(Insert from 9 December 1917): I spent a couple of days in Jaffa. It is a beautifully situated town, but dirty. It runs down right to the beach. Coming in from the eastern side one passes thru several miles of orange groves and wattle lined roads, all the oranges are ripe and the green and gold of the trees and the white houses and red tiled roofs in the background makes a beautiful picture.
I visited the English Hospital (now an orphanage) and is run by French Sisters and Syrian nurses. I met an extremely nice girl named Miss Lateifeh and she showed me all over the hospital. A beautiful view could be obtained of the whole of Jaffa from the balcony.
The inhabitants were very pleased to see us. One girl told me that the more she sees of the British the better she likes them.
I also met the Rev Mother of the Franciscan Convent and she told me of the awful sufferings that the Jewish and Syrian people had to put up with, but there’s no need to describe what you already know. I might just say a little though. Ojemal Pasha ordered from time to time the execution of a number of Jews and Syrians and the Turks would drag them from their homes and publicly hang them. In one batch, the Rev Mother said, they hung a Frenchman and 25 Jews and as each went on the scaffold shouted Vive La Franceise, Vive La Angletene.
The English and French languages were getting such a strong hold that the Turks ordered that anyone speaking the language would be put to death. She also told me of the death of one of the Sisters the night before we entered the city. It had been her wish to see the English in possession before she died and her last words were “The English are coming at last I can hear them marching”.
We arrived there that morning.
So you see they must have had a bad time when they looked forward to our coming with such longing.
It makes one feel glad that he’s done some good in helping rid the world of the unspeakable and savage brutes.
Jack Graham, ANZAC soldier, kept a diary from 1914-1918. Here it is, blogged 100 years later to the day....