Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Jabez Leonard Lawry Waterhouse letters, 11 April 1915-24 November 1918
MLMSS 2792 (K 21692 / Folder 17)

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[Transcriber’s note:
Leo Waterhouse is one of three Waterhouse offspring to go to the World War 1 Front. He starts his letters working on a farm & ends them in November 1918 as Lieutenant in the Australian Flying Corps. He enters the War in the Medical Service & details his service throughout Egypt, France & England. His descriptions of learning to fly are particularly interesting.]

Tichborne. N.S.W. R 18.4.15
My dearest Father,
I was sorry that I was unable to write during the week, but for the next 5 or 6 weeks I must confine my writing to Sundays alone. We are exceptionally busy seed-sowing & have no time at all to spare during the week. He pulls me out now at ¼ to 5 to feed the horses & a nice job I have sometimes looking for them as it is pitch dark then. As soon as dinner is over we are pickling wheat till its time to go out again. After tea its the same game, pickling by lantern light till 9 or ½ past, when we let the horses out, & are jolly glad to go to bed ourselves.
The In spite of the recent rain we had a terrible dust-storm here on Friday & as I write now it is impossible to see more than 300 yards owing to a storm now on.
Sam Pearce is to be married in Sydney next Wednesday I'm afraid he is going to make a mull of things as he has only known the girl a short time, & has only been engaged for 6 months. He has bought an orchard (Knows absolutely nothing about orcharding) 10 miles from Hornsby & 13 from Pennant Hills. "Glenorie" is name of the village.
For some unaccountable reason a good number

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of our sheep have died this last week. Mostly old ewes (Merino) & nearly all nice & fat. We skinned over 30 since the beginning of the week. And the worst part of it is they are nearly all in lamb, due in a few months time. We put it down to wild melons, but have written in for stock inspector to come out. The crows are very vicious. I've seen them on a sick sheep's back & pick first one eye & then the other as the sheep stands under a tree.
And now, Father, what do you think of Joan. Of course I know you didn't see much of her, & also there is another thing to be considered. She hasn't had the advantages, educationally, that you have given us children, & so therefore cannot expect to be A1 in this line. But I think Ol liked her very much while she was staying at the Parsonage.
Must close now with love to all at home,
Ever your loving son,

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Tichborne. R 3.5.15 J.M. A 4.5.15 J.M.

My dearest Father & Mother,
I have to thank you all very much for your loving birthday wishes to hand yesterday & also for the parcel containing sweater, shirt & envelopes which arrived by to-night's mail. It was very good of you & I appreciate your kindness. The sweater will be very useful as we had our first frost (a black one) last Monday. The shirt, Mother dear, is a nice strong one, & will come in very handy. Please tell Walter and Anna that I will write to them separately on Sunday as I am kept busy now.
There has have been some articles in the paper ("Telegraph") about the drought having broken etc, simply because of a bit of rain on the coast & one or two places inland. Here we are worse off than ever we were. We have three four dams on the place & three out of these are dry & the other only has about a fortnights supply in it. When this gives out we will have to go about 2 ½ miles to water the horses & stock. We are feeding every thing now, including the sheep, on hay & straw mixed. The sheep have knocked off dying like they were, & the stock Inspector who was out here last week said that inflammation of the tummy was the cause of the deaths, due of course to the dry feed. The green shoot on the grass soon died off as we got no rain to keep it going.
I got rather an unexpected birthday present yesterday

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Whilst coming home from the paddock on horseback, & bringing some others with me, when all of a sudden one of the horses rushed over to the one I was on & kicked. Instead of kicking the horse, the brute caught me right on the shin bone of the right leg about 7 inches below the knee. On examination I found a cut about 1 ½ ins long & exposing the bone. After bathing it carefully in lysol & hot water, I got Mr Pearce to stitch it up with cotton, then I put a Bates' salve on, which eased it a good deal. It is getting on well now tho', & I am careful about keeping it bandaged well to keep the dust out.
Father dear, what is the meaning of "efficacious", & what way is it used. We were wondering the other day what it meant.
Must close now, thanking you all again for your birthday presents, With love to all at home.
Your loving son
able to produce the result intended.
produce of Effects.

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Tichborne. R. 8.5.15. J.M. A 9.5.15.
6th May 1915
My last letter was written on Thursday, & you should have received it on Saturday, but it was delayed this end through one of the school kiddies forgetting to post it. Send some of your rain up. Leo.

My dearest Father,
Thank you very much for yours of 2nd to hand on Tuesday, & of 4th to hand this evening.

Rid's appointment as chaplain came as a great surprise to me Its hard lines on Ol, but I suppose its all for the best.
We had a nice steady rain here on Monday but only 42 points fell. It will help the crops a bit but we want more to back it up, & especially to make water for the dams which are almost dry.

My leg is a bit sore still. The stitches broke away on Tuesday, & the thing is a gaping wound now, too tender to so sew up again even if the stitches would hold. I am taking salts nearly every day & in addition a blood-tonic, so as to give the place a chance to heal. There is a good bit of proud flesh, which I am bluestoning. I had bad luck with the other leg last week too; it broke out on the old sore as the result of the cultivator running over it. I am bathing them both in lysol & H2O every night & keeping them bandaged. It is a very busy time just now, & if I could get anyone to take my place, I certainly would, & would lie up for a while.
If I find them getting worse, & beyond my control

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I think perhaps I had better come down home for a while, where I can get them right, i.e. if I may. It would also allow of me seeing Walter & Rid before they left, but I'll see how I get on with my legs.
Very cold S.E winds been blowing the last few days & it makes things very wintry.

Must close now, with love to all,
Your loving son
P.S. Thank you for your explanation of "efficacious". I wondered what the meaning of it was. There is just another word that is puzzling us, & that is "phrenologist". I've seen the advertisement in the "D.T." of a Henry Jones, phrenologist, Sydney. Leo.

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11th May 1915 Recd 13.5.15. J.W. A 16.5.15 J.W.

My dearest Father,

I must thank you for your letter of 9th inst to hand by to-night's mail.

I am glad to be able to report that both of my legs are progressing very favorably. As I said in my last letter, I was taking salts but they did not seem to be doing me much good so I got some blood tonic viz "Hot Springs Blood Remedy" which I had recommended to me & which is doing me good, for all my sores are healing up quickly. I am really unable to bathe it 3 times a day for we have our dinner over at the paddock, & don't come home at all once we leave of a morning. Even so, even though I'm up at ½ past 4 I haven't time to bathe it of a morning but I attend to it at night. The sore on the old place was the size of a half-crown when I last wrote, & but has been getting smaller & smaller until now it is about a 3d. piece size. The other night when I put bluestone on the other leg it gave me such a bad time of it when I was in bed that I had to get up & wash it off, & then put a bate's salve on it before I could get any relief. Really, Father, that Bate's Salve is marvellous stuff. It acts much the same way as antiflo:- put it on a piece of rag hot, (it looks like treacle) & it draws any foreign matter out & heals at the same

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time. I am able to see a difference in the wound every time I dress it. I am going to keep on with the Salve & am confident that in a week or so, with care, I will be able to report it healed. I way was lying up on Friday for ½ a day with it, & kept on hot poultices which took down the inflammation a good deal. There is really nothing to worry about now, Father dear, for I am taking every possible care of it.
I see by to-night's casualty list one of Rev. B.J. Meek's sons (Private R.S.) has been killed.
I have been trying to get into communication with Horace Walker who was Glen Innes Exp. Farm as Experimentalist & as a last resource I wrote to the Manager a week ago asking him for Horace's address. He replied that it was Sargeant Horace Walker, etc. etc. etc. Liverpool Camp; so that he has enlisted for active service. Any chance of my going, Dad?
It still keeps dry up here; we are still sowing, & have about another fortnight's work to finish. I will be jolly glad when we have done, as it is a very busy time for us now.
Must close now, with love to all at home,
Your loving son,
P.S. Many thanks for your explanation of different words. It is very good of you to trouble about them for me.

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Tichborne J.W. 25.4.15

My dearest Father,
I was very sorry to hear of the loss of the title-deeds. I know absolutely nothing about them, & in fact, I have never seen them at any time. I do hope they are only mislaid, for their loss is very serious.
We are still busy sowing & have just on 160 acres in now. It has been showery this afternoon so we couldn't do much.
The grass is shooting now & looks beautiful & green now.
Try & persuade Walter to come up. I have written to him about it & both Mr & Mrs Pearce would be very pleased to have him & the change would do him good.
There is very little news. We are all well except one of the boys who has a bit of a cold.
I am ashamed of this short scribble, but there is nothing to report, so will close,
Love to all at home,
Your loving son,

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20th May 1915.

Bitterly cold weather now with strong S.W winds. Your birthday present of sweater very acceptable. Have to wear 2 sweaters shirt, singlet coat & overcoat with 2 pairs of socks to keep warm whilst I am team-driving- winds go right through a man, to his bones. Leo.

My dearest Father,
I must thank you for your letter of 16th inst. to hand on Tuesday. Evidently you were interrupted, as the letter reached me in an unfinished state. You had just written about my writing to you about the matter of the war, when it ended without any general ending or signature. Thank you very much for your advice as to volunteering etc.

The leg is continuing to heal (the old sore on the other leg has completely healed now)& without any more proud flesh so ar. I am still taking the blood-tonic & it is working a great beneficial change in me.
We have had splendid rains up here since I last wrote. A total of 152 points have been registered here. It started last Thursday night, & all day Friday it rained without a stop. It was a beautiful, steady rain- in fact by Friday night only 60 points were registered altho' it rained without a break. Saturday & Sunday were also wet & every night this week so far we have had heavy showers lasting perhaps 20 mint minutes. As a result the ground is thoroughly soaked & the crops are growing apace. We are busy sowing still & have another 10 days work ahead of us.
As to the war. I have thought & yes have prayed

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about it a lot lately, that my path of duty may be shown me clearly; I have decided that it would be foolish of me to do anything about it yet until my leg is thoroughly healed & my blood in a satisfactory state. When I have come to this stage, my decision will depend on how matters are going. As to the A.M.P. Policy, I am pretty well decided to let this drop- in fact I shouldn't have taken it on in the first place. If I go to the war, I will have to pay £10-6-0 which includes premiums & fine plus a War Premium of £5 per cent which on my policy would be £10 or a total of £20-6-0. The policy is not good enough for that, for if I was to get a bullet in my head soon after I started what would be the good of the policy to me then. I have absolutely no debts at all up here, & provided I left Australia owing no money that's all thats wanted.
If I don't go to the war; the policy is useless until I should become engaged to be married. If I couldn't get a 1st class policy, my health wouldn't warrant getting married, & if I couldn't keep a policy paid up then, I couldn't keep a wife. No, Father dear, I think I will let it go before I pay any more on it, & then if ever I became engaged I propose to take out a combined life & accident policy.
Must close now with love to all at home
Your loving son, Leo.

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Tichborne A 30.5.15 J.W.
27. May 1915

Please thank Anna for her note to hand to-night. Am enclosing stamps as requested & tell her she can have the post-cards if she wishes. Leo.

My dearest Father,
I must thank you for your letter of 24th to hand yesterday.
In a short note to Walter last week I told him that I had finally decided to go to the front & do my share. I expect to be down leaving here next Monday week (7th prox) providing the Dr. passes me alright this end.
The leg is nearly healed now but there is an angry looking swelling about an inch below the wound. To-night it is about the size of a pigeon's egg. I am keeping it poulticed & it is owing to the awkward position I am in (that of lying up with a poultice on) that my writing is all skewiff. I am going in to Dr Alan Walker (an old S.H.S. boy) on Saturday to see if I'll pass for pig-sticking, & if the boil affair hasn't broken then I will get him to lance it for me.
We expect to finish sowing on Saturday
Excuse the brevity of the note for I am anxious to get to bed & rest the leg
Love to all,
from Your loving son Leo

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[Post card from Parkes showing the Catholic Church]
Tichborne, 1.6.15 A 7.6.15
Tuesday Night

My dearest Father,
Just a brief note before mail closes. I have just returned from the Dr. Went in just after dinner, & filled in necessary forms at Police Station, that I handed to the Govt Dr. (Dr. Johnson, with whom Dr. Walker is in co.) but he wouldn't pass me on account of my leg. Nothing serious he said & with care would be right in about a week. Advised me to try again end of next week if the wound is healed. Will probably go in on Saturday week & try again. Very frosty weather fine but cold. Am keeping well
Love to all at home
from Leo.

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9th June 1915.

My dearest Father,
I must thank you for your welcome letter of 7th inst. to hand to-night.
I am hoping that by Saturday next the leg will be completely healed. In this case & the Dr passes me I expect to leave Tichborne by Monday afternoons mail at 10 to 4, reaching Sydney about 5.30 on Tuesday morning. If I come down however, I will have my breakfast at the Peoples Palace in Pitt St, with one of the Bentley boys who is staying there, as I land home too early for Mother, by going straight from the train.
If the Dr. rejects me again but only temporarily I will stay on here until I do pass him, but should he reject me for any other reason, I haven't quite made up my mind what steps to take as I don't think I will stay on here, or in fact in the country at all.
We have had lovely rains up here all day to-day & part of yesterday. But for this interruption we should have finished seed-sowing yesterday, but now we will be unable to get on to the ground till Friday.

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I was glad to hear of Ol's convalescence, & hope she continues to gain in health & strength. I wrote to her on Sunday but addressed it to Dowling St.
There is little news up here. We have had beautiful spring-like weather here until yesterday when the wind swung round to S.W. & both yesterday & to-day have been bitterly cold days.
I will drop you a line on Saturday which you should receive on Monday as to the Dr's decision.
Please give my love to all at home.
Your loving son,

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J. Waterhouse Esq. M.A. One penny printed stamp and picture of Coles Bay, Tasmania.
"Cairnleath" Recd. 24.6.15
Archer St

Liverpool Camp
Tuesday Mng 22.6.15
Dearest Father,
Settling down slowly. Both of us had a wretched night. Found a University man Bob Atwill who Walter knew. The 3 of us crowded into a space 5 ft wide in one of the new sheds. About 50 men in with us. Boards very hard & cold last night. Sworn in this morning If you come out on Thursday would you bring an empty port, to take some of our clothes back. We want room badly & have twice too much for the room. Our clothes dungarees issued this morning Boots to follow later. Ask for F2 Company Depot.
Love from Both.

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The Salvation Army and address with flag emblem.
Military camp, Liverpool N.S.W.
Tuesday Night 29.6.1915. R 1.7.15. J.W.

My dearest Father,
I arrived back here this afternoon, & found everything upside down. Firstly we have changed huts altogether (at dinner-time to-day this happened) We are F2 Coy no longer but have been drafted into the reinforcements & my address is now Priv. J.L.W. 3rd Reinforcements 17th Battalion, Liv. Camp. Sydney. Then I found that Walter had gone into Sydney at dinner-time today & that he hadn't received any letters at all from you so I was beginning to shiver lest my medical certif. had gone astray; so I set out to look for it & it had only just come in, (the one you posted Sunday Night) Even tho' addressed to Walter I had to get open it, solely to get the certificate out. Your 2nd letter of Monday Night has not yet arrived I forgot to say that Walter went into Sydney to get an Officers Uniform as he is to go into the O.T.S for certain on Thursday. I had a rare picnic collecting my blankets pillows etc as they were all over the place when the changed huts. – Feel A1 at Lloyds now & fit for anything Expect we will be pushed forward now as we are reinforcements. Have to fix up my prolonged absence in morning.
Love to all at home,
Still address letters to F2 Coy.

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Liverpool Camp.
Thursday Night
8th July 1915.
Address my letters Priv. J.L.W. A. A. M. C Dept. Liverpool Camp

My dearest Father,
I am writing this from the C. of England Tent in the A.M.C. Dept. After a lot of humbugging of which I will tell you when I see you next as it is too long a tale now. I & a mate were transferred at the same time (to-day) into the motor section of the A.M.C. Percy is a trained mechanic & driver, & will probably be put on a Motor Ambulance or Transport, & Capt. Schlinck wants me as Motor despatch Rider. Will give you details later. Will probably be down on Saturday afternoon if I can get leave. Have some more kit to bring home. If I don't turn up, & you come up next week would you please bring an empty bag to take a few things back. As you come up to the A.M.C Dept. keep to the left & our tent is in the row next to the main row road, No 8 tent from the end you come in at. That is my present abode & I don't think I'll be moved. We have the same hours, better tucker & better accommodation. If you can't find me at above address, ask at the A.M.C Orderly Tent.
This is in case I can't get leave for Saturday but I'm going to try to say Good Bye to Rid & Ol.

[Note on side of page:] Am keeping well. Was inoculated on Tuesday, Walter yesterday Arms progressing favorably. Wal not too well to-night when I saw him. Nasty cold & sore eyes.
Love to all,

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P.S. Just returned from a tramp round the grounds. Whilst finishing this letter a sergeant came in & requested services of self & another private to help him run a private into the guard tent for drunkenness. He gave us little trouble, but we were guided to wrong guard tent & finally lodged him in A.L.H. Guard Tent which meant an extra mile tramp with the prisoner My tent No 8. is directly opposite No 1 Cottage Hospital.
Love Leo.

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Liverpool Camp.
My dearest Father,
I have settled down to Camp Life again & am feeling tip top again now. On my return he I reported to the sergeant in charge of this contact camp & he fixed matters up for me. I am on the staff here until I get sick of it or we get shifted. We have 6 wards each containing 12 beds, (all measles) & at present we have a full house. At first I was on the A.M. shift. i.e. from 6 AM. to 2 P.M. Then last night as they were short of men for the night shift (10 P.M. to 6 AM.) I got Percy & myself put on that one. Last night was our first one at the night one work. On the other shift there were 3 other orderlies on beside myself & for about 3 hours we were kept pretty busy with temperatures medicines, washing, & breakfast, but from about ½ past 9 till 12 when we took the temperatures again there was practically nothing to do. I used to occupy mind myself with playing dominoes with some of the more advanced cases, or reading. The Dr. used to make his rounds about 12. The Dr. in charge Capt. North, gave us a fine little lecture on Measles- Causes, results etc:- Percy came back on Wednesday & we are a happy little company now. There are 6 in our tent so that we have ample room. There are 6 orderlies on the 10-6 shift so we are splitting the work up. Four Three of us go to bed till 2 AM. while the other 3 work the six wards between them. Last night we were on

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from 10-2 AM. when we went to bed & slept till about 8 this morning. About 1 o'clock we had a feed of steak & onions with coffee & toast, so that we were well able to sleep over our usual breakfast time without noticing it. We have 2 cases that are rather serious- one chap gelt. gets very delirious at night time & is a source of constant worry & anxiety otherwise it is very quiet. Of course we are off all day, so that it means we are only working 4 hours out of 24. I went down the lines last night & just by chance saw Robinson (Walters tent mate) All the tents of the school have been moved again very nearly back on to the same site as they were before. Robinson told me that they were striking tents first thing on Monday morning & that they were going to the Agric. Ground. Walter would be staying on at Liverpool but all the rest of his tent mates would be going. Robinson had all of Walter's kit safe so far, but after Monday he wouldn't be able to look after it as they would be moved. It was too late then to get a letter out to Walter before Monday so I tried to get him on the phone! I wasn't able to, though so I tried to 'phone again this morning but was unable to still I sent a telegram to you saying "Tell Walter return Sunday latest, school strikes tents Monday mates go Agricultural Ground, Walter remains Liverpool"
We have very decent N.C.O's over here & I discovered

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that our Quarter-Master Sergeant is a son of Rev. J. Penman He knows Uncle Gus & Auntie- in fact the latter gave him a pair of rugs, & also 2 or 3 throat mufflers. He is only about my age & was studying for the Ministry when he enlisted.
I may take a run home one day next week but will drop you a line later on.
They are picking 219 men from the AMC. to go to Queen's Park on Monday. They are taking them in the order of seniority so that I haven't a chance as only those who have been in the AMC. before the middle of May are likely to go. They will be camped at Queens Park for 8 weeks when they are going to the front to form a field hospital.
Must close now with love to all at home,
Your loving son,
Am posting this in a R.C. envelope as I have no other available at present. Leo.
Monday Aftn.
After hunting round for nearly an hour, I found the two letters that you & Walter sent last week. If you please they were lying in the orderly tent at the Venereal Compound along with 4 other letters for orderlies at the Measles Compd. The trouble is that the AMC. is divided into at least 5

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different departments: AMC (General Hospital) No 1 Cottage No 2. Cottage, No 1 Contact (which is the Measles Compound) & No 2 Contact (Venereal) & letters simply addressed A.M.C. go from one to the other lying in the orderly tent of each for sometimes a day until they eventually reach their destination. So I think that while I am in this Dept letters should be addressed Priv. J.L.W. No 1 Contact Measles Contact A.M.C. Liverpool Camp, & then they will be sent over direct. I saw Walter last night for about 1 ½ hours. Expect to be down on Wednesday if I can work it in. If I am not home by 9 AM. at the latest I won't be coming.
I remain,

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Young Men's Christian Association of Sydney letterhead R 17.8.15 A 18.8.15
Field Service Department.
Address No 1 measles Contact
A.M.C. Liverpool Camp,
Sunday Nt. 15.8.1915
P.S. I am enclosing the advt you were looking for taken from "Strand magazine" Leo.

My dearest Father,
I am having rather a quiet night to-night. We are doing the full 8 hour-shifts now from 10 till 6, as we have 73 patients in here now & so among them 7 bad cases. I see by the roster issued to-day, I am on the Dog-watch again this week, but I don't object. It is now about 3 A.M. & nearly all the patients in this ward (12 of them) are sleeping quietly enough. We each have charge of a ward for the shift & Perce is head-sherang. The O.C (Major Lawes) held a parade the other morning, & picked the mob for Queen's Park. Neither Percy nor I were picked; but there is still a chance as P. has the sergeant of the transports working for him trying to get us in. Anyway if we don't get away this time, we will probably stand a chance for the Base Hospital for France to be formed next month. Walter will have probably told you that I got my uniform the other day from F. Smith, & that it fits me fairly well. It turns very cold up here about 2 A.M. If I can work it, I am going to try & get off for a few days & go up to the Parkes Show next week, all being well. A Church of England mission started in camp on Friday. I went then & to-night (Sunday) I heard Dr. Long Bishop of Bathurst, who is a fine speaker.
Love to all home,

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Presbyterian Church of Australia letterhead showing flags symbol
Field Service Department
Liverpool Camp
Address No 1 Measles Hospital
A.M.C. Liverpool Camp
Monday Night 1915

My dearest Father,
I went down the Lines this evening & had a chat with Walter. He told me what Home news there was, & then settled down to a nights study. I was glad to hear him say that you are all keeping well.
I am on the Night work till the end of this week at least & most likely for several weeks to come. I have been in charge of the night shift for the last 3 nights while Percy was away, & I was glad enough when he returned, as I had 2 men on whom I couldn't rely upon in the slightest & it was so much extra worry.
On Saturday, I went down to Sydney; I went out to Ol's & was very glad to see her looking so much better. I thought she was looking paler & thinner than when I saw her last. After dinner I went out to Botany to Percy's home. He has a lovely little home out there & in the home-life seems very happy with his wife & 2 little babes. After tea we wh went to the Presbyterian School Hall where there was a social to farewell the boys of the district who had enlisted. Each of them was presented with a beautifully bound edition of the New Testament; Whilst the secretary & treasurer of the church who had enlisted were presented with wristlet watches.

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[Presbyterian Church letterhead]
I returned to Camp that night.
Walter will have probably told you that the ring you gave me fits me splendidly. I think they have made a very good job of it, & I am very proud of it.
All being well, I expect to leave for Parkes to-morrow (Tuesday) night. The Show is on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, & I expect to leave return Friday night. The train gets in early on Saturday morning so as I will not be required for duty till Saturday night at 10 PM. I would like to run out home for the Saturday. In case I should be wanted whilst away, my postal address will be c/o Post Office, Parkes. All the people of course roll up for Show Day so I hope to see most of my old Tichborne friends once more, perhaps for the last time.
We have just on 62 patients in here now including 6 cases of mumps.
Must close now, with love to you all,
Your loving son

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[Methodist Church of Australia letterhead.] R 31.8.15

My dearest Father,
I was very surprised to hear that Anna is down again with illness & trust it won't be serious. I was trying to explain on the 'phone about this night work. A new order has just come out in which Percy, myself & 4 others are put on the Permanent Night Staff. This means that until we are called from here to go as Reinforcements or Base or anything else we will be on the Night work all the time. It will suit me for we get just as much experience with the patients as we would on Day work. We are going to put up a tent this morning for Night Dutymen only, so that we will be able to sleep undisturbed
I am finding the Balaclava Cap very useful indeed these cold nights.
I expect to be down on Wednesday afternoon. I want to leave my watch in town to have it regulated & inscribed, & hope to take a run home. If I am not home by 6 o'clock at the latest don't expect me till Thursday night.
Must close now with love,
Your loving son,

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Monday Evg.

My dearest Father,
Thank you for your letter to hand on Saturday. We have been extra busy lately. Have lost 2 cases since Sunday (pneumonia) & another expected to pass away to-night. As far as I know now hope to be down Thursday morning about 10 o'clock; don't wait any meals for me Father dear, as everything is so uncertain here just now.
Excuse the short note, must leave conversation till I get down- too busy just now.
Best love,
Your loving son

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[Methodist Soldiers Tent letterhead]
Military Camp, Liverpool.

A.M.C. Tuesday M. 7.9.15.

My dearest Father,
After ringing you up on Monday afternoon I went back to Ol's, & about 10 minutes later the young lady herself came in. She was looking very tired & had had a heavy day in town. She was very bright otherwise & was glad of my company for the short time I was there. - Naturally I was very disappointed at having to throw the job up at that stage, but I was very sorry for your account, Father dear, for I knew you would be disappointed too on my a/c.
Everything went splendidly till I was passing St Leonards when I felt the tyre go down- the back one at that which was so tight to get on. A mile or so further on I thought I would take a short cut to the water's edge & so round to the ferry, thus avoiding the trams & main traffic. I had gone about 1 ½ miles when I found my way hopelessly blocked, & had to retrace my steps. Even then I was at the foot of a long hill that I had just run down & I couldn't get sufficient pace up on the engine to take me up, so had to take the belt off & push the thing up. All this time had to stop

[Page 30]
[Methodist Soldiers' Tent letterhead]
now & then to pump the back tyre up. I got across to the City alright & pumped the tyre up again which lasted me till I reached the G.P.O. when I had to do it again. By these stages I arrived at Ol's via Crown & Cleveland Sts. I was glad enough to reach Dowling St, too for I was beginning to be tired. I found Ol's phone out of Order, so went up to Crown & Oxford Sts. Post Office & rang up. I also got 3 Census Cards for Ol & Emily & myself, but we soldiers don't have to fill them in do we Father, I have asked a number here & they say that the soldiers don't have to fill them in.
I caught the 8.30 from Sydney & arrived here in nice time to go on duty at 10. I was very sleepy & tired when 6 o'clock came but as soon as the 6.45 parade was over, I went over to the Orderly Room to report myself, but neither of the 2 men were in. After breakfast I went to bed & slept right through till 5.30 to-night. Then came tea, & I went over again to the Orderly Room but neither of them were in. I found my blankets & port where I had left them, fortunately for me.

[Page 31]
[3] I went down to see Walter to-night, & found him tired after a heavy day's work.
Perhaps this disappointment is for the best after all, for to-night with 1 or 2 others I put my name in for reinforcements of A.M.C men. They are picking 72 men on Thursday for reinforcements of General Hospital, Field Hospital & Field Ambulance. I put my name in for the latter. They want men who have been in camp, infantry included before the 30th June only, & especially those who have had any experience with horses (as drivers I suppose) We came into Camp on 21st June & I think myself, I stand a good chance of being picked on Thursday, as they want 72, & so far only 58 have offered. Should we I be picked, we we probably be leaving direct on the 15th inst. cutting out Queen's Park altogether.
We are very busy at the camp now, 9 wards nearly all full 8 of which are measles, the remaining ward being pneumonia cases. We have had 4 deaths here since Friday night- including one here last night. This poor chap was only 18 ½ years of age, & had only been

[Page 32]
[4] ill a short time. About an hour after we took his body over to the Morgue, his Father & younger brother arrived. The brother (16) broke down completely, & cried as though his heart would break. He flung his arms round his dead brother's body & cried, "Oh Jack, Jack, come back to me." Some of the scenes here are terribly pathetic. There is another young fellow with who will be carried into the Morgue before morning, I'm afraid.
Will send you word, Father dear, as soon as I hear the results of the Reinforcement list.
With love to all at home,
Your loving son,

[Page 33]
[Young Men's Christian Association of Sydney letterhead]
No 1 Isolation
A.M.C. Liverpool Branch
Wednes. Nt 15.9.1915.

My dearest Father,
At last there is something definite about our going I rumaged round this afternoon, & found that I have been allocated to the 12th Reinforcements of 1st Field Ambulance to sail on or about the 10th of next month. Three of my tent mates are off with the 11th Reinforcements by the "Argylshire" on the 26th inst. & the 12th are sailing about a fortnight later which will bring it to the 10th prox. Nothing through yet about final leave but don't expect to have any trouble with it
Am trying to arrange to come down one day next week, but will let you know what day it will be.

We have been having very dirty weather here - terribly windy (S.W to W.) & clouds of dust & sand.
Very busy with measles now- 127 cases.

Must close now with love to all at home,
Your loving son,
J Leo L Waterhouse.

[Page 34]
[Presbyterian Church of Australia letterhead]
No 1 Isolation R 13.9.15 A 16.9.15
Liverpool Camp.
Friday Nt. 10-9-1915

My dearest Father,
There is nothing definite through yet about my sailing I have been picked alright & we heard we were sailing on 15th inst. but word came over that it has been postponed till probably the end of the month. At any rate I will phone you up as soon as anything definite comes through.
I have been very busy to-night though all my patients are sleeping quietly enough at present. When I came on at 10 o'clock, I had one patient with a temp. of 105°, but with attention, I have reduced it to 102°.
I am enclosing a letter from Joan Bentley that came to me by mistake through the envelope being addressed to Chatswood to Mr. J.L. instead of Mr. J. I don’t know whether you could do anything for her at all as you don’t come into contact with the boys as you used to, but if you could I would be so glad Father dear. Perhaps Mr. Hinder might know of a suitable boy, or if you were at the school you might happen to find one.
Raining out here to-night & seems set in,
With love to all at home,
Your loving son,

[Page 35]
J. Waterhouse, Esq. M.A.
Archer Street,

[Page 36]
A.M.C. Liverpool
Tuesday Nt.

My dearest Father,
Things are very much as usual here to-night. We have lost two more cases from pneumonia since I got back on Friday- one that went off quite unexpectedly early on Sunday morning, from total collapse & heart failure & the other one on Monday morning- a case that has been lingering on for days. The one that went off on Sunday morning lived near Sydney, & as soon as he went our Sergeant sent a wire to his people but evidently on account of being Sunday they didn’t receive the telegram for in the afternoon his two sisters came up to see him bringing jellies, custard etc, as they expected him to be convalescent for he was up for 3 or 4 hours the previous day. As soon as the news was broken to them they both went into a deep fainting fit.-
The 11th of 1st. F. Amb. instead of going on Final next Saturday as they expected, were rushed off yesterday on 4 days leave. They are rushing the reinforcements off now, & the 11th are sailing on Saturday next by the P & O boat (Moldavia). I tried hard to get a transfer into the 11th but there were no vacancies. Must wait till our turn comes. We (that is the 12th) are being sent away earlier than we thought, & we were told to report to the Orderly room today & we did so but were postponed for a few days. Expect to get our Final next week but nothing definite through yet. Will send you word as soon as I hear.- An aeroplane flying N.E. passed over camp to-night at 9.15. Had several lights on, & the roar of engines was distinctly heard.- Weather been very windy up here last
[continued on flap]
few days. Will try and take a run down on Saturday, but will have to return same night
Very uncertain though as we are working shorthanded.
Love from Leo.

[Page 37]
On Board Syd-Melb. Recd 15.11.15 J.W.
Thursday Mng 11-11-15
My dearest Father,
So far I am having the time of my life. We pulled away from the wharf on Wednesday morning at 10 to 9- it was very hazy & indistinct & the wharf was soon hidden. As soon as we went on board we were taken down to our Quarters. The lowest deck down. There are 282 men sit down to mess there & it is very close & stuffy. All the port-holes are bolted on account of it being so close to the water-line. I am writing this on the top deck about 8.30 A.M. It is a beautiful sunny morning & I am thoroughly enjoying myself. We came to a standstill off Garden Island yesterday until ¼ to 4. Meanwhile I filled in the time with the hair-clippers. Was better off to value of 8/6 when I finished- 6d. a time. They are not a bad set on the whole barring 1 fellow. He had charge of kit bags (white ones) from the Station Central to boat on a lorry but was a bit full with liquor & let all the bags go down the hold. After dinner we set to & rumaged them out from below. About 20 or 30 chaps have been Europeing so far but I have felt tip-top. Meals on board are very good Breakfast Porridge, Genuine Irish Stew, Bread Butter Jam & Tea. Dinner Thick brown soup (bosca) roast beef cabbage & spuds, & boiled pudding. Tea Cold Meat, Bread Butter Jam & Tea. Supper Biscuits & cheese. About 80% of us slept up on top deck last night. Each man issued with a hammock & two double blankets. Turned in about 7.30 & didn't wake till ½ past 5 We got two of our fellows down on the deck yesterday, the only 2 with moustaches & hacked one half of the mou off with clippers & scissors & let them go. They came back to me after & got me to shave the rest of it off. We have passed Green Cape (about 7.30 it was opposite to us) Land in sight on starboard side, one of the crew told me we were 18 to 20 miles out from coast. Expect to reach Melbourne Friday noon Am hoping to get ashore, if not will send mails ashore. Vessel pitching a good deal & seems to be getting rougher. Yesterday in harbor at Sydney the Gov Gen Munro Ferguson came on board & inspected the remount unit. He gave us all an address & wished us God-Speed. Big white breasted birds with brown wings been following us all the way from Sydney & this morning thousands upon thousands of gulls in every direction, also sharks quite near the side of the vessel . Will leave it now till there is further news. Forgot to say I tore some cascara & also some Sea Sick Preventitive crystals. So far have no duties assigned to us. None till we leave Melbourne behind.

[Page 38]
Nearing Melbourne Friday 7 AM. We are going up the Harbor; no one allowed ashore so must get these posted & trust they reach you alright Had another good night, very cold down this way. Got my full winter rig-out on & very glad of Great-coat.
Weather fine & clear Taking a further lot of 840 troops on here. Have heard Dr Ken Vickey is on board as assist. Doctor Doc. in charge is Dr Haynes. No duties assigned yet address letters No 6359 Pte JLLW. AMC. 12th Reinf 1st Fld Amb. A.I.F. Egypt.
Mail closing,
Love to all at home
from Leo.

[Page 39]
H.M.T. "Orsova"
At Sea Indian Ocean.
Decr. 1st. 1915.

My dearest Father,
I am writing this regardless of the Censor, as I am getting this letter posted in Sydney. I have put in a lot of my time whilst off duty at helping in the Canteen, sometimes serving, or acting as Cashier & the Canteen Sergeant (Greg Hogan) comes from Mosman & is going back by the first boat (troopship or passenger) that leaves Egypt after our arrival there:- so I am giving him my mail to post in Sydney or Melbourne for me. I had better go back to the time we were in Australian waters. Going south down the NSW coast we had a strong head-wind & consequently we had a good bit of pitching, but little rolling. We kept a long way out from land- often losing sight of it altogether.
We got into Melbourne about 8 o'clock on Friday morning, & I were was rather disgusted when I found I couldn't get ashore. Our Corporal and one AMC man landed with a hospital case, & I got the corporal to send you a wire. We left again about 3 o'clock the same afternoon & started on our rough trip across the Australian Bight. During the next 5 or 6 days we had a rough time of it. They say the Bight is rough at any time, & somehow although we had changed our course we still had a head wind on. I often at home imagined what it would be like on board surrounded with sea-sick travellers but I realised it till I saw it myself.
Seventy-five per cent of the men were terribly sick & the stench was awful. The men were lying all over the deck regardless of the cold & exposure & I with the other 3 AMC men that weren't upset had a busy time of it, bringing down to Hospital men who were

[Page 40]
too exhausted from cold to help themselves. We got them into a warm bath put them to bed, & they were able to go out the following morning.
We have about 16 in hospital at present, but I am sure a lot of the men on board won't last long in Egypt. We have on board about 1300 men comprising remount Units i.e. men that are going to Egypt to look after horses there. These Units again are comprised of men from every state of Australia including Tasmania. I have been struck by the age of the men on board here. Among the 1200 men belonging to the Remounts only there are more men over 45 than under. I was talking to one old chap who had 7 badges pinned on his tunic & he was saying he was 64 years of age. A tremendous lot are grey-headed. I was saying there were 1200 out of 1300 belonging to Remounts the other 100 is made up of Artillery-men, AMC, & A.S.C. There are only the 24 of us AMC. men from New South Wales & then 6 Staff-Sergeants from Melbourne are on board. Then we have about 130 nurses on who are going as reinforcements to Nos. 1 & 2 Aust. Genl. Hospitals. The Chaplin on board is Revd.- Harris (C. of E.) who has just finished at Sydney University A very nice man, & is popular on board.
The A.M.C have a mess room to themselves now, but only since we left Freemantle. We have no special sleeping quarters but I generally camp on top deck astern. Most of them swing their hammocks (Each man provided with a canvas hammock & 2 blankets) but I tried it one night & fell out twice whilst turning over in my sleep so now I just sleep on the deck

[Page 41]
with one blanket under me & the other for a pillow. I have no trouble about sleeping & generally don't wake till 7 o'clock. We got into Freemantle on Thursday Morning 18th @ 6 a.m. We tied up out in the stream so as to allow colliers on both sides of vessel
At first we were told we wouldn't be allowed to land but the coal lumpers refused to work unless the men were allowed ashore so that General Leave was given. We got ashore about 10' oclock & with Keith Drew made straight for the Post Office where I sent you a wire. Freemantle is a quiet, old fashioned sort of a place, & I am sorry I didn't follow the example of a good many others & take a run up to Perth about 30 minutes in the train. The trains & trams amused me with very narrow gauge only about 3 ft. 6.
Freemantle Railway Station is more like our Darling Harbour Statn. Trams are driven electrically but all hand-power brakes-no air-brakes. I took 3 or 4 photos in Freemantle. Have taken about 20 photos since I left but haven't developed any yet. We stayed at Freemantle about 16 19 hours, & got away about 1.a.m Friday 19th.
Since we left Australia we have struck exceptionally fine & calm weather, at times the water being just like a sheet of blue glass absolutely without a swell even on it. For 2 days we had it like that & everyone was remarking on it. The only waves were those made by the ship herself. We have had several Fire Alarms (5 long blasts on ship's siren) & everyone bustles to their different stations. We all have our turns at Ward Orderlies, & also as Mess Orderlies so we are kept going

[Page 42]
Just after leaving Freemantle measles broke out on board & we have about 5 cases Isolated now right at the stern of boat on the top deck. They have the place barricaded up & sentries posted so as to stop anyone excepting AMC men going in or out. That is where we score. Whilst the other part of the deck are crowded at night about 3 or 4 of us go through the barricade & have quite a lot of the deck to ourselves. I expect if we have any more cases reported it will mean the boat will be quarantined
We are not at a loss for music on board. Some of the Melbourne Men brought a brass band on with them; & then we had a pianola swung on at Melbourne. I have put in many a pleasant hour at this instrument playing some fine records. Needless to say it is tremendously popular with the men:- besides this we have the ships piano which is quite a decent instrument.
We are not, unfortunately, touching at Colombo at all but are heading straight for Aden which we expect to reach on Saturday morning 4th inst. & Suez about the following Wednesday.
Since we have been in the Indian Ocean we have had some beautiful sunsets. The clouds often roll up on the horizon & then the sun dropping down behind them make some magnificent colours & tints.
We have had several concerts on board beside boxing wrestling & sports tournaments. The last boxing match was so marked for its hooting & unsportsmanship that the

[Page 42]
old Colonel has prohibited any more boxing or wrestling matches to be held. The colonel (Col. H.V. King) is an old Australian bushman & is a fine old man. He hasn't much manner delivery about his speeches, but he is an old warrior & is very well liked by the men.
I have sometimes leaned over the rail at the stern of a night & watched the phosphorescence in the water. It is a lovely sight & of course was quite a new & novel one for me.
We have had extremely hot weather for the last week or so & everyone is appearing in the lightest of dresses.
The Orsova is a lovely vessel & a splendid sea boat We were indeed lucky to be appointed to her. We have now been 10 days out of sight of land & have only seen 2 steamers during that time. We have just sighted on starboard bow a smoke which is probably that of a transport that left Freemantle 2 days ahead of us.
Two or 3 days ago I, in company with another chap who knows one of the engineers, went down the engine room & was shown all over the engines (twin screw) dynamos, board, & propellors. It is truly a magnificent piece of machinery, & kept in splendid order.
The meals have been splendid so far & I have always been ready for my tucker. The supply of fresh
water is running out & we are on condensed water now which is not half as nice as the fresh.

[Page 43]
From to-morrow night on we will be running at night with all lights out as a safeguard against submarines. We are expecting to sight some warships soon which will act as convoys, while we are in dangerous waters I will leave this letter now & finish it later when there might be more news of interest.
Since writing the above the weather has altogether changed. During the last 24 hours the ship ran into 2 heavy rain-storms accompanied with a bit of lightning & so we are having a stretch of cold weather It is also a lot rougher now than it has been for over a week but not nearly as rough as when crossing the Bight.
The kit-bag is of great value as I am able to keep under lock & key any of my possessions I am not using I have often been envied for bringing such a decent sized one.
We "crossed the line on Monday Afternoon 29th Nov. about 2 P.M. There was much argument over the matter but nothing special occurred. Generally in passenger boats they post up the position of the vessel each day but they are not doing it in this case.
Tuesday Dec 7th A week has elapsed since I wrote the above. We arrived in Aden on Saturday (4th Decr.) at daybreak I had been on duty the night before & they woke me

[Page 44]
about 8 O'clock. We were anchored off the town & round us were the boats with the Arabs in with all sorts of goods for sale. It was a novel sight & I was greatly interested. Just at our stern was a British Cruiser of which I got a photograph. By the way I developed all the photos that I have taken last night & am sending you the negatives under separate cover
We are due at Suez at 6 o'clock to-morrow morning (Wednesday 8th Decr) & are all disembarking there. We left Aden 12 o'clock the same day. Coaled 1000 tons in 6 hours.
We had a terrible scramble to get all our kit together & I am very thankful to you Father dear for your marking my water bottle, haversack etc. Our black kit backs which were in the hold were handed out to us yesterday.
As soon as possible will send you a wire from Suez tomorrow. We have been paid £1 on board & it will probably be the last for some time.
It is now mail-time so must close. With very best love to you all at home, & I will look forward to hearing from you soon.
Good-bye all my loved ones,
Ever your own loving son

[Page 45]
[Y.M.C.A. letterhead]
Address No 6359
Zeitoun Camp
Pte J. L. L. Waterhouse
12th Reinforcements
Saturday 18/12/1915.
1st Field Ambulance
A.I. F. Egypt.

My dearest Father,
Things have been very quiet here since I last wrote (14/XII/15). We have quite settled down to our work here now & are very comfortable on the whole
All our chaps are well with the exception of a cold or two, & personally I am feeling splendid.
Quite handy to the Camp is an Ostrich Farm managed & run by Armenians. We had a good look over it to-day. They breed ostriches here in large numbers solely of course for the feathers which they sell in Cairo. Yesterday we went out to an obelisk called after the one on the Thames Embankment "Cleopatra's Needle". From accounts it can't compare with the original in London, but this one rises to about 70 to 75 feet. They say it is down 25 ft, & of course is all one solid piece of stone, in which is cut all kinds, sizes & shapes of curious figures. How they got it into position is a marvel.

[Page 46]
There was some mail handed out this morning & our hopes went up expecting to hear but in vain. It is too early yet, I suppose to hear from you. No word of any kind through yet as to our future movements, & am fully expecting to put in Christmas Day 1915 among the sand, natives & flies of Egypt.
There is a branch of the Y.M.C.A. here & it is doing splendid work among the soldiers in the matter of hunting up missing soldiers, cables & letters.
There is no change at all in the weather & we will soon be on to our shortest day.
Must close now with fond love to all at home & yourself,
Ever your loving son,

[Page 47]
Address No 6359
Zeitoun Camp
Egypt [date crossed out]
Priv. J. L. L. W.
12th Reinforcements
1st Fld Amb. A.I.F. Egypt.

My dearest Father,
As you will see by the address, we are still when we landed. Although no word has reached us yet as to our future movements, we might move off any day at an hours notice. With 4 or 5 others I went out to the Pyramids the other day. We went out by tram & they are about 8 miles out of Cairo. The tram takes you to within a quarter of a mile of them & then we went up from the tram on camels. Great awkward brutes they are, & they always object to getting down on their haunches. We went direct to the sphinx, & it is well worth looking at. Part of the nose is gone, & is said to have been shot off with a cannon ball by Napoleon when he invaded Egypt. Then we went to the biggest of the Pyramids & it is truly a marvellous bit of work. As I stood there, I did what thousands before me have done, asked "However did they get those huge stones into their position." A good number went right to the apex of the pyramid but I felt safer below. We didn't bother about going inside either as they make all visitors take their boots & socks off & it was too much like work with our leggings & spurs on. I am keeping well but for a slight cold in the head. We have a heavy fog every morning here lately. Trust you are all well. No letters rec'd yet, but expect one any day. Love to all at home
Your loving son,

[Page 48]
[Lettercard addressed to J. Waterhouse Esq. M.A. It was stamped by A.I.F. censor and posted 24/XII/15]
Archer St.,
Sydney. New South Wales.

[Page 49]
Address No 6359 Zeitoun Camp
Priv. J. L. L. W. Egypt
12th Reinforcements 25th Decr. 1915 [crossed out but legible]
1st Fld Amb.
A.I.F. Egypt. R. 8.2.16

My dearest Father,
Christmas Day is on us once more but this time under entirely strange & new conditions. It was raining here very steadily last night & turned cold towards evening. It was the rummiest Christmas Eve that I have put in for a good many years, & it & today will be long remembered by us if we are spared. I am half expecting to get a letter from you today as I have heard there is a mail in, & it will be the best Xmas Box I could wish for. It has been a very quiet here since we landed here but I expect the next fight will be in Egypt here near the Canal. As you know all the letters from Egypt are censored before they leave the country, so we are not allowed to say anything of our doings. It is beautiful & fresh here this morning after last nights rain. I suppose the whole total wouldn't amount to more than 15 or 20 points but it freshened things up a bit. There is a Christmas Service in the YMCA here this morning to which I am going, & this afternoon we are thinking about going into Heliopolis for a stroll.
Address your letters as above No 6359 etc, omitting of course Zeitoun, until I advise you any different I sent you a cable on the 23rd for New Year Greetings which I hope you will receive in due time. Give my love to all at home, & my best love to yourself, Father dear.
Your loving son
I sent a card to Rid at No 21 Hospital, Alex. a few days ago saying I was here.

[Page 50]
[Lettercard addressed as before to J. W. Waterhouse. Esq. M.A. at the same address postmarked 28-XII-15 and passed by censor.]

[Page 51]
Address. No 6359 Zeitoun 28-12-15
Priv. J.L.L.W.
12th Reinforcements
1st Field Amb. R 8.2.16
A.I.F. Egypt.

My dearest Father,
Just a short note before the mail closes. Yesterday I was appointed to the Orderly Room as combined clerk & orderly. I help at times with the mails (despatching of them) & at any other odd jobs that present themselves. Needless to say I am having a good time, but won't be sorry when we get word to join our Unit. I have heard that our Unit (viz 1st. Field Ambulance) is at Ismalia where our men are massing. We are almost daily expecting to hear of a clash between our men & the Arabs & Turks combined. We are enjoying lovely weather here & I am in splendid health. I had a good Christmas in spite of position of affairs. We had a very decent dinner of fowl & ham & pudding.
After dinner I spent the afternoon reading & dozing in my tent. After tea a few of us walked into Heliopolis for a stroll & to see the sights. The following day Sunday was spent much the same way only that I turned into bed with a book soon after tea instead of going out. I notice the weather is gradually getting colder especially of a night. Must close, with love to all at home,
Your loving son,

[Page 53]

[Page 53]
Zietoun R 8.2.16
Egypt. 1st Jany 1916

My dearest Father,
The first day in the New Year finds us still in Egypt & waiting for the word to go forward. On Wednesday after putting in only 2 days in the Orderly Room, our lot of 12th m 12 men were sent down to the 4th Training Battalion as Regimental Detail. These men are due to go to the Front at the shortest notice but whether we will accompany them or not I don't know. We have been given the order to hold ourselves in readiness for anything that might turn up. Of course although we have altered our position the address will still be the same. I have been watching out for a letter for the last few days but so far haven't received any at all. I am hoping to hear by the end of the week from you & to hear that you are all well.
Our weather here is still splendid. It is very cold at night time but the day is everything to be desired. We are in huts now with any amount of room. Huts similiar to those at Liverpool but without galvanised iron at all, - built of very light soft timber with plenty of ventilation. In addition we have a kerosene-gas lamp (incandescent) which gives a fine light. The meals are splendid so that altogether we are very comfortable. There is very little news. We are all in good health, but are tired of being couped up doing nothing,

Must close now, with love to all at home,
Your loving son,

[Page 54]
Ma'adi (stamped)
10 Jan 1916

My dearest Father,
You will see by the address that we have at last changed our address. On Saturday the 12 of us received word to join the Transport section of our Unit. This latter is at Tel-el-Keber, but the ambulances & transports are here. We were put through our test for driver, which was a riding test in other words. I got through it O.K. as did all of us excepting two. So once more I am at work amongst my beloved horses & am very well satisfied. We have about 78 horses in our section which works out about 3 horses per man. After 6 o'clock reveille we mostly exercise them till 8 o'clock. The tucker out here is splendid and there is plenty to occupy our time which passes very quickly. We are only about 20 minutes run in the train from Cairo, & it seems a very pretty place indeed especially that part round the railway station.
A good number of English people are living out here, & with the gardens well laid out & the streets too, it presents a very pleasing picture to the eye after the glaring sand of our last camp. They have some very fine horses out here all of them are easy to handle. (with a few exceptions) & of course the work in the waggons is interesting.
It is rather curious as to where our letters that are sent from Australia. One or two of our crowd have received letters which were addressed to them at Melbourne, but other than these, we haven't received any at all. Yet A.M.C. men that we have met out here, who left

[Page 55]
Sydney a week later than us, have received them over a week ago. My address will still be the same with the exception of substituting the word "Driver" for Private & adding "Transport Section."
No. 6359
P Driver J.L.L.W omit reinforcements
1st Field Ambulance
Transport Section
A.I.F. Egypt.
We are expecting to move down to our Unit almost any day.
The weather here is typical spring weather in Australia except that the nights are very cold & almost every morning we have a heavy fog. During the day it is beautiful.
There are a number of colds kicking round & I have come in for my share of it. I have a heavy cold in my head but am looking after it.
I do trust you are all well at home & that you are keeping your health Father dearest.
Under separate cover I am sending some old Egyptian beads. I will explain what I know about them.
Within ¼ of a mile of our old camp at Zeitoun was a huge Egyptian Cemetery covering perhaps 3 sq. miles These graves dated back to one authority says 2,500 years B.C. Every day you might observe parties of perhaps 50 to 60 shoveling & digging in the sand for any trace of bones. Of course permission has been granted by the Egyptian Government & we availed ourselves

[Page 56]
Ma'adi Egypt stamp at top of page
of the opportunity, & in our spare time did a bit of it. We came upon one place about 10' X 6 which we followed down to a depth of about 12 feet. Then we came upon a slab of stone much the same as our kerbing stone about 6 X 5 by 4 inches thick. We were able to shift this but were disappointed to find nothing but sand under it. At one end we noticed a drive leading off, which we followed out up, & after digging sufficient earth away I crawled in on my stomach & with the light of a candle I found myself in a cave affair about 8 feet across. In one corner was a complete set of bones, so old that they crumbled to ashes between the fingers. Beside them were the remains of an animal's jaw bone & skull, as though the favourite cat or dog had been buried with him. It was here that I found these beads at least some of them, & the balance I got after scraping round the edge of some other graves
Some other chaps have got some fine things out of them- one got a beautiful scarab, another an alabaster doll & basin.
Must close now, with best love to you & Mother
Your loving son,

[Page 57]
Ma'adi stamp, Egypt Recd aftn 26.2.16
14th Jany 1916.

My dearest Father,
You can imagine how wildly excited I was last night to get a batch of mail – the first I have received from Australia
We have been expecting to get letters all the week but as each night went by without any letters I was beginning to get down-hearted as I knew the letters were in Egypt somewhere
Last night a party of us went to a concert given by the English people of Ma'adi, & we landed home at ¼ to 10. To our great joy & surprise we found letters waiting for us. I was the lucky recipient of 14 letters but as luck would have it, I had to go on picket duty at 10 o'clock until 2 so I shoved the precious letters into my pocket & started on my picket. I thought those 4 hours would never go, as I was terribly impatient to get at the letters (Excuse the pencil as the ink has given out) As soon as I was relieved at 2 I tucked myself into bed & my word didn't I pore over those letters. I was very glad , Father dear to hear that you had been able to take that trip with Ol. I know it must have been a terrible strain on you, & I sincerely hope the trip will set you up.
Your letters Nos 1 & 2 & also the one from Melbourne under date 30th Nov 15 received. Ol's letter from Melb. also to hand & 2 from Rid. I wrote him a post card telling him where I was & received a reply. A parcel of sox from Ol, also thankfully received. I have not I am thankful to say, lost the slightest thing either in cash or kind, - with the

[Page 58]
exception of the 2 padlocks of my bags.
Don't worry Father dearest about my running straight. Another week will see us in Action but I am quite content to leave my life in God's Hands at His Will. Whilst here I am determined to do nothing of which you would be ashamed & Father dear you can rest assured that I will run straight. I have done so up to the present & intend to continue to do so. I think the 3 photos that you took of Ol are really splendid & very life-like. Will you please thank Mother dear for her very welcome letter to hand. Your letter No 2 very thankfully received. I hope I may run up against Walter in Egypt here as all the concentration will be here now. Must hope for the best to see him. Have written to Ol thanking here for sending my photos. Thank you Father dear for fixing up my a/c for me. Am very pleased you sent a photo to Uncle Gus.
We are kept busy in our transport work, exercising horses, grooming feeding etc. We are leaving for the scene of operations Tel-el-Keber early in the morning 15th January. Weather very cold here still, Same address as last letter. Best love to you & Mother also Anna,
Your loving son

[Page 59]
Ma'adi Egypt stamp Recd afternoon 26.2.16
17th Jany 1916

My dearest Mother,
I must thank you very much for your very welcome letter of the 12th December to hand to-night. Although this is written on Ma'adi paper we left there on Saturday night for [word obliterated by censor] where we are at present camped I must also thank you, Mother dear, for a pair of sox that reached me here on Sunday night (16th Jan) They were addressed in your writing, & I will appreciate them very much. By to-night's mail I also received a letter from Uncle Jez at Lord Howe
We landed out here about 7 o'clock on Saturday night. The next day we were hard at it all day putting down new horse line, erecting tents & straightening up things in general. It was one of the hardest days I've put in for a good while & I was very thankful when it was bed-time. We have had cold weather here since we got down here & last night we had some rain. The cold winds catch us as we are camped on the top of a slope.
I do hope that Father is better for the sea trip & change that he had, for it is a hard time for him at present.
In the letter from Uncle Jez he talks about coming to Sydney & seeing if he can get over the age difficulty & enlisting
This leaves me in splendid health & I sincerely trust you it will find you the same.
Father may remember Parkinson (I think his Father was in the Department) who used to be in the 6th class with Clem Chapman Southee, & the others. He is here as Captain, but he doesn't remember

[Note on back: Please forward to Harry who will kindly return to "Cairnleath." J. W.]

[Page 60]
me. Mr Saxby's two sons, Eric & Keith are also here in the first Ambulance, & I had a yarn to the elder one on Sunday.
If this should reach you & my later one shouldn't, I would like to wish you very many Happy Returns of the Day for the 9th March. It will probably reach you early, but we can't judge the mails to a Day here. I hope it will be a Happy Birthday Mother Day, & you can be sure I will be thinking of you an extra lot that day if I am alive.
Must close now, With best love to yourself & Father dear, & also Anna.
Your loving Leo
P.S. You must please excuse the scrawl, but I am writing under peculiar position- sitting on a kit bag in the tent with a candle stuck on a lid of a jam tin for a candlestick. This is suspended with 3 wires to the tent, & to stop it from swaying about in the wind I have my old boot tied to the bottom of it. Leo.

[Page 61]
Somewhere in Egypt R 4.4.16
20th Feby 1916

My dearest Father
It is close on a fortnight since I last wrote. We have been very busy since then & have been moved right away from where we I last wrote I am unable to give you any clearer address than above. I must thank you for your letter of 10th Jany that I received yesterday. Very glad you got my cable early in the year, & by this you should be getting my letters fairly regularly.
Whilst out with the horses a few days ago we came across the remains of 6 or 7 [obliterated by censor.] Water is none too plentiful here so that a swim the other morning was very acceptable. I am keeping in good health, but the dust is pretty rotten in clothes, tucker etc. [Censored]

[Page 62]
& won’t be sorry after [censored] hanging round doing nothing.
The only sox I have received are a pair on the 16th Jany & another pair with a face washer on the 19th Jany. Both these were addressed in Mother's writing, so I don't know whether they are the ones you mean. I have any amount on hand at present so that if a month or 6 weeks was to elapse between the sending it wouldn't be too long as they only take up room in my kit. My sheepskin vest comes in for a lot of use & is great & warm. We all received some gifts last Sunday & included some very acceptable things an Anzac w/tablet, chocolate, handkerchief soap, & last but not least a cherry wood pipe. I have now broken this in &,

[Page 63]
find it a great old comforter. I forgot to say these gifts they gave out were A.M.C Comforts. We get some terrific winds here during the day & clouds upon clouds of dust, sand & grit. I am in comfortable quarters here & the tucker is good.
I am keeping a look out for Walter but it is only chance that I will run against him.
There is very little news that we are able to write.
Am generally glad to get to bed early as we are up about 6.
Must close now with love to all at home.
Your loving son
Thanks for spare paper & envelope will use them next time. Have plenty to go on with.

[Page 64]
Would you please send me out say ½ doz films (Vest Pocket Kodak Autographic. Don’t put put anything on the outside of the packet to show what the contents are as they would only probably be pinched. Unprocurable here.

[Page 65]
21-2-1916 R 4.4.16

Father dear,
I had a yarn with Captain Parkinson who will remember at School. He asked kindly after you & how your health was keeping
He was saying that Lieutenant N. E. Biden died at Mudros Lemnos Island whilst he was over there. Capt. P's address in case you want to write him would be 1st Field Ambulance. A.I.F, Egypt
Love from Leo.

[Page 66]
Egypt R 10.4.16

My dearest Father,
Since last writing on the 21st ult. I have received your letter of 24th Jany & the two parcels of sox that you sent me. I must thank you very much for the sox as they will come in very useful. As to the letter I must also thank you for the separate letter re cabling for money.
I made a copy of the form & destroyed the letter as you suggested. I haven't sent you any cables except the two you have already acknowledged- the first acknowledging my arrival in Egypt & the second for the New Year Wishes. I havent required any money and I don't think I am likely to, thank you Father dear. But should I cable you at all I will sign the cable as you suggest as it will distinguish it from any Walter may send. I had a note from Wal as he was in the Red Sea, he is at present at Heliopolis I believe & if I get a chance will try & get up to see him, Ol & Rid.
To-morrow is your birthday, Father dear, & although this will be many weeks late, it carries with it my best love for yourself & my best wishes for your long-continued health & strength. Perhaps, all being well, I may be

[Page 67]
able to wish it to you personally next year. At least I hope so.
To-day has been a brutal day. About 9 AM. a strong wind from the South East sprang up & by 10 o'clock it was impossible to see more than 6 or 8 yards in any direction for the flying sand & grit. We nearly had the eyes cut out of our heads & everyone was groping about with eyes, nose, throat & ears choked with sand. At dinner the sand got into all the tucker & every chew we gulped down a bit of sand -Sand- I'm sick of the sight of it; it seems to get everywhere. Tea was a repitition of dinner only it was blowing harder than ever. It is very boisterous outside now, & our "possy" is shaking & rattling in the wind.
We are very short of water here. We are only allowed our bottle full (2 pints) once a day, & out of this we have to shave, wash & wash our gear up. Needless to say we don't have much to spare at the end of the day.
If you could get hold of a map of any sort showing the different war zones & send it out, I would be very glad of it please Father dear.

[Page 68]
I am keeping well, & of course am watching myself in the way of the slightest sign of constipation etc.
The tucker is very fair here considering where we are & how we are situated.
I must close now, Father dearest, with love to all at home, & my best love & birthday wishes for yourself,
Your loving son,

[Page 69]
Envelope "On Active Service" addressed to
J. Waterhouse Esq. M.A.
Archer St.,
Sydney, New South Wales

[Page 70]
Cairo 15/3/16 R 19.4.16
C/o Ol's Boudoir

My dearest Father,
You will see by address that I am writing this in at Ol's. After a bit of trouble I got up on duty Leave yesterday. Landed in Cairo about 2 P.M. & went round to Ol just to let her know I was in. Was on duty till 6 & then Ol & I had tea together after which we went out to Heliopolis & see Walter. The 3 of us came back into Cairo, & had a feed of ice-cream & stuff & then I went back to Camp with Wal & slept there. I think Ol is looking better than when I saw her last but Walter is a bit thinner in the face.
I have all day to-day off & have to report for duty at 8 in the morning. I am very sorry that I won't be able to see Rid who is at Tel-el-Keber but it is out of the Question.
Ol & I are going out to the Zoological Gardens after dinner. She is very bright & needless to say we have tons to yap about.
The weather here has been & is beautiful & fine & is getting hotter especially about noon.
The mail closes today for Australia & it is the last mail for 6 weeks that we are able to send on account of a big move that is taking place here.
Must close now With love to all at home
Your loving son

[Page 71]
Alexandria R 2.5.16. J. W.

My dearest Olwen
Just a very hurried note from above place. We left Serapeum on Monday & are now at the docks at Alexandria waiting for the Boat to sail. We have got all our horses on & harness on & boat (Knight Templar (Z49) expects to sail 5 pm. Destination unknown but everything points to Marseilles, especially as we have been issued with Gas Helmets for Asphyxiating Gases. Keeping Well. Please tell W. L. W if you receive this, & might mention it home if you think of it. Left Cairo on Friday night at 7.15 pm & arrived at Serapeum at 2.30 A.M. Very cold indeed open truck. Lot of artillery going same boat as us, one of our cousins too: I heard his name W--------- called out
Must close Will write when possible Excuse haste

[Page 72]
In train en route Alexandria.

Dear Father,
Have just received this this morning and can only hope that the Censor will pass it through for you will be so glad of the news. Have kept a copy in case you do not get this & next time will convey the news to you if possible in a less direct form.
Had another telegram from Rid first thing this morning & am catching early train to Alexandria to say good-bye.
Much love.

[Page 73]
Somewhere in France.
2nd April 1916

My dearest Father,
I am writing this under a new heading We left Egypt about a fortnight ago & had a good trip up the Mediterranean. I saw both Walter & Ol whilst I was in Cairo prior to leaving, & among the first persons I saw on the wharf when we landed in France was Rid. I could only spare him 5 minutes & he was looking well. We left Alexandria on [date obliterated by censor] by the [vessel name obliterated] We had one Submarine scare coming over when one of the transports of the convoy fired 2 shots at a box they saw floating On the [date blanked out] we received the S. O. S message that the "Mineapolis" sent out when she was torpedoed.
We put in at Toulon, & I was greatly pleased with what we saw of it from the boat. We only stayed there 24 hours & then cast off again. The last bit of the trip was pretty rough & nearly all of us were sick. I thought once or twice my heart would come up. As far as we have seen of France it is a lovely climate. We have had a good bit of rain, but the countryside is looking perfect Everywhere the fruit trees are out in blossom, & the fields are crowded with grasses & clover. The people are very obliging but it is rather comical sometimes trying to make ourselves understood.

[Page 74]
There is a noticeable lack of young men here. Nearly all aged men, women & children. The women are doing their share proudly & well. They have women-conductors on a large number of trams, assistants in shops & it is a common sight to see women working in the paddocks. We are camped on the outskirts of a French Village, & it is continually reminding me of "The Tale of Two Cities." The scenery in these parts is splendid. The camp is hemmed on two sides with mountains, & it is totally different to the scenery in Egypt. This is my first letter since the 15th March when I wrote to you from Ol's place in Cairo. All outward mail was suspended so that you will know that no letters have gone astray between 15th March & 1st April. I am keeping in splendid health & feeling very fit. Must cut this down to the 2 page limit. Tucker here pretty decent. Your last letter date 6th Feby reached me at Serapeum on 18th ultimo. Thanks very much for news & good wishes. Sincerely hope & pray you & Mother are keeping well. Have taken some very interesting photos lately but haven't sent any home since 22-1-1916.
Must close, best love to all at home,
Your loving son,

[Page 75]
France R 22.7.16

Daddy dear,
You will see by the date on the attached letter that it is 2 months old. I must explain how this is. I was writing this letter to you a few days after I landed in France & just put down on paper my thoughts of the country & surroundings. I had just completed 7 pages of it & was still going strong, thinking of course the censor would pass it when a lieutenant stuck his head inside the tent & said that all letters had to be confined to 2 pages & no more. I was very disappointed & didn't like tearing it up so I put it away & made a fresh attempt. Looking

[Page 76]
through my belongings the other day I came across this & decided to send it on to you, as it is my first impressions of France.
I see I have said in it that Cousin Ray or Bert as he calls himself is in Headquarters. This should read Brigade Headquarters, whereas I am in Divisional HdQtrs so don't come into touch with him at all
Much love,
from Leo

[Page 77]
"Somewhere in France"
2nd April 1916.

My dearest Father,
I am writing under the now familiar heading of "Somewhere in France." I had better go back to 3 weeks ago. After some trouble I was granted leave by our O.C. at Serapeum to go to Cairo on Duty & it also gave me a chance of seeing Ol. The leave which should have expired in 24 hours lengthened out to 4 days so that I saw quite a lot of Ol & Walter. I dropped you a short note from Ol's & was under the impression then that it would be the last mail to Australia for 6 weeks.
Our business in Cairo was to get our Black Kit bags out of store in Cairo; this was a good enough omen that we were moving out of the country & rumour had it that our destination was France, & this was strengthened by the fact that we were all issued with the latest gas helmets with the patent air-valve in. I found Ol without much trouble & needless to say she was greatly surprised to see me. I had to report during the afternoon, & meanwhile Ol sent Walter a telegram to say I was in from Serapeum & that we would be out after tea. We went out to Heliopolis & hunted Wal up & the three of us came back to Cairo. After supper we saw Ol home & then I went back & slept with Walter. He very

[Page 78]
kindly accommodated me for the 3 nights I was there & I thus saw a good deal of him. I thought he was looking well & Ol also was looking better than when I last saw her. My trip was lengthened out to 4 days & I saw Ol every day. One day we went to the Zoological Gardens & had a good time: another time we went to the Citadel Cairo, & did some exploring there
After I got back to Serapeum we were kept very busy packing up & then on the Monday 29th March we started shifting. We trained the horses & ourselves to Alexandria & at dinner-time on Tuesday went on board the "Knight Templar" (Transport Z 49) It is a big job shifting horses (we left the waggons behind) & we lost one horse whilst loading. This brute started to kick when about half way up the gangway with the result that he booted part of the side out & fell over. He fell between the boat & the wharf & after struggling for ½ an hour we were unable to get him out & he was drowned. We had a good trip across the Mediterranean. There were 5 transports sailed together under the escort of a torpedo boat. We carried a 4.7 Q.F. gun ourselves so that we felt comparatively safe from

[Page 79]
submarine attack. On the second day out we were steaming along at about 9 knots with the torpedo boat on our right & another transport about 1 ½ miles to our left when this other transport let go two shots with her gun in quick succession The torpedo-boat got over to the transport like a streak of greased lightning. I forgot to say, that as soon as we got away from the wharf, life belts were issued to us, & we had to wear them every day, neglect of which rule we were brought up pretty sharp. We had to wear them all day long & at night use them as a pillow.- As soon as the boat started firing we thought it was a submarine at work.
It turned out that they had sighted a box half submerged & poured a couple of hundred pound's worth of ammunition into it. We were all appointed to our separate boats & were given drill & warned that 4 blasts of the ship's whistle meant submarine attack. One day we passed a sister ship which was a good way out & the skipper blew the whistle 3 times. There was a general scatter up on deck from below where they were playing cards but they saw the meaning of it.

[Page 80]
On Friday (24th) about dinner time we received an "S. O. S" Message from the "Mineapolis" which you see by the papers was torpedoed. Her position was given at about 15 miles off but we didn't change our course at all but just doubled the lookout in the Crow's Nest. I can tell you it was an anxious time for us on board, & looking back on it, I wonder that we escaped at all. We passed Malta but didn't stop getting our orders from the island by signal. On Monday Morning we steamed into Toulon Harbor after 6 days run. We didn't pull into the wharf but anchored in one of the many bays that compose the harbour. The harbour had two sets of torpedo-nets across the entrance & we were met about a mile out by a French motor-torpedo boat. Inside the harbour were 3 or 4 French Dreadnoughts of the latest type. The sight that met our eyes in the harbour was simply lovely. After the endless sand of Egypt we were delighted with the scene. Looking up the harbour on the left hand side was a mass of green trees, through which we could catch sight of red-roofed houses with beautifully laid out grounds & well kept lawns. On the right hand side was the town which

[Page 81]
nestled at the foot of a big range of mountains.
There were factories, all pouring out their black smoke 3 or 4 big docks, bridges spanning the different arms & further out we sighted a train speeding Northwards.
There was a lot of shipping in the Harbour & it was a very strong contrast to what we have been used to since we landed in Egypt.
We hung on until daylight the next morning, when we cast off & headed for Marseilles. As soon as we got our we struck a very choppy sea, & I think that almost without exception we were all sea-sick I know that once or twice as I hung over the rail I thought I would bring my heart up. We were jolly glad when we ran into M. Harbour about 1 o'clock.
We unloaded the horses that afternoon, & on the Wharf I ran into Rid. I couldn't stay very long but had a yarn for about 5 minutes. He was looking well & just as lively as ever. We stayed in that night & picqueted our horses near by & I had the luck to strike it that night. Was on from 10 till 2 AM. & following day we moved into camp close by. I went into Marseilles that night & was very favourably impressed with the city. The buildings are well put up &

[Page 82]
everything up to date. The streets are all of these "cobble stones," wide & very cleanly kept with electric trains trams running down the main ones.
Throughout it continually reminded me of the "Tale of Two Cities." The following day we shifted camp & moved to where we are at present situated.
There is just one more scene I must describe to you It was on our way out to this camp. We had been climbing a long hill & as we got over the crest we saw a lovely panoramic spread out before us.
Picture a long, white, winding run road winding down the side of a hill. Immediately on our right was a stonefenc wall which to a big extent in this country take the place of our ordinary fences at home Beyond that were hundreds of acres of natural grasses & clover about 6-8 inches high. Dotted here & there were there the houses of the people the red roofs standing out in striking contrast to the surroundings. Far away in the distance in the valley was a small township with 3 or 4 big chimneys showing it was a manufacturing place. This township was at the base of a range of

[Page 83]
rough rugged mountains. The base of these mountains were covered with dark green pines & the top was bare & cropped with white looking stone which gave the first impression of being snow-capped
It was is a very very poor attempt at description but the scene was one of intense lovliness We are camped in a French village & it is very amusing to hear us trying to make ourselves understood. Mr. Saxby's eldest boy, Eric, is in my tent & the two of us get on well as far as the language goes. It is gradually coming back to me though.
Coming over on the boat I met Cousin Ray from Norfolk. He is in Hdqtrs & is in cam the same camp here. They are throwing a lot of us drivers out soon, I believe, & if I am going to be put out, Ray is going to get me transferred into his lot.
The tram runs past the camp & is about 40 minutes run into the city.
The camp is bounded on two sides by mountains & it is in a very pretty part indeed. Altogether I am quite in love with Southern France. It is a splendid climate & the countryside is looking

[Page 84]
Among the shops in the village are some pastry cooks & perhaps you know the French cooking is considered the best in the world, so you can imagine the feeds I used to have.

[Page 85]
Y. M. C. A. letterhead On Active Service with the British Expeditionary Force.
April 14th 1916

My dearest Father,
Since writing to you on the 2nd inst we have shifted camp. The weather here is pretty rotten & everywhere there is mud ankle deep. It is a marvel if no rain falls here for 3 days. The It has been bitterly cold with strong winds blowing, & I have been very thankful for my warm clothing & especially the sheepskin vest. We are expecting to move again to-morrow, perhaps for the last time, & I will be glad when we get to work & get settled. Owing to reorganisation, I am leaving the Transport as far as I know at

[Page 86]
Y.M.C.A. letterhead as before.

present, & am thinking of going back to the "Bearers." I am keeping in splendid health & it is really surprising to note how little sickness there is considering the contrast of climates from Egypt to France. Formerly we only saw rain once a month, & here we have been mucking round with wet feet for a fortnight at a time.
Haven't heard since your letter of 6th Feby but suppose our mails will turn up in time. Very strict Censorship here. Must close,
Love to all at home,
from Leo.

[Page 87]
3rd. May 1916. R 29.6.16

My dearest Father,
Since writing on the 25th ult. I have received quite a big batch of mail from Australia. Among it were 5 letters from you dated 27.2.16; 1.3.16, 5.3.16, 5.3.16, & 6.3.16 also one from Mother dated 27.2.16. Thank you both very much for your very welcome news. I have also received a pair of sox that you sent out to me. I have any quantity of these in hand just at present but they will all come in useful sometime or other.
Things have been much the same since I last wrote. There is in fact very little to report. I am expecting to get 8 days leave for London pretty shortly now, & as soon as I know definitely I will send you a cable asking you to send over some money. The cable will be
{"John Waterhouse, Chatswood, Sydney. Cable Ten Commonwealth Bank, London, furlough, well, love, Leo Waterhouse France."}
I hope this won't give you any trouble, Father dear. I don't know a soul in London or England for that matter but I want to have a good look round whilst I am over

[Page 88]
there. Of course you will take the £10 & all other expenses attached to the cabling of it out of my account. I will write to the C. Bank London for Identification Papers & get them to advise me when it reaches there. I do hope you won't have any trouble in getting through for me, Father dear.
I am keeping in splendid health & feeling very fit. I do hope this finds you well.
I must also thank you Mother dear for your very welcome letter to hand recently
Mails are eagerly sought after here & I am very seldom disappointed I am thankful to say. Occasionally one of my letters take a stroll round Egypt, presumably for the good of its health, but it nearly always eventually reaches its right destination.
Must close now with love to all at home
Your loving son,

[Page 89]
25th Apl 1916.

My dearest Father,
Since I last wrote on 14th inst I have received your letter of 13th Feby. I must thank you very much for it & also for a parcel of sox I received from you by the same mail (21st inst)
To-day is the 1st Anniversary of "Anzac Day" & the troops here show they haven't forgotten. Since I last wrote I have left my old Unit & am now an orderly to Colonel Sturdee (ADMS) who is a brother to the Admiral. He is a fine old man & I give him all the attention I possibly can.
The weather here seems to have taken a change for the better. It is typical spring weather now & is quite decent after all the heavy rains we got just after landing in France
Where I am at present is quite within sound of the guns & some of them shake the windows etc a good bit when they explode
Aeroplane bombardments & duels are of frequent occurrences, & it is quite interesting to watch an aeroplane being shelled.
There is a big difference in the marksmanship, our gunners being far superior.

[Page 90]
You had better keep to the same address until further notice as I will be in touch with my old Unit for some time to come
Am enclosing a photo of self & Eric Saxby taken a few weeks ago.
Am keeping in splendid health & trust this finds you the same.
Must close now with love to all at home
Your loving son,

[Page 91]
France R 27.6.16
May 12th 1916.

My dearest Father,
Since my last letter to you on the 2nd inst. I have again heard from you at home. Thank you very much for yours of 12/3/16 with birthday wishes contained also for sending the proofs along. I received the letter a day or two ago, & was thankful to see you are all keeping well
A few days ago, I was going up the road & I met Rid coming along on a bike. I pulled him up of course, & we had a great old yarn. I was quite surprised to find that he is only about 2 or 3 miles from me here, & the following day I went up to see him at his "place of residence." I was able to put in 3 or 4 hours with him & we had a good time of it together. He was looking well, & is as full of life & energy as ever. He has any amount of work to get through Yesterday I had another surprise in the shape of a visit from Walter. It seems he brought some troops up from where he is at present stationed, & had 3 or 4 hours to spare before returning. He hunted me up, & I was indeed very pleased to see him. He had a bad foot caused by a cut which prevented us from walking out to see Rid. I was

[Page 92]
expecting Rid to come through that afternoon on his way to a Rest Camp, & Wal & I waited as long as ever we could for him but we didn't see him. I saw Wal off to the train & had just come back when Rid turned up- just 5 minutes too late to see each other. It was jolly hard luck especially as Rid was waiting for over ½ an hour for us at another place that he had heard we had gone to
Walter & I had some afternoon tea together & he seemed pretty right but his foot was paining him a good deal.
We are enjoying another spell of fine weather now which after 3 or 4 days of steady rain that we had last week is very acceptable.
Things are much the same here as when I last wrote. I am keeping well now, having quite got over the stomach trouble I had recently.
The parcel that you spoke about in your last letter has not yet arrived, but I expect it will turn up in due course of time. Thank you all so much, Father dear, for your loving thoughts & kindness.
While I think of it I think you had better alter

[Page 93]
my address a bit to viz. censoredNumber, Dair....Divisional Head Quarters, 1st Austln. Division, A.I.F, France This is I hope the last time I will have to change it.
I have quite settled down to my new job & am quite contented with the work.
I must close now, With love to you all at home,
Your loving son,

[Page 94]
France R 10.7.16
24th May 1916

My loved ones at Home,
Since my last letter of 16th inst to Father, I have had your two letters of 19th & 26th of March for which I thank you very much. I received them 2 days after I wrote- just too late to be able to answer them. I have also received the package of films that you sent Father dear, but as we have had to hand all cameras in they will have to be put away until some future date. Your other birthday parcel also came to hand 2 days ago. Thanks to the splendid packing of it it reached me in first-class condition. Thank you all so very much for all your loving kindness to me & good wishes
Probably due to the air, & perhaps salt air getting in to them, the Tin of Griffith's chocolates were quite crumbly at the slightest touch. The mere touching of them in taking the outside paper off was enough to break them in crumbs, but the flavour wasn't affected at all & they were very acceptable
All of the presents were very useful indeed, & I do indeed thank you all for them.
By the same mail there was another parcel for me addressed to my right number & name

[Page 95]
but 4th Reinforcements 4th Field Ambulance. There was nothing at all on wrapping to show where it came from & I didn't recognise the writing, but on opening it a card fell out "With love from Aunt Mabel & Dorothy," & gave the address, so I acknowledged it the same day. I was very lucky to get it at all as it had quite a wrong address on it.
When I last wrote, I was expecting to go to England for 8 day's leave with my "boss" the Colonel It came out in orders that the Officers were to take their batmen with them, so I thought I'd been going with my officer. Counting on this I sent you a cable asking you to cable me £10 to Commonwealth Bank, London; at the same time I wrote to the Bank asking them to send me over the Identification Papers, & also advise me when the money had arrived. I received a reply from them on the 18th. inst saying that the money had arrived & they enclosed the necessary papers, that I at once filled in & got the Colonel to sign. I must thank you very much, Father dear, for replying to that cable so quickly. I do hope it wasn't any bother or worry to you, Dad. The Colonel

[Page 96]
told me last Sunday that he was going the next day, but was doubtful if he could take me with him. Rid came in to see me after dinner & I had arranged to fix up some matters for him while I was over there. He had only just left me, when the Colonel sent for me & told me that I wouldn’t be able to go with him, but would have to postpone it for 2 or 3 months. Fortunately, I was able to catch Rid before he had gone too far, & of course we had to cancel all the arrangements we had made. I found afterwards that if the Chief had insisted on it I would have gone without any trouble, as every one of the other officers got their men away at the same time as themselves. So that night I wrote again to the Bank asking them to hang on to the £ .s.d until such time as I called for it or sent the Identification Papers over for it, when they would send it over under Registered Letter. I will let them keep it until such time as I am getting my Leave
Of course if I had known things would turn out as they have done, I would have

[Page 97]
left the money where it was; but I thought as it was out in orders I was pretty sure of getting away with him. I am sorry Father dear that you should have been troubled about it & then my not require it after all.
Rid & I have had several talks about my getting with him as his batman; I am not sure whether the exchange could be effected; but I am inclined to let matters stand as they are for the present for 2 reasons. I am at present only attached to D.H.Q. and so long as I am only attached I draw my Driver's pay, but as soon as I am transferred to D.H.Q I drop the extra 1/- per day. This 1/- a day is not to be despised these days, & of course if I was transferred to the Artillery I would drop it straight off; as in that Unit, Gunners only, & not drivers are allowed to be Officer's orderlies. I have no idea how long I would be attached, as some men have been attached for close on 12 months. What I propose is this:- let things stand as they are at present; as soon as I am transferred to D.H.Q Strength apply for a transfer to Rid's lot.

[Page 98]
My second reason is that I will get my leave to England just about twice as quickly while I am on D.H.Q that than I would if I transferred now.
It is alright Rid & I being so close together like this. Last Saturday afternoon he came over to see my & we were outside on the grass in the shade of some trees. It was a fairly hot day & as we sat there yarning it seemed almost impossible for a War to be raging
Everything was quiet, way down in the village the church bells were ringing for the Sunday afternoon Mass. Occasionally the silence would be broken by the roar of a howitzer battery not too far away.
It is getting warmer here every day, & I think we are in for a fairly hot summer
I am keeping in splendid health now & I do trust that this finds you all well
I am enclosing a note for Ol in this letter. Tell her I am sending her two XX this time & ask her if she received my last one with the 2 kisses on.
I must finish up now,

[Page 99]
Thank you all very much for your goodness & kindness to me in the parcels etc I have received,
With love to you all,
Ever your loving son,
P.S. Thank you very much Father dear for the prints enclosed in your last letter I have the rest of the Egyptian Films ready for posting, but will wait till I can post them in London myself Leo.

[Page 100]
Y.M.C.A. letterhead as before R 22.7.16
France 31st May 1916.

[A newspaper clipping is attached to this page headed :"God Direct our Torpedoes."]
My dearest Father,
The mail closes to-morrow for Australia & I must send you a line to thank you for your letters of 2nd & 3rd of April that I received on Sunday last. After I had finished it, I took it round to Wal, as I knew he wouldn't have received his copy. Of course he was greatly pleased to see me & we had a good old yarn together
The more I think of it, the more marvellous it seems that he, Rid & I should be so close together in this part of the world. If I had been put in any other A.M.C or a Hospital, for instance, I wouldn't have been with him in now. Sometimes I think I will try & get into the Infantry & try & get with him, but Rid doesn't altogether favor the idea; anyway I haven't given up the idea altogether yet for I don't feel I am "doing my bit" stuck here at the back of the firing line." The other night when our boys were out doing a bit of fighting I would have given anything to have been with
them & in it, for I would like to account for a few of

[Page 101]
the beastly Huns while we are at it.
We are having good weather here now, & the summer is coming on us week by week. It will be a lovely sight here soon when harvesting is on I do wish I could whisk you all at home over here for a while to show you what France is like at this time of year. At present it is crops everywhere sometimes oats, barley, rye, & a lot of potatoes.
A lot of places are worked entirely by the womenfolk, who do the harrowing, cultivating etc quite unassisted.
On Saturday Wal & I walked out to where Rid was billeted & gave that gentleman quite a shock by our united appearance. He & Wal nearly embraced each other in their happiness at seeing each other & had qut quite an old gossipy yarn over matters in general.
I am keeping in splendid health & strength & sincerely trust that this finds you all well.
Must close now, with love to all,
Your loving son,

[Page 102]
France. R 22.7.16

My dearest Father,
It has been very quiet up this way since I last wrote on the 31st. ult. I have seen Walter several times & a few days ago when I had been was round at Walter's billet Jocelyn Carr & Arnold Hazlewood dropped in. I thought Jocelyn was looking anything but well, & he was ever so much thinner than when I saw him last. I went round to see Wal on Sunday afternoon last & he was just about to go out to hear "Gipsy Smith" of whom you have doubtless heard. However on our way round to the meeting

[Page 103]
we met some fellow-officers of Walter's & stayed yarning; it was too late when we got round to the place: never mind; Gipsy is speaking again tonight & I am hoping to get round to hear him, & I think Wal will be there & also Rid.
On Monday Wal called up for me where I was working & as I happened to have the afternoon to spare we set off to hunt Rid up. We found him eventually, after a mistake as he has shifted to a new position on the line, & by the time we got home we had walked close on 10 miles & my word I was wasn't sorry to crawl into bed that night. The next day I had a lovely blister on my heel on

[Page 104]
account of the boots I was wearing being too big. My own are getting repaired & I am temporarily shod with Tommy boots which are brutes of things.
Wal goes into the line on Saturday next I think. I do hope he will pull through alright, for a man can't understand how things are until he gets on the scene of action & sees for himself. By the way, Father dearest I am afraid that Wal's last letter home was rather short & if so it is my fault for I interrupted him in the middle of it & we stayed yarning until he had to close it hurriedly in time to catch the Austln. mail
When we ran up to see Rid the other day, we bumped an

[Page 105]
old Chatswood boy whom Ol will probably remember viz:- Lieut Lindsay Cunningham. His younger brother Lieut:- Roy Cunningham was killed on the Peninsula. I am jogging along alright on my present job & am quite settled down to it. I am doing everything I can in the way of looking after the Colonel and I was rewarded the other day by the old gentleman expressing the pleasure & satisfaction I have been giving him. He is a kindly man & one that I would do almost anything I could for.
The weather here has been very choppy lately. Last week it was very hot & quite like summer, &

[Page 106]
now it has turned wet, wintry & cold.
I will send Ol a line or two during the week. I hope & trust that you are all keeping well & that the winter may not leave its trade mark at "Cairnleath" in the way of colds & coughs etc.
Am sending Anna a couple of arrangements that I suppose she would call handkerchiefs that I saw in a village shop one day
I am keeping in good health & strength. Some little time ago I had some trouble with my left ear (the same one that Dr Verge attended to last time) but I was fortunate in being

[Page 107]
able to hop across to the A.D.S (Advanced Dressing Station) every morning & get it syringed until it was better & it has since been no trouble at all to me.
One can't help noticing the extra long days or at least extra long time of daylight here
One day morning last week I was awakened from my slumbers by a mobile A.A (ant-aircraft) gun outside doing some barking & on looking at the time was surprised to see it hardly ½ past 3 although it was perfectly light & I am not sure that the sun was coming up to see what the row was about

[Page 108]
Then again I generally go to bed about dark, but I might say that it is generally ½ past 9 or ¼ to 10 before I turn in.
Suppose, as we do in Australia work for the farmers from daylight to dark, a man would want a smoko or two during the day wouldn't he?
And that reminds me. The other day a very amusing little incident happened. When Wal & I went up to see Rid he refreshed us with a cup of tea for which we were very grateful & before starting out to show us a few places of interest gave me a cigarette, took one himself, & after a bit of

[Page 109]
persuasion we got Wal to take on. Well all went well & we were going along when Wal turned round & gave me his cigarette saying "Here Le, finish this one for me: I've only had about 2 or 3 draws at it, & now I'm going to "puke."
Talk about laugh. Rid & I nearly choked laughing at poor old Wal.
Must close now, Daddy dear
Trusting you are all keeping well at "Cairnleath"
With much love to you & Mother dear, not forgetting Ol & Anna,
Your loving son,

[Page 110]
An Afterthought 7.6.16.
The mails for Australia close here as follows
June 1st
June 15th
July 13th
July 27th
So that after my next letter which (OV) will be dated June 14th there will be a spell of 4 weeks instead of only 2 as it is now. You will know then if you do not receive them for 3 or 4 weeks after the 15th mail closes.
I will write every week tho' in case it is altered
Love from Leo.

[Page 111]

My dear Anna,
Excuse this short scribble but I am just sending it along with a couple of nose-rags that I thought you might like.
I wonder if you got my last letter that I sent you from Serapeum. I have been kept pretty busy since then but I haven't forgotten you, & I often wonder how you are getting on. I was very glad to hear from Father that you are getting on so well at School & I hope you will get through your Exams in November alright.
Thank you so much dear for your letters to me. I have received them all, at least I have had 4 altogether & I was so glad to get them. You have no idea how welcome letters from Home or Australia, are out in these parts.
Accept the enclosed, dear, with much love,
Your loving brother,

[Page 112]
France R 7.8.16
14th June 1916.

My dearest Daddy,
A few days ago I received two letters from you,- one General Letter dated 10th of April & one 17th Apl enclosing a booklet. To-day I have just received two more from you dated 9th & 16th of April. Thank you so much for the very interesting news in them, for the advice re smoking etc & for the general comfort I got from them. By the same mail as I received your first two-mentioned letters I received one from Ol (from on board the Medina) dated 11.4.16, one from Mother, & one from Millie Jones. As soon as I had finished reading them I took them over to Walter. He was delighted to get the latest news from home & from Chatswood South, as his own letters were delayed on account of his joining up his Company.
Walter went into the trenches on Monday last. I saw quite a lot of him last week; I went out to where he was receiving special instruction in a certain part of warfare, & was quite sorry when he moved. It has been very wet & sloppy here for the last week, & Wal will get his first

[Page 113]
experience of trench-life in Flanders under very unfavourable conditions.
It is supposed to be summer here now, but I can tell you that we are very glad of our warm winter clothing & especially so at night when it turns very cold.
The wheat crops are well advanced here now and in less than a month harvest will be on us. The other evening Wal & I were walking back to his "possy." Time 8.P.M. Away ahead of us the sun was hardly just ready to disappear behind the clouds on the horizon. The clouds were like burnished gold. The fields on either side of us were crowded with wheat crops in ear but still green. Every now & then the rays of the setting sun caught the ears of wheat & made whole patches of them look as though they were ready for stripping. On our right two old French laborers were bending over, busy hoeing out weeds & thistles etc. It was then getting darker as the sun set, & theirthe men were clearly silhouetted. That picture that Ol has "Angelus" I think it is came into both of our mind's eye & set us thinking of the picture

[Page 114]
its owner, & other subjects near & dear to our hearts.
I think I explained in my last letter that after to-morrow (15th June) there won't be a mail closing for Australia until 13th July & then 27th July. At least this is what we have posted up as Official so I suppose it is fairly accurate. So that after you receive this mail you may or may not receive one for about 4 weeks. I will continue to write regularly every week, though, as I have an idea that mails will get through somehow or other.
I am keeping well, & I do hope you are the same, Father dear.
One of my mates who hails from Dungog by the way (Ory Clague) went on leave to England last week, & I made up all my negatives (54 in all) into a parcel & addressed them to you, giving him instructions to post them in London per registered post. I hope you receive them alright as I wouldn't like to lose them for there are a lot of valuable negatives among them valuable in the sense that I would never be able to replace them.

[Page 115]
Don't send me any proofs over though thank you Father as I will be able all being well to get a complete set when I return.
I am enclosing a note for Mother & also one for Ol.
How do you find this indelible pencil stands by the time it reaches Australia? Is it still legible?
Must close now with much love to you all
Your loving son,

[Page 116]
France R 21.8.16

My dearest Father,
Just the day after I posted my last letter to you on the 15th inst I received yours of 23rd of April for which I thank you very much.
Things have been much the same here since last mail. I went up on Saturday to where Rid is & together we went to that part of the trenches where Wal is. I was very thankful to find him unscratched even and I sincerely hope & pray that he will pull through none the worse for it.
It is a miserably wet tonight & in fact has been raining on & off for the whole week. Naturally everything is very muddy & sloppy

[Page 117]
One thing about it though. It seems to get away or dry up very quickly in these parts.
I received a letter from Ol from Colombo today which I will answer next week. I see that there is a mail closing in a week's time (on June 29th) for Australia so that I will be able to get another letter off to you 'tween this & then, all being well.
There is very little news of interest in these parts.
The people with whom I am billeted at present have a pair of rabbits in a hutch affair They think the world of them

[Page 118]
& give them all sorts of luxuries to eat in the way of lettuces turnips
It is very quiet here on the whole. My life is really like a piece of clockwork with the same regularity & occasionally something out of the ordinary to rouse one.
Mosquitoes are beginning to make themselves felt here now
I have never in all my life seen such fine strawberries as I did locally the other day. Three or four

[Page 119]
of them were fully 2 inches across by an inch thick Growing here & ripe at present are strawberries, raspberries, red currants, cherries & gooseberries
The beans are coming on well, & in fact all the vegetables are looking well
Must close this note now Will write encore by the mail on 29th inst.
With much love to all at home,
Your loving son

[Page 120]
France R 21.8.16
28th June 1916.

My dearest Father,
The Austln. Mail closes again tomorrow, & I am glad, very glad that you won't have to wait for a month this time before hearing from France as I was thinking you would when I last wrote.
I had a surprise visit from Wal this afternoon It was only a brief visit as he was pretty busy. He had come up from the line & I was very thankful to see him safe & sound. I told him I was writing home tonight & he said to let you know he was in splendid health & keeping well. He has been kept very busy with his work & unable to write as fully as possible
It is raining again tonight & the weather here lately is just about ideal for ducks etc. rain mud, & slush, & then for a change slush, mud & rain, week in week out. I suppose it is a soldier's privilege to growl though. It isn't a bad sign when the weather is the only thing a man can find to growl at though.

[Page 121]
I haven't seen Rid since he & I went up to see Wal in his dug-out. He had a cold in his chest at the time, which caused his voice to give out but he was recovering the use of it gradually
I am keeping well & everything is running smoothly here. I hope you are all keeping in good health, & free from the usual winter complaints.
About a fortnight ago I sent a parcel containing all my Egyptian negatives which I hope reached you safely.
Must close now With love to you all at "Cairnleith,"
Your loving son,

[Page 122]
Field Service Post Card stamped Jy 24 16 and addressed to:
J. Waterhouse Esq. M.A.
Archer St
New South Wales.

[Page 123]
Nothing is to be written on this side except the date and signature of the sender. Sentences not required may be erased. If anything else is added the post card will be destroyed.

I am quite well.
I have received your letters dated 7.5.16 15.5.16 11.5.16 21.5.16 23.5.16 29.5.16
Letter follows at first opportunity
Dvr. J.L.L. Waterhouse
21st July 1916

[Page 124]
France R 7.9.16
24th July 1916.

My dearest Father,
I know you will be be very disappointed at not hearing from me by last mail, but it is has been absolutely impossible for me to get a line posted until two days ago when I sent off a Field Post Card with this letter to follow it. Since I last wrote which was about a fortnight ago if I remember rightly we have been constantly on the move & are hundreds of miles from my last writing place. An army on the move entails a tremendous lot of work, & we had our hands absolutely full. Never for more than a day & a half at one place not so much the writing as the dispatching of letters was out of the question. We are settling down again & our incoming mail has of course been delayed. This morning, however, I received a big budget of Australian mail, & I am very glad to have a number of your letters among them. These letters are as follows 7th, 11th, 15th, 21st, 23rd, and 29th of May. It was glorious to get such an interesting budget from you Father dear & I thank you so much for your very interesting news
So far I have received all your letters & I have been keeping a list of dates etc rec'd for revision.
I have only once heard from Perce Linin, & it was through Walter when he was at Etaples in which he said Perce was there in Hospital (sick).
You should have heard long before this reaches you that I received notification from the Commonwealth

[Page 125]
Bank London that the £10, cabled by you was there at my disposal. I haven't been able to get to the Old Country yet but hope to do so before I return to Australia. Thank you so much Father dear for replying to the cable so promptly If I could have known how things have turned out I certainly shouldn't have asked for it just yet.
I met Jocelyn once not long ago, but we were very busy at the time & I couldn't spare my much time. He is in the 5th F. Amb. & one of the Medical Officers is Captain Clem Chapman whom you will probably remember at the S.H.S. I caught sight of him the other day but so far have not been able to see him to speak to.
Thank you so much for sending out the blank paper & envelopes. The former is scarce here now & you see I am making use of some you have sent. I would like you to continue sending the paper, please but not the envelopes as now & again we are issued with the Green Envelopes otherwise our letters have to be censored by our O.C.
There are incidents & adventures I could tell you about if I was permitted, but I must refrain until I get back. I have some interesting German souvenirs with me & if only I can hang on to them till I get back they will be very interesting to you at home.
I am keeping in splendid health, & in fact haven't had

[Page 126]
a day's sickness since I've been in France.
The weather here has been very variable. We are still getting a good deal of wet sloppy stuff & I think sometimes it is far preferable to the thick clouds of dust & muck we are at present experiencing.
I saw Wal for about 10 minutes about a fortnight ago for about ½ an hour & he was looking very well & said he felt tip-top. I have been very anxious about him since his company has been in Action the last 3 days & can find out nothing, so must hope that no news is good news, as he has made arrangements that Rid & I should be advised at once if he gets knocked or wounded.
In case you should not receive letters from me for some time I will always send endeavour to send a Field Service Card to let you know I am O.K. There is some talk about blocking us from writing any more letters from the line here & if that the rumour is true we will only be allowed to send the F.S. Card.
I trust you are all keeping well, & that Ol has practically settled down again now.

[Page 127]
I am enclosing a short note to her & am sending her two X Xs which I hope she will receive alright
By the same mail I received a letter from Mother dated 14/5/1916. Thank you Mumie dear for your lovely note & news contained in it.
I saw Rid about 10 days ago- one Saturday evening. He was going to hold a service in the village the next day, but the next day we were hard at it on the move. Marvellous? 9 times out of 10 that we move it is on Sunday.
Must close now with best love to you all at home.
Your loving son,

[Page 128]
My dearest Father,
I am posting these developed negatives from London under Registered Postage. Don't bother about sending any prints back, Dad dear, but there are some interesting ones among them & I have explained them all. There are none that the Military would prohibit.
Love from Leo
R 24.7.16

[Page 129]
Page has been folded to make an envelope addressed
John Waterhouse Esq. M.A.
Archer St
N. S. W.

[Page 130]
Field Service Post Card addressed to J. Waterhouse Esq. M.A. as before. Postmarked Au 9 16.

[Page 131]
I am quite well .
I have received your letter dated 1st June 16.
Letter follows at first opportunity.
J. Leo L Waterhouse.
5th August 1916.
R. 21.9.16.

[Page 132]
France R. 22.9.16
5th August 1916.

My dearest Father,
You will forgive me if this is a short note but I hear there is a mail leaving for Australia tomorrow & there is just the slightest chance of catching it. Last Sunday I found out where Walter was & went out to see him. I was thankful to find him quite well, & so far A.1. as I had heard he had been wounded. He was quite himself & I thought he looked better than I've seen him for some time He paid me a surprise visit again this afternoon, & said he was on the move again tomorrow. I understood him to say he had forwarded a cable to you stating he was O.K. Very busy these days. I have received all your letters to date 1st June for which I thank you very much. Quite summer weather here now more like Egyptian than anything- very hot in day & very cold with often a heavy dew at night. Wal showed me a letter from you dated June 14th in which Ol had just reached home
Trust she is well, unable to write her this mail. Must also thank Anna for her interesting letter of June 1st & must at same time congratulate her on the results of her School Exams.
Arnold Hazlewood has been knocked but I don't

[Page 133]
know definitely how he fared through it.
Everywhere signs of harvest but labor seems very scarce in this country now.
I am keeping in good health & strength & trust you are all well at home.
Any amount of work in hand to keep us going, & last few weeks writing of any sort has been impossible other than Field Service cards.
Haven't seen anything of Rid for 4 or 5 weeks now but Wal said this afternoon he had seen him recently & that he was keeping well.
Must close now with love to all at home
Your loving son,

[Page 134]
12th Aug. 1916

My dear Father,
Your letter of 11th June to hand yesterday, for which I thank you very much. Walter dropped in to see me for about 10 minutes this afternoon, & I thought he was looking very well. We are all on the move again tomorrow so that I suppose it will be some time before I see him again.
Very hot here this week even for summer, but the nights are always cool, & often cold.
Harvesting operations are in full swing here now, & it is an eye-opener to see the way the women work. They have the Massey-Harris

[Page 135]
binders at work, & the women folk know every bit as much about them as the men. Only the other day I saw an old man just able to work & unfit for Military Service cutting a paddock of about 250 acres & he had 5 women following him up stooking
I have been getting all your letters regularly so far, thank you, Father dear, & was very pleased to see that Ol reached home safe & sound.
I expect by now that she is quite settled down in her new-old surroundings.
We are continually on the move & thus see quite a lot of the

[Page 136]
Haven’t seen Rid for about 6 weeks now. Wal told me yesterday that he saw him a week or so back & that he was well then.
I am keeping well, & so far have had no renewal of the ear trouble that I had the first few weeks I was in France.
I had a very interesting letter from Lawry 2 days ago.
Very good snapshot of "Loloma," & also one of Lawry digging.
Did I tell you that Clem Chapman has his 3 stars up now. He is

[Page 137]
attached to the same Ambulance as Jocelyn.
Walters old chum at H. A. College Gosling" is in same unit as myself.
Must close now, with love to Ol, Mother, & Anna, & much to yourself, Father dear,
Your loving son,

[Page 138]
Field Service Post Card stamped Au 14 16 and addressed as before to J Waterhouse Esq. M.A. and received 2.10.16

[Page 139]
I am quite well.
I have received your letter dated 11.6.16
Letter follows at first opportunity.
Dvr. J Leo L Waterhouse.
Date 12th Aug 1916

[Page 140]
19th Aug 16

My dearest Father,
I must thank you for your letter dated 10th July that came to hand this afternoon. This is the one that came by the "Sierra" via Frisco. The other letter mentioned by has not turned up so far.
I haven’t seen anything of Wal or Rid since I last wrote, but yesterday I met Davies who is looking after Walter & he told me W. was O.K.
I am keeping well & trust this finds you all in good health.
Very wet & muddy here again & makes things very sloppy & unpleasant
Aust. mail closes tomorrow morning Excuse short note but no news doing at present.
Love to you all at home,
Your loving son,

[Page 141]
Envelope addressed as before to J. Waterhouse Esq. M.A. postmarked at Field Post Office and bearing the censor’s stamp

[Page 142]
27th Aug 1916.

My dearest Father,
Since I last wrote to you on the 20th Inst. I have received two letters from you viz:- yours of the 24th June on Sunday last, & today I have just received yours of 10th. July. Thank you very much for them Father dear, & also for the 2 prints of the photos of the picnic I was very glad & pleased to get the photos. I think that you Mother & Ol are looking well according to the camera, & that An is quite fat, at any rate, fatter than when I left. This last letter you remember, was posted the same time as the one you sent via Frisco The one via Frisco reached me 8 days (i.e on 19th inst.) ago whereas the other one only arrived to-day.
This letter leaves here on 4th proxo (Sept) via Vancouver, so you might please let me know when it reaches you
We are having fine but windy weather & it seems very strange weather for

[Page 143]
harvesting operations. These are now in full swing, & at every turn one sees wheat & other crops, either being cut by hand or machinery, or else ready stooked in the paddocks waiting to be carted in.
I haven’t seen anything of either Walter of Rid since I last wrote. Long ere this I suppose you will have heard of Wal’s getting the Military Cross. Isn’t it bonzer eh, dad. I haven’t had the opportunity of wringing his hand in congratulation. Well, I wish him luck, & I know he deserves it, & hope & pray he gets through O.K. to enjoy it.
This is the first time I think since I left Australia that I’ve been able to realize it is Sunday. I suppose the reason is, that for the first time for many months I have had very little to do. Up till now, I have had to go as hard on Sundays as any other day, but a temporary change has altered matters for a day or so & thus I have more time to myself. I have seized the opportunity of & have

[Page 144]
put in most of the day reading, writing & sleeping- in fact I was asleep when your letter was brought into the tent with some for the other boys.
I am very pleased to hear that dear old Mrs. Morrison is still keeping well. Please remember me kindly to her, Father dear, & tell her I hope I will be able to shake her by the hand before long, if I am spared.
I am keeping in splendid health & am in tip-top spirits.
Must close now with love to you all at home,
Your loving son,
[Sideways on page] 1st Sept.
Three or 4 days ago Wal paid me a surprise visit & I found out then where he was camped & yesterday I went out & paid him a birthday visit. I was able to give him later home news than he had received. He was looking well, & will probably be writing by this mail also Drenching rains.
Love Leo.

[Page 145]
Flanders [obliterated by censor]
9th Sept 16.

My dearest Father,
There has been no Australian mail to hand since I last wrote on 3rd inst. Haven’t seen anything of Wal since his birthday a week ago. Suppose you know he is a 2 star artist now. The days are gradually closing in now, & it won’t be long before winter is on us again.
I am keeping well, & trust this finds all at "Cairnleith" in good health.
No word from Rid since he first informed me he was wounded, so must take it for granted he is getting on alright. Very cold nights here now,
Love from Leo.

[Page 146]
Letter headed O.A.S. addressed to J. Waterhouse Esq. as before and posted Sp 10 16. Censor’s stamp and signature present.

[Page 147]
16th Sept 16.

My dearest Father,
Your two letters of 23rd & 30th July reached me on 10th & today, respectively, this latter via the "Ventura" Thank you very much, Father dear for all your very interesting & welcome letters
I am very glad to hear the set of films arrived safely, as there are some good ones among them & will be interesting "après la guerre."
We are making preparations for, & are gradually settling down for the winter. We have already had a taste of it here, & judging from the sample, it promises to be- invigorating to put it mildly- freezing to put it straight.
The days are fine though none too warm but once the sun sets it is quite chilly.
The excessive rains we have had here recently have hung up the harvest to a certain extent but it is nearly all finished round here & the people are busy hop-picking. This seems to be very monotonous work even though not hard.
I saw Walter 3 or 4 days ago when he

[Page 148]
dropped in for a cup of tea. Poor kid he was having a bad time with a crook tooth he had. I hope he has been able to get it fixed up before this.
I am keeping in splendid health & strength & putting on weight. Have a sort of witlow on right forefinger, but am treating it with caustic.
Must close now, hoping this finds you all in the best of health,
With much love to you all
Your loving son

[Page 149]

Postscript at top: Had a p/c from Carl Hansen (Nurse Hansen's brother) from London Hosp. where he had been sent wounded. Leo.

My dearest Father,
Saw Wal two or three times last week.- Went to his possy one afternoon & spent the afternoon with him, following afternoon we went into town, and saw him again for a short time again yesterday.
He is was expecting to shortly get his leave to England & was looking forward to a good time.
No word from Rid yet since the first note, so must hope that no news is good news.
Haven't heard any more about my leave yet but expect it won't be very long now before I get it.
We have had it bitterly cold & very wet weather here since I last wrote a week ago.
Please tell Olwen I received her letter of Aug 7th yesterday, with many thanks, but am unable to answer it this mail.
Am keeping in splendid health. Trust this finds you all well at home.
With much love to all,
Your loving son

[Page 150]
1st Oct 1916.

My dearest Father,
Very little news of interest this week. There has been no Australian Mail in since I last wrote I saw Wal for a few minutes last week & he was in good health. He was expecting to get his leave almost at any time.
I have not heard anything more about my leave so expect I will be very lucky if I get it this side of Christmas.
My chief went on leave again yesterday so that I will have an easy time of it till he returns
All our clocks here were retarded an hour at midnight last night, so that we are now working to the same time as we were last June before they were advanced.
We have been having lovely Autumn weather here this past week but it is very much like rain again to-night.
Must close now with love to you all at home
Your loving son,

[Page 151]
France R 23.12.16
19th Oct 16

My dearest Father,
By last nights mail I received your very welcome letter of 3rd Sept. also Ols of same date. Thank you both for news & letters they are very eagerly looked for I can assure you.
As I write the rain is pouring down, & has done so on & off for the past 48 hours. As a result the ground & roads are very sloppy & wet
A very pretty picture presents itself as I write here for we have only been here a few days. Looking away over cultivation paddocks in the distance is the village church with its big square tower looking very grand & imposing. A white, (though at present muddy) road winds from the church past my billet, on one side of which is a combined hedge of holly, hawthorn, & blackberries which by the way are quite ripe now, & many a feed I've had in this country during the past few weeks of ripe blackberries. Dotted among the paddocks which are green with horse-radishes, & a kind of very coarse turnips, are the red-roofed farm houses In one corner of a paddock, now lying fallow

[Page 152]
are 3 or 4 haystacks- the result of the last year's harvest
I have seen a good bit of the district during the past week, & some of the very picturesque views that open up of the countryside are truly beautiful.
Voting took place today on the Conscription Referendum; personally I should like to see Conscription come into force, & of course voted accordingly; there is something to be said for both sides of the country question, but I think the pros outweigh the cons.
I am keeping in splendid health, & so far have been quite free from colds, & coughs, I am thankful to say. I was noticing the other day that the hole in the drum of the ear that Dr. Verge attended to about 6 months before I enlisted has closed right up. Whether it has grown together or whether is has filled up with wax I can't say but I never have any trouble with it. I haven't seen anything of Walter for close on a month now, but heard a few days ago he was O.K.
Must close now with love to all at home,
Your loving son,

[Page 153]
Havre, France.
Saturday 10.11.16.

My dearest Father,
You will be surprised, no doubt, to find me writing from this address, but when I tell you I am on my way to England on leave you will understand. Things were running on smoothly much as usual a week ago, last Monday to be correct, when a notice was posted up at H.Q. saying that those requiring Leave had better apply. I saw the Colonel about it & receiving his permission, put in wrote out my application in writingto our Camp Commandant, handing it to Colonel Sturdee before putting it in to the C.C. at the Colonel's request. He endorsed it & adding a note in which he strongly recommended it. This was on Tuesday morning
On Wednesday at 12 o'clock I was greatly surprised to be told my application was granted & that I was to go on leave the following day. At 1 o'clock (an hour later) a despatch came through from Army H.Q. canceling all Leave for the Division. I didn't think any more about it until 7 o'clock that night when the Colonel called me aside & told me he was trying to push my leave through for me, as he was very anxious I should go

[Page 154]
as "he said" he was highly pleased with the way I had served him. He was aware of the Order but there was a technical point that he worked on & said he would try to push it through. Half an hour later my pass for Glasgow (Scotland) where I had asked for, was handed me with instructions to catch a train at 8.30 the same evening. It caught me on the hop, so to speak, & I scurried round & packed up everything as the Division is likely to move before I return. I saw the Field Cashier, but he would only pay me what was coming to me on the book which was £7. Up till a month ago, men on leave could get an advance of £5 to £10 beside what was due to them. One of my first things then when I get to London will be to send you another cable as follows:- John Waterhouse, "Cairnleith," Chatswood. Cable ten twelve same bank London, waiting, well. Jabez Leonard Waterhouse." You remember when I cabled before I got word from the London Bank saying the money was waiting for me. Soon after this, a mate of mine from Dungog, got notice much the same as I did to go on leave, & told

[Page 155]
me he would be unable to go, as he wouldn't have time to get money from Australia, & hadn't any coming to him. After finding out I wouldn't get my leave for some months, I made the papers over, & fixed everything up so that he would be able to draw the £10 waiting for me. At the time I fully believed his promise to repay the debt within a few months. I have got been paid for my trouble, by the fact that he has only paid £4 out of the £10 although it was last June that this transaction took place I was fool enough to believe him-but never again.
[Torn page –some text missing] preparing against it to a certain extent but [missing text] £7 credit, not expecting my own leave [missing textat] short a notice. However I will send you [missing text] cable as stated above, & will be very glad if you could arrange matters conveniently.
After bustling round I got down to the nearest Railway Station about 8, only to find the last train, for Havre had left at 6. Havin However after enquiries, I found that a train left a little station about 6 miles distant at 8 o'clock the following morning. I made my way there on foot

[Page 156]
4. & arrived pretty tired about 11 pm. I was fortunate in finding a table in an old shed where I lay camped as best I could. I reported to the R. T. O. (railway transfer Officer) at 7 am the following morning who told me the train would get away at 9. His 9 turned out to be 12.15. & then it took us till 7 that night to do 30 miles. Here we were shoved into a Rest Camp, & I managed to get some dry bed & cheese for supper, the first feed I had had since morning. I camped in to a sort of Office on the siding that night, & was awakened at 2 A.M. by a sergeant who said the train was leaving almost at once. You can imagine how disgusted I was when, after being pulled out at that hour, the train didn't leave till ¼ past 1 (PM) Then we came on & got here at ½ past 9 last night. There was a boat across to England at midnight but they said they couldn't take us. (About 250 Tommies & 10 or 15 Australians are waiting to go across) So they shoved us into another Rest Camp here, & the latest is we have to report at 8.30 tonight, boat leaves at 10 PM. Of course it is pretty sure that

[Page 157]
I can get the leave pass extended the extra 3 days it has taken me to get this far. It is to be hoped that we do cross the Channel tonight altho' it will mean arriving in London on Sunday morning which is not at all desirable.
I will write again from London. I am keeping well & trust this finds you the same.
Must close now with love to you all
Your loving son,

[Page 158]
18 Endsleigh Gardens
Euston, London.
14th Nov. 1916.
Postscript at top: My leave expires today week (21-11-16) so that I have 10 clear days in London.

My dearest Father,
Here I am in London at last, not a dream but in actual reality. I wrote to you 3 or 4 days ago whilst in Havre waiting for the Channel boat We crossed that night. (Saturday) leaving about midnight & arriving at Southampton about ½ past 8. Arrived in London about 12 & came straight out to above address which was recommended by a chum who stayed here in July last. I expect you are wondering what I think of London. It fairly took me off my feet, & I haven't found them again yet. Arriving on Sunday I couldn't do very much,- Got to bed soon after 7 & had a complete rest. Couldn't sleep for a long time, because I couldn't get used to the white sheets & soft mattress
I have only been in London two nights so far & on both occasions it has come up very foggy about 5 o'clock so that by 7 or 8 it is impossible to see a yard in front of you.
Last night I went to see a fine play called Romance which was really a fine drama.

[Page 159]
Got lost for an hour or two trying to find my way home. London streets are in total darkness on account of Zepps.
Yesterday morning I sent a cable to you via Eastern. "Cable twelve same bank London waiting well" (to) Waterhouse "Cairnleith" Chatswood, & signed my name Jabez Leonard Waterhouse. When I went to the Commonwealth Bank H. O. this morning to tell them I was expecting a remittance through they told me I couldn't expect a reply under 3 weeks so that if this is the case I will be on the rocks. However when I sent that last cable for £10 I had a reply from London saying the money was available in 5 or 6 days after I sent the cable. At this rate I ought to get the reply in the course of a few days.
I am having a lazy, easy going rest, & my word it is a thorough change from the indescribable mud & filth of France & Flanders.
I am thinking of taking a run up to Glasgow before I return. When I left I got my leave ticket made out for Glasgow, so I might as well make the most of the opportunity.
I am going to have a look at Westminster Abbey & the Tower of London tomorrow all being well.

[Page 160]
I am keeping in splendid health & am thoroughly enjoying the change into totally different surroundings.
About the cable, Dad, Whatever expenses are incurred in the transmission of it, please deduct from my a/c.
It will only be the matter of time before I get the additional remaining balance of £6 due to me out of the £10 that I explained about in my last letter.
Must close now, Father dearest,
With best love to you all at home
Your loving son,

[Page 161]
London E. C.
Sunday 19th Nov 16

My dearest Father,
Another Sunday has come round, a wet, cold, & miserable day. I am sitting by the fire, writing, for we have been having very wintry weather here. Yesterday morning when I opened & my eyes & looked out I was astonished to find it was snowing. It continued till about mid-day- not very heavy certainly, but still enough to say it was snow.
I haven't been about very much since I've been over it has been so beastly cold. After breakfast I settle in front of the fire with a book & often don't stir till lunch- time
I went down to Essex last week & looked up Percy Limn's people. I met his Mother who is a very nice woman, & I stayed to lunch with her. Perce himself is in one of the hospitals & is very bad with rheumatism, contracted whilst in Flanders.
I have in my possession now, a piece of aluminium, which was once part of the framework of the first Zeppelin brought down on English soil.

[Page 162]
by Lieut. Robinson at Cuffley some few months ago. If I get back to Australia with it it will rank among one of my best souvenirs "a la guerre." I have been to a good number of the picture shows in London & they are fine especially the music.
I return to France on Tuesday next, & can assure you I am not looking forward to it at all. I have been having a thorough holiday since I've been over here instead of rushing like mad all over the country.
I have been to the Bank every day to see if the remittance I cabled for, has come through but up till yesterday it hadn't, so I believe the Sydney Bank are holding it up. I ran right out of funds about three days ago, & am just hanging on as best I can in the hope that it will come through before I return. Our Agent General for N.S.W can't do anything neither will the Head Quarters of the A.I.F. although they have got a complete hold on us whilst we are in the Military. However it will all come right

[Page 163]
in time. The whole trouble was that I received such short notice to come on Leave otherwise I would have cabled before & thus had the money awaiting me.
I have cancelled my proposed trip to Glasgow chiefly on account of monetary difficulties. I am hanging on alright though with a few shillings I got for my watch & fountain pen.
I am going to Wesley Chapel tonight to hear one of one our Methodist Preachers over here. It will be the first church service I have been able to attend since leaving Egypt.
Must close now, Father dearest, with love to you all at home.
Your loving son,

[Page 163]
France R. 27.1.17

My dearest Father,
After a fairly good time in "Blighty" for 9 days I reached my Unit again last Saturday. I left Waterloo Station (London) at 4 o'clock the previous Tuesday with some other 1500 Tommies returning from leave like myself. We did the 88 miles to Southampton in exactly 2 hours but did not leave the wharf till 8 P.M. I slept most of the 8 hours it took us to cross to Havre & then our troubles started. Bumped from pillar to post, shoved into rest -camps here there & everywhere (all the time without tucker) we finally on Friday morning about 6 a.m were finally "imyshed" out of the train some 14 kilometres from where our Unit was reported to be. We footed it in &reported, only to be told the Unit had moved a week previously. On to another train which left that night & had only got a few hundred yards

[Page 164]
before it hit another train. We all got off with a shaking but it delayed us a few hours. We eventually found our Unit about 8 am the next morning. I reported & went about my duties. I found the Colonel had left for Australia (via England) whilst I was away & I was very glad for the old gentleman has been out since August 1914- right through Gallipoli- & so he fully deserves his spell. I was very sorry I wasn't able to say Good bye to him, & he expressed the same to one of the other officers, & stated how pleased he had been with my care of him.
He was a man I had a very high respect for & was a thorough gentleman in every sense of the word. I noticed a paragraph in the paper yesterday where the King presented him with

[Page 165]
the C.M.G before leaving England for Australia. Just about lunch time on Saturday (about 4 hours after I returned) I was taken ill with severe pains in stomach especially on the right side. I got word down to our M.O. & after examining me he packed me off in an ambulance to the Hospital. They operated about 10 o'clock that night for appendicitis & I am now doing well. I am at present in No 1 New Zealand Stationary Hospital, France, & they are treating me very well. I don't know where I will go to after I leave here probably in another 7 or 8 days but will write later & let you know. Just before I was taken

[Page 166]
sick I heard about Wally being wounded. I couldn't get any details, so have written to Rid to see if he can give me any. Just before I came to hospital I got a budget of letters among which were yours of the following dates:- 10th, 11th, 17th, & 24th of Sept for which I thank you very much Thank you also for snap of Ol. I believe Mrs Limn's address at present is Mrs P.J. Limn 172 Botany Road Botany Sydney. When I get out of Hospital I am going to transfer back to Ambulance as Stretcher bearer. Keep to present address though until further notice.
Love to all at home,
Your loving son,

[Page 167]
Hospital Redirection Card.
On the admission of a Soldier to Hospital this card should be filled in and forwarded to his next-of-kin.
Transferred to England
Number 6359 Dvr Waterhouse 1st Aust. DHQ
has been admitted to No.1 General Hospital .

[Other details on standard form not filled in as not relevant]

[Page 168]
Post Card Recd. 26.1.17
Advice of Admission to Hospital and addressed to
J Waterhouse Esq M.A.
Archer St
New South Wales

[Page 169]
No 1 London General Hospital R 19.2.17
London 18/12/16

My dearest Father,
You will be pleased to hear that I am up again & am getting about slowly after my operation. They transferred me from Rouen to the above address on Sat Monday last, & the Hospital boat we crossed the Channel on was the "Wondilla" who used to be on the Australian-Tasmania run She is fitted up splendidly & is very comfortable The doctor gave me an overhaul the day after I came in & said I was progressing satisfactorily I got up yesterday for the first time & feel alright other than a terrible looseness in the head. We are having awful weather at present. The electric lights in the ward are on all day on account of the heavy fogs outside which make it pitch dark Needless to say it is very cold & miserable, but the ward is nice & warm so that we don't notice it so much.
The nurses & sisters are very good to us here & do anything they can to help us

[Page 170]
I haven't succeeded yet in finding out where Wally is but I have several enquiries going & expect to hear anyday now. As soon as I am able to get out I will go round & see for myself how he is getting on
It is a great relief to me to realise that I have the appendix out at last The operating doctor (Major Stout) from New Zealand made an excellent job of it, & in 12 months time, even though it is a 6 inch horizontal cut, there will scarcely be any sign of a scar.
I am hoping to be back in the line in about a month or 6 weeks time from now, but being Military, have to do what I am told
I sincerely trust you are all keeping well at home, & not finding the summer too trying
With love to you all at home,
Your loving son

[Page 171]
No 1 London Genl Hosp. R 22.2.17
London 19-12-16

My dearest Father,
I am enclosing in this mail a few snapshots that I have taken fairly recently- mostly when we were in the Ypres section. Nothing important of course but a few sidelights in our life. I will forward the negatives on later.
I am getting on very well. Was outside for about an hour yesterday but it was too cold to be enjoyable.
I received a letter from the Commonwealth Bank yesterday saying that a remittance for £12 had arrived from the Sydney Bank & was at my disposal. This is the amount I cabled for when I was on leave a short time ago. Thank you very much, Father dear for sending it as I asked. It will be very useful at present as I am unable to draw any on my paybook under War Regulations
I haven't heard where Walter is yet, but hope to hear very soon bow.
The weather has brightened up considerably

[Page 172]
and though cold & frosty it is fine at last.
We had a nocturnal air visitor last night For over an hour the droning of the Zep engines was plainly heard with an occasional sharper hum of our planes in pursuit. Whilst the "sky larking" was going on, I dropped off to sleep, so didn't hear if any damage was done.
The brown-toned photo of Ypres Cathedral is one that was given to me so I haven't any negative of it. The larger one was also given me. It was taken at Brown's Dip (Anzac) & shows corpses of Australian soldiers laid out prior to burying. No negative of this either. I will send the negatives of the others on later
Must close now with love to you all
Your loving son,

[Page 173]
Australian Imperial Force. Recd 8.1.17 J. M.
Base Record Office,
Victoria Barracks,
Melbourne. 3rd Jany 1917.

Dear Sir,
I regret to advise you that information has been received to the effect that No. 6359 Driver J. L. L. Waterhouse was admitted to the 1st London General Hospital 11.12 16 suffering from Appendicitis.
His postal address will therefore be:-
Sick. No. 6359 Driver J.L.L. W Waterhouse ,
1st Australian Divisional headquarters
In 1st London General Hospital,
c/o A.I.F. headquarters,
130 Horseferry Road,
Westminster, London. S.W.

To ensure speedy delivery the endorsement "SICK" should be written prominently in red ink.
Any further reports received will be promptly transmitted.
Yours faithfully
J. M. Lean. Major,
Officer i/c Base Records.
Mr J. Waterhouse
Archer St.
Chatswood. NSW.

[Page 174]
Commonwealth of Australia
Postmaster-General's Department, New South Wales.
CABLEGRAM. Letterhead.

[indecipherable] London Sth 16 12.20 initials
Waterhouse Cairnleith Chat.
operation appendicitis Convalescent fit Walter splendid five Cabled for yesterday fourth January
Waterhouse. Recd 8.1.17

[Page 175]
Friday 5.1.17.

My dearest Father,
You will have (by the time this reaches you) learnt that I was operated on for appendicitis at Amiens in France at the end of November (29th). After a week in the hospital the (1st N.Z. General) they sent me as a stretcher case to No 6 General at Rouen. There for a week & then again as a stretcher case to 1st. London General at Camberwell (S.E.)
Whilst in France on the way to No 1 N.Z. I heard that Wally had been wounded but could get no particulars at all
As soon as I got to London I sent an enquiry card to the A.I.F. Offices in London asking for particulars as to Wal's wound & where he was sent to. Back came the reply that he was in the 3rd London General at Wandsworth (S.W) & giving the particulars you already know. As I then sent a letter to Wally, & as soon as I possibly could walk I went out to No. 3. & found Wally, who was greatly pleased & surprised to see me as he had no idea I was in England. I stayed as long as I could (as I was only out on

[Page 176]
pass for 2 hours) & went again as soon as I could get another pass. This was on the Saturday before New Year's Day. On New Years Day I was discharged from Hospital & had to report to the H.Q London I was very uncertain whether they would put me in a convalescent camp or give me sick furlough (14 days)
It took me till 3 from 9 AM till 3 to get fixed up at A.I.F Offices & they finally gave me the furlough. This pleased me as I would far rather have furlough now, than convalescence as it gives me an opportunity of visiting Walter almost every day. I am making the most of the opportunity & go out to Wandsworth every other day. I thought Wal looked very bad the first time I saw him, & indeed he was, but every time since that I have been in he seems much brighter & more like his old self. He has had a rough time of it & is still having a lot of pain. Through it all not a word of complaint escapes him: I have been

[Page 177]
in once or twice whilst the sister has been dressing the wound. It is an awful gash, & altho' he it must be agonising for him, not even a moan expresses the pain he goes through. He is as brave & courageous as any man in the Army, & my word, Daddy, he had a narrow squeak.
On Monday afternoon as soon as I had fixed up at HeadQuarters, I went down to Essex to Percy Limn's mothers' place at his very pressing invitation. Perce himself was home over the New Year, & I stayed the night with him, & came up to London the next morning. There we separated Perce going back to the Hospital he is attached to, & I going out to Walter. I have been dodging between No 3 to see Walter & No 1 to see a mate of mine who is in there with trench feet.
I am due to report at Salisbury Plains on 16th inst. Between this & then I am going to see if I can get a job for 3 months light duty at one

[Page 178]
of the Australian General Hospitals in England. When I get back to Salisbury I have to go before a Medical Board who will consider my case & class me accordingly A class (Active Service Abroad) B Class ( 3 to 6 months light duty in England) C Class (Permanent duty in England for duration.)
On Saturday 30th Decr. I posted a book to you. It was one that was given to me at Christmas & as I haven't space to carry it round with me I have sent it home. Then on 3rd Jany. I went to the N.S.W. Govt. Offices in London & through them sent a cable to you asking for £5 to carry on with. I signed it "Jabez Leonard W..." & was told it would go through the premier's office. I think in my previous letter I acknowledged the cable for £12 you sent through the Bank of A'sia. Then yesterday I sent a week-end cable "Operation appendicitis convalescent fit, Walter splendid five cabled for yesterday." Waterhouse. Must close with love to you all
Your loving son

[Page 179]
Daddy dear,
I am sending you out 3 copies of the "Mirror", one of Londons dailies with a photo of Wally on the front page taken in the 3rd L.G.H. just after he was presented with his Military Cross.
I am off back to Camp now at Salisbury Plains to go before a Medical Board before returning to France.
Very cold here today. It is has been snowing all night & the snow is falling still. In Kent I hear it is 10 ft thick. At Essex (Woodford) where I was staying with the Limns it was about 8" thick this morning.
Love to all. I am keeping well.

[Page 180]
Australian Commonwealth Military Forces letterhead.
No 1 Command Depot.
Perham Downs
Harts 17/1/17.

My dearest father,
By the time this reaches you I expect & hope you will have Walter back in Australia once again He will be able to give you the latest news about myself & also supply any points about this letter of which you may appear hazy. Walter was to have left Charing Cross Station for the boat last Sunday morning. I saw him two days previous to sailing starting & sent him a wire the same night which he acknowledged by letter the following day. Yesterday (Tuesday) I was due to report at the above address on the conclusion of my 14 days sick furlough from Hospital. The first part of the furlough I spent in London (at Euston) so as to be handy to Wandsworth where Wally was. The last 10 days however I spent at Woodford in Essex at the home of Percy Limn's mother; there I had the time of my life & enjoyed myself thoroughly. They are extremely nice, homely people & made me feel quite at home.
Time slipped by all too quickly & the time for returning (the 16th inst) came. On awaking at Woodford on my last morning there, I saw the ground the pure white occasioned by snow which was on the ground some 4 or 5 inches thick. This was the second

[Page 181]
occasion I had seen it like this, and really, Daddy it wasn’t a fit morning to turn a dog out. However I duly arrived at Perham Downs, here, which are part of Salisbury Plains. A bleaker or more desolate place would be harder to find. The whole place which is undulating country is one big Military Camp & crowded with long grayish coloured huts. We have 30 men in our hut & are fairly comfortable. The main thing is that the huts are raised well off the ground & are quite water proof. They have issued 4 blankets last night which are quite "chatty," & I had a wretched night last night, being the first night on hard boards for over two months, & what with my tiny bed-mates I didn’t get too much sleep.
This morning the Plains were one mass of snow as far as they eye could see & the wind sailing over these is anything but pleasant. It is a dreary, desolate sort of place at any time but in the winter it is absolutely over the fence. This morning with some 60 others we had our Medical Classification with the result that I have been classed "B2 A4" This means, as far as I can find out about 2 months in England on some sort of light duties.

[Page 182]
I have written to Major Colvin tonight at Horseferry Road (Wally will know who I am referring to) & hope to hear from him in the course of 3 or 4 days. He may be able to fix me up with a billet of some sort or other.
While I think of it Daddy dear, thank you so much for sending that £5 I cabled for about a fortnight ago through the Agent General for N.S.W. It only took 4 days to get the reply & I got the £5 less cable expenses (out & back) of 16/11. If at any time in the future I have to cable again I will do it through the same means, as it is far quicker & cheaper than through the Commonwealth Bank.
I saw Colonel Sturdee by appointment on Monday morning, & he was quite pleased to see me. He was unable to assist me, however, as he had had previous experience that interfering in this way only made it harder for the private. He & Major Dods, M.C. DSO. are both leaving for Australia in about a fortnight’s time
By the time this reaches you it will be your birthday once again or very near it. I would like, Daddy dear, to wish you very many happy returns of 3rd March. I do hope & pray, Father, that you are spared to spend many more birthdays with us, & that before the 1918 one comes round that

[Page 183]
we are all at home again- a re-united family.
Yesterday I posted you out three copies of the "Daily Mirror," one of London’s Daily. In the centre front page was a photo of Wally taken in bed but they had mucked the name up & made "Whitehouse" out of it.
And now, Daddy, I must close, With love to you all at home, & with my best love and birthday wishes to yourself,
Your loving son,

[Page 184]
Worgret Camp, Australian Commonwealth Military Forces letterhead.
Wareham, Dorset
(England) 23rd Jany 1917

My dearest Daddy,
Since I last wrote I have been shifted from Perham Downs Camp to the above Camp. The second day I was at Perham Downs, I had to go out on two route marches & in between these marches was put on to physical jerks. The next morning I was so sore in my wound that I paraded sick. It was scarcely to be wondered at as it was an unusual strain I was put to. The next morning afternoon I was warned for a draft to leave at 5am the following morning for Wareham. It hit me pretty hard to have to get up at ½ past 4 with the ground covered with frost & snow. Although only 60 miles from Perham, we didn’t arrive here till 4 in the afternoon. However we got here & that is the main thing. I was very thankful to get away from the Camp at Perham Downs; it was a Camp right in the middle of the Downs which for weeks on end were covered with snow & frost. This isn’t all; the wind sailing across the Downs is like a sharp knife cutting right into the bone. Here we are sheltered to a great extent by ridges & mountains The Camp itself is in a good possy; about 25 men to a hut, 4 blankets & a straw palias per man. Each hut is lit with electricity, & qu just across the road hot & cold baths up till 8 P.M. The tucker isn’t too bad considering, & altogether I am pretty comfortable.

[Page 185]
I have a return of the beastly rheumatics in the knees Every night without fail I am awakened with the awful twinging, almost forcing a groan out of me. As soon as I can get to a chemist I will fix myself up with amm. tinct: of giucum guiacum.
When up before the Medical Board this morning, I was given a good overhaul & classed B1 A2. I was recommended for 8 weeks light duties & have put in an application for the job of hospital orderly on an Australian Transport. Strange to say they are short of men (A.M.C) who have had at least 6 months service in France, & also men of hospital experience; as I can fulfil both of these demands I hope my application will be successful. It is thus faintly possible I may be [text missing] to N.S.W. before many months are out.
I have a fairly heavy cold on me at present & a bit of an attack of laryngitis, but otherwise I am keeping A1. Weather here fine but very, very cold.
Must close now, with love to Walter, & all at home,
Your loving son,
My last mail from home was dated about 3rd October received two months ago. Expect there is a bunch of letters about for me somewhere. Keep to the old address. Leo.

[Page 186]
Australian Commonwealth Military Forces letterhead.
Worgret Camp. 4/2/17. R. 23.3.17 A 28.3.17.
Wareham England

My dearest Father,
After a good spell without any letters of any description, I have received three of yours dated 16th 23rd of October & 12th of November. These came to hand yesterday & were very welcome. Thank you very much for the very welcome news, & also Mother for her two very welcome letters dated 23/10/16 & 12/11/16. I am so very glad you had a good time on the South Coast & trust you both feel benifited by the change.
At the expiration of my furlough (16th Jany) I was sent to Perham Downs, Salisbury. Although only there for 4 days I thought I would die of cold. The whole time I was there the Downs were covered with snow, & the wind rushing, unchecked by any windbreak, over these was simply cruel. I was very glad when I was sent down here to Weym Wareham, although it did mean getting up at ½ past 4. It is quite a decent camp here & in every way superior to Perham Downs. The camp is fitted up with hot & cold baths, electric lights, plenty of blankets, & fairly decent tucker. Just before I left Perham Downs, our Pay Books were handed into the Orderly room. Two days after we got here was Pay Day & I went up, quite expecting that my book was sent down to Wareham here with my papers. I was surprised however to find they had no trace here of it, so I complained about it. I got no satisfaction however, as Perham Downs said they had

[Page 187]
sent it on. The only satisfaction I got was being told to apply for a new one. I have done so but have not got it yet. It may be anything up to three months before I am issued with a new one, I believe. All this time of course, I am unable to draw any pay. For this reason I sent you a cable per post through the Agent General for N.S.W. in London on the 22nd Jany," Pay book lost please cable five," Jabez Leonard Waterhouse." This is the second I have sent through this source, & I received the £5, less 13/- cable exs. eight days later. Thank you very much, Father dear for fixing up these cable arrangements for me.
I am feeling fairly right again, & have asked to be sent back to France. I am sick of being mucked about here & the work here is no harder than across the water. I am standing the strain far better than I expected & really think I am fit enough
Last Sunday morning I attended a Church Parade in one of the oldest churches in England. It was a C. of E service & I couldn't follow it too well.
To-day (Sunday) I have been on fatigue, & am just snatching a couple of hours off this afternoon to do some letter writing. As I write now it is snowing outside & the ground is one mass of white. A lovely sight, but very cold. I was sorry to hear the Xmas parcels had been lost, & think that the one Uncle Gus sent must

[Page 188]
have been on the "Arabia" also. I have been very unlucky this time with my parcels, as they have all miscarried.
When I was classified a few days ago I was moved up a step to B1 A3: The next step (B1 A4) is active service & they are sending 500 men per week away from this camp alone; that is to France I mean.
I was very pleased to hear that Nancy did so well at the S.S. Exam. & only hope she is as successful in her Intermediate
I hope you & Mother are keeping well, & will be able to keep clear of colds this winter. I still have a cold hanging over me but otherwise I am O.K.
They are working us pretty steadily. We generally do a 12 mile route march a day beside an hour's physical jerks. These are the things I have set & I would rather do 2 hours fatigue than an hour of these.
Must close now as I have some more mail to write before tomorrow.
With love to you all at home,
Your loving son,

[Page 189]
B 33
D Company
Worgret Camp
Dorset. Eng.
Sunday 18/2/17.

My dearest Father,
Since I last wrote on the 7th inst. I have received your letters of 4th Decr. Thank you very much for the welcome news to hand. This letter of yours was written from Austinmer, which was the 2nd I have received from you under that heading.
I have just returned from the Sunday night service in the Congregational Church of Wareham. It is just 4 weeks ago since I came into Camp here, & so far, with a mate of mine here, I have been to this Congregational Church every Sunday evening
The church parade on Sunday morning at 8.30 is compulsory, & the first Sunday morning I was here they marched a draft of 1500 of us to St. Mary's (Church of England) in Wareham. I simply detest the formal high-church services of the C of E, & I haven't been since. The following Sunday morning I dodged the parade, & have since been on duty on Sundays till 12 noon of a Sunday. The Congregational church is a fine place seating from 1500 to 2000 with a gallery round 3 sides & a fine pipe organ. The services are identical with our Methodist ones at home & I am very fond of attending there. The service this evening

[Page 190]
was attended by a congregation of close on a 1000, fully 60% of which were A.I.F men.
In my last letter, I think I described the camp in general here. When I wrote then, we were having bitterly cold, though fine weather.
This has since given place to wet weather & has become considerably warmer. The huts we are in are quite weather-proof & taking it all round we are in comfortable quarters.
I have only been up before the Medical Officer for classification twice since I've been here, & each time been marked B1 A2. The class B1 A4 is practically active service & men are being sent off very fast now. Once marked B1 A4 the draft is sent off within a week or 10 days to France.
Since the beginning of last week, I have been doing clerical work here in the Staff Pay Office. An order came through recently recalling the old Pay-books, & every man in the A.I.F is being issued with a new book

[Page 191]
This naturally entails a tremendous lot of work & we are kept hard at it all the week including Saturday all-day, until midday Sunday. A few days ago, I received a duplicate book in place of the one I reported lost but this has since been handed in with the others. This work is congenial to me under the circumstances. Before, I used to strike some very heavy fatigues, some of which were beyond my strength. I am feeling as fit as a fiddle at present & am feeling quite able to take up my work in France again. However I am quite content to let this question be settled by the Military authorities here. If the Quack decides I am fit for active service again, well & good
I think in one of my previous letters I mentioned that all my parcels have gone astray. This is probably accounted for by the fact that being away from my Unit in France, they have gone to France, & have not been re-directed, being opened

[Page 192]
over there & distributed among the boys over there. If this is so, I am not sorry for they want them out there among the snow & frost more than I do, though I am extremely disappointed to lose the little knick-knacks & personal gifts enclosed. However it can't be helped.
You asked me in a previous letter about Ray & Sid Waterhouse. Wal will be able to tell you several little incidents about the former, but I haven't come across the latter at all. If he is in any way like Ray, I hope I will never bump him.
In one letter home recently I made mention of a trip to Corfe Castle. Under separate cover I am enclosing a booklet & 6 cards of this wonderful piece of architecture. It is very interesting reading & well worth perusing.

[Page 193]
I am thinking of sending a birthday cable for yours & Mother's birthdays (3rd & 9th March) & also advising you to address any my letters to Australian Base Post Office London. As my movements are very indefinite I will advise the A.B.P.O. of my address from time to time. It is possible I may be here for a further 3 months, or again I may be in France in a fortnight's time.
It is getting on towards bed-time so must close. The Ausy mail closes on Tuesday (20th) I believe & I am hoping this will go by that boat.
With much love to you all at "Cairnleith,"
I am,
Your loving son,

[Page 194]
C/o Medical Dept:- R 14.5.17
Headquarters Staff
A.I.F. Offices
130 Horseferry Rd.
London Eng.
Monday 12/3/17

My dearest Father,
Since I last wrote about 10 days ago, I have received 3 letters from home- two from you dated 8th & 14th of Jany, & one from Ol dated 20th of December, for which I thank you both very much. This is the first home news to hand since the 13th of Feby (exactly a month ago. None of your letters between the 10th of Decr. & the 8th of Jany. have reached me, & altho I have written to every possible place I can think of, very little of it mail has been reaching me since I left France.
In my letter to you on 2nd inst: I explained how I came to be transferred to H.Q. London. It is purely a temporary job, & I may get imsheed tomorrow as there is a Medical Board sitting and I believe they are combing the Staff out pretty carefully.
I can't understand that cable at all "Progress excellent no further cables Dec 14th Waterhouse." I know for a fact that I didn't send it & can't for the life of me think who did. As I have explained thoroughly before, I was operated on at Amiens in France on November 25th & sent to the 1st L.G.H. on Decr 11th.
I have already acknowledged the following amounts cabled for through the Agent General:- £5 (about Jany 4th) £5 (about 23rd Jany) & £8 (about 23rd Feby).
I am very very glad to have the operation over & done with & I feel as fit as ever I did, although

[Page 195]
if we get a stretch of cold weather the side is very painful from a gnawing sort of ache; otherwise I feel A1 at Lloyds.
One of the Officers from here is trying to get away to France. If he goes within the next week or so, I am putting in to go with him. I like it well enough here but for one or two things. Living is very high & the allowance isn’t sufficient for exs. & a man is all the time wanting money.
It was snowing here when I turned out on Wednesday morning. A very pretty sight certainly, but too cold & what’s worse too slippery for my fancy.
Plenty of work in the Medical Line here & I find the day is gone before I realize it.
Wal will be interested to know I ran across 1st Lieut. (Fatty) Lloyd (3rd of 17th) here today. He is in a M.G.C in 3rd Division, but is at present a B class man on account of stoutness. Have heard there is a mail tonight via Yankee Land so hope this will be in time.
Will write again soon,
Much love to all at home,
Your loving Son

[Page 196]
A.I.F. Headquarters, London. R. 24.5.17 A 27.5.17.

My dearest Father,
When I wrote last week, I told you of my meeting Rid at Headquarters here, and of my cabling the previous day (Monday) telling you of the meeting and also asking for another £8. I received this, less the cost of cabling, on Saturday last. Thank you so much, Father dear, for fixing these cables up for me so quickly. I have seen Rid every day since, and this morning, when he came in, it was to tell me that he had to report back to Perham Downs, Salisbury, to-morrow morning. His knee is not right yet by any means, but I think he is looking well otherwise
We had some great old yarns together, and I am awfully sorry he has to go back now.
The weather this week has been really abominable. One day, Wednesday, I think it was, we had rain, hail, snow and sunshine, all in the one day with an interval of a couple of hours between each change.
I am expecting to go down to Perham Downs on the 11th. of next month, and after a few weeks training, over to France again
We still have as much work as ever to get through, and I really don’t know how P.U. men are going to stick it out.
I posted Ol a book last week, "Australia and the great War" Part 2. I was able to get Part 1 yesterday, and will send it off to-night. The series are in 8 parts, and will be well worth keeping when complete.

[Page 197]
I went down to Woodford to Mrs. Limns again last Sunday afternoon again and they seemed very glad to see me. I always enjoy a Sunday afternoon with them, as it is more like home to me than any other place I know, and it is a great change to get away from the hustle and bustle even for a few hours.
I am keeping very well indeed, and the last few nights have been in bed by 8 o’clock and I sleep like a log. I weighed myself a few days ago, and turn the scales at 12 st.2. This is the heaviest I have ever been, so I don’t think my operation has done me any harm.
I must close now as there is no news of importance,
With much love to all at "Cairnleith,"
Your loving son,
J Leo L Waterhouse

[Page 198]
Australian Commonwealth symbol
Commonwealth of Australia
Military Records Office letterhead.

[This page is numbered 3 and pages 1 and 2 appear to be missing.]
go without tucker altogether. I hope this is the last time that I will have to send for money. The allowance here for a private is 3/6 per diem. As things are at present it is impossible to get meals in England under 1/-, which only leaves 6d. per night for a bed. However I am just cutting things out nicely. I am very comfortable where I am & I am getting all my meals over at the A.I.F. War Chest Club, which is right opposite headquarters.
It is still miserable weather over here, but not nearly as cold as it was down Perham Downs way. It is not all office work that I am doing at present; I often have a lot of running round different parts of London after drugs of one kind & another and am quite able to find my way round the Metropolis.
I am very glad to be able to say that I am feeling wonderfully well lately; just after I came here, I was feeling very sore in the side, & I got Capt. Shaw to give me an overhaul. He did so & said that I had given the side a bit of a strain, and that I would have to take it easy for a time. Among my transfer papers was a memo. from the S.M.O. (Senior Medical Officer) at Wareham in answer to a question by Major Buchanan, saying, "This man’s classification is B2 A." instead of B1 A4. as I thought.
I can’t help being struck with the way in which the women are working to defeat the Huns. I saw one yesterday, a little way out

[Page 199]
-4-of London
of London, driving four horses attached to a big delivery van. They also also work on the motor-buses as conductors, & I have even seen one or two of them driving the buses. On the tube railways, again, you can see them, both on the stations, & also working the electric elevators at the stations. Only just recently they have started driving taxis in London.
In some way I forgot to post that book & postcards of Corfe Castle to Oll last Mail as I said in my letter, but I will get it away by to-nights mail.
Until further notice, Father dear, will you please address my letters to:
No. 6359, Pte. J. L. L. Waterhouse,
Medical Branch,
A.I.F. Headquarters, Staff,
130 Horseferry Road,
London. S.W.
I must close now, with love to all at home,
Your loving son,
P.S. My last letter from home was dated 10/12/1916. so that there are a lot for me somewhere. J.L.W.

[Page 200]
Adminis: Headquarters,
Easter Sunday Evg
8th Apl 1917

My dearest Father,
No mail of any kind has come to hand since I wrote last- about 8 or 9 days ago. Your last letter came to hand last Friday week, dated 22/12/16, but on the 15th of last month I received yours of 21st Jany 17. This is the latest news I have had from home. By the same mail as yours of 22/12/16 came one from Mother written the same day, & also one from Anna of 17/12/16. Likewise one from Wal, written when nearing Durban on 23/1/17 9/2/7. His previous one written near St Helena on 23/1/17 reached me 3 days earlier.
Easter is drawing to a close once more. It seems incredible that 12 months have gone since last Easter but such it is:- I have been kept busy this year over Easter-time. The rush started on Thursday morning That day I was relieving in the Furlo’ room, & about 10 a.m. the mob started
coming in for their passes over the Holidays. At 1.30 I cleared out for 20 minutes to lunch & then from 2 o’clock I didn’t leave my desk till

[Page 201]
half past nine- so constant a stream of men for their passes & railway warrants. I issued just over 650 all told & at last when I knocked off I had some supper & was glad enough to crawl into bed without a murmer.
On Friday morning- Good Friday- things were much quieter & I went back to the Medical Room When I woke that morning, Nature had draped the earth with her mantle of purest white & up till 11 a.m. the snow was still falling fairly thickly At 12.30 the sun was shining from a beautiful blue sky & I have never, in all my life, seen a prettier picture that than Nature on Good Friday Afternoon in London here- overhead a blue sky with a few fleecy clouds about, below, a pure white covering where it had remained undisturbed.

[Page 202]
Yesterday was just an ordinary day with us, & this morning there wasn’t very much doing. I didn’t turn out till 8.30 for a start & then felt the loss of the hour occasioned by the Putting-the-clocks-on racket. After dinner I only had one trip in the Ambulance to King George’s Hospital, after which I finished for the day. I started reading & finally dropped off fast asleep on my bed not waking till after 6 o’clock this evening. I had intended after tea going to one of the services in London, but the nap made me feel anything but bright so I have stayed home tonight writing letters instead. I am off duty tomorrow but have made no arrangements for anything.
How about coming to Coogee for the day???? I only wish I had the chance, I would need no second bidding
It is very cold here tonight with a strong

[Page 203]
Easterly wind (appropriate isn’t it) blowing. I quite expect to see another fall of snow by morning. I think it is nearly time this weather took a tumble to itself & give gave Spring a chance.
By the way, I ran across Capt. Parkinson (a very red haired S.H.S boy) who is over from France on Furlough. He is with the 14th. Fld Amblce, & when I made myself known, asked very kindly how you were, & wished to be remembered to you. I knew him at Tel-el-Kebir & also at Serapeum when he was with the 1st. Fld Ambulance.
I am keeping in splendid health, & sincerely trust this finds you well. Give my love to Mother, Wal, Ol, & Anna. I will try & get letters to them written this week. Must close, Father dear,
With much love to yourself,
Your loving son,
J Leo L. Waterhouse.

[Page 204]
Administrative Headquarters A 26.6.17.
130 Horseferry Rd
Monday Evg
16th Apl 17.

Commonwealth of Australia. Military Records Office letterhead.

My dearest Father,
I was made quite happy on Saturday evening, by receiving a budget of Australian letters- 15 in all- Among them were five of yours, dated 31st Decr. 7th & 28th Jany, & 4th & 18th of Feby. Thank you so much for your welcome news & the length of your correspondence.
I feel ashamed sometimes of my scimpy little notes, but often there is no news at all. The letter that is missing from this batch, i.e that of 21st Jany, reached me on 15th March, just a month ago, so you see my mails from home are very erratic.
It was quite a shock to me to read about Uncle Jabez's decease. Poor old daddy- I can just imagine what an upset & a shock it was to yourself. Poor old Uncle Jez, and I feel more sorry for Auntie.
Whilst I think of it 3 out of your 5 letters were censored externally the "1st Divisional Headquarters" part being completely obliterated- red tape-.
One point you mentioned in your letter of 4th Feby 17; There is as you say a big risk & temptation of
running loose in a place like London. I am very thankful to be able to say that I have

[Page 205]
never been inside a London pub yet. Where our headquarters are, is a very "low" locality, much on the same scale as Woolloomooloo in Sydney. I was astounded & disgusted when I first came to London to see the women & girls in the pubs here scoffing down their beer, as we do our water & tea in Ausy.
The crowds of ill-dressed & half-starved youngsters prowling about the streets would surprise you As I say, Westminster is a very poor locality, & this is only to be expected. I haven't taken to liquor yet, thank goodness, & I am glad to say it has no enticement for me. And what I am better pleased at is this that our Medical Officer here, Capt. Kenneth Rodas de Vere Shaw my senior officer is a strict abstainer. I have suspected for some time that this man has blue blood in his veins, & found out a few days ago, that he & Sir Gerald Strickland are first cousins.
He is as true a man as you could wish to meet, & I am proud to work under him.
Was glad to hear of Anna's success at the Intermediate Exam. & I am sure she deserved it. She has more grit & brains in her than her youngest brother, but as long as I can earn my salt- why worry.

[Page 206]
The weather here this last week has been very changeable. Saturday & Sunday were beautiful Spring days & made one glad to feel alive. To-day we had a slight fall of snow with bight biting Easterly winds.
Do you know, Dad, I am absolutely convinced in my own mind that Kitchener (K of K) is still alive. I was talking to a lady on Friday (a Mrs Phillips) about the subject. She was telling me of a friend of hers living in London here, whom she frequently visits This friend has long been mourning for her husband whom she believed to be drowned in the "Hampshire". Last Wednesday when Mrs Phillips was visiting her friend, she noticed that she was excited as possible, & the reason was this. That morning this friend of Mrs Phillips had received a letter dated about the end of February from her husband. After discussing family matters it wound up with the sentence "The British

[Page 207]
nation would be astonished could they know who was a prisoner here." I had a feeling months ago that K of K is not dead & I am more convinced than ever.
I had a very nice no note from Aunt. Mabel on Thursday in answer to one I wrote her from France.
I hope Wally's arm is still progressing favorably & that he is feeling better for the trip home. Stay there, Wal, we don't want you back again yet.
I spent yesterday afternoon & evening at Woodford with Percy Limn's mother. They are as homely people as one could wish for & I fully enjoy a few hours down there on Sunday afternoons.
Must ease off now, hoping this finds you all in good health, as it leaves me at present.
With much love to you all at "Cairnleith",
Your loving son,
J Leo L Waterhouse.

[Page 208]
Medical Dept. R 29.6.17 A 11.7.17
130 horseferry Rd.
London S. W.
3rd May 17.

My dearest Father,
Since I last wrote, I have received two letters from you under date 25th Febry, & 3rd March, for which I thank you very much.
We have been extra busy for some weeks past & although kept going hard at it I like the work & surroundings.
Before I go any further I must tell you that on the 14th ult. I cabled per Agent General for £12. This duly came through & I received it a week later. I know you are worrying about my using so much Cash & wondering how I use it; but I will explain as fully as I possibly can, & you will be able to grasp the situation. Whilst a Driver in France, & even until I was down at Salisbury I was drawing the 2/- per day. As soon as I was put on the Staff here I was cut down the extra 1/- a day Driver's pay leaving it at 1/-. The allowance (subsistance) for men stationed in London is 3/6 per day, which brings it to 4/6 p.d. Meals in London, & food generally is an exhorbitant price, & it is impossible to get a meal anywhere under 1/6.
So you see that this 4/6 goes in food alone. I think I stated in my previous letter that I have a room at HeadQuarters here in One corner of the Medical Dept. For this the Military dock me 10/- per week, as likewise they do the M.O. (Capt. Shaw) £1 for his two rooms (sitting & bedroom). I really can't grumble, as I couldn't get the a room in town as cheap & as comfortable. I have every convenience here

[Page 209]
with 2 electric lights, an asbestos gas fire & decent carpets bed, tables, chairs etc. So that just sitting down doing nothing, I am 10/- per week in debt. What with the bit of traveling I do, with amusements, & a hundred & one trivial exs. it takes every 1d. of my 8/6 per day (including 3/6 allowance) to keep going.
Quite apart from this a few weeks back I had several teeth stopped & all my teeth, in fact, overhauled. There is no Dentist attached to Headquarters, all the men being attended by a Mr Gardner, who is appointed by the A.I.F., & who charges his patients. Of course the scale of charges are fixed by the Medical Board of the A.I.F, but he charges all the same & I have settled up with him for a bill for £4/4/-
One thing that is scandalous here is this: the Military won't issue decent clothes & so on, & yet there are cases every day of men on the Staff being pulled up for not being as smartly dressed as they should. When I first got on the Staff, I was ashamed of my appearance which however was good enough for the Training Camp at Salisbury.
I had to get a new rig-out throughout which cost me over £6/6/-
So you see Father, dear, altho' I am continually drawing I am not extravagant & what is more I haven't run into debt with anyone. Rather than keep cabling for money as I want it, for it comes expensive every time I sent the following cable on Wednesday (yesterday)

[Page 210]
"Waterhouse, Chatswood, Transfer account bank New South Wales London, Jabez Waterhouse." This will save me spending 15/- or 17/6 on a cable every time I want money sent out.
I am working till about 6.30 every evening now & even then I am not left in peace. One night last week, as soon as I finished tea I turned into bed (about 8.30 pm) as I was dog-tired. About 11.30 I was awakened by a civilian who was looking for the M.O. It turned out that one of our fellows staying at a 6th rate boarding house at the Elephant & Castle had been asphixiated & was in great danger. I at once rang up for an Ambulance, & the Medical Officer & I went out to him. He was indeed in a bad way & it was with difficulty we got him downstar about 4 flights of stairs to the Ambulance. Then we took him to King George's Hospital at Waterloo. We reached home again at ¼ to 2.
On Sunday night we had two calls one at 10, & again at ¼ past 12, both bad cases. As I write there is a man dangerously ill at Lambeth wherever that is; I have rung up the Garage for an Ambulance & am now waiting for the M.O. to come in.
That is work falls exclusively to me- taking men to Hospital once I had to take a man to Harefield about 18 miles out, but they are nearly all to local Military Hospitals. It is astonishing the C.S.M. (cerebo-spinal meningitis) & C.S.F (c.-s- fever) there are about.
Since last Sunday I have had 7 cases (thats in 4 days, 6 of the former & one of the latter). I am always a bit scared at handling these fellows: one case we had to strap to the stretcher & ambulance as he was so violent.

[Page 211]
Last Tuesday week I had ½ a day off & went up to Cambridge. It is a great City & I had a good look round the four Universitys there, Trinity, Kings, Clare & Queen's Colleges. The famous lawn at Cambridge which attracts crowds from all over London is indeed fine & beautiful
The winding river, with grass meadows u right down to the edge, spanned frequently by quaint artistic bridges, & dotted here & there by boats in which students lounged & studied, formed a very pretty picture. I was very glad to get away from the bustle & roar of London even for such a short time.
Last Saturday afternoon another chap (from the Furlo' Section here) & I went to Richmond & got a rowing boat, on the river (Thames) & pulled about 8 or 9 miles up the river. The scenery was gloriously pretty & we had a rattling good time. It is quite light right up till ¼ past 9

[Page 212]
Say what they will the food shortage is very serious for England. With bread we are only allowed one thin slice (the ordinary 4 sided loaves) per meal meat we can have 4 ozs per day & it is a very rare occurence to see a lump of sugar.
The weather is beautiful at present & is inclined to get muggier every day now.
On Tuesday last when in the Ambulance going to KIng George's Hospital I saw an Airship [see image for sketch] coming up the Thames at an altitude of 5 or 6 hundred feet. It was flying the Tricolor (French) & when it got to Westminster circled twice over the Houses of Parliament & then turned East & disappeared
It looked very pretty became being aluminium-cased & shone very brightly.

[Page 213]
I am enclosing under separate cover 3 or 4 Guides to London etc: that I thought might interest you.
I must close now with love to you all at home,
Your loving son,
J L Waterhouse

[Page 214]
130 Horseferry Road,
London S.W.
Wednesday 6/6/17.

My dearest Father,
I have again heard from you in the form of 4 letters which came to hand yesterday. They were dated 16th March (2) 26th Mch & 1st April 17. Thank you so much for all your interesting news & correspondence It is over five weeks since I last heard which made the news all the more welcome.
I have to go back some little time to pick up the thread of my news so to speak. It is over a month now since I cabled for my a/c to be transferred to the Bank of N.S.W. London. This duly came through, thank you, as also did your cable acquainting me of the fact. I have written fully already explaining money matters so will not repeat it here.
One day last week I ran across Jocelyn Carr, on 10 days leave from France; we had dinner together & exchanged latest news. He was looking very well considering his long spell of active service, & seemed very glad to get over for a change to England.
The weather here has been absolutely perfect this last few weeks, & truly Nature is looking her best. Out of London a little way, (I often go for a spin on the top of a bus) the green lanes with the may trees in flower, with the hundred & one perfect blending of nature's colors, are a magnificient feast for the eyes.
Several times on a Saturday afternoon a party of us have gone to Richmond on the Thames (about ½ an hours

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run on the Electric Underground railway) & got a rowing boat & pulled up the Thames for 8 or 10 miles. The scenery on either bank is almost un indescribably beautiful
Near Richmond the houses, big beautiful old mansions after the style of "Edina" Waverley are to be seen peeping out from among the trees & foliage which surround them. The lawns are more like velvet to look at, so smooth & well-kept they are. Then the glorious shows of scores of different classes of flowers all add to the beauty & to finish the picture, I must not forget the various hammocks to be seen swung from tree to tree.
We have been in the midst of several air-raids here lately but other than the humming of the Taubes & the rattling of the "Archies" (a-a. guns) I haven't seen much in England.
The work is coming through in great quantities lately, & I have all I can do to keep it from

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getting behind.
The hospitals are constantly full & men are coming over every day in scores.
The housewife is finding things very bad just now We are only allowed 2 oz of bread per day- potatoes once a week (Fridays) & sugar is only seen on very rare occasions. I have repeatedly seen a queue of 150 women waiting at ½ past 6 of a morning to buy their ration of bread, margarine or meat as the case may be.
Oh! whilst I think of it Father please. Instead of paying my Military Allotments into Barrack St Bank will you please arrange for them to be paid into the Bank of NSW (H.O) & remitted to my account at the London Office of the Bank of N.S.W. I haven't drawn on the a/c yet, & I want the whole lot to come through on to the one a/c.
I am keeping very well but the side occasionly aches especially if there is a change in the weather. I tried last Monday week to get back to my Unit in France without having to go through the various depots in England but after a medical examination they put me down for 1 months home service in England so I'm bothered if I worry my head about them any more.
Did I tell you that Percy Limn had a very serious attack of V.DH a few weeks ago & for days they

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he hung in the balance. He is recovering slowly now & is to be boarded & returned to Australia
Give my love to Wally with wishes that he may be speedily restored to health & strength I was so glad you we were able to report such excellent progress in Wal's arm & hope this continues satisfactorily.
I must close now with love to all at home.
Your loving son
J L Waterhouse.

[Page 218]
c/o H. Hammond Esq. R 4.9.17
No 5 Matham Grove,
East Dulwich,
London S.E. 22
July 4th '17

My dearest Father,
Since I last wrote, I have received a big budget of Australian letters, and among them were your very welcome letters of the following dates 15th April (2 letters) & 28th April. About the same time I also received your very acceptable birthday present. Both the book & the torch were very much appreciated, & I thank you all very much for them.
I have been kept at it lately, & am very glad when Sunday comes round to have a spell. I am writing this from an address of some friends who have been exceedingly kind to me lately. I ran across them in quite an accidental way & they have given me an open invitation to drop in at any time when I feel so inclined
They have a lovely home out at Dulwich, about 30 minutes run in the car (they don’t call the electric service over here "trams", but "cars") from Victoria Station
Often when I get absolutely sick & tired of my own company & don’t know what to do, I drop out to Dulwich & pass the evening with music, dominoes, reading & of course with the beloved pipe,- the soother of all troubles & worries.
I got sick of everything about a fortnight or so ago and in a desperate minute I put a transfer in for the Aust. Flying Corps. I was very dubious about it

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going through, but imagine my surprise and pleasure three days later when I found that it had been signed and approved by the D.A.A.G. & the D.M.S. & so now I am waiting for the o/c squadron to send for me. As soon as I am attached to the A.F.C. I intend going as a cadet for my Pilot’s certificate. I anticipate that it will take me about 4 months to qualify & that only with hard & continuous fag. I have addressed my letter at the top as I want you to address yours to me, please.
I don’t know where I will be from one week to another now, & Mr. Hammond has very kindly offered to let me use this place for an address & he will forward them on to me.
In one of my previous letters I asked you if you would please pay in my allotments to the H.O. of the Bank of New South Wales, Sydney, getting them to remit to their London Office. I am only repeating this as I don’t know whether you have received my previous letter. It is to save me drawing on the remittance you forwarded through a few months ago more than I can help.

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The fruit season is in now, & my word it is something to remember- strawberries, absolutely some of the finest I have ever tasted- these price at from 3d to 6d per lb Cherries are fine too & range from 4 to 7d per lb.
Other fruits are dear especially apples, & peaches, generally about 7/6 per dozen. Needless to say I haven’t tasted any of these, this season.
The weather has been very changeable lately & not a bit like summer. The past fortnight has been very chilly during the evening & we have had far over the average rainfall. As I write at present the rain is tearing down ceaselessly & the wind howling reminds one of the winter evenings.
Another raid by German ‘planes today. We are getting quite used to them over in these parts now.
I am keeping well & am looking forward to getting some good, useful work in when my transfer is finally settled.
Until further notice please address No. 6359 Dvr J.L.W c/0 H. Hammond Esq. No5, Matham Grove, East Dulwich London, S.E. 22.
Must close now with love to all at "Cairnleith"
Your loving son
J Leo L. Waterhouse

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Prees Heath R. 20.9.17 J.W.
Military Hospital
Sunday Aftn. 29-7-17.

My dearest Father,
Since I last wrote, time has flown, & changes have taken place. I will set your mind at rest at once by saying I am quite O.K. & am in splendid health & strength. The heading of this letter will puzzle you but the explanation is this. Three days ago my left jaw commenced to swell; at first I paid little attention to it but the swellings increased, so that yesterday I reported sick to the Medical Officer, who sent me in here. The jaw & cheek are so much swollen that my eye is almost vanished pro: tem: The M.O. said it was I.C.T. of the face (Inflammation of the Connective Tissues) - not very explicit is it I really think the trouble is caused through cutting my wisdom teeth.
When I last wrote, it was from London from the address of Mr. H. Hammond, 5 Matham Grove, East Dulwich, London, S. E. 22.4
In that letter I told how I had put in an application for transfer to the Australian Flying Corps. That transfer came through quicker than I expected. On Thursday morning 12th July I was told to be ready to join the 29th Aerodrome the following day. The next day at 2 p.m. I left Paddington Station, London bound for Shawbury. I joined the 29th Traing Squadron, Australian Flying Corps at Shawbury that night. Shawbury is about 8 miles from Shrewsbury in Shropshire, & about 37 miles north west of Birmingham. Shawbury is a little English village, something like Peel; the aerodrome is in a commanding position, & out there with the 29th Aust. Squadron

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are two English Squadrons, the 67th & 10th. They are a fine lot of Officers in the Squadron; the O.C. Captain Andrew Lang, coming from Sydney, One of the Instructors Lieut. Badgery, is also from Sydney & is well known as the son of Mr. Badgery Senr, of Pitt, Son & Badgery. He is only a young fellow of 26 or 7 but is a thoroughly competent pilot. He was the first man in Australia to build & fly his own machine What he doesn’t know about ‘planes isn’t worth knowing. The other 4 officers, (Adjutant, 2 Instructors, & Equipment Officer,) of the Squadron are English Officers attached to us.
In addition last week we had 33 2/ Lieutenants (Tommy) attached for Instruction. So far I have been up 7 times and my word it is fine. It was with Lieut: Badgery that I went up first. Then 3 flights with Lieut Turner (an Officer from the Indian Army attached to us) & then 3 flights with Lieut Badgery again. We have 8 machines serviceable at present, & 10 others building. At present we only have one type of machine the M.F.S.H. (Maurice Farman Short Horn). These are biplanes with the propellor behind the planes; fitted two of them are fitted with 70 H.P. Renault engines, the others with 80 H.P. R. They are very slow busses but very safe. The top speed of the 70 H.P. is about 56-60 mph, the others developing 65 m. p. h. My first trip about 10 days ago was in a 70 H.P. machine. After stepping over numerous wires stays, & struts, I climbed up after the
Pilot into the nacelle (the box-like arrangement in the centre of the plane.).

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There are two seats one in front of the other, & of course the machine is dual-controlled, so that in the case of the pilot being hit the observer can carry on- provided he knows his work. Well the pilot took the back seat & I the front, & strapped myself in with the joy-stick between my knees & a dozen different levers & throttles on either side. Right in front of me were 4 gauge glasses. One the "counter-revolutions" "revolution-counter" indicates the speed of the propellor in hundreds of revolutions per minute. Then there is the alti-mometer or instrument for recording the height in thousands of feet; then there is the speedometer recording the miles. per. hr. & the pressure gauge for the oil feed. When the mechanic started the propellor up the counter-rev rev: counter sprang to 400. The pilot kept it at this to warm the engine up a little & then gradually increased it to 800. Then the chocks were pulled away from the wheels & we moved off slowly over the uneven ground. It takes 800 to move the machine on the ground, & when we got right down to the end of the paddock we turned about & faced the wind. After a final test to see that all controls were working properly, the pilot opened the throttle & off we started He opened it until the rev: counter registered 1800. Away we went over the ground the hand of the speedometer swinging quickly through 20, 30, & 40, until at 50 mph we left Mother Earth. It was a very peculiar sensation to see the ground slipping away from you, & to feel yourself

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swaying very slightly like a vessel at sea only with tree tops, paddocks, & house tops to take the place of the Briney. We got up to 2,500 feet & he kept her at that as he had a "new-chum" on board. The three registerings now were counter-rev. 1950, speed, hovering between 55 & 60, altimometer 2500 ft "Banking" i.e. turning sharply to either right or left felt very funny at first as the turn is done at an angle of 45° I realized, then, the necessity of the broad strap across my body. Machines were passing & repassing us constantly some above us & some below. Of course conversation was out of the question as the roar of the engine just behind us was deafening. Anyway I was too busy with my eyes to talk. Other instruments just in front of me included a compass & a spirit level. We stayed up for 35 minutes then turned her nose for home. It took my unaccustomed eye a long time to pick up the aerodrome although I knew we were steering straight for it. At last like a tiny doll's house I distinguished the hangars. The landing ground, a paddock of roughly 640 acres, looked like a patch 2 feet square Then came the sensation of dropping from 2000 to 500 feet. Then the ground rushed up to meet us & we landed at a speed of 50 m.p.h. as lightly as a bird- in fact I was watching for the wheels of the undercarriage to touch the ground, otherwise I wouldn't have known we were on terra-firma, or next door to it. Quickly we reduced speed

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& after a run of 500 yards came to a standstill. Thus ended my first flight, & I can truly say that I saw the earth that day from an angle of observation that I'd never seen it before.
My other six flights were exactly the same though of course I got more accustomed each time to the different motions of the machine.
There have been several accidents since I came here. Last Sunday week, an Officer from the 67th Squadron (English) was qualifying for his brevets. (wings, qualified badge of an R.F.C pilot.) He was to make his first solo flight but he got out of it as he didn't feel too good. The following afternoon, Monday, the authorities insisted on his making his solo, altho' he didn't want to. If ever a man had a presentiment of coming evil, he did. Just before he got into his machine, (a very fast Avro fitted with 120 H.P engines & capable of doing 145 m. p. h.) he took some letters & photos out of his tunic & handed them to another officer standing by. "Here, Tom," he said "take charge of these in case I don't come down alright; I don't feel too sure of myself to-night." Off he went, & started alright; he was only up about 500 feet & was banking (too steeply, I thought) when the wind seemed to catch his off wing & he made a bad side-slip. Had he been up up a couple of thousand feet he could have recovered himself; as it was he crashed to earth with a sickening thud, (a thud that I won't forget for many a day)

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and with his engine full on. He was crushed to a pulp & was dead when we pulled him out. He was only young & was well liked by his Squadron.
We lost one of our 70 H.P M.F.S.H last Saturday. Two officers were up in it & when they were at an altitude of 3500 ft the engine spluttered and stopped. They brought the machine down alright but the only available landing place was a paddock under a heavy crop of wheat. The machine running through this became entangled, & it turned over. Turning over at a speed of over 30 m. p. h. could only have one result, the machine was smashed up. The Officers, however escaped with a broken arm & a broken ankle between them.
I am hanging on waiting for an opportunity to go to a school, & then I intend qualifying for my pilot's certificate. It is, as you know, what I have been hankering after, especially the engineering branch of it & I hope before long to be well on my way to my brevets.
The day I left A.I.F. headquarters in London, my superior Officer (the M.O) Capt. Shaw greatly surprised & pleased me by making me a present of a combined

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wristlet watch-compass. Of the ordinary size, for a wristlet watch, the compass is on top of the watch on a hinge, so that lifting the compass up like the cover of a watch, the watch is visible beneath. Both compass & watch are luminous & as they are also both very accurate it is a very useful & handsome present. It was indeed very good of the Doctor, & I thoroughly appreciated his kindness.
I received a letter from Ol, & one from Walter last week forwarded on from London, for which please give them my thanks. I was so glad to learn from Oll"s that the bone in Walter's arm is beginning to knit & trust by this time he is well on the road to recovery
Walter will be interested to know that I met Lieut Moye (?) of 2nd Btn. in London about a week before I left there. I made myself known. Wally had introduced us previously at I think, & he remembered me. He asked very kindly after Walter, & said he had written to Wal, & hoped he was getting on O/K. Although my present address is 2 A/M. JL Waterhouse, 6359,
29th Training Squadron,
Australian Flying Corps.
via Shrewsbury, Shropshire (England)

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I think you had better address my letters to:-
C/o H. Hammond Esq.
No 5, Matham Grove,
East Dulwich,
London S.E. 22
as I have made arrangements with Mr. Hammond to forward me letters on to me.
I must close now hoping you all at "Cairnleith" are in good health.
I expect to leave Hospital tomorrow to rejoin my Squadron at Shawbury, as the swelling on the jaw has gone down & I am keen to get back.
With love to you all,
Your loving son,

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29th Training Squadron,
Australian Flying Corps,
(near) Shrewsbury,
Shropshire, England,

My dear Ones at Home,
I am afraid that by this time you will have classed me among the "Bad Correspondents"; on looking at my Diary to-day I was awfully surprised to see that I haven't written home since the 29th of last month. I remember now that it was whilst I was in the Military Hospital at Prees Heath, Salop, that I wrote. Whilst cutting my wisdom tooth on the left side jaw, an abcess formed, and became so painful that the Quack here decided to send me into Hospital; This was on the Saturday morning; I stayed in till the following Tuesday and by that time, I got so fed up with it all that I decided to come back home, and arranged my papers accordingly. I am glad to say that I have had no further trouble with my teeth. Whilst I was on the Staff in London, I had the whole of my mouth overhauled by a reliable Dentist (civilian) and thoroughly attended to.
As I think I stated in my last letter, I put a transfer in for the Flying Corps, whilst I was at A.I.F. headquarters, and came up here on the 13th July. (An unlucky day, Friday, and also an unlucky number, 13) I came up originally with the intention of becoming a Pilot, but they shoved me into the Orderly Room with the job of Returns Clerk, and here I am still: (more anon re the work later). As soon as I can, I intend getting away to a Pilots' School and working like a nigger for my certificate.
Just as there are so many Companies in a Brigade, and so many Brigades to a Division, so here there are three Squadrons to a "Wing", six "Wings to a Group. The three Squadrons here, are made up of two Tommy Squadrons, namely the 10th and 67th, and one Australian Squadron (29th)
Talk about Red –Tape in the Army- I have been absolutely convinced of it since I have taken this job on. Returns-Clerk. Responsible that Returns are sent in for this, that and the other. On my table here, an 8 X 4 one, are crowded papers of all sorts, dealing with all sorts of things in the Squadron, from different makes of Aeroplanes down to drawing-pins.
From the begginning of the month till the last day of the same month, I have to send in no less than 54 different sorts of Returns; the trouble is this, as we are an Australian Squadron attached to an English one, we have to send in and be accountable to the 29th Wing (R. F. C.) and at the same time be accountable to our own Headquarters in London. So that practically we have double work to do in this connection.
Since I last wrote I have had quite a lot of letters from Home, for which I have to thank you all so much. Letters from Father dated 27/5/17, and 3/6/17; 0l dated 27/5/17 & 3/6/17; and Walters dated 26/5/17 and then this morning I got another budget from you all dated variously, one from Father 26/6/17, one from Mother 26/6/17, and one from Walter 22/6/1917. I was so very glad to hear from all of you again, and to know that you were all well at the time of writing.
Father Thank you for your very newsy letters; it is a great treat to read and re-read them and then I indulge in a reverie and imagine myself back gain in dear old N.S.W. I too, Father am very glad the pubs have no attraction for me. Naturally I see a lot of it in a camp like this, especially as we have a wet canteen on the ground. Since I have been in England, and more especially whilst I was in London, I was absolutely astonished to see the way in which the women (mainly the working and poorer classes I am referring to) stream into the hotels for their beer as though it was nothing at all: the pubs over here are open on Sundays exactly the same as any other day, but there is this about it, they have to close at 9 p.m. and can't open till 11 a.m. the next day: also "shouting" is absolutely prohibited.
I can't make it out at all about Rid: I wrote to him just before I left London and a few weeks ago had the letter returned from the Base Record Office with "NO RECORD OF THIS OFFICER" stamped across it.
The way I addressed it was this,
Captain Chaplain R. C. Oakley,
2nd Brigade Artillery Headquarters,
1st Australian Division,
A.I.F. France. This is the right address isn't it? I have written again since, putting the same address, but I don't know how the letter will get on.
I have as a chum here an old S.H.S. boy by the name of Donnan (Sid) He had an elder brother at the High School about 1908 a fairly tall chap with fair hair, and with glasses. Do you remember him at all

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The elder brother later on went to Hawkesbury College, and when War broke out was an Assistant Experimentalist in New Zealand somewhere. He came away with a Commission in one of the N.Z. Infantry Battalions, and Sid got word here not long ago that he had just been killed on the Armentieres front. I got Sid into the Office here (after the S.H.S. he went in for Surveying and was also a Draughtsman) as Mail Orderly, and what spare time we have, we spend it in roaming over the countryside together.
There are some magnificent views round here and the English Scenery is really lovely as you know yourself.
And that brings me on to the next topic; after a lot of serious thinking I realised that the War has so altered and twisted things about that I decided to give up the thoughts of ever getting married, more so lately as I see very clearly that to be an efficient Pilot, a man doesn't want to hampered, so to speak, with a wife and family. I have got my life work in front of me at this game, and I am going to become a Pilot, if it takes me ten years which I don't think it will. However at the same time that I wrote to Ol, I wrote to Joan telling her how things were and practically ending it for good and for all. No doubt she thought it pretty rotten of me, but it is no good keeping a girl hanging on and on, so I put an end to it.
And now thank goodness, I am too taken up with my work to trouble the question of marriage. In a lot of ways I think I have altered a good deal since I left Australia, as you will notice when I arrive back home, unless I succeed in cracking my neck, whilst fluttering about in the air.
Flying is absolutely the finest sport going, Father; everything else seems tame by the side of it. There is nothing that can thrill the blood so much as being up in the air. I was so glad to hear from your letter that Walter was so much better, and I only hope that the good progress continues
Mother. Thank you so much for your interesting letter to hand yesterday, By this mornings mail I received a pair of brown knitted socks; I don't know when they were despatched but probably just after your letter as you speak of a pair drying by the dining-room fire. I only wish I could get a peep at you all at home there, but I suppose I wouldn't be satisfied with merely a "peep". Like every one else I am heartily sick of the whole thing, & am looking forward to the day when we leave for home again.
We have been having awful weather here for some weeks past now,- heavy driving rain with strong S.W. Winds. The mud round the camp is awful, but I suppose I must not growl, for things are infinitely worse over the other side of the Channel.
We have at present something like 150 Hun prisoners working round the Camp at different jobs- making roads, drains etc. The work the Authorities are putting into the Aerodrome here, is very substantial and is intended to be permanent. One or two of the Huns who can speak English fluently are absolutely convinced that it is only a matter of time before all the extensive works at which they are now engaged will fall into the hands of Germany. There is one phase of this prisoner question that personally I think is an absolute disgrace to, England. A few weeks ago these prisoners were being paid at the rate of 1/6 per day. Evidently they reckoned they were treated badly, for they actually WENT ON STRIKE, and refused to do a stroke of work unless they were paid higher wages. As a result, they are now getting 2/3 per day (1/3 from the Govt. and 1/- from the contractors. While they are getting this rate of pay, the average British Tommy is fighting over in France for the princely sum of 1 /2 per day. Mind you they have huts exactly the same as we do, fitted with electric light, and stoves etc and get exactly the same food as we are issued with, so that the biggest part of their earnings is hoarded up and eventually will find its way back to Germany, to be used perhaps, against the very people who were fools enough to pay it. I am not saying anything against the prisoners being paid wages, but it a Scandal that they should be getting so much, whilst our own Tommies are only getting their 1 /2 to 1/6 a day.
I am keeping in splendid health and am feeling ever so much better than when I was in London; the air up here is so much fresher and purer, and is really very beneficial. I must thank Ol very much for those snaps that she enclosed in her last letter to me. I am getting a fine collection of photos from home and am very proud to have them.
I must wish you all Good-night now, hoping this finds you all in the best of health, and that Wally is still making good progress with the arm,
With love to all at home,
Your loving,
R 11.10.17

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No 29 Training Squadron R 14.12.17
Australian Flying Corps
nr Shrewsbury
England 10/10/17.

To my loved ones at Home,
An Ausy mail arrived this afternoon, & I was very lucky in receiving a budget from Cairnleith, 2 from Father, one from Mother, 2 from Olwen, 1 from Walter, & 1 from Anna & I wouldn't exchange my home letters for a King's ransom. It is just on 6 weeks since I heard & I was awfully glad to hear from you again
Thank you all so very much for all your welcome letters. For 2 or 3 days after I get a budget of Home letters, I feel awfully miserable & unsettled, I, who have thought myself immune from such maladies as homesickness
Fathers of 5 & 12th August were as usual full of interesting news and what I value more full of personality. Oh Father, dear, when is this rotten ghastly business going to be finished, & let us all unite again in peace & happiness. I was indeed sorry to hear of your attack of influenza, but thankful you are in the hands of good nurses at home.
Did I mention in my last letter that Percy Limn has been sent back to Ausy! Lucky beggar.

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They can say what they like but we in England here are feeling the pinch, & a jolly hard one at that as regards food. Sugar now is one of the lost tribes, & it is very unusual to see a spoonful or two in a restaurant. For tea to-night as example we had 2 slices of War bread each 5 X 3 inches, 5 pieces of beetroot, & enough margarine to cover a penny piece. This with a pint of sweetless tea, constituted the meal known as "Tea". I am as hungry now, an hour after the meal as I was when I started
The biggest part of my Cash now-a-days goes in food. Twice a week we are issued with 2 ozs of jam per man, othertimes we have plain margarine. Breakfast; twice a week porridge? a ration of BACON, & 2 slices of bread; dinner time stew, & occasionally pudding. It is absolutely starving ration we are on here, & yet they still talk of food enough for 7 years. I should have made it 8 years at the rate of cons of issue per man now.
Your letters re Military Allotment have gone astray, somewhere, for I haven't received them.

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However, Father dear, you know best, & I leave it as you wish. And that reminds me, a fortnight or so ago I cabled for £12 as I was in need of cash, & I received it without any trouble a week later. Thank you, Father dear for arranging this for me. I don't quite know how my account stands, whether you control it still or whether it has been transferred However if you still control it, will you please withdraw £3;5;0 & pay same into Rid's account (or Ol's will do, for I don't suppose they are divorced yet) When I was in London on the Staff, Rid visited me for 3 or 4 days. Whilst there he lent me £2, & he made arrangements with me to sell his camp bed for £1-5-0. I did this & paid in later on the £1-5-0 to my account in Bank of NSW for Rid. Meanwhile I wrote to Rid telling him I was holding the money for him until I heard from him. Since I have been up here I have had that letter returned, & even tho' I put Rids correct address on (2nd Bgde Hdqtrs Artillery, 1st Aust Division, A.F.A, France)

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It is just as well I didn’t enclose the £ s d as I had thought of doing, for it would have gone West, as sure as eggs. The only way to adjust matters is as I say, to withdraw £3/5/- & pay to Olwen.
I have been kept exceptionally busy lately with my duties in the Squadron. In case my last letter went West where I detailed my work I will go over briefly again. The 29th Wing R.F.C. comprises 6 Squadrons, 29th Training Sqdn (A.F.C.) & 10th & 67th (R.F.C)here at Shawbury 30th (A.F.C) 34th & 43rd (R.F.C.) at Ternhill about 18 miles from here. The Aerodrome (i.e. flying ground) is about 500-600 acres in extent. There are 6 hangars (2 to each Squadron) each hangar capable of housing 12 to 20 Aeroplanes according to the breed of the Plane. As Returns Clerk in the Orderly Room here, I am responsible for Returns of every sort & description to Headquarters (in this case the 29th Wing) Returns of Machines, engines, Times flown dual & solo & a 100 & one other returns. For my desk I have had a nest of 60 pigeon holes made….[page torn here]…with

[Page 235]
Army forms, & of course there is plenty to do. Since we are under the British Army, (the R.F.C Branch of it) one thing has struck me very forcibly & that is the Red-Tape in connection with the Army. I verily believe that in time the whole show will be choked with it & perhaps then they will see the folly of their ways. In what little time I have had to spare, I have been studying & working at my books on "Theory of Flight" Last Monday with several others, I was posted up as passing my tests, & consequently classed as 1st Class Air Mechanic: My correct address now, is
No 6359,
1st A/M J L Waterhouse,
29th Reserve Squadron,
Australian Flying Corps
Don,t forget "Australian"

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It is getting very cold up here now (October) & I think we are in for a severe winter
I am keeping well, & am anxious to get to school of Military Aeronautics so as to classify for my Pilots Certificate Meanwhile I am working quietly, for it will all come in handy.
I am glad Walters arm is getting on satisfactorily, & trust it will continue to improve.
Must close now as I am trying to squeeze in a note to Ol.
With much love to each & all of you at home, & regrets that I am not able to give it you personally
Ever your loving

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No 5 Matham Grove, R 15.12.17.
East Dulwich
London S.E. 22.

My dearest Father,
I am down at my London "home" on 6 days leave from Shawbury. As before, both Mr. & Mrs Hammond have been exceedingly kind. I was getting really fagged out & nervy, & was granted 6 days leave. Almost at the same time I had a pressing invitation from the Hammonds to spend my time in London at their home if I cared to do so. I accepted their kind invitation, & arrived down here late on Tuesday night (about 11 p.m.) I found a huge supper waiting for me, after which Mr. H. & I had a cigar over in front of an asbestos gas fire, (for it is very cold over here now) & then oh! glory! a lovely soft feather bed, with sheets. After camp life it was simply A1. I slept without a break till 11.30 the following morning when Mrs. Hammond woke me with tea & toast, & after a bath & shave I shoved my feet into carpet slippers & strolled downstairs to breakfast. Breakfast at 12 p.m. mind you. Talk about luxury.

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After turning out at 6.30 am in camp it was great And so it has gone on. I would have been waited on hand & foot had I let them for they are all kindness itself & nothing seems too much trouble for them in the way of looking after them me. It will be a severe drop when I have to go back from this lazy, luxurious holiday to camp life again.
Last evening I started to go down to Essex to see Mrs Limn (senr) & Mrs. Croasdell, Perce’s mother & sister. (Mrs Croasdell’s husband, by the way, was killed in France 6 weeks ago. They had only been married about 3 or 4 weeks before he was sent out to France). About 10 minutes out from London the train came to a stop & all lights were put out. This of course meant an air raid was imminent We (i.e. the passengers) scrambled out of the train & after a lot of stumbling & falling, (for it was pitch-dark,) found our way along the railway line to the next station It was impossible to get any further as traffic i.e. buses & trams were running into the city but

[Page 239]
not away from it, so I decided to return home. I found them those at home had received the warning, so there was nothing to do except to sit & wait. Every now & again I got up & went outside to see what was going on; the searchlights every were very busy but strange to say the guns were silent. After listening intently I failed to hear engines of any sort either Zepp or ‘planes. After one of the jaunts out into the street outside I came in feeling convinced that the raid was over & that the raiders had been driven off. I had hardly expressed these sentiments before there was a terrific explosion, (altho’ a mile away it seemed much closer). Everything rattled on mantelpiece & cupboards & reports through this morning show that it was an aerial torpedo. There were 7 Zepps over, but what we can't account for is (1) Not a sound of an engine of any description either of the Zepps or of our machines, even

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though it was a perfectly calm & clear night (2) Why the guns weren't in action at the time the Zepps were over. Reports to hand this morning show that 5 out of the 7 raiders were brought down on their return journey by the French. One of the aerial torpedoes did tremendous damage. The hole that it made is big enough to hold two waggons. By this explosion 57 civilians were killed & over 70 injured
Under separate cover I am sending you a walking stick I got one of our boys to make for me. It is made from the parts of the propellors of 6 different aeroplanes (all British) that have crashed at one time or another. The 6 distinct pieces had readily been seen, but it is very well put together.
Am in splendid health, & trust this finds all at home in good health.
With much love to all at "Cairnleath,"
Your loving son,

[Page 241]
No. 29 Training Squadron, A.F.C. R 24.12.17.
Shawbury, Shropshire

My dearest Father,
My last letter home was written about 10 days ago from Mr. Hammonds home, London, where I was staying for 6 days leave. At the time I wrote to you, I en posted under insured postage a souvenir walking stick made out of the parts of 6 aeroplane propellors, also separately the original fragment of Zepp, the first to be brought down in England during September 1916.
Just a few days after posting I received one from you enclosed in one to Mr. Hammond, & the following day one that had been re-directed from London H Qrs Address, with the duplicate warrant for £30.
At the same time I received a notification from the Bank of N.S.W London stating that they had rec'd this amount & that it was at my disposal.
However it is down in London, & there it will stop. I don't intend to draw on it at all as I find my 3/6 per diem net rate ample for what I require.
I am getting on O.K. here, but what is the main thing I am keeping fit. The weather is bitterly cold but we have a tremendous lot to be thankful for. A fine camp, with asphalted paths

[Page 242]
fires (coke) both in the Office & in the hut, electric light, hot baths, day & night, & fairly good tucker I often remark that it is not soldiering at all; we are only civilians in uniform.
I am going to have a lot of trouble this winter with rheumatism, I am afraid. Even now at nights I am constantly awakened with rheumatism in the knee joints.
We have been issued with rifles & ammunition, & there are rumours that were are going over to Ireland as a dismounted Unit, in connection with this Irish trouble. It is going to be rotten fighting your own countrymen, practically. I hope it never does come to that though, for goodness only knows there is enough trouble in the world as it is.
Thank you so much, Father, dear, for fixing up my financial business. Sometimes I ev feel I would give all I possessed to be transplanted into the middle of the home-circle again for 1 brief hour. It is going to be a long struggle, & it be several years yet before we see Sunny New South Wales again I am afraid.
I sincerely trust that this finds you all at "Cairnleith well & happy. I had a nasty cold whilst in London a fortnight ago, but have lost it now thank goodness.

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I must also thank you all very, very much for your Xmas Hamper that you have ordered
It hasn't yet come to hand but I hope that it won't go astray like last years did. It is awfully good of you dear people, & really I am most grateful to you.
Must close now, with love to you all at home,
Ever your loving,

[Page 244]
No 29 Training Squadron Recd 29.1.18
Aust. Flying Corps.
Shawbury England

[The bottom right corner of next 3 pages torn off.]
My dearest Father,
You will be glad to know that your Xmas hamper arrived from Griffiths Bros 2 days ago.
My word it was absolutely fine, & I sincerely thank you all at home for your kindness. It arrived in splendid condition and I can tell you that I appreciated it very much. It was awfully good of you at home, & please accept my heart felt thanks.
Your letters dated 17th of N October & thereabouts reached me on 24th November which is absolutely a record for speed. I am sorry that I can't write separate letters to you all but as I only have one lot of news to write about I think a long general letter just about fills the bill.
We had our first fall of snow here on the night of December 1st. It certainly was not very much, about an inch in the open & of course more where the wind drifted it into hedge & ditch. My, but it is fine to see the English countryside covered with Natures white mantle. Well can I compree the expression now, "As pure as the driven snow." Every day since, wh we have had [torn page] of snow, & to-night as I write I glance out the [torn page] & see the Aerodrome one huge mass of glitter[torn page] – glittering under the stars.

[Page 245]
I need hardly add that it is anything but warm flying this weather. The other morning whilst up testing a machine I felt the wind & cold pierce like a knife altho' clad in the usual leather coat & fur lined cap.
Did I tell you, Dad that the application that I put in a fortnight ago for a Pilot was turned down for the 3rd time. I was heartily disappointed, & when I the Major was in a good mood a few days later I asked him why he had turned me down. He explained that as I had a somewhat difficult & responsible job, & I had thoroughly grasped & understood my work, (as he found out when I was away on 6 days leave) he couldn't afford to lose me. Of course all this was like soft soap to this kid, & it didn't go very far with me. However a day or two ago, it came through orders that No 6359 1st A/M Waterhouse J.L.L. to be Corporal from 1st inst, so now that I am strolling round with 2 bars on my arm, & greeted everywhere with "Hello, Co-orporal." Kiss me Corporal" etc. To-night the Orderly Sgt has just put me in charge of a hut of 30 men, so that it looks like a case of "out of the frying pan etc."
I have an exceptionally heavy cold in my head at present, which at time makes me feel somewhat deaf, but otherwise I am enjoying splendid health.
Sometimes I feel heartily ashamed of myself over [torn page] in absolute safety, & comfortable, whilst those poor wretches over the other side are enduring all sorts of hell upon earth. I am going to try again this month for a Pilot [torn page]

[Page 246]
only hope they will give me a chance of making a name for myself, for I am confident that once I got my foot on the "Aviation Ladder", (that is "to becoming a Pilot) I would go up.
I thought a short time ago we were off to Ireland. They issued us all with rifles & 200 rounds of .303's, & our MT service were "standing to" all one night, but nothing came of it. The following day we fitted up with bombs & mach. guns) & dispatched 4 R.E 8's. (a specially constructed type of fighting aeroplane) to Ireland Later on in the same day we were informed by wire that the whole 4 had come croppers. They had run into a violent storm on their way over, with the result that 1 fell into the Irish Channel, 2 landed on the Welsh coast, & the 4th was smashed when attempting a forced landing. All the pilots luckily escaped serious injury.
Snow is still coming down ever so gently & ever so softly, & by morning it will be fairly thick.
Must close now, people dear, hoping this finds you all well, & not absolutely roasting while we over here are shivering,
With fond love to you all & every one.
Ever your loving son,

[Page 247]
No 29 Training Sqdn. R. 20.3.18.
nr. Shrewsbury

My dearest Father,
I must thank you so much for yours of 3rd. Novr. which came to hand yesterday. Must also thank Walter for his last letter written about a week previous
A few days before Christmas I sent a Xmas cable home wishing you all the best Season's Greetings.
We are at present in the grip of winter over here altho it is nothing like as severe as the previous one. Still, this weather especially, it is bitterly cold, to say the least of it when flying at an altitude of 2 or 3 thousand feet.
In my previous letter I think I told you of my promotion to Corporal. The stripes were only confirmed, however at the beginning of this month so that

[Page 248]
the rate of pay is 10/- per day. On receipt of this, Father dear, I wish you would pay in my Military Allotment of 4/- p.d into the Sydney account and cancel my previous instructions as the net rate of 4/6 p.d. is all that I will require.
We are very comfortable here; we have our own Corp's Mess, and are very well off as regards tucker.
On Christmas Day, I was working till after 4 o'clock as we had a big stack of work to get through. On New Year's Eve, however I went into town, to some friends in there, and after we came out of the Pictures, we went down to some other friends in another part of the town. We were in the middle of supper when the hooters & whistles announced that the New Year had broken. It was then that I struck a very peculiar custom in vogue in certain parts of this country. Just after 12 midnight, Mrs Jones, our hostess, ran out of coffee, & jumped up to get some

[Page 249]
more from the kitchen. As soon as she remembered that 12 o'clock had gone, however she onl absolutely refused to budge out of the room until some male person, preferably a dark-haired one had first gone through the house. It was then that I found out that it is the custom (call it superstition if you like) that the 1st person to cross the threshold after the New Year has broken must be a male preferably a dark haired one.
In this case I set their minds at ease by going through the house, & also 2 other places (neighbours). It was a little after 3 when I finished the 8 miles between town & camp that night so was not very refreshed when I turned out on the 7 am parade the following morning.
It is quite on the cards that this Squadron is moving from here at the end of this month. Our new position will be about 30 miles from Bristol. However please address all letters to me as under

[Page 250]
No 6359 Cpl. J L Waterhouse,
No 29 Training Squadron,
Australian Flying Corps,

This address is quite sufficient & will serve equally as well for either France or Palestine, for I am absolutely confident that we will be into it again before another 3 months has passed.
Am gradually getting together a fine set of aerial photos; I am a bit scared of sending them per post, as I have not got the negatives to many of them & should be very sorry if they were lost at sea. If we get our moving orders soon, I purpose leaving

[Page 251]
them at my London "Home" No 5 Matham Grove, East Dulwich SE 22.
I intend having another try for a Pilot very soon, as I am sure I would make a good job of it if I only could get a start at it.
Was so please in your letter to hear of your wee grandson. Hope Daddy dear it is not making you feel so very old, for I dont want you to be changed at all when I come home again. Lets all hope & trust that it will be before 1918 is among the past & gone years.

[Page 252]
Probably by the time this letter reaches you it will be both Mother's & your birthday once again.
May you both be blessed this Birthday, People dear, & this letter carries with it every loving wish for Very Many Happy Returns of the Day with the hope that by next time birthday I may be able to Kiss you both at home in Sunny New South Wales.
My time is up. My love to you all at Home, & love to you & Mother
Ever your loving son

[Page 253]
[There is a gap of 4 months in the letters at this point.]
Christchurch College R 10.7.18.
No 2 School of Military Aeronautics
Oxford. England
11th May 1918.

My dearest Father,
Things have been happening since I last wrote about 10 days or a fortnight ago. I have told you that I have been trying for some time to get into the School for Pilots but our Squadron Commander turned me down every time. However it came through rather suddenly that with another fellow from No 5 Squadron, I was to report to A.F.C. Headquarters the following day. I went down & was told that I would have a strict Medical Board to pass in about 4 days time (the following Sunday)
Never was truer word spoken. Sunday morning found about 35 candidates for the Med. Board.
They took from 9.30 to 4 pm before they finally passed me out as "Medically Fit to become a Pilot"
I won't go into great detail, but will give you a rough idea of the strictness with which the Exam. was conducted. We had 7 different Specialists, Firstly eyes, reading tiny letters with & without glasses also distinguishing coloured lights & flashes. Three specialists on the heart & lungs, & I was told my heart & lungs were as sound as a bell One of them did nothing else but test the

[Page 254]
nerves, one for the ears, & one for a thorough overhaul. I was shaky about passing on account of my eyes, & even now I have to take to glasses for long distance objects. However after ½ an hours restive waiting, we were handed our certificates. It was a big relief to find I had got through as I could have cried with disappoin disappointment had I failed.
We came up to Oxford here the following morning (last Monday) but were granted 2 days leave to get our outfits.
We were allowed £9 for our outfits, but on an average they run into £30 or so. I have got all mine & it has run me into between £23 & £26.
It is a five weeks course & we are kept at it for it is a stiff exam at the end of the course. The subjects are:-
Engines (4 types)
Aerial Navigation
Map Reading—Photography
Topography and we must get 80% in each subject.
Ground Gunnery
Wireless (10 words per minute)

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I have continually wished that Walter was here with me during the course. I know how he would be in it heart & soul.
Did I tell you that a 2nd. Cousin of mine Alan Waterhouse (George Alan) from Tasmania He came over from France & is doing the course with me. He knows Lawry & used to go out with him whilst the latter was in Tasmania. He & I get on very well together & he is a jolly decent chap only just 21.
I must thank you all for home letters to hand yesterday: one from yourself dated 10.3.18 Mothers 10.3.18, Ols 9.3.18, & Annas 11.3.18; thank you all so much & for the parcel on its way.
Please accept my great thanks for your parcel per Anthony Horderns that came to hand just before leaving No 5 Squadron. The contents were very much appreciated, & were very acceptable. I hope this other parcel does not go astray for any sort of food is very acceptable in this part of the world. Thank heaven you dear people dont know the meaning of War as England to-day knows it. By the way before I forget it I had

[Page 256]
better give you my latest address. (Delete Reg. No.)
Cadet J. L. W---
Australian Flying Corps
This is the fullest possible, for the time being. As soon as I am posted to a Squadron I will let you know.
I am finding the Wireless a bit hard but it is only practice as I can do about 3 words per minute at present. We bought a buzzer between us a few days ago & every spare minute we are practicing. By "We" I mean our my room-mates There are 5 of us to a bedroom here, large airy rooms, so that we have plenty of room. I would so like you to be at the College here- Christchurch is one of the oldest of the group of colleges
You should see our Dining Hall- a long high-ceiling building hung round with life-size paintings of dead & gone Masters of this college
We are working hard at present; Breakfast at 7.15; lectures from 8 till 12.30 Dinner 1 pm Lecture 1.30 till 4.30, Study 4.30 till 7.30 Dinner 8 pm; Study 9 till 10 then BED.

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Wal or Ol will probably remember Harold Buckingham from Artarmon. He is here with me going through the course with me. He has just had 2 years in France, & is very little altered.
I will let you know, Father dear, of any old S.H.S. Boys in connection with the Honours Board. I am writing to Lieut R. F. Oakes, No 5 T.S. A.F.C. Minchinhampton, Glocestershire, England, himself an old S.H.S Boy. Perhaps he will be able to let me know of some other boys.
The surroundings to the college are looking beautiful at this time of the year. We are between 5 and 10 minutes walk from the river (Thames) and my chief recreation here is canoeing. I did take up rowing at first but then I got on to canoes & found it much more exciting. About an hour before dinner is about all the time I can spare at present.
Must close now with love to all at home,
Your loving son,

[Page 258]
Christchurch College, R 10.8.18.

My dearest Father,
I was very glad to get your letter of 31.3.18 yesterday written from West Maitland. I am glad you have been able to get away for a change & hope you feel the benefit of it.
I wrote about 10 days ago telling you of my arrival at above College. We are having a pretty strenuous time of it here on the whole, but it really wont hurt us. We have another 2 weeks to go before our finals come off. When we pass we will probably be sent to a Gunnery School for about 3 weeks at Uxbridge, & then posted to a Training Squadron to do our practical flying.
I am returning some photos that you sent me from Harry. They look very well, & I would like a trip down that way by plane. I am also enclosing some p/cards of the College here. The dining hall is a marvellous old place & I would very much like you to see it. It is hung all round with oil paintings, some of which are absolutely priceless Just opposite my place at table are 4 paintings with a total value of perhaps ½ a million, 2 by Gainsborough, a Reynolds, & a Romney.

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There is also a huge one of Henry V111. I believe there are only 4 of these by this artist in England. There is also a fine painting of John Wesley.
Discipline is very strict here, & some of the "Tommies" (Cadets) are fine specimens of the British soldier. There are only 24 Australian Cadets here out of the total of 250, so that we get a fairly good spin, considering everything.
On Saturday last I sent a cable asking for £10 to be cabled to Bank of N.S.W, London with the words "Cable ten Wales Bank London now Oxford, Jabez Waterhouse." I find it is rather an expensive course here, as we have to both behave & live as officers with the pay of our previous rank. For instance we have to travel 1st Class anywhere we go; and our Mess a/cs all run into extra. My kit pretty well wiped me out, as I had to get nearly all new clothes & these latter are an exhoribant price over here now.
The scenery over here is just perfect now. The English summer is really beautiful, & I have often wished Wally could have stayed over here for a while longer when he was here

[Page 260]
Did I tell you that as a relaxing sport, I have gone in for rowing. I am in the Australian Boat Team, & we do our practicising every morning from 5.30 till 7. I have never felt so well & fit as I have done since I have been on this stunt, and I would really miss it, if I could not continue.
We are fairly comfortable in our quarters, here. There are 5 of us to a room (20' x 20') & have wire spring mattresses, with 4 blankets. (no sheets).
I passed one branch of my Exams to-day- that of Wireless. Reading 6, & sending 10 words per minute.
Seems slow perhaps, but it the test required, & I even didn't know the Morse alphabet when I started here. I think I mentioned that Harold Buckingham (who used to live close to Artarmon station) is here & doing the same course with me. He is coming on very well, & will in time become a good pilot.
Alan Waterhouse is rather a clever fellow. He is a very decent chap indeed & we knock about quite a lot together.
The hardest subject I find is Aerial Navigation. Such subjects as Engines & Engine Running

[Page 261]
Rigging, etc comes very easily to me, as I gained a fair amount of knowledge whilst with the 29th Training Squadron A.F.C.
Until further notice, will you please address letters as follows:- (deleting Regimental number)
Cadet J.L. Waterhouse,
Australian Flying Corps,
Of course as soon as I am posted to a Training Squadron I will let you know.
I must now close, as I have a good deal of work to get through for to-morrow,
With love to all at home,
Your loving son,
J Leo L. Waterhouse.

[Page 262]
R.A.F. Armament School, Uxbridge. R 22.8.18.
England, Wednesday 3.6.18

My dearest Father,
I was glad to receive yours of 7th April yesterday. Altho' this letter only reached me yesterday, one from you dated a fortnight week later arrived nearly 3 weeks ago. The mails are very irregular here both outgoing & incoming. It was in your letter of the 14th April that I learned that Rid had reached home safely. I was very glad to hear this both for his own & also Ol's sake. I often wish I could drop in & see you all again if it was only a 24 hour visit.
Never mind, Dad, wait till the Imperial Air Service between England & Australia is established with a 6 days trip. It will be worth while coming home then, when I am in command of one of those international machines & have 3 months leave of absence granted.
In my last letter from Oxford I acknowledged the receipt of the remittance for £10 that I cabled for & also the parcel sent from A. H & Sons. So far, I have received 2 parcels from through A.H. & Sons, from Auntie and Uncle & have acknowledged them. From your letter there is evidently another parcel on its way.
I got through all my Exams at Oxford alright. My average for the whole of the subjects was 91% . Out of the 26 Australian Cadets only 2 failed, so that is fairly satisfactory. After finishing our course at Oxford we were granted 6 days leave. I need hardly say that I spent them at Elsie's home, & had a quiet but enjoyable time.
I am greatly relieved that I have passed through Oxford satisfactorily, for you know I have for some time past been very keen on this branch of the service, & only hope I get through my practical flying alright. I am looking forward to the day when I arrive home with my wings up, & perhaps a little bit of ribbon tucked away underneath them.

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Eventually I will be posted to one of our Australian Training Squadrons (as a Cadet) but wi whether it will be Nos, 5, 6, 7, or 8, I don't know. Nos, 1, 2, 3, & 4 Austn Squadrons are Service Squadrons, No 1 being in Palestine, & the other 3 in France. Shortly after obtaining our Wings at a T.S. we are posted overseas to a Service Squadron.
As soon as I know definitely which T. Squadron I am posted to I will advise you so that your letters to me may be addressed accordingly. Until then, though, will you please address as follows:-
Cadet J.L.W. Australian Flying Corps, England.
We arrived at Uxbridge here on Saturday last, & are kept busy with our Gunnery Course. The machine guns are in a way complicated, but at the same time very interesting, and I don't think I will have any trouble in getting through the course here.
The weather here is splendid here just now- just a trifle hot in the middle of the day but very pleasant & enjoyable early & late in the afternoon. It is quite light here at night when "Light's Out" goes at 11 p.m. & is light again soon after 4 a.m.
The camp comprises of some 1500 troops (cadets) at present representing, British, Australian, Canadian, South African, N.Z, French, American, & many naval men. We are in huts of about 30 to a hut but have plenty of room, with a spring wire stretcher each, & are on the whole very comfortable. The food is not too satisfactory, however, but what can't be cured must be endured, I suppose. There is no doubt that Britain is in a serious position as regards the food problem, but I don't for a minute believe it is as bad as they try to make out; it is simply that the food is held up until it eventually has to be destroyed as unfit for consumption.
We are only about an hour's run from the Metropolis here, but it doesn't worry me at all for I realise that it pays a man to stick closely to his work whilst going through a course like this, for with

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this subject (Gunnery) it is a fact that your own life may depend on your own knowledge & skill of the gun.
As it is now getting late, I must close,
With much love to you all at home,
Your loving son,
P.S. Am keeping in splendid health, & find that "Exercise" is a big factor in our present life here to keep us absolutely fit. JLW.

[Page 265]
Cadet J.L.L. Waterhouse R. 9.10.18 A.F.C. winged emblem at top of page.
No 7 Training Squadron,
Sunday 11.8.18

My dearest Father,
I am at last in full swing at work training. I was posted to No 7 from the Depot about a week ago, and have been flying every day. At present I have got in about 8 hours dual and am going on my first solo trip this afternoon. I am taking this chance to write just in case I should be in Hospital this afternoon but I have plenty of confidence in my own powers of flying the old bus alright.
We have been having magnificent weather for flying lately & this morning I was up about 4,000 ft just at sunrise & it was absolutely wonderful.
Words can hardly describe the beauty that opened up in front of my eyes. On referring to the map you will see that we are 20-25 miles N.E. of Bristol.
I flew due W till I was over the mouth of the Severn, then turned S to Bristol then tootled along till I passed Minchinhampton Aerodrome then turned S.W. to home.

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The adjutant of No 7 sent for me the other day & when I told him my name he got up & shook hands with me. It was Capt. N.H. Hobbs, M.C. 18th Battn. whom Walter will remember at Randwick Hospital. He asked very kindly after Wal, & told me how he & Wal used to chaff each other as to being fit again, & he told me to tell Wally not to worry about coming over again, as he would not be fit again before the war finished. He has been marked G.S. again and is awaiting orders to rejoin his Unit.
The above is my address until further notice. We are fairly comfortable in tents here, but have a good Mess.
I am keeping in splendid health & when I weighed myself the other day was surprised to see the pointer swing to 12 st. 7 lbs.

[Page 267]
It is partly for this reason that I am not on Scout machines as weight is an important factor when you need to climb to 23,000 ft. I was disappointed at first at being put on as Corps Pilot but am quite satisfied now as my machine has & will have in future a stationary engine, much more reliable than rotaries.
Must close now, with love to all at home
Your loving son,
P.S. No home mail to hand for close on 2 months now. Will probably get a budget when it starts.
P.P.S. Must acknowledge with thanks the remittance for £10 that I cabled for from Wendover. J.L.W.

[Page 268]
No 7 T. Squadron R. 29.10.18
A.F.C. Leighterton
Glostershire, Eng.

N.B. Wally will be glad to know that Lieut Wharton (late 2nd Battn) brought down his 1st Hun recently. He & three others were attacked by 8 Albatross scouts. J.L.W.

My dearest Father,
I have to thank you for your letter of 19/5/18 that came to hand 2 days ago. A few days previous the parcel from A. Hordern & Sons came to hand with the chicken tomale in it. Many thanks for this, Father dear, as it was very acceptable. I searched through the parcel, but failed to find the bottle of saxin that you sent, & I am sorry it went astray as they are very useful over here; however it can’t be helped.
It is very strange the way they mutilate cables sent from here. The text of the cable I sent from Oxford which should have read "Am now at Oxford", reached you as "N.W. Oxford" No wonder you were confused a bit & could not piece it together.
I am getting on quite satisfactorily with my flying here. Let me tell you about my first flight solo As you know, I always was a little superstitious over questions relating to the 13th of the month. On Sunday, the 11th, I was quite convinced in my own mind that I was capable of going on my first solo trip, & had any amount of confidence. However, the instructor took me up for a final test, & whether he had a bad liver

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or not that morning, he would not let me go.
I was terribly disappointed, & determined that when he wanted me to go, I would refuse. Sure enough on early flying (about 5.30 am) on the Tuesday, he asked me if I felt fit for solo, & altho’ it was a perfect flying morning I wouldn’t go. He asked why & I replied "It is the 13th of the month". He mumbled something about a "superstitious old fool", but I would not budge. However another pupil, (Lieut Viner,) took this same machine out also on his first solo. Exactly what happened, he doesn’t know, but it is my belief that one of the control wires broke just after he left the ground, & he crashed into one of the new hangars they are building knocking unconscious 3 workmen, but he himself escaped with a gash in his forehead. Photos No 1 & No 2 show the crashed machine just after we pulled the unconscious pilot out of the wreck. No 3 shows my first attempt at a photo from the air at a height of 2,000 ft. on my 2nd solo. Taken with my camera, a No 2 Brownie, 1/50th sec. stopped

[Page 270]
right down. No 4 shows an "Avro" crash, the pilot misjudging the distance into the drome. He escaped with a mighty bump. Strange to say, on that Tuesday we had 13 crashes, a Lieut Charlie Dunn, being killed, & two others, Capt Mackenzie & Lieut D’Arcy Rees being badly smashed. On Sunday last we had a fatal accident 2 scouts colliding in a cloud at 3,000 ft. their respective pilots, Capt. Taylor & Lieut Fergusson being smashed to atoms.
This chicken doesn’t believe in taking the slightest risk; I have done about 12 hrs dual, & 8 hours solo to date. Yesterday I went up on my height test I was supposed to reach 9,000 ft. shut off the engine & land in the drome without the use of the engine. All at once All went well for a time, I was just over 6000 & climbing steadily, when I detected a strange noise in the engine, & the vibration of the machine increased to such an extent that it

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became hard to manage. I promptly shut off my engine, & then twisted & turned, all the time gliding down to "terra firma", & landed without any trouble in the drome. On examination I found that the trouble was caused by a defective spring operating the exhaust valve of one of the cylinders, breaking, thus rendering that particular cylinder useless, pro. tem. However the instructor gave me the other 3,000 ft, & passed me through
I have since passed my cloud flying test being enveloped for 5 minutes in a thick bank of clouds, controlling the machine entirely by the instruments as the ground is then totally invisible.
I am keeping in splendid health, & don’t think it will be very long before I get my Wings & commission.
Must close now, with much love to you all at home,
Your loving son,
P.S. If you think they would be alrg alright, would you occasionally forward me some films for my camera as they are unprocurable over here. It is an Autographic No 2 Brownie. (Film No. A 120) please, Leo.

[Page 272]
No 7 Squadron, R. 24.10.18
Australian Flying Corps,
Leighterton, Tetbury, Glos.
Sunday 8.9.1918

My dearest Father,
Your two letters of 26.5.18 & 19.6.18 arrived together about a week ago in company with one from Ol of the latter date. I got Ol’s answered by last mail, but have had little spare time since. Many thanks for your two letters as it was some time since I had heard.
I was very pleased to hear that Anna did so well with her exams. I think she has more brains than this kid had when he was at school, or else sticks closer to her books than I did. Do you remember, Dad, how you used to work out a sum for me, & when I was counting on getting hold of it & copying straight into my book, you would tear it up & make me do it out of my own head. I have often wished I had you by my side here as I have struggled with my Aerial Nav. problems. I had a hustle for over 3 hours with a wind-speed problem last night, but I beat it in the end, & had the satisfaction of mastering the principle of it.

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Naturally I was awfully pleased that you were not averse to my "engagement news". Elsie informed me, after I had told her the result of your letter, that had you been in the slightest way against the engagement she would have broken it off "tout de suite" hard & difficult though such an action would have been.
However everything is quite O.K. & we are very, very happy in each other’s love. I thank you for your various hints & will do well to keep them before me. Now about monetary matters I sha’nt cable for any more money, in fact as soon as I get my commission I intend to increase my allotment to 10/- per day. With 3/- p. d. deferred this will still allow me 8/- p. d. to draw which should be sufficient
In my pay book I have made out a Military Will, dated 3.9.1918 leaving everything I possess at the time of my death to Elsie, and have added a rider to the effect that should I meet my death whilst in England, it is my last wish that I should be buried in Shrewsbury Cemetery, Shropshire, where my grave would be well looked after by the Lawsons. It is not altogether a choice subject to debate, but at the game I am at now, much may happen in 10 minutes, & it would be too late after a fatal crash.

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The work I am engaged on at present, that of Artillery Observation is very interesting, tho’ at the same time very complicated. As a pilot of a 2-seater reconnaisance machine, there is more head work required in the Aerial Navigation part of it, but I am getting on well with it, & find I can grasp it by sticking at it.
I have now completed & passed all tests in the following:- Bombs, & bombing, machine guns (Vickers & Lewis) Photography, Wireless A & B (Sending & receiving at 8 words per minute) & Aerial Nav. I am hoping to have my commission in 6 weeks time from now Under the old system (that of getting your commission on graduating "A" category) I would have had my commission this week, & then got my "wings" in about 6 weeks later (i.e. Category "B") An order (Royal Air Force) came out recently that "from the 13th of August 1918, a pilot must graduate in both Category "A" & "B" before he can get his Commission." As this only came into force on the 13th of last month, I only missed by about a month. Now

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however, I have to get my "Wings" before I get my commission, or rather at the same time. The difference between A & B categories is a whole host of aerial tests such as X-country flights, forced landings, etc. but with anything like decent weather, I hope to get through in about 6 weeks from now.
The last week has been awful weather here as far as flying goes. Rain, wind, & storms every day. Meals are fine here, & I am putting on weight; turn the scales at 12 st. 2 now; I was just under 11 st. when I left Australia.
Hope to send some more snaps next time if I can get some negatives I am after.
Must close now, with love to you all at home,
Ever your loving son,

[Page 276]
No 7 T.S. A.F.C. R 14.11.18
Leighterton, Glos. Eng.
Friday 13/9/1918.

N.B. Kindly address mail Cadet J.L.W.
Aust. Flying Corps,
Abroad until further notice.

My dearest Father,
I have a fair amount of home mail to acknowledge On the 10th inst I received yours of 30/6/18, and this morning yours of 7th & 14th July, Mothers of 14th July, & Olwens of the same date. Many thanks to you dear people for all your bright and intensely interesting letters; you may be sure they are appreciated very much over in these parts.
In my previous letters to you from time to time I have acknowledged all the parcels that you have so kindly forwarded, but I was surprised to hear that Lawry has sent parcels also. These have gone astray, unfortunately, as I haven’t received them at this end.
Mother speaks of loneliness on a pilots first "solo" flight. It was not my first flight so much that I found lonely, as all my attention was taken up, divided between the instruments on the dashboard, and listening intently for the slightest difference in the tone of the engine. When I did feel lonely though, was the morning I went up for my height test. I originally intended going to 9,000 ft but as I think I explained in a previous letter, when at 6,000 ft one of the exhaust valve springs on the engine broke, temporarily rendering the engine useless, owing to the vibration set up through the "dud" cylinder. Even at 6,000 ft the drome (which is roughly 1000 X 600 yards) looked about the size of a visiting card, & I wondered how on earth I was going to get in & land, but I glided down lower & lower, & landed quite decently. I have got the name

[Page 277]
here of being a regular "air-hog." Most fellows (pupils) are satisfied with 2 or 3 flights each, per day but I am constantly on the prowl for a vacant machine, & am up every chance I get. To-day I have had 5 trips altogether, 3 solo flights totalling 2 ½ hrs, & 2 dual flights.
My favourite occupation is to take a bus (we always call an aeroplane a "bus,"- "Oh! she is a slow old bus) up that is fitted with a Camera gun. This explains itself. For To all appearances it is an ordinary machine gun, but on pressing the Bowden Control on the "joystick" (the main control column in a plane) instead of the gun projecting a bullet it takes a photo. Thus you can see by the photo, exactly what part of the target or aeroplane you would have hit, had it been a genuine machine gun.
So I like to take up one of these, & chase other machines about the sky, regarding them for the time being as Hun machines & manoeuvring my own machine into a favourable position & then fire (really take a snap). Occasionally the other machine puts up a fight, & then all the knowledge, & skill comes into play, each machine twisting & turning trying to get his ring sights onto the other machine. A few mornings ago I was up on a solo trip & whilst at 7,000 ft I was "attacked" by a scout fitted with one of these guns. I was thrown immediately on to the defensive, & for over half an hour a lively "fight" took place. I twisted & turned my old bus about, until I hardly knew whether "I was on my head or my heels." It was fine sport & splendid practice, & when a few days later I saw the film that the Scout pilot took, on that occasion, I saw that

[Page 278]
had it been in actuality, my the wings of my machine would have been sadly perforated, but as he was unable to train his gun either on to the Pilot (myself in this case) or any vital part of my machine, such as engine or petrol tanks. The Flight Commander who had been watching the scrap through a pair of glasses, complimented me on the way I handled the machine.
The weather for the past few days has been very unsatisfactory from a pupil’s point of view, but it is fairly decent above the clouds say at 6,000 ft. but then of course it is surprisingly easy to get lost. I think one of the finest sensations that anybody could wish for is to be in a machine at 3,000 ft on a clear morning & watch the sun rise. It is gorgeous, really, & there are no two ways about it.
I am keeping in splendid health, & enjoy living every minute of the day.
So poor old Georgie Reid has gone! He was a great old man & a man who was proud of his position as High Commissioner for Australia. I remember forming one of a Guard of Honour for him one day at the S.H.S., & he shook hands with us after it was over.
Must close now trusting you are all keeping well,
With much love to you all,
Your loving son,
P.S. Penny postage has been abolished in Gt. Britain thus the 1 ½ d stamps on all my letters. Same for inland postage here.

[Page 279]
No 7 squadron
Australian Flying Corps, R 15.11.18
Leighterton, Tetbury, Glos.
Sunday Evg 22/9/18

My dearest father,
Since I last wrote, no Australian mail has come in, but there are rumours afloat that a mail is due in to-morrow so perhaps I will hear then. I hope that you are all keeping in the best of health at home; on my part I am keeping in splendid condition here, and am very happy in my work.
The weather here has been very stormy here for some time past now; very strong Westerly winds, & gusty too, & rain at least twice a day. On top of this, ground fogs drift in from the Bristol Channel, & make things unpleasant as a rule. The district is of a very clayey nature and in consequence of the continual rain, the ground is very slippery & treacherous. One of our mechanics starting up an engine a few days ago, slipped; the engine starting, caused the revolving prop. to catch his arm, breaking it instantly. So very simply done too.
I took up a new type of machine yesterday to the kind I generally fly. I climbed to 4,000 & tried my hand at some fancy flying- looping the loop, spinning, & ½ rolls.

[Page 280]
Looping is ridiculously easy, & it is a peculiar sensation to sit back, look up, & see old Mother Earth go sailing past overhead. This of course is at the top of the loop. I found spinning was inclined to make me dizzy, so I cut it out. I can quite understand how a pilot on getting his machine accidently into a spin, gets rattled and loses his head, with the result that he crashes.
My total time this last week is only about 3 ½ hours really awful but unavoidable considering the weather
Capt Hobbs, who Wal will remember, has rejoined his Unit in France. Rather stiff putting a man with a crook hand on active service again.
I believe all our 1914 & up to June 1915 men are being returned to Australia next month for 6 months recruiting campaign. Lucky beggars:- wish I was among them, so that I could see you all once again
I suppose I would be back here again before very long, though, as my Chief Interest lies over in these parts now.

[Page 281]
I spent our last fortnightly holiday with Elsie & as you may guess I had a good time. I wish the War was over & I was settled down. It will mean 4 or 5 years chopped right out of a man’s life, as it were, & right at the important period of it. Oh! well, a fellow has a lot to be thankful for- that he has his life at all in these times.
Another crash this evening through the control wire jambing. The pilot (with his Wings, too) escaped miraculously from a vast heap of splinters, unscathed.
All being well, I am to do my first solo on the service machine before breakfast tomorrow morning.
It is the type of machine I will be flying in France, if ever I reach there, & I hope I don’t make a hash of it. They are very hard buses to land, but I think I am equal to the task, as I have had about 4 hours dual on this particular type.
I will try & get a letter off to Olwen by this mail, but I have some Aerial Nav to do to-night for the morning, & if I am unable to catch the mail give her my love, please Daddy, & tell her I

[Page 282]
will write as soon as possible.
This thera theoretical part of our work is as bad as being back at school again, but is very essential for good navigation, & I am glad I am mastering it so well.
I must close now, with love to all you dear ones at "Cairnleith."
Your loving son,
P.S. I am enclosing 2 postcards of "Lasborough House" where we are at present quartered. Formerly one of Englands "old ancestral Halls" it is really a fine old building and situated in very picturesque surroundings. It is about ¾ of a mile from the Aerodrome, & when this letter is completed, we will be living right on the ‘drome itself.

[Page 283]
No 7 T.S. A.F.C. R 17.12.18
Leighterton. Glos. Eng
8th Oct. 1918

My dearest Father,
Since my last letter home, we have been having very cold weather here- extremely cold in fact for this time of the year. We had our first fall of snow (only a slight one) on the 29th of last month, and since then it has been one continual round of rain & wind. It has in consequence held up the flying progress to some extent here, but I am getting on as well as possible.
I have just returned from 3 days "Crash leave" On Sunday week whilst with an Instructor, & when "taking off" our engine failed us at a critical moment. We picked it up again, however, but it was too late. A brick wall loomed up ahead of us & the Instructor made a frantic effort to "zoom" up over the wall. We got over but left our undercarriage (the u/c. consists of the two wheels etc on which a machine runs along the ground when "taking-off", and "landing") hanging on the wall. I never want to spend another 10 minutes like I did that time when we were flying round with our u/c. off. Both the instructor & I realised that we must crash on landing, & all sorts of thoughts flashed through my brain as I

[Page 284]
thought I may be hurled into Eternity, but I can honestly say I was not no more afraid than if I had been at home. Well ultimately we landed. These people on the drome saw our position, the ambulance rushed out to the spot they calculated we would hit, & awaited results. As soon as we hit, the propellor went into a thousand pieces, and the machine was smashed to matchwood. I was in the pilot's seat in front, but my safety belt saved me, & we crawled out with only a couple of scratches & a shaking up between the two of us. I was granted 3 days leave to get over it, and had a very pleasant time at home with Elsie who also managed to get some time off.
I have been flying again since, & had 1 ½ hours in the air solo today. I am pushing forward with various aerial tests I have to do, & hope to have my commission by the end of this month.
No letters from home since I last wrote, but I hope no news is good news.
We are very comfortable here at present, and the food etc is very decent.
Must close now, Father dear, with love to you all at home,
Your loving son,

[Page 285]
No 7 T.S. A.F.C. R 16.12.18
Leighterton, Glos.

My dearest Father,
I was very pleased to receive your three most interesting letters (21st July, 4th & 5th of Aug) yesterday.
In yours of 21st July, you say 2 envelopes have arrived home for me from Harry bearing the Papuan postmark & date Dec/07. Is this right? 11 years ago. I expect you meant Dec/17.
To explain the term "escargot running," I must make some other explanations. Aeroplanes are fitted with one of two kinds of engines; either a stationary or a rotary. In a stationary engine the cylinders are fixed & the crankshaft to which the propellor is fixed (occasionally it is geared down) revolves at a high rate of speed. This type of engine has a simple float carburettor (as in the motor car engine) which is controlled by a single lever, viz, the throttle. In the rotary engine, however, the conditions are reversed. The crankshaft is fixed & the cylinders (to which is attached the propellor) in this case revolve. The ordinary carburettor on this engine would be useless, so they have to fit a special type, which is operated by two levers, a throttle, & a fine adjustment. The fine adjustment mixes the proportion of petrol & air, & the throttle

[Page 286]
regulates this mixture to the cylinders. You can thus see that unless you have these two levers in exactly the right proportion to each other you would not get satisfactory results out of the engine. For instance too much "fine adjustment" would cause the engine to choke, too little would starve it. In either case the engine would "konk out" perhaps with fatal results to the pilot if he was just leaving the ground & was over buildings etc. So to get the pupils thoroughly proficient in engine running they have the escargot running. This is a big platform-box arrangement with various types of rotary engines inside, fitted up with petrol tanks throttles, fine adjustments etc, exactly the same as a machine, and the pupil has to run each type of engine up separately. Of course the engine not being attached to anything, the engine simply stops & does no damage if the pupil starves or chokes it as the very often happens. The names "escargot" is probably taken from the shape of the arrangement, [diagram here] the chimney arrangement being used to carry away the exhaust gases etc. set up.
Thank you so much for attending to the photos for me, for it is almost impossible to get anything in that line done over here now.

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The weather up in these parts has been very changeable this month. Yesterday was a perfect day, not a cloud to be seen, & very little wind. To-day has been one continual mass of rain with clouds almost on the ground, making flying quite impossible.
We took advantage yesterday of the fine weather to go over "en masse" to a drome some 25 miles away and bomb the tripe out of it. It was a rare bit of sport. We went over in formation thus:- [diagram here] (diamond shape. I was in the rear machine and about 200 ft above the two in front of me. We were surrounded on either side by our fast scouts who hovered above us protecting our 4 bombing buses. We got over Minchinhampton drome, and a mob of "enemy" scouts came after us and tried to split up our formation. In France, once a machine is separated from its mates, old Fritz hops down on it like a vulture. We kept our formation & left our scouts to deal with the "enemy'" while we went on & dropped our bombs (chemical ones) on our objective. Several machines from that drome rose & tried to cut the 4 of us off, but by this time our own scouts had returned, and when we started for home, we left a dog-fight in progress over the drome we had "bombed."

[Page 288]
I am keeping in splendid health, & trust this finds you all the same.
I must close now, with love to all at home,
Your loving son,
J Leo L. Waterhouse.

[Page 289]
No 7 T.S. A.F.C. R 20.12.18
Leighterton, Glos.
England 22/10/18

My dearest Father,
Since I last wrote I have to thank you for yours of 27th August which came to hand a few days ago. I was glad to know you are all keeping well, and trust you will continue so.
We have been having bad weather here for some little time past. It is getting colder every week, and with a limited coal supply, it promises to be a very hard winter for a lot of people.
I did my cross-country flight on Saturday last. I went to Minchinhampton first, and then headed S.E. for Salisbury. I got some papers signed there, & then turned the machine towards home, roughly about N.W. It was ¼ to 5 when I left Salisbury, and I knew it got dark about ½ past and I had 70 miles to do to get home. I could see I was going to have a tussle to get back in time, so I opened my engine fully out & sent the machine along at 80 m.p.h. To make things worse the sun disappeared behind a big bank of clouds, and a heavy ground fog rolled up. When I set out I was flying at 3,000 ft, but when the fog came, I got down to 500 ft to keep the ground in sight. At 5.30 I wasn't home, it was almost dark, and I realised I

[Page 290]
was utterly lost as far as my bearings went. So I flew on till I saw a big 2 storied house, and landed safely in a paddock close by. Almost immediately about 150 children were around the plane gaping at it. I met two men walking up to the place, of whom I asked the way to the nearest telephone. They didn't understand my question & I was surprised a little later to hear they were Austrians, supposed to be interned.
This decided me not to leave the machine in search of a 'phone, so learning that some special police were camped near by, I gave a couple of small boys 3d. each to go down to the police with a note requisitioning a guard for the machine.
Half an hour later a big burly Sgt. of Police & a special came along, to whom I turned over the responsibility of the 'plane. I then went into the nearest village (1 ½ mls) with 20 kiddies following me, & phoned through to the 'drome that I and the machine were O.K. The owner of this big house took me home, and made me very comfortable. He and his wife (Mr. & Mrs. Percy Luce) were awfully kind to me & Mr. Luce explained that he had a warm place in his heart for Australians as he had relatives in Adelaide.

[Page 291]
I had three offers of hospitality altogether, but the Luce's were kindness itself. I stayed with them till the Monday morning, when we tried to fly the machine out, Sunday being too "dud" a day, & weather too bad, but the paddock was too small, with the result that we had to dismantle it and tow it home on its wheels behind a motor-lorry.
My instructor who came out to the machine, said he couldn’t understand how I got the machine into such a small paddock without breaking a wire even. It will be many a long day before I forget my first X country trip in England. It was Saturday night when I landed, & on the Sunday Afternoon the local clergyman came to me like a raging bull for leaving the machine there on the Sabbath, as he couldn’t get any of the children to Sunday School, as they were all too interested in watching the aeroplane. I told him I couldn’t help it.
I am keeping in splendid health at present & am very keen on my work here.
As it is very likely that I shall be in France again by the time you receive this, I think the best way to address my correspondence will be care of Elsie. As I will be in regular touch by mail with Els, she will be only too

[Page 292]
Glad to forward them on to me. The address then will be
c/- Miss E.V. Lawson
No 7 Derfald St.,
Shropshire, Eng.
If I can possibly have this coming Christmas in England with the Lawsons I would like to do so, but I expect to be in France in about 6 weeks time unless I can get on "ferrying." A ferry- pilot has a good job (flying new machines across to France & returning the next day) but it is fearfully expensive for a start.
I must close now, with love to you all at "Cairnleith,"
Your loving son,
J Leo L. Waterhouse.

[Page 293]
No 7 T Squadron, R 27.12.18
Leighterton, Eng.

My dearest father,
I must thank you for your welcome and interesting letter of 15th Sept; also for enclosing the three letters two for myself and one for Alan W. I have handed this letter to Alan, and he was naturally surprised to receive it that way.
I have to thank Mother also for her welcome letter of the same date; you both mention that Anna was also writing, but up to the present the letter has not arrived; possibly it will turn up next mail.
A second edition of the "Spanish Flu" is raging throughout the British Isles. The number of deaths is enormous, and whilst up at Shrewsbury on Wednesday last, there were 21 deaths in the 24 hours previous due entirely to the ‘flu. In 99 cases out of 100 it turns into pneumonia and mostly ends fatally. Two of our number here are in Hospital with it & not expected to live.
The other day the Adjutant of the other Squadron here (i.e. the 8th Trng Sqdn) Lieut J. A. Robertson, pulled me up with the question "Are you any relation to Walter Waterhouse of 2nd Battalion A.I.F."
When he found we were brothers, he launched forth into eloquence about Wally & his sterling

[Page 294]
2. qualities, finishing up with "The dirty dog hasn’t written to me for about 6 months." I expect Wal will remember him in the 1st Battalion. His present address is No 8 Training Squadron, A.F.C. Leighterton Glostershire, England. Nos 5 & 6 T. Squadrons are together at Minchinhampton, Nos 7 & 8 at leighterton
In my last letter I asked you to direct all mail to Miss E. Lawson, 7, Derfald St., Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. I am just repeating this address in case my last letter has gone astray.
We are getting awful weather here for flying lately; strong S.E. gales, with clouds only 500 feet from the ground. One day last week I broke had my first break in an aeroplane. I told you some time previous about leaving our undercarriage on a wall and crashing when we landed as a result. As the instructor had full control of the machine on that occassion occasion I don’t take any responsibility. However until last Thursday I had not broken even a wire, and had then completed 62 hours in the air. I was coming back from Yatesbury with Jack Scarr, (J.H.A. Scarr, Esq. B.Sc, Syd. Uni. Eng.Course) who was in the lead in one machine & I was following

[Page 295]
3. a quarter of a mile behind. We were steering entirely by compass & got home alright. Jack landed first quite alright but just avoided going on his nose: I was just landing straight into the wind when for some reason the wind veered quite suddenly so that it was coming at me side on. I was only 15 ft. from the ground and tried to turn into the wind again but was too low with the result that one wheel hit the ground first throwing all the weight of the machine on to the other wheel. Then machine flopped down like a bag of flour and one of the struts supporting the centre section snapped. It made me wild to think that was the first thing I had broken, after 60 hours too.
I had aimed at completing my training here without breaking anything but it is too late now.
Of course I simply taxied the machine into the hangar, and it was 1 ½ hours work to put in a new strut.
I passed my passenger carrying test about 10 days ago, and nearly always take up a passenger with me now. Before this we had to put a weight equivalent to 150 lbs (mostly two sandbags full of sand) in the observer’s cockpit in order to preserve the balance of the machine

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4. With a passenger aboard, however, it tends to make the pilot even more careful, besides giving him a feeling of companionship.
I never have any trouble to find a passenger as the fellows here are real "air-hogs." I have often wished Wally was over here; for then we could have some good trips together.
On the occasion of my first break that I have just related, I had flown my Instructor also to Yatesbury to bring back a new machine, and I was returning solo, with "Lieut Sandbag" as my passenger.
I have only 3 more tests to do to get my commission, and if the weather would only fine up, could finish in a week.
When I have (got) my commission, I will be sent to Winchester for 3 weeks for my "Wings"; after that I will be ready for overseas. It thus depends on the weather whether I will be in the Old Country for Christmas or in France.
Personally I would choose the former, but would not hesitate a minute should they decree I should go to France again,
The War promises to fizzle out almost any time now, but it will take the best part of

[Page 297]
of 12 months to clear up the mess.
I must close now, with love to you all at home.
Your loving son,
J Leo L. Waterhouse.

[Page 297]
No 7 Trng Squadron,
Aust. Flying Corps.
Glos. Eng.

My dearest Father,
I am rather behind in writing this time but I have been kept busy one way and another. Since I last wrote I have received Anna’s letter which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
I have now finished my training here and have now attained my chief objective: namely my brevet, & incidentally my commission. Of course it is all very well having the commission for I feel as though I have earned it, but I am genuinely proud of my "Wings."
When I do find my commission a nuisance though is when I am out with Els; strolling along wh with her arm on mine & meeting & acknowledging soldiers salutes; for the British Tommy is religiously regimental.
I have applied and have been accepted as a member of the R.A.C. of Great Britain (Royal Aero Club). It is they who issue the Peace-time Aviator’s certificate, which together with the Military Certificate are rather good assets.
Exactly what is going to become of us I don’t know at present but I believe we will have to sign on in the A.F.C for 3 years. There is a wild rumour here that we will be home for Easter but I am very dubious about it myself.
I have to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of £10 that I cabled for about a month ago. It was very acceptable just at the time although now I hope to keep strictly within my pay
I am doing very little flying at present owing to the limited number of machines here at present. I have been testing machines here lately as soon as they come out of the workshops.
Sometimes it is ticklish work, but I make sure of my engine on the ground before taking off. It is great experience because of the different types of machines one comes into contact with.
The weather here has been very dud lately as far as flying goes; low mist on the ground till about 10 o’clock, & then it comes up foggy about 3; it becomes dark soon after 4 now & then a very long evening.
Next time I write I hope to be able to send you my latest photo, taken in my Lieutenant’s rig-out.
I must close now, with love to you all at home,
Your loving son,
J Leo L. Waterhouse.

[Transcribed by Lynne Frizell, Betty Smith for the State Library of New South Wales]