3rd Australian Light Horse Regiment

Sunday 25 November 1917 – interesting and wearisome, always on the move

Few nights rest after a month on the move ~ sent cable reassuring all ok ~ going for a swim & wash clothes in the sea ~ doings have been interesting and wearisome at times ~ always on the move ~ didn’t camp in the same place twice for a month ~ injuries and casualties ~ heard from Stow

Sunday 25 November 1917

Dear Mother

This will be only a short note but in case other letters or cards don’t get home this may be lucky. All OK up to date & likely to be of course. We have had 2 or 3 nights rest & sleep – bonzar – back a bit from the immediate job. Of course it’s not for any length of time – but it’s goodo while it lasts.

I sent a company cable yesterday through the Major & ADO & so on so I hope you’ll soon be relieved of any anxiety on our account. Frank J and Archie B are both away but are not seriously ill or at least we reckon so. Arch stayed behind a week or two ago with sore hands & Frank went to Field Ambulance just a couple of days ago – sick – but not too bad so we felt quite safe in sending ‘all well’ as I did. I said on cable ‘old crowd & Laffer all well’ – good.

Whato for a swim today – after one two days ago – & all our clothes washed in the sea! Now pretty fresh & clean & ready for the music again! Our bathing area is a good many miles removed from the last – of a month ago – as perhaps you may guess. I don’t know how much the papers have told you – plenty perhaps. I don’t think it’s of any use my writing of our doings – they have been interesting at times & wearisome & trying at others – but one constant point about them, to use an Irishism, has been the change – always on the move & for a whole month I think we didn’t camp twice in the same place until coming here 2 days ago.

You may have seen Sid Dunk’s name in the casualty list– nothing serious – a bullet in the foot. Pity his wasn’t the worst. Jack Bell, of whom I have written, was hit in the arm & shoulder & our troop lost others. Mr Sandland was amongst the killed – rotten luck – tho our new officer is all right too. Several promotions lately.

I sent a letter about 8 days ago & a field card yesterday which I hope you have had. Our mail of Sept 16th/18th came to us on Tuesday last & was much appreciated you bet. I had yours & Father’s, Lic’s, Dorc’s & Ray’s & a note from Mack saying she had had ½ day off from school – in bed – nothing from Ruth. Also letters from Elf, Aunt Flo, Roy Dyer, Miss Ashton, Mrs Harry, Keith Lock & card from Stow, so I scored well.

Keith L is now at a cadets’ training school for officers at Oxford – good luck to him. Stow’s ‘all well’ was dated about end of October.

Guess this is all for the noo – I’m keeping well – better than many I think for which thanks be.

Love to ye all from Spence

During the gap of more than a month between this letter and the last (22 October 1917), the Battle of Beersheba took place, involving the ANZAC Mounted Division including the 1st Light Horse Brigade, of which Spencer was in the 3rd LH Regiment.