Special Anzac Day edition

Posted: April 25, 2017 by saraherhodes in 1917

23 April
I fancy my last letter ended up with the prospects of a review. Well it came off last Tuesday. The Brigade marched over to Bulford about eighteen miles from here. I was to stay in camp, but managed to creep over on Tuesday on my bike. It was a splendid day. The parade ground was a great stretch of country, an ideal place for it. Over there I met my friend Wimbush (the “Tank” expert) and two of his friends, Miss Burden and Miss Dickenson. The Review was one of the biggest ever held for Australians. The King inspected them, and the march past took over an hour for them all to pass the saluting base. Afterwards, the King decorated a number of soldiers. I put my bike in Wimbush’s Car, and we all drove to Amesbury and had lunch there. Wimbush’s car is about 40 to 50 horse power. He fitted it up as a private ambulance and with the body on, can do 50 miles per hour easily.

Saturday, Wimbush came out again and picked me up and we went into Salisbury to the Palace Theatre, a Vaudeville show and poor at that. Miss Dickenson went with us. Afterwards, we went to the Capt. and Mrs Fogarty’s house. Fogarty is our SMO here, and a thorough sport. Wimbush came back with me and I put him up for the night.

Sunday morning, Wimbush, Pinkerton and I set out in the car for a tour. We went to Romney via Salisbury and had lunch there. It is right in the New Forest and very pretty. The forest is a glorious place, splendid roads run right through it. From there, we went to Lyndhurst and had tea. This is still in the New Forest. The forest covers an immense area of country. Quite a number of people are going, or have gone overseas. We held a send-off dinner last night. Our GSO Major Pollock is going, Chris has already gone, Lt. Smith the RTO is going. Pinkerton went today – so you can see we are getting cleaned up. It was “some” dinner. We brought the ladies out from Salisbury in the car. Mrs. Fogarty, Mrs. Smith and Misses Dickenson and Griffin. We were quite a lively party. Had a fair amount of music etc.

I saw a thing yesterday that is hardly credible, a bush fire. It was in the New Forest. The trees are just starting to bud, so in about another month, it will be splendid.

Wednesday will be Anzac Day again. It seems incredible that it is two years since I first went under fire. I will be going to Fogartys to dinner. The Doctor lives out here but his home is at Salisbury.

Roy Fordham has been killed. They are all going nowadays.

A mail arrived on Saturday letters dated 22nd and 25th February and 2nd and 6th March. The same day I went for a short ride from here on my bike to Yarnbury Castle. It is an old Roman Castle. There is nothing to see now except big mounds. It is a square with round corners. There are three rows of mounds or ramparts. The first is about 15 feet high, the next about 20, and the innermost 30 feet. There are four gates leading to the enclosure, which is 400 yards across. Considering the age of the ruins, the mounds must have been a tremendous height originally. I have had two parcels lately, both okay. The tobacco was very acceptable. I haven’t read the books yet. The serviette ring arrived quite safely. Many thanks. It is very good and the envy of the mess. It is a great idea having the old school badge on it. I don’t know anything about the Submarines. The devils are sinking our hospital ships now. I received a letter from Pat Auld the other day. He is at Cambridge, wounded again. Yes I know Essington Day fairly well. My gramophone has refused to budge, fancy it is the spring. I notice that Desmond DuRieu has gone to an Officers Training Corps.

Well I fancy I have finished all I can find to say.
Lots of Love.


SMO – Senior Medical Officer
GSO – General Services Officer
RTO – Range Training Officer

NOTE – Apologies for the backlog of letters, for today we thought it would be nice to share a timely letter from Lance, this one dated April 23, 1917. It will be posted again later in order when the blog is once more on schedule.

Lance arrived in Codford, Salisbury, UK around mid-December 1916. More information about Codford training and transfer camps here.

Tori Rhodes will also now join with the posting of blogs.

Thanks for following,


  1. Jan Beare says:

    Dear Sarah, Thank-you so much for posting Lance’s letters. They are a really good read, he gives such good detail. xx Jan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s