France is the rumour....

Moaskar, Monday March 13th 1916

I was intending, as usual, to write yesterday afternoon, but after church parade was had to pack up our blankets and wearables, and take them to the fumigator (bug killer) which took us nearly the whole afternoon, and as I was feeling none too brilliant (another inoculation) I went to bed early.

As you will observe, we have got another address. We are now a couple of miles out from Ismailia in another dreary hole with the improvement of canteens where we can buy tinned fruit (2/1 a tin) etc. My word, the Egyptians do put the price on. They advertise special prices for soldiers and they are pretty near the mark.

During the week we had a pleasant little stroll of nine miles or so, bivouacked out that night and on the following day, did another six miles to our present position. We are as far away as they could take us, for the very name of “Australian” is held in disgust and a chap almost feels ashamed at times to wear the uniform. Some of the hounds make you fairly sick they way they are behaving. The officers are shooting them at times in Cairo, things are so bad, and so they put us out of the way of everything and just treat us anyhow. But I'm not here to growl, am I?

ErnieT is here, camped close to us and I have seen him several times. He is looking very well, and at present he is Cook and having a good time. He reckons Egypt has a fine climate. So it has for about three months. If he is here next July he will get some fine large days but I think that we will be away from here is less than a week. France is the rumour – three months training first.

We had a mail yesterday and I was glad to get two of your and one from Dad. Yours were the 3rd and 7th February. Fancy Bill being at the Melbourne Hospital and viewing three operations! He ought to be fairly broken in if he ever reaches the front. I hope he is not too far away from the 22nd. If the infantry was not the worst job in the army I would claim him, for an elder brother can always claim a younger.

The article in the “Age” you referred to by Dr. Springthorpe is a very fine one, and he was not very far out when he said the British were fools, for they do some awfully silly things.

I wonder who the 22nd fellow was who said he saw me on New Year's Day. We were on Lemnos at the time and I hardly think he had time to get sick, treated and sent home in a month. It could hardly be galloping consumption, could it, that's supposed to be pretty slick.

It's just on light out now and I have just come from Bible Class and I have been told by the Padre that the last mail that will be sent home for a long time closes at 8.30 tomorrow morning so I will enclose a few more photos and close this epistle with love from your son.

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