25 June 1916

(3rd Bn) C Co, 1st N.S.W. TRAINING BN,

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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