3rd Australian Light Horse Regiment

Sunday 21 January 1917 – tucker on board splendid, bonny on the sea tonight

Same address only nearing Fremantle
8pm Sunday 21 January 1917

Dear Mother

I s’pose you are all getting ready for bed – or will be soon, cos it’s after 10 by your clock.

Word has just come in that the lights are in sight – good O!! That is the beacon and lighthouse of course but we are getting in.

Mr Younger, the OC as far as Fremantle, has told us that that we may dress ready for ‘leave’ when we arise and shine in the morning, so that is hopeful – as long as the officials in the west can be squared or satisfied as to our trustworthiness we will be Kirect for most of the day I guess and that will be great! How about cutting over and flying round a bit with me to see Gilmours and Harrys & Wilsons & Careys and McLennans and any more I have time & inclination to see! What O.

I guess I won’t write much more when we have landed, so I am putting in a bit this evening. I’ve not written a line beside these 2 epistles so far! So please tell all friends and relations the news if it interests them.

Our tucker on board is splendid! I never growled at Mitch. but this is twice as good. Porridge and hot meat and spuds etc – plenty of butter for brek – and cond. milk in any quantity. Good hot dinners, soup, meat etc and pudding and for tea we get cold meat, bread and jam, butter, cheese and stuff. We do well. (Just now by the way in here are Jack H, Frank J, Phil P and Lance N and Les and Arch have just left after doing some writing – so as Jack says ‘it’s still the old family – in the same place etc’).

I’ve just been out for a blow – it’s bonny on the sea tonight – nice fresh breeze but not enough to make the old Bulla rock. Not much to see yet – Rottnest Lighthouse and Fremantle search light switching round.

Today as usual we got up about 6.30am and did some jerks before brek. At 11am there was a church service conducted by Mr Heath, the parson, who is a decent sort of chap and gets on first rate with the men on board. There was pretty ‘rum’ bet on or rather ‘sweep’ about the length of the sermon. Two chaps guessed 15 minutes and won half each. The estimated times ranged between 14 and 18 minutes. This afternoon we dressed up in full marching order and were picked in squads of 10 for a competition – first as regards the turn out ie appearance of 23/3 I was picked in Number 1 team. That was for best 10 in rifle exercises.

We had 3 teams and 23/9 had 3 teams, and our squad – although we took no trouble to get our gear clean – won the first and after all had a cut at the exercises with OC as judge – we and No 1 team of 23/9 were declared equal. It was a good go evidently as he took a long time and gave us plenty to do before deciding. We had tea then and besides the ordinary fare we had buns as well.

Now it’s about bedtime. Phil, Jack, Frank, Herb and one or 2 others have been in for supper on your biscuits and others and cocoa so we are doing alright.

Lt Hugo Throssell VC of 10th  Light Horse is joining us as OC in the west and Mr Younger will return to SA. A reinforcement of WA LH are to get on board here. Wish Roy Dyer was with them.

Well good night to you all. I’ll add a line or two from land tomorrow if I have time.

Love

Spence

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