Letters From The Middle East

Letters From The Middle East

Desert Sands 'Neath Silver Stars -- Benjamin Morrison's poems.
"...hasn’t this war made many things possible, even a free tour to the Holy Land?"

In January 1915 the Ottoman Empire invaded Egypt, a British Protectorate. Although the Turks didn’t achieve their objective – the Suez Canal – it was sometime before they were driven out of Sinai. Tom Scott, from Lerwick, who had joined the Australian army, wrote about his experiences at Rafah. It was a decisive battle, and he was wounded in it. He was to lose his life in the fighting in 1918.

Later on the British forces advanced into Palestine, and Britain and France were able to control most of the Middle East as protectorates. The war in the Holy Land was a different one from the Western Front. One Shetland correspondent, Benjamin Morrison, noted it was "a war of movement".

Benjamin Morrison was a rather lyrical correspondent, and not surprisingly a poet. The Shetland News published a letter written by him to a Mr Royston, who ran a charity providing walking sticks. Benjamin Morrison was in hospital, probably due to illness. He was later wounded in the by shrapnel. He survived the war, but suffered poor health, with attacks of malaria. He died in 1935 in Lerwick.

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