14 January 1918 – Ted to Gertrude

14 Jan

Jan 14/18


Dear Mother

Very many thanks for your letter of 13th Nov, which arrived today, so you see you were just getting my rather few and far between letters I’m afraid while we were on the march up here from Baghdad, but really we had practically no time for writing & usually nowhere to post them. However by now I hope you have begun getting my letters regularly again-

This last week has been wet and fine in turns and today is lovely: cold, you know, but a cloudless sky & fresh & clean, & very English. I go about in a small cap all day, no need to wear a helmet, so this gives you some idea of the tremendous change in the sun’s power from the hot weather, when to stay a minute in the sun without a helmet would be disastrous.

The river has risen a lot these last few days owing to the rain presumably, and before much longer I expect it will get much higher. It is rushing past us now in a swirling flood, and sometimes when the wind is blowing up-stream, it breaks into waves and white horses just like a choppy sea and it’s lovely to watch it, but cold work- we have’nt had any actual frost lately & those biting N. winds have not been so bad either, but it’s awful cold at nights still, & I did’nt sleep at all last night as I was so cold. But it’s hopeless to try and get things like blankets etc, as by the time they arrive here it will be warm again. If I’m out here next cold weather I shall know what’s in store for the cold weather. I have’nt got any warm khaki yet, & there seems little prospect of getting any. However I am very fit and well and it’s all part of the day’s work so I’m not worrying.

Yes I saw in Punch that another Lloyd had been wounded, and that Major Bryant had been killed. How sad, I’m most awfully sorry as they were so good to me at the R.M.C. & I should like to write to Mrs Bryant if I could get hold of her address. Arthur Lloyd was reported badly wounded I see, & I do hope he’s all right. Is Kitty married yet I wonder, & what’s Johnnie doing? These things sort of flash across one’s mind when any news of the family crops up.

We’ve been nearly 3 weeks without a mail now, so today’s letters are most welcome. I got such a nice writing pad thing from the Dudmans & 2 lovely pairs of socks, both extremely useful & most opportune- I also got some nice things from Fortnum & Mason from the girls which are very tastey & welcome; they arrived quite safe. But the other F. & M. things have never arrived: held up somewhere I suppose-

I hope Topher manages to get over his stammering. It at anyrate means he will be at home for sometime does’nt it. You ask if we have been in any scrapping since the Ramadi show, we have’nt been in any real fighting, only a few odd shots when out on reconnaisance now and then-

I have’nt heard from Jim for some time though last time he wrote he seemed to be on the point of starting from Singapore. Yes indeed the woolly has been useful and is rather the worse for wear but still serviceable & warm & always worn. Those little split-rings which keep our buttons in our khaki jackets, you know, “little men” you call them I think, are always catching in it when I put my coat on so it suffers somewhat but is lasting wonderfully well.

Mail goes out today though I really don’t think it matters very much here; as often as not the cars can’t move owing to bad roads, and I expect my letters lately have been rather erratic.

Best love to all

yr loving son


Probable Major Bryant

Report of his death in Volume VII of The Australian Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine, 1914-1918 (10th edition, 1941)

Chapter 29 – Nahr Auja and El Burj (pdf)




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