16 November 1915

Henbury Cottage
54 Standard Rd
Hounslow Ldn
Nov – 16 – 15

Dear Mum & Dad & Srers & Brers.

Since my last rather feeble attempt at keeping up my correspondence things have moved rapidly – too rapidly for my liking.

Last Monday week was allowed up before dinner & felt fairly good so next day got up with the others & the old Dr marked me for Westminster which means the Dr either gives you furlough or sends you to a convalescent home. Well he gave me furlough tho I’m not properly strong enough yet – would much rather have had a fortnight convalescence – especially in some nice country place where the milk maids have cherry lips & rosy cheeks & where I’d get some petting. I feel as if I could do with a good deal & not feel ill after it _ _ _.

By a great stroke of luck Dick Maloney got his leave the same day & as we could get a free pass to any place in the U.K. we got one to Edinburgh to see what bonny Scotland was like. Was recommended to stay at the Nth British Htl as being a nice reasonable & respectable place. After an interview with a young lady in a glass cage in the vestibule I think you call it – we decided to get a place that didn’t want 12/6 a day in order to be respectable & after a long search we were successful in getting a nice homely place where we could sit in front of the fire with our number sixes on the mantlepiece & not incur any severe remonstances from the landlady or her unmarried dorter (21 & never been kissed. I DON’T THINK). Edinburgh is a great place. Far ahead of L in many ways. The chief thing I noticed about it was that it was well lit up – no air raid danger you know - & the large number of women compared with men. Every night the streets were crowded & I suppose there’d be 4 of the best to every 1 of the worst, Kharke & all included. I was greatly disappointed with their theatres tho, tho I ought to have known what to expect when you could get a box to hold four for 7/6. We got there on Thurs night & left Sunday night. Its very cold here now. Snowed last night.

I wanted to stay a week & look round but Dick who was togged up in Tommies clobber was all pins & needles to get back to L to get the suit of Aust uniform that he was getting made up. He got a pr trousers cheap & a coat to measure for £2.15 made the exact pattern of our coats. I’m rigged out in the same uniform that I left Aust in. The coat is faded a little but no sign of wearing, & of course it could do with a wash. But never mind if they object here to it let them go out & wallpaper & carpet our trenches & give us something cleaner than mother earth to sleep on. It suits me & I’m not hard to please (in some things) I had to get fresh headgear tho. My poor cap would have landed me in gaol. It was liberally splattered with rifle oil & I’d used it as a pillow for over a month _ _ _. So I got an Aust hat & now I’m Austn all over except my puttees & they are N.Z.

Mrs Morgan has insisted on my staying with her & I’m here now writing. Shes quite spoiling me. I’d like you to write to her & thank her for looking after me so well. The Aust mail closes today & this is as usual the first letter in my batch so I must close with best love from your loving son & brer Bert

“Turn the dark clouds” etc.






NEXT    >>