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Date: December 12th 1915

Dec 12th 1915
c/o Mrs Co[?]
Crescent Rd
New Barmet

My Dearest Kate

I received your two letters of Nov 11th & 18th this week but have not yet received the books of views yet. Naturally they would take a little longer on the road & Aunt Mag may be keeping them for me until I go there. She is keeping the papers for me so that when I do get there I shall have lots to read. You will know by this that I am still at Shorncliffe & out of ink. I am pleased to say that I am keeping in the best of health & I hope dear that this will find you all well after the Xmas festivities. I haven't heard from the Red Cross about that [?] you sent, but probably they will write in a few days. I think I will do as you suggest dear & have some food sent to a fellow in Germany who did me lots of good turns when I was so bad there. He is in the Durhams & after I had my leg amputated he did all he possible could for myself & the other poor fellow that died after coming to England. He was with us two from about 7 in the morning until after 8 at night as we were in a little room by ourselves at the time. He did everything he possibly could for us & I am afraid he had something to do to put up with us at times. This was all voluntary work on his part as he was wounded himself though not serious & needn't have done anything for us. I think he deserves a little consideration from me dont you? When I get out I mean to send him some parcels myself So my namesake has arrived home He was a big tall fellow rather dark & a red face but I guess he is at home in Alberni. I see Kelly has arrived at Alberni. I wouldn't be surprised to see Richard here any day as he said he expected to be at Shorncliffe before Christmas He was wounded at Testubert[?]. I should like to see him & have a talk about old times. I guess you would like to hear us talking about our different experiences too: Never mind dear I will tell you all about some day that is if you would like to hear them some of them will make your flesh creep but thats nothing as a soldier on active service has to get used to creepy things some of them are "whoppers" too, with black spots on their backs. If I feel like I do now when I come back I think I can stand the journey alright. I dont think that will be as rough as my journey up into Germany & back was. I dont think you really mean to be jealous because that girl came to see me also of Connies sister for writing to me No dear Wilfred didn't have much to say to me when he came with his mother but she said he was all jaw at home. He is very much like Alice. Dora had a little to say but not much I dont think she resembles any of you as much as Wilfred, but they are both fair & pretty kids too. Mother sais she had written you some time before she came to see me and was expecting a reply when she got back. Its quite likely her letter went down on the "Hisperian". I am sorry to say dear that the few "souvenirs" I had I threw away with my pack. I had some German ammunition & a few other things for you. I brought some coins home from Germany too I had them in my purse & the other morning I went to my purse to buy a paper & it was gone purse & all from my locker. I also had my lodge button in it too. There was only about five pence in English money in it so the guy that took it didn't benefit much by it. This happened last week since then I have moved to another ward. There was a fellow there discharged from hospital one morning the same day got his hand skinned pretty badly that day & came back again at night & slept in the bed he was in before, next to mine my purse was in the locker & he & I were the only ones in the room as it was married quarters there now used as hospital wards. The orderly woke me up in the morning & asked me where he was I thought he was in bed but evidently he had beat it & never came back. He was only a kid about 20 years old & hasn't been to the front yet perhaps if he had he wouldn't have acted so mean. I know what he would have got in my company if they had found him out doing things like that. Its not the value of the thing that I look at but the dirty mean action

I am afraid Jack Hibburd has gone west as nobody seems to have heard anything about him. Probably I should have gone too if I transferred with him. He wanted me to go with him but I had made some good pals in No 4 Coy that I didn't care much about changing. I didn't know Mr Ault had joined the colours although he told me when I went away not to be surprised to hear that he had done so. Glad to hear that you had a good time at the whist drive. I'd have done Archie out of his job though if I had been there. So you really have beaten Necia at Whist (wonders will never cease) I should like to have seen your face when that partner of yours trumped in at the wrong time Wouldn't it have been fine if I had been playing against you. Glad to hear that you got the picture of the hospital dear the picture of the bunch of us didn't come out at all good the nurse hadn't got the camera focused right. I had my mug taken at Bromley by one of the boys there. He took my address & said if they came out alright he will send them on to me but I haven't heard any more about them. I will have some more taken when I get out of here. I see they are giving the boys a great welcome when they reach Victoria. I think I'll try to get in on the first boat early in the morning as I dont want a crowd to meet me there (two's company) Now dear I must close or else stand the risk of another calling down from you for writing too much. Hoping this will find you all in the best of health Kind Regards to all friends. Will close now dearie with tons of love & miles of barb-wire entnanglements XXXXXXXX

How much holiday am I to have in Victoria before starting to work?

Your Ever Loving Jack

NO LATER than 10 at night

P.S. Have just had an invitation from my cousin that used to send me the cream she wants me to pay them a visit wish you were here to go with me.
Have also been invited to spend some furlongs at Torquay lots of cream & dumplings there too!

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