sergt. John Lister (b.1893) travelled with the Royal Army Service Corps via Gibraltar, Malta, and Lemnos, to take part in the landing at Suvla Bay, as part of the Gallipoli campaign. After being injured whilst serving on the firing line (for which he was mentioned in dispatches), he was moved between the beach hospital to the hospital ship "Rewa", and then transferred to Cairo, via Alexandria, where he was taken on as a military clerk as part of the British administration. The typed document recording this journey, quite satisfyingly (certainly from Lister's perspective), ends with his manuscript addition - "Moved to Savoy Hotel, Cairo. 7th April 1916". The humorous post-parade prayer, presumably composed by Lister, forms a pleasing insight into his experience of life in the city, and his frustrations with the conflicting G.O.Cs of Egypt, the M.E.F. and the Levant Base: "Glory be to Egypt, and the one M.E.F. and to the Levant Base; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; CHAOS WITHOUT END". The group also documents the period in Egypt's history just prior to the 1919 Revolution, itself precipitated by the widespread hardship and resentment caused by the actions of the occupying British during the First World War. A notable inclusion is an uncommon series of eight photographs of the funeral procession of Sultan Hussein Kamel, in addition to the various local and military scenes. Also included is a transcription of a letter written by a Turkish officer, one Capt. Musta Mahomet of the 13th Turkish Infantry, Achi Baba, to his wife. Addressed to "Ayesha my Angel of Beauty", he confesses that "we are very troubled here by the English...[they] are very persistent: there is no fear of death for them apparently, and they are very cruel. They watch like wolves in the night and are upon us like Lour (devils). Oh whyever did we join this wicked war?". He goes on to tell his wife to "kiss my two little angels, Tua and Ages, eyes, mouth, ears, hands, and feet, and you pray that the good God keep me safe". An unusual group.

Stock code: 18488

£575

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Author:

LISTER, John

Published:

Unpublished.
1915

Category

Non-fiction
Photography
Military / History
Recent Acquisitions
Travel
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