A handkerchief wouldn’t go amiss

Posted: August 18, 2015 by tripmanic in 1915

It seems a pity that the buzz and whitt of aeroplanes, and the shriek and bang of shrapnel and lyddite shells should brake in on it all (especially if the shrapnel comes anywhere near you).

In the mornings the sea is bright and blue and sparkling, the sky is blue, fleeced with white billowy clouds and all the country stands out bright and green – when a bomb is dropped on you by an aeroplane (“emshi” you).

I received a letter from Frank DeRose, and another from Bonnie Muirhead the other day, they had written on the 6th May and had just missed me. I left Zeitoun too soon and arrived here too late to catch them, and they have only just come back.

If you are sending my parcels a handkerchief wouldn’t go amiss. I am well stocked for sox, have quite a dozen pairs. We don’t wear them out here. The trouble is to get them washed. I wear one pair for a couple of days and then give them a rest and rub them well – they generally need it too. As for handkerchiefs I have managed to contract a slight cold in the head – not one that is at all distressing, but a handkerchief is very handy at times. I have one, it is about seven inches square and has been in constant use for a month without a wash.

Nearly everyone has been suffering from dysentery off and on for some time. I had a pretty bad spell a few days ago, but am quite O.K. now. I fancy it must be the water, as it is quite general. I must still report that I am unwashed. Haven’t had a swim for quite a month. The best cleaner is to get hot and then have a scratch, clean your nails, and start again. My word I envy you people with your bath. I will live in it when this lot is finished.

I am enclosing one of our badges – the ribbon scheme. The light blue goes at the bottom. The top colour denotes the battalion and the lower colour the Brigade.

Haven’t heard a word of the light Horse. Either the 3rd or the 9th. I wrote a couple of field service postcards to Elliott, max, Hugh and john, just to see if they will answer them. Haven’t heard anything of Will at all.

Wherever I get to I always manage to rake up an enormous collection of gear. When we move from one trench to another – which is every day – it generally takes me two trips to get all my stuff transplanted. I suppose it is my old habit of hanging on to everything I see in the hopes of it being useful sometime or other only to let it go the day before it is really needed.

Do you remember how I used to store things up? I am just the same, and have been right through. I have always had more in my pack than anyone else, ever since I have been in the Military.

We have had rumours from time to time that the 3rd Contingent are trying to consolidate the name that Capt. Bean gave Australians, and are generally making a “welter” of things.

Murray Fowler is knocking about alright. I am afraid there aren’t many people here now that you know. My immediate companions are frank Colbey, George Beams an old Norwood footballer, and a Lance Corporal appointed yesterday, Jonah of course and Fordham. They are all quite well and dirty thanks.

Well I am afraid I must stop this rot and look after my section. Hope a few of my remarks won’t shock you too much. No chocolate to hand yet, but living in hope.

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