February 27th, 1916

Dear Mum,

Just a few lines to let you know that out Batt. has been altered since I last wrote to you. Our coy. was split in two last week, one half to join the 7th Batt. & the other, of which I am one, to form part of the 57th Batt. We shifted down here to this place which is about 4 hours train journey from Zeitoun; last Wednesday. I got three letters from you while I was at Zeitoun; the 4th, 2nd & first in the order named. I will have more trouble with my letters as my old Coy. went to join the 8th Batt. & I don't know where they are. The 57th Batt. has been formed with half old men, not aged men, but men who have been on Gallipoli, & half new men. The old men are what is left of the old 5th Batt. or Victorian Scottish. We are all camped in tents here & it is altogether a rather desolate camp, no town near or anything & solid work & very little tucker to what we had at Zeitoun. Even the Y.M.C.A. is about half a mile from where we are but I managed to get over here tonight for the first time. The Y.M.C.A. is a great institution for the soldiers & we saw old Jim & Bert King a couple of nights before we left Zeitoun also Cliff Neppe of Toongabbie. Old Jim is a driver in the 2nd Div. Ammunition Column & was breaking in mules & camels etc. One mule bucked him off & King one day & it's only been ridden once, but of course old Jim can give all particulars in good old Australian style. Les Green is in D coy. of the 59th Batt. & is situated not very far from us. I suppose Snowy & Don have sailed before this. I believe Don got married before Christmas. I wonder if Snowy got married too. Frank & I both tried to get into the machine gun section at Zeitoun but didn't get in as there was only one man wanted out of over 100 who put in. We may have a change again here & if so will have another fly. We lost a lot of our mates through the coy. being split up also our 4 officers, however these chaps we are now in with now seem to be very decent fellows & fellows you can see have had hard times by their brown legs & faces etc. Most of them have been wounded or in some scrap or other. The 5th Battalion 1st & 2nd Rfts. was in the landing of Gallipoli & and were cut about something awful I believe. The corporal of our section enlisted the first day recruits were called for in Australia & has the mark of a bullet through the top of his head. He had charge of a section of about 20 odd men on the Peninsula & there is only one of them here with us now. The rest were either killed or wounded, & this chap was wounded so there wasn't a man escaped. Les said Scotty went home about a month ago. I suppose he will be at home by now. Sgt. Roy Rogers is treated as a hero by the Traralgon. rag but Bob Peiper was telling me he was talking to some blokes who were with him on the Peninsula & they told him that he lost his stripes for cowardice while under fire & was sent home as a private, but I can't say whether it is true or not. Anyhow it is no concern of mine or anybody else to interfere so don't let it get about before we are sure, as I don't put much faith in a yarn. Bob said he never mentioned it in any of his letters home so I don't want it to get about under any circumstances as the fellows have got a good gruelling & might have played his part for all we know. Well this is about all I can think of at present so I will bring this scribble to a close.

Your affect son,


It's my birthday tomorrow but I don't suppose there will be any cakes for me in the morning.