28-12-1941 Letter from Palestine (3 pages)


  28/12/41                                                                                   A.I.F. Abroad.


Dear Mother,

                        Another page or two for you old Cobber, & I hope it consoles you a little & it should when I tell you I am well as ever. I often wish I could get sick some times just to get a few day’s spell. Now, did I tell you that I received two whopper parcels from you for my Xmas. I shared the cake with my mates only this morning & it was no worse for the keeping. Everything was very nice. A very nice parcel from the A.C.T., mine was a NSW one & a pretty card from Mrs. P.L. Gowing, Reidley, Warrawee, NSW. The weather was against us for a bright Xmas as it rained for three days & nights before & is still showery. But it did stop just long enough for us to have a very good dinner on the eventful day. As usual, meal was served at outside tables as we queued up & filed past. Our Sergeants were our Serving Orderlies & our Officers joined the happy show & had their Xmas Dinner with the men. There was a free bottle of Aussie just before the meal, which was a very good show considering the foreign country & wet conditions the cooks had to prepare it in. There was piece of pork, duck & asparagus, roast potato, cabbage, followed by Plum Pudding & custard, there was also oranges & nuts & lollies. Well it was a fair feed eh Mum? Remember I am telling you of my Xmas Dinner, those luxuries are too hard to get over here to have them often, The pictures showed in the evening, & all things taken into consideration, most of the boys would vote it a fairly

                                    Happy Christmas in the Middle East .

Is Jack Conners still about town with a galloper? And is big Ernie Denton getting plenty of work & beer, also Charlie Kendall?

I received you nice long letter this morning Liz & many thanks for the 5/-. I had it signed by my Officer right away & spent it on this little pen I am writing with. I got it & two 9d stamps, it is a very small pen & has to be refilled about every page, but it runs sweetly. You needn’t worry about Orders buying beer Liz. I sometimes wish they would, they are useless away from the Dry Canteen. Thanks also for the paper clippings Liz, it is much quicker than the paper. Have you received a paper I sent you yet? Our own A.I.F.News. I have since posted you our Xmas number of it. There is not much of it that would interest you, but some of the adds might amuse you to read them through. Was so pleased to hear you are all well at home & that you have that young Jessie out for a time with you. Hang on out in that old Western town ‘till I return Aunty Jess & we will play up & round the old house like we did in days of long ago. I remember you chasing us young Devils with a broom & we thought it high jinks. So you are chopped out of your job now Sister Violet? I am sorry to hear that, it was a nice clean steady job, although it did keep you out of bed at nights. Did I tell you young Frank Beirns is in this Btn. with me. He is a smiling happy chap, I meet him every meal time, both he & Bobby Scarr & old Jim Roach & Ryder, & I see Jack Coyne every other night. Frank & Bob are in H.Q. Coy. Bob is in the Carriers (young Tanks) & Frankie is in the Mortars. Jim Roach is a truck driver. Who do you think came looking for me yesterday, he is in another Unit, Jim Ellis’s son Fred. He is a big man now & he was very pleased to meet & hear the Rhmd news.

He is also a transport driver. Ask Little Jim to pass word to old Gran or young Bill Ellis that I saw him & he is a picture of health. He is coming over again soon & bringing me some Registers he has. Oh, I never received that Cable Mumsie, it will turn up one of these days. But your big fat letter turned up in time & I did get one Cable on my birthday from my Curly headed Adeline. Couple of Cobbers just arrived home after an eight day spell in Cairo , & they are funny telling of their experiences in that old Egyptian City . They both spent over thirty Palestine pounds so is a fairly costly holiday. Some of the old hands that were up in Libya so long had plenty of money in their Pay Books when they came out & so they are able to take plenty of leave. Now Mother Dear I will close for this time. I hope Nell is enjoying herself. There are three chaps in my Platoon that know you well Sis,, one is named O’Farrell & Wiltshire, not too sure of the third and how any of them spell their names but will tell you more of them later, they are nice lads & good companions. I have only met them since transferring to this Coy. Now Mother Dear I must make a dash through the rain from this Y.M.C.A. tent to my own, while it has eased off a bit, so Cheerio old Sweetheart, & give my love to all the family away from home, & Liz, Vi, Aunt Jess & Nell. I received your letter Till & will answer it shortly, also your Anno my Dear. So write me soon old Mother Darling & tell me all about your fowls & every one’s troubles & trial, & give my regards to Jim L & V & anyone else who enquires after me; so with a bundle of kisses & all my love always, I remain

                                                                                                Your loving Son – Dave