30 December 1916


Dear Homefolks
Yours Mum of 30/10 & 6/11 to hand yesterday. I’ve come a proper cropper over France. After a ___ of a lot of battling, got a definite promise to be on the first draft after xmas, & had in fact my name of the list to go, & now I’m told that there is absolutely no earthly chance of getting away for an indefinite period. My name is rubbed off. Of course its nice to be told why you can’t get away, but I’ve got special reasons for wanting to get over as quick as possible. I wonder if I’ll ever get over.

Have just got word from Tassy that poor Minnie died quite suddenly. She has been writing to me very regularly & of course it came as an awful shock. Her letters were always so bright & cheerful that I intended visiting Tassy after the war just to see her. I didn’t have the slightest idea that she suffered from her heart. They are a very unlucky family aren’t they. It was Nona who wrote to me about it. She has asked me to write to her brothers & let them know.

We are as usual, having rotten weather here & at the best of times Salisbury Plains is a place to avoid, but now – oh it’s luvly. But of course France is infinitely worse so we’ve a lot to be thankful for. Haven’t heard from any of them lately so they must be holding the mail back – or else knowing I expected to get over after xmas, they are waiting for me to turn up. Man proposes.

We had a pretty good time here at xmas as far as eatables were concerned. After dinner a concert was commenced which lasted to 4am next morning. Tea was served whilst the concert was in progress & consisted of sandwiches so as to let the mess servants have the afternoon & night free. The mess was decorated finely & is very comfy now containing 4 divans & a dozen lounge chairs that one can get lost in. The decorations will be left up for sometime. Before we sat down to dinner, all the Sgts had to wait on the men in the mess huts _ _ _. I was dishing out beer beer glorious beer _ _ _. There is going to be a bit of a shivoo[?] here at New Year too but exactly what it is, I cannot say yet. All I know is that we are not getting New Years day off. Bow wow. What did you enlist for anyway _ _ _. I wish Vivie or Percy could get a few days leave & come to England. Wouldn’t it be fine. But I don’t suppose there is any such luck for them as that. One never knows tho. I’m afraid that the proposal to give 3 months furlough in Aust to all the original 1st Div has come to nil. Well I’ll close now. With tons of love from your loving son & brother Bert.






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