9 June 1916


Dear Mother
I received your letter on the same day as Clyties, written a little later. There was quite a batch and I arranged them in the order of their dates to read them. Naturally I read Clyties first the last one was the first she wrote after the trouble. The others were all cheerful and didn’t hint that there was any likelihood of anything wrong, so it came a little sudden to me. Clyties letter was rather vague and I didn’t know exactly what had happened until I opened yours. I am very thankful that Clytie has come through it all so well and I feel that I owe a great deal to you for it. You will place me deeper in debt to you by looking after her very well until I return, which I hope won’t be many months from now. In fact I have asked jess to get a pair of turkeys for our Xmas dinner. you might suggest to Clytie that I would like her to let me know when she is not well. I don’t think its quite right that a husband should be ignorant of the fact that his wife is in grave danger, do you? It is very well not to worry people with little troubles if one thinks there importance does not justify the anxiety they may cause, but in a case like this I think I should have known sooner. I have not mentioned this to Clytie because I don’t know in what state of health it will find her but perhaps you could persuade her that I am not so easily prostrated that I cannot bare the knowledge that my wife is ill. My duties here are important enough to prevent me having the time to worry myself into a decline unnecessarily.

Well, we’ve been having a rather easy time here so far and it looks as if there’s no immediate prospect of our being stirred up. We are going into the line shortly but “but being in the Line” about this part is monotonous to the point of absolute boredom and in addition, my job is about the safest among the subs. One is in as much and sometimes more danger out than in. I have been at the “Front” for about six weeks now and haven’t done or helped to do anything to lessen the fighting strength of the enemy. We cannot win the war by merely digging trenches and the sooner we do something and win the sooner we’ll get home again. To get home is the general wish of everyone here but there job will be done first. You at home have a far harder time than we here. We have action, work and excitement to keep our minds busy and so are able to rob events of half their hurting power by simply not thinking of them. How is everything getting on about Gladesville now and have things altered very much at all. I don’t suppose so, but all the same I’d like to be there just now to see for myself. Don’t think I’d lightly run away again eh!

By the way I’ve only received one (1) parcel since I left Australia and I think was the first sent. The others a probably on their way or more likely still, stored in Egypt waiting for shipping room. Pretty well all the available boats are working to their full capacity owing to the movements of troops and its difficult enough to get our mail through. One of these fine days I’ll get them all and wonder what I’m to do with them all at once because one can’t carry overmuch baggage hereabouts. If and when the “Great Push” comes I’ll lose most of what I’ve got now. We are living quite high here. To look at our bill of fare one would hardly think that there’s a war on at all.

Must close now. Hoping that you and all the family are keeping well and happy your affectionate son Viv.





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