July in Jerusalem

Published by The Garland Collection on


CANON Garland [ David John Garland ] writes from Jerusalem, in respect to the Church of England Australian Fund for Soldiers, on July 26:—

“In strolling through the old city of Jerusalem I was struck by the improvement and cleanliness, showing how our advent is making itself felt.

“The object of my visit was to secure premises for our [ Jerusalem ] Club, and after beating down the landlord I got the premises for £70 a year. They are three-storied.

“The ground floor is occupied by the military for grain store, and the other storeys are ours, and are in good repair, but they will need disinfecting and cleaning.

“I hope this will only take a couple of days, so that I can get them done and buy furniture and then send Mrs. Martin up.

“They are not two minutes from the Jaffa Gates [ sic ] , where our Australian boys are always hanging about trying to get into the Holy City.

“Today there were over 50 as I came through. There was nothing to do except to get them in. They would have become discontented, and some gone to wine shops.

“Our club will make a meeting place where they can rest and have a cup of tea.

“Chaplains look for them to take them into the Holy City.

“To-day, however, I could not go with this lot, but I got them in under charge of three officers, so they were all happy.

“Later in the day I took another party myself to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where I prayed at the Sepulchre and Calvary. The boys were most reverent and appreciative.

“Then I went down to St. George’s Cathedral to witness an entertainment by the ‘Church Army’ in honour of the extension of its previous work in Jerusalem, which is very important.

“At 1 p.m. next day the car arrived for me from the Desert Corps Headquarters, and in an hour I was there, dropped 1,000 ft. amidst dust, too great for words, ran through Bethany, passed the site of the Inn of the Good Samaritan, the well which marked the boundary between Jerusalem and Israel, along the road which our Lord often trod to His loved Bethany, and the road which He followed to Jericho, Jordan, and Galilee.

“I dined at headquarters with three other generals; they were all keenly interested in our Jerusalem Club, showed much sympathy, and gave practical help.

“General T. said it was very much needed, and would do good work.

“The sanitation and water supply are big problems.

“After a conference with General T. I left by car for Jerusalem, and went to a camp in Bethlehem, where I saw one of our marquees in use as a regimental or camp canteen, much appreciated by the boys.

“Then we drove to St. Simon’s, where there is an ambulance rest camp, not for boys from hospital, but just tired and run-down in the lines.

“Here I saw two marquees of ours, one used as a shade rest tent for the boys to loaf in, and the other for entertainment.”

— from page 2 of “The Express and Telegraph” (Adelaide, South Australia) of 25 September 1918.

PICTURED ABOVE: From Canon Garland’s “Magic Lantern” series of photographs taken while he was senior Church of England military chaplain with the First AIF in Jerusalem and the Palestine/Syria campaign between 1917 and 1918. This image shows Canon Garland posing with some of “the boys” of the First AIF. For their entertainment and relaxation, a hostel was established “not two minutes from the Jaffa Gates”.