Western Desert, Egypt. 1st August, 1942.
Filling water cans at 9th Div HQ.
Fighting in the Western Desert is thirsty work, and none know just how thirsty like these men of 9th Division HQ who are filling water cans from the 500 gallon tanker in the picture.
Every single drop of water needed to be carted across the desert to the armies in the field. Rommel had more of a problem with the huge distance that his supply line had to transverse to get to the battlefields of Egypt. Water was a precious commodity, even more so when some could be spared from drinking for washing body and clothes.
Many Australians chose to drink their water and just rely on the occasional swim in the ocean at Alamein for all their bathing. The veterans of Tobruk were well versed in water rationing and had many novel ways to maximise the usefulness of even the tiniest amount.
image 024690 Australian War Memorial.