March 23rd, 1916

Dear Mum,

Just a few lines to let you know that our address has been altered again. All the different districts in the Bde. are put into separate companies. All the Gippslanders were put in 59th Batt. Frank & I are in D.coy. Les Green is with us & our tent is all Traralgonites except one. I had to leave off on account of the Prince of Wales inspecting the troops out on parade. I've left this letter till Sun & will now try to finish it. We had the work rubbed into us when we came down here for a while but have been having a fairly easy time lately. We have been here over a month now in this desolate hole & will more likely be shifting to a more desolate one in a couple of days with a long route march attached. One of our chaps got mumps a couple of days ago & the consequence is our tent has been isolated for ten days. I don't know how we'll get on when the mob goes but we've missed a couple of practice route marches yesterday & today. We've had nothing to do & plenty of time to do it in. It's the best job I've had since I've been in the army & the only parades I've missed since I was sick that time. It's a real holiday here, the only bad thing about it is, is that it won't last. Frank is writing a letter & his troubling his head about how he's going to fill in the page, at last he says, "Oh, I'll tell them Paddy is writing & he'll tell them all the news. Les has left our tent and joined the sanitary police. It's a pretty easy job although not a clean one. He has been getting letters from up there but we haven't had any for 7 weeks. There has been great fires up there again this year. You would stand a good chance of being burnt out although Les said they never mentioned it. They mentioned Downies, Beatons & Macs & all the others. Jack Downie enlisted in Queensland I believe. Grandma won't like her son Jack enlisting. Watty got rejected. I saw a list of a lot of those enlisted in Traralgon. Sgt. Gordon Drane was over here the other night. He left next day with the L.H. I haven't seen Snowy or Don yet. Dad & Mum went to town to see them off. I suppose Mac will be in camp by now. They seem to be making it pretty willing with recruiting cards etc. now. It will be compulsion next. I'm afraid Dooley will soon have to leave the separation and shoulder the gun. Old Dan Boland won't reign long in the army. It's about time Dick King and some of those Faulkners did a gallop into camp. They haven't much to keep them back also some of old Screws although I suppose their too busy making money. Fred Grubb and Art Curran got rushed out of the L.H. & noble Fred lost his three stripes also. He's on some other job now & reckons he'll get his stripes again shortly. I don't think Snowy will retain his stripes somehow, if he does, he will be lucky. We have some very hot days here occasionally but the weather as yet, is very changeable, hot one day & cold or wet the next, or perhaps a run of either. It's gradually getting better though. We all have cork helmets now & some have their full summer uniform. It is light kharki just like the rifle club uniform with helmet. Well this is about all I can think off at present so will close hoping you are all well, as it leaves me at present.

I am your affect son,