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Date: December 17th 1914

16880 F Coy
1st B.C. Regt
2nd Brigade
Can Exped Force
Lark Hill Camp
Salisbury Plain

Dec 17th 1914

My Dearest Kate

Many thanks for papers which I received today I was beginning to think you were sick as I hadn't had any news of you for ages (it seems) I am hoping to get a letter from you in a day or so now I am pleased to say I am feeling fine again now Have been vaccinated this afternoon (couldn't dodge it this time) so I am again expecting a pretty sore arm again in a few days I am going home again on the 23rd for six days leave so I shall have a turkey dinner after all for Christmas. I am going to spend a couple of days at New Barnet with my Aunt to finish up my leave as this is the last chance we have of seeing our friends before we leave for the front We expect to leave England about the middle of January but there is nothing official given out to us except that this is to be our last leave I hope this naval engagement at Scarborough wont stop us from going home at Christmas I see that one of our boys has written to his people in Victoria that we are being sent out in sections & that eight sections are already at the front I am afraid somebody must have been peddling "hot air" to him & he was soft enough to believe it I don't think there is a single man of the Contingent left England yet. They say the regts going out there for the first few weeks get the pleasant job of burying the dead & burning dead horses to harden them up before going to the firing line. That's what the Territorials have had to do out there I believe. If we get that I guess we shall see some pretty bad sights. Harry is somewhere in Hampshire with the National Reserve He was moved from Barnstaple about 10 days ago Did you get the views I sent you from home the last time I was down. I sent them to the Gen Delivery. We are not doing much training now mostly fatigues such as building railroad or rather doing the grading work I haven't had anything to do today as I was on guard yesterday for 4 hours so couldn't get much sleep that's the reason we get the next day off duty to rest up We have had three fine day's on a stretch now which is what we haven't had now for a long time but I think it will rain again before long. I walked over to Stonehenge last Sunday then to Awesbury & back got back just in time as the rain simply pelted down just as we got in Stonehenge is about 15 minutes walk from here we can look out of the window in the hut & see it but its not much to see in it just a lot of big stones piled up on end & so on but I suppose it's the history of it that attracts the crowds They charge a shilling to go inside the enclosure but you can see just as much from the outside the only difference is that a guide takes you around & explains the history to you Well dear by the time you get this I suppose we shall soon be moving from here & then I don't suppose I shall have so many opportunities of writing you but I will do so where possible. I don't suppose I shall be able to give you any news about what we are doing as all the letters are censored& even postcards & the post office stamps don't give any information as to the exact place where it was sent from all that the people know here about their friends is that they are on the continent somewhere but information as regards their movements is marked out by the censors or anything they think they will cross off I think they use their pencil pretty free too. I am going to get you a wrist watch as much like the one Bee has (that is if I can) when I go on leave will send it by registered mail so you ought to get it alright I couldn't see any I liked when I was home last time or I should have got it then. I have heard you say you would like one like it & I hope you will like the one I am going to s end you Let me know dear when you write again when your birthday is I forgot to put the date down before leaving Victoria & now I have completely forgotten it I should like to send you a card but I don't suppose I shall be able to get any out there (that's if we are there) but I can write you a letter anyhow & if I know the date I can send it so as you will get it somewhere near the day anyhow I guess you had better mark my letters "Please Forward" again although this address ought to find me anywhere Its long enough anyhow (must suspend operations for supper now) After Supper Am feeling a little better now but couldn't enjoy dessert as the jam had a very strong taste of gasoline with it we opened three tins & they were all the same that means a kick to the officer in the morning Well Darling I think this is all I have to say this time Hope this will find you all well Please remember me to everybody Heaps of love & tons of kisses XXXXXXXXXX

Your Ever Loving

Has Jim left Victoria yet?

Original Scans

Original Scans