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Stelling-G-Letter-en-route- to-Gallipoli

Page history last edited by Lenore Frost 9 years, 4 months ago

Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, 1914-1918


Return to Stelling-G-Pte-1960


At Sea  [October 1915]

Well Mother and Father by the time you receive this, we will be well amongst the big poultry.  Up to the present I have not been sea sick yet - all the boys are well.  Fred is in the same bunk as myself, and we are getting on well.

We have not received any letters from Australia up to the present, and I don't suppose we will till we come back.  Had a night out with Fred Wickham last week.  We went to the pictures, then to afternoon tea, then messed around looking for a bit, and then went to tea, and finished up by being taught to play snooker.  Fred is looking real well and has everything his own way, it seems to me.

We visited the Zoo.  It is very well laid out - well ahead of the Melbourne Zoo.  There are plenty of animals that I have never seen before, including the (Rhinosceros).  Don't know if it's spelt right, as I have left my dictionary in my blue kit bag, and only have a change of clothes with me.


Unknown soldiers on donkeys on the outskirts of Cairo, 1914-1915.


Donkey rides are all the craze, and I'm in my glee when on them. Everywhere we go, it's "Get Donkeys" we went all through the Barzaars and were quite lost for about an hour, trusting to the natives with the donkeys to bring us out safe.  The streets of the Barzaars are just wide enough for a donkey to pass without hitting the shops on one side or the passers by on the other.  In the shops there is some of the most wonderful silks and curios to be found anywhere.  I would have sent some, and I had enough money, but there are so many things to see and to get that one does not know whether he is on his head or his heels when he is amongst it.  It is no trouble for the shopkeeper to bring out enormous piles of silks for you to look at and you walk out without getting any.  Some times you go in when your pocket is empty, just to see the stuff.  one of the chaps fell off the train on the way to the boat.  Poor chap the train was going pretty fast, and I believe his head was knocked about terribly, and that he had no chance.

Very likely this will be the last letter till I come back.  After this, you will very likely only receive Active Service cards.  anyhow you will hear as soon as it is possible for me to let you know anything.  if my luck is as good as it has been up to the present, the Turks will never get me, as my luck has been excellent.  They say here the Turks are as good a shot as ourselves and very fair fighters so don't believe all you hear.

All the boys are in the best of spirits.  Dave, Fred, Bill, Bill Surtees and George Johnston - George, I have not seen since I left the other boat.  I don't know where he got to.

I have forwarded some small things.  I don't know whether you will ever receive them, but I trusted to luck.  I also sent a shawl to Irene and a handkerchief to Les.  I will send you something decent when I get back to -------.  There is bound to be some money for me there.  If I cannot write again before hand, I wish all my friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  It sounds funny but that does not matter.

There is nothing more to say now, so I will close with the best of love to all my friends, Leslie, Irene and the very best of love for yourselves, also wishing you all the compliments of the season, and trusting to luck,

I remain
Your loving son,


Fred: Glide F W Pte 1997

Frederick Wickham Wickham-F-H-Staff-Sergt-9

Dave: possibly Hunter-D--A-g-Cpl-1912 who was from the same church, same Battalion, and embarked with the others on the Anchises in August 1915.

Bill: Liston W F Pte 1923

Bill Surtees:  2024 William Geoffrey Surtees was from Gellibrand, Victoria, and embarked with the 22 Inf Bn with the others on the Anchises.  He was a mechanic, aged 33, and Roman Catholic, and presumably new to the friendship group.

George Johnston: Johnston-G-R-Pte-2704 George was the same age as Gus, was a member of the Flemington Presbyterian Church, and had trained with the Essendon Rifles.   George must have been on the ship somewhere because he disembarked at Anzac on the same day.  He was evacuated five days later with enteric fever.  


Continue to Letter to brother Les

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