3rd Australian Light Horse Regiment

Tuesday 22 October 1918 – in hospital, war travelling in the right direction

Too lazy or sleepy to do anything ~ plenty of Aussies here ~ don’t like it & would walk straight out if I could ~ the war seems to be travelling in the right direction ~ asked if I would like 14 days leave in Alexandria-but now all convalescent leave cancelled ~ brain not in very newsy-working order yet ~ malaria makes you dopy & lazy all round

31st General Hospital
Tuesday 22 October 1918

Dear Father

I intended to write sooner but have been shifting about & in between while have been too lazy or sleepy to do anything! But I’m feeling pretty right now so here goes.

I wrote a note to Mother from Amman last Friday week – the day I left the ‘remnant’ of the Regiment. That’s all I’ve written since a month ago – so I’m afraid you’ll be looking in vain for letters for awhile.

I had a pleasant surprise sprung on me here yesterday – by being asked if I would like 14 days leave at Alexandria! My word I reckoned that would be A1 in a few days when I feel lively again. But now news has come through that all convalescent leave has been cut out on account of some silly idiots playing the fool, so I don’t know how I’ll get on.

It’s only two days since I got down here, so I have not been into Cairo yet but I hope to get an afternoon off to go in soon. On Sunday night there was church service held in the Garrison Hall here & I went. I don’t remember when I was at church before last August I think. Anyway I enjoyed going & helping to sing a bit etc. There are plenty of ‘Aussies’ here – & any number of our own Brigade & Regiment. Our troop is represented by about ten of us at present I think – so there are plenty of fellows I know. The rest of the troop I s’pose are holding the line at other hospitals in the land. I don’t reckon I’ll be here long anyway. I certainly don’t like it & would walk straight out if I could.

Did I tell Mother about the fine lot of letters we had about 3 weeks or a month ago? I had 20 altogether – the biggest lot ever I’ve had at once I think. I wish another lot would come now. I want to send a cable as soon as ever I can, I hoped in time for Lic’s birthday, but I think it will probably be too late now for that.

The war seems to be travelling still in the right direction doesn’t it? In case Mother’s last letters doesn’t arrive I’d better mention again about the safe arrival of the parcel with Aunt Alice’s gifts in it; another from Perth Bap Church came at the same time & they were both enjoyed properly you bet. We had been on hard tack for 3 weeks & a little change – even if only for 2 or 3 meals was very welcome especially the fruit!

I’ve a few little odds & ends that I want to pack up & send home as soon as I have a chance – just little things of interest because of where I’ve picked ’em up etc. Think I’ll knock off for this trip, my brain is not in very newsy-working order yet: this malaria makes you terribly dopy & lazy all round. S’pose Mack is in India by now.

Love to all of you,

from Spence