WW1. Letters Home Wallace. H leathem, Molong.

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1916. 17 January. Leader .Orange

Wallace Leathem , son of Mrs Leathem, proprietress of our esteemed contemporary, the Molong “Express’ was presented with a wristlet watch by his cousin, Miss Belle Leathem on behalf of his father and uncles, at Mr Jack Leathem’s  residence, Molong, on Wednesday night, prior to his entering Liverpool camp early next week.

1916. 8 April. Molong Express and Western District Advertiser NSW.

Signaller W. Leathem was “played off” at the station on Friday of last week. He expected to embark on active service this week. Pte. J. Patterson was “played off” on Monday.

 1916. 1 July. Molong Express and Western District Advertiser NSW.

Soldiers’ Stories.

Signaller W”. H. Leathem, writing from Egypt on May 23, says that he has been transferred to the Cyclists’ Corps.

“Since I joined I that,” he adds,” I have been living a high life on bully beef and bread and marmalade; no drill and lots of sleep. We have had no drill at all so far, except a bit of ‘flag-wagging’ each day.

I like this life alright, except for the heat, which is almost unbearable at times.” The Signaller had ‘ a taste of the arduous life of a soldier, however referring to his journey from the boat to the camp he says:—

“We arrived here at about 1 am, we had to march about two miles with full equipment (which weighs about 90lbs) and two big kit bags up. We camped out in the sand for the night. We have been issued with a summer uniform of khaki drill and a cork -helmet, which is the general uniform over here. I’ll bet you wouldn’t know me in my present rig-out.

 

Image from: Townsville Daily Bulletin Qld 7 January 1915

Image from: Townsville Daily Bulletin Qld 7 January 1915

1916. 29 July. Molong Express and Western District Advertiser NSW.

SOLDIERS’ STORIES.

Molongites in England.

Signaller W. Leathem, writing to his father on June 9 from England, says:—

Our unit arrived here last night (about 2000 Australians came into this camp) from Egypt.

We left the Tele-el Kebir Camp on 21st May, and embarked on H.M.S. Briton for England. The trip over was fairly good. The only trouble was the food, which was absolutely rotten. We were on the bread and marmalade and bully beef diet principally, although we had porridge for breakfast; but it was almost unbeatable.

We are, I think, the first batch of Australians to enter this camp (Salisbury Plains). The most extraordinary thing here is the length of a day. Last night it was nearly 9 p.m. before the sun went down, and it was not dark until almost mid night.

Fact! I’m stoney broke like the rest of our Unit, none of us have received any pay since May 2nd. That’s a fair stretch to do on 30s, eh?

1916. 17 August. Molong Express and Western District Advertiser NSW.

Signaller W. LEATHEM, writing home from England says that he expected to be classed as a first class signaller in a fortnight’s time, as the result of an examination. Rain had been falling heavily, and the camp was in consequence a place of mud and slush.

He had not received any letters from home, but had received two letters from friends in Australia. Referring to a week-end leave which he spent with a British tommy friend in Worcester, Signaller Leathem says:—I had a great time. Not many of the people there had seen an Australian before, so you can guess I was a bit of a novelty. I pitched some great tales about Australia, which caused them to open their eyes in wonder.”

 1916. 19, August. Molong Express and Western District Advertiser NSW.

Signaller W. Leathem, in a letter written from England on June 22, says:—
Still alive and kicking, and things much the same as when I last wrote. All the troops in camp here were inspected by the High Commissioner for Australia (Andy Fisher) last week, and he was pleased with the state of affairs at the camp.

The C.O. of the Cycling Corps was congratulated on the general conduct, etc., of the men. The only fault with this camp is that we are too far out of civilization.
The closest town is four miles away. I’m on a pretty soft job here now—instructing some of the men in signalling. I’m getting lazy on it already, and will soon forget all the drill I have learned if I don’t look out.

I struck Charlie Finch, Jack Betts and Ern Taylor on the boat coming from Egypt. Jack and Charlie are in the Field Engineers. They are in this camp and I see them every day. I think they will be moving shortly. I haven’t seen Taylor since we left the boat.

It’s rotten not getting any letters or papers; we get hardly any Australian news except what we see in the English papers, and that’s very little. I haven’t received a single letter or paper since leaving Australia almost three months ago.
We are being looked after well in regard to food now. At present the menu is:—

Breakfast: Bacon or rice, tea and bread and jam; dinner: stew or hot meat and vegetables, bread and jam and tea; tea: bread and jam, butter, tea and cheese or potted ham. We are getting good food, and plenty of it.

1916. 16, September. Molong Express and Western District Advertiser

Signaler  Wal  Leathem, writing from camp in England on July

21, says:—

This is a much better camp than the last in regard to position, as we are only about five minutes run in the train from Swindon, a town with a population of over 50,000. We generally manage to get in once or twice a week, and that helps to break the monotony. We have all been granted leave to go to London. I had my four days leave last week, and had a great holiday.

My mate and myself viewed nearly all the principal historical buildings, such as Westminster Abbey, The Tower, Parliament House, etc. The underground electric railways, which take the place of electric trams, are a wonderful improvement on the old system.

At all the principal stations moving stairways are found, and the only thing one has to do is to step on to the stairway and be carried down to your platform, and then step into your train—no waiting, as trains are running every three minutes.

Besides these, motor busses are running in every street in charge of women conductors. Women do a big amount of the work on the underground rail ways as well. During the time I was there French Day was celebrated, and there were sports, etc, held at Hyde Park.

The city is swarming with soldiers—Tommies, Australians, New Zealander’s, Canadians, and some Belgians and French, I noticed some Japanese Red Cross nurses one day.

This camp is mainly composed of cyclists. Most of them are British, except for about 250 Canadians and the same number of our boys. We are all side by side in the tents, and all get on pretty well together; although the Tommies have a slight dislike for the Canada boys, who put on some “dog” at times.

I think it will be a few months before we get to the front, as we have a hell of a lot of training to go through, a batch is going in a month’s time, and I may get away with them, but am not sure.

At this camp the boys are put through the training under “dinkum” trench warfare conditions. They do bombing every day, and go into the trenches with steel helmets on, as the bombs used are pretty powerful.

At present a lot of Tommies are bombing from a trench about 200 yards away, and the pieces of shell are flying round a treat. I have just picked a little piece up at my feet.

Our company have to go out on night operations to night. We get this twice a week, and it’s rotten out on a march at night here. Sometimes we don’t get back till about 2 a.m., and then have to turn out at 6 a.m. in the morning. We signallers do practically nothing at all now, but in the ranks they get the drill poured in properly.

Have received no letters or papers since I left Australia; so we have something to complain of about the postal facilities, eh?—that beats the Molong post office.

1916. 4, Nov. Molong Express and Western District Advertiser NSW.

SOLDIERS STORYS

“They are very short of men out here,” writes Signaler W. Leathem on Sept. 15th from Salisbury Plains camp.”  They could not keep up the reinforcements to the 1st and 2nd Brigades, and had to transfer the whole of the 3rd Brigade to rein force the 1st and 2nd the other day. About 600 or more came to this Brigade (the 1st) a couple of days ago.

The cold foots want touching up a bit over there. I would not be surprised to see conscription brought in if things don’t alter.”

1916. 18, Nov. Molong Express and Western District Advertiser NSW.

SOLDIERS’ STORIES.

under date of Sept. 27

Life at the Front and In Camps.

Signaler W. H. Leathem, 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, A.I.F., writes from Perham Downs, Hants, England, under date of Sept. 27, to his father; Mr. W. Leathem, of the ” Express” Office :—

” I am still O.K. Things are going on much the same here —not extra much doing.

The weather is beginning to get fairly cold, and the winter will not be long coming in now. There has been some talk of the Australians being shifted to France next month to complete their training there as it is thought the winter here will be too severe for the Colonials.

Last winter hundreds of Canadians died in this camp through the cold, so it is not too bright an outlook if we have to see the winter through here.

We may possibly be billeted ‘ in different towns in England as soon as winter comes on, but nothing is definitely known yet as to the arrangements. We were reviewed by the King today at Bulford Camp, about six miles from here. Practically all the Australian troops in England were present.

There must have been between 40,000 and 50,000 altogether, and it was a great sight to see the troops marching along the road. As far as one could see the road was lined with them. All the men from the convalescent camp went across in motor transports and all the different kinds of units were present—Light Horse, Artillery, Engineers, A.M.C., A.S.C., Infantry, etc.

The King rode round and through all the troops inspecting each unit. The massed bands (about 40 altogether) played while the review was going on.

After we had been inspected an aviator gave an exhibition in fancy flying, looping the loop, etc. We had to march home through rain and mud carrying full equipment and pack, and it rained all the time.

I twisted my ankle just after we started and got a lift back on one of the transports. I heard that Don White (who was in Cumnock P.O. at one time) is in France, I wrote to him a few days ago; so far I haven’t had a reply.

I am still in the signal school here. Am at present instructing the learners. I’m fed up of signalling; it’s getting too monotonous now, hut I have to be satisfied as I can’t get out of it yet.”

1917. 23, April Leader, Orange, NSW.

Signaller W. H. Leathem, in a postcard dated 14th February, from somewhere in France, states that he is well, and that he saw Jack Betts a couple of weeks ago. The latter, he states, is O.K., and wished to be remembered to all the Molong folk.

1918. 13, April. Molong Express and Western District Advertiser

Signaller W. H. Leathem, in a letter to his cousin, Miss Marion Phillips, of Dilga, written from France on Xmas Eve, says:

Here I am again and it’s Xmas although lots of things have happened since last Xmas it does not seem quite twelve months ago.

Our brigade is in the line again and I am writing this in a comfortable little dug out-comfortable because we have a fire, and I am smoking a nice cigar. We are most decidedly comfortable at times.

Have not received any Xmas parcels so far; I expect the mail is so heavy that they cannot deal with it all.

I received a parcel   from Dilga while we were out resting a few weeks ago, needless to say the contents were soon ‘devoured and enjoyed by yours truly and his pals.

Everything is quiet to-night, hardly any guns going at all, so I guess the Huns,   as well as our boys recognize that; this is hardly a time to make things willing.

I’ve been wondering to-night what I would be doing; if I was back in dear old “Aussie” again. Anyhow, we intend having a real good time to-morrow and make it seem as much like Xmas ‘as we possibly can under the circumstances. We have arranged with the cooks to have a decent dinner and I am sure we will all have a gay old time.

Outside it is snowing a treat so tomorrow ‘ we will have, as per usual, the snowclad landscape, such as they have in Blighty, but the surroundings of course, will not be so bright.

Have just heard that the whole of our Xmas mail has been sunk-very cheerful news at this ‘stage-enough to give a fellow the blues. It’s no use grumbling ‘about it, it’s the war.

Will have to close now, hope you have a Merry Xmas at Dilga, I suppose all the people from home will be out to spend Xmas at Dilga, so I guess you will have a good time. I can assure you that my thoughts will be with you all to-morrow.

 1918. 8, February .Writing again on

Signaler Leathem says:

Had a great time while on my leave in Blighty; had 14 days altogether, and spent the greater part of it in Edinburgh, Scotland. I struck bad weather, as it was snowing most of the time I was there. There was well over a foot of snow for a couple of days; it was piled up in the streets, and for a day or two most of the tram traffic was suspended.

Gangs of workmen and hundreds of soldiers were put on to clear the snow away before it began to thaw.

I spent the last three days in London and had a decent time, seeing pretty well everything that was worth seeing, and used to complete the day’s program by going to one of the theaters at night.

When I arrived back in France again I was sent to the hospital with a slight attack of bronchitis, and was discharged after a week and went down to the Base, where I am at present.

Expect to get back to my company again inside a week.

While in Scotland I met Mr. Carter, who used to be teaching in the Molong public school. He wished to be remembered to all his old Molong friends. Have had no mail for some months.

1918. 29, June. Molong Express and Western District Advertiser

Corporal A. G. Robinson, of Arncliffe, nephew of Mrs. M. Leathem, proprietress of the “Express” has been killed in action in France.

Note: also uncle of Signaller Wallace Leathem.

 1918. 12. July. Molong Express and Western District Advertiser

The Situation in France.

Signaller Wallace Leathem, son of Mr. W. Leathem, writing from France on April 16, says:

I came out of hospital a few days ago, and am at present at the base expecting to go up the line any day now. Am feeling as fit as a fiddle. Things are pretty hot all along the line at present; I think it’s right at its top.

On my arrival here (at the base) I received my long looked-for mail, which has been delayed for some weeks. In all I got about 40 letters-so am well posted up with all the doings in Aussy.

The Australian divisions have done particularly good work in the present series of attacks. Most of the Australians have been cleaned up in all the bases here, as well as in England, and sent up the line to reinforce our divisions. I don’t think there are very many of them left in Blighty now.

I don’t know what will happen if the present number of casualties occur up the line. We will be down to zero in no time, as there seem to be very few reinforcements leaving Australia.

At the time of writing, and if Hun keeps up his present tactics much longer, the whole thing will be decided either one way or the other. He has given the British a nasty set-back, and things are not looking very bright at all.

I think the position is much worse than the heads try to make out, but of course they have to look on the bright side of affairs and take up an optimistic attitude at this stage. The French have saved the situation, though, I think.

1918. 27 July. Molong Express and Western District Advertiser 

SOLDIERS’ STORIES.

“Aussies”‘ Good Work-Fighting and Marrying.

Signaller W. Leathem, writing from France on May 10, says:-

I’m at present at the Base having a bit of a spell, I came here from a hospital about a fortnight ago, and as I’m feeling tit again I expect to go back up the line in a day or two, to carry on with the good work. Our boys have been getting a pretty rough time since this offensive started; but have always come out on top.

Four of the Australian Divisions have been specially mentioned for good work. From what I can hear, nearly all the girls in “Aussy” are getting married lately.

In every letter I get from Australia I read that so and so has been married, and somebody else is engaged. Why, if they keep the present pace up, all the poor old war veterans will be left at the post when they get back.

1919. 12 July. The Sydney Morning Herald

Returning Soldiers

BY THE AENEAS.

The following members of the A.I.F are returning to Australia by the steamer Aeneas, and will arrive overland from Melbourne tomorrow.  W.H Leathem..

1919. 18 July. Molong Argus, NSW.

After over three years of fighting on the other side of the world, Signaller Wallie Leathem, son of Mr W. Leathem, arrived home again, safe and sound, on Tuesday morning. Wallie was one of the big batch of returned soldiers who came over from Melbourne to Sydney last Sunday by special train.

1919. 21 July. Leader Orange, NSW.

Sapper W. Leathem returned to Molong on Tuesday, after an absence of over three years or active service.

1919. 24 July. Western Champion Parkes, NSW

Sapper W. Leathem returned to Molong on Tuesday, after an absence of over three years on active service.

Though he had been in several tight corners he was fortunate enough to escape wounding, and, beyond a Brief illness, lie was not incapacitated from duty.

1919. 31 July. Western Champion, Parkes, NSW:

MOLONG.

Sapper W. Leathem, on Monday night, and was presented with, a gold ring (inset with his regimental colours) and a pair of military brushes.

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WW1 Pte F. Williamson, of Cheeseman’s Creek, NSW Australia

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Image from: Western mail Perth, WA. 16 August 1918.

25 Sept 1915 Molong Express and Western District Advertiser 

Pte F. Williamson, of Cheeseman’s Creek, was farewelled at Borenore on Wednesday night prior to leaving for the front.

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Image from Truth Melbourne Vic. 7 August 1915

5 AUG 1916 Molong Express***

Gunner F. A. Williamson

FROM THE FRONT.

Cheeseman’s Creek Soldier’s Interesting Letter.

Gunner F. A. Williamson, son of Mr. F. A. Williamson, of Cheeseman’s Creek, was in the trenches in France when he wrote his latest letter to his father on May 21.

“I am right in the front-line of trenches, “he says,” well, and still going strong.

I have been fighting now for nearly six months, and feel just as fresh as on the day I started. In fact, the boys tell me I am getting bigger every day. I was 14 stone when I came back from that campaign in Arabia, so you can see that this life agrees with me.

Since I left Sydney I have done some travelling, having been in Europe, Asia, and Africa, besides several minor places. After all the countries I have seen, I have come to the conclusion that there is none which can compare with sunny Australia—the best country in the world. We feel proud of ourselves to think we are fighting for it, as part of the Empire.

“We are face to face with one of the worst enemies ever known. He is not a fair fighter by any means, but a savage, murderous brute. I have seen some of his acts, and cart assure you they make the Australians’ blood boil with eagerness to get into holts with him  so as to wreak vengeance.

Tell the boys to come along and give us a hand. We want more men, so as to give us a chance of an occasional rest from the strenuous life and keep us fit to deal with Fritz.

“I had to laugh last night at some of our boys down the line. They were bombarding Fritz’s trenches with mortars. A trench mortar, by the way, is a bomb weighing about 601bs., and is thrown by a machine. They kept putting them over hard and fast into the enemy trenches, at the same time calling out, “Come on, Fritz!” but not a response did they, get. At last Fritz turned his artillery on to them, for he was getting too lively a time, but our lads just kept going, and defied him.

Of course we get a lively time, too, now and again; but our men treat everything as a joke. I have seen them under shell fire laughing and joking as if nothing was going on.

“We are getting some beautiful weather just now. The grass is up to one’s knees, and dotted with lovely wild flowers. The trees are showing a lovely shade of green, and wherever you look ‘your eyes seem to rest on a charming avenue.

“I was astonished to see the people of this country still sticking to the old styles. I reckon Australia is 100 years ahead of them, or, in fact, any country I have seen yet. Here they still have the old dog-wheel, and their process of cleaning and grinding their wheat by flail and windmill. Their wagons have no shafts. They are three-wheeled concerns, drawn by one horse with an extraordinary array of harness.

“I am getting on well with the machine gun, and putting in good work. We can fire 700 bullets a minute with this gun, and I can tell you old Fritz doesn’t like it, either.

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Image from, Truth Melbourne Vic. 2 October 1915.

9 March 1917 Leader Orange, NSW

ALL BROTHERS TOGETHER.

AN OPTIMISTIC SOLDIER.

Mr. FAWilliamson, of Cheeseman’s Creek, has received the following letter from his son, Fred, who has been and still Is In the hottest of the fighting on the western front:

“IN THE BIG PUSH,”

Somme, France,

Dear Father,-Just a few lines to let you know I received your letter a few days ago, and was awfully pleased to hear from you, and to learn all was O.K. at home. I am well and still going strong. There is no need to worry about me, father if you don’t get a letter from me regularly, as there is no time to write. That is when we are giving old Fritz some hurry up.

I must say the going is getting a little harder now, on account of  the wet, mud and snow. Of late we have been fighting in mud up to our waist, and the cold is very severe, so you can guess things have been very miserable. But, for all those hardships, we keep on smiling, with a determined heart to win a glorious victory, which is coming our way fast.

The “old man” is getting a very bad time on this front, and it won’t be our fault if it is not made worse. He is a ‘brute without doubt. I have been here now nearly nine months “boxing on” with him been through all the engagements that the Australians have taken part in, and I can assure you I have seen some most brutal acts performed by him.

One little incident I will tell you about, which happened not many nights ago. We charged, and after the charge was over a lot of wounded were left lying In No Man’s Land; so, after things cooled down a little, our stretcher bearers attempted to get out after them with a white flag. But what happened?

As soon as they got on the parapet he shot them down in cold blood. One of my old comrades was hit in the thigh just after we left our trench. We stopped and lifted him into a shell hole for safety and the poor boy kept saying “Keep going, boys, I’m. Done.”  Well, we had to keep going, for a lot depends on a machine gun to keep a captured position.

After the desperate struggle was over, we tried to get him, but the savage brute on the ether side would not let us. We had to wait till it got dark to creep out for him, and when-we got him in was just about done from exposure, and died an hour later. If he allowed us to go out after our wounded, like we allowed him at Pozieres, my comrade “would have been alive now.

But no; just because our boys gave him a bad rattle up, he showed his savage, brutal actions. That is only one I have mentioned, because I lost my comrade in it; but there are scores of others that would make one’s heart weep to talk about.

And now, I believe the brute is crying for peace. Peace, no! Not till he is crushed. Get him under our foot, and we know we have got him. Any other course would be only giving him time to build up another savage blow.

While we have got the bird in a cage, keep it there, till his wing is clipped.

Well, dad, I understand Australia has turned down conscription.

If so she has turned us down to a certain extent. I mean she is going to let us go into battle under strength, and that will mean disaster for us, because I myself have seen the ‘Huns, in their trenches, shoulder to shoulder when we have charged: so what is going to happen to us’ if we don’t get reinforcements?

We can no longer uphold our glorious reputation which we won on? Gallipoli and the bloodstained battlefield of France.

I think Mr. Hughes’ policy very fair. Certainly, we don’t want to leave Australia man less, but I am sure there are hundreds of young, able-bodied men that can come and fill the gaps of our fallen heroes-heroes all!

But, no, because they think, or at least say, the Germans are not on our soil, why should we go thousands of miles to fight him? When; I enlisted I thought it was much better to come to a foreign soil for our battle, and keep him’ away from our beautiful country, and save the ones we love from our barbarous foe.

We know what happened to poor Belgium and France 2 1/2 years ago, and the same thing would have happened to Australia if we were all of the some opinion as those young fellows (or, at least, “deep-thinkers”) who won’t come and assist us.

At any rate, conscription is turned down. I hope the boys won’t forget us’, and come and give us a helping hand. I am just on the verge of going into battle again.

I dare say that you can guess on what part of the front-a pretty warm corner, you bet. But it is all the same to us. As long as we are giving Fritz a bad time we are right at home, knowing that we are doing our bit for the country we love.

Well, father, I understand that ‘A. Snooks,  from Cudal, fell. I was very sorry to ‘hear it, because he was a good old comrade of mine. I think he fell in the desperate battle we had for Pozieres. I ‘have lost nearly all my old’ comrades-new faces wherever one looks-‘but we are all brothers together, and ones at home anywhere.

I am sure, father, when the time comes and they let us return home, and I tell all of you the narrow escapes I have had, they will make your hair rise. Pozieres was our most desperate fighting. The English -writers say that it was the most terrific fighting that the Anzacs  have had to face ‘I don t think it could have been more violent. It simply rained shells. The ground was a mass of shell holes, and when we leapt our parapet it was only a matter of fall into one hole, get out, and fall into another.

But what a bad time we gave Fritz! There was plenty of “Mercy kamarade!”  coming from their side, and our boys treated the prisoners well-much better than they treat our boys, I presume.

I am at the present time doing antiaircraft work with my gun, watching out for hostile aeroplanes. Our company got the credit for bringing one of Fritz’s aeroplanes down a few days ago. We see some ‘great air fights at times. Our airmen are far superior to the enemy’s. I have seen a lot brought down. They nearly always hit the ground into flames.

There are five of our big battle planes passing overhead whilst I am writing this. Dad, I suppose you have seen two big hawks lighting high up. Well, you can picture that as two pianos fighting. It is thrilling to watch. I have seen as many as 45 of our planes up in one sector, so you can guess there is some air work going on.

I saw T. Millgate  two days ago. He is well, and still going strong. He told me I have grown a lot. I can assure you I am no lightweight I think about 15 stone will pull me up; so you can see this rough life has not hurt me much. I am sure you won’t know me when I return. I often wish were much smaller when these big Jack Johnsons are soaring about.

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Image from: Truth Melbourne Vic, 19 December 1914

22 August 1917 Leader Orange, NSW

“ONE LOVELY DREAM.”

CHEESEAIAN’S CREEK SOLDIER’S

EXPERIENCES.

Mr. F. A. “Williamson, of Cheeseman’s  Creek, has received a letter from his son; Lance Corporal F. Williamson, written from France on June 17th, in which he says, inter alia:-

“I am still going strong after having two years of this life. For the first fifteen months I was at the front without a break, nine of which I spent in the famous battle at the Somme, and can tell you it was “somme” place too.

My gun section went over the top with 30 men and four guns, and came out of it with one gun and four men, so you can guess it was “somme”  hot place. I fought myself to a standstill, but what a bad time we gave the old man.

We showed him what we were made of, and it wasn’t the first time. After we came out of the desperate struggle at Batlecours they sent me straightaway on ten days furlough to England.

Here plenty of girls, together with dear old men and women and children greeted us, and I felt as though I was in paradise.

Arriving at London a few hours later we were met by another great gathering. I had a look round the city, and then made my- way up to Scotland, right up to the north, and what a glorious trip it was!

I passed through Newcastle, Leeds and across the great bridge called “Frost Bridge” to Edinburgh; then through Dundee, Perth and on to Aberdeen, where I finished a most delightful journey in the “flying Scotchman,” doing 600 miles in about 12hours.

Here they make a great fuss over the Australians and treated us right royally, nothing being a trouble to them. The bonny Scotch lassies greatly admire the Anzac’s, and I could not walk the streets without being, accompanied by four or five of them. I had a few days in the great granite city-Aberdeen-and the visit was just like a lovely dream.

Arriving back at London I met a very nice old gentleman who persuaded me to go and spend an afternoon with him, and what a great time I had!

He was very interested in the Australians, and took me to the South Kensington museum to see some war pictures, and the first one to catch my eye was that of the Australian machine regiment just coming out of the trenches and I was in it, my big frame shining out boldly.

It was taken when we were coming out of the trenches after that great battle of Pozieres.

I also had another photo taken at Armentieres in May, 1916, and it is reproduced on the cover of the book- “Australians in the great war,” which has been published in England, a copy of which I am forwarding. In it you will notice me handling the machine gun, but the other comrades who appear are all gone.

I can assure you it was lonely leaving London to come back to war worn France. Anyhow, I arrived here safely, feeling fit and well, and ready to

“box -on” again.

links to more story’s:

http://leathemhistory.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/ww1-nurses-verses-dinkum-girls-songs.html

http://leathemhistory.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/ww1-letters-home-molong-express.html

http://leathemhistory.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/ww1-letters-home-pte-paddy-bugden-and.html

http://leathemhistory.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/ww1-great-war-news-of-war-from-molong.html

http://leathemhistory.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/remembering-breaker-morants-life-before.html