War Letters – Brisbane, (12 July 1943), reflections

[c.12 July 1943, Brisbane – Whilst awaiting transfer to Darwin, Wep wrote 5 pages of recollections of how he ended up there from the time the editor of the Australian Women’s Weekly rang his home approximately a week earlier. It was not written as a letter to Jess and had no apparent ending.]

I was angrily unhappy. The phone rang and my wife said it was the office calling. I was suddenly sadly unhappy. From here where doing something I don’t like to something I positively hated. Editors are alright in their time and place, like doctors, and that is not on a cold and astrologically unfavourable morning when one is feeling unhappy, even angrily.

So I’m wanted in the office and I haven’t shaved or eaten or even got over getting out of the wrong side of the bed. And then of course I miss the boat because the two minutes time our clock is always short of. The forty minutes later would, as fate inexorably will it, be proudly ferrying the mother of one of those wretched infant prodigies of art. A rowing boat would be a sound investment – slow – but soulful.

I come out of the trance to hear the editor saying it seems – yes, and we’re sending you to Darwin for a couple of hours to do a complete compilation of life in the far north. Can you get away by yesterday?

“Oh, yes, yes,” I promise the world but secretly reckon that for the Northern Territory only I can hedge a bit on the vows.

For a week it’s all very vague and hurried, a few recollections come to light of a tailor saying H’m well make your suit inside out – of photographs which look like a balded Arnold Haskell – of an energetic sweat despite the cold – and some more photos for the office which will come in handy for the obituary if the plane falls to pieces in mid air.

About 12 midday after packing effects, personal and impersonal, I find I’m responsible for a huge weight and a most imposing bulk of gear which will probably never be used. At 2 am it’s down to only 40 lbs overweight; i.e. allowing for 40 lbs of clothing – razor, teeth, wig, etc. – The 40 lbs over represents false nose, paints, easel, canvas, paper, and all those oddly dirty things which artists use. The problem is whether sacrifice the paints or go quite naked. This one is, at 2am, quite easy, that is the pigeon of the office.

And in no time at all I’m in Brisbane. Diplomatic courtesy forbids me mention this noble duty except in so far as to mention that it is situate the south eastern corner of Queensland and has most salubrious and invigorating climate as well as women of presentable appearance and engaging manners.

I sleep in American quarters, I eat with Americans – I see pictures with Americans. I dream about Americans. I get blood taken out of me by Australians at the gentle suburb of Greenslopes and I’m told I have never had malaria. It would be something of a miracle if I had – but then it is just one of those things that science likes to prove you haven’t got. Caught a taxi back – holy heavens, what a price! Could scarcely have charged the newest boy from Oklahoma more. However the office paid up with good grace.

And so to the sleepless cot swaying amongst the sighings, the yowlings, the dropping of boots, the cleaning of teeth, the pulling of chairs, the washings of faces, the gurglings of throats, the coming ins and going offs of American airmen on service leave. No need for the night porter to call me at 3.30 a.m.. I’m looking at the City Hall clock and trying to work out what’s going on in the air raid shelter just opposite.

Doughnuts and coffee thanks to the American Red Cross.

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War Letters – NW Australia: 1 Sep 1943, Brisbane; Arriving home Friday 3rd at dawn

1 NW Australia Letters-109

TELEGRAM

Stamped Telegraph Office Sydney -1 SP 43
Stamped Telephoned 8.55P

URGT   J   35   BRISBANE 21  8-  P

PIDGEON
85 NORTHWOOD RD LANE COVE
SYDNEY

UN PLANE ARRIVE FRIDAY DAWNISH CENTRAL DON’T CALL WILL SEE YOU HOME LOVE … BILL

(  85  UN  )

 

This is the last of Bill’s letters home during his assignment to North-west Australia. Much of the material Bill gleamed from his assignment appeared in works reproduced in The Australian Women’s Weekly throughout the rest of 1943 and well into 1944.

He next travelled to New Guinea in January-February 1944 and then to Morotai in January-February 1945. These letters will also be posted online in January and February 2014 on the same day as they were written.

– Peter Pidgeon

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War Letters – NW Australia: 29 Aug 1943, Darwin; Back (home) again

W.E.Pidgeon
C/O DPR Unit
APO Darwin
Sunday 29th Aug [1943]

 

Darling,

Am making another attempt to have you receive a letter while I am home.

Too bad I missed out on the previous effort.  I guess the suggestion I made in the last will still be met.  Yes?

Goody! That makes me one you owe me.

How it is having me back?

Nice and noisy after the years of foodless solitude?

The waiting around for transport home near drove me dippy – now I’m here all is well.

& now How’s about it, sweet?

 

Note: Bill left for Sydney via air on 31 August 1943 (Ref: DVA File No. X336636)

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War Letters – NW Australia: 27 Aug 1943, Darwin; Back (home) from Humpty Doo

W.E.Pidgeon
C/O DPR Unit
APO Darwin
27th Aug [1943]

 

Darling,

Didn’t expect a letter, now did you?  Wasn’t it just too-too sweet of me to write you despite the knowledge that I’d be home before you got it?  It has an ULTERIOR MOTIVE behind it all – you have to very very nice to me right away.

I felt awful on Saturday after Friday night’s party.  At least that is what I anticipate at the moment.  I’m afraid it will be too confusing for me to write in the past tense as what is yet to happen has already done so.  I’ll get back to my state of mind on Friday Aug 27th

7.30 am

Had an interesting trip to the cattle Station “Humpty-doo” which though comparatively small for this, is silly writing you a letter about something I’ve already told you.  Consider  this purely as a happy good day note and a reminder to you of my sterling qualities.

Just consider how happy I am to be home. And how I like to see your sweet little mug again.

Well what are you waiting for, I’m here aren’t I?

Or would you rather have a cuppa?

A big kiss

from

Willie

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War Letters – NW Australia: 25 Aug 1943, Darwin; Heading off to Humpty Doo

W.E. Pidgeon
C/O DPR Unit
APO Darwin
Wed 25th August 1943

 

Darling,

This I hope will be the last letter you get before you get me personal like.

Unless someone, or something causes a priority travel hitch I should be back home Monday evening.  So get yourself polished up today my girl – I’ll be seeing you tonight down by the Bay.

Didn’t have a party on our anniversary.  The lads here are saving up for a do on Friday night – farewell to some Flight – Loot who is going down on leave.  Looks as if I may be included in the festivities – we, I hope, (not because of his company but because of the plane) shall travel down together.  Had three glasses of beer on the great occasion.  They drank our health and I drank yours.

Am going out to a cattle station [Humpty Doo] for two days leaving after breakfast this morning.  So won’t be writing you again.

Lots and lots of love dear

Hope everything in the
garden is lovely – Freddie.

 

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War Letters – NW Australia: 24 Aug 1943, Darwin; 10th Wedding anniversay

From Friday, 20 August 1943 through to Monday, 23 August 1943, Wep was on assignment at a Mission Station on Bathurst Island. Whilst absent, Wep penned a letter to Jess, of which the first 13 pages have been lost or misplaced.

Continuation of letter written 23 August

Page 14

 

…. but plain damn silly.  I wish you hadn’t told me.  Anyway I’ll be home within a week of you getting this letter.  So expect a lot of things to look up.

Had a fair trip back.  Couldn’t see much as we were flying blind in bush fire smoke for a hundred miles.  Am glad to be back and have already made application for my return trip.  Hurry up that new dress and look your damndest.  Only the two of us together the night I come back.

Am getting tired as I have had to put off writing tonight until the typists gave up the ghost – which they unwillingly did about 10.30pm.  Didn’t sleep to well over on the island.  The nights turned out too cold for only two blanket over me and the sand fly itches gave me de woiks.  Used to wake at 2 or 3am, or even earlier I imagine, & toss for the remainder of the night.  No good.

And so to bed. – Goodnight my darling.  I hope you managed the anniversary pleasantly & tolerably happily.  I haven’t got to mine yet although I’m only about ¾ hour off the 24th August.  Lots of love sweet, save yours all up for my return.

 

24th August
Page 15

 

Good morning my bride.  Tis the wedding morn.  Ten years removed.  Got your telegram – Thanks a lot dear.  I hope you got mine on the right day.  I had to get the man mountain here to send it for me on Monday as I was still away.  They say that it would get there on the auspicious occasion.  I hope so.  Everyone has wished me happy anniversaries.  To give the real domestic flavour to the day I have lit up the copper and am about to do the washing.

Am trying to get air transport to Sydney, but there seems to be some bother, a lot of the air services have been cut down.  So, at the moment I’m still in the air (i.e metaphorically speaking) again.  Give me the works when you dress up for the happy day.

XXX  Bill

Little flowers for anniversary day.  They were a frangipani & a pretty red wild bloom.

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War Letters – NW Australia: 19 Aug 1943, Darwin; Death before dishonour!!

W.E. Pidgeon
C/O DPR Unit
APO Darwin
Thursday Night
[19 Aug 1943]

Darling,

You won’t be getting another letter after this one for at least 4 days as I am leaving at dawn tomorrow.  Hope to get back here on Monday night.  I hope to heavens the sand flies grant me some mercy – otherwise I’ll be coming home an object of abhorrence with itchy excrescence liberally besprinkling my poor old bod.

It is 8pm at the moment & I sweat like a pig.  No better this morning – God damn it I’ll have to wait until Tuesday now before I know what gives out down there in Sydney.  The last letter I received from you was attached to the cutting re the much publicised Ron Bennett [Art Director at The Australian Women’s Weekly].  Pretty horrible to have all that stuff splashed about in a blasted rag like Truth {Sydney newspaper].  I should imagine Betty is slinking around in a hell of a state.  I notice she is not defending. Doesn’t seem much she can do about it.

Have done nothing today but tour the town during the morning and go for a swim in the afternoon.  The tide was surprisingly low and we had to walk about 300 yards from the high water mark across an absolutely flat and sloshy sea bottom to reach the water.  Another 100 yards or so till we were in water only up to Fred.  Did’nt fancy it much – kept thinking of sharks and the long run home.  Hermit crabs (tiny crabs which find an empty shell get inside it for protection and pull it around with them) lung fish (a small species of fish which can breathe out of water and come up on the sand for sunbaking) were in their hundreds squiggling and crawling all over the place.

Very little to report save the indignation and dismay of war correspondents who object to doing their own washing and ironing.  As OFFICERS & GENTLEMEN they claim a batman.  The Department of Public relations has recalled the original unit which was serving the crowd here and replaced it with a fresh bunch which is 2 men lighter & have issued an edict that the press men are not entitled to the rights of Army Officers who in this respect have all their work done for them by their individual batman.  There has been a great protest meeting – their dignity has been insulted.  What will the commoner think of to see them as Officers choring at the tub.  At the thought of it one goes purple in the face, another grows pallid, yet another shakes as with a palsy.  All by the grace of God are not speechless, indeed they as a body are extraordinarily vociferous both orally and in writing.  Typewriters are running hot, pleas & denunciations march forth in effort to regain the status quo.  I, like Pilate, wash my pants and say, “what is washing?”  It’s all very funny to me – I’m not staying.

3

At the moment of going to press the boys are not holding their own.  Urgent signals for reinforcements from newspaper proprietors have been sent.  The battle is begun.  I have designed the banners – newsprint drawers, pants and socks are hanging on the wireless aerial stretched across the mess.  Each bears an appropriate motto.  Death before dishonour!!

I hope nothing prevents my return on Monday as I want to be sure the telegram gets to you on Tuesday.  If it misses it won’t be my fault.

There is just a possibility you’ll get this letter on the wonderful 24th so if you do take it as a loving wish for lots more of them to come darling. We’ll celebrate both our tenth and your birthday on the 5th.  We’ll make it a real day my dear.  On the 24th do everything I’d like you to do and nothing I wouldn’t like and I’ll do the same.  The boys may have a bit of a party for us.  Have a good time yourself.  Once more – many returns.

And now bung-ho, wifie!

from husband.

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War Letters – NW Australia: 18 Aug 1943, Darwin; Still mooning about the house

W.E. Pidgeon
DPR Unit
APO Darwin
Wednesday
[18 Aug 1943]

Darling,

Am just sneaking the use of one of the lad’s typewriter while he’s out on a job.  Came to after a spot of spine-bashing to find the place empty.  Have done nothing at all today except sit around on my acre [arse] and be bored – time I had a bit of a rest of sorts.  The boys are on their way back so off with the machine and up with the pen.

Sitting around is soul destroying – I can’t settle down to working in this mess as there are absolutely blink-all in the way of facilities for such a comfort loving craftsman (?) such as myself.  The moment of 5.20pm finds me sunning in the same spot as I occupied yesterday and pursuing the delightful occupation of considering your dear charms & graces.  Sweet, what?

This is by far the most pleasant time of day – the sun seems stationary & shines with mellow warmth – the breeze, soft and sensuous, slides round every limb.  I wish it were a little fiercer – this colour I’m after is anything but permanent – damn me if it doesn’t appear to wash off under the shower.  Maybe it’s only red dust impregnated in the skin.  In any case it is a highly impermanent pigment.

At dawn this week am off on the plane trip I spoke of.  I’m supposed to be one of the crew – heh! heh!  You won’t get any mail from me until I return from the island.  I will be 2 or 4 days there – other than the planes there is no mail contact.  So don’t worry if you don’t hear from me for a while.

I’m getting a bit sick of the unsatisfying contact letters afford.  I don’t feel like writing to any length.  The novelty of things has gone – and I’m just anxious to get home – all very similar to the counting of days before vacation, only I’m in reverse.

Hours later.

I’m still mooning about the house – gawd help me there’s nothing to damned well read in blasted place.  I’ve been through all the magazines more times than the covers can stand up to.  I can’t be bothered with newspapers a week old.  The books (what there are of them) are dull – I’d ever write one if I wasn’t so languid – It’s a wonderfully lazy joint.  Haven’t seen anyone sitting down to a good solid think since I left the zero regions.  If & when I go away again something long & heavy in the way of literature will accompany me.

Cheerful, breezy, letter, yes?  Voted today – i.e. 3 days before election day.  An enormous amount of work is involved in army polling.  Every vote has to be sealed up in an envelope with the soldiers name, address & army no. on it – posted down, unsealed, counted, etc.  Probably take longer in this election to get final figures than is usually the case.  I hope you didn’t give Old Billy* your approval.

Later again – have been out for a walk round the town & called into the YMCA – quite a decent place 3 full sized billiard tables – piano – books & all the what have yous. Borrowed 2 books – may keep me quiet for a while.  Still restless – have suggested some supper.  Approval has been expressed. We shall sit down to a frugal snack of cold boiled eggs, tomatoes, sliced tongues and hock.

That operation was efficiently taken care of – we are all now in advanced stage of pre-spine bashing somnolence – the brains of many have already gone to sleep.  Mine included.  Will retire to my cot in which I sleep with only a sheet & the old man Fred.

Lots of love darling – hope to get a letter tomorrow – seems a bloody long time since one arrived.

And so to bed

Bill.

Enclosed find some local blooms of Bougainvilleas – press them to your heart.

[Then all crossed out.]

Would you please write out a cheque for 28/- payable to Hugh Dash & put this accompanying letter with it & mail it to Hugh Dash, c/o “Courier Mail”, Queen St, Brisbane.  I tried to send it direct from here but there are no postage notes available until Sunday on which date I will be away.

Skip it!

Love to my

Darling.

YMCA facilities, Darwin; 18 Aug 1943
YMCA facilities, Darwin; 18 Aug 1943
YMCA facilities, Darwin; 18 Aug 1943
YMCA facilities, Darwin; 18 Aug 1943
YMCA facilities, Darwin; 18 Aug 1943
YMCA facilities, Darwin; 18 Aug 1943
At the YMCA, Darwin, 18 Aug 1943
At the YMCA, Darwin, 18 Aug 1943

[* Note: The 1943 election was won by the Australian Labor party lead by John Curtin with 49 seats, a gain of 17 seats. They defeated the coalition United Australia Party/Country Party who won 19 seats, losing 18. Interestingly, the coalition was lead by Arthur Fadden who was the leader of the Country Party, the minor partner to the United Australia Party, lead by Billy Hughes (a former Labor Prime Minister) who had taken over in 1941 after Robert Menzies resigned. Following the Coalitions crushing defeat, Fadden handed the leader of the Opposition back to Menzies who had resumed leadership of the UAP.

References:  

Australian federal election, 1943 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 2013.Australian federal election, 1943 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. [ONLINE] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_federal_election,_1943. [Accessed 18 August 2013]. 

Billy Hughes – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 2013. Billy Hughes – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. [ONLINE] Available at:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Hughes. [Accessed 18 August 2013]

Arthur Fadden – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 2013. Arthur Fadden – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. [ONLINE] Available at:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Fadden. [Accessed 18 August 2013].]   

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War Letters – NW Australia: 17 Aug 1943, Darwin; Back at the Correspondents’ Mess

W.E. Pidgeon
C/O DPR Unit
APO Darwin
Tuesday 17th

[17 Aug 1943]

Sweetheart,

Am back in the correspondents’ mess again.  Arrived in this morning after a car trip of some 4 hours.  The weather here is certainly to be preferred to that at the bomber strip which I reckon must be the hottest blarsted spot in the whole N.T.  Think I might have got a touch of the sun yesterday after setting out in the middle of a glaring road with no shirt on.  Felt quite sick after ½ hour or so although I didn’t get burnt much.  Possibly the glare of white paper with the sun shining on it may have been responsible.  Anyway, I up & left.  One of the yank officers reckoned I must have been a bit troppo to pick the spot in the first place what with the heat & thundering great trucks raising all smothering dust within 20 yards of me, etc.

At a water hole on a dusty Northern Territory road
At a water hole on a dusty Northern Territory road

Smoko
Smoko – Transport men are seen at a halting place near a waterhole on one of the winding, dusty roads of the Northern Territory.” – the Australian Women’s Weekly, 26 Feb 1944, p9
At a water hole on a dusty Northern Territory road
At a water hole on a dusty Northern Territory road

Working out of doors in the middle of the day knocks you up alright.  I feel positively exhilarated at the prospect of the cool Sydney spring.  We’ll go out places together – eh?  I’m practically certain to be down before your birthday.  If I get transport accommodation OK.  So when you get a telegram from me you’ll know to meet me at Rose Bay. [via seaplane]  I’ll be looking for you – save up some juice.  I won’t be able to tell you much in the telegram I shall send when I leave – It will be up to you to find out time of my arrival.  Put some beer in the frige for us.  Which reminds me to tell you I am happily having my weekly bottle at the very moment.  It’s extremely good & most welcome as I have just finished doing the weeks washing & ironing 3 shirts 3 pants, handkerchiefs, underpants socks & towel.  It’s hot work in these h’yar parts.  The weather is getting warmer as the wet season approaches.  Blarsted flies are banging about too – damn their wings.  Don’t worry about me drinking a lot.  There isn’t that much here!  Even a few knocks everyone and I haven’t had more than 4 real hangovers in 6 weeks.  I don’t suppose I have lost much weight really. Although one sweats to a prodigious extent water is consumed in replaceable quantities.

Have now taken up my pew in the sunshine as I must bring you back some visible indication of the tropics.  One’s colour is said to disappear very quickly so I shall devote my last days here solely to the acquisition of a body tone you will really want to touch.  Cunning little man!

Have also switched radio on and am listening to short wave transmission from the eastern states – whether Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane I, as yet, don’t know.  Ah me – how I am suffering.

Have just heard it was from Sydney.

Am becoming quite benign in all my attitudes – the bottle is practically empty.  My good intentions of a long letter weaken – my sole desire at the moment is to sit by radio and dream happily & nebulously about you.  With the pilots I say “I’ve had this place” – but also I say – “I want to have you”

A week today to the 24th. Oh dear! I wish I could buy you something!  Some little permanent thing we could keep for remembrance of our tenth.  After all it’s quite a while.  If you should see anything buy it for me to you.  Up the clothes, I’ll buy them for you anyway.  But I guess there is nothing left about anywhere.  Maybe King in his second hand snoopings will see something.  However don’t worry pet, about it – one day I’ll find something.  Your best present to me will be to look your prettiest & to be ever so pleased about my being back.  I think of you such a hell of a lot now.  Seems as if I’m back at the going out to Brighton stage in my love life.  High time I changed the record – playing this old lonely note doesn’t help either of us much.

You appear to be living an extremely quiet life.  For goodness sake honey don’t drive yourself nuts.  I hope you are eating something substantial occasionally for there has to be something left for me to grab hold of.

I’ve just come back from the pictures – a waste of time sadly regretted – the Ritz Bros in “3 Roaring Romeos” – My God! What a show! [The Three Musketeers (1939)?]

Have plenty cigs for you.  Looks almost as if I have been receiving stolen goods.

I should be able to write you for hours tonight as I am (believe it or not) the only inmate at present incarcerated in the asylum.  All the others are out on their job.  There’s been quite a bit of plane activity about here lately and they are covering all the news angles from the pilots, bombardiers & so on and so forth.  3 of the fighter pilots I was staying with bagged a bird each.  Nice going.  You’ll read about it all in the papers before this letter reaches you. [* See Note]  Wish I had our coleman stove – I’d set down right now to hot toast & asparagus.  As things are I would have to build a wood fire.  That’s too much.

Still haven’t any butter.  Altogether I’ve had it only a week & a half since arriving.  Oh boy, will I make a hog of myself down south.

Have just turned on short wave radio to some oriental station broadcasting some indescribably mournful dirge which suits my present mood like a tight collar.  It’s really wonderfully glum.  One of these days I must get me a short wave set – an amazing variety of stuff comes over – surely sufficient to suit every mood.

I’m still trying to make up my mind as to whether I should or should not, wolf the asparagus.  The betting at the moment is two to one on that I do.  May as well get something inside me – you can’t tell but that the yellow men may not be over later tonight.  The moon is still perfect – they have had time to rest their bomber crews after the last raid – and they a getting a bashing from the yanks here – which sort of thing tends to make them a little angry.  Perhaps I should remain awake a while – with no one in the house I may stay asleep at the wrong moment.

Only 14 or 15 days before I clear off.  I’m beginning to count them.  I suppose you will too, now that I have told you what I hope to do.

Asparagus is out in front turning into the straight – it’s no race folk – Asparagus wins pulling up, 3 bellyfuls in front of Some Bread and NO Butter.

So lots of love and kisses
from yours
as ever
Freddie
XXX

[*Note: 1943 ‘AUSTRALIAN PLANES IN N.-WEST THRASH JAPS.’, The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 – 1954), 19 August, p. 3, viewed 16 August, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article42034094]

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War Letters – NW Australia: 15 July 1943, Darwin; Regimental Beach Picnic

W.E. Pidgeon
C/O DPR
Army Post Office
Darwin
[15 Jul 1943]

Dear Jess,

Or should I say darling?  This is the first time I have been alone in this house.  Until 11 pm typewriters & dopes clack out their stuff and I cannot settle down to think of you and myself to the exclusion of everyone else.

God, darling, if you and I had a house to ourselves (and heavens know there are many empty) we would have a time such as only those days in the trailer gave us.  Tonight for some reason one of the permanent lieutenants asked me to accompany him for a drink.  He & his & our understrapping sergeant enlisted more or less together in 1940 and they have a fellow feeling or pact to get stinking at least once a week together.  Tonight they asked me to accompany them.  This of course all under the lap as far as this end is concerned as officers & sergeants just don’t drink together.  Be that as it may it was my privilege (and I take it as such) to have been the only one asked to drink with them.  From what I can gather they really hate the guts of the fellow correspondents!  Any goodwill I seem to have gathered is because I still can mix with people of the lowlier orders without being the perfect quince &/or pounce, or pounce or (blast it you know what I mean!).

There is so much to tell you honey.  I can’t fit it all in these rapid scribblings.  The pages left unsaid in which I could say how much I would like you to be here are legion.  I went to the pictures again tonight & saw “Johnny Eager”.  Robert Taylor & Lana Turner.  God only knows why they insist on showing pictures in which the dames crawl all over the man’s body.  Not very helpful to the troops.  Got home about 10.30.  (Harold Dick took us in his car by the way.)  Had a couple of gins on return & then went out with this chappy and polished off (amongst us) some port & sherry.  Returned about 1.  Strangely enough I felt very restless & a bit sick.  I tried to get to bed – lay there ½ hour, decided to put the old finger down the throat & write you.  Not since Thursday previous to my leaving have I had so much to drink.  (Special note – The mosquitoes are really  eating me alive.  When I say that it’s no foolin!)  Everyone is asleep and its nice and peaceful and I feel as if I love you with the affection of a thousand Willies in the month of July 1932.  Look after yourself, pettie.

Went for a swim today.  The water was wonderful.  The whole setup was much the same as we had at George Warnecke’s place at Ettalong.  The weather is the same & the surroundings fairly similar.

Tomorrow I am going on the road again.  Always it is about as far as Mittagong to get anywhere.  And the dust is colossical.  I’m getting an occupational disease – you could almost call it potters lungs – there is so much clay about.

Cards on a northern beach
Cards on a northern beach

24 x 18 cm 24 x 18 cm

Have spent the day on the beach watching a regimental anniversary picnic.  Quite a GOOD SHOW marred only by the untimely death of the pig for the greasy pig race.  Poor bastard snuffed it about 2 hours before it was due to appear in the race!  This really is a wonderful winter climate – you’d go nuts about it.  The town is full of slick & well conditioned brown gods – not that you’d notice them!  The only soft bodies here are senior officers & war correspondents.  Am getting sunburnt.  Lolly pink – that’s about my status at the moment.  Shall meet fluttery eyed Gloria – from the Officer’s husband, F/O Newton when I get down to Caldwell’s Spitfire Squadron.

Guess I should go to bed.

Send me a little kiss in your letter.

Love from Winnie the Poo

P.S. (Something out the back stinks something dreadful!)

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