10 February 1916
54 Standard Rd
I received a nice batch of letters last week – dated mostly Nov, including one from you Mum 4/11/15. This week – in fact today got 17, including Ida’s of 11th Sept which she completed about Oct 20th _ _ _. , Eric’s from Jd of 4th Oct, Mum’s of 8th Oct, Viola’s of 10th Oct and Mum’s again of 23rd Oct. So you can see how erractically they arrive. They’ve all been re-addressed by Vernie & the little scamp never dropped me a line himself. Also go one from Percy last week dated early in Nov & one today abt the middle of Dec. Got one 3 weeks ago from him dated 7th Jany.
I’m glad Ida that you liked that little box from Weymouth – dear knows it was cheap enough… Why shouldn’t I wax my moustache? It roams all over my dial if I don’t & annoys me at meal times. Twice this week, in spite of the waxing I’ve nearly pulled it out when endeavoring to extract fish bones from my wide expanse of a mouth. You keep silent on that subject – it’s strictly taboo as far as jokes are concerned, or I’ll jab it in your cheek. (both ends too) when I return… You are a nice one Ida to get a swollen eyelid. Whose fault is it. Now if he had kissed the point of your nose like I used to, you would have looked a sight. Even those adorable freckles would not have redeemed your appearance… Yes Viola has it bad I know but I cannot go back to adjust things myself. If he enlists tho I suppose I must not object to him. Oh by the way, I think that you’ll be my next worry…. I’m sorry to say that the xmas tin has not arrived yet. It may do so any time now. I say it may but I don’t think it will _ _ _. Well ain’t I looking after myself well. Didn’t I sneak back to Eng at the first opportunity _ _ _. If that’s not looking after myself I don’t know what is….
Well Eric you have jumped off your (tail?) well and no error. No I haven’t seen any of the wattle that was sent over, except from a sprig from Viola & Mrs Fox that was sent to me… Am so glad that you had a bonzer picnic. I expect that your whole stay in JD was just O.K. I wouldn’t mind a holiday there myself… That’s a great piece of poetry about the Germans bombarding Jd. Aren’t you glad it wasn’t true. You really shouldn’t send so many multiplication symbols in your epistles to the soldiers. It’s not good for them. Makes them want sum more of the real thing.
Trust me Mum not to poke my nut up where there’s the slightest possibility of getting anything sent at it. I’ve a most wholesome respect for any one who is so confident of his shooting ability that he lies in wait for some venturesome ass to expose himself, while he himself is running the same risk. Give the fair Ruby my heartiest birthday greetings tho they are a little late, & if there is no one looking you can give her a kiss from me – at the back of her right ear.
Quite well thanks Viola, & I feel a lot better already through your kind enquiry. Oh so Flo is still alive and well is she. I’m so glad. Look Viola how about doing me a favor, & I’ll kiss you on the nose & under your adorable chin. Please buy her a pen & a bottle of ink & a PC. If it’s any news to you Bill Chapman tried to enlist 3 times so he’s not a shirker…. Yes I must say Viola that your writing is about as bad as mine, which is quite inexcusable …. Candidly & of course without any prejudice to Wal, I think he ought to enlist. Thousands of other families have given all their eligible males. If the Huns got hold of his sisters they wouldn’t spare them cos they were precious to him…. Yes I should think I do remember that last Sunday in Sydney. By the way I heard poor Rathie was missing after the Lone Pine fight. Is there any news of him? Remind me to his sister & tell her I do hope her brother are OK…. Thanks for Nancy’s message. Is she still the same little imp? Give her my kind rememberences …. No jolly fear. Your letter hasn’t made me feel miserable, it’s had exactly the opposite effect & if you go getting any more blues I’ll have to go back & chase you round, toss you round the world & back again, & in short revive the good old days in spite of your 18 yrs. Why it only seems a little while ago that I used to slap you when you wouldn’t go to sleep _ _ _. A lot of good it did too I must say.
No Mum the only oil I got was what Percy brought me. I’m looking forward Mum to that biscuit tin but I’m afraid it’s rather hopeless. Oh well some soldier will get it …. Thanks for forwarding Florrie’s letter Mum, this I must say your anxieties on my coming a cropper over two or more (stools?) are as unfounded as they are amusing. I’m one of those chaps that love every one girl a little & a one little girl a lot. Florrie is not little is she. It’s such a long time since I saw her…. Good gracious I thought that you had got my back pay long ago. But perhaps it has arrived by now. It dates from the 1st of Aug…. I’ve only received two papers up to date, but very likely Vernie doesn’t bother sending them on…. That wasn’t bad of Vivie being complemented on the smartness of his guard.
Thinks are bumping along with me OK. My furlough is up on Tues & this is Thursday. Not very long now.
Yesterday Mrs Morgan, Alf Chapman & I had an afternoon out. We went to the Coliseum Theatre, & it was very good indeed. Alf is going to try & get the weekend off & to help I also wrote to the Col in charge & asked him. The other day Alf & I went to His Majs & saw "Mrs Pretty & the Premier" an Australian play. It was very good & I enjoyed it greatly. Then later I took Mrs Morgan to see it. I didn’t mind seeing it twice & she wanted to see it cos it was Austn & also cos she knew the chief actor very well & helped to rear him up. So you see I’ve been leading the giddy life again. Last Sunday Mrs Morgan’s son took us for a lovely long motor drive. That’s about all the news so goodbye till next time, your loving son Bert.