3rd Australian Light Horse Regiment

Thursday 5 December 1918 – out with the troops & horses again, sunny days

Moving on from 1/2 way house ~ out with the troops & horses & bivvies is the best home ~ visited Hurt’s dining saloon & ate ‘stoo’ with him-had our photo taken ~ this old place is much as it used to be with more conveniences & comforts for soldiers ~ picture show runs most nights ~ parcel from Aunt Annie – cake, milk, sauce, tea, shug ~ no rain, cold nights, fresh mornings, sunny days

Thursday 5 December 1918

It’s a week today since I wrote to Lic – I was then in Cairo & now I’m on the eve of again moving on from this ‘1/2 way house’, so I’m lucky & happy, cos seems to me that out with the old troop & horses & bivvies is the best home over here.

I’ll be able to tell you how Jinny is doing in my next letter perhaps – tho of course I don’t expect to have her to ride because as far as I know old Bob Bell is still out there. I’ll get her physog taken tho all the same.

The best event of the week was the meeting with this noodle Pete. I think it was last Saturday night I took a walk & found him safe & well tho some of his mates have had some trouble with influenza & are isolated therefore. I’ve been twice since then to see him & once he was on a bit of a picket of guard so we sat down by the fence like good soldiers & I helped him pass away a couple of hours.

Yesterday I visited Hurt’s dining saloon & ate ‘stoo’ with him thereby doing some poor beggar out of the pleasure of a second cut. We had our photo taken – perhaps you’ll hear of that in a month or so from Hurt himself if they are any good. Course I gleaned a bit of home news from Hurt too which was a bit of all right seeing that it was later by a few days than my last letters & also being carried per living link I was permitted to ask questions & get answers see? But we haven’t half started yet worse luck so I must write Hurt a note tonight & let him know of my flight (into orange land I expect).

Hurtle Rowe (behind) & Spencer Kentish

Wilf had already gone out before my arrival here last Friday. This old place is much as it used to be – not very interesting but there are a few more conveniences and comforts for soldiers. Now there are about four tuck shops – very decent ones too – besides canteens of course: & the Y Emma had a fine new large substantial building – central hall for concerts etc – left side a fine comfie reading & writing room where I am now, also a library from which I borrowed one of Scott’s books ‘Quentin Durward’ & read it during the past week. On the right side there is the usual buffet where tea, cakes & cool drinks & oranges may be bought at certain hours & always during the evening.

The old picture show still runs on most nights – but I’ve not been at all. I went to a song service in the adjoining hall to this last Sunday night, & the most comf. possie I could find was a lounge affair along the side with cushions on it & all. The hymns sounded very nice – sung by the fellows gathered, & I remember the chap having a bible reading & then there was to be an address – I guess it happened alright but couldn’t be sure cos when I woke up it was about 9 o’clock & nearly all the soldiers had gone home to bunk. So I reckoned I had a good snooze & sneaked off to have another between the blankets.

I’m feeling tip top & a little bit & am setting out well equipped (in case of rain or cold) with a new overcoat, bivvie sheet, ground sheet & cape in one, good uniform & boots, so I ought to be able to find a Merry Xmas. Les Williams, Arch Blue & Lance Neville have all gone out again.

Got a parcel today from Aunt Annie – good one too – cake, milk, sauce, tea, shug, socks, hanks & so on: note wishing me a good time in the demolishing thereof was enclosed by Dorothy Smith.

Now I have a few of your recent letters here – I’ll just see what I was going to ‘write home about’. I had a great day reading my big mail a week ago today & like you I’m always looking for the next – not half greedy but I like a lot. Glad you met Tom Rosser & enjoyed his visit. I reckon he is a jolly decent sort of chap. Well – you laughed at my dream – bad luck – good. But I’ve had another some weeks ago – & just the other day I had proof of its fulfilment – Wit as an officer appeared to me one night – certainly in clerical work as I met him, & now he tells me he is at an officers’ school near London & expected to finish about end of November. How’s that? Good luck to him. He’s just got in in time to enjoy a few comforts for home coming which will be good no doubt. Glad to see by that news item that Keith Lock’s wound was slight – of course I knew nothing of it before.

Glad the Jeroos views arrived safely. Hope Sal’s parcel & the Cooees also got along later. I posted another two Cooees from AIF Headquarters beore going on leave to Alex. Not sure that I mentioned them before. Hope to hear soon that Dora is better – rotten luck for her to be ill again. Everybody was telling me how well she had grown lately. Glad Mrs Tommy was getting on OK. My best respects to the leddy when you see her. Good Day Tommy.

Forgot to mention that I saw Mel McCord up there with Hurt the other night – from Two Wells – Wilf’s brother-in-law. His brother Don has been over here for years you know. Those photos Ruth enclosed were A1 – one especially taken on the Blackwood hockey ground & showing the old big gums in the background.

Ruth looks pretty fit & the hockey team doesn’t look downhearted even though they weren’t at the top of the pole this year. Mack’s photo is pretty good I think: reminds me in some lights of that photos of Aunt Flo taken when she was married – or else of the original herself – dunno. Hope the pad with Dorc’s will come safely – stamps or no stamps. I’ve seen the smiling chile by the kindness of Hurt & she doesn’t look too bad for all her stoo stoo stoo.

Here’s a finish up – it’s getting late & I must be up & doing in the morning. Lovely weather here, no rain of course but cold nights, fresh mornings & sunny days, I feel better for my weeks sojourn & I’ll soon be up to top form again when I’ve eaten a few cases of our dinkum old oranges.

Can’t think of any more just now to write about so Good Day the night & love to you all.

From Spence