4 December 1915

“C” Ward
Milbank Barracks Hosp.
London S.W. 4/12/15

Dear Mum & Dad & Srers & Brers.

After being two whole months without any mail I was greatly pleased to get your letter of Sept 11th & also Doris Macs of Sept 12th. Of course I was very disappointed not getting two other letters, but a soldier never worries over no letters now – he knows its no use. He’ll get them when the Mil. P.O. likes to send them, & until then he must learn to wait.

I’m so glad that you like the presents cos they were rediculously cheap. I’ve saved most of my furlough money to take some essential things back to Gallipoli for Percy & myself. Vernie & Vivie being officers wont need anything so badly. Am sending 3 tuck boxes out to Vernie – 3 in case Vivie & Percy are there. I’ll be looking forward very eagerly for my xmas box from you to arrive tho I do not expect it for a good while yet.

A day or so ago I got a letter from Percy dated Oct 3rd (two months old) from Malta saying that he was sick there with laryngitis. I didn’t leave Lemnos for Eng till Oct 20th & to think he was there in Malta when I passed. Isn’t the delay in mail sickening. I ought to have got it before I left Lemnos as it is only 3 days sail away. Where he is now dear only knows. He may be back in Gallipoli or he may be in Eng. I’ve written to try & find out. He said the tucker at Malta was awful & the Dr didn’t seem to care much about anyone.

Viola, what is this “wonderful ball dress” that Mum describes you as “trying on & preening herself like a parrot”? “That expression Mum I think is perfect. It describes my idea of Viola trying on a new dress exactly. It just reminds me of poor Joey at Winton when she was very busy going over her toilet. Never mind Viola I like to see you preening yourself _ _ _.

No Mum, none of the papers have reached me yet, tho I spose Vernie has got some by now. If ever you see anything in the dailies that might interest us would you please send the cutting.

It will be very nice if Rup White gets into the 3rd. Why the old Bn will be getting almost a Riverina one soon. I don’t know that his ability to climb trees will ever be exercised with Abdul, tho it certainly would be useful in getting out of the trenches quickly when attacking, but his ability to sleep on a barbed wire fence would go decidedly against him as one has to be particularly lively when negotiating barbed wire in order to get over it & pass unharmed between the bullets of a machine gun which follow each other at 30 yds interval. If one is unfortunate enough to get wounded in getting over the barbed wire, the ability to lie on it comfortably would be very advantageous.

Hope Gordon had the time of his life in Jd as I presume hes back by now, tho I don’t suppose he’d remember many of the children.

I’d like to run up against Jim Curry. I wonder what Bn he is in.

What is that “Dinkum Paper” that you talk about. Did Vernie or I send it to you. Vernie did I suppose as I don’t remember anything of it. No Mum I don’t know Capt Davidson but of course he didn’t belong to the 3rd. I suppose poor Miss Davidson feels his loss very keenly.

Do you remember seeing the account of the death of Capt Shout V.C.? [ref] He was a fine fellow. He was in the A.R.R. – the present 29th. Both Percy & I knew him well. The morning I joined  I met him & he wanted me to join the 1st Bn with him which I would have done only Vernie was in the 3rd. He was a fine shot. If the P. & T. medal is any good & at all artistic, you could get it made into a broach & wear it if you like. I’d rather have that by far than have it reposing in the bottom of a trunk. You haven’t many broaches Mum so hop in & grasp the opportunity by the horns _ _ _.

By the way, do you know if the P. & T. Rifle club has defuncted itself, or evaporated or cooled down or merely died a natural death? I’ve seen lots of papers with rifle shooting & not ever a whisper of the P. & T. Altho I’ve done a lot of shooting since I left, I still take a keen interest in it & especially the old club. I’d be very sorry to hear of its defunctity.

It looks as if I’ll be in here for xmas as its only 3 weeks off. There is a chance that I’ll be out tho, just in time. I get Beef tea mornings, roast beef dinner, fish tea, & as much milk as I care to swallow every day.

Well I must close as news is very scarce when one is confined like this. With best love to you all from your loving son & brother Bert.






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