Ben Grossman: Serving in WWI in Egypt

Posted by jyuhasz

Ben Grossman leaving for patrol in Libyan desert
Rights - JMABC
Grossman, Ben
Victoria, BC
Leonoff, Cyril E.
Monday, March 27, 1972
Digital audio recording #: 19.72-04
CL:         Is this 1914?
BG:         ‘15. I got an assignment there to go to Egypt. I put in two years and eight months on the Libyan Desert. That was tough.
CL:         I see and what were you doing?
BG:         In the cars.
CL:         Were you repairing them or driving them?
BG:         Everything. Nobody knew very much about it even then. Not for such big operations as that.
CL:         And was this mostly motorized or did they have horses?
BG:         Yes that's where I was in, the motor business.
CL:         What were you doing? Transporting troops?
BG:         And how. We transported, I was in the supply column. Taking supplies to an oasis in the desert, Siwa, called Siwa. Siwa was an oasis in the desert and we had a garrison camp about 15 miles from Siwa, with four armored cars, Rolls Royce, and the equipment with it and all that sort of thing. We were in this desert and I was in the supply column there and armored cars and what have you not, used to throw us around all over the place.
                And I took sick. We were stationed there, in what they call Marsa Matruh, on the desert, on the Mediterranean. We had to move from Marsa Matruh to [Salome Bay]. That was farther up the Mediterranean. They had a base there. And we moved to there and operated from there. Two years and eight months there. I finally took sick and they shipped me to Alexandria, in the hospital. I got wounded. We were in a battle there with some Arabs and we had to move four cars with dinky steel bodies on, we were hiding behind these steel bodies when they were shooting at us. And that bullet hit the body and exploded and hit me in the shoulder here all over. I guess I still got marks there. But I was done out of my pension. I was transferred to the Imperial Army. And on my discharge they didn’t quote what was the matter with me. I got malaria too. They didn’t quote that. They didn’t put that down. I was marked B2 and that was finished.
CL:         When was that? What year was that?
BG:         1918.