11-06-1941 Letter from Redbank Army Camp, Brisbane (4 pages)
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From Redbank 11/6/41


My Dear Mother, Liz & Vi.

                           Well old Darling I will write you once again from this camp of Rain, Colds & Laughing Jacks. I have been keeping well since writing you last & have been a very busy Private. We have been issued with all our Overseas kit, & new rifles & every single thing we take with us. Hours & hours of trying & adjusting them on us. Marching about with the Gas masks on, digging trenches by numbers, & this morning we were put through a Gas Chamber to test our respirator. I was one of a Guard of honour for the Governor, when he made a visit to the camp last week, fifty of us, both Keith & I were picked. Then Friday night 250 of us marched in Ipswich trying to drag some Civvies into the Army, & yesterday over a thousand of us marched for over an hour, in full battle order through Brisbane City . The crowd only left us enough room to pass thru’ them. It was a great day. We arrived home very tired & weary, but most of us cleared back in last night for the rally in the Anzac Square . I never heard how many recruits they landed. It has been very cold here this last week, & coming home on the last train 11.30, it makes us huddle up together.

I see your Burnes a few times, but he is in a different lot to us, & I have no idea where his hut is. When they drafted us the other day I was split off Bill Mathers, & Keith. I am in the 4th & 5th reinforcements for the 2nd 15th. Keith is in the 5th & 6th & Bill is 7th & 8th. We are the first to go and they reinforce us. Keith will be coming on the boat with me, but Bill won’t be coming ‘till after. Oh, Mum, tell Step to let the boys know that Norman Porter is with me too. He has been in camp quite a while, but was only transferred to our lot the other day.

Do you recall old Mother Allen, used to live down the bore drain – Hill Sixty, a son of hers is here, he is Pte Bebb from Julia Creek . The Leiutenant in charge of my Platoon – 30 of us is in the Photo I will enclose, I will put a cross on him, he is a well liked officer.

Have been getting quite a lot of letters from friends, & family, & from Lake Nash , I got a bonzer little wristlet watch. I will also enclose a letter that came with it. On the back of the watch is engraved, “To Dave, from all on the The Lake”.

Mumsie old Darling this will be my last letter to you & Liz & Violet from this Sunny, happy land of ours, & I have no idea where I will write the next one from, but I promise to keep you posted the best I am able, & remember old Love Heart, No news is Good news. Old Cobber I have my photos ready. They are the best he could do for me without cracking his lens. He never had them ready on pay day, and he has been catching a few of the boys & now I haven’t the 25/- to pay for them, so I will have them sent to you COD, you won’t mind so very much Mother will you, I am so sorry not to have paid for them, I intended to, & forward them to you all, but now you can send the family one each, & old Dear send one to Beryl Paine, Lake Nash Stn. She asked me for one & has been writing nice letters to me.

Mumsie, what do you think, Bill Mathers saw Ford at the Ipswich Show one night, & I walked & walked ‘till train time & could not find him. Then Saturday night in town he met both Ford & Vate, & I hunted the streets all day Sunday but never set eyes on Vate. I thought he might have spotted me in the march yesterday, but here I am none the better or closer to them. Now old Darling Mother O’ Mine I will close for this time, & write Au Revoir, to you all, & don’t forget Sweetheart, just keep telling yourself I have gone on a long Droving trip. Tell Lex I send my best wishes, also Little Jim, Step, & all the old crowd that ask after me. Now Mumsie I am tired, I am writing in my hut during dinner hour, & my mates are putting their equipment on to fall in on parade so trusting this reaches you safely & finds you all OK & write me again soon, so with a million kisses, & may you be spared from illness & worry ‘till I return again,

                                                                                      I write

                                                                                          Your Soldier boy


                                                                        xxxxxxxxxx  Ten kisses for Mum