04 August 1916 – Physical training is hard in the heat

4 August 1916

Dear Parents

I received your parcel last evening but too late to write to you on. It is really a most splendid parcel and I think that this will include all that I shall require up to the present.  I saw my name down on the Post office notice board that there was a parcel for me.  I immediately claimed it and imagine my surprise when they handed me a big one.  The other “Tars” about looked longingly at it and said “what a lucky ______that chap is”.  The contents are all splendid and I am sure it will have cost something to rig me up.  The cake tasted very good and it will be very handy for me to eat before morning 6.30 parade.  The shaving tackle is all that one could desire and the Housewife & the hold all are very nicely made.  The knife and fork have been admired by everyone who have seen it and  it is very good of Auntie Bessie & Uncle Ernest to think of me so substantially.  Everything appeared to be as included at your end and I am very thankful for everything included.  Kindly thanks Auntie Emma & Uncle Jim, for their trouble, from me.  I will write Auntie B later on.  I am pegging along merrily so far and have been able to “carry on” with the best so far.  In fact, the Physical Training Instructor had me out in front yesterday showing the rest how things should be done.  You say that Harry Bannister has been rejected.  Of course there is no place like home but I know that I am physically fit and I do not regret what I have done in enlisting.  This life will build me up but I shall not stay in the navy after the war as there is nothing to touch civi life.  You are free at home but here you feel that you cannot do what you like.  You cannot go out immediately you feel inclined.  You must wait until it is your “watch ashore” and even then you must catch the “Liberty Boat”.  You are inspected before going out band if everything is not spic & span you are turned back & must remain on Board.  Don’t imagine that I am downhearted.  I am not and don’t intend to be.  I like the life so far and if you take things as they come everything goes well.  The drills are pretty hard at first but I am getting quite used to them now.  They would be fine if the weather was not so hot.  The sweat fairy flows from you but I have two shirts to change on besides the one I wear, so I am alright.  Send me a piece of Sudden Death without fail every week and keep me posted up with Junction news.  We have received our weeks pay 2/- this morning and you ought to be hearing something about the rest in a day or two.  If you send me Treasury notes in letters I think it would be better if you registered them.  I shall not want any cash for a fortnight or so but will let you know later on. Kind remember me to Olive, Mrs Bottomley & Cheetham and al kind friends.

Love to yourselves & Ellen, Fanny & kiss little John for me

Yours affectionately

James

PTO

I am sending my duck suits and also my shirts to the YMCA Laundry for a bit but shall wash the rest myself.

I gave a pal a piece of cake and he said it was a bit of fine stuff.

We had another Zepp scare night before last. Same procedure as before, sleep in full dress.

In haste for post

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