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Date: March 11th 1917

Witley Camp



Dear Ollie:-


Glad to say I got your letters yesterday.  Squire and I got eleven between us.  Kept us busy all afternoon.  It’s the first I have had from you in six weeks.  It only takes a few days for letters to go to France and back but suppose they held it until they heard of our last case.  Haven’t heard from any of the boys for two weeks now.  Don’t know what they are doing.  But hey must be in the trenches or pretty handy.  Lieu. McLean of 13 platoon has been wounded and a lot of our boys who went in the first draft are wounded and killed.  Damn McKenzie died of wounds.  I think I mentioned he was wounded quite a spell ago.  He used to be one our happy family in 15 Plat.  Nice boy he was too.  It’s no wonder the boys can fight.  Reckon I could do a little myself when I hear of one of my old mates cashing in.  But thank the Lord it won’t be long now before I will be out of this doing my bit or pushing up daisies some where in France.

Well three more huts of the quarantined bunch left Thurs. night.  Only three huts of us left and hope we get our next Sun. if no more cases break out.  38 days today since we came in the last time.  Going some eh?  They are sending another draft from Bramshott for the 85th this wk.  Don’t know but am afraid that means we will have to go to Bramshott but hope not.  Of course it won’t make much difference in the time for am not afraid Squire and I won’t pass in drill easy enough and there are drafts going from there every day or so.  Of course we would like to go in our own Bn. but she isn’t the same as she used to be so won’t mind so much now. 

Well it’s raining like the devil today.  Yesterday a.m. we scrubbed our walls and floor.  Just got he floor scrubbed when down came the rain with all our worldly belongings piled outside.  So you can imagine what our floor looked like when we got our stuff in out of the mud.  It sure looked a d_ _ _ sight worse when we started.  This is Sun. a day of rest in the Army (I don’t think) didn’t get up very early this p.m. but have done quite a job since I got at it.  Have written two letters, washed one top shirt, one suit, underwear, three pr.’s Socks, two towels and six hdkps.  Besides darning three pr.’s Socks and pr. drawers.  Well I am getting fat as a hog since I have been shut up.  We don’t work much and get fed well.  Better than our own Bn. fed us.  Of course we buy a lot of bread and jam.  Don’t get much bread.  Have been getting a lb. a day but they cut that down today to 14 oz. and it don’t take much army bread to weigh a lb. you bet.   But we get plenty of meat only it’s mostly mutton and I can’t say I am fond of it.  We get hot dogs three and four times a week for breakfast.  Mebby you don’t know what that is.  (Well it’s sausages and punk is bread.)   Awful sorry to hear of Reg’s loss.  I’m sure sympathetic with him.  I once lost a crow remember?  And poor old Sport.  But cuss the cats I have no use for them.  I don’t think I would send for a Dr. for any cat.  Of course a good dog is different.  Got to get out of this supper is coming.  Will have to go to my bunk.  Stew for supper.  So Kelley is the possessor of a son is he?  Heavens to Becky would like to see him handling the thing.  Wha by God stop your yelling.  Wha would rather have a good pup to play with. 

Well must quit and get my chuck.  Think have spoilt enough paper for this time.  We are going to write Kelly a letter of congratulations tonight and get the old crown to sign it.  There is only 7 of us.  Hellish isn’t it?  Some is all parts of the earth.  Remember Geo. Ferguson?  He deserted us in Aldershot.  Well the poor fool went back to Sydney and of course they nabbed him.  Would rather be pushing up daisies in France than be in his shoes.

Well I must quit for this time.  Didn’t you get one of my pictures?  Only had three sent.  One to you and Mum the same day I sent Lib’s and have written every week sometimes twice.  Tell John I haven’t got his letter yet.