3rd Australian Light Horse Regiment

Wednesday 4 July 1917 – queer place, close to Turkish position

Queer place ~ close to Turkish position ~ rather uncomfy but just at present it is quiet ~ letters from home ~ Aunt Flo’s cake ~ moved again further from the sea

 

Wednesday 4 July 1917

Dear Mack

It’s a rather queer place but we can simply do nothing ‘cept wait so here goes for a start at any rate. If you hear something coming shrieking along directly don’t worry, it will stop short somewhere about with a plonk or maybe a bit of noise and dust etc there with, but as long as it doesn’t splosh too near me or Jinny [horse] or this paper it’ll be a’right. They’ve been coming a bit this morning – rather uncomfy but just at present it is quiet. I think Mr EedleObble [Turks] must be at dinner. We have just had ours – ‘bully’, jam, bread and water. (Goodo for our water bags by the way)

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And to top up with, guess what some of us had – some of Aunt Flo’s cake and Muriel’s dates! Guess when they packed ’em they didn’t reckon on them being eaten as close as we are today to Jacko’s position. In fact we are well on his ground hence his objections aforementioned. Bed last night at 8 – up at 12 – start 12.30 bonz moonlight, ride right on till after 6am and take up position for the day. Back tonight and then I think neutral again.

Finished with holidays and beach though for this time. We had about 4 days after I posted last left last Friday, had a comfie camp in underground bivvies with hessian roofs o’erhead for 4 days. Yesterday another move back to the ‘joker’. I think we may have plenty [illegible] … some ways – in fact that’s a cert always here but we will be pretty harmless – & unharmed from what I can gather.

My main item of news is the arrival of our missing or delayed mail. It was a good one for me when it did come, worth the delay because I had 15 letters (envelopes), a paper and a parcel. All yours from home – up to the ‘pie Stall Annie’ – 3rd LH [Light Horse] Fair at Grange – etc stage and one from Ruth addressed to 3 LH Brigade came back later. That told of holidays in hills – Long Gully … Wet day but good fun, hockey and singing and climbing. Wish I was there. Over here it is sun shiny and warm. This pencil is very soft and the ground is very hard. Good job I have an inspiring subject cos I’m perspiring & anytime may be … [illegible] … so cheer up. I had a fine letter from Elf, a bit of a yarn you know, sort I like; one from Coz Hilda, Donie, Aunt Flo, a long one from Dorothy Wellie from Kalgoorlie now – perhaps you know cos she said she thought Mrs W was going to see Mother while she & Mr Wellington were over in Adelaide – good.

The Wellie girls evidently like living in Kalgoorlie better than in Boulder. I know the manse there is a better house – I was in it once – Mr C??, the previous parson was showing us curios of Egypt. Didn’t know then that I would be there myself by now. Then I heard also from Agnes & Marie Halliday, Agnes telling a fair bit of her SA trip & seeing you all – that and two letters from Miss Ashton – I think that makes about the lot – oh no – I nearly forgot – Hurt the noodle – & tell him a hit back from me in the chest or else a drowning in the Mediterranean Sea!

The letters came on Saturday afternoon and fortunately I had a fairly slack time just then so just did enjoy myself for an hour or so. I was on picket that night and re-read some of them by candlelight and took the rest out with me to read again. We were out all day grazing the horses some miles from camp. Got home in time for tea and church parade and 6.30pm. No piano this time though and no sea for a background and no sing-song afterwards.

My Register [newspaper] and parcel from Aunt Flo and Donie, Muriel and Aunt Edie came on Monday, all things in pretty K’right order and condition. The toffee made by Donie was tip top and I must write and tell her so. Also the cake, Aunt Flo’s was jes as good as several good judges can testify. Old Goldie said this was the best he had tasted since leaving home so in 2 soldiers’ opinion Mother and Aunt Flo are ‘reg’lar good cooks’ – course my opinion is not necessarily stated in so many words – you should see me eat the cake though. The tinned peaches came in for our dinner just when we were pretty low down in all our stocks and the cooks were clearing up for moving – so couldn’t look after us as well as usual – and the dates were here today.

Now I think I’ll ring off for a bit and finish this when we get back to camp – no more (sea) “—-s” yet: a little pill [bullet] whistles over now and again – nothing doing.

Hooroo.

Friday

Things seem to happen here – you can’t write letters – or if you can you can’t post them – but if you live long enough you’ll get this. Guess I’ll finish it off now. We had a bit of a lively finish the other evening – but had good luck: no one of our crowd at any rate was hurt. I was holding horses out of sight but not out of the way. We lobbed back ‘home’ just before midnight – found a good stew ready for us and we were ready for it by the time the nags were fed and rubbed over. We watered them on the way home – they had been about 30 hours without. Slept tight for about 5 hours and then yesterday about 12 noon I had to go with a chap to the rest camp at the beach to bring back his horse. We got there about 4 – I had a swim (lovely and clean once more). I ‘stayed to tea’ leaving about 6 and lobbed home again at 9.30 or thereabout. It was a bonny swim I had but it’s too far to ride for a swim alone.

Don’t s’pose I’ll see the sea again now for while for we moved again this morning – still farther away. I’m feeling pretty well so this coming month or so ought not to ‘worry a man’. I think my water bags would probably leak before long so please – oh I’ll write a note to the ‘Sec’ – the heat isn’t bad here: it gets pretty warm in the sun in the daytime but nearly always after dinner a cool breeze springs up and nights are always cool. I think that’s all my lad for the noo. I’ll just enclose that note for Dorc with this to the GPO.

Good day.

Spence

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