25 June 1916

(3rd Bn) C Co, 1st N.S.W. TRAINING BN,
18 HUT NO 2 CAMP
PERHAM DOWNS
ANDOVER HANTS ENG.
25/6/16

Dear Homefolks,
You must forgive me for not writing last week, as I’ve been very busy. Until I’m sent off to France, I’ve got the job of signal Sgt & it entails quite a lot of work. There are 50 odd men & 40 of them do not know anything at all & of course am kept pretty busy.

I received from Horseferry Rd, in answer to my enquiries, information that Vivie & Percy are still O.K. Haven’t heard from either since I left England last. I expect that their letters have miscarried somewhere. 8 very old letters from Aus. dated Mch & April of 1915 came to light a week or so ago. Most of them were condoling over my being wounded _ _ _. It’s so long ago that it seems unreal. Some of them were hoping that I’d have a good time whilst in Egypt. One was from Mrs Askey at N’dera. It’s not much use answering it now. I expect it was written to cheer up a poor wounded soldier.

The powers that be are giving all of our mob here, who have fair seconds, 4 days leave. My turn will probably come to light some time next week. The 1st Bde, so I hear, are all to get 7 or 8 days leave from F, so many at a time. Hope that Percy can manage it. It would be great to see him again.

I got a nasty kick in the chin yesterday. Was in charge of a fatigue party from 7am to nearly 3, & then the job being done, reported back, & 7 of my men & myself were immediately grabbed for escort for prisoners from London. They said that we could stay over night & come back next morning. We were all quite agreeable to that, but we had no money. I stung one of our officers & got 10/. We decided to have tea & breakfast at the Anzac Buffet, where it was free & see London with a 1/- each _ _ _. & pay for our beds out of it too _ _ _. Only had a few minutes to catch the train. Got to Hferry Rd about 7 & to our dismay found that the Buffet was closed till 9. Also found that we couldn’t see the Provost Marshall until his Nibs had dined. Met his Royal Highness at 7.30 & was told that we had to go back that night & not only that but had to be ready in 40 minutes. Tried hard to be allowed to stay till morning but no use. They showed me a wire from the Tidmouth police saying that they were expecting the prisoners that night. We rushed off for tea then, & in due course after a lot of trouble (you have to have handling of prisoners to know what a lot of trouble they can cause you) we got back to Tidmouth with them & there were no police waiting for us so we had to take them to the police barracks ourselves – a distance of 1 ½ miles or 3 there & back. It was 2 am before we got home & were able to go to by by. And every one of us had been looking forward to having a fairly good time in London. By Jingo it was a proper sell. It was funny bringing the prisoners from Hferry Rd to Waterloo – a distance of 2 miles. There was no ambulance available so we had to ## & we were very closely scrutinised by the inquisitive public as we went along. They seemed to think it was a great joke to see the prisoners under escort. And of course at every pub along the route, some of the prisoners wanted to be allowed to have a drink, which of course is not allowed. I was almost every sort of a ## becos I wouldn’t let them _ _ _.

Except for those very old letters that I’ve mentioned earlier in this haven’t had any word from you all in Australia. I may be here close on 3 months. Our Sig Offr says that each lot of reinforcements have to get 16 weeks continuous training here before they go.

We had a long march on Friday to a rehearsal for a review on the Saty. Did about 16 miles. As I said before, I was on fatigue & escort on the Saty. (C coy being duty coy in the camp) so I do not know how it went off.

Well I’ll close now with tons of the best love from your loving son & brer Bert.

 

 

 

 

 

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