15 March 1916

Hut L 9
Aust Intermediate Depot
Abbey Wood 15/3/16

Dear Homefolks,
I haven’t had any further letters from you since writing my last, but it is the fault of the camp P.O. Mrs Morgan redirected three letters from Korgarah to me here last week, but up till now I haven’t received them. Yesterday I went to the P.O. to play up little Harry over not getting them. They swore blind there was nothing for me, but at last consented to look. They didn’t find them, but they found one from Elsie. I am expecting them to turn up almost any month.

Had a splendid weekend at Mrs Morgans. Nurse Carpenter also stayed there for the weekend. On Sunday afternoon Mrs M’s married son took us for a lovely motor drive with his wife & children. There were three of us crowded together in the back seat, but I didn’t mind that in the least. Nurse gave me a splendid little medical outfit. It has remedies for almost all the complaints one is liable to on active service, & yet is so compact that I can carry it in my breast pocket. And being given by a nurse I can rely on the remedies being the most suitable.

I was on guard the latter end of last week & while the Sgt was away goodness only knows where, the Provost Marshall turned up & on inspecting the prisoners found that 2/3 of them were absent. I was out posting the reliefs at the time & as soon as I returned he started pumping questions into me like a bolting machine gun. I was a bit flustered & when he asked me if I’d posted the reliefs over the prisoners, I said yes, forgetting that the Sgt himself posted them. When the Sgt returned he was arrested. He explained his absence by saying he was out visiting the sentries. He wasn’t – I happen to know where he was, but thats nothing to do with me. Luckily the other corproral had previously told the P.M. that he thort the Sgt had gone around the reliefs with me, so the Sgts explaination as to his absence was O.K. He managed to get let off with a severe reprimand for allowing the prisoners to escape. He wasn’t to blame either for several reasons which I don’t think you’d understand as you are not conversant with military procedure in such matters. But all the same he was very lucky to get off so lightly. Percy was stripped for less than his offence.

Had a nice long letter from Percy a few days ago, tho there was nothing from Vivie or Vernie. Haven’t heard from either of them for ages. Percy didn’t meet Vivie when he rejoined the 3rd owing to the 17th having left a few days previously. He has been writing stories for the Ldn (London) magazines & I’m to look them up. I wont be able to get in myself but Mrs M has kindly offered to go in and see them for me.

I’ll be greatly surprised if I’m not gone from here this week. I’ve finished with the dentist – or at least what remains to be done will not prevent my leaving with a draft. I received my new set of teeth last Monday.

It’s raining all sorts of nasty things at present. In fact my experience of Eng since I came here in late Oct has been almost continual rain. It’s rotten.

Am on town piquet tonight – 14 men & a corporal. It’s a pretty soft job I’ll be able (to) kill time to 9.30 in some picture show as there’s nothing doing till then. Last time I was on town piquet there was only one man who gave us any trouble.

They are becoming quite military here all of a sudden. Several hut corporals are up for court martial for neglecting to see that their hut orderleys drew coal before 8am. Imagine court martialling a man for a thing like that. Today the order that all men must fall in outside for roll call at 7.30am commenced. They used to be satisfied if the men were present in the hut. There was no necessity for them to be out of bed. Oh well things won’t hurt if they are a bit stricter. It’s been too easy going altogether lately. Well I’ll close now with love to you all, your loving son and brother Bert.






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