Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mudros, Lemnos, 6/11/15

Dear Dad,
We are still at Lemnos our months spell has dragged out to two months and the sixths who have now been with us for five weeks or so are becoming impatient. Even the old hands for whom the Peninsula has no great attractions are growing tired of the inaction and don't care how soon they get back into it.
As for myself, I am beginning to grow fat here. We are fed fairly well we are issued with bread and fresh meat daily and have cooks to prepare our meals for us. Sometimes they open their hearts and issue a pint of beer or stout per man. I have joined the machine gun section here and find the work very interesting- a machine gun man is supposed to know all about rangefinding, field sketching, etc, and to have a working knowledge of signalling besides the actual working of his gun. Some fifty percents of us are new hands so that you will see we have had any amount to do in our spare time here.
We hear very little of events outside our own corner and we look to the papers we receive from NZ for our information. The Witnesses you send reach me alright and are very welcome. Mother in her letter asks if it is any use sending clothing. Thanks to the efforts of the good people in NZ we have socks shirts etc. to burn and are in this respect very well off. An occasional pair of socks or handkerchief does not go amiss however and anything in the way of eatables is welcome particularly on the peninsula where such things are not procurable.
The old town seems to be going ahead fast and I am looking forward to the time when we return which we should be able to do in another year though Gen. Godly gives us three years before it will be all fixed up.
Trusting you are all in good health with love to all, your affectionate son,

Note. The words beer and stout really were underlined in his letter. Now there's a man after my own heart.

Below are some photos from Grandad's photo album. First, the photo of the machine gunners and the caption as he wrote it.
Then, the same photo after it was cropped, enlarged, and sharpened. I still can't tell which one is him.
The photo below had no caption, so I don't know where it was taken. However, it was on the same page as the photo I showed earlier, with the soldiers in the cattle car heading to Cairo. I'm guessing it must be either Egypt or Lemnos, as photos of the active positions were so rare (and completely forbidden).


  1. aah the value of names and places and information even scrawled on the back of a photo...and how many have I got kicking around loose in a box! That phrase caught my ear too with the stout and beer, the cooks sometimes 'open their hearts' and release them.