Letter written by #619 Pte Frederick (Fred) George Clayton, 40th Battalion, C Company.
Frederick was the brother of Mary Ann and Sarah Jane Clayton, both wives of Mungo Scott, father of Angus George Scott.
To : G. Scott - Good Cochie Farmer - Tunnack - Sept 18th 1916
Dear George, Reenie,
I am still carrying the shooter about but not for rabbits although one or two would be nice change after the bully beef of which we get quite sufficient. We had a bonza trip across after leaving Melbourne it was about a month before we sighted land and coming through Australian Bight there was a little water come aboard just enough to keep her cool she wasn't to fast only do about 12 or 14 knots no doubt she would spring of her tail if the submarine come close which we never seen their was two other troopship beside us then the Escort so they was on their guard. Called in next port Capetown had four days stoppage had two afternoon leave ashore it was a treat after being aboard so long and we made the best of it only the good line was very dear an such nice girls then we left and crossing the Line everyone who hadn't crossed the Line had to be dip into a big canvas bath …
I must mine the lines on this side.
… There was no arguing the point over it either you would go in clothes an all came on to Dakar went in one morning came out the next only caught a glimpse of that town coming along when got into Bay of Biscay got up one morning their was one Destroyer for each boat an the Escort had return back they look commercial boats sailing all around us and keeping look out use to have concerts and drill to keep us engaged on our way passed the Eddystone Lighthouse gave us three Volley from it then we caught on eye on Plymouth where we went into Destroyers left us their gone on a little further up another Channel it was pretty scenery the it was only wide enough for two boats to pass on the way up their was three training Ship fastened together for training the Blue jackets and the Nurses looking out the port Holes. C. Stop it landed at Devonport landed on 22nd August about 7.30 at night transferred to the train had to travel over 100 miles we stop halfway a station called Exeter had a cup of coffee & bun very nice went onto destination Called Amesbury had to march over four mile to the New Camp then the Result was to sleep in our overcoats an on boards for a week the lumps go pretty flat in that time they had a little sympathy on us after give us four days leave in London Went to the Tower all through it a soldier has a free ticket Isn't nice to be one. Sometimes and Buckingham Palace ALBERT Hall which holds 8,000 people White Hall where they change Horse guards and different Opera which we went by ourselves don't think an now we are back into Camp see plenty of Aeroplanes around us an other different war purposes even ourselves we going from 6 p.m till 7.30 or eight at night don't think they forms Unions here More for forms 4 or 2 deep seen Ken told me he was going to France. Send my best Regards to All friends,
From 619 Fred