Letter Home

22nd of May 1915

Dear Mum And Dad,

Words cannot explain how much I miss everyone. Not a day goes by without me thinking of you guys. Mum, I crave the taste of your cooking, especially the vegetable soup you make for me every time I get sick. The food here is not the best, it all tastes stale and hard. The only decent food is the biscuits.

I almost forgot, I received the rations you sent me. I shared them with my good friend if that’s okay; they wanted me to say thanks. I also miss how you tell me that everything will be okay. I just wish you would tell me that now.

It must be hard back home. I can’t imagine how all of the women are feeling without their sons. Please do not worry mum, I’ll be back soon. Dad, I miss the talks we had and the lessons on how to be a man. I say this at the risk of sounding ungrateful, but those lessons are not needed here. I’m sure I will use them when I get back though. It’s nice and quiet at the moment but soon it will get loud. For now, I’m just enjoying the peace. 

We wake up super early in the morning. I wish I could sleep in like I did back home. We have beans for breakfast and bully beef with some vegetables for dinner. It’s not the best but it gets the job done. During the day we set up the weapons, take very quick showers and do all sorts of odd jobs. When I am not fighting, I am working in the field kitchens. 

I haven’t been to many places. I’m still in Gallipoli but we’re going back to Egypt for training after. To be honest, I don’t want to go anywhere but home. I don’t understand why Australia had to get involved in this war anyway. I get that it’s because of our alliance with Great Britain but, still, leave us Aussies out of it, aye.

Remember when I told you guys that I wanted to travel to Turkey? Well, here I am, but I’m certainly not sun tanning and getting sick from Turkish delights. Speaking of delights, a Turkish boy once threw me a Turkish delight. At first, I thought it was a grenade so I ducked. My mates Jake and Tony couldn’t stop laughing, they said I looked so terrified. They’re idiots but I love them dearly. 

I first met Jake while digging in the trenches. I heard an angelic voice passionately singing Christian songs. I followed the sweet melodies to a tall muscular man. I laughed so hard I started crying. You should have seen me, mum, I was hysterical! Jake lifted me off the ground and danced around with me on his shoulders. Tony joined in, and we danced for hours that night. Ever since then, our bond has grown stronger each day as we bury bodies and kill side by side. I want them to meet you guys when I come home. We’ll have a big feast, and Jake can sing for us while we dance all night long. 

Enough about me. How is everyone? Is everything okay? I hope Nanny Margret’s hip is okay. Let her know that I miss her and love her. I can’t wait to return home and see everyone. We were told that tomorrow will be a busy day so I’m going to rest now. Spread my love to everyone. Dad, please stay strong for mum. I miss you all but, I’ll see you guys when I get back.

love your son, Harold.

 

These stories were written in our Factory Feedback program, which was created with, and generously supported by, the Dusseldorp Forum.