July 2nd, 1916

Dear Mum, 

Just a few lines to let you know that we arrived in France on Friday the 27th June$ arrived at our present abode at daylight this morning after a three day train journey. I wrote you a letter while on the boat the day before we landed so i suppose you will receive it about the same time as this. We had a good boat trip as far as the sea was concerned but it was very crowded. We had a fine ride in the train although our compartment was only about twice the size of a good dog kennel & was very cramped for sleeping. The country is lovely & in it’s very best condition. Everything is lovely & green & it is one string of orchards & small crops & vegetable gardens from one end to the other. I can tell you it is a treat for the eyes, after being cramped in a desert & seeing particularly nothing but sand for several months. The crops are not as near as high as outs mostly from eighteen inches to about 3ft 6 high & in small paddocks or plots up to a couple of acres. The people are all clean & tidy & especially the children which is another pleasure to see after the dirty Arabs. We had a good welcome & everywhere along the route they were hand waving  from the oldest to the youngest. The Australians have a good name wherever they have been so so far & there have been a wonderful change to the behaviour since they come into a white country again. I suppose by the time you get this we will be in the thick of it, in fact I’m sure we will. We are camped in tents & only a few miles from the firing line. Thet near that we can see the antiaircraft shells bursting around the flying machines. I have just been watching them myself. They say things are fairly cheap here except eggs which are 2 ½ each. Of course we haven’t been able to knock about yet so we don’t know the run of things. I had a letter from Jane this morning dated 14th May. Also one to Frank from you. Frank is writing a letter today so I suppose get all that i've missed. Are Claude & Steve with their original battalion did they say. Fred Grubb may have been as you say but I have my doubts. At the time I wrote that letter he was chucked out of the Light Horse & so was Art Curran. Lost his stripes into the bargain. How much did Ted & Will get for the grass seed. It would have been hard luck if George lost his 33 bags. I suppose that Patterson would be old Billy’s son. It would not be the chap I use to be with. His name was spelt Owen Patterson I think. I would like to meet him over here now. He’s been here a good while now if he hasn’t been already winged. It doesn't get dark till about 10 o’clock here. Well this is about all I can think of at present, so will bring this scribble to a close. Hoping you are well as it leaves me at present.

I am your affect. son,