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7 January 1918

By January 7, 2018No Comments
  • Veterinary-Sergeant Keith McClymont sends a lengthy letter to his mother in Orange comparing French and Australian livestock. He also provides a humorous description of enterprising French farmers:

Like all human beings, they are extremely fond of money, and some of the most avaricious charge exorbitant prices for chips and eggs and coffee. Soldiers coming out of the front line are generally hungry, and when some of the French people have them at their mercy, so far as food is concerned, they take full advantage of the situation. The majority, however, do not practice extortion … Eggs! I sometimes doubt the patriotism of the hens, for eggs are 4d each.

  • Katherine Caldwell of Millthorpe receives a Christmas card from her son William Andrew Caldwell from hospital in France. It contains a poem written by one of the men serving with the 4th Field Company Engineers.

Sun rising bright above the purple sea!
Endeared to us, bright emblem of our race!
Vouchsafed to shine upon our Southern Land,
Each day we turn unto thy brilliant face
New hopes to frame. Yet this Australian band
Till hearth and home are safe will never cease
High worth to win, and then untroubled peace.

England had need of us, and thus we came,
Nor little recked of what fate held in store,
Giving our best, nor ever thought of fame.
In constant toil we learned the art of war;
Now quiet dreams of Christmastide and home
Entice our minds again to days of old;
Entice our minds again across the foam,
Remembering all, lest memory grow cold,
Sun rising bright above the purple sea!