I haven't seen my boots for days

FRANCE SALIEUT 27th June, 1916

Hooray! I've just received your two letters, very welcome, dated April 26th and May 2nd, and so methinks I will answer them straight away. You surprise me when you mention what paltry pensions some of the men are being granted; fancy 5/- a week and a wife and two children to support. Whoever is responsible for that sort of thing ought to be well and truly kicked.

And so you saw Harry Lenworthy. I was wondering if you would run across him at all. He was a batsman to a Major Conroy, who was sent back to Australia, in charge of a batch of “returns” and so got the trip. He was on the Peninsula for about 14 weeks, but just at the close of the chapter, was sent away sick, but joined us up again at Tel-el-Kehir. Of course, it may have been fever, but as a rule, we don't get them back. He was with us right through the desert stunt, and left with the Major about the same time for this forsaken country.

You ask me what I think of the rising of Ireland. Well, I really wouldn't like you to hear my candid opinion of the Blighters. I'm afraid it wouldn't make nice reading. If I had my way, I'd make them all into targets for training new regiment with. We've got a staunch Irishman with us here who still says that he's a proud Irishman, reckons that they are a cut above Australians, doesn't class himself as an Australian because he was born a week after his people landed in Victoria from that illustrious place and I don't mind saying that he's had our candid opinion of him, and, at times, things have been barely middling. He's got a three leafed shamrock penciled on his helmet now. I told him it looked like a pawn broker sign. He seemed pleased – I don't think. I bet Dad had something to say about it.

I'm sorry they held back our mails for so long. This red tape business would get on your nerves wouldn't it? And so, they are not sending Miss Ricketts back to the front. She will be disappointed, but as you say, her Mother won't mind. I am very sorry you have had the blues. I'm afraid you must be worrying, I wish you wouldn't. Things aren't at all like what you folk are apt to picture things and last night we saw a sight that made our hearts glad. Fritz had seven gas bags up spotting for his artillery, when, all of a sudden, a little aeroplane started biz and dropped a bomb on one. Up she went in flames in two seconds, then he got a second, then a third, but y this time they had hauled the remainder down like wild fire, and I think now he's got some balloons to sell dead cheap. It's no use to him sending them up, for they they are easy prey, and with this new bomb, I think the Zepp is put in a very awkward position, and she will also have to be very careful of herself. I don't know whatt poor Fritz will do now for observation purposes, as our aeroplanes won't let any of his come within a coo-ee of the place. I'm afraid Germany's power is on the wane. Thank Heaven.

I sincerely hope her ladyship, Mabel, cuts her wisdom teeth soon. She'll cut them all right. She's just at the age now, but she will soon grow over it.

So far I have not received Dad's letter or any of the others except Bill's, but they won't be long I hope.

It's been raining half the time we've been in; and I haven't seen my boots for days. Oh, this is a good war, I don't think.

Hoping you are still well as it leaves me at present.Your affectionate son.

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