Archive for the ‘1915’ Category

On board H.M.S “Seang Bee”

Posted: December 28, 2015 by saraherhodes in 1915

It seems ages since I wrote to you last time. It doesn’t make much difference though, as all our mail has been disorganized. Christmas Eve we received our Billies and Puddings. I got my Billie from Miss Dorothy Andrews, Woodville, and my pudding from Victoria. It was great fun opening the Billies. The fellows were like a lot of children, laughing over the contents. Mine contained raisins, toothpaste, a pocket writing pad, some handkerchiefs, and some Christmas Cards, also Chocolate and Cigarettes. The worst of it was that we had our morning orders – we were to move at 9a.m. on Christmas morning, but at the last moment they were cancelled. Eventually we got off the next morning and came aboard this boat, and are now, we presume, bound for Alexandria. All our last month’s mail is travelling with us on the “Ascanius”.

Best love to all.
Lance.

sport and photos

Posted: December 21, 2015 by saraherhodes in 1915

Today was supposed to have been our Battalion Sports, but all through the night a very nasty dust storm was blowing, and today it has rained like fun. I was only thinking today what a little rain we have had since we have been on this job. I don’t suppose we have had over twenty wet days. I know we have had very few parades dismissed through rain.

I saw Pat Auld and Jim Loudan from the 4th A.M.C. yesterday, also Eric Issacsen from the 5th Field Bakery. Did I tell you we have Ned Joyce, who used to row 5 in the Murray Bridge eight, in my platoon. We haven’t had an argument over rowing yet. Also we have Eric Mitchell in the company. He used to play with Quaker Moffat in the Sturt Lacross team. I didn’t enter for any of the events for today as there were cash prizes – not worth risking my amateur status.

I sent the only spool I had taken on the Peninsular to be developed. I got two of the films back the other day they are very good. One shows DuRieu, Jones, and Beames in a dug out. Jonah is investigating his shirt, and Beames is writing a letter. The other is a photo of Turkish Trenches taken over a parapet. It shows all the interesting land marks round our way. There is the mountain called Pashs Dagh, with its sharp nose called the Razor-back. Nearer is the famous Gun-ridge, then Weir-ridge, and quite close is Pine-ridge. In the near foreground is one of our barbwire. It was a wonder I got anything at all as the 75 degrees and some shrapnel was flying over the trenches at the time, and I can tell you I didn’t waste any time over it.

17 December

Posted: December 20, 2015 by saraherhodes in 1915

Today has been a lovely day. Art Kinnish and I wandered along the shore this afternoon and lazed in the sun. I am getting so fat I can hardly walk about.

There is a big move going on up at the Peninsular – not too good for us either. What our future movements may be, we have no idea. There are a lot of rumours running around. I am going to write an account of them in the back of my notebook, and keep it to see how they turn out, and when I can get them through to you. We heard that some of our mail left Alexandria on the 1st December, and it hasn’t been landed yet. Apparently the Transport has been kept going, and hasn’t had a chance to drop them here. In strenuous times mails go by the board – from what I hear every boat is going full speed. I don’t think I will ever see Gallipoli again, but by the time you get this you will know all that is to be known. I think Australians will keep up the reputation we have made.

no news

Posted: December 20, 2015 by saraherhodes in 1915

I am afraid I must again open with the now white haired excuse of having no news. You read of the stirring life of a soldier etc., and wonder how it is that we never have much to say in our letters. In fact it is not life, it is an existence. Since my last letter very little has happened. We get up at 7a.m. instead of 6.30; go on parade, and finish (as far as the men are concerned) but I have plenty of little odd jobs to do.

A new departure has come into force, the officers and N.C.O.’s parade an hour before general parade, and parade with the companies for two hours. One has to endure the agonies of having the detail work only known imperfectly, and then be pulled to pieces.

On Sunday I managed to get a bath, or rather a wash at a well, and then took my cast off clothing to a village, and had it washed.

Your letters have mentioned sundry articles on the way – hope they turn up soon. Another mail is about due but no word has come through. The trouble is that we never know how much of our mail has gone down.  I know that my letters of about the 14th November have most probably been sunk, and that part of our incoming mail was sunk. In that out-going mail I had quite a number of those impromptu Christmas cards. News is very scarce here concerning both Gallipoli and Bulgaria. What wild rumours we can manage to rake up are the reverse of cheering. We haven’t the slightest idea of our next destination. I have three places in my mind that I wouldn’t be in the slightest bit surprised to hit. One is to the N.W., and the other due N., and the other is S. I suppose you can guess where they are. It has been a disagreeable day today, very cold and dusty – rather an uncommon combination, but very unpleasant.

8 December – football

Posted: December 20, 2015 by saraherhodes in 1915

Everything has become normal again. We have been having good weather for quite a long while now. Not particularly bright, but fairly warm and dry. There is quite a lot of football played. The 10th and 11th played, which the 10th won, and then the 10th and 12th played, and after a very good game the 10th won by 7 points. Today A and B Companies are playing the A.M.C. I haven’t seen any of it yet, let alone played at all. I find I have quite enough to do here with my platoon.

That parcel that the bank made up is here. It hasn’t been handed out yet but I have heard of it. We got a small pay today of 30/- Sergeants and 20/- other ranks. It won’t go far here when the prices are so high.

We have Capt. Redburg in command of A co., and he is much the same as ever. Lieut. Colonel Beavor is in command of the battalion. I am afraid he hasn’t altered much either. By the way if you ever send any goods in tins, send some toothpaste will you please. It is a most useful and also very scarce commodity. I forgot to tell you that the effect of my promotion is that my pay is altered, a whole sixpence a day deferred. Well I am afraid that the news has run out.

Love to all Lance.

_____________________________________________________________________

Notes: this entry and the one prior were marked 8 December, but it feels like the dates may have actually been different.

Lemnos Island

Posted: December 20, 2015 by saraherhodes in 1915

Today (8/12/15) has been a momentous day with us here. First of all a whole lot of promotions came out and then there was a very respectable issue of gift stuff from the people of Walkerville. I remember reading of the fete or gift day and today we reaped the benefit. When it was split up into platoons and sections we got a very good showing for 13 men. Our lot was 9 Bootlaces, 17 Pencils, 7 handkerchiefs, 3 pairs Socks, 5 Soap, 4 Tobacco (Plugs), 1 Pipe, 3 Toothbrushes, 1 tin Insect Powder, 6 Face-cloths, 1 Scarf, 1 tin Shaving Powder, 1 Buttons, 3 Towels, 6 Pads, 3 Envelopes (packets), 1 block Chewing Gum, a number of safety pins, and quite a number of Cigarettes. It was mostly a gamble what we got, but I managed to draw pretty well. I got a face-cloth, block Soap, tin of Tobacco, Pad, Toothbrush, and some Chocolate. It was particularly interesting to me as the names showing on the cards were, Mrs.H.P.Wilson, Mr.W.S.Bright, Wm.DeRose, Mrs and Miss Dowling, Miss. Inez Adams, Mrs.G.Brookman, Mrs. Fred Porter, Mrs. R.Brummitt, Mrs.A.A.Scarfe, Mr. Bright, and numerous others who I know by sight, name, or personally. I have no doubt there are dozens of others I know but haven’t run across their cards. No doubt yours is here somewhere.

With reference to the promotions, I will continue with my tale. First of all No.148 was promoted to Sergeant from Lance Sergeant. Jonah is a corporal from temporary cpl., George Beames is a Lance Sergeant, Frank Colbey a full Sergeant, Barker who used to be in my tent at Mena is a Lance Corporal. In my platoon there is a Lance Sergeant (Charlie Long). He is a fine chap – used to be a photographer for the Critic. My Corporal is a chap named Harrison, both he and Long were capsized out of that boat we landed on the 25/4/15. I notice I mentioned it in my letter published in the P.A. Chronicle. They were in the water about half an hour before they were picked up. I have a couple of lance Corporals, W. Pendle and Annis – both very decent chaps. There were promotions galore. About 20 to each Company. They’re bringing us to establishment.

Bill Jose had the stiffest luck of the lot. He has been on the Peninsular all the time, and was a temporary cpl.. Two days ago he went to the hospital with jaundice. As soon as he left the regiment he reverted to the rank of Lance Corporal, and today the promotions came out. He had been hanging out for these too.

I am pretty well stocked with clothes now, the drill etc has been doing wonders with us too towards getting us fit again. I am feeling very well. A trifle short winded perhaps, but still full of life. I am out to get fat here if I can. We get very good meals up at the mess now. Dinner generally consists of Soup, Meat and vegetables, Pudding, Bread and Butter, Jam and Cheese. Not bad eh!

Acting platoon sergeant

Posted: November 29, 2015 by saraherhodes in 1915

Well we are gradually settling down to work again. The general idea seems to be to start from the beginning and go over all the work from squad to brigade drill. I am acting as platoon sergeant for No 2 platoon, and as I am a corporal I have my hands full.

We are having a very rough time from the weather. The sun is shining brightly now for the first time for about four days. We have had snow the last three days, and this morning there was ice on all water left in the open. It strikes us so hard too because our clothes are all threadbare. We are waiting on an issue of new clothing now. Snow is quite a novelty to most of us. It blows in your face, eyes, and ears, but so far there hasn’t been enough to cover the ground.

We have our sergeants mess going now. It is certainly much more comfortable to have a table to sit at, and have the dixies cleaned. It will cost a bit I expect as everything is so expensive here – the Greeks don’t fail to take advantage of their monopoly of stores.

3rd December
The weather has improved greatly in the last few days. We have had quite bright sunshine, and if the wind drops it is quite pleasant. I was pleased to receive your letter of the 10th October with the A.R.C. Report a couple of days ago. I also received two parcels containing chocolate and socks, and “bandages” in the shape of four pipes, and sox. You can bet I was very pleased with them. I will give you a tip for posting pipes – always pull the mouth pieces out. Three of the four pipes had snapped off just in the junction of mouthpiece and bowl. As luck had it the one good one was for me. I don’t think it will make much difference though as I have managed to repair one of them. In the paper line I have Sunday Mail (2) Adelaide Mail (2), Bulletins, Leaders, Magazine, and all sorts and conditions of papers. Another thing was that Kangaroo Card. It is very good isn’t it?

From what I can make out I fancy I was some distance out in front of what is now “Lone Pine”, on the first Sunday. Crowie was well out when he was hit. They retired soon after I was hit, and got out of it. By the way I received the Chronicle all right. Many thanks for that pouch and tobacco. The big periscope you sent got smashed in transit from Anzac to here. Bill Christophers was bringing it over to me and it got crushed on the barge. Have kept the mirrors though, they will do for shaving if nothing else.

We had several photos taken today. Old P.A.C. men who “landed”, O.P.A.C. who were on Gallipoli, and all O.P.A.C. men in the 10th, and the same with Saints. Among the landing party were Capt. Giles, Sgt.W.Hoggarth, Roach, and a few others I can’t recall at present. Those on Gallipoli were Capt. Giles, Lieut. Fowler and Lieut. Hooper, “Streak” Goddard. There were quite a number in the whole crowd, as many came with the reinforcements and joined us here.

There is a football match on this afternoon between the 10th and 11th, I didn’t trouble to go down. Managed to buy half a box of very fair cigars the other day, paid at the rate of 7/6 for 50. They would be 15/- in Adelaide I think. I suppose everyone is getting ready for Christmas now. Am afraid we won’t go in for much preparation.

I ran across Sgt. Bunny of the 11th the other night. You remember I was with him in Alexandria a fair amount. He is a brother to the Artist who toured Australia two or three years ago and sold pictures to nearly all the galleries. He reached 500 pound for some of them. He was with the American Ambulance in France but got blood poisoning and had to toss it. Now he has been commissioned by the French Government to paint a cyclorama of the Battle of the Marne.

Well I have lots of letters to write so must get along.

Lots of love to you all.
From, Lance.

________________________________________________

Notes:
DIXIE Large oval-shaped metal pot with lid and carrying-handle for cooking. The lid was often used for baking (e.g. bacon and biscuit pudding) whilst the pot itself was employed to brew tea, heat porridge, stew, rice etc. From Hindustani degchi, small pot.
http://www.ict.griffith.edu.au/~davidt/z_ww1_slang/index_bak.htm

A.R.C. – Adelaide Rowing Club

P.A.C. – Prince Alfred College (Adelaide)

Saints – Saint Peter’s College (Adelaide)

Cyclorama – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclorama