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Date: February 8th 1918
Mother and Father
H.W. Gerow


Pte. H. W. Gerow, son of Mr. and Mrs. Seth T. Gerow, Picton, who enlisted in Cobourg and in England was attached to the British East Africa Expeditionary force, writes as follows:

This expedition is one of the most interesting of the various British forces, which are working in the four corners of the earth. Against superhuman difficulties almost, the expedition is working into the heart of the jungle in the vicinity of Lake Victoria Nyanza to wrest this last possession of Germany in Africa from her grasp. They are transporting overland to the lake two huge armoured motor boats for use on the lake itself. They are a long way inland now and are about 3,000 feet above sea level. It is described fine and cool, but wet. It rains every day, but it sure gives a fellow an awful appetite. The air is so clear and there isn't any red sand like we had at the other camps. We are not far from Lake Victoria Nyanza. The country around here is just alive with big and small game. There are lots of deer, giraffes, ostriches, hyenas, lions, foxes and zebras. One of the boys shot a giraffe and a hyena the other day. He skinned the hyena but could not handle the giraffe. He made arrangements with some natives to bring it in. They cut the tail off and sold it in the village. He found out later that a tail is worth about 200 rupees or k 75. They found a native the other day almost eaten by a lion. There are lots of them around here in this mountain country, but they seldom attack anybody. There are some pretty wild looking natives in this district. We passed some on the road the other day. They are copper coloured like our Indians, but they are such ugly-looking beggars with their faces tattooed. They seem friendly enough, but one cannot take any chances here. They carry long spears and shields made of hides stretched on a wooden frame. Well, I certainly like this life so far. I think that if a fellow can stand it, he can stand nearly anything. It isn't only fever and dysentery but there are bugs and spiders and other things to fight against. One of the boys killed a big ugly spider, almost twice as big as a tarantula and very poisonous. Another almost stepped on a snake. However, we are getting used to those things. I like sleeping on the truck better than on the ground as they don't get a good chance to crawl over you at night. I think the Company is pretty well supplied with pets. We have a monkey and a little goat. An ostrich travelled in here a few days ago. It almost startled us sometimes to see it stalk by the tent door, looking for eats. One of the boys lassoed it and everybody grabbed a feather. It didn't seem to worry any about it 'either, I expect we are going still further inland, I think that a lot of our mail went down on the steamship Sussex. Don't expect letters too often.