Norman – Gorrie: 22 Sep 1918

Sept 22nd
Dear Gorrie,

I have been sending only one letter to Mum lately. The reason for that is that I have never been certain when writing that I would not myself arrive home before the letters.

It is now nearly three months since I was boarded and it seems as if I have another three weeks ahead of me yet before I commence the homeward voyage. I have not yet found out what my classification is but I am hoping for C.2. I do not want to stay here much longer as the weather is getting colder every week and I want to make sure of being home for Christmas. There seems to be a fair chance of my leaving here in the same boat that brought us over – the ‘Tahiti’ – as I understand that she will be among the next lot of boats to leave. My mate who used to look after the water cart with me in France turned up at the Depot here last night. He has been boarded only a week but he may get home on the same boat. Richmond is a queer sort of chap. We are attending classes here somewhat similar to those Neil is teaching at Hornchurch. Yesterday one of the instructors was away and Richmond got up to give a lecture on the mariner’s compass. You can imagine the reception he got. It is fairly wearisome waiting week after week for a boat but I ought to be well away inside a month from now. Food seems to be fairly plentiful down this way and the mess room tucker is A1. date pudding and sauce three times a week. Neil is ‘some’ gun
in the force now. I feel quite a thrill when I write the ‘Sgt’ before his name when addressing my letters to him. He ought to be well set for some months to come as the ‘Heads’ seem to be taking up the educational stunt with an enthusiasm which is quite disconcerting to the dodger who wants to smoke and sleep all through lecture time. I have been put in an electricity class and we have two hours of it every morning. The instructor is one of a big electrical firm in NZ and seems to know a bit. There is blankety little work to do here and our worst trouble is the daily inspection parade.

That is an insult that we have to put up with daily at half past three. Ask Vic and he will explain what an inspection parade is, but don’t blame me if he uses some sultry language in the process.

I suppose Neil has told you that Norman Matheson is at Hornchurch and Charley Musker at Brockenhurst. Hoping to see you very soon after this letter arrives.

I remain
Your etc