25 December 1915
Milbank Barracks Hospital
London SW 25/12/15
Mum your letters dated 8/8/15, 29/8/15, & 5/9/15, & Dads of 8/8/15 & Idas of 31/7/15 to hand with 9 others this week. They are all dated August & Sept except two of my own which have come back to me. They were written in April. They reached Mrs Morgans one morning & knowing how anxious I was for my letters, she brought them in to me personally right away. That was very good of her wasn’t it.
I’m glad that you liked the photos becos I’ve been told that they are very poor. Mrs Morgan has one & she’s locked it away. Says its nothing like me _ _ _. I must be ferocious.
I’m glad of Rubys success in winning an entry into the teachers college. Give her ladyship my sincere congrats & many of them.
I’d be very glad of the photos but only send P.C. size. Any bigger cant be carried about with one. I’ve been carrying several photos about with me. No, none of the oil has turned up yet, except what I got off Percy, but never mind it will arrive in due course.
Yes Hamilton is a good man & it’s a shame that he’s been recalled. If they had listened to him the Dardanelles would have been forced before the 1st of May. He wanted 300000 men to do the job after he’d looked over everything & the powers that be over here pooh poohed it called him too cautious & gave him 120000 men. Result ignominious failure & he gets withdrawn. You heard of the Suvla Bay affair? That was to take hill 971. Our wild Austns were on the top of that hill the FIRST day but having no more men to replace casualties had to withdraw & shorten their line. It makes my blood boil.
I’m glad that you’ve got some fruit on hand in the garden, cos I’m just as partial to it as ever. I’ll make it look foolish when I get home again.
Thanks very much for the cutting of the shooting. I was very pleased to see it Dad. Anything about the club or the P. & T. assn is always very acceptable. I like to keep in touch with things. I’m glad that Vivie is so good at the snap shooting – it is very useful out in the land of whizzbangs, flies & other nuisances.
What Ida! Are you following your eldest sisters lead by raving of “Scratch Cocky” at Fort Street? I’ll have to get acquainted with this paragon of virtue & loveliness. When two sisters successively go mad over her charms there must be something nice about her. I wonder if the fair Rita ever goes to Fort Street if she will also do her block over “Sweet pretty Joey. Scratch Cocky’s topknot” But don’t tickle her under the chin or she might bite _ _ _.
I’m so sorry to hear of Ponto being poisoned. That was hard luck. Never mind Ida I’ll try & take up the vacancy in your heart when I get back if its still empty _ _ _. I wont tease you (only sometimes) & I be real nice (sometimes) & in short I’ll make you real fond of me (sometimes) _ _ _. There now. Haven’t I thawed a lot?
Hey I say Ida go steady do. Grown another inch! What do you mean? Don’t you understand that you must not eclipse me? The idea. You are forgetting yourself. Don’t do it again.
No need for you to rub that poetry into me again. I’d like to catch the chap that wrote it. I’d give him Bertie. After I read that I spent 20 minutes looking for my eyeglass & being unable to find it used my identification disc & then I waxed my moustachio & brushed my clothes & exclaimed “Bai Jove. I feel most awfully disweputable in these bally togs bai Jove. Don’t ye know” “Bertie!” The Idea! Its my birfday tomowwow & I will be free wears old.
Well its xmas night. I haven’t do too badly I got the following. Two very nice sovenoirs from the Australian Imp Forces. Another from Australia. From Australia a parcel containing 10 pkts cigarettes, 1 tin tobacco, 1 tin cigarettes, lead pencil, Hanky, writing paper, & a box chocs. From an Australian lady a purse, From H.M. Queen Alexandria a photo of herself & King Ned. It was given personally by Her Maj. From Australia, parcel of fruit & nutz. From the hospital a spanking xmas dinner & xmas tea & a concert, from Mrs Morgan married dorter & grandorter a nice card & from somewhere – Old Nick I think – a cow of a toothache! There now. Haven’t I scored. Oh I also got from a lady – name & add unknown – 2 pkts of cigs & a cig lighter, from a gent a long cigar, from a Capt in something or other in the Choroth Africa dustup, a bag of lavender, a nice bible & some literature. I gave all the combustable stuff that makes such a lot of smoke to other unfortunates in my ward. In the morning we went to Church. H.M. Queen Alex was there. I didn’t approve of things at all. Too much blooming ceremony & show for my liking. After church we had to wait for a long while in one of the wards for the Queen. When she came she gave us each a photo of herself & King Ned. After that was over I found that someone had shook my brand new hat out of the cloak room where they made us leave them. I got a clue as to where it went but before I could see about it myself a mate who knew of my loss went & got it back – but somebody had kindly removed the badge bust them.
Then we had a spanking xmas dinner. Turkey being the item in chief. Two bottles of beer or stout for each man but I had an orgy all on my own with lemonade.
26/12/15 After tea I was allowed to go to a concert. Was late & had to take a back seat & couldn’t hear properly otherwise it would have been O.K.
There is no word yet of when I’m going to Harefield Park. I think they must be filled.
Must close now. No more news. I’ve had a fairly merry xmas. Hope you all did well too. Our boys will probably have a decent xmas now that they’ve been withdrawn. Your loving son & brother Bert.